Today’s message summary of December 21, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Why was Jesus sent to us when He was? What was the purpose for the specific place and time for His appearance.
Genesis 3:15 is the promise of Jesus’ coming–thousands of years before He was born. Why so long?
I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
- Why not have Him sent a few years after Adam and Eve were put out of the garden?
- Why not have Him come after Noah’s survival of the flood?
- Why not right after the deliverance of the Israelites’ delivery from Egypt?
- Why not after God had provided the law and shared it with the people?
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
God is saving us from what?
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.
Why at this time?
Between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the New Testament book (Matthew), there are 400 years of silence from God. Why?
Many things take place during that time:
- Alexander the Great
- His five generals fought until there were only three (over a thirty-year period).
- Last empire from Alexander was Seleucid, which was founded by the last general, Seleucus. His dynasty lasted from 312 to 64 B.C. The Roman general named Pompey defeated him.
- The Greek culture that took root beyond Greece is called Hellenism (Greek civilization). From this formed the Roman army, the Egyptian army and Mark Antony. Israel was fighting with the Roman army to defeat Egypt. From here emerged Antipates and Herod the Great. Herod built temples to worship Augustus as a god. Daniel’s Abomination of Desolation was when the god of Zeus was set up in the temple (168 B.C.). Mattathias, a priest, and his five sons started the war of the Maccabees.
In Acts 6:1, we see the results of all of these changes in the Grecian Jews (Hellenists). During this time Herod through Roma appointed the high priest. Some of these appointees were not Jewish but they were most likely in positions of wealth.
God sent His Son because of the culture of this time. Why did God go silent for 400 years? What actions were taking place. These matters were being revealed in Malachi:
- There was a failure to truly worship God (Malachi 1:4-8). This matter of worship was regarded as a burden (v. 12).
- The heart of man was set on not honoring God (Malachi 2:2).
“Therefore, this decree is for you priests: If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart to honor My name,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.”
- The people turned away from Him, and the priests were not following Him (Malachi 2:7-9).
For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and the people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. “You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of Hosts. “So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.”
- Those who were doing evil were regarded as good (Malachi 2:17).
You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him?” When you say, “Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and He is pleased with them,” or “Where is the God of justice?”
- Those who are doing what is wrong have no fear of Him (Malachi 3:5).
- God is not worthy of our giving (Malachi 3:7-9).
- It is futile to serve God (Malachi 3:14-15, 18).
- Every evildoer will be nothing more than stubble (Malachi 4:1).
Can you see these matters today in America? Can you see how this applies to the lost generations of people who live according to what they deem is right?
2 Timothy 1:15-17
This you know: All those in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me.
“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works.
Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through death He might destroy the one holding the power of death–that is, the Devil.
The people who believe in God and His Word will be blessed. God held this as a promise to the people referred to in the book of Malachi and it also applies to those who have faith and trust in Him today.
At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”