Shalom, everyone. This is Amir Tsarfati, and behind me are the homes of the city of Nazareth today.
As you can see quite a packed place
and this is where it all began.
And I know that quite a few of you are probably asking yourself,
why would Amir go all the way to Nazareth to talk
about Christmas and the birth of Christ?
Well, first of all, let’s remember that it is in Nazareth
where most of Jesus’s life took place.
We must remember that, okay?
But we also need to remember that there’s a lot that did happen here.
And this is exactly why this message is all about.
Why Nazareth? Why then?
What was the game changing message and why was it necessary?
So let’s pray and dive into this very important message.
Father, we thank You so much for giving us your only begotten Son,
that he whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but will have eternal life.
And Father, we ask that right now, as we look into your Word,
and understand your heart
we will also understand the magnitude of that event
that took place nearly 2000 years ago, here in this area.
We thank You and we bless You,
in Jesus name, Amen, Amen.
Again, shalom, everyone.
You’re probably wondering, how come it’s Nazareth behind me
and it’s not Bethlehem?
Of course, it is in Bethlehem where Jesus Yeshua was born.
So how come it’s Nazareth behind me?
It is Bethlehem because even the prophet Micah
more than 700 years before the birth of Christ wrote in chapter 5, verse 2:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you –out of you, Bethlehem, yes,–
shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
It’s not a regular person, it’s not someone who just got born
and that’s it, and he has a lifespan of a regular person.
It’s someone that existed already before the foundations of this world
and He will always exist, from everlasting to everlasting.
It’s interesting because the Jewish people knew about that prophecy.
Again, for hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem,
it was a common knowledge that the Messiah has to come from that place.
In Matthew chapter 2, verse 1-6 it says:
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea
in the days of Herod the king,
behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,
‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?
For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests
and scribes of the people together,
he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
So they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.'”
So as you know, it was advised to Herod that
the Messiah is born in Bethlehem as prophecy must be fulfilled.
But it’s not the only time later on in John chapter 7
when Jesus known as Jesus of Nazareth, was in the crowd,
The Bible says in chapter 7, verse 40 to 44:
“Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said,
‘Truly this is the Prophet.’
Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’
But some said, ‘Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David
and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?’
So there was a division among the people because of Him.
Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.”
So you see, 2000 years ago, everybody knew there is a prophecy,
it has to be fulfilled, Messiah has to be born in Bethlehem.
And it’s interesting yet, here I am in Nazareth.
I am in Nazareth and you may ask – Why Nazareth?
– which by the way, today is known as the Arab capital of Israel.
Believe it or not, Nazareth of today has nearly 80,000 people.
70% of them are Muslims and nearly 30% are Christian Arabs.
It’s not even Jewish anymore.
It’s just, probably the same story
of Bethlehem and Jericho,
and other places who at the time of Christ were pure Jewish places,
when they were actually mentioned even in the Old Testament,
we know that Jews live there.
But today, things are different and that, of course, due to the fact
that most of the Jewish people were gone from this land for nearly 2000 years.
And so ladies and gentlemen, we are in Nazareth.
And Nazareth is where the good news of the long-awaited Messiah was first announced.
It’s important that we go back to the story of Luke chapter 1.
And we see that yes, maybe physically, Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem,
but the news about His birth, but the news about His coming,
but the good news about that amazing game changing event,
were actually given in Nazareth.
The Bible says: “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God
to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.
The virgin’s name was Mary.
–Miriam in Hebrew.
And having come in, the angel said to her,
‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women!’
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying,
and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her,
‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son,
and shall call His name –in Hebrew Yeshua– Jesus.
–Why?– He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest;
and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.'”
Exactly as the prophet Micah over 700 years earlier said,
and His origin is from everlasting. Amazing.
And so, in Matthew,
“it continues, saying: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:”
That’s Matthew chapter 1, verses 18 to 25.
After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together,
she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man,
and not wanting to make her a public example,
was minded to put her away secretly.
But while he thought about these things,
behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you
Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call
His name Jesus, –Yeshua – Why?
for He will save His people from their sins.'”
The word Yeshua is salvation. So you name Him salvation,
for He will save His people from their sins.
“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which
was spoken by the Lord through the prophet,
–And that is, of course in Isaiah chapter 7, verse 14,– saying:
‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’
which is translated, ‘God with us.’
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep,
did as the angel of the Lord commanded him
and took to him his wife, and did not know her
till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.
And he called His name Jesus.”
Yeshua … amazing.
And all of that, of course, we know, happened in Nazareth
while they lived in Nazareth,
while they dwelled there, while probably Joseph, as a carpenter,
worked in the newly built city nearby called Sepphoris.
So it’s an amazing thing. Just as the Prophet said, Isaiah 7:14:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Amazing. That’s not the only thing that Isaiah wrote.
Isaiah in chapter 11, verses 1-2 said the following thing.
And that may help you understand why of all places
all over the country, specially in Galilee,
it is in Nazareth, that this good news had to be brought forth.
The Bible says: “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”
These are the 7 Spirits
and they all rest upon that Rod, from the stem of Jesse.
That Branch that shall grow out of his routes.
Now, why is it so important?
Because let me show you on the screen right now, something very interesting.
The Hebrew verse says the following …
let me read it now in Hebrew.
The word Netzer is the root of Nazareth – Nazeret …take a look on the screen
and see that the 3 letters of Netzer are most of the name Nazareth.
Even in English, you can see the N-Z-R …that is the root of the name
from the place that is named after the branch came indeed the Branch.
And it doesn’t even stop there. It says
that out of His root, that branch is going to come forth.
But did you know that the word “yip̄·reh”
and take a look at the screen again,
“yip̄·reh” in Hebrew means come to fruition.
It means that His origins are from old
and He will be for everlasting.
The time was the right time for the fruition, for …
that was the perfect time for Him to be born. This is it.
yip̄·reh – it’s the time for the fruit to come forth.
It couldn’t happen before. It wasn’t ready yet.
It couldn’t happen after, it won’t be good anymore.
It happened and this is why it’s not only
where those good news were given, but it’s also important when.
The Bible says in Galatians chapter 4, verse 4:
“But when the fullness of the time had come,
God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,”
When the fullness of the time had come
– that means there was an exact moment, exact time, exact place, exact manner.
He could have not been born Muslim.
He could have not been born Hindu.
He could have not been born in any other ancient Egyptian religion or whatever it is.
He could have not been born anywhere else.
He could have not been born to any other person rather than
to that person who was the woman, who was virgin.
And he was born under the law.
He was born a Jew under the law at the fullness of the time.
That is why the word from Isaiah chapter 11,
coming to fruition in [Hebrew Words]
“A Branch will come out of his roots.”
Now the Hebrew is not just a branch,
it is a Netzer, it’s something that comes and it comes to fruition.
It’s the right thing that comes from the right place
at the right time.
And it could have not come in any other time.
In Luke chapter 1, verses 26 to 33:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,”
Six months, there was a time he had to come …
Look, so many people are arguing about the exact date of the birth of Christ.
Whether it’s the 24th or 25th, maybe it’s not December, maybe it’s September,
maybe it’s Hanukkah, maybe it’s Rosh Hashanah,
maybe it’s this, maybe it’s that.
You know, if it was so important, God would have told us exactly the day.
I guess it is not about the day, it’s about the timing.
It’s about the exact time God had it all planned.
And it’s interesting, the only thing we do know about the good news,
about the news of the coming of the Messiah to this world
is that it was on the 6th month that the angel Gabriel was sent by God.
Is that not interesting? In the Hebrew calendar, the 6th month is the month of Elul.
And it falls on our calendar around August.
And it’s 6th – it’s the preparation day for the Sabbath Rest,
is that not interesting?
The day of man – 6 – and the double blessing of manna also.
Now Nisan, the month of Passover, by the way,
which is known as the 1st one, is the first month
and Elul is the 6th month of preparation for what?
For the High Holy Days in the 7th month of Tishrei.
So this 6th month is what is placed between the two great sins – past –
and the coming judgment – future.
The 6th month Elul follows the golden calf incident,
this idolatry in the 4th month of Tammuz we know,
and the 12 spies evil report in the 5th month of Av, which was a faithless unbelief,
and then the future trumpets and atonement that follow
in the 7th month of Tishrei, when judgment comes.
It’s so symbolically amazing that it is the 6th month –
there were the sins, there was the atonement and the trumpet
and of course, He had to come to atone, to pay the price for us
to be able to have that trumpets and atonement fulfilled.
Look, the coming of the Messiah to the world
is not just the good news for Israel.
It’s not just the good news for the people of the tribe of Judah.
It’s not just the good news for the Galileans.
It is not just the good news of the people of Nazareth.
If anything, the people of Nazareth were very indifferent.
They were not exactly the biggest fans of Jesus
and we’ll look into that in a few minutes.
But I want you to know that an Orthodox Jew named Shaul, Paul,
he could see that this is a game changing message not just for Israel, but for the whole world.
By the way, he wasn’t the first one to say that.
John, when he saw Jesus, he didn’t say:
Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of Israel …
John could see this is far greater and beyond
what I’ve ever seen.
““Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
So when Paul was in the heart of the most pagan city
of the world of those days,
a city that is leaning on the wisdom of men,
a city that has so many altars to so many gods,
over a 1000 of them, Paul stood in the heart of Athens and said:
(Acts 17:29) “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone,
something shaped by art and man’s devising.
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked…”
But look what he says in Acts 17, he says:
“…but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness
by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given
assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
He had to send Him on the fullness of the times
to be born of a virgin, of a woman to be born under the law.
But this is going to affect the whole world.
And all the times of ignorance God overlooked,
those times are over.
The times of religious debating – the times of – I said this – he said that,
the times of there are so many different gods, which is the way – which is that
… those times are over.
The times of man seeking his way to heaven, this time is over.
The time of men thinking that by his great intelligence,
by his great wisdom, by his great character,
he can actually make any difference, those times are over.
These are actually times of ignorance and God overlooked that,
but he says, but now, that same God,
that same God that we ought not
to think that the divine nature is like gold and silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising,
this same God now commands all man everywhere to repent.
So I’m not sure where you are, but the fact
that you’re not in Israel, that you’re not a Jew, means nothing.
You don’t have to worry, the birth of the Messiah may have happened here
the good news may have been given in this city behind me,
but it is a message to you, wherever you are.
He has appointed a day –
there is an appointed day for His birth.
There’s also an appointed day for the judgment of the world in righteousness, and all of that God has ordained.
So what is that amazing thing that happened?
We talked about where and we talked about when.
But let’s talk about what, what happened?
Well, God came into the world.
For hundreds of years, there was some silence in the scriptures.
For 100s of years, we see nothing happening
and some would think that:
Oh, well, you know, God is there – we’re here …
He doesn’t interfere in our business and we don’t need to in his….
But God physically came into the world.
This is exactly why (Isaiah 7:14):
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Immanu: with us, el: God – God is with us.
It is no longer priests, Levites, sacrifices,
goats, cows, bulls, rams.
God Himself, born of a virgin, in a shape of a son
is now coming to us.
After all those 100s of years of people trying to come to Him
– He is coming to us.
John 1:14 says: “And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Romans 8, chapter 3 says: “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,
God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:
He condemned sin in the flesh…”
Philippians chapter 2, verses 5-8: “Let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God,
did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant,
and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself and became obedient
to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
It is one thing to die in a car accident,
it’s another thing to die while you’re asleep,
but to die on the cross, that was the most gruesome death
anyone could go through in those days.
1st Timothy 1:15 says: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
Into the world, to save sinners –
the affairs of men are His business.
It’s like seeing them killing each other,
seeing them killing themselves,
seeing them committing suicide and He comes to save them from themselves.
Hebrews 2:17 says: “Therefore, in all things
He had to be made like His brethren,
that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God,
to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
1st Peter 1:17 -21: “but with the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead
and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
So we understand the where the good news came,
where it all began.
We understand when the good news were given.
We understand what the good news were – Immanuel –
God came in the likeness of man.
But now we have to ask ourselves, why?
Why was it so necessary?
Let’s press the reset button here and
take ourselves back to the very beginning of the Bible …
From the beautiful garden of Eden
all the way to the nothing good Nazareth can give.
Remember, no one expected anything good
to come out of Nazareth.
No one expected anything bad to be in the Garden of Eden.
So from that beautiful garden of Eden to
the nothing good Nazareth, there was an amazing journey.
In Genesis 1:31: “Then God saw everything
that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Isn’t that interesting?
Number 6 again, it’s the 6th month that the good news we’re given.
It’s the 6th day where God saw everything was very good,
not just good, very good.
He created a perfect world.
It’s interesting because in John chapter 1:45,
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him,
‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law,
and also the prophets, wrote
—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’
And Nathanael said to him,
‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'”
So from the Garden of Eden, where it was very good to –
Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
You see, if we go back to God’s intention in Genesis chapter 2:8-10,
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden,
and there He put the man whom He had formed.
And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow
that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”
And there’s no thorns that would just scratch you or poison you
– the trees were perfect, the fruits were perfect.
And the Bible says: “The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden,
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden,
and from there it parted and became four riverheads.”
It’s interesting because the next chapter, in verses 14 to 15 of chapter 3 of Genesis:
“So the Lord God said to the serpent:
–after he already set that snare for Adam and Eve–
‘Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.'”
This coming forth, the Seed of the woman,
you can only bruise His heel, but He will crush that head.
This is a game changer, this is different.
You see, Satan, you thought that you are setting
a snare that you causing them to fall, to die …
Well, I am going to provide a solution
– and that is already in Genesis chapter 3.
But we all know that there were consequences to man’s sin and in Genesis chapter 3:22-24,
“Then the Lord God said,
‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.
And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life,
and eat, and live forever’—
therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which
he was taken. So He drove out the man;
and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden,
and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
And if we think that things got better, oh, no.
In Genesis chapter 6, it’s just gotten worse and worse …
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth,
and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God –angels– saw the daughters of men,
that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the Lord said,
‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh;
yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’
There were giants on the earth in those days,
and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.
Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
And the Bible says – Then the Lord…
look what happened,
not only that there was an attempt to destroy mankind, human race,
by the intervention from heaven, by those rebellious angels,
but the Bible says: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart
–not just some, every intent–
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was –what?
Not “sometimes” evil – only evil
–and not just today– continually.”
Think about it. All that men did
in the 6th chapter of the 1st book of the Bible, look how fast sin took over.
And now it’s just evil in their heart, every thought was evil continually.
And now comes the most probably saddest verse
in the whole Bible.
“And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth,
and He was grieved in His heart.
So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,
both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.'”
And thank God this chapter did not end right there.
And then comes –
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Thank You, Lord, that you’re looking not to punish
but you’re looking to bless,
that You’re not looking for all the evil ones but You’re just looking for:
Okay, give Me one reason not to destroy
– Noah found grace.
We know that the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 told us
that even the flood did not change anything,
when it comes to man’s heart which was desperately ill and evil,
“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east,
that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.
Then they said to one another,
‘Come, let us make bricks and [b]bake them thoroughly.’
They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar.
And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city,
and a tower whose top is in the heavens;
let us make a name for ourselves,
lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.'”
Wow, isn’t that interesting, let us make a name to ourselves.
“But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they
all have one language, and this is what they begin to do…”
Instead of worshiping together, instead of coming to the Lord together,
instead of giving Him the honor and the glory
for even sustaining their life, look what they do.
“…now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’
So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over
the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.”
Isn’t that interesting, the whole effort of globalization today is:
Hey, we’re different but let’s come together and once again,
as one force make a name to ourselves,
that’s what globalism is all about.
Therefore its name is called Babel,
-in Hebrew, Babel from confusion-
because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth;
and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”
So He started with Adam and Eve,
when He created them on the 6th day,
and He saw that everything was great,
then comes the fall of man,
and then comes the spread of sin
and then comes the flood, but still man’s heart is evil.
And then comes the attempt of men to reach to God, which is, by the way,
what they’re trying to do today, in so many different shapes and forms
and God scattered them all over the face of the earth.
Now, make no mistake, the fact that God scattered them all
doesn’t mean God is not a personal God,
God is not active in the individual’s life. It’s the opposite.
Psalm 33:13-14 says: “The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;”
God can see every person … that’s why in the midst of so much evil
He saw Noah – but Noah.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Look, I just lost my father and I was introduced
to so much of the Orthodox Jewish mindset.
They literally believe that an unsaved person like my father, who never accepted Jesus
as his Lord and Savior, is actually going to heaven.
They believe that every prayer, every specific prayer that
an orphan can make, called Kaddish, is adding another stone to his crown.
They believe that he’s a righteous person right now
because of our prayers.
They believe that it’s within our strength and our efforts
to light candle and say prayers and do good deeds to elevate his soul higher
… but in reality, the Bible, the Word of God says in Psalm 53:2:
“God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.”
And after the flood, we know that in Genesis 10 and 11,
from Noah came Shem and from Shem, Terah
and from Terah, Abraham.
And in Genesis 12, God is going to do something great.
He’s going to start all over again …
But this time it’s not all the people all over the world,
God is going to work through a person
who will become a father of a specific nation.
(Genesis 12:1) “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
–And look what he says–
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'”
In other words, I’ll make you a nation that will ….
you see, He says: I will make you a great nation.
And through that nation, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
In other words, God is going to work through a nation
to bless the rest of the nations.
And therefore from Abraham, although Ishmael was first born,
it was Isaac that God will establish His covenant with
and then from there, it was not Esau, it was Jacob,
who then had the name Israel.
Ladies and gentlemen, in Genesis 32:28:
“And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel;
for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.'”
And it is through Israel, that the mystery of the Messiah is
now about to be revealed.
See, Paul referred to the mystery of Christ in Ephesians, chapter 3, verses 4-5.
“…it has now been revealed by the Spirit
to His holy apostles and prophets…”
The first thing to note is that it was never a mystery to God,
since He knows all things and that’s why it says in 1st John 3:20: He knows all.
The Lord planned Christ’s redemptive work before the foundations of the world.
That’s what Ephesians 1:4 says.
And He is now made known to us the mystery of His will,
according to His good pleasure in Ephesians, 1:9.
But what changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament:
What is it and why is it that there is a mystery in the first place?
One of the key things that change was
that God’s plan of salvation through Jesus was fulfilled.
And there were hints of that plan in Genesis 3:15.
We read about it.
Now, it’s interesting because Isaiah 7:14 says:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
And Isaiah goes on in chapter 9:6 and says:
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;”
– again, it’s not that …
Look, unlike Adam that was created already an adult,
here, Messiah had to be born as a child,
that what the prophet said, he had to be born.
So “unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;” It’s a male.
“And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called…” –what?
It’s a person yet His name is
Mighty God, El Gibbor, Everlasting Father, Avi-ad,
Prince of Peace, Sar-Shalom
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end. –He is everlasting.
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with – what?
judgment and justice
From that time forward, even –what? … forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
So we started with the Garden of Eden,
we moved on all the way to how men wanted to replace God.
We see that men was so bad and we see that
there was a flood, but Noah, thankfully, was there.
But we see they tried to reach to heaven,
God scattered them all around the world,
and started all over again, this time through a man
that from his loins created a nation
and from that nation, now He brought forth that Son, that Child.
The Word of God became flesh.
So we’re going back to Nazareth now,
the good news were first given in Nazareth.
That’s why this is where it all began.
But in Luke chapter 4:16-30, when Jesus already started His ministry,
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.
And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day,
and stood up to read.
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah.
And when He had opened the book,
He found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.
And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.”
They’ve never heard anything like that.
The Scriptures were in Isaiah forever, but He speaks with authority with grace.
“And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ –They were still okay with that.–
So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at
the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.”
Look, He just told them, I am the Messiah,
He just told them, the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.
He just told them – that it’s Him.
And by the way, they were okay with that.
“So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words
which proceeded out of His mouth.
And they said, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?'”
Look, I mean, instead of asking, “Wow, Messiah!”
they’re actually, “Oh, it’s Joseph’s son.”
Then… “He said to them, ‘You will surely say this proverb to Me,
‘”Physician, heal yourself!
Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.'” Then He said,
‘Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.
But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah,
when the heaven was shut up three years and six months,
and there was a great famine throughout all the land;
but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath,
in the region of Sidon,
–which is up north in Lebanon of today–
to a woman who was a widow. – Not even Jewish–
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet,
and none of them was cleansed except Naaman
–who was not a Jew– the Syrian.'”
The Messiah, who was just accepted by them as
… wow … gracious words, beautiful.
Look at Him. He’s one of us, Joseph’s son, amazing.
It all changed.
It changed when they understood that the message is
-Salvation is not by Affiliation.
That widow was not Jewish and yet Elijah was send to her,
that leper was not Jewish and yet Elijah healed… wow.
“So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things,
were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city…”
That same Jesus, that son of Joseph,
the same person who testified about himself, that He is the Messiah,
the same one who read with so much grace that proceeded out of His mouth,
is now being casted out of the city.
“… they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built,
that they might throw Him down over the cliff.”
They were about to execute Him. Why?
Because how dare you … even suggest or hint
that salvation is not by affiliation.
Here we are, we are Jews here religious, we sit in a synagogue,
we read from the Word
“Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”
And I want to tell you something,
the first thing when I accepted the Lord,
the first thing I did, I didn’t have a New Testament at the time.
Honestly, I didn’t even think I need one.
Why? Because I thought to myself,
you know, how did people get saved at the time of Jesus?
Jesus never gave anyone a New Testament,
Paul never had a New Testament. So I thought I don’t need it.
That is what I thought then.
And it’s interesting because… so I read Isaiah,
I started chapter 1 and I was shocked to see
how God literally hates what men did with His Word.
God hates man-made religion. It stands in the way of
a personal and an intimate relationship with Him.
Now, Isaiah chapter 1, verses 12 -14:
“When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
–your holidays, your festivals, your Sabbath–
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;”
I almost got a heart attack when I read in the Bible, that God hates that –
the new moons and the festivals that He Himself gave to the people of Israel. Why?
Because look at what they have turned them into.
He says: “They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.” He said.
And then I realized, God basically says, religion can never save anyone.
It’s a matter of your heart.
You cannot be saved by doing rituals.
“For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I do not set aside the grace of God;
for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
1st Corinthians 1:18- 25:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God,
it pleased God through the foolishness of the message
preached to save those who believe.
For Jews request a sign,
and Greeks seek after wisdom –Religion–;
but we, we preach Christ crucified.”
We don’t preach religion. We don’t preach rituals,
we don’t preach festivals and rituals.
We preach Christ crucified.
You don’t have to do anything to cause God to love you.
He did everything.
God sent His Son to die for us.
This is the message – to the Jews it’s a stumbling block … Why?
Because it tells them that all the good deeds and all the mitzvahs
and all the things that they do in order to get closer to God, it means nothing.
It means nothing.
God is not asking you to come to Him, He came to us.
There’s no way we by our own deeds
with the hearts that we have so much full of evil,
we can never reach to that amazing Holy God.
So, “to the Jews a stumbling block
and to the Greeks foolishness,
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks…”
–because it’s not about religion, it’s about relationship,
so you can be from the Greek, you can be from the Jews,
you can be from Islam or from Buddhism,
but once you believe in Christ, Christ is
“the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men,
and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
So I’m taking you back to Acts 17:30:
“these times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now commands all men everywhere to repent…”
God loves us as individuals.
(John3:16) “For God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish…”
It’s not about whoever is exercising and practicing some religion.
Whoever believes in Him should not perish.
Believe in the Son, believe in the begotten Son,
Believe in the … that
… Unto us a Child was given.
(John3:17) “God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
No one in the history was ever born “born-again”.
You cannot be born “born-again”.
It is impossible.
If your birth is enough why do you need to be born-again?
And if you need to be born-again, that means
your first birth is not enough.
Which means that if you were born, by definition,
you were not born, you were not born born-again.
So there’s no way anyone ever in the history was born a Christian,
because in order to be born a Christian, it’s the fruit of the 2nd birth.
And that’s why in John 3, verses 1-3, it says:
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus,
a ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God;
for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’
–God is with Him.
Jesus answered and said to him,
‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.'”
He’s coming to a religious Jew, a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews,
and He’s telling him, this religion cannot save you.
You were born a sinner, you need to be born again
in order to see the kingdom of God.
The 2nd birth is a pass, not only to get salvation,
but it’s a pass from the 2nd death.
Because the Bible says in Revelation 20:6:
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.
–When we are going to be resurrected to be with Christ,–
Over such the second death has no power,
but they shall be priests of God and of Christ,
and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
If you want to reign with Jesus for the Millennial Kingdom,
if you want to be with Him, you have to be born again.
And that birth again, makes you a Christian,
and then you will be resurrected at the time of the Rapture
and you then will be able to be with Him, and reign with him for those 1000 years.
2nd Corinthians 6:1-2:
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’
–And I want to conclude this with –
Behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Father, I thank you for Your Word.
I thank you for Your promises.
I thank You for where it all began.
It was the fullness of the times;
it was the perfect time; it was the time of fruition.
It was Your plan. It was Your heart.
It was Your Son. It was Your love.
We thank You for the birth of the Messiah.
And we ask that everyone will understand,
today is the day of salvation. Tomorrow might be too late.
We thank You and we bless You,
in the name of Yeshua who is our salvation, we pray
and all of God’s people say, Amen. Amen.
Thank you and God bless you.