Radio Broadcast Thursday 01/03/2019

      Thursday January 03 2018

Classic Christianity – Bob George – New Years P4 (01-03-19)

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 shares from Luke 2 and Matthew 2. When one reads the wickedness of King Herod and the murder of children 2 years old and younger, Bob answers the question many have asked, “Where is God in all this?” Bob answers by explaining the choice God made in making mankind with free will. He explains how God sent Jesus to redeem mankind after he used his free will to choose to be independent and rebellious to God, the same attitude in Satan whom God cast out of heaven. Yet fallen man also has the choice to choose God’s provision in Jesus Christ. Even then free will is not removed. People can choose to reject the way of salvation or choose new life in Christ. The believer also has free will to choose to walk in the flesh or walk by the Spirit. But the believer is under grace and not law, and the Holy Spirit lives in him to comfort and guide him, to be his counselor, transforming his thinking to be conformed to the image of God.
Luke 2:34-35

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

And what does he mean by saying “a sign spoken against so thoughts of many hearts will be revealed?” People are okay talking about God all day, even saying “man upstairs” or “good Lord” yet when Jesus is talked about, then there is immediate division on your hands. Why is that? Think about what Jesus said.

John 3:19:20
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

So then, it takes humility to admit you sinned or you are a sinner. But if you love your sin, do you really want to come into the light? Men suppress truth in their unrighteousness. And those hard of heart will even hate the righteous! Why? Because their wicked deeds and hearts are being exposed. The lost can only think about gratifying their own flesh. If they are power hungry like Herod and the truth he shares appears as a threat to them, then they will do all kinds of things to see to it Jesus is not in their way. But if you are broken over sin, then is your heart in a better condition to come into the light. Jesus wants all men to come into the light so he may give them a new heart with a new life. John the Baptist came to prepare the hearts of men so that they will be ready to receive the savior, to listen to him and follow him for now. After Jesus rose from the dead, then there was no longer a need to follow him, for Christ resides in their hearts always, the moment they believed.

How then can men come into the light if they do not even know their own condition of their soul, their state of sin? That is where the sword of the Spirit of truth exposes the darkness. So Jesus came to bring a sword to pierce the hearts of men. Truth divides the humble from the proud and the broken of heart from the self righteous. Religion tries to get everybody together, to have unity and peace. But when doing so, they must water down the message that pierces the condition of the hearts of men. And really just a false peace and a false unity, that of the way of the world, so as to remain dead in sin. When you believe something to be true, something that sets you free and changes you, then you share that truth. But when that truth is not received by the proud and self righteous, then by necessity truth must divide. As the evangelist Mike Gendron once wrote, “Know truth, know division. No truth, no division.”

So religion puts people under law and is in conflict with grace and truth, which Jesus came full of. How many times were there conflicts between Jesus and the Pharisees? The Pharisees accused Jesus of changing the laws of Moses. The Pharisees even accused Jesus of blasphemy, as a mere man claiming himself to be God, and in their hearts they wanted to kill Jesus, for they only saw Jesus as a threat to their self-righteous authority and man-made religion. Yet to the multitudes, he spoke truth with such authority and grace, speaking truths of a new covenant to come, of righteousness and sin, and parables to explain spiritual truth. Lives were changed, the blind could see, the lame could walk, and the real change was internal. Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out of her, followed Jesus and tended to his needs. She is the same woman who met Jesus at a Pharisees house, who met Jesus there and wiped Jesus feet with her hair. As Jesus said, he who is forgiven much loves much. Jesus told her that though your sins are many, they are forgiven. Everywhere the gospel is preached, Jesus said, she would be remembered.

So when Simeon prophesied concerning Jesus that he would cause the rising and falling of many, he also said Jesus was destined for that. Truth by necessity must divide. Jesus came full of grace and truth. Grace is extended to all but to those who have believed the message of grace, there is new life. To those who refuse the message of grace, then their sin remains.

1 John 5:11-13

11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son

Jesus said he did not come to bring peace but a sword. A sword that divides the lost from the saved, a truth that separates. When you believe the truth, then you have to separate yourself from the way of the world. That is just the way it is. So you will have people who will hate you for what you believe. The only need of acceptance is of Christ, not of peers. For peers, those who are contrary to the way of truth, will drag you from Christ. Jesus becomes a divider of mankind. There is no compromise in the gospel. Jesus is God or He is not God. If you don’t believe He is God, then join the rest of the world. If you believe Jesus is God and savior, that he has come to save you, then by that very nature, you will be controversial and separate from the rest of the world. So do not be surprised if the world hates you!

John 15:18
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

But when the Holy Spirit lives in a believer, the believer is a new creation and wants to know truth so he can walk in new freedom. The Holy Spirit lives in you to be your comforter and counselor. What is a counselor? Does not a counselor instruct you?

Ponder again over what “spoken against … thoughts of many heart be revealed”. What do the thoughts of God do to your and my heart? It reveals our thinking! That is what the Spirit of God is for when we have stinky thinking. The Spirit lives in you to renew your mind on truth and free you from error. The only way to separate me from error of the world is by the truth of the word of God. The word of God is a plumb line, something to gauge proper thinking, and the word of God is in you. Internalize, have someone inside you, who is in the process of renewing the mind, teaching truth and setting you free from bondage due to error. So God sent you a counselor, one who gives advice. Do we need advice? We all need advise. That is what discipline is! When disciplined by the Lord everyone seems to shutter. Instead, discipline is good and not a bad word at all. God is disciplining you for your good like a coach training an athlete for success. Nor is discipline something that comes upon you but rather remains on you. Under the discipline of the Lord always because He never sleeps. He is always there, always teaching us truth from error. The Spirit sets us free from error that is bombarding us because Satan is not sleeping either.

Then later after Simeon spoke, an old widow named Anna speaks to Mary and Joseph. Being a devout and righteous person also, the Holy Spirit prophesied through her. Among other things not recorded, she said Jesus will be the one who will redeem Israel.

Luke 2:39
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.

Bob then has everyone turn to Matthew 2 because only in Matthew are the next events picked up following Luke 2:39. We know there is now a 2 year period, a custom to return to Jerusalem every 2 years. So the assumption is that a year later, Mary and Joseph have gone back to Jerusalem, staying nearby in Bethlehem.

Read in Matthew 2 about King Herod and the Magi, what questions King Herod asked the Magi, for what purpose, and what kind of person is Herod. What kind of people were the Magi?
“After Jesus was born … time of king Herod … where is the one born king of Jews … we saw star in East.”

There is no place in scripture talking about there being three wise men. “We three kings of orient are” is tradition. The truth is we really don’t know how many were there and it is really not that important. Nevertheless, the magi were there. Known as Herod the Great but 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.

The phrase “out of you will come a ruler” was bad news to Herod. “Some 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 2:1-18

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]

From this very passage, Bob answers a question many of us have asked, “Where is God in all this?” Bob explains God’s choice in creation, to create man with free will, to help us understand why there is such evil and heartache in this world. God could of created everybody as robots. But can a robot choose to love and respond to God? No. So God chose to create you and me and even the angels with free will. That was his choice in creation.

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?

Where was God? Where he has always been. Why could not God just kill Hitler? There would be another right behind him and does not take long to figure out he would have to kill all of us. So as long as God allows free will, then you will see good and evil. The choice today is “Am I going to be controlled by God or controlled by Satan?” The only way to not see evil is if God jerked free will out of creation and make us all robots.

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