'When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the reign of Herod, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He that's born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship Him".
When king Herod had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem was filled with speculation. Herod demanded of the religious leaders, where the prophets had said Messiah should be born.
And they told him, "In Bethlehem of Judaea: for the prophet Micah wrote, 'Bethlehem, isn't just an insignificant Judean village, for out of it will come a Governor, Who shall RULE My people Israel'."
Then, when he'd privately called the wise men, Herod inquired of them diligently when the star had first appeared' (Matthew 2:1-7).
And we're so thankful for God's STAR-Light that's been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit in these last days. That we have the privilege of declaring His end-time Message, and of assembling for worship, having this blessed assurance: that someday Christ is taking His Church Home.
As Christians, we're thankful to be the Light-bearers of THIS age; ready to manifest the promised Word for our day, knowing that from the beginning, God allotted His Word to every age. As we look back upon the Word, we see there was an anointing in each of those ages to fulfill their part of that Word. And there's a Word allotted to THIS age. And we believe the Holy Spirit is here now, on earth, seeking hearts, to manifest and vindicate the promised Word for this day and hour.
These wise men said, "We saw His STAR in the EAST and have come to worship Him." In other words, we've seen the SIGN prophesied for this age in which WE live, the WESTERN star which shone over the Ohio River in 1933 when Brother Branham was baptizing. When a Voice from heaven said, 'As John the baptist foreran My first Coming, your Message will forerun My second Coming.'
Imagine we're with the Magi, thousands of miles away in the East. That night, as was their custom when the sun set, and the stars came out, they went upon a mountain, into an observation tower, to worship, and to study. They kept time, and studied the rise and fall of kingdoms by the stars. Their every move was significant. They knew those stars like we know the Bible.
God's first Bible is the stars. And God always declares His plans in the heavens before He does anything on earth. They watched the stars for movement, then searched the Scriptures for its meaning. These Magi were the Medes and Persians who became Mohammedans.
Daniel the prophet was their master when Judah was captive in Babylon. And he'd taught them all the things of God. He told them "there'd be a stone cut out of the mountain without hands. And It will smash the Gentile kingdoms, and will RULE the earth."
These Magi believed in one true God. We know that's the truth, the Bible says, "God is no respecter of nations but those who fear Him and do righteousness are accepted by Him" (Acts 10:34-35). Now, they weren't exactly in line with the Truth, but they believed the same God that we believe.
The Mohammedan priest strikes a gong, and says, "There's one true and living God, and Mohammed is His prophet." We believe there's ONE true and living God, and JESUS is His SON. He says, "Far be it from God having a son." He thinks it has to be a SPIRIT. They're Ishmael's children.
They watched and worshipped their God by fires at night. One night while they were up there studying, a visitor appeared in the great constellation. They'd never seen a Star just standing there. Of course, they could find nothing in their own writings so they went back to Daniel, and read, "There's coming a STONE - a STAR out of Jacob shall rise out of Israel." They knew something was taking place. They must have discussed it together, prayed, gone to sleep and dreamed that the King of kings was born on earth.
Wise men and women of THIS day have seen His STAR in the WEST. God said, "It shall be LIGHT is the EVENING time - at the SETTING of the SON-Light". Jesus said, 'the SAME Light that shone in the EAST would be RESTORED in the WEST', for 'the mystery of God should be FINISHED, in the days of the Voice of the SEVENTH angel, who was the seventh STAR in God's right hand' (Zechariah 14:7; Revelation 10:7; 1:16, 20; Matthew 24:27).
I believe the Word of God is Eternal, for "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." That Word is eternal, it can never be changed. Any word is a thought expressed. The Bible is God's eternal Thoughts expressed in paper and ink. Himself, the Holy Spirit, in a FORM we can receive by faith.
He's got to judge the church by some standard. He can't judge it by the standard of man-made systems. He said He'd judge the world by Jesus Christ. Christ is the Word, and the standard of God's judgment.
God never does anything without first showing a sign. And the wise men said, "We have seen His STAR in the East." They were in the east when they saw It, in Babylon which is east of Jerusalem. Two years later they were in the WEST saying, "We have come to worship Him."
Scripture says, "They came to a young CHILD," not a baby. They had to travel two YEARS by camel to get there, across the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. That's why Herod slew all the children from TWO years old.
Nowadays, men take the Roman Catholic church's conception of when Jesus' was born. According to the Scriptures, He could not have been born on the twenty-fifth of December, because there's several feet of snow in Judaea in that time. The shepherds could not have been out on the hills. I'd be contrary to nature. And Jesus came according to nature. Jesus was born in Spring time.
God has laws that can't be changed. You can't say, "the sun won't rise." It does rise. Summer, winter and so forth, are God's laws that He's set in order. And every one works perfectly.
Jesus was born in April or May. He was a Lamb. That's why He was born in a barn; then laid in a manger or feed bin. Lambs are born outside in barns, in straw, and not in a house. When He was taken to Calvary, He was led like a sheep. Go to a slaughter house; they use a goat or something to lead the sheep; a sheep has to be LED. In every way, He was typed by nature, so He had to be born when lambs are born. And that's in April.
But Rome worshipped the SUN-god, whose birthday was between the twenty-first and the twenty-fifth of December. The Roman circus celebrated the S_U_N god's birthday. And Christianity was MIXED into Romanism at Nicea. They said, "Let's call it the S_O_N of God's birthday, and then we can all agree."
It's always a COMPROMISE of Truth. And today we find out that all of our holidays are polluted. The commercial world has everything in such a tangle and mess. But in this hour of darkness in which we live, Christians should be holding forth the LIGHT, and TRUTH of Christmas. The zigzag forked lightning into dark, angry skies, proves that there can be light in the time of darkness.
The birth of Jesus Christ had to be just at this time, when there was a murderous king, to fulfill the prophecy spoken hundreds of years beforehand, "In Rama, Rachel weeping for her children, and they were not." When God speaks a Word by His prophet, no matter how long It lingers, It has to come to pass, because It's a SEED. Jesus said the Word of God is a seed that a Sower sowed, and must bear Its fruit in Its season. So this murderous king had to be on the throne at that time, to kill those children.
Another thing to notice is, just at that time, he had to tax those people. This forced Joseph and his wife, Mary, back into Bethlehem to fulfill Scripture.
God knows how to do things. He'll even make the works of the enemy praise Him. We think sometimes, "we've got to do this and do that" to make the clock tick just right. But God's timepiece is ticking perfectly, and Jesus won't be one second behind. Everything will happen just exactly the way God said it would. Whether we do it or not, it'll be there. God has spoken, and it will be so.
Herod ordered all men to register for the taxation census in their birthplace, not knowing he was working in harmony with God's plan. How many priests might have cursed Herod at that time. How many said in their heart, "If we could get hold of him, we'd do so-and-so." Not knowing it was working exactly according to God's plan.
Today, we sometimes curse communism, or the planned destruction of our once Christian society, by legislation against morals, family values, surrender of national sovereignty, or destruction of our economic base in order to accommodate the godless NWO. And I guess it deserves our scorn. But if we only knew the truth, it's working exactly in God's hand, to do exactly what He said it'd do. He's got to raise up something to take Babylon off this earth, and He's got the instrument in His hands. Just read the Scripture, it's written right there what He said He'd do.
If those ministers in His day had just read and studied that Word, they'd have known that had to happen.
The king issued his order: 'all people return to your birthplace', regardless. Now it seems horrible that a poor little woman, heavy with child, should have to take that journey. Today, we'd hardly think of taking her in an ambulance, let alone by mule through 200 kilometers of dirt roads over rugged mountains. No matter how cruel it seemed, everybody must do it, young or old, prepared or not. It was the king's orders,
And sometimes we think our burdens are so heavy, there's nothing like it in the world. But you know, all those things are good for you. They're to mold and make you. The Prophets and sages were molded in the hot, blazing sun, through tribulations, trials, and persecutions on the backside of the desert. Nothing happens to us that hasn't happened to other Christians. Other Christians had to stand for their testimony in the hour of darkness - even be fed to lions.
Don't be afraid of your testimony for Jesus Christ! Shine your Light! Stand for your conviction, that He is the Son of God. That this is not a night of Santa Claus. And God's wrapped Gift was not a second, third or any other person, It was himself wrapped in the flesh of a virgin-born child. The vindication of God's Word.
These things, that happened down there to this little couple, may have seemed strange to them, but it was all working together for good.
In all ages, God has spoken to His people, and revealed Himself by dreams. Dreams are not an assurance. Every dream is not from God. People have all kinds of dreams. If you eat a big supper and go to bed, you might dream anything. You might have a fever, and have nightmares. That's not God. Yet God does deal with people through dreams.
Jacob's son, Joseph, was a prophet who understood dreams. Now, if a dream is interpreted it becomes a vision, and that's a prophecy.
God dealt with people through spiritual dreams. I believe in them. We have them now. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which God interpreted through Daniel. Today, that prophecy is coming to pass. We call it the NWO.
A dream is when you're in your subconscious. Now a person has a first conscious in which his five senses are active - see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. But when you go to sleep, these five senses are inactive and you're over here in your subconscious which sets away from you, and you're over there, dreaming. Then you return to your first conscious, and wake up, and come back to your senses again. Maybe it was years ago but you still remember that dream.
There could be an interpreter of dreams. The Bible said, "If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream." Joseph was that type of man. They'd dream dreams, and he'd see visions and interpret them. It's all an act of the Spirit.
Here is your subconscious, and here is your first conscious. When you go out of your five senses, into sleep, into the subconscious, then come back to it, that's a dream.
But with a seer, both consciouses are together. They're still in the five senses, wide awake, standing and looking at what's taking place. They know where they are and what they're saying. That's a predestinated gift. "Gifts and callings are without repentance." God does that. They don't go to sleep; they're standing with both eyes open, looking and seeing what you're looking at. Visions are of God.
God can use every part of us if it's converted to Him. Everything that we are, when it's given completely into the hands of God, and converted to His service. He can use us in dreams, He can use us in speech, He can use all of our senses. And if everything that we are, is converted to God, God can use it. Do you believe that?
When our whole being is converted, then Christians in this day can have spiritual dreams that can mean something and foretell things.
A spiritual dream, rightly interpreted, is the same as a vision. And a vision is a forecast of future events; it foretells things before they happen. That's the way God always vindicated whether a dream was true or not. If a man claimed to be a prophet, what he said constantly came to pass.
That man can't just have hands laid on him, to receive a gift; he is born with that gift. Look how the prophet Isaiah, prophesied of John. Seven hundred and twelve years before he was born, He called him "the Voice of one crying in the wilderness."
Look at Jeremiah, before he was conceived in his mother's womb, God said, "I knew you, and sanctified you, and ordained you a prophet to the nations." See? "The Gifts and callings are without repentance."
And gifts and callings can only work when there's something there for them to work with. If you've got a right hand, let it work for the Kingdom of God. If you've got eyes to see, make sure they see the right things; or a voice to speak, speak the right things. Whatever it is, do the right things. And convert all you've got, to God, to His glory.
Strange as it seems, and concerned for the welfare of Baby Jesus, Almighty God revealed the future in this secondary way to Joseph.
Before we go any further, "espousing" in the Bible, is the same as marriage. As soon as a couple are espoused, they are married. When that sacred vow is taken and a woman and man agree to be married, should they break their vow and marry another, they're guilty of adultery. They don't have rights to live together as husband and wife yet, but before God when they promise one another, their words are sealed. Read Deuteronomy 22:23.
And Joseph was "espoused" to Mary. If you study that, it'll show you the truth on marriage and divorce that troubles so many people today. Notice, "Joseph, her husband, being a just man" ... See? The marriage could not be broken, unless Mary had been guilty of fornication.
This young virgin must have told him she was pregnant. She must've told him of her innocence, and of the visit by the great Angel. Doubtless she rehearsed how although she was six-months pregnant, her cousin Elizabeth's baby had not moved, until she heard Mary's account of the Angel's visit.
Being a just man, Joseph pondered, "If she was caught in adultery, she'd be stoned".
The Bible says, If a damsel that's espoused has been ravished by a man in a city, and does not cry out, they are both stoned. But if she's in the country, in the field where nobody can hear her, and she cries out, the man is to be killed, she is to live."
We find that Mary was to be mother, yet unmarried. To Joseph, it seemed as if Mary was trying to get him to go ahead with the marriage to save her from stoning. He wanted to believe her, but her story was so unusual. It was hard to believe.
And the Power of the Holy Ghost upon earth in the Church today, is just as strange to the denominational mind. They want to believe It, but It's too unusual, too fantastic. But it's the truth! The Bible said it would be this way.
Joseph was a good man who didn't want his own name blackened. He wanted to believe her life was as pure as a lily. Yet he knew that if she was to be mother by another man, he could not marry her.
He could hardly comprehend how these things could be? No doubt he prayed over it, and studied it in the Scriptures. While he was studying, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, in a dream. There was no prophet on the earth in those days who could tell him thus saith the lord, so the Lord spoke to him in a dream. And Brother or sister, if you're just and honest in your heart, then God is obligated to reveal things to you.
And concerned for the welfare of His Own Son, God spoke to Joseph again by dream and sent Him to Egypt, and the wise men went home by another way. Joseph wasn't born to be a seer but was a good man, so God visited his subconscious, and revealed Himself in a dream.
If you'll just yield yourself to God, He has many ways that He can reveal Himself to you. So God let Joseph sleep, and the Angel of the Lord came to him, in a dream, and said, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived is not by some MAN, the Holy Ghost has done this". The woman has told the truth.
Now, a prophet doesn't go to sleep, he sees the Angel standing there. Other men just go to sleep, and see the Angel in a dream.
When Joseph arose from his sleep, his heart must have been full of newborn faith. Oh, my! He had both faith in God, and love for his wife. He knew that God had revealed the question that was in his mind. It was a revelation! radio030.html
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