Scripture Reference: John 6:35-40 (NKJV); Luke 1:26-31, 34-35, 37-38 (NKJV); Luke 2:8-20 (NKJV); Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV)
We are filled with belief; we are so filled with belief, there is no place for unbelief. We are believers, Lord. We are filled with belief; we believe Your Word. We believe all Your Word, Lord. We believe Your message that comes to us now, Father. Oh, Father, thank You that Your Word comes now with great certainty and great clarity through a vessel and through Your messenger, Lord. But like Your Word says in the book of Thessalonians; we do not receive it as the word of mere man. We receive it as the Word of God which it truly is. It is that to us who believe and adhere to that Word. And that Word, this word that comes this morning will exercise its superhuman power in our hearts, Father, because Your Word is near us, Lord. Your Word is very near us, in our mouth and in our heart so that we can do it, we can have it, we can be it. Hallelujah. And so, Your Word comes through Pastor John this morning. He will speak as the oracles of God, he will say only what he hears You say, and he will do what he sees You do. Glory, glory, in Jesus’ name; in Jesus’ mighty name our hearts are ready, ready to receive. Glory.
Whoooo, I can preach to tunes like that, you know [Pastor John speaking to the worship team]. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Welcome to church this Christmas morning. Praise the Lord. You may be seated.
Oh, and you know what, Pastor John? It’s Pastor Garth’s birthday.
I was going to say something about that.
Were you going to say something about that? Are you going to sing too?
Just don’t let him sing.
Come Kate, get a note with me, come Meredith. [Worship team and congregation singing Happy Birthday to Pastor Garth]. We bless you, we bless you, Pastor G, we bless you today.
[Pastor John to Pastor Garth: Speech, speech.]. [Congregation laughing]. Now you can be seated. Glory to God, glory to God. Well, I was going to say that this day, many, many years ago, I was given the greatest Christmas present ever with the birth of my son, Garth, you know. So, praise the Lord, it was a grand and marvellous day.
It was his due date.
It was his due date, and nobody comes on their due date, I mean with a natural birth, you know. But he came on his due date and Brynn took about, he was two weeks late and he took about 36 hours of child labour. I mean, Pastor Sharon went through all kinds of labour pains and contractions and everything for about 30 hours or something ridiculous like that and Garth came in about two hours. We hardly had a chance to get her to the hospital, Sharon that was. Her third push, she says, and he was crying and screaming. We thought, this is going to be another marathon session, but Christmas lunch we had in the hospital together; celebrating the birth of our new gift. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
It’s rare that we have Christmas Day and Sunday together. It’s a wonderful occasion to have a normal church Sunday and have Christmas Day at the same time. Hallelujah. I am a Christian. But I’m not religious. I don’t like religion. And I don’t like the fact that tradition makes you religious. And so wherever tradition can be celebrated without religion, then I will celebrate Jesus and I will celebrate being a Christian and I will celebrate that tradition. But the minute tradition becomes that important that it overtakes relationships and the true meaning of being a Christian, then I rather choose the relational component of being a Christian than the tradition of being a Christian. Amen. And so, it’s against every fibre of my being, to be a traditionalist, it’s in every fibre of my being to be a relationalist. Hallelujah.
And so even today, I mean, it’s just a strange thing, I was talking to Brother Joe from Jerry Savelle Ministries in the US, and, you know, Australia, he has an office, Brother Jerry has an office in Australia, and of course, in South Africa. And we are the only offices that he has around the world that closes down completely, as does our church office because look around you. It’s like everybody this time of the year in the southern hemisphere goes on some kind of vacation, you know and anyway. A lot of people in the northern hemisphere, of course, they don’t have the kind of break that we have, and they spend a lot of money on Christmas trees and decorations and lights and snow falls. And so you have all of the Hollywood kind of idea of what Christmas must look like. But we don’t have that kind of thing in South Africa. So, we might as well just celebrate Jesus. Amen.
So, in order for me to celebrate Jesus, I’m going to ask you a question. And that question would be; what gives the right of a king to be a king? Birth? Now in our modern day world we have a fairly high profile king that has just become king because the Queen died – his mother. He is about to be coronated as the king. He is a king in waiting. The coronation ceremony is yet to happen, but if I’m correct, it’s going to happen somewhere in the new year – February I think. But he is the king but he hasn’t yet been coronated king. So, who’s going to preside over his coronation? The church. So what different blood has King Charles got to my blood as a man? No different blood. There is no such thing as royal blood. It’s just a man’s blood. So what gives the right of a king to call himself king? Over all the centuries, what has any king laid claim to a throne and a kingdom, what has given them the right?
Well, some men have become kings because they have military power and they use their military power to invade territories or to conquer a people. And then they preside, and they call themselves king but it is a forced demonstration of power, so they call themselves king, he calls himself king, or emperor, or Caesar, or anything like that he would call himself. He would take the position of ruler and call himself whatever title he would call himself – pharaoh – whatever title, he would call himself that.
But as for the blood borne king, there is no such thing as a blood borne king. There is no such thing as noble blood because there is only one man’s blood that is given to another man’s blood. Right? And if he happens to be the son of a king, then they would call him prince. And now in the Arab world you have sheikh and you have princes to a sheikh, whatever they call themselves, and predominantly it is because of wealth. So you either call yourself king or prince or ruler or leader or whatever because you have wealth or because you have military power. You may be born into that wealth and military power, therefore inherit the title and inherit something but it doesn’t mean to say that your blood is any different. Right?
And so there has always been an alliance between the powerful and the spiritual because almost all kings have to be recognised by the religious order of the day, the spiritual leaders of the day. If you are talking about a theocracy, which is a state or a country like Iran, which is a theocracy. In other words, the leader of that country and the leader of the church are one and the same. And so you have the Imam Khomeini – however you might say that – he is the supreme leader of Iran. He is the supreme leader, spiritually and he is also the supreme leader politically or governmentally. He will appoint administrators; call him Prime Minister, call him President, call him whatever that country calls him, and he will be the government and the administrative arm in that nation.
So there has always been either a competition or a cooperation between the spiritual and the natural rulers and leaders. In fact, if you go back to countries like Italy, France, and England, Wales, Scotland, many of the European countries, Spain – some of them still have monarchs. Denmark has a monarch. If you go back to all of those European countries that had monarchs, they almost always needed the verification of the church in their coronation to be appointed as a monarch. Right? It was all about the people. If the people see that the church blesses the monarch, then the monarch can take their rightful place amongst the people because the church has blessed it. The only way you can proclaim a noble breed or a special breed is if the church says this man is ordained by God to be a king or a monarch. So, the church who here is supposed to represent and to hear the will of God, appoints someone in the natural world as a designated, divine ordained leader, called king. Jip. I mean, this is basic history but bear with me for a minute. All right.
Today, I’m going to talk to you a little bit, the Lord has really been speaking to me and showing me things out of the Word, although this is my Christmas message today, spoken a little differently, it is still the foundation revelation that I will be speaking about as the Lord gives me the opportunity to speak about it.
I’m going to talk to you about the Source and about the resource because any king says, “If the church says the source of my blood is divine, then I can proclaim a divine assignment. Then every war that I make can be a divine war because I am appointed as a divine ruler. Without the appointment or the support of the church, I can no longer wage war just because I want to wage war. I have to have a reason to wage war, and it’s got to be a higher reason, otherwise, the people won’t just go and give their lives for nothing.” Right?
The source of power is a really important thing. Where is the source of power? What is the source of all authority, power, and ability to do things? What’s the source? A source is a place, a person, or a thing from which something originates or something can be obtained. If you’ve got a source, then obviously if you’ve obtained, if you are a place, if there’s a person, if there’s a thing, or something, wherever that originates from, it can become a resource. If there’s no source, you can’t have a resource. There has to be a source before you can have a resource. Ja?
A resource, I’m going to take just a moment here, the original meaning of the word, as opposed to something that is kind of changed with our cultural norms, means a resource is the possibility of aid or assistance. It’s the original meaning of the word; the possibility of aid or assistance. It can mean a stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organisation in order to function effectively. So, if I’m a person, I can draw on it to function effectively. If you are an organisation, you can draw on it to function effectively because it’s become a resource because there is a source. Right? Or you can say it’s an action or strategy which may be adopted in adverse circumstances. Now, John chapter 6 verse 35 says, 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. I am the bread of life. What’s He saying? “I am a Source. I am the bread of life.” 35 … He who comes to Me shall never hunger. Why? Because the Source says, “Whatever need you have, any aid or assistance that you might require; the Source provides it. You can call on the aid or the assistance that you need at any time because the Source never stops giving.” 35 … “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. That’s pretty much, other than breathing, that’s pretty much everything you ever need. Hunger and thirst. If I can breathe and I have my hunger and my thirst met, I’ve got everything. The Source provides a resource. One could say because we understand the Source, we can have an action or strategy that can be adopted in adverse circumstances; meaning whatever adverse circumstance I face I can always go to the Source to provide my resource. Jesus proclaimed Himself to be so.
36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. In other words, if you come to the Source, you will never ever leave without resource. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. So where does Jesus get His Source? So He’s proclaimed Himself to be the Source. Where does He get the Source from? Heaven, from His Father. Is God,the Father eternal? Is He divine? The Bible says there is no beginning to Him, and there is no end to Him. He always has been, He always will be, there is no variation in Him, ever. Whatever He has always been, He always will be. So if Jesus says, “I’ve come to be your visible Source that you now can see. I’ve come from the One you cannot see but if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the same Source, just you can’t see Him but Me you can see.” Hallelujah.
39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life (John 6:35-40 NKJV). Wow. And He will raise us up at the last day. In other words, He is saying, “If you are willing to believe that I’m the Source of your life, then the Father who is the Source of My life will become the Source of your life.” That means the Eternal Source becomes your source by believing in this Source. “Because I don’t come here out of My own will, I have come from the One who sent Me.” If there was anyone that could say, I am noble born, noble birthright, blood king, it is King Jesus. There is no other before Him but there are many since Him. Put your hand on your heart like this [Pastor John putting his hand on his heart to show congregation] and say, “He’s talking about me now. I have noble blood. I am king.” Because Jesus said, “I am King of kings.” He’s the King of us kings.
Remember Jesus said to people when they asked Him, “How do you pray?” He said, “Pray like this; our Father which art in heaven. “ Our Father. He didn’t say, “Pray to My Father.” He said, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So who’s running the kingdom? Jesus is not here. Who’s running the kingdom? We are. Hello, kings. Hallelujah.
Now, you know, this is the story that everybody will tell when it comes to Christmas day. This is a story that many people have plays about it and if you go into many churches, they’ll have this nativity scene which they will portray to you as the essence of Christmas.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”(Luke 1:26-28 NKJV). Now, imagine this, you’re a woman and suddenly this amazing being is standing in front of you and saying, “Howdy. Woman, you are highly favoured, and really blessed amongst all women.” What do you do with that? You’re like, “Huh, I wonder what’s happening next?” Well, I mean, we understand favour. In other words, something’s about to happen to you that normal circumstances could never predict. Favour is the ability to get something done that normal circumstances can’t dictate. So that’s why he had to address her as favoured one because that gave God the right in His own proclamation to make something happen that had to bypass the normal course of life. Favour gets that done. Wow. Favour.
So he calls her favoured, and he calls her blessed. In other words, you are going to experience something that normal circumstances cannot achieve, and you are going to be empowered to do it. That’s what blessing means. You are going to be empowered to do it.
29But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying. Some versions of the Bible say she was very thoughtful about it, or she meditated on it or she thought about it. … and considered what manner of greeting this was. Well, sure, this is not a normal thing that’s happening to anybody. Right? 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God (Luke 1:29-30 NKJV). Two times in the same discourse; favour. Something’s about to happen to you that is not normal. It bypasses the whole system. It bypasses all of the norms of what humanity says can happen. It’s all going to happen to you because you are found something special in the eyes of God. She was kind of wondering, “What is it that I’ve done that’s so special that would cause this to happen?” Well, it wasn’t just about her. It was also about who she was about to marry but it was also about her lineage that she came from. There were many things that she perhaps didn’t at that moment understand completely but she wasn’t just a random choice or something. There was a bloodline involved here, going back to King David.
I got news for you; you have a bloodline too. His name is Jesus. You have a bloodline. Therefore, I can, with confidence, call you king. Please, let’s rule in the kingdom. Most Christians don’t know how to rule because they don’t accept the mandate and the responsibility of ruling. Come on. So ruling is something that you have to embrace, otherwise, you won’t do it. We, as a people, generally, as a church, I’m not going to get into this too much today, in time to come, God willing, I will say some more about it. We are very used to the act of serving. It’s part of our fabric in church to serve. But you have to have an idea that my serving will also lead me to ruling because Jesus said to His disciples, “Unless you let Me wash your feet,” in other words, “I must serve you now, you can have no part of ruling with me later.” Wow. So we have to have the mentality of both serving and ruling.
Many years ago, the Lord gave me a revelation, an insight into the life of King David, because I asked the Lord, “Why is it that you said to him – about King David – that he is a man of Your own heart as opposed to another king or other kings? And why is it that You said David’s throne would have no end?” Because he found favour with God – David – but he messed up a lot. The Lord showed me that David was a shepherd, he was a servant leader but he was prepared to be a king. In other words, he was prepared to take the responsibility of rulership but he did it with the attitude of a shepherd and a servant leader. So when you rule like that, then you rule in the order of God, which is why God said, “He’s a man after my own heart because he rules in the order of God, who serves and leads.” Come on, this is a different Christmas message than you expected to get today. Huh? Hallelujah.
So, 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom, there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:31 NKJV). Is His Kingdom alive now? So then, are you subjects or are you kings? We are both. We are both. Amen. But we find it easy to be subjects, we don’t find it so easy to be kings. Come on. When the church behaves like a king, the world who has seen religion says churches don’t behave like that because Christians are supposed to be poor. They’re supposed to be humble. They’re supposed to be subservient. They’re supposed to be meek and mild. And they’re supposed to be in that category of person because that’s how they want religion to be. But that’s not who God says His children should be. His children should be both His children and they should be kings. Now, when the church starts to behave like a king, the world comes against it because they know what kings do that are not godly. They rule, they govern, they are ruthless. They take all of the resources of the people, and they use it all for their own benefit. So when the world sees the church behaving like kings, they say it’s just another organisation. It’s just another king who’s projecting leadership like all other kings, it’s got to be self serving because the world only knows how to be self serving. But Jesus didn’t come to be self-serving. He came to serve everything of the Father. He came to serve the will of the Father. He came to give everything that the Father asked Him to give. Amen.
So, I believe that we should have the same mind that is in Christ, that we come to give, we come to serve, we come to do everything the Father wants us to do. But we must also be prepared to rule. Will we get persecuted for it? Definitely. The minute the church stands up and says, “Be healed,” who does that? Who gives you the authority to say somebody be healed? Well, I’m not here representing my kingdom. I’m representing my Father’s Kingdom and He says, “Be healed.” So, I’m not saying I’ve got the power of healing but I am ruling His Kingdom which is His Kingdom on the earth, therefore be healed. What about be prosperous? “Well, no, no, Pastor John, it’s Christmas, please stay away from the money thing on Christmas Day. I mean, we are here, you know, to kind of talk about Jesus.” Well, do you think Jesus was poor? Many people use that scripture, He had no place to put his head, He had no home to call his own. He was just poor and shame. Well, then why did he have a treasurer? You don’t have a treasurer, you don’t have an accountant, a financial manager, if you don’t have money. I’m glad you asked about that.
³⁴ Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” ³⁵ And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:34-35 NKJV).
Then she says in verse 38, well, verse 37, he’s talking about Elizabeth who was barren, and now she’s pregnant. Verse 37, ³⁷ For with God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37 NKJV). Then Mary said because she knew Elizabeth, she knew Elizabeth was beyond the childbearing age and she now is pregnant because He said so, not because she knew it. So then she says, “Okay, if that’s possible…” ³⁸ Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her ( Luke 1:38 NKJV). Here’s what has happened; he says, “I’ve come to tell you that the Source of all life is about to produce through favour, a source of life in you that bypasses all the rules. If the Source of life is in you, receive it, and the source will provide for all of your resource.”
You think the Father God is going to let His Son come into the earth without adequate resources? He’s Almighty God. When Jesus gets born, He has to learn the ways of His Father in the natural man but His spirit-man is perfect, therefore, sin doesn’t touch Him but He has to learn the ways of the Father in the natural-man. He gets to the age where His learning and His understanding come together. What age was that? Most people think it was the age of 30. It was the age of 12. You want to know why we have to take care of our kids? Because the age of 12 is a good age to be completely giving your life to God.
His learning and His understanding came together because His mom and dad were looking for Him and, “Where are you?” And they have to go back to Jerusalem and He’s talking to all of the religious leaders of the day and He’s got them on the backfoot as it were, got them on the ropes and He’s 12. And His mom and dad say, “Don’t You come and tell us, you know, what’s up with You?” He says, “Don’t you know, I’m supposed to be about My Father’s business.” That’s the moment when His learning and His understanding came together, and He understood that He’s divine and He is man. From that moment, all He had to learn was the timing of God and the execution of that eternal power that was the divine man, how He was going to let it out, which is why when His mom came to Him at a wedding and said, “Do something about it,” He said, “My time is not yet.” She said, “Do whatever He tells You.” And out of honour, He activates the divine and says, “I will bypass for favour’s sake.” She knew how to pull favour because she knew favour from the first favour. So when she knew Jesus was about ready, she said, “I’m going to pull favour because I have favour.”
So she comes with favour and she says, “Do it.” He says, “All right, Mom. This is the last time I’m doing this for you because you’re mom and because of your status in My life and because you understand favour, I will do this because My Father permits it.” She wasn’t making a pull on Jesus, she was making a pull on the Heavenly Father to reveal Himself through Jesus. He says, “From this moment onwards, you will no longer know Him through Me, you’re going to have to know Him the way I know Him.” Huh. In other words, she was saying, “I know Who the Source of Your life is, I’m pulling on the Source for a resource.” Without the source, there’s no resource. “We’re all thirsty. Provide,” He says, “Go fetch water, pour it.” Favour bypassed years of making a drink, wine. Favour just said; in a moment the divine will work and bypass all of the rules of nature and it will come upon water and make it something that couldn’t be. Hallelujah.
Okay, I’m nearly done. I’m sure you don’t want me to stop preaching. Hey? We’re having a lot of fun this morning. For those, the most of the people that are on leave, on holiday, they’re probably watching online, you know, it’s not the same being there, than it’s here. Because once you’re done there, then you’re going to go to the beach or whatever, you better talk about this message. Otherwise, I’ll send my angel, I pull favour to come and talk to you.
So, Luke chapter 2 verse 8, 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds. Just notice how the Bible says this, how the King James or the original transcribers of the Bible into English, translated it. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night (Luke 2:8 NKJV). So these were shepherds. Right? Shepherds. Okay, just quickly, so we understand each other. If I’m a farmer and I have a thousand sheep and I have a thousand camels and I have a thousand cows, cattle and I’ve got a whole lot of stuff, am I a shepherd? What am I? I’m a farmer. What about if I’ve got oil fields but I’ve got all these livestock that I do too, what do you call me then? You would call me what is commonly known to be what everybody sees I do. Right? So they had a lot of sheep. Those days your wealth was predominantly livestock. But this is not who they were. But this is what they were doing. Hey, if I’m out riding my bicycle and you see me in my cycling gear and I’m out on the road, you would call me a cyclist. Is that who I am? I’m a completely different thing to a cyclist. But if you see me cycling, you would call me, “Oh, there goes a cyclist.” But that’s not who I am, that’s just what I’m doing. Okay.
So they were, 8 … keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying … (Luke 2:8-13 NKJV). Can you imagine these people out in the field? They’re watching over their sheep and suddenly an angel of the Lord appears – the senior angel of heaven. And as he proclaims the birth of Jesus, they open the veil of the spiritual realm and the noise that is in heaven becomes known to the earth. And all of the hosts of heaven that are singing worship to the Saviour, worship to the Most High God, it is permitted to be heard and seen on the earth. That didn’t just happen for their benefit, it was already happening. They just heard it. It continues from that day to now. It has never stopped, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another … I mean, I just want to make a point here, how do angels go away from the earth towards heaven? They don’t. They just, it’s like they speed up to live at their time and then man can’t see them living at lightspeed. They had to slow everything down so men could see it.
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. (Luke 2:14-20 NKJV). How many shepherds do you know have influenced where they just tell everything that they’ve heard and seen and everything else and people just listen to them and actually give them credibility for what they just said? You understand? Someone out there herding the cattle and the sheep out there, they come into town and they say, “Sheesh I’ve seen a baby that’s been born and He’s going to be the Saviour of the world.” And you say, “Hey, shepherd boy, go back to herding your sheep.” Why would anybody listen to them? Why do these men have the credibility to come and speak to people and tell them what they’ve seen?
Matthew chapter two, verse one, 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. Now they’re called wise. Now they’re not just shepherds, they’re called wise men. So what were they? Shepherds or wise men? Shepherds are what they were doing, wise men were what they were. Come on, you’re getting good stuff today. This will help you make sense of the Bible.
So, 1 … behold wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” King Herod, a baby King. They didn’t come and worship King Herod. They didn’t bring King Herod anything. They came to worship a King. Hold on a minute. I thought in those days, if you didn’t go with who the king was, you were executed. They were making an open declaration of worship towards another king while there was a king in power. And he tolerated them? Who are these wise men that have so much influence that a king who’s in power would tolerate them even spreading a message like that? Why? Why? Maybe it had something to do with wise men, wise men.
So, 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. Herod is putting, a King has been born to that we’ve come to worship and the Messiah, the Christ is to be born. Where is this Christ? This Messiah to be born? The scribes and the Pharisees say, 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ” (Matthew 2:1-6 NKJV) What? You mean the scribes and the Pharisees and spiritual leaders of the day are all talking about the scripture that is talking about the birth of Jesus, that is Herod’s recognition of the Messiah, and Christ is being born now? Come on. I’m reading the Bible.
Do you see what religion does to you when you read the Bible and you read it through the eyes of religion? You just see a nativity scene and you see a bunch of guys coming there and recognising that someone’s been born. But if you read the Bible through Kingdom eyes, you see a different picture. So far I haven’t read anything that’s just not Bible reading. I haven’t given a commentary. I haven’t read from a commentary. Nothing, I’m just reading the Bible. Yes? So, if you don’t agree with me, then you probably don’t agree with the Bible today.
This is a Christmas day with a Bible study going on. 7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also. Yeah right, King? You’re going to do that and give up your throne for this new king? Yeah, that’s what kings do, right?
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.12Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way (Matthew 2:7-12 NKJV).
Can you see how God’s working? Jesus just been born. Yeah? The Source has brought His Source into the world. This is going to be the Source of life for all humanity. Yes? You think He’s going to leave the Source without resource? Before He knew how to administer resource, God already gave Him all the resource He would ever need. What do you think Jesus has got in mind for you? Seek ye first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. If you seek the Source, the resource will come. The problem with most Christians is they don’t believe that the Source wants to meet their need. So, they spend their lives pursuing need rather than the Source. Ai, jai, jai, jai, jai. How we have settled for so little. We got to pursue the need. We got to use our faith even for the need. You know, I’m not diminishing that. If that’s how we grow our faith, good. But God wants us to move to a higher level of seeking Him first with everything so that the resource just comes. We don’t have to use our faith for the resource. Our faith is in Him who provides the resource. Ja.
Very quickly; if you go on to Wikipedia, you go to the Oxford dictionary, or do you go to just normal, natural human resources out there, then you will find out who those wise men were. They were called Magi. Do you know what we call those people in modern day world today? Come on, it can’t be too hard to guess. Magicians. In other words, magicians are supposed to tap into the mystery of things unknown, and make things appear that people don’t understand. There is a mystery about what they do. Ja? That’s our modern day interpretation. In those years, the Magi were different people but it is where the source of the magician word comes from that we use today. The Magi were priests that came out of the kingdom of Persia, and or, as was known in that time, the Zoroastrianism. Sjoe, groot woord, daai. And they were the earlier religions of Western Persia or Western as it is now, Iranian, Iran. The earliest known use of the word Magi is the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great known as the Behistun Inscription and refers to a magus as a Zurvanic, and presumably a Zoroastrian priest. Ha.
So, these were not just shepherds. These were people seeking the mysteries of divinity. They were pursuing divine understanding and they embraced all of the writings of the Hebrew God. But they were also pursuing understanding God through the heavens and the stars and the mystery of the earth, and all the things that the earth provided, the sciences of the earth and the stars, and they embraced the readings of the Hebrew people, and the readings and the religions of other faiths because they were in pursuit of the Most High God and the understanding of the Divine Being. That’s who these men were. You can’t say what they were doing is who they were. They were in the field tending their sheep but they were not shepherds, although they were performing the function of shepherds. They were actually priests that were seeking understanding of God.
Seek ye first the Kingdom and these things will be added. But what were they doing? They were seeking God and so He showed up in the form of Gabriel. He showed up and He said, “You’ve been seeking the One, He’s just been born. He’s in Bethlehem.” Well, He didn’t have to give them any instruction. Why? Because their whole life was in pursuit of this exact event, this understanding. So when the angels disappeared into heaven, they were not invited by the angels to go there. Do you see an invitation anywhere? Come on. They were just informed. So they said, “Hey guys, God has made it known to us. So obviously, if He’s made something known to us, we must act on this. Let’s take our wealth and go there.” Hah.
So I don’t want to talk too much about it. But Christian theology tradition has always stressed that Gentiles, as well as the Jews came to worship Jesus and events celebrated in the Eastern churches, Christmas, and in the West as an epiphany. Eastern traditions set the number of Magi at twelve. Would that surprise you? Twelve? Eastern religion, tradition sets the number of these men that came to Jesus as twelve. But Western tradition sets their number at three. Based on the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh presented to the infant. Read your Bible. I have not yet actually done a discourse on Greek or Hebrew or anything else. I am just going to normal manuscript stuff that’s out there in the world for you to go and look it up. Go and read it yourself. Type in Wikipedia and go check it yourself. Go to Oxford Dictionary, any other dictionary, see what Magi says or Mangasaurus or something. Kom nou mense. That is why you pay me the big money to go and read Wikipedia, right?
So, you think these guys that have been searching the Divine Being that they have given their whole lives to actually find who this Divine Being is and where is He and how is He involved in the ways of men, and this divine experience happens and they are going to arrive at this King that God has intervened in their world in such a majestic way to come and inform them that God has arrived on the scene for the cause of all humanity and they are going to come and put a little bottle of frankincense and a little bit of myrrh, and just a few little gifts that because, after all, it is just a child so… No, no, no, no, no. These guys are wealthy beyond wealth. They were so powerful because of what they stood for that literally Rome and all other invading armies left them alone because of their so-called divine status. Which is why they accumulated so much wealth over so much time. Hello. Praise the Lord.
And so these guys, they’re coming to see Jesus with what? They know this is the biggest event of all time for them. Not only has this moment arrived but once they leave Herod, the star leads them to the exact location of Jesus. They didn’t have Google Maps and GPS. They had a divine GPS. It was a star leading them to the exact location of where Jesus is, otherwise how else are they going to find out? Who else knew that this was a Divine Being that was being born? Only Mary and Joseph knew. Ja, né. Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus.
And so, we can all say with quiet certainty that what they brought to Jesus was so much of their wealth that from that moment on Joseph and Mary and Jesus never had to worry about a thing. In fact, I can tell you that if you see the way Jesus conducted the calling of His disciples, the Source wanted to show them how much of a resource they could count on. Before I call you to be fishers of men, just cast your boat out a little bit, throw your net in on the other side and catch some fish. The Source will show you how much resource is available. Don’t for a minute doubt, for a minute think that when you follow Me that the Source will not be a Resource. I can, with great confidence, say that God is the Source for my resource in relationship. He is the Source of my resources financially. He is the Source of my resources in everything that I have need of in my life.
Jesus didn’t stay a baby in the manger. He became a King who died on the cross to the point where God, eternally, wanted to stamp His Kingdom on the ultimate sacrifice and the cross had a signature on it that says, “King of the Jews”. They thought they were mocking Him and it was God stamping His eternal order onto the rest of humanity; here is a true blood King who was killed. He wasn’t even allowed to be killed, but He was illegally killed, making it legal for Him to raise Him from the dead and legally we can all believe in Him and become kings.
You want a Christmas story? I just gave you one. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. I’ll tell you what; from this day onwards, I trust that you and I will never ever look at Jesus and Christmas in the same way again; as Jesus in a manger with a little couple of shepherd people standing around Him and this little kind of ‘cute scene’. It wasn’t cute. I have no reason to think there wouldn’t be 12. Why? Because there were 12 tribes, there were 12 apostles, there were 12 disciples, and He sent 12 kings of wealth to come and put wealth into the hands of Jesus. Before He had any need of anything, these 12 guys just arrived there. They didn’t just come there. The reason why Herod had nothing to say about them is because they were so powerful and they had the ability to say, “You are not the king. You are not the rightful king,” and tell all the people, “We do not see and recognise Herod as king.” They didn’t say that but they came to appoint another King that all other people will say, “What is this that’s happened here? They didn’t come and dethrone this king, but they came to proclaim another King.”
Herod thought, “Ah, no, these shepherd boys, they know nothing.” Oh ja, that’s why he went into Bethlehem and had all kids under two years old, male children, killed – because they’re just shepherds. They’re just guys that came there, showed up to kind of confirm Jesus was born. No, no, no. These guys showed up with all of their servants, all of their… because they’re going to meet a king. Not just a king, this is the divinely anointed, appointed, eternal God showing up for what we have been seeking. “And we must just show up with our few little guys ourselves and hush-hush.” No. They arrived on the scene to King Herod and said, “We’re here to see the King that’s been born. Try and do something about it, king. We’ve come with our men, we’ve come with our wealth, we’ve come with our power, we’ve come with our influence. We’re not just to come and hide, we come.” You think Herod couldn’t send a few people to follow three guys to a manger? When they walked away from there, they sent all of their people into all of the town and took over the town which allowed them to go and see Jesus and not even know where He was because they didn’t know where these 12 Magi were because they had so many men with them.
Ok, I will grant you this one thing; that is my interpretation. But you don’t think Herod would have been smart and said, “Heyguys, follow them. Wherever they go, follow them and then we will find out where the King was.” He did not know where the King was. He did not know where Jesus was, and that is why he had to kill all the male born children that were born under two because he did not know who He was. How come? This is just deduction. How come? Because it wasn’t just three guys that showed up, it was a whole caravan of men and women and wealth, and they came to pay homage to the Eternal God that came to intervene in the affairs of men. And they didn’t just come with a few little, you know, toys under a tree. They came to give this newborn King, this God, all of the wealth that they had. This was the moment all of their past people that they had been born into, had been waiting for and they were privileged to be there. So they just gave up their wealth. Wouldn’t you?
Come on now. If Jesus walked in here in person and He says, “Hey guys, I am here to save the world,” and just stood there, what do you think? If He says, “Come follow Me,” what do you say? Do you say, “No, no, Jesus, I have got to sell a house, and I have got a car payment to make and …” And He says, “Oh, who is your source?” “So I have got to work. I’ve got to go back to work tomorrow. Ok. After the holiday season. I’ve got to go back to work.” Then Jesus says, “What? The Source has arrived. The Source has arrived. What are you talking about? The Source is here.” I am trying to give you a perspective. This is why we celebrate Christmas. This is why we celebrate Jesus because He is the Source of all life and He gives us all the resource that we will ever need – ever, ever, ever, ever. It is all in our believing in Him; that is it. That is the be-all and the end-all. Happy Christmas.
Have a blessed Christmas. Be one of those highly favoured ones. Walk around today and say, “I am the favoured one.” You know that is why I said to the guys earlier on, I could preach to this. I am favoured, favoured, blessed and favoured. [Pastor John singing and clicking his fingers] Favoured, favoured, blessed and favoured. Hey, it is coming, coming, coming. I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed. Dooo, dooo, dooo, dooo, dooo. [Pastor John imitating playing a guitar and dancing] Get down with that stuff, man. It be Christmas day. [Pastor John laughing] Get your good selfs up out of that chair. [Pastor John still singing and clicking fingers] Come get down with me. [Pastor John laughing]. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
The reason Jesus was born in a manger is because, when a baby is coming, it is coming. A city that was full of people came to worship and do sacrifices and to do everything and so there was no place in a hotel. It was not because He was poor, there just wasn’t any room. So when the baby is coming, the baby is coming. They didn’t have Netcare hospital to go to. Those days women had babies where they were. Ja, nê. And if I know God, Mary didn’t have too much trouble delivering this amazing Child. It was like, “Joseph, I am ready,” and he says, “Ok let’s stop here. “Hi, listen, can we just use this room here?” And “Yes, use the room.” “Joseph.” [Pastor John making a crying sound like a baby crying when born] And that little Jesus became the Saviour of the world. That’s why we celebrate Him at Christmas because He is the Saviour of the world. I never want to see Him as the baby manger, Jesus. I always want to see Him as the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Almighty, the great I am. The Supreme Divine Being that meets all of humanity’s needs. We just have to believe in Him, that’s our part, is just to believe in Him.
Won’t you just raise your hand like this, just raise your hand and say; I believe in Jesus. I believe in baby Jesus and I believe in the dying Jesus and I believe in the resurrected Jesus. I believe He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. From today I’m going to live like a king. Hallelujah. Now come on people when you are having your Christmas lunch or whatever you’re going to do today, just walking around and say, “Check the king.” You know, and for those men, you know, I don’t want to get too graphic about it here but when you go to bed tonight say, “Hey babe, come sleep with a king.” And the babes answer and say, “I’ll be the royal one that you sleep with, dude”. And for the children when mom and dad put you to bed tonight you say, “Careful, you’re dealing with a prince and princess here, we’re also kings in the making. We are learning so that we can have understanding. Until that time we will just be princes and princesses, until we understand what it is to be a king. Hallelujah. So you’ve just heard a royal story too. Hallelujah.
Will you just agree with me as I pray for you. I pray that your day is blessed. I pray that this day will bring you peace and joy and all manner of good things that you wish today. That you trust God for asking for and be bold and ask Him for outrageous things because you have favour. So say, I’m favoured. Hallelujah. Come on, say it again, I am favoured. Glory to God. I pray that for those people that are away on leave, if you’re coming back this coming week, I pray that you’re protected as you travel. That He gives His angels, the same ones that met those guys in the field, those same ones, they’re still in charge of you. They protect you, they guide you, they look out for you. Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the angels will help you get through any circumstance in your life. I pray that as you go in and out, you’re blessed. Whatever you do, you’re blessed and great peace is your portion over this period of time. And that you will be rested and ready to come and rule with Jesus and be the king of your own kingdom, His Kingdom that He’s given you to rule over. Everybody said; Amen. Aren’t you glad you came to Christmas service this morning? Yeah, ok kings, bye.