2021-12-12 – The Secret Grace of God – Pastor Ken
God has a plan and a purpose – And he summarizes it all in Jesus Christ!
Another thing about God’s Plan & purpose is that He will, even in our temptations, provide a way out for us (I Cor 10:13)
What is God’s Plan & purpose for today? He is working to bring His Good News into every Nation-Race (note: Race – not nation-state) on earth! Are you to be a part of that? Some of you have lives, skills, technology to give (Eg: computers!)
God is bringing His Jewish people back to Israel – There are 1000’s & 1000’s that have returned home! (this calling of the Jewish people to return home was started by Napoleon in the 1800’s!)
3 – He is bringing the church together in oneness – founded upon the ancient Creeds centered upon Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit! Amazing work of God!
4 – God is fulfilling all His scriptural promises and prophesies – He has the power & authority to do so!
He has BOTH Power & His legal Authority to accomplish His will!
Caution – we have to be careful not to include ourselves in God’s covenant with others – His covenant with us has been given by Christ in His blood – the New Covenant!
John 1:1 – there are 3 terms that describe Jesus 1) Son (of God) 2) Word (of God) & 3) Light (of God) eg: Light of God – there is a “source of power” that is behind what you see. If you were to look at it, there is something that you see, as well as that which hits your eye, (Photons). Similarly, when a thought becomes a word through your voice, you hear the word. If there is an absence of any one of the 3 things you would not see it (Jesus Christ)
God loved the cosmos, He has a purpose and plan for the cosmos & for making it new
Romans 8 – the resurrection & the re-creation of all things go together. God is working to bring everything under the Lord Jesus Christ
We are in the Army – God’s goal is to bring everything under the headship of Jesus Christ. We are either in it, or we are out of it – there is no in-between!
We must realize we are not the center of God’s will, Jesus is!
(For a fun perspective on God’s plan see the kid’s Christmas play “They wont’ be expecting that!
His promises – he is working to fulfill all His promises/covenants – all throughout the OT to Adam, Abraham, David, His people, ….
Can we say, like Mary, “May it be to me, according to Your word” – God didn’t even ask permission! God knows us & prepares us for His work, if we submit to Him & His word
(Interesting discourse about the Birth of Jesus (See Ref. “1 – Luke, Quirinius, and the Census”, below, and Ref. “2 – Parallel Gospels”, below), the “Star of Bethlehem” (See: Ref. “3. The Gospel In The Stars”, below) and God’s incredible timing! – eg: Could the 3 planetary conjunctions around 2 years before the birth of Christ indicate His arrival, and also discussed some interesting notes regarding God’s supernatural provisions for Mary & Joseph!)
Things in the heavens, promises to keep, special covenants with people, …
The DNA, in all of the genealogies listed in Matthew & Luke – this DNA/line is passed on through, includes 5 remarkable women!
You are a product of 1 egg & 1 in ~250M sperm – you are a miracle! No exceptions! God has His hand in designing & creating you- You are not an accident!
You are the summation of the DNA of all of your ancestors, everything you are has been contributed to you, and planned for, by God!
GOD HAS A PLAN that includes you, and HIS WISDOM and POWER is so far higher than ours, so put YOUR TRUST IN HIM! Allow God to bring your life into alignment in JESUS!
REFERENCES made in this sermon:
1 – Luke, Quirinius, and the Census – Apologetics Press – Dr Dave Miller
2 – Parallel Gospels – The Synoptic Gospels presented side-by-side (see: http://www.para-gospel.com/full )
3 – Several years ago Howie Marsh circulated an article “The Gospel In The Stars”:
Re-reading the section below I was reminded of the history behind the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, as it is occurring right now though hidden by clouds. And especially now that I know that they signified to the Jews the TZEDEK and SHABBTAI – righteousness and sabbath – two things God honours and loves.
Not only was Jesus’ birth preceded by a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, but Moses was too. And Enoch, Cyrus, Luther, and more.
CONJUNCTIONS OF JUPITER AND SATURN
In the rabbinical commentaries of Abarbanel, Eliezer, and others great stress is laid on conjunctions of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. It is there also affirmed that about three years before the birth of Moses a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn occurred in the sign of Pisces. By astronomical calculations we know that such a conjunction of these particular planets in that particular sign did take place about that period. According to Josephus and the rabbis, this sign was interpreted by the Egyptian astronomers and wise men as very favorable to the Jews and very unfavorable to the Egyptians. Their sacred scribes, noted for their skill and sagacity in these things, came to the king insisting that it foretokened the birth of a child among the Jews who, if allowed to live, would bring the Egyptian dominion very low, excel in virtue and glory, exalt the children of Israel to power and honor, and be remembered throughout all ages. (See Josephus, Ant. ii. 9, §§ 2 and 27.)
Three things here come out with great clearness and conspicuity which deserve to be particularly noted:
* first, that the star reading of a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn betokened the birth of a great, virtuous, princely, and glorious operator among men, and the beginning or starting of a new order of things;
* second, that the sign in which the conjunction occurred indicated the people among whom the child was to be born;
* and third, that the children of Israel were already at that early period associated with the sign of Pisces.
[* Kepler, on consulting the periods of the conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn, gave it as his opinion that such conjunctions astronomically coincided with the approach of each climacteric in human affairs; to wit, the revelation to Adam, the birth of Enoch, the Deluge, the birth of Moses, the birth of Cyrus, the birth of Christ, the birth of Charlemagne, and the birth of Luther.]
Josephus says that it was in consequence of what the scribes augured from these indications that the decree went forth from Pharaoh to slay every male child that should be born during the time impending. We thus have the Jewish rabbis and the Gentile Egyptian scribes most seriously, on both sides, concurring in the interpretation of some very important points in astronomic indications, and may well conclude that their views and teachings with regard to these particulars were the same that held on the subject among the learned in such lore throughout the world in general, including the wise men who asked the question of the text. Abarbanel, in his Commentary on Daniel, affirms it as a settled thing that the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn always betokens some great event or beginning in human affairs, and because such a conjunction occurred in his day (about A. D. 1480), he expected the speedy birth of the Messiah, as still expected by the Jews. Now, if an individual and isolated conjunction of these two planets presaged the birth of one so illustrious as Moses, and always indicates the coming of some great one on earth, what would be the dignity and glory of a Child whose birth is heralded by three successive conjunctions of these same planets in one and the same year? And yet this is what, in fact, did occur just before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
In the year of Rome 747, within the two years preceding the Nativity, during the last days of May, there was one such conjunction. In the same year, during the last days of October there was another such conjunction. And again in the same year, during the first days of December, there was a third conjunction, all three being conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, as on the occasion of the birth of Moses. It was Kepler, the great German astronomer, who first pointed out these remarkable incidents of the heavens, and gave the opinion that they were most likely the starry phenomena which influenced the wise men in the case before us. The calculations on the subject have been repeatedly re-examined, and latest by the astronomer-royal at Greenwich, and pronounced to be correct. Independent of all theories or interpretations, the facts thus stand attested by the best science, and, as Farrar says, “do not seem to admit of denial.” And as the star in the head of the Virgin born Infant was at the time shining with a peculiar brilliancy new to it and brighter than all other fixed stars in the firmament, those who took the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn as indicating the near birth of a lordly and illustrious operator in human affairs could by no means help themselves from the conclusion that here was the astronomic showing of the pending birth of a triply illustrious One, who could be none other than that divine-human Seed of the woman everywhere set forth in the constellations, and promised and hoped for among all nations from the foundations of the world. These wise men would thus know, and be assured beyond all doubt or misgiving, that the particular time had come in which the worshipful One they were seeking was to make His advent. Such portentous conjunctions, along with the new star in Coma, and the Virgin herself on the meridian at the same time, would seal the whole matter. The signs were full, definite, and complete.