Kenneth Copeland - Christmas, the Beginning of Fulfillment
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— Merry Christmas. Praise God. I'd like to have been the first, but I probably wasn't. It's Christmas morning, glory to God, hallelujah! I know everybody is having a lot of fun and thank God for all of you that DVR this broadcast all the time. I know you're just having a wonderful time. And so we're here to have this wonderful time with you. And this day of all days. Glory to God. And it always signals the next year and I'm just quite certain that that's why the Lord saw to it that we celebrated his birthday right here at the end of the year. Because, I mean, you can figure out like Professor was talking about earlier, it was sometime in September. But we own this and people come back and say, "Christmas trees are pagan". No, they're not. Not anymore. And when they had them, they weren't Christmas trees. Well, what is a Christmas tree? It's something special. And you put it in the big room of the house and you talk about Jesus. And everybody just has a big hoot and a big time and worship him. And those of you that don't do that, you're missing it. And I suggest that all of you get Rick Renner's book, Christmas The Rest of the Story. It's a gorgeous book and it's so well hand illustrated and it teaches things that you need to know about this. This is not a holiday. This is a... I don't look at it as a holiday. No, it isn't a holiday. It's a day of celebration. And it sets the tone. And when you get in there and worship and people say, "Yeah, those things are so sad today in my house," begin to praise him right now and the scripture says the joy of the Lord is your strength. And if you don't know him as Savior, he's not a baby anymore. But we take this opportunity to worship him and welcome him into our hearts first, give ourselves to him because he's already given himself to us. Thank You, Father. We praise and worship You today. So let's go to Luke's record of this. And for those of you that haven't been with us before, we've established the fact that all of Luke's writing. Both his account of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and the book of Acts, he wrote these as a documentary to Theopolis. Now, I don't think they're really they know now exactly who that was, but anyway, he was somebody pretty special. And Luke saw to it that he had an accurate record. So in my mind, he was most likely a believer. And he had a lot of questions that he needed answered, and particularly in the book of Acts when the Holy Spirit fell. And there was a lot of question about that by a lot of people. And so Luke recorded it in the book of Acts for us, praise God. Now then, let's go right here. I want to read something from the first chapter and look down here in the 70th verse. "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophet, which have been since the world began". Now, that's an interesting statement. What does that mean? That means that Adam, in some time or another had that anointing on him. And we know Enoch did. No question about that. "That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy, to perform the hesed promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear," glory to God.
— Now, pay attention to that. Did not say the covenant of Moses.
— Said Abraham.
— That's faith, it's a faith covenant.
— And without Abraham, there's no Moses. Amen. Abraham... He is the father of our faith. Because he stepped out when there was no evidence into a land that he didn't really know where he was headed. And it said, "Go to a land and I'll show you". He said okay. And he just left. Anyway,
— Jesus will fulfill the blood oath of Abraham. That's why I'm pointing that out.
— That had to come to pass. So now...
— But isn't it interesting that's being said before his birth, right as it's happening? That it's being reminded to us, this child will be that blood oath.
— And every time that those Spirit led statements were made, every time those statements were made, it impacted the time clock because everything is exact. So because this was being fulfilled. So it had to be spoken so it could be fulfilled. When people finally realized the accuracy of this book and that every little thing, now the reason Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that precedes out of the mouth of God". So now chapter two. "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed". Well, poor people don't get taxed. Now, there's another thing I want to share with you. It is 90 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a woman that is in the last moments of her pregnancy...
— 38th or 39th week for sure by the time they left...
— Nothing for transportation but a donkey, think of 90 miles. Now, that's the reason there was no room in the inn. It wasn't because they didn't have the finances. Things are going slow for her. They had to take with them all of their facilities. They had to take with them a cover for the road. So it turned into a caravan and everybody's going pass them because they have to be so careful with her. And most people don't have any concept of that, that somehow he just wakes up in Bethlehem. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I mean, there's a lot in this.
— I guarantee you there were angels round about her, to keep her from delivering anywhere along that road, she has to be in Bethlehem.
— I'm going to show you that in just a moment.
— Okay, all right.
— Amen. "And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child". Now an espoused wife. This is very interesting. And you find out the character of Joseph when he found out that she was pregnant. Not willing to publicly expose her. He loved this woman. He's not about to do that. But the Lord came to him. An angel came, we know, in a dream and said, "No, this is fine". All right, so now... "And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn". Swaddling clothes... This sometimes was a sack. Where they were the shepherds were temple shepherds. And the lambs that were born there were the ones that would go into the temple and be sacrificed. That's the reason John called him the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. Then swaddling clothes could be a little small sack to keep that little lamb from injuring himself. And they were pure. And the shepherds saw to it, and there would be little strips wrapped around the body of that lamb and sometimes an entire little sack to hold him up and take care of that baby. So Mary would have been in the same place in the same birthing trough because that's where she was. She gave birth to this precious child right there. And they said, "You'll know him because he'll be wrapped in swaddling clothes". He's a lamb taken care of so he couldn't thrash about. And when you see him, a little doll laying there like this with little, you know, diapers on. No, no, no, no,no. It wasn't like that. It had little sock pulled up there around him and tied up like this. And not only that, it's very comfortable. Isn't this marvelous. Now "the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, and lo, the angel of the Lord..". Now, there they are. They were already there. But now "the Angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord". They literally said, "The messiah is born today and you're going to be the first ones to see him," amen. "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God," They were already there. They were there to see that that place was clean. They were there to see that nothing went wrong, they were already there. And suddenly the shepherds saw all of them. What an announcement. That whole angelic troupe had been there all the time. They were right around her all the time, taking care of her and seeing to it that nothing happened on the way. And because an angel was assigned to him the moment he was born into the earth. That has always been true, in the beginning God sent angels to watch. And then we know in the book of Genesis that wayward angels lost their estate and caused the flood. And you know what Jesus said about a little child has an angel. Well, then the first chapter of the book of Hebrews, are they not all ministering spirits that are send forth to minister for the heirs of salvation? So anyway, here we go. "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us". Praise God. "They came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger. And when they had seen it..". Now see, there's no mention of wise men. They're not there. Now, of course, it's a composite. And, you know... But they weren't there. Because we've already established the fact that when they got there, he was two years old. A young child. And they didn't get there until it took the Magi a long time to come from the East. And they had some dangerous territory to go through. And they were laden down with lots of treasures, as we've already talked about, because they're going to have to finance a trip through Egypt. And not only that, but to set them up again when they get back in Nazareth, because they had to be in Nazareth because Jesus is called a Nazarene. That was prophesied.
— So those angels watching over this, Brother Copeland, back to this. That's fulfillment of something that happened before in the city of David, Ruth and Boaz. Boaz Field.
— That's right.
— And those are Boaz's fields that he's in, who's in his lineage...
— That's right.
— Ruth and Boaz. They're in the spot where Boaz was a kinsman redeemer redeeming by levirate marriage, Ruth. And what he'd do, he put his garment over her. She put some garment over this seed of Ruth and Boaz and he is our kinsman redeemer, who will redeem us gentiles, that's Ruth. She married into the family. Her husband died. But she can be redeemed by a kinsman redeemer of that tribe. And so she's this gentile in the lineage of Jesus. Just like we go to Rahab and all, there's four women mentioned in his line, which is very unusual. But she is a picture, they're literally in Boaz's field, all those shepherds.
— Glory to God.
— So my kinsman Redeemer was born and wrapped in swaddling clothes just like a garment was placed over that gentile bride, praise God.
— Praise the Lord. Now, I want to get over here into this. And the angels left and went back into heaven. Let us go... And they did it. "Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart". Now, let me remind you again, particularly in the radio and television audience, that we learned all this because Luke interviewed Mary in Ephesus, because she was under the care of John. And John was in Ephesus in the church that Timothy pastored. Now, no wonder the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and said, "Don't let people despise your youth". He was saying that for his benefit because he's going to have to stand up there and preach, knowing that the Apostle John and the Savior's mother is sitting on the front row.
— Say, let me tell you about Jesus. What do you say? But they were there when Luke interviewed her. So John is learning things about what happened. Everybody in the church is learning things about what happened. And all of this account, all of this was coming through those interviews, don't you know they took session after session after session, and Luke was writing it all down as they spoke. And when you see that... well, and like Rick Renner said, "Christmas, the Rest of the Story", when you see these things and how precious they are and how much time was put into, because everything was done by hand. And those parchments were precious and had to be protected and kept. And all of this was done for us today.
— Mary kept this in her heart, in her spirit. She was Spirit-filled at that time because she was in Acts Chapter 2.
— Yeah, she was there.
— She was in the upper room. She's one of the 120. So a lot of times we think of Mary as the certain thing, but she's is a prayer lady. She's Spirit-filled. And so the Spirit moved upon her to share all this stuff with us. She's saying by the Spirit, here's what happened.
— Isn't it thrilling. So now I want to touch on this and then I would like for you, Greg, to take up this. Now you come down. "As it is written in the law of the Lord, every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord; And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons". So now it was only eight miles from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, where all this took place. And this is where on the eighth day he was circumcised. Now noticed this. I just love it. Verse 25. "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: waiting for Messiah. and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ, or the Messiah. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms..". he took this little baby up in his arms "and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy Word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also... And there was a widow named Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks". The prayers knew who he was... The prayers and the angels. They knew, the ones that spent time before the Lord. Now I want to say this to all of you. This is not only a word for us, it's a warning to us. We must spend time in prayer, not just praying, but listening, listening for our directions and so forth. And the things that we're called to do. That struck me with just an anvil like blow, years and years ago. Two people in all of Jerusalem, huge city, two people that were in the temple night and day. And I want you to notice something. Anna came in there just at that moment.
— Their steps are orders. I believe, Simeon pressed in when the Lord told him, "You will live to see this". Then he began to press in like your pressing in with what the Lord told you about your age. He pressed in to that deal. I'm not going to let go of that, now, his name means to hear, her name, Anna means grace. So when you look at this, what do I have when that happens? Hear grace, if you look at John, if you look at John, John describes Jesus, in John chapter 1, verse 14 and 17 as grace and truth, you'll see the same thing of the Mount of Transfiguration. Elijah the Prophet is there, and Moses, the law's there. And you hear, "Listen to Grace".
— 15 seconds is all we got left.
— We need to close this.
— Bye. We'll be back in just a moment.