A Light over Bethlehem
And I'm Brother Anthony, welcoming you to 'Bible Believers', where we focus on the PRESENT Truth. This-morning, we'll read from the very beginning of the Gospel story.
'Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: When His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, decided to put her away privately.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins".
This will fulfill the prophecy, "Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which means, "God with us"' (Matthew 1:18-23).
The Holy Ghost is the Father of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:18 says, "Mary, His mother, when she was espoused to Joseph, was found with a Child of the Holy Ghost." And when the Holy Ghost comes and reveals the Word for THIS hour, and makes It live through you, the Holy Ghost is your Father also. It's a revelation.
Joseph saw it was Isaiah's prophecy fulfilled. "Unto us a Son is born, unto us a Child is given. And He shall be called 'Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' And of His Kingdom there shall be no end." Joseph saw the whole thing when the Angel of the Lord told him, "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." "A virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son."
Notice when Christ Jesus was being formed in Mary, that's when the persecution set in. And when Christ is being formed in you, when you're coming alive to the PRESENT Truth and dying to your senses; watch the persecution then, watch trouble start on every hand, watch Satan go on a rampage, when Christ is being formed in you.
Just as Christ was becoming a full baby ready to be delivered, the king's commandment began the great persecution. And the time is coming in these last days, when the completeness of the Godhead is to be manifested in His people. God promised it. And just as the Church is coming to maturity, and the Supernatural is beginning to work, unusual things are beginning to happen. They're forming a Council of Churches, they're going to try to stop this, exactly as it was then. Soon comes the great persecution.
Now we don't know how they traveled from Nazareth to Jerusalem, but let's assume Joseph walked, as Mary rode a donkey. She'd say, "Remember dear, the Holy Ghost told me 'His Name shall be called "Jesus," for He shall save His people from their sins.' Now, Joseph, dear, no matter what takes place, and what the king says, I am able. I can ride the little donkey, and if we happen to need help, we'll not be alone. Other families will be suffering the same thing".
Joseph must have fed that little donkey an extra bunch of hay and some oats that day, because the little lady was pretty heavy. He sat her on the animal, with a bag of water, some Sao biscuits, and walked beside them with a staff in his hand.
Up the road they start, the donkey is staggering. Oh, look at his burden. He's bearing the Christ to His birthplace. And the little woman sitting there, is in pain to be delivered, holding onto his mane, and speaking to the little donkey as they go along the road.
They'd set off, then He'd let Mary rest a while; give her a drink of water and a sandwich, and set her back up on the donkey.
They had to travel really slowly, on account of her condition. and she had to breathe the dust of the horses and carriages. What a cruel thing to send that woman up there in her condition! Now Bethlehem sits in a valley on the west side of the mountain where the little trail passes. And I can picture them, as they come up to the top of the hill after about three days travel.
It's beginning to get dark. The other travelers, who are able to journey faster, hasten toward the City. Joseph, with his staff, is taking every short cut he can find, in order to save time.
The stars begin to shine. After a while, they reach the top of the hill, and once again look over the lights of the city where they were both born. It's crowded, many are camping outside. "What'll I do if I can't find a place"? thought Joseph, "She's been in pain all day. What if that Baby is born tonight?"
As he stood there looking, wondering, he saw a strange sight. You know, it's usually right in the time of trouble, when Supernatural things happen. He saw a star. He'd never seen a star so big and so low, and it was hanging right over Bethlehem. After he'd helped Mary upon a rock to rest a little while, he could even see its reflection in her pretty black eyes, as she sat, and smiling, said, "Dear, isn't that strange?"
"I've watched that Star since the sun went down. Somehow or other, I feel real strange tonight, as if something is fixing to happen." Well, it's usually like that, when you have that strange feeling.
And they began to watch the Star. It didn't behave like the other stars. It seemed to be restless, moving.. as if It was waiting for something to happen.
Leaving the little couple sitting on this rock, let's imagine the magi, thousands of miles to the East. When they saw It, they knew that Jesus was born somewhere. They didn't know where it was, and they must've drawn straws to decide what to do, and who was going to go. Everybody wanted to go, but three is a witness. So they loaded up their gifts to take to Him.
I wonder, my brother or sister, if sometimes we're trying to see how much we can get for ourself, instead of giving what we have to Christ. Instead of seeing how smart we can be to outwit the other fellow, let's learn how we can surrender what we've got to Him.
The Holy Ghost is for believers only; not for unbelievers. It's a stumbling block to them, always was, always will be. It is only for them that believe!
Now these fellows were believers, they wanted to understand. They wanted to find out the truth of this. Now they had a long journey, so they all pitched in gold, frankincense, myrrh and whatever they had to offer to this King.
To find this King, they followed a heavenly, God-given Sign, not some man's theology. It was supposed to be there, they'd seen It in the Word, and they followed the Heavenly Sign.
If men could only have the assurance they had! If they could only have their understanding! When God gives us something, if It's in Scripture, hold to It! And He did promise us a Spiritual Sign in the heavens in THIS day.
On their journey, they followed the God-given Sign. They watched. They never took anybody's word. They didn't consult a bishop, or anything else. God gave them a Sign. They saw that It was the truth, and they followed It. It led the way. It was the One that the Scripture predicted. I can see them leaving, waving good-bye, "We'll be back one day, brethren, to bring you the Message, for we know It's true." And they followed It, over the mountains, across the Tigris River, through the plains, day after day, month after month, watching that Star.
In the daytime they may have rested, slept, turned over and talked to one another, "Oh, it will be wonderful when we arrive where this Heavenly Light, this Supernatural is taking us!"
Now remember, nobody else saw It, It passed over every observatory there was, past Magi after Magi. But It was only sent for them. Nobody else saw It. I believe they saw It, because the Bible said they did.
Nobody saw the Light that struck Paul down on the Damascus Road. It was seen by Paul alone.
Nobody but John saw the Holy Ghost come like a Light out of Heaven in the FORM of a Dove. He saw It and bore record. He saw It, the rest of them didn't see It. He did, for he was looking for It.
The Magi were looking for It!
And when you're looking for It, then you're ready to receive the real Christmas Gift, the Holy Spirit. You'll see a Heavenly Light sent down from God, out of Heaven, to bear record of Jesus Christ. Now, you won't take anybody else's word.
In the daytime, they were restless, "I just can't wait. I don't know how much farther we'll go. Probably to Jerusalem, the Holy Land in Palestine, because that's where the prophecy said this One is to be born. We'll find It, sooner or later.
Nighttime came and darkness began to descend. Remember, Light only shines in darkness. That's the only way It's recognized. If ever there was a dark time, when man and creed have taken people away from God's Word, it's now, when denominations have tied them up in everything but the Word of God. Insomuch as they'd be blind enough to walk into the Council of Churches, joining together with all kinds of unbelievers. When, the Bible says, "How can two walk together except they be agreed?" And churches are going into such a conglomeration as that! They're blind, but it's at that dark hour when the Light comes forth. That's when light shines.
Night came, the magi rejoiced and said, "Keep on leading, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to that perfect Light." On, across the rivers they went, through the deserts, just wanting to find the absolute Truth.
Jerusalem was in line with Bethlehem from where the Magi were, so before they came to Bethlehem they came first to Jerusalem, that great self-styled, headquarters, where all the denominations met. The great council met there, you know.
Looking for the Light today we come to denominational headquarters first, where the daughters meet, before God leads us outside those walled cities.
So when these men came to this city, they thought, if anyone knows and can explain this great mystery Light, the high priests and doctors of Divinity, will know everything about It. Oh, Brother, Jerusalem is in sight! Here we go, we'll find the king."
Into the streets they burst! "Where are you going?"
"We've got a great Message."
"What is it?"
"Where is He born King of the Jews? What's this mystery Light about? Who is He?" Up and down the streets, went these rich men with their fine clad camels, their gold and frankincense. Up every street, down every alley, screaming, "Where is He? Where is He? Where is He?" But the denominations did not know the answer.
The great cry today is "Communism, or the NWO is upon us!" You can discern the NWO; but know nothing of the Sign of the end-time. Jesus said, "You can discern the face of the sky; but the Sign of the time, you can't discern."
Always talking about "Communism, and the NWO," there's something else goes with it. What about our heavenly Light?
What day are we living in? What's the last sign God promised us before the consummation? He said Israel would be in his Land. When the fig tree is restoring, the church is in a Laodicean condition, with Jesus a fugitive on the outside of His own church; just like David outside Bethlehem, a fugitive from his own people. The Bible said Christ'd be on the outside of the church in the last days - a fugitive, knocking, trying to get in.
When David cried for a drink of fresh water, his warriors grabbed their swords, and cut their way through fifteen miles of men, to get him that water. David poured it out upon the ground, as a sacrifice, a drink-offering.
Yes, warriors today! Jesus wants a drink of good, old Pentecostal, fresh water. Stagnated denominational waters are sickening to Him. Take the sword of the Word, and cut through all these creeds, till we can hit that Place, where there's a fresh drink for Him; a real true worship, a genuine heart where He can pour out His spirit and make His Word live in this day. He's going to have it. He promised to "Restore the children, back to the Faith of their Fathers".
Why is Communism coming? Why is the world being swallowed up? How could one percent of Russia control the rest of the Eastern world? The Bible said it would; God has the answer. He's got to raise up something, to take Babylon off the face of the earth. And He's got the instrument in His hands.
But we're trying to fight this and that. And we don't see the very Thing that God sent for us to watch (Matthew 24:30).
The wise men, watching that Heavenly Light, thought, "When we get to Jerusalem, they'll tell us all about this mystic Light that's leading us." Up and down the street they went, "Where is He? Where is He, born King of the Jews? We saw His Star in the East. Now, we've come to worship Him. We have gold, frankincense and myrrh. Where is He? Where is He?"
And denominational headquarters in Jerusalem said, "Where is who?"
That's the way it is today. "Oh, no such a thing as the shekinah happens today."
"Oh? As the sun set, we saw a mystic Light." It appeared over Arizona in February, 1963, 26 miles high and 30 miles across.
"I didn't see It. Call the man on the tower."
"Did you see any kind of a mystic Light?"
"Huh? What'd you say?" ... they didn't have the answer.
They haven't got it today! They don't know what these things are. Yet the great heads of churches ought to be aware of these things. But God always works in the minority; so humble that it goes right over the their heads, they don't know it. He fulfills His Word like that. We get ourselves twisted up in these great big things, and we can't move. God, cut us free from them, so we can see what hour we're living in. If God has to work through a dream again, he can reveal it to you. We're living in the last days.
Headquarters knew nothing about the mysterious Light. They don't have the answer today.
The Magi saw, according to the Word of God, headquarters did not have It, and they weren't going to get It. Jerusalem wasn't even the place. He was to be born in Bethlehem of Judaea. Amen! The humblest city, a tiny place. So they got out of that mess. If we could just do the same!
The Supernatural reappeared after they left headquarters where the high priests and doctors of divinity were so blinded by PhD's they couldn't see the Star. Degrees, big names and big people, blind so many today.
"For four hundred years, we never heard of any such thing. What's the matter with these crazies? Send them back to India where they belong."
So, they turned their camels, God bless them. As soon as they got away from it, the Light appeared again. The Supernatural began to move among them again. They began to follow the Supernatural.
So long as you're associated with unbelievers, who don't believe these things, you'll be as blind as a bat. Separate yourself from everything; if it's mother, father, sister, brother, denomination, whatever it is. "He that won't forsake his own, and come after Me, is not even worthy to be called Mine. He that puts his hand on the plow and looks back, is not worthy." Brother or sister, there's a genuine, Christian Light shining today, It's Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Forsake all for Him Who is the Word. God's Word is perfect.
You say, "It means this."
It means just what It says. The Bible said, "It's of no private interpretation." If It says, "Black is black, and white is white," that's just what it is. It's the ultimate. It's the absolute. And every man born of the Spirit of God is tied to That. Nothing will separate him from It. He's tied to that Word, because it's Christ. And Christ can't lie about His Word, for He is the Word.
There are no "buts". He said It, and that's what It is. He said, "Heavens and earth will change, but My Word will never pass away." It'll be there in Its season. Somebody will make It shine."
And God spoke the Word, that this Son would be there, and there He was, to make It shine. So they left the old creed and followed the Supernatural. The Bible said, "they rejoiced with exceeding great joy when they saw that Light again."
Oh brother, sister, how joyful it would be if each one of us could lay aside all this Christmas tinsel, quit swapping gifts with one another, this nonsense of the world. Take off our pride and lay it down. Stamp the thing underfoot, and say, "Lord Jesus, guide me to that perfect Light." Watch something Supernatural happen. The Holy Spirit will come in a phenomenal way.
On they went, following the Supernatural God-given Sign for that day, until they found the Word made flesh. Brother, sister, He'll do the same today. This great Sign from Heaven, that we have, the Holy Spirit living among us now, follow It. If Something in your heart is saying, "I know I ought to receive That. I know I should do more than join church but I've got a flourishing business." You know Brother, one of these days a heart attack might take you at four in the morning, and you'll have to leave that business? Then where are you going after that?
When you see the PRESENT Truth vindicated in your flesh, you're born of the Holy Spirit. Wouldn't you love to have that? Wouldn't that be the greatest Christmas present anyone could get? The gift of eternal Life. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Eternal Life." "We have seen His Star and have come to worship Him."
Civilization has traveled with the sun, from the East moving West. sin traveled with civilization. The oldest civilization is China; East and West have met, we can go no further. And the Gospel Light that shone in the East, has been restored in the West to prepare a way of escape for His elect, and to condemn the world. As it was in the days of Noah, 'Every thought of man is continually evil'; we're back to the time when God said, "I will destroy man from the face of the earth." But God has a little Church He wants to take; and many thousands asleep in the earth.
It was the seventh watch when He came. And in this watch, are wise virgins, and foolish virgins with no Oil in their lamp. Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. If you have no Oil in your lamp, my brother or sister, receive God's greatest Christmas Present.
We wrap gifts in pretty paper and ribbons. But the tinsel on the outside doesn't declare what's on the inside. God has a Christmas Present for you today. He wrapped it in a manger, the outside had no beauty that we should desire, but inside is eternal Life. Won't you let this Holy Spirit strike your life, and receive the eternal Light?
If you really believe this is the truth, and you've not yet found that eternal Light, never let the great Holy Spirit lead you to that Light, would you speak just now in your heart, and say, "Lord Jesus, I want to find that Light. I don't care what anybody else says, it's me, I'm the one, I want to find that Light."
Raise your hand and say, "I want God's Christmas Present." Send It to me, Lord, I don't care what It is. If It comes in a manger, if It comes in a barn, I don't care how disgraceful It looks to the world, how disgraceful I have to look to the world." You know, God's great gifts always make men look strange to the world.
Look at Moses, a great theologian, great scholar, but one day he met a light on the backside of the desert. He took off his shoes. A man, eighty years old, whiskers down to his waist, put his wife and baby on a mule, and went to Egypt. He had a whole army, to build a nation in one day. He failed! He returned to Egypt with a crooked stick in his hand, to take over the nation. Why? He'd found that Light, that Supernatural.
That little Thing that's twisting at your heart now, That's the Supernatural, the Light of this day. Won't you let It lead you to Jesus Christ, which can only give you Life? I want to follow and find my Jesus this day. I want to get away from all this Christmas tinsel, because some day it's going to be burnt with unquenchable Fire." All those who are identified with it, the sinners, will be burned with the world.
Of all the gifts we've received, many of us have never received that great Gift.
"What difference does it make, Brother Anthony?"
The difference between death and Life. After this program, may you, like Joseph, ponder these things in your heart. radio031.html
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