Joseph Prince - The Christmas Story, From Creation to the Cross
What a wonderful time of the year indeed. I love Christmas, I love the fact that, you know, of course by now, some of you know that there are some scholars and they are right in saying that Christ wasn't born during this time. And he was probably born in the Feast of Tabernacles, which is probably two months ago or three months ago. But he was conceived on December 25 if you work the math out. Nine months after that will be September, the Feast of Tabernacles. But nonetheless, we don't mind how it began, but we want you to know that it's wonderful that God has given us this time every year that the name of his Son is sung, mentioned, and truly celebrated.
I think it's the mercy from God that God caused this world that is going deeper and deeper into a moral morass of all kinds of darkness that we have this time in the year, where he makes mention of the fact that Jesus Christ the Savior is born. And I think we should celebrate for that reason. Can I have a good amen? I think it's a wonderful time when people stop everything and start talking about let's worship Christ the Lord. And it does something, it prepares you for the coming year because when you start with God, you will end your year with God's blessings. Amen.
Every time someone turns to the Lord, the future is always secure. In other words, when you turn to the Lord, you find that their future, there'll be success, there'll be abundance ahead, there'll be God's divine intervention of favor and breakthroughs for them. Every time they'll turn to themselves and trusting in their own smarts, there's nothing much they can expect in their future, amen? Jesus said it like this, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but he lose his own soul"?
When God made man, when God made you and I, God made us with a free will, a free choice. There's something that God gave man that he himself, the giver himself will not touch. In other words, if God gave you a free choice, God will not use his power to influence your free choice. God will not use his almightiness to affect your free choice. You are free. You are truly a free moral being. In fact, you came here freely, right? The fact that you are here today, you came here freely.
"No, Pastor Prince, my wife forced me. She said, you know, unless I do this, she won't be doing something or whatever. You know, I am arm twisted to come here". No matter what, amen, you allow yourself to be arm twisted, you are here now, you still allow yourself, amen? You are a free moral being. You are free to stand up right now, you are free to sit down. You are free to turn to the right, turn to the left. You are free, God gave you that freedom. God didn't make robots because God didn't want robots to worship him. God didn't want robots to love him. God chose to give man the free choice so that man, when man loves him, it's truly out of his own volition. That's what God desires.
Now, God said with a free choice comes the consequence of your choice. That you cannot choose. You can choose, you have the freedom to choose, but you don't have the freedom to determine the outcome. For example, if I choose to put my finger in the fire, I cannot choose no burn. Amen, fire and finger equals burn. I cannot choose the outcome. The outcome is a given. The outcome has been established. How many are with me so far, amen? But you can choose what you want to choose.
So, God told man, when God made the first man, Adam and Eve, God gave man everything wonderful in that garden. They were the only ones there, amen, Adam and Eve. And they had every access to every good thing in the garden. God says the Bible tells us, "Every food good for food pleasant to the eyes", amen. God gave us the body to enjoy. God could've given us a tongue with no taste. Imagine that, no salt, no bitterness, no sweetness, no umami. And no such taste and just a plain taste, you can't even complain because you do not know the alternative. But God gave us a body to feel, to enjoy.
God designed and God put man, the first man, Adam and Eve, in a garden where they are free to enjoy the lavish abundance that God has given man. And God made man last on the last day so that man would enjoy everything that he has created. So, man is the object of God's love and provision. Amen, God's nature is love, and that's why he created man because the nature of love is to share. The nature of love is to pour out. The nature of love is to give. But God made man with a free choice, and whenever there's a free choice, there's always a risk. So, what God did was that God made everything in the garden, and also God made one tree called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And God told Adam, "Don't eat from that tree. For the day that you eat from that tree, something foreign to man, you will surely die".
Death is something that is foreign to God. God never created man to die. Today, it is expected that once you hit a certain age, all right, 90, 100 and all that, there's something in the future called death waiting for you, right? People expect that this is norm, but this is not God's norm. God never designed for man to die. In fact, the Bible used the word "death" as an enemy. Now, you know enemy is a very strong word, right? God considers death as an enemy. God never created man to grow old, to be decrepit, to have sickness, to have disease, and then to die. All these are enemies of God.
The dream of the heart of love, the dream of our Father God is to create man to be the recipient of all his blessings. And what a wonderful thing if man have stuck just to God's plan, but God gave man free choice. And whenever there's a free choice, there's always a risk. But then the question is asked, and I've been asked this question, "Why did God created that tree, knowing that man eat from that one tree, man would die"? But the thing is this. In order for a free choice to be exercised and there's no choice but only good around you, let's say everything around you is good and you have a free choice, but your free choice is not exercised, it's not being exercised because why? Everything that you choose is good.
Let me illustrate. By the way, I'm not going to teach Hebrew and Greek, okay, today. Don't worry, okay? I'm going to teach this very simple, things you can even reason out. Okay, so you understand this part so far? Let's suppose that someone says, "Let me invite you to an international buffet". And you go to international buffet, which means what? You expect all kinds of food from different backgrounds, different countries and all that, right, to be there, right? But you go down there, there's pasta, then you turn down here, risotto, then down here, it is pizza, and down here is penne, then down here it's, hey, mama mia, what's going on, right? 'Cause everything is what? Italiano, you what I'm saying?
And you're saying, "Wait, wait, wait, this is an international buffet or is it an inter-lian buffet"? You got no choice, it's just Italian food. So, in order for you to exercise your free choice, God put one tree there called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And God says, "To show that you love me, to show that you honor me and that you acknowledge that I am your creator, that you want to have a relationship with me with your own choice, don't eat from this one tree. Because the day that you eat of it", in the Hebrew it says dying spiritually, you will surely die one day physically.
So, when Adam partook of that tree, the Bible tells us Satan possessed the body of a snake because Satan cannot, as an outlaw spirit, he has no jurisdiction on this earth. Only those created on this earth has jurisdiction on this earth. So, Bible tells us that Satan possessed the body of the serpent and tempted Eve. You all know the story. Eve took the fruit, ate it, gave it to her husband who was with her, they both ate it, and they fell. Now, God cannot, being a just God, God cannot say, "Boys will be boys. Oh nevermind, sweep this under the carpet". Or else he'll not be a man of his word. He'll not be a God of justice, of faithfulness, of righteousness, of truth.
Yes, God is love. So, the fact that God is love, God has to find a solution, right? Man has sinned and the consequence of sin is what? Dying spiritually, you will die physically. So, death came in, that's when sickness came in, that's when disease comes in. All right, every disease in this world and all that, don't blame God for it. We don't live in a perfect world. One day, there will be a perfect world. I said one day, there will be a perfect world. When Jesus comes and rules again, the Bible tells us that when that happens, you will see utopia, you will see heaven on earth, amen. There will be no lack. There will be no disease, no more need for hospitals. There'll be no more children suffering, no such things when Christ rules.
So, the fact that we don't live in such an earth now tells us the earth is fallen. Because God gave this earth to man. The Bible says in the Psalms, "The earth has he given to the children of man". So, God gave this earth to man and man bowed his knee to an outlaw spirit, to Satan, and gave this earth to Satan. Now, God has to intervene, yes, but God must come in legally. God himself cannot violate his own word. Thus the story begins, the whole drama of redemption begins. God was not willing... if God was willing to just part with man, if God has just justice, which he is, righteousness, which he is, truth, amen, which he is, but he's not love, he can just forget man, just you know, dissolve man into thin air like Infinity Wars. But God didn't want to do that, because God is love.
And how many know that when you follow God, you always win, amen? No outlaw spirit, no Satan cannot beat God. Where did Satan come from? Well, long before man was created, long before the earth was created, the Bible tells us there was a battle royal in heaven. Lucifer was one of the created archangels, created mind you. Rebelled against God, wanting to be God himself. And one-third of the angels followed him, and Lucifer became Satan. And the Bible says he was cast to the earth, where? To the earth, long before man was created.
Now watch this, this is a drama of the entire redemption story. And when he was cast to the earth, in other words earth became his domain, and that's why he was very jealous, of course, when God created another being called man and God made man in his image, and God would give the entire earth to man. Notice that God told Adam, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth". When I tell you something like this, "Can you replenish this glass for me"? That means it was filled with what? Water just now, right? Can you replenish, re means what? It was plenished once. Can you replenish for me? So, God told Adam to replenish the earth. So, obviously the earth was plenished at one time.
So, what happened? It was the domain of Lucifer before he fell, but then he rebelled against God, and he and his one-third of his angels that followed him became demons. And they are still around on earth. But this very place of the scenario of the battlefield became the place where God made his highest creation, man. And God loved man. But now, man as sinned against God, obeying Satan, who hates man just like a woman that has been spurned by her boyfriend, right? And she hates the very thought of him being with another woman and all that. She takes his photo and she... you never done that before, right?
So, what is the photo? An image, right? It's just an image of the boyfriend. She cannot kill the boyfriend, I advise you not to. So, she tries to kill the image. You are the image of God, every one of you. God loves you, Satan hates you. Amen. So, when that happened and Satan succeeded in making Adam and Eve fall, but again, if it's just Satan making... I should not use the word "making". He can only tempt, he cannot make you. God gave you a free choice, right? By the way, you know that no one can make you do anything, right? Not even your mother-in-law, right? No amen, I'll try again. All right, no one can make you do anything.
You know, people say, "He make me so angry". How did he make you angry? "Well, he said those things". Yeah, he said those things, but he didn't make you angry. Let me tell you this, let's say that guy said those same things in Orchard Road right now, now we are here at the Star, right? And we are away from Orchard Road. Let's say the person said the same words about you in Orchard Road. Do you right now sitting down here all of a sudden listening to me, "Oh, I feel anger. Somebody is talking bad about me. That person made me angry". No, no, no, in order for you to be angry, that person must say in front of you or you hear about it, you must know about it in order for you to choose anger.
Now, the whole thing is so complicated that you don't realize you're choosing anger. But actually, the fact that you must know about it, you must hear about it before you are angry tells the story that we all make ourself angry. Amen? That's why I look at guys who beat up their wives, they never beat up guys who are stronger than them. It's a matter of choice. "I can't help. When I get angry, I beat up my wife". Come over here. Meet Pastor Lawrence with muscles. Beat him up. No matter how angry you are, you don't beat him up. It's a matter of choice.
Now, we don't like to hear that that we are responsible. We like to say, you know, my wife, it's my wife's fault. You know, the Adam says, when Adam sinned, he told God, "The woman you gave me", blamed two. The woman you gave me. And the woman said, "The snake", right? It's the story of passing the buck. We blame everything, we blame the government. We blame the sun, the moon, the stars. We blame everything but ourself. No, even if you are put in a perfect environment, we will spoil it because sin is in our blood. We've all sinned, the Bible tells us. We all come short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death. Not just physical death, but death after this life, there is a death the Bible talks about. Because God made you not like a mannequin. God didn't make you a mannequin... Whoa, that was cool man, hallelujah.
So, when first God made man from the dust of the ground and then God breathed into man and man became a living, animating being, amen. But that part of him, the body comes from the ground, the dust. And when you die, dust goes to dust. But the real you, the one that God breathed into that shell, that mannequin, amen, God breathed into man. Man became the pulsating, living, loving life form called human being. Amen, that life came from God. And that life, because it's a part of God, it cannot die. So, it must be housed somewhere, whether it's hell or heaven. But it's not God's desire for man to go to hell. Jesus used the words that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels.
So, the drama continues. Man has sinned, then God came on the scene and God saw the entire thing. Did God abandon man? No, God loved man still. In fact, the Bible tells us God was the first one to offer a sacrifice. God killed the animal, and animal probably is a lamb, and God covered both Adam and Eve with coats of skin. Blood everywhere, thus signifying without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. It must be sinless blood washing away all our sins, amen. And this is what God said to the snake or to Satan. And friends, if you leave this place, you forget everything else, don't forget this, amen? That this is the first prophesy in the Bible.
You can tell your friend, "You all know what's the first prophecy or not"? You don't know? Don't know right, at least you all know. The first prophecy in the bible is what God said to Satan. God said this, "And I'll put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed"... God is talking to Satan and God is saying, "I'll put enmity between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise", or in the Hebrew crush, "your head, and you will crush his heel". Now, Jesus dying on the cross crushed Satan's head and Satan crushed his heel. Now, which is better, crush head or crush heel? Of course crush head. You are finished, permanent head damage, all right? PHD.
So, Jesus crushed Satan at the cross, but he had to die. Crush heel means what? He's also hurt in the process, amen? He had to die for our sins. For God to create, he only had to speak. But for God to redeem, he had to bleed. There's no other way to save man. The other alternative is to just wipe man out. But God is not willing to do that, he love you and I too much. So, the Bible tells us, first prophecy is that God said to Satan that, "I'll put enmity between your seed and her seed". Straightaway, God signified a virgin birth.
Notice her seed, a woman does not have seed. The male has seed, the woman has egg. And when the seed meets with the egg, then you have life. But here God is saying, "Your seed, Satan, and her seed". So, the war down through the generations has been proclaimed right there that it's from a virgin 'cause a woman does not have seed. So, from a virgin will come forth the dragon slayer, the serpent destroyer, the redeemer of man. His name is Jesus. So, God prophesied. It's the first prophecy in the Bible.
Now, when that happened, Adam and Eve later on gave birth to Cain and Abel, their two sons, right? And Satan is not all knowing. Satan probably thought, "Ah, woman's seed. This is her son, so it must be one of them. I'll see who is it". And the Bible tells us Cain and Abel brought forth offerings to God. One, Abel brought forth the firstlings of a lamb, a lamb, and killed the lamb. This is how they do it in those days. You bring a lamb to God and because you know you have sin, you only bring a lamb because you know you have sin, therefore you lay your hands on the lamb. By laying your hands on the lamb, you're identifying with the lamb, your sins are going into the lamb. And then the lamb, the innocent lamb is killed. You are guilty, but because you laid your hands on the lamb, the lamb becomes liable on your behalf.
So, the lamb is killed, the lamb is judged. But it is your judgment. It is your death that the lamb dies, and you walk away with the innocence of the lamb on you, with the favor of the lamb on you, with the favor of God upon you. You understand so far? Thus the history of Israel with all the sacrifices, it's all about this. It's not that man is not guilty. Man is guilty, but God has found a way. But even then, it's not perfect way, it's a lamb like paying by credit, you know? You know, credit card is not your payment. Credit card is just like paying until the real payment happens every month, right?
So, the same thing. So, when he observed, Satan observed these two sons of Adam and Eve. And Abel offered to God a blood sacrifice by saying, "I'm a sinner. Only the blood, an innocent blood can wash me clean". And God showed him favor. I do not know how God showed him favor. Maybe you find there's a light that comes on him and he's blessed, and the brother saw it. But the brother did not bring a blood sacrifice, the brother brought the works of his hands. He was a farmer and he brought salad dressing, lettuce, broccoli, and things like that, and there's no blood. It's as if he's saying, "You know, I'm not a sinner. I don't need the blood to wash me. I can bring the effort. As long I have good efforts, God will accept me".
And the Bible says God rejected him. Maybe it was like a dark cloud that came and he had to cover himself and all that. I do not know, but obviously he knew. Satan saw this and Satan saw that Abel, who offered the blood sacrifice, had favor with God, the other one did not. So, what did he do? "This must be the woman's seed, I'll kill him". So, he got his brother Cain to murder, the first murder in history, got Cain to murder his brother. Again, Abel wasn't the seed. That tells you that Satan is not all-knowing. God is all-knowing.
If you want to follow someone, follow someone who is all-knowing. You and I, we both are not all-knowing. The term used is omniscient. Omni means all, sentient means knowing. God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. Follow the one who is all-knowing, who is all-powerful, who is all present. He's present in every month of the year this year, amen, amen. Don't follow a loser, amen. Don't even follow yourself because our understanding is finite.
A mystery, the mystery of Christmas is when the one who is infinite came into time and became finite. The one who is all-present came into a location in Bethlehem and became just one place, a baby. The miracle of Christmas is when the one, the Bible says of Jesus, "By him all things were created". There is one God, only one God, but there are three divine persons in one God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, but they are one, amen? That's why the Bible says, "Let us make man in our image". One God, three divine persons, it's a mystery. Like you will say there's air, there is oxygen, there is water, there's water, for example it becomes vapor. You know, or an egg, it's a bad illustration. There's a shell, there is an egg white, there is yolk, but one egg. Please don't think of it that way, okay?
You cannot explain the divine God. But one God, you don't say three God, one God. God the Father loved. And the fact that the Bible says Christ made everything, and by everything was held together, all things are held together by Christ himself. When Christ comes into your marriage, he will uphold your marriage. Your marriage needs a third party, his name is Jesus. All things are held together, and the miracle of incarnation is that the one who held everything together is now held by his mother, and yet holding all things together.
Now, why must he come? We have to ask the question before we answer why Satan seeks to destroy the woman's seed. Why must Jesus come? Well, don't forget the Lamb of God, the idea of laying your hands on the lamb, Jesus came to become the Lamb of God. The final Lamb of God, the true payment of which all the real lambs, animal lambs are but a picture, like your Visa card payment. It's not the real payment, but finally the Lamb of God came.
And John the Baptist saw him and says, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". 'Cause on that cross, my friend, Jesus Christ did not come. When he was born, he knew he was going to die. God sent him to die. God didn't send him to live a life of teaching morals to people, laws and commandments. No, no, no, when he was born, the message, "Behold". The angels said this, "Behold, I announce to you that in the city of David, Bethlehem, is born to you this day a Savior". Not a judge, not a lawgiver, a Savior, a Savior. If you are drowning, you don't need someone to pass by, look at you, and say, "Hey, you need help. Here's a book, 'Swimming For Dummies.' Follow the laws and you'll be okay". No, you need a Savior. Can I have a good amen?
So, he was born to die. When he came, in fact, when the time came for Mary to give birth, the Bible says they went to the inn and there was no room for them in the inn. Now, I have a message I preached a long time ago that the inn that both of Mary and Joseph came from the line, you trace their lineage, they came from the line of David, the king of Israel. Both of them, they came from the different sons of David. Joseph, the husband of Mary, came from David's son Solomon. And Mary came from David's son Nathan. Both of them are from Bathsheba, the wife. So, they're both, and that house, that inn which became an inn later on, was actually David's house that David got from his great grandmother Ruth and Boaz in Bethlehem.
So, actually the rightful king went back to his ancestral home, but there was no room for them in the inn. The Bible does not say, "There's no room for them". Read carefully, does not say there's no room for them. It says, "There's no room for them". That means one look at them, they look poor, no trappings of wealth. Mary was heavy with child and a donkey, Joseph was staying down there, "Sir, can we have a room"? There is room, but not for them. So, they were relegated to the stable. It's all designed by God that in the stable, Mary gave birth to her firstborn, and she placed him in a manger.
When it was a manger, we think of a manger as a stable. No, he was born and laid in a manger. A manger, if you go to Israel today, you'll find a 2,000-year-old manger, and this is how it looks like on the left. There's a manger, it's made of stone, that's where Mary will place hay or some cloths and put baby Jesus. But look at the right, what's the right? Many of you have been to Israel, you know on the right side is the tomb of Jesus, the empty tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem. If you notice it's made of stone, carved out of stone as well. So, the fact that the picture there of a baby in the manger stone is a picture that he was born to die.
By the way, if you go to Israel, you will see this empty tomb. Notice that on the right side, there is a niche cut, a hole cut because that means when Jesus was buried here, it was a last-minute thing because Jesus was much more taller than this tomb was designed for. We all know the story that this tomb actually belonged to a wealthy man called Joseph of Arimathea, who followed Jesus. And he gave his tomb to Jesus. But Jesus is much taller, it was a last-minute thing. If you go to any other tomb in Israel, you don't find them cutting a niche at the legs, where the leg is supposed to be. It was a last-minute thing because Jesus is taller.
From the virgin womb to the virgin tomb, where no man had laid. He was born to die. Why? Because all of us have sinned. So, when Jesus became the final Lamb of God at the cross, Christ on the cross bore your sins and my sins. Your judgment and my judgment, everything, because God lives outside time. God can see your sins from the beginning to the very end. And God took all your sins, nothing passes his eye. God cannot pass by sins, but he can forgive them. He took all your sins and he placed it on Jesus Christ. And God punished Jesus, and Jesus looked up. He who knew no sin became sin with your sins and my sins, and he shed his blood.
That blood that God says, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins". That blood is holy blood. That blood is sinless blood. That blood is royal blood, even from the throne of David. That blood is divine blood. And you are washed with nothing less than the blood of Jesus from all your sins. And today, when God looks at you, God cannot see sin in your life. It's washed out by the blood of Jesus. Not that you don't sin, not that you have lost your capacity to sin, but God doesn't see sin when you believe on Jesus Christ because his blood washes away your sins whiter than snow.
Some of you just came from the snow, right, snow places? What is whiter than snow? Even snow, you got to put on your goggles. You are washed whiter than snow. And therefore, the whole plan is to stop Jesus from dying on the cross, Satan's plan. He must stop the woman's seed from coming, but he didn't know who he was because Satan is not omniscient. So, Satan saw Cain kill Abel, he was happy. But then he found out Abel is not the one. Then down through the hundreds of years, by then the earth was populated. Man was doing all kinds of things and the Bible says the one-third of the angels, some of them, Satan came up with another plan to corrupt the woman's seed because if I can make the seed not fully human, it cannot be the woman's seed.
So, this is the story of Noah's flood. If you ever wondered why God flooded the earth, this is the reason why. The Bible tells us that some of the fallen angels... there are fallen angels, don't forget. I told you just now become demons. They took on human form. Angels, even God's angels can take on human form and stay with us for a while. Probably you encounter an angel, you don't even know. I've got angels that I probably met, I don't even know. In fact, one might be sitting around you right now and you don't even know. 'Cause the Bible says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers because some have entertained angels unaware".
So they can take on human form. So, these fallen angels take on human form, and they came down to earth and they cohabited with the women in the earth. And their offspring are giants, tall, big, huge giants. Now, some of the mythology, Greek mythology that you see, one eye cyclops and you know, those creatures and all that, you laugh at it and all that, but actually a lot of mythology is based on something that, you know, the word of mouth passed on from generations from generations, father to son, father to son all the way. Became corrupted, yes of course, but obviously there is a truth. The Bible says they were giants, they are half fallen angel, half men. And after hundreds of years, the whole earth was populated with them.
Satan was rejoicing because he thought he can stop the pure woman's seed from coming, the seed that would crush his head because the seed must be a human being, a full human being. By the way, this explains what Nat Geo and all that you're trying to find, who created the Stonehenge. There's some of these building blocks are so huge that they do not know how they move it. And sometimes they find graves, cemeteries of huge tombs. In fact, there's one in northern Israel. I went to visit it with some of my pastors, right? Then a few years ago went to see a place called Dom'e, and it's filled with tombs of giants.
And the Bible says in those days, the giants will be in the north, Bashan which is actually the area where we were. And their tombs are huge because they are half man. Don't look around, they're not around anymore. Any resemblance is purely coincidental, all right? Trust me. Pastor Gabriel is real, fully human, all right? So, when we were there, we took a picture. In fact, this is me at one of the tombs. My left side, my right side is where the head starts and where the leg ends. The whole place there, I'm standing on rock, tombs. That's how big it is. By the way, David and Goliath, Goliath is a remnant of the giants, okay?
So, what happened to earth? After hundreds of years, it happens, the whole earth is populated. And hardly a human stock, pure human stock was left except for Noah and his family. The Bible says, "God saw Noah perfect in his generations". Not perfect in the way you and I think he's a perfect man. No, no, there's no such thing. But perfect is the Hebrew word "tamim", which means he's of the pure human stock. There's no mixture in his blood. He's purely human. So, the earth was populated with these half creatures, half human. And God decided to bring a flood to destroy the earth. But God wanted to preserve the human race. And God preserved Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives. Right, am I right?
Adam and Eve were one. But after hundreds of years, the earth is populated. And now only one pure human stock left, and God decided to preserve them in Noah's ark. And God brought flood, the floods of judgment upon all flesh, for all flesh has corrupted itself the Bible says. The whole idea is to preserve man. And after the flood, Noah had three sons, their names are Ham, Sham, Japheth. From these three sons, the whole earth was populated. Okay, so the devil doesn't know. "Wow, I tried to corrupt the whole earth, now the whole earth is filled with humans. I wonder who is the promised seed".
And then God narrowed it down to Abraham. From Abraham, the devil realized Abraham's God's chosen one. And straightaway, he worked almost immediately to stop the seed. And the story of Sarah and how Sarah was nearly stopped from producing the seed, right? Abimelech. God intervened. And then from Abraham and Sarah came the Jewish people, the nation of Israel. And obviously the devil know, "Okay, now zero in already". Of all the nations, even nation of Israel, the Messiah, the promised one will come from the nation of Israel, he's going to be a Jew. That much the devil knows.
So, he start attacking the line, tried to destroy the Jews, brought in the Philistines. And the Bible says there was another eruption of angels and man after the flood. But this time, God didn't bring the flood because God swore he'll never flood the earth again. This time, God raised the nation of Israel. People like David will kill them. They're called the Anakims, Rephaims, the giants. Goliath is one of them. They have extra toes, extra fingers the Bible says, and they were head and shoulders above. They don't use a shampoo, just head and shoulders above everybody else. And Goliath was destroyed by David. So, God raised this nation to destroy the giants, the Anakims, the Rephaims, as well.
Now, watch this. So, the devil is finding, "who in the nation of Israel, who is the one, the promised one"? All of a sudden, zero in on David, God's choice to become king. Ah, he must be the one, hence all the spear-throwing, all the attempts at David's life began because the devil thought he was the seed. But no, he was only the progenitor of the royal line. He became the king of God's choice, the royal house of David. So, in David's line will come Solomon, then all the way down. In fact, there was one time the devil tried to destroy the heir, only a baby at that time. The great, great, great, great grandson of David was only a child when the devil attacked the palace. And the baby was kept hidden. It came to one baby.
Now, after that, the baby was brought forth, just like one day Jesus, who is a son that's been hidden right now, will come forth into earth to reign as a rightful king. And then all the way down, down, down to a king of the royal line of David in Judah, and this king was called Jehoiakim, he was an evil king. Although he's from the David's line, he was an evil king. He will practice child sacrifice. For example, in the valley of Hinnom, today, you go to Israel, you see the valley of Hinnom in Jerusalem, and it's a place where the word "hell" comes from.
He will build statues of this evil bronze idol holding up the hands like this, and it's made of bronze, and he has holes in his fingers. And they will heat up the fire until it's so hot that flames of fire will come out of his fingers. And when it's really hot, they'll beat the drums, and then women will come with their newborn babies, newborn, and they'll place it on the burning arms, thus killing their babies, offering them to this idol. And the drums will beat harder so that the women will not hear the cries of their babies.
That's how wicked this king is, Jehoiakim. And God said to Prophet Jeremiah, "Tell them", all right, "is this what I'm asking for? Is this evil that they are doing, it's never even entered my heart", God said to Jeremiah. And what he did was terrible that his son, his name was Jeconiah, Jehoiakim's son, Jeconiah, God says there'll be a curse on his line. So, God is cursing the very royal line of David, and this is the curse. "Thus says the Lord, 'Write this man down as childless'".
Now, childless does not mean here no child. It means heirless, no heir to continue the throne because if he's childless, no child, how can none of his descendants shall prosper sitting on the throne of David? Obviously, he has descendants. But in other words, the curse is he'll have no heir. And true enough, he was the second last king before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to destroy the temple. Now, watch this, the moment God pronounced the curse that from the line of David there will be no more heir from Jeconiah, guess what? The devil rejoiced. The royal throne of David has stopped because of the curse, am I right? Am I right? I believe at this point, God turned to the angel and say, "Watch me". So, all the way down, now we go all the way down to Joseph and Mary.
Watch this, Joseph and Mary right now, and there's a curse in this line. Jesus was born of Mary, who was engaged to Joseph. And the Bible says, "Before she was with child". And that's why the sign given to Israel was this in Isaiah 7, it says, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the", what? Behold the what? "Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel". Immanuel means God with us. So, a virgin, for the first time a virgin will conceive and bear a son. So, Mary was that virgin, she was probably only 14, 15 years old. In those days, they married very early. But she wasn't married yet, she was a virgin. She was betrothed to Joseph.
Now, Joseph and Mary, both of them, their line go all the way to David's royal line. If you look at the genealogy in Matthew, you'll find that Joseph, the husband of Mary, his line is traced all the way to David's son Solomon, born of Bathsheba. The other son of Bathsheba is called Nathan. From Nathan's line, David's son Nathan, so, there's Solomon's line all the way to Joseph's, Joseph, the husband of Mary. And from David's line, he has another son called Nathan also born of Bathsheba, from Nathan all the way down to Mary.
So, watch this now. If Jesus lay claim to the title, if Jesus was actually born, actually born of the blood and the flesh of Joseph, he cannot lay a claim on anything, you know why? There's sin in the blood of Joseph. And not only that, there's a curse on this line. Am I right? So, Jesus will be a sinner and cannot sit on the throne. But he was not actually the son of Joseph. But Joseph married Mary, his mother, therefore, Joseph became the legal father, right? So now he has a legal, not actual, but legal claim to the throne. And yet, not have the blood where the curse is. Are you with me so far?
It's the wisdom of God, c'mon. Mary's side, Jesus born of Mary, so in other words, Mary provided the body, he was actually born of Mary. He was not actually born of Joseph. He was the legal son of Joseph but not born of Joseph because he was born of the virgin. Now, Mary had Jesus in her womb for nine months, right? And during this nine months, the importance of the virgin, listen carefully, it's very important. The father did not provide the blood for Jesus because, if he did, Jesus would have sin in his blood. Am I right? But Mary provided the body for Jesus? Am I right?
But for years people say, "Well, it's the same, Pastor Prince. Mary is not perfect. Mary also has sin in her blood". All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, am I right? I said, Mary has sin, right? So Mary will pass her blood to her womb, right? Her fetus, right? Wrong. Why? Not too long ago, science found out that the baby is connected to the mother, we all know this for a long time, of course, through the umbilical cord. Am I right?
But only recently, they have found out that although the umbilical cord of the child brings food from the mother into the child, and waste away from the child to the mother, for years people thought blood also comes from the mother to the child. But you know what they've found out? Not a single trace of blood goes from the mother to the child through the umbilical cord. Do you see the importance of the virgin's birth? He was placed there in the virgin's womb by the Holy Spirit, hallelujah. Now, he has a double claim. Through Joseph, the legal line, through Mary, the actual line, all the way to David. That's why when he was born, wise men came saying, "Where is he, born the King of the Jews"?
By the way, he's the only one born King. Even every pontentate, every royal king, on this earth, they are not born a king. They are born a prince. Oh, that's not a big revelation, right? They are born a prince. But the wise men came saying, "Where is he born the King of the Jews"? And that's why the King Herod at the time was afraid when he heard that. Because Jesus was born King, hallelujah. King of the Jews. Wise men sought him. You know why all of you are here today? Because you are wise. Why is these wise men travels afar? It was an arduous journey through terrains, mountains, hills, a rough, rough desert, through the rivers, to find baby Jesus.
So the first question in the entire New Testament is, "Where is he born the King of the Jews"? You know what was the first question in the entire Old Testament in Genesis? God is asking man, "Where are you? Adam, where are you"? It's not that God doesn't know. But do you know where you are? You are lost. Adam should have answered, "God, I'm lost". So God is asking man, "Where are you"? The answer to that question, "Where are you"? is found not in saying, "I'm here", like you know your way but saying, "Where is he, born the King of the Jews"? The answer to your lostness is, "Where is he"? You find he, you will find you. "Where is he born the King of the Jews"? Wise men still sought him. The wise men saw the star and they acted on the star.
I'm sure a lot of people in the east, they saw the same star but never acted on it. Wise men knows how to interpret things. That's why you all came to The Star. Ha-ha, we decided to call this Performing Arts Center, The Star, for people like you for such a time as this. Notice, they worshiped the Son. And the Bible is so clear. Look at this, Matthew 2, verse 11: "When they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother". Five times in the same chapter, the Bible says "the Child and his mother, the Child and his mother, the Child and his mother, the Child and his mother, the Child and his mother". Not the mother and the Child. Five times. "They fell down and worshiped Him", not them. Worshiped him, not them.
Now, if Jesus is not God this would be blasphemy, but he is God. The Bible says: "Unto us a child is born". That is humanity. He must be born. But as the Son, he cannot be born. As the Son, he's always pre-existent with God. As the Son, he's given. That is Deity. Well, you all understand this. We went through the entire Bible, you know. By the time you all leave this place, right, you don't have to go to a Bible seminary or whatever, you know. You actually covered... and some people go to Bible seminary, they don't even know the why. They see the what? They study the what. They do the exams on the what. But you get to see the why. We are caught in this epic drama, this redemption story, this battle of the ages, between evil and good. Is it "Star Wars" of "Star Wars".
Of all the earth that God made, of all the planets God made, God saw the earth and God made this the location, the platform, for his redemption plan. Now, the devil cannot stop Jesus, right? He was born. Born in Bethlehem, but he tried. Tried to send Herod. Tried to destroy all the babies under two years old in Bethlehem. Jesus escaped. The seed. He must stop the seed, hence the drama of how the devil tried to push him when he was 30 years old over the cliff through the people that were jealous of him and time and time again, no, no one can take his life. He came to die, yes, but not at the whim and fancy of men.
At the Father's timing, at the right time, he will lay down on the cross. It's the first time the Romans ever saw a man lie down like that willingly. Many of them would be cursing and swearing, fighting them. And he laid down and he was lifted up and he looked up to the heaven, said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". Finally, the sacrifice came. And when he hung there on the cross, it was a declaration to Satan, "You lost. God won".
Now sinful men, you know, your sins, my sins, are actually our title to Jesus. If you have no sins, you got no title to Jesus, because the Bible says, "He'll be born", a what? "A Savior". So if you have no sins, he cannot be your Savior. He's only Savior for people who have sins. But when you say, "I have sin", he says, "I'm your Savior". "But I'm a big sinner". "I'm a greater Savior". "You can't believe the things I've done". "You can't believe the things I have for you. My grace is greater than your sins". "But I cannot forgive myself". "But I can forgive you".
And on that cross, God took your sins and my sins and God put it on Jesus Christ, the true Lamb of God. It's as if we all lay hands on Jesus, transferring all our sins to him on the cross. And then, instead of the judgment coming on you, coming on your family, it came on Jesus. We are the guilty ones but because we put our trust in Jesus, he who knew no sin became sin at the cross and took our sin, that even the one who betrayed him, Judas Iscariot, Judas said of Jesus, he threw the money that he got from the Pharisees in betraying Jesus, he threw the money and said, "I have betrayed innocent blood".
He calls Jesus's blood innocent. But it was more than innocent. It was royal blood. It was kingly blood, it was sinless blood, it was divine blood. You're not washed by your good works because there's no amount of good works sufficient to wash your sins. You're not washed by your morality. No matter how great your morality is, it's not enough. You're not washed by church attendance. You all know you don't attend enough. You're not washed by your own blood. I cannot die for you, you cannot die for me. We both have sin. But God's love plan is for us to believe on the one who came willingly. Talk about free choice. He came willingly. He's the only one who can choose to be born in a palace or in a tomb, I mean, in a stable, in a manger. Before he went to the virgin's womb, he took away his royal robes, his royal regalia, and all the angels would bow before him and infinity became finite in the virgin's womb.
"A child is born, the Son is given". And many years after this, the child will grow up and I'll close with this. And I religious man called Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. He didn't want his peers and colleagues to see him come to Jesus so he came to Jesus at night and said, "We know you're a teacher come from God. No one can do these miracles that you do", and Jesus came straight to the point: "Nicodemus, with all your erudite learning, you must be born again". And he says, "How can a man as old as I am go into his mother's womb and be born"? And Jesus says, "Unless you are born of the Spirit, you cannot see the kingdom of God".
And then Jesus said something very beautiful that people don't realize. They have seen this verse many times but they don't realize it's spoken by Jesus himself. Jesus told Nicodemus, "For God so loved the world". Now, don't forget, Nicodemus is a Jewish religious leader and his idea is always God loves only the Jews. But Jesus said to him, "For God so loved the world". "So", little word, small word, little. "So", but so intense. God didn't just love you, friend. God so loved you. God so loved you. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son".
A song is not a song until you sing it. A bell is not a bell until you ring it. Love in your heart wasn't given to stay. Love is not love until you give it away. "For God so loved the world, Nicodemus, he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever", that includes anybody, "believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
So one of the last words Jesus cried on the cross was this, "Finished". What is finished? All the prophecies of his First Coming has all been finished. All your sins and my sins, again, it's a thrice holy God, has all been forgiven. All the judgment that's supposed to fall on your head, has all been removed in his body. All the claims of God's holiness on us is fully met on our behalf. And now you can expect nothing but blessings and blessings and more blessings. Expect even more because Jesus said, "I come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly", amen? Give praise to him. C'mon, church, hallelujah.
Every head bowed at this time, every eye closed, all across this place. That's the story of the gospel. I don't offer you a religion. I offer you the reality. Jesus Christ will return. The Bible tells us after he died on the cross, on the third day he rose from the dead. Remember, I told you God considers death an enemy. Jesus conquered death for you and I and he rose from the dead bodily. He is now at the Father's right hand, sitting on the Father's throne. But one of these days, he will return. He will return to the nation of Israel.
For 2,000 years, the nation of Israel was non-existent, scattered to the four corners of the earth. 1948, Israel came back as a nation. That tells us we are in the end times. The Lord Jesus, the son of David, the rightful heir, the King of Israel, will return. And he will return to Israel. And then we'll see what heaven on earth is gonna be like. But until then, the Bible says the world will get darker and darker and darker but God's people, the light on God's people will get brighter and brighter, and the world will see light in our dwellings.
Friend, if you are here today, you never put your trust in Jesus Christ, all your efforts, all your good works, cannot save you. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. So if that's you, my friend, you're gonna put your trust in Christ, pray this prayer with me right now. Say, from your heart, say:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me. What great love. You loved me even before I knew you. Thank you, Father, for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins, to take my place as my substitute, and all the judgment that is supposed to fall on my head, all the condemnation fell on him instead. He died in my place and on the third day you raised him from the dead as a declaration that all my sins are put away by his blood. Jesus Christ is my Lord, in Jesus's name.
And all the people said, "Amen". Praise God. You know what? That was a Bible school. Old Testament, New Testament, how do you like that? In one message, praise God. Now, I'm gonna dismiss you but before I do that, I'm gonna bless you because, friend, I'm telling you, when we bless you, it's not just to soothe you. The blessing of God on you will change the course of your destiny, will turn around events, amen, open the good door, shut the bad doors, amen? Praise the Lord. Stand to your feet, everyone. Hey, I didn't expect him. Okay, get my whole family up here. All right. This is Wendy, ever beautiful.
Wendy Prince: Hello. Blessed Christmas.
Joseph Prince: Get a mic? You can say that again.
Wendy: Hello, everyone. Blessed Christmas to you. I just wanted to share a simple thought. Just know that the Lord has gone ahead to prepare the way for you. In Jeremiah, the Lord says, "For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope". And I think in these times that we live in, this is a very strong assurance for us. The world outside may go through disaster and calamities but we, as the children of God in this house, we will always be cocooned in his promise and his protection. God bless you.
Joseph Prince: Amen. Want to say something? How about you? You wanna say something? Oh, he has something?
Justin Prince: Merry Christmas to all of you and have a happy New Year.
Joseph Prince: Praise the Lord. Lift your hands all across this place. The Lord bless you and your families with the blessings of Father Abraham, the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, and the Lord keep you. When the Lord keeps you, you are kept. The Lord keep you and your loved ones and protect you and your families throughout this week from every harm, danger, accident, from every disease, from all the powers of darkness, through his Son's blood. And the Lord favors you. Smile on you and grant to you and your loved ones his shalom peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said, "Amen". God bless you.