John Hagee - The Virgin Birth
This is the Christmas week, and the Hagee's will be spending a traditional American Christmas this year. The tree comes from Canada. The ornaments come from Hong Kong: the lights from Japan: and the idea, from Bethlehem. A little girl stood in a long line in the mall to sit on Santa's knee. She asked Santa, "Are you a politician"? He said, "No. Why do you ask"? She said, "Because you always promise a lot more than you deliver". Amen.
The Christmas story is the story of the virgin birth. Let's look at Luke 1:26 and following. Read with me please.
Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said unto her, 'rejoice, highly favored one. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.' But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. And the angel said to her, 'do not be afraid, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and 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.' Then Mary said to the angel, 'how can this be since I do not know a man?' and the angel answered and said unto her, 'the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the highest will overshadow you. Therefore, also that holy one who was to be born will be called the Son of God'.
Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for its truth and its power. We receive it now to validate the greatest treasure, the virgin birth. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. The Christmas story is a story of spiritual warfare. The Bible says, "For this cause came Christ into the world to destroy the works of the devil". The battle that began in Genesis where satan had revolted against God's authority, satan was kicked out with one-third of the angels and the earth was in the domain that belonged to him. When satan promised Jesus that if he would bow down and worship him that he would give him all of these kingdoms, he had that power.
So we have now a collision of the prince of darkness and the prince of light. That baby in a manger was God's invasion of planet earth to set us free from the prince of darkness. He is Emmanuel, meaning he is God with us. He is the incarnate word. For the Word of God says, "In the beginning was the word" and "The word became flesh and dwelt among us". He is the bright and the morning star. Wise men still pursue him to discover the truth of life. He is our Savior. He is our healer. He is our baptizer. He is our deliverer. His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, and the Prince of Peace. Give him praise in the house of God!
Christmas is the story of redemption, because the angel said, "They shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sin". If that's the only concept the world would grasp of the birth of Christ, it would be revolutionary. Without Jesus Christ, there is no reason to have Christmas. He's the only reason for the season! The first time Jesus Christ came, he was a babe in Bethlehem's manger. The next time he comes, he's going to be the king of kings and the Lord of Lords. The next time he comes, kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers are going to bow before him: for every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Some say that Jesus was just a good teacher. That's wrong. Good teachers don't run around claiming to be God. Some say Jesus was merely a good example. Good examples do not mingle with prostitutes and sinners. Some same Jesus was a crazed fanatic. But fanatics do not attract men of intellect like Luke the physician or saint Paul, who on the road to Damascus said, "Who are you, Lord"? And "What will you have me to do"? Some say that Jesus was a religious phony. But phonies don't rise from the grave on the third day just like they said they will. He was seen by 533 different people in 13 different New Testament appearances. He is the resurrected Son of God. There is no delusion here at all. Some say that Jesus was a myth. Myths cannot give their flesh and blood to be crucified. To the weary, he is wonderful. To the confused, he is the mighty counselor. To the weak, he is the mighty God. To the orphaned, he is the everlasting father. To the troubled, he is the Prince of Peace.
Here's the controversy of the Christmas story: was Jesus God? Was he born of a virgin? Was he conceived by the Holy Spirit? Or was he a by-product of a sexual relationship between Joseph and Mary? The point is, if Jesus Christ was not born of a virgin, Jesus was not God. And if Jesus is not God, then none of our sins are forgiven, all of his teachings are a fraud, the scripture are not accurate, our faith is unfounded, our worship is misdirected. If Jesus is not the Son of God, we're not just fools, we're lost fools. If he is not God, Calvary was for nothing, because the blood of an ordinary man cannot save you. It took the blood of a God to save you. That's why the Holy Spirit implanted Jesus with precious blood in the body of Mary. And when he came forth, he was fully God and fully man, who defeated the prince of darkness! Give him praise in the house of God!
Was Jesus born of a virgin? If someone asked you to prove it scripturally, could you? Everyone believes in God, but they don't believe in the virgin born Son of God. Jesus is his name. The grounds for belief and disbelief are the same today as they were 2.000 years ago. If Joseph had lacked faith to believe God's message concerning the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary, he could have disbelieved as well as any of you here or any of you watching by television. He could have had Mary stoned to death. And then the Son of God in Mary's womb would have been murdered by doubt and disbelief.
So the fact is that some of you here and some of you watching by television across America and around the world are literally the Christ killers of the 21st century. You have murdered the Son of God afresh and anew with doubt, scorn, pseudointellectual skepticism, and he's dead to you. Let me give you this Christmas verse to hang on your Christmas tree. It's out of the Bible. It says, "He that believeth hath life. And he that believeth not is dead already". It's a very real verse.
Mary was to give birth to God's own Son. She said, "How shall this thing be, seeing I know not a man"? The angel explained that the Holy Ghost would come upon her, and the power of the highest would overshadow her. The same hovering Spirit on creation morning that caused the earth to be born hovered over her body and produced the Holy Child of God in her body. Her response, "Be it unto me according to thy word," "For nothing shall be impossible with God". That's the greatest Christmas message you can ever preach, nothing is impossible with God! Give the Lord praise!
This teenage girl, knowing the law of Moses like she did, said, "Nothing is impossible with God". Say that with me. "Nothing is impossible with God". You've got a teenage girl eight or nine months pregnant, saying, I'm the virgin Mary, I'm carrying God's Son. Don't you know that caused a few eyebrows to rise at the lady's Bible study at the first baptist church in Bethlehem. "Glory to God in the highest. And on earth, peace, goodwill toward men". This is the message the angels brought to the shepherds in the field, concerning the birth of Christ in the manger. He went about doing his Father's work. He lived and died so that we might have redemption and eternal life.
Matthew speaks of Joseph as a husband. The angel refers to Mary as a wife. This is explained in the Hebrew law of betrothal. Mary and Joseph were betrothed, and here's what's happened. When young people wanted to get married in the Bible times of Joseph and Mary, the boy's parents went to the girl's parents, and they signed a contract that was binding, lasting for one year. It was the year of betrothal. The girl lived with her parents. The boy lived with his parents. And the only release from that contract was an act of fornication on either one of them's part. If Joseph thought Mary had committed fornication, he would take her to the high priest and charge her with fornication. The high priest would do the examination. He was the ob-gyn guy. If she was no longer a virgin, Mary would be stoned to death. Joseph would be required to throw the first stone, and the community would join in, and she would die instantly a horrible death.
When you read Matthew and Luke, there is only one intelligent conclusion: Mary and Joseph were betrothed, means they were committed. And during that year, Jesus was born. Was Jesus born of a virgin? We have Matthew's account that says yes. We have Luke's account that says yes. We have Mary's reaction as proof. What about Mary's reaction? Look at the psychological response to this announcement that she's going to give birth to a child. The pattern of action of the Levitical law would be to denounce her. The high priest performed the examination. If Mary proved to be impure, the offended lover would throw the first stone, and her life would be over in five minutes.
Now apply this to Mary's case. She's 16, 17, 18 years of age. In light of her knowledge, if guilty, death by stoning was immediately going to be hers. She knows she's expecting. She knows she's only betrothed. She knows the law of Moses. What would be the reaction of a guilty woman? Shame, fear, regret, sorrow, secrecy, seclusion. Run! Hide! Get away from anyone that represents the law of Moses! So what was Mary's reaction? She ran straight to the house of Elizabeth, and she said, I'm going to have a baby. Who was the woman, Elizabeth? She was the wife of the high priest. He was the very guy who would examine her. But Mary's response is, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior".
Look at that innocent, beautiful girl with that proclamation. There is no guilt. There is no remorse. There is no fear. There is no regret. There is no shame. Why? Because she is absolutely innocent. She is in the perfect will of God. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Holy Spirit, who is God, made a major mistake, huge mistake! The proof through Simeon and the temple. When Jesus was eight days old, he came to be circumcised. Remember that he was Jewish. He died Jewish. He died with matzah in his teeth. He kept all of the feasts. If Christ was illegitimate, he was not supposed to be in the temple. Not for ten generations could your child go to the church. Christ was not to be in the temple: yet, the Holy Spirit moved on Simeon, and he said, "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation". Hear that word, salvation? He blessed Mary and Joseph. He said that Jesus was to be a light to the gentiles and a blessing to Israel.
Point: this has to be the greatest mistake on the Holy Spirit's part if Christ was not the virgin born Son of God. God makes no mistakes. God makes no mistakes! Here's a verse that agnostics leave alone, Jeremiah 31:22, "A woman shall compass a man". The actual meaning of that is "A woman will be the father of her own child". That only happened one time. I know other people who tried to claim that, but it's only happened one time. Jesus Christ, God's Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Let's review. We have Luke's account. We have Matthew's account saying he was born of a virgin. We have Mary's emotional reaction to her pregnancy. She ran straight to Elizabeth's house, who was the wife of the high priest, who would be the very one to pronounce the death sentence. We have the Holy Spirit's confirmation through Simeon on the eighth day of his life. Now let's look at the historical evidence of the Old Testament. The law for illegitimate children in Deuteronomy 23, illegitimate children could not be a member of Israel, no public worship, stay out of the temple for ten generations. I've just said that.
How does this relate to Christ? Jesus is called the great teacher. What was he doing in the synagogue if he was illegitimate? The book of Hebrews is built on the fact that he is the high priest. He stood in the synagogue and taught as one who had authority. Why was he there if he was not pure? How can he be the high priest if he's not pure? If Christ was not born of a virgin, we must cross out every word of his utterance. We must search for another high priest. We must eliminate, from the service of God, Jesus Christ.
All of the New Testament shouts, he is our high priest. He is the only begotten Son of God. He has forgiven our sin and our transgressions. He has set us free from the kingdom of darkness. He has humiliated satan on the cross. He has given to us the keys of death, hell and the grave! He is ascended on high to the right hand of God the Father! He is coming again in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory! And he shall reign forever and forever! God the Father said the day of his baptism, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". God does not endorse liars, rogues, rebels! He endorsed his Son because he was pure and holy! Give him praise in the house of God!
In closing, look at Mary at the cross. Her Son is hanging there. His blood is splashing into the sands. Romans have split his side. He bleeds from his head. He bleeds from a back that has been ripped to sunder by a Roman whip. He bleeds from his side. He bleeds from his feet. She ran to Pilate's courtyard whenever she heard of his arrest. She heard the mob scream, "Crucify him! Crucify him"!
She followed her Son as he went to Herod's palace. Her heart broke when Herod's men of war slapped him and they spit upon him and they put a purple robe on his back. They mocked him. They thrust a crown of thorns on his head. Blood gushed down his face and soaked into his beard. She followed him to Pilate's again. There she saw a burly Roman soldier take a cat-of-nine-tails and beat her Son almost to death, 39 stripes, puddles on the cobblestone of crimson blood. She heard him groan in agony every time the whip whistled through the air. She saw him stagger beneath his cross. Her tears mingled with his blood beneath the cross.
She remembered the day of his birth. In her mind, she saw the fat, cuddly baby nursing at her breast. She saw him the day he took his first steps. She heard him speak his first words in Hebrew. Now, she heard the spikes ripping through his hands and his feet. She saw his blood-caked body lifted up against the darkened sky, dying naked in shame and with convicted criminals. The government considered him an insurrectionist too dangerous to live. The church called him a demonized heretic. Why did they treat him so? And here's the essence of the problem. Caiaphas, the high priest, the false high priest, the hypocritical high priest, said, "We have a law. And by our law, he ought to die because being a man, he said he was the Son of God".
And there's the question again. All Mary would have had to do to save his life would be to say, "I lied. I lied. Joseph and I, in an act of sexual sin, conceived this baby". And that would have stopped it. But Mary, the mother of God, listened to his sobs and heard his agony. And she knew the man in the middle cross was indeed the Son of God, Jesus, the virgin born Son of God, and there is no other.
Let the critics be silent. There was a miracle born in Bethlehem, the Son of God, to a virgin. He was the promised Savior of the world. He is the mighty God. He is the hope of Israel. He is the everlasting Father. He is Emmanuel, God with us, the hope of glory. He is the rock of ages. He is the light to those who stumble in darkness. He is the great shepherd of the sheep, who seek guidance. He is the Lord. He is the prophet. He's the priest. He's the king. His name shall be called Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. He's coming back soon in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory! And every knee on planet earth is going to bow and confess that he is the Lord to the glory of God the Father! Bless his holy name! Give him praise in this house!
Can we stand. I emphasize one phrase that Mary spoke, "Nothing is impossible with God". I know many of you in this room and hundreds of thousands of you watching by television here in America, in Europe, in Canada, in South America, around the world, you need God to do something that seems impossible in your life right now, to work out a problem that you're facing, a financial difficulty, a family problem, a physical sickness, direction for where your life could go. If you're in this room and there's something very special you want God to do, miraculous special, raise your hand. Those of you watching by television, I want you to join us in this prayer. Pray this prayer after me.
Heavenly Father, I approach your throne, in the name of Jesus Christ, the High Priest of the church. And I confess before God the Father, and in Jesus' name, that I am obedient to the Word of God. And today I ask the Lord for this miracle in my life. Now I want you to describe exactly what you want the Lord to do. I need for you to heal my body or the body of someone in your family. I need a financial provision. I need leadership in a business matter. Whatever you really, really need, God will do it: for nothing is impossible with God. Now let's continue the prayer. And now Lord God, I receive the answer. I receive the miracle. Nothing is impossible with God, in Jesus' name. Amen.