SERMON  GIVEN  AT  THE  FEAST  OF  TABERNACLES  2018


THE  BIRTH  OF  JESUS!


WE  PRAISE  THE  ETERNAL  MAJESTY  ON  HIGH!


“THE  LORD  IS  MY  STRENGTH  AND  SONG,  AND  HE  HAS BECOME  MY  SALVATION:  HE  IS  MY  GOD,  AND  I  WILL  PREPARE  HIM  AN  HABITATION;  MY  FATHER’S  GOD,  AND  I  WILL  EXALT  HIM” [EX. 15:2].


“LET  THE  HEAVENS  BE  GLAD,  AND  LET  THE  EARTH  REJOICE,  AND  LET  MEN  SAY  AMONG  THE  NATIONS,  THE  LORD  REIGNS. LET  THE  SEA  ROAR,  AND  THE  FULNESS  THEREOF;  LET  THE  FIELDS  REJOICE,  AND  ALL  THAT  IS  THEREIN. THEN  SHALL  THE  TREES  OF  THE  WOOD  SING  OUT  AT  THE  PRESENCE  OF  THE  LORD, BECAUSE  HE  COMES  TO  JUDGE  THE  EARTH. O  GIVE  THANKS  UNTO  THE LORD  FOR  HE IS  GOOD;  FOR  HIS  MERCY  ENDURES  FOREVER.  AND  SAY,  SAVE  US, O  GOD  OF  OUR  SALVATION….BLESSED  BE  THE  LORD  GOD  OF  ISRAEL  FOR  EVER  AND  EVER.  AND  ALL  THE  PEOPLE  SAID,  AMEN,  AND  PRAISED  THE  LORD” [1 CHRON. 16:31-36].


“LIFT  UP  YOUR  HEADS,  O  YOU  GATES;  AND  BE  YOU  LIFTED  UP,  YOU  EVERLASTING  DOORS;  AND  THE  KING  OF  GLORY  SHALL  COME  IN.  WHO  IS  THE  KING  OF  GLORY?  THE  LORD  STRONG  AND  MIGHTY,  THE  LORD  MIGHTY  IN  BATTLE.  HE  IS  THE  KING  OF  GLORY….” [PS. 24: 7, 8].


“BE  GLAD  IN  THE  LORD  AND  REJOICE,  YOU  RIGHTEOUS;  AND  SHOUT  FOR  JOY,  ALL  YOU  THAT  ARE  UPRIGHT  IN  HEART” [PS. 32: 11].


“I  WILL  BLESS  THE  LORD  AT  ALL  TIMES:  HIS  PRAISE  SHALL  CONTINUALLY  BE  IN  MY  MOUTH.  MY  LIFE  SHALL  MAKE  HER  BOAST  IN  THE  LORD:  THE  HUMBLE  SHALL  HEAR  THEREOF,  AND  BE  GLAD.  O  MAGNIFY  THE  LORD  WITH  ME,  AND  LET  US  EXSALT  HIS  NAME  TOGETHER” [PS. 34:1-3].


“WHEN  I  REMEMBER  THESE  THINGS,  I  POUR  OUT  MY   LIFE  IN  ME:  FOR  I  HAVE  GONE  WITH  THE  MULTITUDE,  I  WENT  WITH  THEM  TO  THE  HOUSE  OF  GOD,  WITH  THE  VOICE  OF  JOY  AND  PRAISE,  WITH  A  MULTITUDE  THAT  KEPT  HOLYDAY” [PS. 42: 4].


“O  COME  LET  US  SING  UNTO  THE LORD:  LET  US  MAKE  A  JOYFUL  NOISE  TO  THE  ROCK  OF  OUR  SALVATION.  LET  US  COME  BEFORE  HIS  PRESENCE  WITH  THANKSGIVING,  AND  MAKE  A  JOYFUL  NOISE  UNTO  HIM  WITH  PSALMS….. O  COME  LET  US  WORSHIP  AND  BOW  DOWN:  LET  US  KNEEL  BEFORE  THE  LORD  OUR  MAKER.  FOR  HE  IS  OUR  GOD;  AND  WE  ARE  THE  PEOPLE  OF  HIS  PASTURE,  AND  THE  SHEEP  OF  HIS   HAND….” [PS. 95: 1-2, 6-7].


THERE  IS  MUCH  TO  PRAISE  THE  MAJESTY  ON  HIGH  FOR;  THINK  A  LITTLE  AND  YOU  WILL  FIND  ALL  KINDS  OF  THINGS  TO  GIVE  HIM  PRAISE  FOR!  THERE  IS  THIS  DAY  AND  THE  LIFE  YOU  HAVE  AS  YOU  WORSHIP  HIM  AND  HIS  SON,  AT  THIS  FEAST  OF  TABERNACLES  2018.


TURN  TO  LUKE  CHAPTER  ONE  26-35. 


IT  IS  THE  ANNUNCIATION  TO  MARY  THAT  SHE  HAS BEEN  CHOSEN  TO  BEAR  THE  VERY  SON  OF  GOD.   


SOME  HAVE  RIGHTLY  SAID  THAT  SHE  MAY  HAVE  ONLY  BEEN  14  OR  15  OR  16,  WHEN  GIVING  BIRTH  TO  THE  SON  OF  THE  HIGHEST.  LIVING  IN  JUDAH  THEN  WAS  VERY  DIFFERENT  THAN  TODAY’S  WESTERN  WORLD.  THE  JEWISH  ECONOMY  WAS  MAINLY  AGRICULTURAL,  EMPHASIS  WAS  ON  EDUCATION  IN  THE  BIBLE, MARRIAGE  AND  FAMILIES;  IT  WAS  A  FAMILY  DISGRACE  FOR  A  JEWISH  BOY  NOT  TO  BE  MARRIED  BY  AGE  18  OR  19.


ADULTHOOD  WAS  AROUND  12  YEARS  OF  AGE.  HENCE  JESUS  AT  THE  PASSOVER  NOT  RETURNING  WITH  FAMILY  AND  RELATIVES;  MARY  GOING  BACK  TO  JERUSALEM  AND  FINDING  HIM  DEBATING  WITH  THE  “SCHOLARS”—— HE  SAYING  TO  HER,  “I  MUST  BE  ABOUT  MY  FATHER’S  BUSINESS.”  THIS  WAS  NOT  BEING  RUDE  OR  DISRESPECTFUL,  AS  JESUS  WAS  12  AND  CONSIDERED  A  YOUNG  ADULT.


VERSES 46-55.


MARY  PRAISES  THE  LORD— “MY  LIFE  DOES  MAGNIFY  THE  LORD.  AND  MY  SPIRIT  HAS  REJOICED  IN  GOD  MY  SAVIOR.  FOR  HE  HAS  REGARDED  THE  LOW  ESTATE  OF  HIS  HANDMAID:  FOR,  BEHOLD,  FROM  HENCEFORTH  ALL  GENERATIONS  SHALL  CALL  ME  BLESSED.  FOR  HE  THAT IS  MIGHTY  HAS  DONE  TO  ME  GREAT  THINGS;  AND  HOLY  IS  HIS  NAME.  AND  HIS  MERCY  IS  ON  THEM  THAT  FEAR  HIM  FROM  GENERATION  TO  GENERATION….”  SHE  CONTINUED  WITH  OTHER  GLORIES  OF  THE  GOD  ON  HIGH.


MARY  MUST  HAVE  BEEN  SO  SPIRITUALLY  DEDICATED  AND  STRONG,  AS  TO  BE  CHOSEN  TO  BIRTH  AND  BE  THE  PHYSICAL  MOTHER  OF  GOD  COME  IN  THE  FLESH.


CHAPTER  TWO— 8-20.


JESUS  IS  BORN,  WRAPPED  IN  SWADDLING  CLOTHES,  AND  IS  LAID  IN  A  HORSE  OR  MULE  OR  DONKEY  MANGER.


THERE  WERE  SHEPHERDS  ABIDING  IN  THE  FIELD  WATCHING  OVER  THEIR  FLOCKS  BY  NIGHT;  AN  ANGEL  OF  THE  LORD  COMES  TO  BRING  THEM  GOOD  TIDINGS  OF  GREAT  JOY…. A  CHILD  IS  BORN  IN  THE  CITY  OF  DAVID,  A  SAVIOR  CHILD,  THE  CHRIST,  THE  ANOINTED  ONE  OF  THE  HEAVENLY  FATHER.


THEN  —— “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  TOWARDS  MEN  OF  GOOD  WILL” [VERSES 13-14].


JESUS  THE  CHRIST  IS  BORN!


WE  DO  NOT  KNOW  THE  DAY,  BUT  MOST  SCHOLARS  ADMIT  IT  WAS  NOT  ANYWHERE  CLOSE  TO  DECEMBER  25.  IT  WAS  BY  DEDUCTION  OF  THE  3  AND  1/2  MINISTRY  OF  JESUS [DYING  AT  PASSOVER],  ABOUT  THE  FALL  TIME;  AROUND  THE  FALL  FESTIVALS  OF  GOD.  AROUND  THIS  TIME  WE  CELEBRATE  THE  FEAST  OF  TABERNACLES.


THE  SAVIOR  OF  MANKIND  WAS  WE  COULD  SAY,  IF  NOTING  “STAR  TREK”—— BEAM  ME  DOWN  FATHER!  JESUS  WAS  THE  WORD  AND  WAS  GOD,  BUT  WAS  WITH  GOD—— JOHN  CHAPTER  ONE.  HE  WAS  MADE  FLESH  AND  DWELT  AMONG  US!


HE  WAS  MADE  A  FLESH  AND  BLOOD  BABY!


HE  HAD  LITTLE  BEAUTIFUL  HANDS  AND  FEET;  HE  HAD  TO  HAVE  HIS  DIAPER  CHANGED;  HE  HAD  TO  LEARN  TO  CRAWL,  THEN  WALK;  HE  HAD  TO  LEARN  TO  SPEAK;  HE  HAD  TO  BE  EDUCATED,  BE  A  YOUNG  CHILD,  STUDY  THE  WORD  OF  GOD,  GROW  INTO  A  TEENAGER,  THEN  BE  A  YOUNG  MAN;  HE  HAD  TO  EAT  AND  VISIT  THE  TOILET  LIKE  YOU  AND  ME.  HE  WAS  FLESH  AND  BLOOD,  BUT  ALSO  DIVINE.


HE  WAS  IMMANUEL—— GOD  WITH  US!


THE  FATHER  WAS  DELIGHTED  AT  THE  BIRTH  OF  CHRIST  JESUS!


THE  FATHER  WAS  LIKE  ANY  OTHER  EARTHLY  FATHER [AND  MOTHER]  OF  NORMAL  CHARACTER—— DELIGHTED  AT  THE  BIRTH  OF  HIS  SON!  YES  THIS  WAS  THE  GREATEST  HUMAN  BIRTH  OF  ETERNITY!  AND  THE  FATHER  IN  HEAVEN  WAS  JOYFUL,  AND  DID  NOT  LET  THIS  BIRTH  GO  UN-ANNOUNCED  OR  WITHOUT  SOME  FAN-FARE  AND  SOME  COMING  TO  PRAISE  IN  THE  GLORY  OF  SUCH  AN  EVENT——  GOD  COMING  DOWN  FROM  HEAVEN  AS  MAN,  AS  FLESH  AND  BLOOD  MAN…. WOW…. IT  LEAVES  ME  SPEECHLESS!!!    



The Childhood of Christ

In Summer days, like you and me

He played about the door, Or gathered, when the father toiled,

The shavings from the floor.

Sometimes He lay upon the grass

The same 'as you and I,

And saw the hawks above Him pass

Like specks against the sky; 

Or clinging to the gate, He watched

The stranger passing by.

And when the sun at break of day

Crept in upon His hair

I think it must have left a ray

Of unseen glory there—

A kiss of love on that little brow,

For the thorns that it must wear.

-A. B. Paine



The God-Man

Our blessed Lord combined in one, two natures, both complete;  A perfect manhood all sublime, in Godhead all replete.


As man He entered Carta's feast, a humble guest to dine; 

As God He moved the water there, and changed it into wine. 


As man He climbed the mountain's height, a suppliant to be; As God He left the place of prayer and walked upon the sea. 


As man He wept in heartfelt grief beside a loved one's grave; As God He burst the bands of death, Almighty still to save. 


As man He lay within a boat o'erpowered by needful sleep; As God He rose, rebuked the wind and stilled the angry deep.


Such was our Lord in life on earth, in dual nature one; The woman's seed in very truth and God's eternal Son. 


O Child, O Son, O Word made flesh, may Thy high praise increase: Called Wonderful, the Mighty God, Eternal Prince of Peace.

1. W. A. Criswell, Great Doctrines of the Bible, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982)


Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn't be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with a man who says he's a poached egg—or else he would be the devil of hell; you must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But don't come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He hasn't left that alternative open to us. He did not intend to."

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: The MacMillan Co., 1960), 41.


The Greatest Question

Television talk-show host Larry King made a very perceptive comment when he was asked who he would most like to have interviewed from across history. One of those he named was Jesus Christ. "What would you have asked Him?" Came the rejoinder to Mr. King. "I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin born, because the answer to that question would define history. "



The Way It Should Be

Pastor D. James Kennedy said in a sermon, "I remember years ago talking to a man in his home about Christ and asking him who he thought Jesus was. He said, 'Oh, He's a wonderful man. He was the greatest man who ever lived, the most loving and gracious person who ever walked upon this earth.' "I said, 'Let me tell you something I believe will startle you. According to the Scriptures, and the historic Christian faith, Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter of Galilee was and is the eternal Creator of the universe, the omnipotent, omniscient, and Almighty God.'

"Instantly, his eyes filled with tears and this man of about fifty-five or sixty said, 'I have been in church all of my life and I never heard that before. But I have always thought that is the way it ought to be—that God ought to be like Jesus.’”


The Incarnation

Perhaps you saw the movie about her starring Sigourney Weaver, or read of her exploits in National Geographic. Maybe you saw her book or heard of her death. Dian Fossey was an unusual woman, a California-born zoologist who left the comforts of home to move to Africa. There she lived among the rare, gentle mountain gorillas of Rwanda who were threatened with extinction due to the cruelty of poachers who were tracking them down, one-by-one, and slaughtering them. She began her mission in 1963 on the sides of a 14,000 foot tall, rain-shrouded volcano, and after several years they came to accept her as one of their own. Fossey named them, cradled their babies, cried with them when then mourned their dead.

She once wrote: "These powerful but shy and gentle animals

accepted and responded to my attentions when I acted like a

gorilla. So I learned to scratch and groom and beat my chest. I

imitated my subjects' vocalizations (hoots, grunts, and

belches), munched the foliage they ate, kept low to the ground

and deliberate in movement."

After eighteen years with the gorillas, she became like them,

dwelling among them, and they were her friends. When faced

with the danger, she bravely defended them.

In the early hours of December 27, 1985, she was knifed and

murdered, apparently by poachers whose trade she had sought

to destroy. She died for those she came to live among and to

save.


Two thousand years ago, Christ left the comforts of His home

for the fog-shrouded volcano of earth. He identified with us,

learned our names, wept with us. And He, too, died for those

he came to live among and to save.


The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But he held it up with a smile:

"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,

"Who'll start the bidding for me?"

"A dollar, a dollar; then Two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who'll make it three?

Three dollars once; three dollars, twice;

Going for three—" but no,

From the room, far back, a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening up the loose strings, He played a melody pure and sweet As a caroling angel sings. The music ceased, and the auctioneer, With a voice that was quiet and low, Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow.

"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?'

Two thousand! And who'll make it three?

Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,

And going, and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

"We do not quite understand

What changed its worth." Swift came the reply:

"The touch of a master's hand."


And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine;

A game—and he travels on.

He is "going once," and "going" twice,

He's "going" and almost "gone."


But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought

By the touch of the Master's hand.

—Myra Brooks Welch, quoted in John R. Rice, Poems That Preach


If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior!

—Charles R. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening



At the 1994 Winter Olympics, held in Hamar, Norway, the

name Dan took on very special meaning.


At his first Olympics in 1984 as an eighteen year old, Dan

Jansen finished fourth in the 500 meters, beaten for a bronze

medal by only sixteen one hundredths of a second, and he

finished sixteenth in the 1,000.


At his second Olympics in Calgary in 1988, on the morning

he was to skate the 500 meters, he received a phone call from

America. His twenty-seven-year-old sister, Jane, had been

fighting leukemia for over a year. She was dying. Dan spoke

to her over the phone, but she was too sick to say anything in return. Their brother Mike relayed Jane's message: She wanted Dan to race for her. Before Dan skated that afternoon, however, he received the news that Jane had died. When he took to the ice, perhaps he tried too hard for his sister. In the 500 meters, he slipped and fell in the first turn. He had never fallen before in a race. Four days later in the 1,000, he fell again, this time, of all places, in the straightaway. 


At his third Olympics in 1992, he was expected to win the 500 meters, where he had already set world records. For four years he had been regarded as the best sprinter in the world. But he had trouble in the final turn and he finished fourth. 


In the 1,000 he tied for twenty-sixth.


At his fourth Olympics in 1994, Dan again was expected to win in the 500 meters, which was his specialty. Again tragedy struck. He didn't fall, but in the beginning of the final turn he fleetingly lost control of his left skate and put his hand down, slowing him just enough to finish in eighth place. Afterward, he apologized to his home town of Milwaukee. 


He had one race left, the 1,000 meter. One more race and then he would retire. At the midway point of the race, the clock showed he was skating at a world-record pace, and the crowd, including his wife and father, cheered. But with 200 meters to go, the hearts of the fans skipped a beat. Dan Jansen slipped. He didn't fall, but he slipped, touched his hand to the ice, regained control, and kept skating. When Dan crossed the finish line, he looked at the scoreboard and saw WR beside his name—world record, in his last race, Dan Jansen had finally won the gold medal.


Later that day as he stood on the award stand, Dan looked heavenward, acknowledging his late sister, Jane. Jansen was asked to skate a victory lap. The lights were turned out, and a single spotlight illuminated Dan's last lap around the Olympic track, with a gold medal around his neck, roses in one arm, and his baby daughter—named Jane—in his other arm.


In the closing ceremony of the 1994 Olympics, Dan Jansen

was chosen to carry the U.S. flag.


"Late in the afternoon of February 18,1994," said writer Philip

Hersh, "after Jansen had won the gold medal that eluded him

in seven previous races over four Olympics and a decade,

someone put a hand-lettered sign in the snow on the side of

the main road from Lillehammer to Hamar. The sign said

simply, 'Dan.' It spoke volumes about what the world thought

about the man whose Olympic futility had finally ended in

triumph."


Sometimes a name, a name alone, says it all. So it is when in

praise we simply say, "Jesus."

Joe Torre had been a catcher and a broadcast announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals. Shortly after he was named manager, according to the Pittsburgh Press, New York Yankees' announcer Phil Rizzuto suggested that managing could be done better from high above the baseball field—from the level of the broadcasting booth.

Torre replied, "Upstairs, you can't look in their eyes." 


In Jesus Christ, God also chose to come down on the field and look into our eyes.

David R. Martin (Identification, Viewpoint)



O  PRAISE  THE  HEAVENLY  FATHER  THAT  HE  WAS  WILLING  TO  SEND  HIS  SON  TO  EARTH;  PRAISE  THE  SON,  IN   THAT  HE  PUT  ASIDE  THE  GODHEAD  LIFE  AND  WAS  WILLING  TO  COME  AS  A  HUMAN  BABY,  THEN  AS  A  MAN  WAS  WILLING  TO  DIE  FOR  SINNERS—— FOR  YOU  AND  ME!


Keith Hunt -  Feast  of  Tabernacles 2018