Saturday, December 12, 2009

The CRUSADE That Is CHRISTMAS!


Another year is coming to a close, and we are now merely weeks away from the festive celebration known as Christmas!


Of course we realize that Christ was more than likely born in the spring, or even more likely in the autumn season, and that December the 25th was established as the official day by the Roman Catholic Church for its own reasons.
Nevertheless, whatever day it is that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, it's right that we do so, for in so doing, we acknowledge that our salvation has come, not in any deeds we could have done by the command of the LORD Incarnate, but by merely expressing faith in the power of Christ Jesus' saving power by means of the atonement He purchased for us by His own blood, on the cross at Calvary. Indeed, the story of Christmas starts in some respects, from a stone cradle, and climaxes on a cross of wood, and then climaxes even further at a carved tomb, emptied by the RISEN CHRIST!
Then what's this about "The Crusade That is Christmas"?
We'll get to that in a moment, but first may I share with you one of my most favorite Christmas Carols? It's "JOY To The WORLD"! Here is the opening stanza:
Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing!
And another stanza:

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love!

There's just a couple problems with this Carol, however; first of all, this sin-laden Earth full of a sinful human race didn't receive her King! Even the Messiah's own nation, Israel, by and large rejected her Messiah!

Not every heart actually did prepare Him room; in fact relatively few hearts received Him as LORD and Savior, sadly to say.

And the second stanza says: "He rules the world with truth and grace" . . . ? Does He? As we take a look around, and acknowledge the way things are going, and then consider the justice and righteousness of the heart of God the Son, we have to admit, that He doesn't rule this world . . . not yet!

One of the titles of the LORD Jesus is the 'Lamb of God' as it is written:

John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:36
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Rev 5:6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Rev 22:1
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

And this LAMB of GOD was sacrificed for our sins, just as the nation of Israel had been slaying lambs for thousands of years, awaiting with hopeful expectation for the One Who would bear their sins, "ha Meschiach"; for such sacrifices as ordained by God, and codified in the Torah, the writings of Moses, were prophetic of the Messiah Who was to come. . .
and HAD COME, two thousand years ago in the little town of Bethlehem, as it is written:

Micah 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Did you catch that part about He who would come forth to be ruler of Israel? This verse is speaking of Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, and yet when did Jesus ever rule in Israel? He never did, but that doesn't mean He won't! For He who is the Lamb of God is also the LION of the TRIBE of JUDAH!

So declared a saintly elder in the heavenly vision that God gave to the apostle John:

Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

That root of David is of course the Messiah, the LORD Jesus, who is also the LION of JUDAH.

One thing about Lions and Lambs . . . Lions are ferocious and powerful and can cause a great amount of anxiety to any one who is near one, especially if that enormous cat hasn't had lunch yet! Lambs don't cause such panic . . . uh, for obvious reasons.

In these two typologies we see the sort of coming our LORD would convey in the two different Advents to this world.

He came first to be a sacrifice and a suffering servant (as in Psalm 22), and He who humbled Himself to death, even to the death of the cross where our sins were laid upon Him (Phil. 2:8-11), was then raised up by our Father, and exalted and glorified! And one day the Father would grant Him the throne of His father, David, as it is written:

Luke 1:31-33
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.


And his reign will be glorious and universal (as in Psalm 24)! His reign will be a victorious result of having vanquished the kingdom of darkness, the domain of Satan, and that is where this idea of a 'crusade' comes in.

Merriam-Webster has one of two definitions of 'crusade' as follows:

"A remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm."

Remedial indeed, for the destructive power of sin, having wreaked God's creation, both mankind and nature, would be divinely remedied! And what an enterprise with such zeal and enthusiasm!

We see the manger scenes, and depictions of this blessed event in films and plays, and we imagine a blissful night under a starry sky, and the young Jewish woman, Mary, perhaps singing softly to her babe some Hebrew lullaby.

Yet if we could see into the spiritual realm and witness the new born King of Israel's tiny, delicately pink hands stretching forth, before Him would be immensely powerful, nearly god-like spiritual beings, holy cherubim, bowing humbly before their Holy King. These no doubt would be necessary as protection against Satan would be knowledgeable of this event, and recognize it for what it was:

A HOLY INVASION directed by the LORD of Hosts, who declared WAR upon the serpent in the garden of Eden; when that diabolical creature lured Adam and Eve from their lofty position as Stewards of the Earth by the edict of the LORD, and brought them and the entire human race into the abject, deplorable condition of miserable, sinful existence.

Satan realized that he had to destroy this Holy Child, else He would arise to crush his head, and bring about his utter defeat, as it was written:

Gen 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

King Herod believed he was acting out of a totally selfish motivation when he devised to kill all male babies, two years old and younger in the little town of Bethlehem, in order to preserve his own throne against Him, whom the Wise Men from the East (Of the Parthian Empire, the successor in that region of the former Persian Empire, of which Daniel the prophet was an advisor and leader of their royal sages, the Magi or "King-makers") called the 'King of Israel'.

(See Matthew ch. 2)

For more about this history please consider the following from K-House ministries: http://www.khouse.org/

The Christmas Story - 66/40 - K-House

Yet I believe Herod was inspired by Satan, who likewise had trepidation over losing his reign from this Invading Power, the Son of the HIGHEST!

Elsewhere the life of this child Jesus seemed threatened through satanic strategies and demonic designs.

Then in a supreme spiritual struggle Satan brought all his powers and forces to bear, and attempted to lure the Son of Man in the same methodologies as he did with Adam and Eve.

Satan knew that if he could get the Messiah to fall into sin, thus marring His perfectly sinless soul with the taint of sin's curse, He would then be invalid as a proper, spotless sacrifice for our own sins (Luke 4:1-14).

Yet Christ Jesus conquered and overcame the enemy in that testing in the wilderness, and came out from that place FULL of the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT, retaining His perfectly spotless soul untainted by even the least of sins, as it is written:

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 9:14
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
1 Peter 1:19
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Satan even used Peter as his mouth piece in an attempt to dissuade the Messiah from directing His steps towards the Cross, but the LORD perceived the subtlety of that serpent and gave him a scathing rebuke: "Get thee behind me, Satan!" (Matt. 16:23).

Then, perhaps the greatest trial in our LORD's life. . . the garden of Gethsemane, where what lay before Him was the weight of the entire world of stinking, wretched, putrefying, rot-ridden sins would be laid upon Him! And even more terrifying to His Most Holy Mind - - being separated from His Father, of Whom in all eternity past, He never knew a single moment of separation!

2 Cor 5:21
For he [God the Father] hath made him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Matt 27:46
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

And yet when all was said and done at Calvary, these three words echoed from that region of Jerusalem and into eternity, declaring the quintessential and decisive VICTORY over all the power of the enemy!


"IT - IS - FINISHED!!!"

And those words in the original Greek is "teleo" or "paid in full" regarding the debt of sin, committed by all mankind, against a Holy and Eternal God of Purity and Absolute Righteousness!

As the old hymn says, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow".


The LORD Jesus in all His Almighty prowess took on all the power of Satan, not with one hand tied behind His back, but with BOTH HANDS, and FEET - - NAILED to a Judean cross! AND HE OVERCAME! GLORY to GOD!!!

He stripped Satan's hellish hosts and principalities of their spiritual power and oppressive influences over the realm of mankind by taking on God's Judgment against the sins of human souls. and thus fulfilling the propitiation (a satisfactory sacrifice) that the Father required.

As it is written:

Col 2:13-15
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.


This Christmas, it is my heartfelt prayer that any who have not yet received this supreme GIFT of GIFTS from the Holy God of all Creation who yearns to be a Heavenly FATHER to the lost and weary of this world, would indeed receive this gift of salvation, granted freely from the LORD.

This day, may you know personally, the LOVE of the FATHER by receiving His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Redeemer of all mankind, He who will one day (SOON!) come back to this world!

THEN shall He be received as the KING of the world, both by Israel, just as He had been previously by the church, and by all those who shall come out of the great tribulation, having denied allegiance to the Beast, the son of perdition.

Then the PRINCE OF PEACE will rule this world and we shall all know rest and peace!

KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE - - No Jesus, No Peace!

Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Phil 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

~*~ Please feel free to watch and enjoy this Christmas presentation ~*~

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