EMMANUEL: GOD WITH US 2
Our December theme is Emmanuel, God with us
As our theme song points out, God is indeed with us, right here, right now. So let’s engage with all our God given faculties;
Heart – spiritual
Soul – emotional
Mind – intellectual
Body – physical
Let’s flick on the faith button and participate in all the great and mighty things God will do in the midst of us today.
Week One: Captain Caleb addressed the Historic perspective – check it out! Also it’s available via podcast HERE! Well worth the listen even if you’ve heard it before. As the man said – WHO WOULD YOU TRUST? Luke (eye witness) or Josephus (wasn’t even alive at the time)
As God’s word tells us Biblical faith is highly objective, it has both substance and evidence. It is not based primarily on how we feel and is in fact often counter intuitive, especially to our natural senses. Accordingly knowing the range of facts that substantiate God’s existence and His word including the massive trail of historic evidence leaves us without excuse in terms of trusting God. Whatever the state of the world and our lives it is not God who has failed or fallen short.
This week: the Prophetic Perspective
As we’ve said many times – Rev 19:10 the Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy
People talk about the “real spirit of Christmas”, it’s not the real spirit of Christmas if it’s not testifying of Jesus. It’s not testifying of Jesus if it’s not the spirit of prophecy.
Again as we’ve said many times, over the centuries, the millenniums and throughout the history of God’s dealings with humanity, there has been much amazing and divinely accurate prophecy from men and women of God, sadly there’s also been considerable false prophecy. Nevertheless, even though many try and persuade others to accept that the prophetic is not for today, the Bible, which is the more sure word of prophecy, more than ever is relevant for today and the future, and thus just in that simple reality itself, the prophetic IS for today.
The prophets are foundational to God’s kingdom purposes and as we see throughout God’s awesome book, The Bible, in God’s word, will, ways, works and wisdom, the prophetic plays a vital part. This includes the Biblical account of the Birth of Jesus Christ.
As we’ve also said, from a Biblical point of view, prophecy is not limited to prediction, it can be summarized as speaking or expressing things as an oracle of God and is very much about pattern. In regard to the prophetic aspects of the Birth of Jesus there is one major pattern to be recognized here and that is that just as Jesus was conceived of the Holy spirit, so we too can and must be to see and enter the kingdom of Heaven (john 1:12-13, John 3) The Bible also tells us that God’s will is for us all to prophecy, it doesn’t make us all prophets but it does mean that we all have a place to testify of Jesus. Today we’re going to cover three main prophetic factors as relates to the birth of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel God with us.
I encourage everyone to read Matthew Chapter 1-2 and Luke 1-2 in their entirety at least once this year and if you think you’ve heard it all then think again because such is the wonder of this story and the reality that God really is with us there will always be fresh and increased appreciation every time we read these accounts if we read it prayerfully and humbly.
Matt 1:20-23 "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Matt 2:2 "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.”
Matt 2:4-6 “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”
Matt 2 :11-13 “11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
(Dream) 12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
(Dream) 13And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Matt 2:15 "and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
Matt 2:17-18 “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,18In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Matt 2:19-20 "But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.”
Matt 2:22 (Dream) "But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
Matt 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
Luke 1:13-20 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
Luke 1:28-37 Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luke 1:29-37 “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He 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: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And 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. 36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Elizabeth: Luke 1:41-45
Mary: Luke 1:46-55
Zachariah: Luke 1:67
Simeon: Luke 2: 29-32 and 34-35
Anna: Luke 2:36-38
One of the benefits of living with Emmanuel God with us is that the Holy Spirit works in our lives so we can operate the gifts and all of us prophesy.
1 Corinthians 12-14
Being baptized in Holy Spirit and fire is the key to the release of this
Summary – B.I.D
Coming back to our keynote prophetic verse, Rev 19:10, we are given the key not just to unlocking, unleashing, and understanding the spirit of prophecy but indeed all facets of doing life with God and doing life God’s way. That key – WORSHIP GOD!!!!!!!- Give thanks, sing, praise and moment by moment act out an obedient, giving, sacrificial lifestyle, doing everything unto God for His glory.