Kenneth Copeland - The Miracles Required for Jesus' Birth
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Kenneth: Merry Christmas, everyone. Praise God, oh glory to God. And may I introduce to you my wife of 58 years, Gloria Jean Copland.
Gloria: How do you do? It's nice to meet you.
Kenneth: And may I introduce my daughter of years. And it's Christmas time.
Gloria: Merry Christmas.
Kenneth: And I'm so excited about it, and we're a Christmas family. We just, we love Christmas, and have such a big time at Christmas.
Gloria: Anytime time we wanna have a big meeting, we can play like it's Christmas, because everybody comes, they think they're gonna get a present.
Kenneth: And they do. Oh!
Kenneth: I remember one Christmas, Chef Boyardee...
Gloria: Do you have to tell everybody?
Kenneth: It's old.
Kellie: I missed that one.
Kenneth: Oh no, you were there, you weren't for very big.
Kellie: I probably was happy about it, though.
Gloria: We were glad to have something to eat.
Kenneth: You and John were there. But Chef Boyardee, that's all we had for Christmas. It was fun, but let's don't do it again. Lord, thank you. Happy birthday, Jesus. We give you praise and we thank you with all of our hearts. Thank you, thank you, in Jesus' name, Amen. Tim, before I get any further, would you get me a Kleenex, please?
Gloria: Your eyes are watering a little bit.
Kenneth: The problem that the world has, but let's don't even... thank you, sir. Don't even think about the world. Let's just think about Christian people. The problem, of course, Jesus said, "Your traditions make the Word of God no effect". He didn't say traditions are wrong. But he said don't put that...
Gloria: Ahead of your...
Kenneth: Ahead of the Word, yeah. This book, this is the most ancient and the most modern document on the face of the earth. It's the most accurate.
Kenneth: And we're gonna be talking about it, all this Christmas week. We're gonna talk about the uncanny accuracy.
Gloria: Thank you, Jesus.
Kenneth: Of this mighty, powerful book. Because this book is a manifestation of God.
Gloria: In a crazy world, these words don't ever change.
Kenneth: They don't. That's good, Gloria.
Kenneth: Oh yeah. Let's go to the book of John. And we'll base our study, and this is a study, we're not just celebrating, this is a study. And I'll remind you, the word Christmas is Christ, mass. Messiah, celebration. That's what it is. Messiah, anointed. It's a celebration of the anointing of God. That's what this is. Now, in John, chapter one, verse 29, "The next day, John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and said, 'Behold look, look, look, behold, look, the Lamb of God which taketh away'", or a better rendering of it, in fact my cross reference says this. "That beareth away'"...
Gloria: Taketh, whole away...
Kenneth: "The sin of the world".
Gloria: Beareth says more than taketh, though, didn't it?
Kenneth: So he was the scapegoat. The scapegoat was a type of him. And the scapegoat bore the sins away. And that's very, very accurate.
Gloria: Yes, praise God, it's wonderful.
Kenneth: Now then, let's go to Luke's gospel, Chapter Two. These accounts, there's, as in most other occasions, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There are different things reported. Now, Luke, how can I put this, Lord? Luke was not only a physician, but as an apostle, back to there then, as a disciple, he was a reporter, and he wrote two documentaries. One the gospel that bares his name, and the Book of Acts. And in the Book of Acts, he states why he wrote it. And he was, in fact, just to make sure we get, import, and important facts, Chapter One in the Book of Acts, "The former treaty have I made, oh, Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach". So his writing, was as a reporter. And he questioned, he talked with the Apostle Paul.
Gloria: Just the facts.
Kenneth: And he talked with people that experienced those days, and those lives. And he talked to the other apostles. So he wrote, and so there's things in his writings that are maybe not in the others. Some, in Matthew. But you put them all together, and you get the whole picture. Now, let me tell you this. The nativity scene is a traditional scene. And that's traditional. And it's beautiful, I love it. But it's a composite of all these other things, because the wise men weren't there. They came two years later, or so.
Gloria: They weren't as wise as we thought they were.
Kenneth: No, they were right on time, but it took them awhile to get there.
Gloria: Oh, I see.
Kenneth: But you have to remember, that God led them there by a star. There wasn't three of them. There were three gifts. So you just automatically think there were three kings, Magi. No, it could of been three different kings, but that's not all that traveled. They had a caravan, these are kings. And they traveled through some pretty tough country. So they had garrison guards, anywhere from 50 to 200 people that were there. But the three gifts, give us traditional idea that there was three of 'em.
Gloria: Yeah, right, it does.
Kenneth: Which I expect there were three kings. Well, I don't expect that, I know there was. At least three. But those three, each one bearing a different gift. Now, I'm jumping ahead of myself here. But, God always takes care of everything. Now, you can look this up for yourself. We know, and before the week's up, we'll read this in the book of Matthew. That they brought gold, well that's self-explanatory. Frankincense... [Gloria] Wise men aren't broke...
Kenneth: No. [Gloria] Okay.
Kenneth: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. But now, the Frankincense and the Myrrh, during those days, were worth as much, or more than the gold. Now, what was that all about? Well, there's a sudden trip to Egypt coming up in the middle of the night, and they needed money. So, God brought it to them. Hey, then this is a type for our lives. If he did it for Jesus, he'll do it for us.
Gloria: That's right.
Kenneth: He is already planning your every need. That's the reason it is so easy to trust him and never worry about tomorrow. Because tomorrow is in his hands.
Gloria: Do you know what makes me feel good? If he takes care of the birds, he'll take care of me.
Kenneth: And that's the first scripture you every found.
Kellie: And look where it led you you, though?
Gloria: I know.
Gloria: It's that they were following the star, but the star didn't appear before it was time to go. So they did arrive at the right time, based on what they were following, and we just have to take the next step. It's just the step. When he gives it, if you don't have it yet, don't worry about.
Kenneth: Don't worry about it.
Kellie: This Is so in his hands when we let it be, in the hands of the Planner.
Kenneth: And it's significant, I believe. That they had to leave in the middle of the night. Stuff happens in the middle of the night. Paul and Silas in jail at midnight. And at midnight, the midnight hour, they begin to not only sing, but to praise him. With their backs beat bloody, and they're in stocks, at midnight. The midnight hour, they're gonna repossess everything I have in the morning. Yeah, but gold, frankincense and myrrh on the way. Because the king has already sent his messenger to see to it that everything's gonna be all right.
Gloria: That's good, ah-ha.
Kenneth: Frankincense and Myrrh I tell you, I love it.
Kellie: Merry Christmas.
Kenneth: Like you used to say, Merry Christmas. So now, I want you to notice from Luke, Chapter Two, Verse One. "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, wonder why it happened at that day? And where? Well, in Bethlehem, of course. Now, why did that happen?
Kellie: The New Living says at that time. At that time.
Kenneth: At that time. At that time. Hold your place there. Micah, Chapter Five, Verse Two. I hope you're ready for this. "But thou, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, so thou be little among the thousands of Judea. Yet, out of thee shall come fourth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been of old from everlasting". Bethlehem, hmm? The prophet Micah. No, God said, through the prophet Micah. It's gonna happen in Bethlehem.
Gloria: Praise God.
Kenneth: 715 years later, all of a sudden, Caesar decides everybody needs to go home. And since Joseph was of the house of David, and Jesus was to be the son of David, Messiah, he had to go to Bethlehem. So for 715 years that written Word, that the almighty God said through the prophet Micah. Govern, nations, leaders, armies, right down to the day that Caesar made the decision. Well, I'm gonna tax 'em. And they're gonna have to go home. So, they had to go to Bethlehem. I tell you this thing is the most uncanny. The accuracy of it.
Kellie: And it's never the way we would do it. We would have never thrown a prostitute there in the middle to make that lineage happen.
Kenneth: No, no.
Kellie: It took Rahab to make all that happen, too.
Kenneth: And they make sure you know she was a harlot.
Kenneth: All the way. David's grandmother, Jesus' great-great grandmother, Rahab, the harlot, Rahab, the harlot. In the 11th chapter of the Book of Hebrews, on the hall of fame of faith, Rahab, the harlot. He wanted you to know good and well, the the religious people can't handle harlot, but I can. 'Cause she was no more. The moment she left Jericho. She was no longer a harlot. She belonged to God. And it just, it just never ceases to amaze me.
Kellie: 715 years?
Kenneth: Yeah. So now, I want you to see this. Let's go back over here, now.
Gloria: Where are you?
Kenneth: In Luke, Chapter Two. "And all went to be taxed, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house lineage of David", and because God said so 715 years before.
Kenneth: Now, here's something else, let's lay the traditional manger scene aside. Let's just take that out of our thinking for a moment. They had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. She's nine months pregnant. Now, it says, let's read on, "It was so, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. She brought forth the first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there's no room for them in the inn". The reason there was no room for them in the inn, at the closest, the very closest, that Nazareth could have been from Bethlehem, the closest was 65 miles. But most put it at 90 miles. Now, she's riding a donkey. That meant that on that trip, they were at least 20, 25 days.
Gloria: Dear, me.
Kenneth: So where did they stay? God had that planned all along. He knew how far it was over there. And she's going slow. She's nine months pregnant. Everybody was ahead of them.
Gloria: Add that up, nine months pregnant, woman could even survive the trip?
Kenneth: It was a miracle.
Gloria: It was a miracle.
Kenneth: It absolute miracle. But it was all in the plan. It's all a part of the plan.
Gloria: It makes a difference. The plan makes a difference.
Kenneth: Now, "She brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger".
Gloria: Now, notice that she did that. She got up, she took care of him, she wrapped him up. She put him in the manager. Now, here's a nine month woman. Just made a long trip on a donkey.
Kenneth: There's something very non-traditional here.
Gloria: No kidding.
Kenneth: "The angels did not have to tell the shepherds precisely where to go in Bethlehem to find Jesus. Because there was only one manger where sacrificial lambs were birthed, the cave under the watchtower of Migdal Eder". Oh, something's going on here, that we're pulling the curtain back on. "Migdal Eder was a watchtower located in the northern part of Bethlehem built to protect the temple flocks". Now, these shepherds, these shepherds were watching over the most precious lambs. These are the sacrificial lambs to be sacrificed at temple. They cannot be blemished. They're watching over them. They're watching over their sheep. They weren't out there just kind of laying around.
Gloria: Trying to find the Big Dipper.
Kenneth: Gloria, will get out... That woman you gave me.
Gloria: I couldn't resist.
Kellie: This is has been my fun mom. You all are amazing.
Kenneth: But these were Levitical shepherds, and this thing was a tower. The manger, well rather than go through all of this. "It is likely that the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem were raising lambs, in the very fields King David, as a boy watched over his sheep and composed psalms in honor to God". This tower, the tower, and if we went back over there, it says, "A watchtower of the flock". In Micah 4:8. In fact, let's go back to Micah. And look at 4:8. "And thou, oh tower, of the flock". The Hebrew word tower is Migdal. Now, my cross-reference says, on the flock, or Eder. Migdal Eder. Now, it was a tower. And it was constructed, the watchtower was at the top. And this is where the shepherds were watching those, the priceless sheep. They were not only watching them, they were the guards. Remember David? Guarded those lambs with his life. I mean, he fought bear and lion over those lambs. And he was supernaturally empowered. Now, it was right here, in this same area. So, when they were, this was a tower, and the shepherds were on watch in the top of that tower, where you could actually see. Now, underneath it, in the cave underneath it, now, remember, in a cave, not a barn, it's a cave. Very well protected, and very cool. Protected from animals. And there was a birthing trough. Now, I mean, you have to be very, very careful with these ewes, because they're bearing perfect lambs. They are the best of the flock. Let's go all the way back to Abel. This was his type. The sacrificial lamb, he raised it, and gave it to God.
Gloria: Praise God.
Kenneth: So now, you have to remember the shepherds are experts at this. So that little lamb, "She wrapped him, she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger". The swaddling clothes. What the shepherds put on that little lamb, to keep them from jumping around. And the hay had to be perfectly clean because that's when they laid them in that little manager, in perfectly good straw, and they couldn't hurt themselves in that straw. And Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And we'll be back in just a moment.