Kenneth Copeland - Christmas Through the Eyes of Faith
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— Hello everyone and Merry Christmas. Father we thank You today.
— Yes, amen.
— We praise You and worship You. Thank You. From the bottom of our hearts, that Jesus came.
— Thank You.
— Born into this earth, a man. Oh my, it's sometimes just beyond speech. We just have to just praise You and thank You for these marvelous and wonderful things that took place many years ago that changed heaven and earth forever.
— Praise God.
— And we thank You in Jesus' name today for this broadcast. Amen. Praise God. We're talking about what happened and looking at it through the eyes of faith and the fundamentals of faith. And we know that God created all things by the power of his Word in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. And the Word was God, the same in the beginning with God. And then you read down just a few verses in, in that first chapter of the gospel of John. And we find out that the Word actually took upon itself, flesh and dwelt among men. He sent his Word and healed them. Well, we know who that is now. We know that's a wonderful statement in the 103rd Psalm and so forth. But our benefits, you remember our benefits in the 103rd Psalm? "Bless the Lord. All my soul, bless his holy name. All that is within me. Bless his holy name and forget not all his benefits. Who forgive all thine iniquities and healeth all thy diseases".
— Praise God.
— Glory to God. And that happened. That was spoken many, many, many years ago, but it's God's Word. And his Word is whatever you believe that Word is, praise God. For he is a covenant keeping God. And we're his covenant people. So in studying from the viewpoint of faith and from the viewpoint of faith in the heart, spoken with the mouth and the things that we can learn from the scripture concerning the birth of Jesus and how all of this came to pass. And we were talking yesterday from the gospel of Luke. If you'd like to turn there again today, now we find the account of what happened. And we see scriptures and words that are opening up things. And we'll see that he, this man was to be a forerunner. This man, John and Zacharias a priest of God. And he's officiating in the temple. You went behind the curtains during temple to worship and do the things that he was supposed to do. There you go back there and burn the incense before God and so forth. A lot of people were praying, but then he just stayed and he stayed and he stayed and he stayed. Now, this was the reason why they had small bells sewn into the garment of the priest. If he's still moving around, you could hear he hadn't died in there. Oh, Brother Copeland, no, this is back during the time when you didn't have to mess up a whole lot. But it's dangerous. That's the reason the scripture said he was blameless. But evidently they could hear the tinkling of those little bells and they're thinking, what is taking him so long? Well, let's just keep praying. So I don't know how long he was back there. So, when Zacharias saw this angel, he was troubled and fear fell upon him and the angel said unto him, "Fear not Zacharias for thy prayer is heard". They had been praying. They had been praying about a child for years. His wife was barren. But he's been heard. He should have been really excited about this. Your prayer's been heard. Glory to God, but no. "For thy prayer is heard thou wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son and thou shall call his name John". Now that was strange because he's thinking in his mind there's nobody in my family named John. Well, okay. "And thou shalt have joy and gladness and many shall rejoice at his birth, for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall be turned to the Lord, their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just to make ready a people prepared for the Lord". Zacharias said unto the angel, "Whereby shall I know this"? Would you give me a sign or something? Well you are going to get one because they'd prayed about this. Now, this is especially important when you start talking about prayer. Mark 11, that classic teaching of Jesus on faith, I mean, my Bible just falls open there. So you just look right here in the gospel of Mark the 11th chapter, and you see it, he had cursed that fig tree on the way to temple. And he was gone all day, came back by there, spent the night and went back then the next morning. So now you and I both know Peter well enough to know that he looked that tree over really good, but then they came back the night before. Cause he's the one who spoke up about it the next morning. But we find out that the Word of God went to the root of things and not just what you could see. Now that's big here. And Jesus answering saith unto them, "Have faith in God". The cross reference says have the faith of God, the God kind of faith for verily, I say unto you that whosoever. So faith is a whosoever thing. Now the laws and rules of faith and prayer applied from the very beginning, because these are spiritual laws. They never change. And a law is something that is completely predictable once you know how it works, why it works and from what source feeds it, what cuts it off. Like unbelief. And then you've arrived at a place of action. So saying whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea. And shall not doubt in his heart or in his spirit, in the inner man. Zacharias doubted in his inner man, but shall believe that those things, which he says shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he says therefore I say unto you, what things so ever you desire when you pray believe. When you pray, believe. Now I can see the older Zacharias became, this is probably not going to happen. And he just kept slipping over more and more. What so everything you desire when you pray believe. When you pray, believe it. And don't ever turn loose of it. When you pray, believe it. Someone said, when you prayed in faith, the first time you prayed, the second time you prayed in unbelief. What do you do from then on you just praise and worship God, according to Philippians, chapter four, and then through thanksgiving don't be anxious about anything. But through thanksgiving and prayer, continue to make your wants known to God. So now we've learned a prayer lesson from this. And so Zacharias said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this, I am an old man and my wife, well stricken in years. Not only am I old, but she's an old woman. Well, hey, Zacharias, have you not read the book of Genesis? Did you not know concerning Abraham? And his wife, Sarah. He doesn't have his mind on the Word at all. All he's thinking about is that old woman. Amen.
— Why do you say old woman? Yes?
— Well, she couldn't have been as good looking as you are. I know that.
— It's okay now.
— I'll tell you that time in Little Rock and well, her dad said to me the night before, "My daughter's the best looking girl in the state of Arkansas". And then he came back a little while later and said, "You don't believe me, do you"? And I said, "Yeah, I believe you". "No, you don't. Where you staying"? Well, I told him, he said, "Oh, how you going to the airport in the morning"? I said, "I don't know, cab, I guess". "No, I'll come pick you up". I said, "Okay". I still didn't think he'd show up. But I was sure hoping he would. And sure enough, the next morning.
— He just wanted to get rid of me I guess.
— And it was a beautiful October morning, 1961. I just see it. And I was thinking about it a moment ago when we were doing pictures. And she was standing beside me. And I thought, man, he wasn't kidding. Whew. And I fell in love with her right then, then the first date we had, I asked her to marry me. She said, "Okay, just walk in the house".
— You know, he wasn't wasting time back then.
— And then she said, what have I done? I don't even know this guy. Oh, well I'll get out of it later.
— How much is it later?
— 60 years.
— You know, I think I'm going to stay with you.
— Almost 60 years. This is Christmas. January, February, March, April 13th, it'll be 60 years.
— Oh we're probably good for another 60.
— It's easy.
— "Whereby shall I know this? I am an old man and my wife, well stricken in years. The angel said unto him, I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God. And I'm sent to speak unto thee to show you these glad tidings I've been sent by God to talk to you. And behold, you shall be dumb and not able to speak until the day that these things shall be performed because you believe not my words". You believe not my words. He made a choice and he chose to believe more of what he felt. He felt old and his wife was old. He chose to believe that instead of the words of this heavenly messenger, he made a choice right then. So what did the angel do? He said, well, we're going to have to shut him up. He'll foul up this whole thing if he can speak. So this teaches us something. Words of doubt, non-belief, shut your mouth. Don't speak them. A word thought. Jesus said, why take ye thought saying, what shall we wear? What shall they eat and so forth? Why take ye thought, say he. He could have had that thought and not said it and everything would've still been all right, but no, he said it. So the angel knew that we're going to have to shut his mouth. "You shall be dumb and not able to speak until the day that these things shall be performed because you believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season". These words are going to be fulfilled. So you shut up. "And the people waited for Zacharias and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak unto them. And they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple for he beckoned under them and remained speechless. It came to pass that as soon as the days of his administration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. After those days, his wife, Elizabeth conceived and hid herself five months saying thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein, he looked on me to take away my reproach among men. And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee named Nazareth". All right. All of this that was spoken these many years, centuries before are coming together. "To a virgin, a spouse to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came into her and said hail thou that art highly favored, glory to God. The Lord is with you. Blessed art though among women". And when she saw him, she was troubled at this saying and cast in her mind, what manner of salutation this should be. She's thought about it. She just thought about it. What is this? And the angel said unto her, "Fear not Mary, for thou has found favor with God and behold thou shall conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the son of the highest.
— Praise God.
— "And the Lord, God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end". Then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be seeing I know not a man"? And the angel answered and said unto her, "The holy ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of God". Now think about this. Any person receiving Jesus as Lord and savior becomes a new creature. So can you see in this a type of the new birth, the Holy Spirit hovering over you. When you accepted Jesus as Lord and savior. And the holy thing was born on the inside of you, a brand new spirit being in the likeness of Jesus because you believed it when you prayed it. Now, Gloria didn't know, she had never heard the term being born again of the new birth, but she knew when it happened. And she just said, Lord, she read an inscription in the Bible that my mother had sent me. And she just wrote in there, Ken precious, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Well, because of my, I won't go into, we really needed a lot of things. And so she said, well, I really need a lot of things. I was out hunting a job. And she just said, Lord, take my life and do something with it. That's all she knew to pray.
— I didn't even know there were such an animal as a woman preacher. That's how far back in the dark ages I was.
— Okay. It was so precious.
— And then I also said, I'd never marry a preacher.
— Well you didn't.
— No, I didn't.
— No. I was flying airplanes and that's what anyway. "And he said behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren for with God nothing shall be impossible. Mary said, now she said something. This is the first thing she said, she hadn't opened her mouth. She just thought. Mary said, "Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord". She just completely and totally gave herself. Right then. Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord. That is so precious. "Be it unto me, according to thy Word". And I think one translation says, be it unto me, according to what you have spoken, but that's actually the same thing because it was a spoken Word that she heard. "And the angel departed from her. Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste into a city of Judah and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with a Holy Ghost and she spoke out with loud voice and said blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord shall come to me for lo as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy and blessed is she that believed". Blessed is she that believed. She believed it, and then she said, now does that not follow the fundamentals of faith? She believed it before she said anything. And we're out of time. Praise God. Come on Jeremy.