Kenneth Copeland - Who Were the Magi?
- Give to KCM
— Welcome, everyone and Merry Christmas from the Believer's Voice of Victory broadcast. I'm Kenneth Copeland, this is my lovely daughter, Kellie. Gloria was not able to be here today, but she sends her Merry Christmas greetings and she's watching with her friend Bebe. Hey girls, amen... We're teaching from Rick Renner's marvelous book, Christmas The Rest Of The Story by Rick Renner and Kellie, I was blessed and highly favored to get the first book off the press.
— Now let's go back here in Matthew, 13:55 or 53. "It came to pass that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed there and when he was coming to his own country, he taught them in their synagogue in so much that they were astonished". They were astonished. Well, now we've already found out that there are from 120 to 150 people in there... just a little small village. Everybody in town knew him. I mean, they knew him from the time he was a little boy. The Magi came there when he was two. And so we're going to talk about that. But I want to go back to this. Is this not the carpenter's son? Now, Rick brought out the fact that the word carpenter in the Greek text is technology. We got our word... He was technologically advanced. And in this illustration, Joseph, looking at architectural plans for the city of Sepphoris, this city of Sepphoris, contrary to what religious traditions say about Joseph. He was not a poor man, but a masterful craftsman who would have been highly compensated for his skills. He may have lived in the obscure village of Nazareth, but advanced skill sets as his, were needed.
In Nazareth, however, they were very needed in the nearby city of Sepphoris, where master artisans were in high demand and well paid for their expertise. And this illustration is the beginning of chapter three. Why did God choose Joseph? That was only four miles from Nazareth. You could see it from Nazareth. And he is the sharpest man in anywhere around. Highly skilled. And if we had time, we go in to his family's background, to Mary's families background. And it just thrilled me beyond measure. When Rick brought out the fact it's obvious when you see it, but I never thought about it. And there's just so much I never thought about.
— But Rick did.
— Yes, he did... so that both families. Joseph's family, Mary's family were very wealthy. Now, we know from the 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th chapters of Deuteronomy that poverty is a curse. So it just doesn't even make sense, much less Bible sense for the God who says poverty is a curse to have his son born in a poverty stricken household. That's just religious stuff, has no basis of founding whatsoever. But when you get to the facts and look it up, well, then you think, well, duh, why should he be born in a cursed household?
— That would mean they weren't keeping the law.
— That would mean they didn't tithe. And the only reason that Jesus was born in a manger, which that word manger. It just literally means a feeding trough.
— But part of that was a sign as well. A sign that he would be the lamb...
— and that he was born in a meager situation. But it was not because his folks didn't have any money. It was because she was really late getting there. And the scripture says because there was no room at the inn.
— In fact, if that was because they would... If he was born in that stable in the manger because they had no money, that would not make that a miracle. If they had no money, they'd probably be lucky, blessed to have a stable or anything if they had no money. But it was a miracle, because that was an unusual circumstance for them to come to be in that circumstance. Well, and it was proper thing to do because he was born not because they were poor, but it was in a manger. And it was a place where the shepherds who were temple shepherds were watching their flocks by night. Amen. When the announcement of his birth came. So I won't take time to read this right now, but we will before the week's up... they said peace on earth, goodwill toward men, not among men. That was heaven's announcement.
— Heaven's gift.
— What does that mean? The sacrifice is here. Goodwill toward men from God.
— Everything's changed.
— Everything has changed. The sacrifice is here. And it's not going to be, but just a tad over 30 years until the whole thing will be changed forever. And the angels will be able to come back into this place. They had been blocked out because of Adam's transgression that Jacob's Ladder would be no more. And that was the mighty sound that they heard on the day of Pentecost. Just as a rushing, mighty wind.
— Actually, Jesus became the ladder, Jacob's ladder was no more. But he told Nathaniel, from now on, you'll see messengers going up and down on the son of man. He became the connection between heaven and earth,
— and he still is.
— And now we are too. We are... Glory to God. So now I wanted you to see this and to look at the structure. And there's this carpenter, this contractor, this technologically advanced man. Of course, he was the Spirit of God made him that way. He chose him. He had to have a man in that household that could teach his son. And by the time he was 12, he was way far advanced. Well, think about the household he was raised in. Good people, a mother and a father that would teach him. Amen... and a father that was the kind of man that would not publicly expose his wife, when he found out she was already pregnant. But here again, in a dream, God fixed it.
— He was obviously, I think Rick put in there that he is a man of mercy.
— He's very merciful and a good man. And he was not a man that wanted to publicly shame her. Isn't that a big heart? Just I don't want to do her this way. No. Well, that's who got picked to be in the household with his son. So it just, you know, I see so much more in God, he picked a man like that. He picked a man that was wealthy. He picked a man that would teach his son all of these wonderful things about the law and the prophets. A man that knew that could teach his son about the law and the prophets and tithing and all of these wonderful things. And he's a man of wealth. And so he would be teaching him how you handle money and how you properly do things according to Abraham's teachings. Amen.
— You know, I never thought about either. Just occurs to me that one of the things that the angel said to Mary was like every endowment for everything she needed to carry and raise Jesus all the way up to the moment when she was there with him at the cross, everything she needed to walk out that life. Well, part of that was he was part of her love from heaven to walk out this very difficult assignment that God gave this little young girl. And Joseph was part of her heavenly supply. to have somebody like that... And to think... That hadn't occurred to me until I read this. I just hadn't thought about it, like a lot of things. It's just, you know, they don't imagine these thing. And I found out how big Nazareth was and why... Well, sure everybody there knew him... they've known him since he was a little boy, since he was 2 years old.
— It's about as small as a town can be and be a town.
— And then you begin... In my mind now, I can see Luke sitting down with her and John. Now I can see why John didn't bother to write that, because here's Luke and John and Mary. And so Luke is taking it all down from her. So John's thinking, well, you know, I just need to write letters now to some people that I know. They didn't know they were writing a Bible. They didn't know we were going to sit here before 2200 years later and talk about these things. They're just being led of the Spirit, but now in my mind's eye, I can see Luke just sitting there. I'm telling you, in the presence of Holiness. Mary, the mother of the lamb of God, that took away his sins and took away John's sins and all of that. And she's telling the story and I only now have to suppose that she told him a lot more than that, that she told him about Mary and John and how all that happened. And, yee haw... Glory to God.
Now, the Kings... no there were not three. They were Magi. Now, at the beginning of Chapter 11, I want you to look at this caravan. It's caravan. Not three guys bouncing with camels across the countryside. These were extremely wealthy, extremely wise or learned men. Magi were an elite, powerful, strategically wealthy group of high ranking priests who were devoted to interpreting dreams, studying the constellations. In fact, Magi gained an international reputation for being experts at studying the constellations, which was regarded as a science at that time. Thus, they were a combination of scientists, politicians and religious leaders and this whole caravan. The Gospel of Matthew, tells us that Herod the Great was king. When a group of magi from the East made a surprising appearance in the city of Jerusalem.
Mark, Luke and John are silent about the appearing of the Magi. But Matthew's gospel very clearly tells us about their arrival in Jerusalem, their interview with Herod. Their eventual trip to Nazareth, where they found Jesus and presented him with treasures of magnificent gifts. The Magi were an elite, powerful, fabulously wealthy group of high ranking priest who were devoted to interpreting dreams, studying constellations. Combination magi possessed so much might and political clout that if they chose to do so, this is what just as it just astounded me... If they agreed to it... That ability to dispose a king with a single word or with a single word, they could install a new king of their preference in the place of one that they deposed. Indeed, they were viewed as kingmakers in Eastern lands. Without their endorsement, it would have been difficult for anyone to become or remain a king. Wow.
— So that right there is how the devil controls political leaders today. Their removal, they don't want... They're afraid of being removed and losing their power. And they'll do anything. And it caused him to do heinous things.
— Kellie, there was a rendezvous between Nero and the Magi. We know that once Magi accompanied a king to Rome who wanted to pay homage to Nero. But when Nero heard the news that Magi were approaching Rome, he was so alarmed that they were coming, that he nearly forgot about the king who was coming to pay him homage. He was panicked by the physical presence of the approaching Magi. That could mean for his future to secure the favor of the Magi. We are told Nero grandly rolled out the red carpet to welcome them to avert a possible disruption of his kingdom. They came to Jesus. The people of Rome were so enamored by news of the Magi visiting, that star struck throngs poured into the streets to see the Magi that the mystical power brokers regally traversing the streets of Rome. Nero spent 800,000 sesterces each day of their visit to entertain them, giving them a parting gift of 100,000 sesterces. This does not include the other fabulous parting gifts that he presented unto them, gifts so massive that they were difficult to translate into modern financial equivalents. And they came to our Lord. And, you know, and I always saw these three little boxes. They were gold, frankincense and myrrh.
— They were used to people giving them gifts.
— So they were bringing gifts to a king...
— and fell down to his feet.
— Daniel in the Magi biblical connection with Magi actually begins with the story of Daniel in Babylon shows how a godly man can be used by God and so forth. I didn't know any of this, but Rick did. Hallelujah. Because he is a very diligent researcher in the Greek language and consequently its equivalent in the Hebrew language, because he has very close friends like the Jewish artist that had all the artwork in this book. Glory to God. Thank You, Jesus. So now let's get to this part here. Hang on a second. Okay. Stand by, please. And Rick goes into the gift of gold. They were come into the house they saw the young child, and there fell down and worshiped him. When they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts. Gold, frankincense and myrrh, the word gold in this verse is from a Greek word that described the purest form of gold, just as it is true today, the most sought after expensive gold was the gold that was absolutely pure. Other forms of precious metal were less valuable because they were mixed with silver, producing a lower and less desirable grade of gold.
Although gold can be found as solid nuggets, the majority of gold is located in rock that must be mined from the earth. And the process extracting it has always been long and difficult and expensive to do. First, the rock and so-fourth and so-on he talks about this, but now it just said Gold, frankincense and myrrh. Jesus was the greatest king ever born. Hence scholars who have studied this subject deeply have suggested that the Magi's catalog of treasures of gifts may have included gold, silver, ebony objects, ivory creations, Oriental carpets, fabulous fabrics, goblets of gold and silver utensils also made of silver and gold, items inlaid with precious stones, beautifully carved tusk, lapis lazuli garments spun with golden thread, exotic perfumes and raisins from rare trees. Thousands of flasks filled with aromatics, rare spices, furniture overlaid with gold, foot stools fashioned of ebony or ivory overlaid with gold, unimaginable, beautiful pieces of jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones, items of bronze, alabaster and malachite, more lavish clothing, luxurious foods.
Oh, they brought to a king. They were kings and priests, and they brought gifts suitable for a king. Now... And there's just... Oh, this book is just so precious to me. What happened to those gifts? We'll see the answer in question in the next chapter. Joseph, Mary and Jesus escaped Herod's murderous rage and so now and he had to go to Egypt. Does not say how long he was there, but he had plenty of money to live on. He had to go off and leave all of his wealth. I mean, they left in the middle of the night and I dare say that his wealth was invested in tools of his trade and so forth. But these men saw to it that he was well cared for. So he didn't leave town on two camels. He must have had a caravan of his own to carry all of these things. It could have been somebody the Magi appointed. We don't know that. But we know he was well cared for... Glory to God and the angels that were involved. And we're out of time and we will talk some more tomorrow about this because there's something else now that I want to talk about, that we talked about that part of it, but glory to God. We'll be back in just a moment.