Radio Broadcast Friday 01/04/2019

      Friday January 04 2018

Classic Christianity – Bob George – New Years P5 (01-04-19)

Bob George TeachingThank you so much for tuning into Classic Christianity radio with Bob George, who has been on the air for over 30 years, teaching people from God’s word. Our prayer for you is that you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us now join Bob as he presents practical biblical insights to help people experience faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ.

Bob shared about the wickedness of King Herod, God’s choose in creation of mankind with free will, the risk of that, and how in this world we have evil. Yet God chose to reveal himself to man so as to redeem man and restore him to a right relationship to God. So God is sovereign in control. Bob continues in Matthew 2 and closes in Luke 2. Bob emphasized the choice we have as believers to choose to live according to the Spirit or to the flesh. Bob addresses the faith that people should have based on more than enough evidence, and the final evidence that should be enough is the resurrection. Our faith should not require another sign or miracle, otherwise there is something wrong with our faith.

Matthew 2:1-18

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[Micah 5:2,4]”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[Hosea 11:1]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.” [Jeremiah 31:15]

Though known as Herod the Great, he was really the most vicious man who ever lived, a horrible, mean, detestable, vicious human being. Herod was also a maniac. He pulled together the chief priests and teachers of the law and asked them where Christ is to be born? The magi replied, “in Bethlehem of Judea” for this is what the prophets had written (Micah 5:2,4). They knew what it said and believed the scriptures were reliable. They quoted to Herod out of the scriptures.

Matthew 2:3-6
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[Micah 5:2,4]”

The phrase “out of you will come a ruler” was bad news to Herod. Herod must have said in his heart, “There is no king going to replace me”.

Job security is what killed Jesus. “If we allow this man to continue before long everyone follow him and we will lose our place and our position. Their position was as teachers of the law. Jesus teaches grace. If he teaches grace then who needs a law teacher. So if we let this grace teaching go on, we will lose our jobs for I’m not going to teach grace and I do not know anything about it. In order to enter grace you have to humble yourself and be willing to put aside your education. I am not about to do that.” The Apostle Paul considered everything dung in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ His Lord. “And if I accept grace then have to put aside law. I am not going to do that. I have a PhD from Jerusalem University, and proud of my degree, and nobody knows more than me.” Such was the attitude of the religious leaders. Job security is much stronger than what you and I think.

Matthew 2:7-8
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

So Herod developed a plan. He called the Magi secretly (that is what the wicked do, do things in secret) and asked about the time and place where Jesus was to be born so that he too may go and worship him. What a hypocrite! He had no intention to worship him but instead plotted to kill anyone who was a threat to his throne.

Matthew 2:9
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

Then the star in the East went ahead until it stopped where the child was. People have all kinds of ideas on how this star came to be as scientists speculate in their study of these things. Regards of how planets all lined up, a star does not lead you to a place. Stars do not normally just stop and start. The star stopped over where the child was!

Matthew 2:11a
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Coming to the house, the Magi saw the child Jesus. But Jesus was not born in a house but he was born in a manger, as recorded in Luke 2.

Luke 2:7
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for him in the inn.

Joseph and Mary returned back to Nazareth. For some reason, scripture does not say, but they moved back to Jerusalem, and really don’t need to know. But they are back in Bethlehem in a house. So from Matthew’s account, reading about Herod’s scheme to kill every child two years older and younger, Jesus must now be at least 1 year old.

Matthew 2:11b
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

It is interesting to note that the Magi came with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. So that must be how tradition has it that there were three wise men. Scripture does not say there were three wise men. So presumably since there are three gifts, there are three wise men. Is that how man reasoned so as to come up with three wise men? We really do not know how many Magi there were, for scripture never tells us how many.

Matthew 2:12
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

So the Magi went home an alternate route, as warned in a dream not to go back to Herod.

Matthew 2:13
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Here is another dream. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to escape to Egypt, in fulfillment of prophecy by the prophet Hosea.

Matthew 2:16
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi

Herod, being outwitted, was furious. Herod had learned the time from the Magi and he knew if he set a rule to kill every boy under two years old, he can get rid of the threat to his throne and kingdom. So, in an attempt to kill one child, he killed every boy under two years old. How many have a child under two? Can you imagine the lament and heartache of mothers and fathers to see children dragged from their homes for no reason but because of a mad man!

Any one of us who have had children can imagine a one or two year old being snatched out of their home to be murdered! Ask yourself. Where was God in all this? Where was God when John the Baptist was beheaded? When Cain murdered Abel? Where was God in all this? God is exactly where He has always been, on His throne. When God created man he created man with free will. He could have created us as robots. Being God, he could have chosen any way he wanted to create mankind. So he could have created us as robots. If you were a robot, could you love God by free will? No. If God were to create creation in whom he could love and interact, he had to create a creation in such a way that would respond and interact to that love. In the foreknowledge of God and his creative work, he created man, and even the angels, with free will. There were 1/3 of his angels that chose to rebel against God. Was there a gamble in giving man a free will? What is that gamble? Even though we are created by the hand of God, we can choose to rebel against God. We have free will today. I can choose to live a life commiserate with who I am as a child of God or I can also on occasion choose to live contrary to that?

James 3:9-10
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Yes, to curse God one day and praise Him another should not be. But is it possible to praise God one day and curse another day? Yes. So free will was given to man. God had to do that to interact with his creation. If free will was given to man, can people like Herod choose to say “Who needs God?”. If Lucifer said he can be God then so cannot you or I decide the same? Was that not the same temptation in the garden of Eden? So Herod chose to murder Jesus but God is sovereign and he instructed angels in a dream and fulfilled what would happen as spoken through the Old Testament prophets. So is God still in control? Yes. Is God still on the throne, sovereign in control? Yes! So is Herod any match against the creator of the universe? No. God is working out a plan to save his own creation! Oh, the wisdom of God beyond our understanding!

Genesis 3:4-5
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So the temptation by the serpent, or Lucifer, in the garden of Eden is this: “You can be like God. You can choose. You can decide right from wrong, good and evil. You choose for yourself what is right and wrong. You control what is going on. You don’t need God. God is holding out on you.” Indwelling sin is the propensity inside us to control everything, and in essence, to be God. So indwelling sin says, “If I am the center of the universe then I want the universe to flow around me. I am in the center, and for me to be at the center, then I will control everyone to treat me how I want to be treated.” Indwelling sin is self centered, egocentric and wants to control everything. God is the one who created all there is and holds everything together, so he is in control of the universe he created, yet we, a created being, are so proud to think we can do it better.

So the question for us today is this: “Are we going to allow Christ to control our lives or our flesh?” If God gave a will, how is God going to stop Herod? Could he not just annihilate Herod? How much destroying will God end up doing? Could he just not kill Hitler? If he did, another one right behind him. Ultimately he would have to kill us all. So in this world there will be evil. Only way not not to see evil is if God jerks free will out of us and turn us into robots. As long as God has chosen there is a free will in this world, and there is, then you will see good and bad. Is that true in your own family, good and bad? People want peace in the world. How can you have peace in the world if you do not have peace in a country? How can you have peace in the country if you do not have peace in your own state? How can you have peace in yur own state if you do not have peace in a county? How can you have peace in the county if you do not have peace in a city? How can you have peace in the city if you do not have peace in the home? How can you have peace in the home if you can’t get along with each other?

So again the question is asked, “Where was God?” Right where he has always been, giving people a free will to choose.

Matthew 2:17-18
17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled (Jeremiah 31:15):

18
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”

Again we see God’s sovereignty where prophesy is fulfilled.

Matthew 2:19-21
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene (Psalms 22:6-7, Isaiah 53:3, Isaiah 11:1).

So we read in the account in Matthew, how Jesus Christ was born and led by God, where prophecies were fulfilled. Going back to Luke, there is no record of the early years of Jesus.

Luke 2:41-51
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Bob mentions a trip to Israel where he visited a town named Soporous, a few miles south of Nazareth. While there, he learned that Jesus grandfather was named Heli, the rabbi that led a rabbinical school. Bob believes that Jesus was taught in this school. Jesus had unbelievable knowledge of scripture, having the attributes of God, that astounded many. Scripture records those who marveled at how he could know so much without having studied.

Luke 2:47
47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Bob asked this question, “Why would they call Jesus rabbi if he had not been to rabbinical school?”

Luke 2:48b
His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

Why are you treating us like this? Does that not just sound like a mother! Father and I are anxious. Do you think Mary was a little angry? Bob stated that anger is a secondary response to fear. After fear is gone then after Mary finds Jesus, she wants to scold him. So Bob says, “Instead of dealing with anger, deal with fear, the cause of the anger.”

Luke 2:49-50
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Bob paused on the phrase “They did not understand”. How could they not understand? They had dreams, a visiting angel, and a virgin birth yet they did not yet understand what is going on? Is that not like us at times. Think also about all the Christmas carols we sing yet we never understood the meaning of what we sang until later in life when we came to believe. Why do people continue to seek signs and miracles? And then they keep looking for another. If faith is built on signs and wonders and miracles, then you will always need another one.

Consider also the unbelief of the Pharisees, and how much miracles they saw, yet refused to believe.

Matthew 12:38-39
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Consider also Jesus reply to the Pharisees in regards to the final miracle that ought to be enough, being raised from the dead.

Luke 16:31
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Jesus already gave us every sign we need to believe. Yet, the final miracle that ought to be enough is when Jesus was raised from the dead. If you cannot believe that one then Jesus will not show you another one. The virgin birth, people can debate or cast doubt. But if someone raised from dead, that is a hard one to debate.

If you cannot believe Jesus in regard to who He is with that final miracle then you will never believe (Luke 16:31). If your faith is not big enough to believe Jesus because of the resurrection, then something is wrong with your faith. You see people today seeking signs, wonders, miracles, and excitement, so as to increase their faith. Marvelous as such things are or appear to be, but the real question that needs to be asked is, “What did it do for you?” If it increased your faith, then there is something wrong with your faith. If your faith is not big enough to believe Jesus because of the resurrection then there is something wrong with your faith. If you constantly need assurance then there is something wrong. You may hear people say “I need! I need! I thirst. I thirst. I thirst”. And people even sing songs “I need more of you in my life”. Not every song we sing is in accordance with truth revealed in scripture. What did Jesus say to the Samaritan woman at the well in comparing physical water to the spiritual water of eternal life.

John 4:9-1
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Bob emphasize the words Jesus spoke to her concerning the water He gives: “You will never thirst”.

So all these events recorded in the scriptures, dreams, visits by angels, the miracles and fulfilled prophecies were set in motion not to be for sign and miracle seeking, but so that you may put your faith securely in the revealed truth as related to the person of Jesus Christ.

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