Few Things To Note About The Story Of Christmas
John 1: 1 -4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. ….That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
First to note is that, The Light is a Person, and contra-distinctly, The Darkness is equally a person.
Recently, I received a message from a pastor from outside Nigeria.
Question: Pastor Toks, thank you for these insights. May you assist me on the following. Matthew 2 v 1..and Luke 2 v 1… talks of the announcement of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. My question is are the wise men and the shepherds different people? Or its the difference in the writers the way they bring it. As in the triumphal entry one writer says they found a donkey and its colt another just say they found a donkey tied….
Response : God bless you pastor. We bless God for the ability to cross-fertilize ideas and fellowship with one another despite the geographical distance between us.
The Shepherds of Luke 2 verses 1 thru to 21 are definitely different from the Wise Men from the East who came visiting, account in Matthew 2 verses 1 thru to 16.
Common Things To Note: There things that may be common to the cases are
● the object of their visitations and worship was Jesus Christ
● they were probably notified of His birth around the same time!
● they, each group, paid Him a visit eventually.Only these 3 points are common.
Differences To Note: Why are they different? What things point clearly that the 2 groups are different? Amongst others, the following are to be noted:
In Luke, the shepherds were in the same vicinity with the place and location of birth of Jesus Christ.
Luke 2: 7-9 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
To Be Noted
(1) The very same night, same time, same location that Jesus was born
(2) the shepherds were in *same location* watching over their sheep
(3) and the *Angel of the Lord* appeared to them • announced the arrival• guided them to the manger
Matthew 2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently *what time the star appeared.* And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the *young child;* and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, *the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.* When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw *the young child* with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense,….
…And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and *take the young child* and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
…Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, *from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.*
So for the Wise Men,
● they were *NOT IN THE SAME LOCALITY* . They were farther away to the East! In Arabia!
● instead of an Angel, it was The *STAR* that announced His birth and arrival to them!They didn’t see Angel.
● they were not *guided* by Angel but *by STAR* !
● It took them *2 SOLID YEARS* to get to where Jesus was being nurtured.
● Jesus was no longer a baby (a babe) by the time they met Him. He was already AYOUNG CHILD!*
● Herod was able to enquire from them how long they had seen the Star and had been searching – the Wise Men told him TWO YEARS!
So gave commandment to soldiers to kill all male children from *2 Years downwards* There is at least 2 years time difference between the two visitations.
Beyond The Question -* The Difference Between Jesus And Santa Claus * Differences: The Angel, The Star, Herod And Judas
* The Angel led The Shepherds who worshiped Him as a *Baby* = The Chief & Great Shepherd and Saviour
The Star led The Wise Men* who worshiped Him a *Young Child* = The King of Kings, The High Priest, The Judge & Prophet!
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handy work.”
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
Matthew 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
- Historians say that these wise men were possibly from Arabia or Persia where probably they had heard prophecies concerning the Christ child.
- So prophecies regarding the Messiah would have been well known by everyone who embraced Judaism.
- The wise men arrived in Jerusalem some time after the Christ child had been presented in the Temple for circumcision.
* Herod led Soldiers To Bethlehem To Kill And Slaughter – OffenseMicah 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.
- Since they felt that such a great event would be well published in and around Jerusalem, after all this Child was to be the King of the Jews, they went to Herod and asked where they might find him.
- The message delivered to Herod was not received with the same excitement in which they had delivered it.
- Don’t allow greed, hate, and envy to rob you of the blessings of God.
- But catch a glimpse of the Day Star, lift your hands and worship him, and when you do he will open the windows of heaven and bless you beyond your imagination.
- Herod had the opportunity to bow and worship the newborn King.
- He had the opportunity to rejoice in the fact that the Messiah had been born.
- The prophet Micah had announced the birth centuries before, and now the star confirmed it.
- Herod asked the wise men when the star appeared.
- His plan was to destroy all male children who were born between the time of the appearance of the star and the arrival of the wise men seeking to worship this newborn king.
- Herod asked the wise men to let him know when they found the Child so that he could also worship Him.
- But God warned them of his evil plan so they went home a different way.
- From the beginning of time the devil has tried to destroy the plan of God for our redemption.
- He tried to prevent Jesus from coming, and he tried to nullify His power by tempting Him in the wilderness.
* Judas Led Band Of Vain Men with Lanterns, Touches and Weapons To Torture and Kill – Offense
◇ *John 18* When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and His disciples. *And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place* : for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with His disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and *weapons* .
Darkness tried to mess Him up in the Garden of Gethsemane.And even at the cross, the devil tried to stop Jesus Christ from fulfilling His purpose.But he could not stop the plan of God. Jesus redeemed us. He gave us the plan of salvation.
OffencesMatthew 24: 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Below are some of the prayer points.1. Lord help me to avoid offenses2. I receive grace to cast down every Word-contrary imagination. Anger, wrong thoughts and bitterness will not build stronghold in my life.3. Lord help me not to embrace the Darkness 4. Lord help to have that confidence that you are watching over my life 5. I want to be a believer that show forth your praise and lead many to become worshippers of your excellency.6. Lord help my heart to be perfect in my heart towards you7. Lord help me not to lead wrong people to The Place of Covenant
The Sad Story Of The Young Man & His Pastor
I wrote to seven pastors for their opinions:
“As iron sharpens iron, may I tap from your experience this morning please.I need your opinion/counsel on what to say to one of my staff, a young engineer, a good christian, and more or less a ward under me.In fact, during work days, he stays over at my house and leaves for his residence in one of the far out areas of Lagos at weekends. He is a member of RCCG.He left my place this morning, after the office shut down for the year yesterday.He planned to go for a christian programme in Ibadan for a spiritual retreat before spending some time with his widow mum in same Ibadan.Please see what he just sent to me after he boarded the vehicle taking him to Ibadan.He is asking for my counsel”
🏼—————————————————-Young Engineer:Good morning Daddy,I am on my way to Ibadan for a retreat at CRIN
Pastor:Ok sir. God go with you n Merry Christmas to you. Am surprised as a worker you’re fixing a retreat when the church is having a very important program in it’s calendar: Let’s Go A Fishing. It doesn’t add up n like they say charity begins at home. It’s spiritual arrogance n recklessness. Your can’t be bigger than the spiritual covering that God has it over you n the last time I checked you’re still a worker in RCCG. Good morning.
I am really sorry about daddy,I don’t mean to take all the programs for granted nor see myself too big for the covering sir.
Pastor:My advise to you get back to Lagos or you incur my wrath…
Young Engineer:I can’t withstand that Daddy
Young Engineer:Mercy sir
Pastor:…abo oro la nso f’omoluabi…———
Young Engineer:Daddy that is the conversation between me and my area Pastor what should I do sir?[22/12, 08:46] Toks Oshokoya: My response for now
How did you get yourself involved in this kind of spiritual bondage and oppression?
Toks Oshokoya: So attending a church programme “Let’s Go A Fishing” is more important than attending another spiritual retreat?
So that removes “spiritual covering”?
And may incur the “wrath” of the pastor?
These doctrinal positions and “unique” anointings are strange to me. I am not that knowledgeable in the Bible to understand this one o.
I cannot be able to advise you o
Toks Oshokoya:Is this not supposed to be an RCCG?
Young Engineer:Yes it is
I just arrived Ibadan now standing at a spot and bleeding within me..I had known before now that I will be leaving the Parish this December because it far from my house and sometimes finance issue
Pastor:It’s me you want to be forming overspirituality with abi?
It has never crossed my mind before daddy just that I have been going down spiritually and I want to take advantage of this holiday to equip myself
I am just getting to ibadan now besides the retreat my mother has been sick since last week.I also wanted to check her too
Pastor:You’re going down spiritually cos you find every excuse to be absent from church…n disobedience is one of your problems…spiritual arrogance too…
Daddy I don’t mean to step on your authority as a leader and father
Daddy anytime I am absent it may sometimes be due to finance so I do attend RCCG in my area in Akute here..
I am really sorry my Father
Five (5) Responses From 5 Respected Pastors
(1) Just pray for him to break any satanic spell and attack they may be staging against the poor boy. More important he must break the spirit of fear. You’ve just seen the extent of incursion of satanic dominion!!!
(2) As per your discussion with your engineer, am actually disturbed by what I call “Spirit of Witchcraft” operating in the lives of our pastors this day. These are modern day Babalawos putting on cassock of Christianity. They’re false pastors sent from the pit of hell. They will always have scriptures to back up their evils. My advice to this man, as a child of God walking by the spirit of God should obey his inner man voice and do what it says; period. God have mercy on us. Amen.
(3) Please plead with him to flee from that church and spend time asking God for directions. He is under bondage and needs to find where his liberties will be respected and nurtured. Wow I’m in shock , so this type of emotional blackmail is still rife? God is a patient God
RCCG is one of those organisations that was founded on very solid grounds but have been infiltrated by so many demonic entities. It will be interesting to see what happens after Daddy GO is gone? I have heard so many heartbreaking stories.
(4) Wowwwww, i am mortified! The advice you gave is first class, it’s the counsel of God..but you will have to pray for him and release him from fear of man and the bondage of religion
It’s not easy for innocent souls like that to remember to trust God and not be mesmerized
Jeremiah 17: 5-7 comes to mind. Jesus cursed the Pharisees for refusing to bless their fathers and said it’s corban, and gave to God
To honor father and mother is first commandment with a blessing.To seek tine apart to be strong in the Lord is even encouraged by Jesus Christ himself
The Lord will give you the renewed vigor to extricate him from fear and witchcraft leadership
(5) Toks I am speechless for now. Can I think about the sad issue?Presently reading the book above. It tells of how the African Traditional Religion has been assimilated into main stream christianity. So we have no qualm about raining curses on people all the while believing we are being spiritual. Sad but true exposition.This dovetails into the incident in your narration. The pastor will no doubt revel in His authoritative spirituality. We need to pray.
To the young man, I was short of advice. Then a thought came: what will Jesus say if we had complained to Him? I think He would have adviced the young man to go back to His pastor after his return from Ibadan. He may be punished but he is to take it in love. Then in January he can prayerfully ask for a transfer based on the difficulty of commuting the long distance. It is well. The Lord will make all things right in His own time.Tough advice but God will grant grace. Bless you sir. We can discuss the rationale for the advice later