In the most recent teaching you received, titled…” Laugh, Cry, Jump For Joy, The Greatest News Report Of All Time”; I wrote to you about the Messengers of God. In this teaching you learned how Zacharia a Levitical Priest, Mary his wife’s much younger cousin, and some shepherds guarding their flocks by night, responded to the Messengers of God and to the message they delivered.
As you enjoy this Christmas season, I urge to study thoroughly that teaching. Yes, as some have reminded me; it does take awhile to read. It certainly however is worth the time. It has always amazed me how things other than the Word of God become more important to us at the time of year we designate as the Most Holy.
That teaching as this one is a message to you personally from God in the person of the HOLY GHOST. The Holy Ghost is not the redheaded stepchild of the trinity. He is as much a part of the triune God as God the Father and our Lord Jesus. How much time do you spend worshiping Him? What do you know about the Holy Ghost. In this teaching you will see how blessed you are to have unfettered access to the Holy Ghost which people prior to Jesus’ resurrection did not have. As you read, ask yourself if you have closed your heart and your mind to this part of God?
Also ask yourself if you are open to the message of God and God’s messengers as were Mary and the shepherds. Ask yourself who God has used to communicate directly to you personally. I am not speaking of a television preacher necessarily or your church Pastor. Although they certainly could be whom God has used to speak to you. Ask yourself how you have responded to both the message and the messenger.
Quite often people ask me to give them ” a word from the Lord”. They ask me if I hear a specific message for them. Sometimes, I do. Many times the Holy Ghost speaks to me about people and groups. It seems that almost everyone wants to hear a word from God about their lives. God is not silent. Jesus said, my sheep know my voice and they will harken to no other. Jesus also told the disciples that it was good that He should leave their physical presence so that the Paraclete, the Revelator should come. He told us that the Holy Ghost would always be with us and that he would guide us in all truth and show us the things to come. This is astonishingly good news.
Many Pastors scoff at the idea of individuals receiving specific wisdom and guidance from the Holy Ghost. I have been told by several preachers that they have, ” Never heard the voice of the Holy Ghost direct them to go here or there and do this or that”. My response to them is that, I am sorry for them and that they should learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Ghost. This comment usually brings a less than cordial response. Frankly, few teachers of the word have studied the scriptures that you are about to learn. Take them into your heart. They will change your life forever in a positive way. What if God himself were ordering your footsteps and showing you what to do in every situation? Read on.
Please, if you have ever heard this teaching or the one preceding let me know. I would be very surprised.
“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, (just is defined as not guilty, devout is defined as earnest and sincere. Many people are incorrectly labeled as “devout Christians” because they do a lot of work around the church or spend a great deal of time about the business of religion. My definition of a devout person is one who seeks the Lord always. A devout Christian is one who has made God truly the most important thing in their lives, not for a performance based reward from God, but for a sincere desire to be close to God the Father, Jesus our Lord and the Holy Ghost. This man Simeon was devout in this sense.) waiting for the consolation of Israel; AND THE HOLY GHOST WAS UPON HIM. AND IT WAS REVEALED TO HIM BY THE HOLY GHOST, THAT he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (anointed one).”
“AND HE CAME BY THE SPIRIT…….INTO the temple and when the parents bought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy Word; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32)
The words that you have just read are phenomenal in many ways:
(1) The Holy Ghost was upon Simeon because he earnestly sought the Lord. The Holy Ghost was not given to all people at that time. Only a few had since the beginning of time, experienced a visitation of the Holy Ghost. Simeon’s only credentials are that he was an earnest and sincere seeker of Jesus.
(2) Simeon had a revelation from the Holy Ghost. The revelation was that he would see Jesus before he died.
(3) The Holy Ghost gave specific direction to Simeon to go to the temple. This is not trivial in any way. Think about it. How did Simeon go to the temple at the exact right time in order to see Jesus. Jerusalem was the largest town in the area. There were at least 1 million people in Jerusalem. It was required that on the 8th day of their lives, all male children would be brought to the temple for the customary ceremony. There must have been several baby boys in the temple that day.
(4) The Holy Ghost revealed to Simeon who Jesus was. Of all of the eight day old boys in the temple that day, Simeon recognized Jesus.
(5) The Holy Ghost revealed everything to Simeon about what Jesus would be and do.
(6) SIMEON ALLOWED HIMSELF TO HEAR THE MESSENGER OF GOD IN THE PERSON OF THE HOLY GHOST, AND ACCEPTED AND OBEYED HIS SPECIFIC DIRECTION. AS A RESULT OF ALLOWING HIMSELF TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE HOLY GHOST, AND BY MAKING A DECISION TO BELIEVE THE VOICE, SIMEON RECEIVED THE GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISE FROM GOD, TO HIM.
Please, re-read these scriptures and understand them. The Holy Ghost gave Simeon, very specific directions which were:
- You will live to see Jesus
- b. Go right now to the temple. Jesus is there now.
- c. The child with Joseph and Mary is the one. He is the promised Christ, the anointed one. Not the five other baby boys who will be there.
- d. This is what Jesus will accomplish.
The thing that jumps perhaps the hardest at me is that Simeon was not a New Covenant Christian. He did not have the eternal presence of the Holy Ghost in his life as we do. We have been guaranteed by the blood of Jesus, the ever present Holy Ghost. We also have access through the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the power and gifts of the Spirit. Simeon however, was new to the experience and yet could recognize the voice of the Holy Ghost.
Here is another huge highlight of the revelation of the Holy Ghost, to Simeon. At the time that Jesus came into the world, there were as there are now only two groups of people; Jews and non-Jews. Non- Jews were called then, as they are now; Gentiles.
The Gentiles, (us) were not under the ten commandments then or now. They were (Ephesians 2:12) Lost in the world without hope. Having no relationship with or knowledge of the promises and covenants of God. Until the moment that Jesus accomplished his mission of reconciling ALL men to God. The gentiles had no hope except the grace of God. The Holy Ghost revealed to Simeon a devout Jew that Jesus the Christ the anointed one of God would be a light to the Gentiles and their salvation as well. This understanding was not known to the Jews of that time who knew that they were God’s people and that the Gentiles had no relationship with God.
To those who believe that God does not speak to us specifically through the Holy Ghost, I ask; how much more specific can he be than to tell us where to be at what time to see the promise of God delivered to us?
God is never silent. We are often deaf to him. Even when the Holy Ghost is shouting in our ears, we have the free will choice to ignore Him or to stay tuned to our earth channels and ignore or tune out his voice. That is why God sent the Angel of the Lord to visit Zachariah and Mary and the shepherds and as we read now, Joseph. Understand as you continue the plight that Joseph found himself in. His fiance is pregnant. Mary being pregnant creates the image of impropriety on Josephs part. The Hebrew law condemns and adulterous woman to death by stoning. As Joseph is trying to figure out whether he should dump Mary like a hot rock or hide her out until after the baby comes or what he should do, Gabriel shows up again.
” Now the birth of Jesus was this wise; When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then her husband Joseph, being a just man, and not willing to make a public example, was minded to put her away privily (secretly hider her).”
“But while he thought on these things, behold, the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph thou son of David, FEAR NOT (again with the fear not) to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:19-25)
STOP!!!!!!!!!!!! THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST READ. Do you ever have heavy burdens and problems that you can not seem to figure out? Are any of them larger than Joseph’s dilemma? The scripture you just read is so encouraging. While Joseph was struggling with a seemingly insurmountable problem, God had already known the solution and revealed it all to Joseph through His Messenger.
“Now all of this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, behold a virgin shall be with child, and they shall call his name Emmanuel which being interpreted is, God with us. THEN JOSEPH BEING RAISED FROM SLEEP DID AS THE ANGEL OF THE LORD HAD BIDDEN HIM AND TOOK UNTO HIM HIS WIFE; And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called his name JESUS.
Stay with me, it is worth the continuation, I promise. As you continue in the Word of God, think about your own relationship with God. All of these reports are about living in another dimension of reality. All of this is about the power of the unseen and choosing to accept or reject messages and messengers from God and the consequences of both. Here is another report of the critical need to pay attention to God’s messengers.
When Jesus was about 2 years old, Three Kings who were wise men came to Judea bringing gifts of vast wealth to the promised one. When they got to Judea they asked of the great and brutal king Herod, where they could find the child, of whom Herod knew nothing. When they told Herod that Jesus was born and was born to fulfill the prophecy of the Lord to bring a mighty ruler to the Jews, he was threatened and enraged and sought to find and destroy Jesus. Read on…
“Then Herod when he had privily (secretly, covertly) called the wise men, inquired of them 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, (Not the manger) they saw the young child (not the baby) with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented Him with gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
Check this out! These wise kings who had traveled from afar to find the Christ, opened their TREASURES and gave him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. If a King gives you from his treasure, gold and the most expensive commodities available, you are no longer poor. Jesus was not poor. Just an aside.
At Christmas time we bless each other. The Wise Men blessed Jesus by presenting him their very best.
“AND BEING WARNED OF GOD IN A DREAM THAT THEY SHOULD NOT RETURN TO HEROD, they departed to their own country another way.” Short and sweet, they were warned by God and because they chose to listen to God, they were spared the wrath of Herod.
“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. WHEN HE AROSE, HE TOOK THE YOUNG CHILD AND HIS MOTHER AND DEPARTED INTO EGYPT.” (Matthew 2:12-14) Once again, a critical exchange between God’s messenger and one who chose to believe the message and the messenger.
Herod goes on to order the deaths of all children under the age of two years. Because Joseph chose to believe the messenger Jesus was spared. Gabriel goes to Joseph again after Herod is dead and leads Joseph to bring Jesus out of Egypt back to Israel. Again the Angel gives Joseph very specific directions and Joseph obeys.
I urge you to read on your own the first two chapters of Matthew and the first three chapters of Luke. Though rarely if ever taught, they are critical reportings designed to teach us God’s chosen to hear His messengers, believe and receive.
The Christmas message as we know it was preceded by God sending his messengers, His Voice, His Angel and The Holy Ghost to those involved. Those who believed and acted on their belief received unfathomable blessings. These reports are all pre-New Covenant. The parties involved are types of us. God is always speaking to us, either directly or through his messengers.
If God sent you a message would you spam it? Would you ignore it? Would you share it? Would you screen it? Would you reply to the messenger of the unseen with utterances about the seen? Would you believe and receive? Zacharia, Elisabeth, Mary, The shepherds, Joseph and Simeon all considered these same choices.
Mary believed the Angel… this is what Elisabeth under the power of the Holy Ghost said about Mary and I pray will be said of you…
“BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED, FOR THERE SHALL BE A FULFILLMENT OF THE THINGS THAT WERE PROMISED TO HER OF GOD!”
Blessed are you also…Pastor Allen