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Watch 2022 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - The Untold Story

Leon Fontaine - The Untold Story


Leon Fontaine - The Untold Story
TOPICS: Christmas

I want to tell you about the untold story of Christmas. You know, the Christmas story is gorgeous. It's beautiful. But, most people don't get a chance to tell the whole story. It's either going to be the shepherds, the wise men. People don't know where the shepherds come in, when the wise men come in. Where, where does Anna and Simeon come in? When it is in Nazareth, when is it in Bethlehem, when is He in Egypt? There's a whole lot of content there. And so today, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to tell you the Christmas story with some thoughts interjected, in chronological order. Exactly the way the Bible teaches it. Now, the Bible doesn't put it in chronological order; some of it is taught in Matthew, some of it is taught in Luke, and then lots is mentioned through the prophets in the Old Testament.

As centuries before Jesus came, they prophesied exact things like where He would be born. Where He would run to in Egypt. I mean, it's a stunning thing to recognize that a lot of Bible prophesy came to be when, and it's so accurate here in this story. So, I want to just start first off, here. Zacharias and Elizabeth are an elderly couple. They're a major part of the Christmas story. Now they've never had children, and it brings real sadness to Zacharias and to Elizabeth. As they grow into their mid-20's and 30's, 40's, and they see families around them with children getting married, and grandkids. The Bible says that she was barren, and that she couldn't have children.

Now, Zacharias was a part of the priesthood. And every so often, he was on a staggered role where he would be his turn to go into Jerusalem from the hills where they lived, and be a part of the priestly administration of the things in the temple. The day that I'm talking about, he is offering up incense at the temple in Jerusalem. People are waiting outside. He goes in, and while he's doing the things that he has been taught to do, and he's been a part of them for decades, his entire life as a priest. An angel appears right there in his presence. Now, when an angel appears, most people in the Old Testament thought they were going to die, that was their thinking. When an angel appears, you're about to die. And so they would always say you know, don't be afraid. This angel appears, and begins to tell Zacharias your wife is going to get pregnant by you. And you kind of go, you know he's just kind of shocked. The Bible says he couldn't believe that.

When the angel got done explaining who this baby would be, that he should call him John, that he would be the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist. That his message would be to go before the Messiah. He simply couldn't believe that his wife and he could have a baby. Why? They've been wanting babies every year of their life and nothing had ever happened. It was so serious, his unbelief in that, that the angel struck him deaf and dumb. He could not talk, and he could not hear as you study this portion of scripture out. You want to know why? Because the Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue. That the words that a human being says, governs their future. Every word you speak is a prophetic word. Every sentence, every emotion, everything you declare in words out of your mouth, the Bible teaching from Genesis to Revelation is that your words are preparing your future, determining your decisions, the paths that you are on.

So, the angel couldn't afford Zacharias, who should be believing one, if an angel appeared to me and you, I think we'd be pretty sure. And so, he had to be quiet. For nine and a half months, he couldn't talk or hear. And he could only communicate by writing. Six months later, this angel appears to Mary. Elizabeth is six months pregnant with John the Baptist, and this angel appears to Mary and tells her that she is going to have the Messiah in her womb as a baby. That it would be God's son. Now, she knew she was a virgin. She hadn't known a man. And Mary did the opposite of Zacharias. She looked at that angel and said, so be it done to me, according to your word. She had faith.

And I want you to know that as we stop at this first part of the Christmas story, that there are people watching me who have been stuck in a problem that has never changed. Maybe like Zaccharias and Elizabeth, whose desire was to have a son, a baby, a child. And years and decades had gone by. And if you're not careful, you get relegated to a place of doubt and unbelief because, it's like you have been frustrated. The Bible talks about a broken spirit is something that, that just shuts you down. Never allow yourself to stop beleving. Never allow doubt and unbelief and worry, fear, any of the lies of the enemy. Because they can shut down your future. The enemy would like nothing greater than to get you discouraged, disappointed, until you are cynical. Cynicism is the last step for people who begin to get hurt, because they can't see answers to their prayers. And I want you to know, that was Zacharias' problem. But Mary didn't.

Now we know, that when Mary got pregnant, that she had to deal with a culture that, would despise her. Many people would look down upon her and shun her. Joseph, who hadn't married her yet, but was engaged to be married, the families had already gotten together, and agreed upon this marriage. That he had thought in his heart, that he was going to quietly, just divorce or end their engagement. But an angel appears to Joseph. And they must have wanted Joseph to be the father, the adopted father if you would, of baby Jesus. Because an angel appears to him and tells him what's going on in Mary is of God. Do not be afraid to take her as your wife. And he, he listens. And he never had any relations with Mary, until baby Jesus was born. And we know through the study of the scriptures that he and Mary went on to have other sons and daughters, and they're a part of the story in the New Testament.

Mary is now pregnant, and she travels for two to three days to Elizabeth's house. And, here's her cousin, an elderly lady. And here's this teenage girl, they're both pregnant. But as Mary walks up to Elizabeth and greets her, the Bible says John the Baptist in her womb leaps. She's filled with the spirit of God, and begins to prophesy to Mary. And you can read it in the Word, these incredible words of what is going on in Mary. Now, you and I because Jesus has died and rose again. When we are born again, we are new creations. But these people, Jesus hadn't died yet. And so, they didn't have the very spirit of God in their spirit like we have today.

So you know they are subject to being discouraged and wondering what's going on. And you know that Mary, maybe that's even why she went to live with Elizabeth for two to three months was to get away from the scorn as a young teenaged girl even though she was called by God. This time with Elizabeth would have been so precious. Two women talking about what did the angel say to Mary and Elizabeth, what have you experienced, what did the angel say to Zacharias, your husband, would have been a wonderful time. As she goes back to be with Joseph, Joseph might have been there with her, the Bible is silent about that. Then the government decides that everybody's got to return in that area to their home town for a census to take place. Joseph comes from Bethlehem, so he and Mary. And Mary comes from Nazareth, Joseph is from Bethlehem.

So they begin to move. They begin to walk towards Bethlehem. The Bible doesn't say that very day they arrive, but while in Bethlehem, it says the time came. And there was no room in the inn. Now in those days, it could mean an actual traveler's inn, but often what the words would mean, was that hospitality was a big deal in those days. In fact, it was prized as one of the greatest gifts that when travelers would come by, that you would offer them your hospitality. You would protect them while they were in your care. You would feed them. Often they would build an upper room in their houses on the roof where guests would be placed.

As you study this, you'll note that to become the guest of someone like I said, was to be protected, looked after, a place of safety, a place, and so, but, there was no one because everybody who was from Bethlehem would have gone back there for this census. And whether it was there was no home that could take them, or whatever, it says that they laid Him in a manger. Now, you can't even find a place to stay, and it's supposed to be the Son of God, and you're surrounded by animals, and you're laying Him in a manger. And suddenly shepherds come in. Tears streaming down their face. Falling in front of the Messiah, the King of Kings. Telling the story so well that it's carried on for thousands of years. They talk about the sky filled up, this is what the angel said. We saw the armies of heaven declaring these words. What an incredible sense of encouragement to Joseph and to Mary.

Within a week or two, they take baby Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him there to God at the temple. As you would do. There are two people who are waiting. One is Simeon, he's an elderly man that God spoke to and said you will not die until you see the Messiah. And he prayed day after day, month after month, year after year. He prayed that this would take place, the Messiah would come to earth. He met them. You can imagine the tears streaming down his face, as what he had been praying for for years, he gets a chance to see and to hold baby Jesus. As well, there is a woman named Anna, who fasted and prayed all the time, praying and believing that baby Jesus would come to this planet. Why is this so important? Because nothing happens on this planet, except through prayer. Some people think that God's will is just done, because it's God's will. That's a huge doctrinal mistake. The Bible is very clear that we have not because we ask not. The Bible's very clear, that when you pray, and you better learn to pray. Praying is not begging, pleading, or whining. Prayer is declaring the promises of God.

Isn't it an amazing thing, that even Jesus coming to the planet had to be prayed for Him to come? Both Simeon and Anna, in just a little time ahead, would pass away just with a smile on their face, knowing the very thing they had prayed about had taken place. Now, when the temple is done, the Bible is silent a little bit here. But we know that, they, that they have a house now. And that Jesus is beginning to grow up. He still is under the age of two. Something happens. In out in Persia, out in that area, as the Magi, which is a word that all the kings in those days would have a magi, people would interpret dreams. People in astrology and astronomy who would study the stars for signs of things that were coming. And all of a sudden, and if you think about this, go back to the stories in the Old Testament like Daniel, when he was in Babylon, and he was the wisest person, and he interpreted the king's dream, and it says he was ten times wiser than any of the magi, the wise men, the king's instructors.

Kings always had magi, wise men, in these areas to instruct them. And, so, these men would know just from the hundreds of years that had passed, when Daniel and they were in the Babylonian captivity, he would have taught them how the Israelis looked at the stars. The Zodiac, whatever you want to say. And, they were watching the skies always. These magi would study, and all of a sudden one day, they see this star blazing across the sky. Now astronomers will tell us, when you study this out, that there was a nova taking place right around this time. And that a nova is when a star explodes. And it literally becomes ten to 100.000 times brighter than it was as just a sun. And that this nova was heading towards Judea. The magi saw this. They knew it was a sign of the Messiah. The king of all kings was going to be born, and they decided to follow it.

Now, if the magi, now they say that this nova would have been visible for ten weeks. So if the Magi left Persia shortly after it appeared, they would have been able to reach Bethlehem while it was still visible. So, when the magi reach Jerusalem, they apparently lost sight of the star, they began to ask around. Where is this King of the Jews, who is born? So why couldn't they see the star? Well, astronomers tell us that once a month, the moon would hide this nova. And so when the nova appeared again at dawn, it would have been 50 degrees high, due south, of Jerusalem, directly over Bethlehem. And when they saw the star, Matthew 2 says they were filled with joy. Followed it to the house, they're not at the stable anymore. They're in the house, where Jesus and Mary were. And they fell down, before Him and worshipped Him. During the story of the wise men, Jesus is called a child. He's no longer a baby. Now during this time where the magi later on are coming to see this Jesus, the King of all kings. They stopped to talk to a king, King Herod.

And Herod is kind of this quasi-king over the Israelis underneath the Roman empire, and he's an evil man. Self-centered, self-serving. He's supposed to look after people as a king but he's not. And when he talks, and he hears that there's a caravan. Jewish history says around twelve magi is what they think would be in this caravan. And then whatever else supports them. This would have been a huge thing going on, as with servants and they had treasures with them. And they traveled for weeks and they would have needed food, et cetera. This is a huge deal. They're in Jerusalem looking for the king of all kings. King Herod hears about this, and he asks for an audience with the magi. They come in, and they tell him about this star and what it means. And what it means to Jewish historians, in his court, as well. And they have followed it here. King Herod says to them, when you find this baby, come back and tell me so I can worship him as well. We know, he just wanted to kill him. When the magi, it says, saw the child. Not the baby, at the house, and his mother Mary. They opened their treasures.

Now, when we hear about gold, frankincense, and myrrh, we see this little gold coin, a little thing of perfume, a little thing of powder, and it's kind of cool. No, no, no, no. The Bible says they opened their treasures. These were wealthy men. Men that everybody wanted to hear from. Men that served kings and advised kingdoms. That's who these were. And so they opened their treasures. And I believe, and others do as well, that this financed a lot of the ministry of Jesus in future years, and even them as they are running around, you know, protecting Jesus. Because, when they went to sleep that night, God appears to these wise men, these magi, and says do not go back to King Herod. And so they slipped away, another way, and King Herod realized he'd been fooled. So this evil man, has his soldiers kill all the baby boys in the Bethlehem area, under the age of two. That's how we know that there's a timeframe we don't know exact timeframes, but that Jesus was no longer a baby, He was a child.

And prophesy tells us there was great mourning in that area. But, during the night before this happened, an angel appears to Joseph, Jesus' father, and it says take the child. Not take the babe, take the child. And run for Egypt. So he, Mary, and the child Jesus head out to Egypt and they live there for a while until King Herod dies, because he would have been hunting to kill Jesus. And when King Herod dies, they come back together, and rather than go live in Bethlehem again, they go to her hometown of Nazareth. You know, when you look at this beautiful Christmas story of the birth of Jesus and all the things that surround it, that's the chronological order and it's kind of cool to hear the whole thing in order, and the players, and the families, and where. So when they came back, rather than stay in Bethlehem as I said, they went to Mary's hometown of Nazareth, and that's where Jesus grew up. And so that's why prophesies talk about Jesus begin born in Bethlehem, and prophecies talk about being raised as a Nazarene, meaning in Nazareth. But here's a really cool fact.

Did you know now, that as John the Baptist grew up, and Jesus grew up, they grew up, their mothers were cousins. They probably played together, the Bible is silent on this. They probably played together, knew each other, and one day in his thirties, John the Baptist would have a revelation. I don't know if he knew ahead of time or not, probably did. That when Jesus walked by, the presence of God hit him and he begin to declare behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Baptises Jesus, Holy Spirit descends, and the next few years are something that we all study. This, John the Baptist and Jesus, were cousins. Even when you see Jesus, when He picks His disciples. You'll know that six of them were all brothers. I don't mean they were all brothers to each other, but there was you know, there's two of them and three. He, Jesus is in to families. This Christmas story, needs to remind us that all of this work that went on 2.000 years ago, was to forgive you and I, the human race. Jesus Himself a few days, or a little, years later would declare. That I'm going to go build my church. And He's building His church through you and I. And He says the gates of hell will not stop it. Nothing is going to stop the church of Jesus, on this planet. Nothing is going to take us out.

Now here's something that few people realize. While Mary was pregnant with baby Jesus, and she had just heard Elizabeth prophesy to her in Luke 1:49, the spirit of God touches Mary, and she begins to prophesy about baby Jesus. And I'll, I won't read through the whole thing. But she begins to declare that this child, that God would show mercy through this Jesus. And that for generations, those who would serve God would know His mercy, His favour, His blessing. She goes on to prophesy that people who scheme against, people who scheme against believers, that He would take them down. He would remove rulers and leaders and thrones, and that He would literally raise up proper leaders. You and I need to understand that He will exalt them. He goes on to say that generations of our families would know Jesus into eternity, and would know the blessing of God. Why is that important to me? Because we don't have to be afraid of what goes on around the world with wars, rumors of wars, viruses, whatever. Get up and pray for leaders, declare the Word of God over your family, know the promises of God, and stand strong and don't be afraid.

If you're watching today and you don't know Jesus as your personal Saviour. You've never made a decision to believe on Him. It's a decision. And if you'd like to say yes, Leon, today I'd like to make Jesus my Lord and Saviour. Then just say this. Pray this. Just say:

Jesus, I choose You. I believe on You. As my Lord and Saviour. I'm following You for the rest of my days. Thank You, in Jesus' name, amen.

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