We turn today with all Christians to the celebration of Christmas, and it is good that all of Christendom has set aside such a day, to celebrate an event of such tremendous importance to all mankind. This has become a festive day throughout all Christendom, when the children of God lift up their voices and hearts in joy, because God kept His covenant with us, because He visited us and dwelt among us a man among men, the fullness of God thus dwelling bodily. Here is the miracle and the mystery of the ages.
If there ever was a day when a birthday became important, if there was ever a single event in all time and history, fulfilled, in all the covenant purposes of God that carried with it a mighty and mystical strangeness, it was the day when God was born in earth in the body of a man.
To talk about the day that God was born seems a strange to phrase a great truth, because we know of Him that as the Apostle Paul said in the Book of Colossians, that He was before all things, and by him were all things created. But the Disciple John proclaimed the real magnitude of His person when he said in the Gospel of John, "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made."
It is difficult conceive that He who created all things was Himself born on earth. The one who created all form in the vastness of the universe, who controlled the direction of all matter in all of the sidereal systems and caused all things to fall into proper pattern, like the clockwork of the finest artisan, and keeps all things in balance as in the palm of His hand, by the power of His will, this One who was Almighty God was born as a child in a body of flesh. To think that God, who was before all things and by whom all things have come into existence, emerged as a living and embodied person and was born out of the household of His own creation, is one of the great miracles of transition in all time and history.
We should recognize that there is a direct relationship between that miracle and each one of us, a relationship that exists between us and our Father, and between the Eternal God and that babe which was born nearly two thousand years ago in the town of Bethlehem. We should also recognize that the relationship of our Heavenly Father, to us, is entirely different and greater than His relationship to any other people on the face of the earth.
It is true, today, that the impact of this cry, Merry Christmas, reaches from one end of the earth to the other. And the reason why, today, whether it be in the streets of Tokyo or in the land of Egypt, whether it be in the streets of India or an Arab encampment, when you hear the words, "Merry Christmas" it is because there have been sons and daughters of your race that have gone around the world. The impact of that message was so great, of the Lord God of Israel who was the God of your race, and it became so much a part of you, that you have left the very spirit of it everywhere you have gone.
Do not let the exactness of the date become the important thing, today, but rejoice in your hearts that there is an hour of festivity when our children can enjoy merrily the receiving of gifts, because, behind it there is something that is never removed: this is the birthday of Christ that men are celebrating, even if it is not with exactness on the day He was born. This is the important thing that God became man and dwelt among us.
I was rather pleased to see the headlines on the front pages of our newspaper, this morning, proclaiming the news story of the birth of Christ, in the Examiner and all Hearst newspapers across the nation. We have moved into an hour when the front pages of newspapers herald the fact that Christ was born and declared in no uncertain words that God visited us. That, my friends, is a symbol of a great people, who now by universal acceptance recognize that this was the birth of God. We may have had our hours of "higher criticism," we may have, in some of the better pulpits of the nation inside the material church, those who do not understand the mystery of this experience and should not be behind the sacred desk; but itís pulsing truth has been so great, has reached so far, that none can silence it, and now, even the newspapers cry out what the Church should have proclaimed at all times, everywhere. And especially in the congregations of the Christian faith, there should never have been any doubt that this was so.
The miracles of this hour are the miracles that happen every year in the hearts of our people that surge through us every time we approach this season of the year. There is a stimulus in our thinking, and only God could have ordained such an impact of festival and holiday spirit as that which abounds in our celebration of this great event. It is something that surges through us and stays with us throughout the year, but has its greatest impetus on this particular day. It has stirred consciousness to think, for several days before and after, that this is the hour we celebrate the birth of God that God dwelt among us. And that we are a special people unto Him also becomes clear. For as we survey the peoples from one end of the earth to the other, we find them serving their many concepts of deity, we find them serving doctrines of demons and idols and superstitions and darkness. But wherever people are saying, "Merry Christmas," they are celebrating, today, the birth of God who is the God above all, who visited mankind and, when He did, He identified the people who receive Him as being a special people unto Himself.
I think there is something very significant about the prophecies of Isaiah in which God, speaking to Isaiah, spoke also to us throughout all ages and gave us the promise and explanation of the route and mystery of how this event would take place. When He said, "a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call His name Immanuel," what a strange mystery of spiritual force would embody the life force of birth within one who knew virginity; and yet this was the mystery of the covering force of Godís spirit, to produce this miracle.
"Unto us a child is born" is the way Isaiah proclaimed it. No heralding cry could be more important to any people than this message. Unto us is this whole event dedicated by covenant and promise. So Isaiah said, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder." What government? The government of the kingdoms and the nations of this world! The government of all the divine plan of the ages for the earth! "The government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Might El, The everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace." Such title never had been bestowed upon man before.
What man in all time and history could have received such honor? What man in all time and history had been born of woman, of whom they could say, this is the Mighty El, the everlasting Father? But this is the event, which we celebrate today; this is the mystery of the ages.
The entire universe was gathering for this event. The whole area around Palestine was charged in a supernatural way on the night of this promised deliverance of the people of earth. Strange as it might seem, there had been plans laid, that reached back millenniums and millenniums ago. We mentioned, as we talked to you about that Star of Wonder, how God had set the stage for these events in this earth, a spot called Uranta by the ancients and known as the spot wherein God was going to focus all the panorama of the history of the universe, for one of its greatest acts. This was the stage being set, of God, as Shakespeare with all His marvelous command of words could never have described it. For this was the plan of God: that here, the mightiest fulfillment of all prophecies would occur, when God embodied would appear.
In the millions and millions and millions of eons of light years before, there had been a continually creating sidereal expanse, as one sidereal system after another was put in place. Constellation after constellation grew and developed; and had you been out on the edges of the farthest perimeter of the sidereal system, you would have found even beyond that, ages extending into the light years beyond, of a continued panorama of more and more and more universe. For our Father always was, He had no beginning and therefore has no end. So there is no edge and no end to His creations.
When we contemplate the untold numbers of galaxies, which God has created, we must realize that they were all put into their proper position with a design, by the mind of God, for a spot where He was going to put this grain of sand in the vastness of His universe that we call earth. For it could only be so. There is no other place in all Godís universe where there could be observance of the sidereal systems that would make the zodiacal picture and the pattern in the heavens that we see here. And there is not a race on the face of the earth, nor are there a people or a nation where the symbols and the signs have not been indicated in almost universal picture language. We understand what is meant in the Psalms where it says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day they uttereth speech and night unto night they showeth knowledge." For the patriarchs had already been given the knowledge that enabled them to read the signs in the heavens.
But I want you to think of the endless eons of existence beyond the ability of your mind to fathom by comparisons, for your earthly existence has not given you the capacity to measure by comparisons such antiquity. It was all in a plan that had long ago been put into its proper order, for only from earth could the stars look as they look and can be read as they are read only from this point. From anyplace else the picture angles would have been different; from anyplace else the measure would have been different. And the measure was the announcement of an event of tremendous importance. The importance of it was that the people whom God had planted in the earth to build His Kingdom, the children who were the seed of His own life, who were a holy seed, which He had planted for the establishment of His Kingdom, were going to be visited by His own embodiment.
He knew what His children would do when they were placed here on earth. You see, God has never been disappointed. God has never been taken by surprise. All the errors and mistakes, the original transgression, the fall of our Adamic race, had been known to Him from before the foundation of the world. When we say God promised and covenanted that He was going to redeem us from before the foundation of the world, before Adam was even placed on the earth, long before the seed of which your race was begotten had ever been planted here, God knew exactly how you would perform.
God said, "To show you that I am not only identified with you and I am going to carry out My purpose and My program for you, I have predestinated each one of you, which I have planted in the earth, to eventually conform to My own image. I have predestined that each one of you shall carry forward the mighty Messianic purpose with which I have planted you, as the mighty body of My own being, in the earth, for you are life of My life, breath of My breath, flesh of My flesh and bone of My bone.
"Therefore, to accomplish this in all its magnitude," God said, "I also shall be born out of a vessel of the same flesh as your bodies are composed of. I shall come out of the very race of which you are a part, and be as one of you. I shall be a living example that God and the sons and daughters of God are one family, and that you are My kinsmen. With all your error, with all your transgression, I am not going to say, I am ashamed of you, because you are My family. But I am going to redeem you with the only kind of redemption that I alone as God can do. So I have predestinated each one of you to conform to My own image, and there shall arise a Deliverer in Zion, and He shall take away all the transgression of His people."
This is the covenant. These are the things that Paul talked about; these are the promises that were made to us, before the foundation of this sidereal system and this cosmic order. So it was that all the events of time and history moved toward this goal.
Men could be subconsciously aware of spiritual presence, but not consciously aware of the intricacies of the plan. But the plan went on, with every detail of its energy and all the elements within it, measuring the movement of all the stars: the breaking of a nova, the crossing of the sky of a headless comet from the head of Aquila to the head of Virgo, which Enoch had been told about in the heavens. Men looked at these things with amazement while wise men and servants of your race searched the sky for the promised sign of that great event, the birth of God.
No wonder the air was charged that night in Palestine when the angels came to herald His coming and spoke to the shepherds upon the hills. To some people, Palestine was but a province in the empire of Rome. To some, Palestine was just a part of the empire across which Augustus Caesarís marching legions had carried the strength of Rome, from Egypt to the fiords of Norway.
Surely the Roman legions were numerous, for they were the power and the authority of the day. Certainly Herod, a Jewish king from Pergamos, was ruling on the seat of authority in the province of Palestine and, as such, was known as King of the Jews. Truly the people of Judah and Benjamin in the land of Palestine were under bondage and had no political freedom, and they had no religious freedom either. In fact, they had had very little religious freedom during the preceding six hundred years, since the days when their ancestors had been taken into the Babylonian captivity. Surely they looked for a Deliverer who would come, a Messiah King, a Mighty God, to set them free and they hoped for and anticipated the birth of such a one.
On this night above all nights the air was charged. But I tell you the air had been charged around Palestine for some time before this. For fifteen months unusual events had been transpiring. The Gospel of Luke tells us about when an angel appeared unto Zacharias, a priest in the temples of God, and said to Zacharias, "Your wife Elisabeth, who is also a daughter of Aaron, is to have a child and there is going to be something miraculous about it."
And Zachariah said, "It would surely have to be miraculous, for my wife is full of years and she is barren, and how could she have a child like that? How can I believe that such a thing could be?"
Then the angel said, "Because ye doubt what God can do, thou shalt not speak again until this event has taken place. But she will have a child, and thou shalt call his name John. He will prepare the way in righteousness before the Messiah, for the Messiah is going to be born and John is going to be the messenger that will go before Him.
An angel had arrived from space, with the mighty hosts of heaven, and all attention was focused on this earth. Palestine was to become the focal point of an event, which had been in process of preparation for thousands upon thousands of years. One hundred and sixty thousand light years or more, before, we are told by Harvard University, a nova had burst and sent forth a headless comet, which had taken 160,000 light years to get into position to move from the head of Aquila to the head of Virgo.
So we see the vastness of time preparation. No Adamite had walked the earth when God made the plans and set in motion the chain of events that would culminate, 160,000 light years later, in the appearance of a sign in the sky, to herald His own arrival on earth as Redeemer of His people. And He was born on earth, in the racial family of His own begotten offspring, less than 5,500 years after He had placed Adam on the earth. The plans of God may seem to grind exceedingly slow, from the standpoint of human measures, but let me assure you that they have come with an exactness that causes you to know that all things are in the hollow of His hand.
When we think of the magnitude of the preparations God made for His birth and appearance, among those that were His family on this speck of earth, when we realize these plans were made so many millenniums before the event occurred, we can begin to appreciate the tremendous importance of the event. And please remember that his event took place in a great panorama of this worldís history. How many conquerors had stepped down out of the steppes of Asia to destroy the Adamic race? How many hordes of Philistines and Canaanites had come against the household of Adam and the seed of Israel? But through all the heartaches and problems and troubles, which were a part of their lives and living, their Heavenly Father was born among them as a babe, at the exact time and place He had planned the event to occur, more than 160,000 light years before yes, even before this earth was formed.
When we sometimes think about the situations that surround us today, we may say, how can we survive these things? Let us be assured that all things are a part of His plan. For He has demonstrated how He works with minuteness and detail, even in the vast expanse of the universe, for a single point of event, and all other events of history were only incidental and only a part of the route by which men traveled to arrive at that event. So also every catastrophe that surrounds us today, whether it be the hordes of world communism, whether it be the threatening Khrushchev or the battle in Laos with the Red Chinese, or the troubles within our own nation with the enemies of Christ seeking to destroy us, or any of these things or of all these things, remember they are all a part of the panorama of Godís plan.
Now we are on the track to another event that will be greater in magnitude than the hour of Christís birth, and this event is grinding out, with the same precision as the one of His birth two thousand years ago.
When we look back upon the event of His birth, which was tremendously important and absolutely essential for the redemption of His own family, we know it was an insignificant event to the other racial people on earth. But when He comes again, it will be an earth-shattering event, because of the great power of His glory and His majesty, which will be revealed at that time.
When this event comes to pass, we can look back on all our present troubles and say, as the Apostle Paul said, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." The grace of which you are part of will be revealed in us, because, one day in a panorama of great events, this mighty God, with the hosts of heaven in space ships from His entire universe, came to visit us.
One of those who came was Michael, a great archangel to our God, who commanded the battle fleets of the Most High and all the hosts of heaven. These were thousands upon thousands times ten thousand times ten thousand ships at his command, a multitude beyond your ability and mine to understand and count. And Gabriel, one of the great and mighty archangels of the heavens who commanded one-third of all the creations and angelic hosts and the whole vast area of the Milky Way, also came to earth before Christ was born, nine months before the event, to speak to a woman in the city Galilee called Nazareth. This was not just an ordinary angel, not just a messenger, but Gabriel himself who commanded one-third of all the creations and angelic hosts of the universe.
I want you to realize that when we say we have one hundred and twenty-six trillion suns out there, and we magnify that by all the other planets in the solar systems around them, and here is a living being, an archangel who controls all creations and angelic hosts on the planets surrounding one-third of one hundred and twenty-six trillion suns, you can understand how important he was. But Gabriel received at command from the Eternal, from the center of the universe, from the throne of God. For it says there came an angel from the throne of God, and he was Gabriel the archangel, and he came to this lass in Palestine nine months before the event which we are discussing to place, and he said to her, "Hail, thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed are thou among women." (Never had anything like this happened before.) "Thou hast been selected, thou are to have the greatest honor anyone has ever received in all history of creation, for thou art to be the mother of God. Thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth as a son the fullness of God dwelling bodily, and thou shalt call his name Jesus."
She said, "How could this be? I have never known a man. How could this be, that God would so honor me?"
Then the angel said to her, "This is your destiny, for thou art to be the mother of God. And thy cousin Elisabeth also has been visited, and she also is with child and is already now in the sixth month, and the child which she has is the messenger of God. He is to go and prepare the way for the Messiah, he is to tell the people to make the way straight, and he is to proclaim righteousness and the coming of the King. What a strange phenomenon!
The Gospel of Luke portrays some of the mighty pageantry of these events, and many of the churches of Christendom continually repeat the words because they are enthralled by the magnitude of what was said. "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her.
Mary then arose and went in haste into the hill country, into a city of Juda, and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted her cousin Elisabeth. And when Elisabeth heard the salutation, the very babe John the Baptist leaped in her womb; and she was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit, the mighty vibration of the life wisdom of God.
And Elisabeth said to Mary, "Blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Whence is this, that the mother of my God has visited me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord."
Then said Mary, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in Yahweh my Savior. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things. And holy is His name. And His mercy is on they that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the might from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent away empty. He hath helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever."
It is recorded that Mary remained with her cousin for about three month, and then she returned to her own house to await the passing of the nine months of her conception. She was a waiting a great event, and, in anticipation of that event, the very sky was unfolding the miracle.
Jupiter and Saturn, the symbols of Godís Kingdom and Satanís kingdom, and the Wanderers in the Sky, had three times come in conjunction. Across the heavens above had moved the "Sign of Wonder." And in that hour, as the shepherds were upon the hills, the magnitude of the event again became quite clear. "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, for unto you is born this day in Bethlehem, the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord."
He didnít carry that message to Africa. That message wasnít carried to Asia. It was carried to you. And through you the world would sing, because God was redeeming His people, was reestablishing His Kingdom, was fulfilling the purpose of the plan, which He had made from before the foundation of the world.
The very air was charged. There had been coming, from all over the universe, great and mighty hosts of space; and now, the hosts of heaven were standing by.
The magnitude of this event can be understood only when we realize that, nine months before, the great archangel Gabriel had been sent in person, by God, to tell the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and bear a child that would be the embodiment of God. Then at the time of his birth the archangel Michael, with command of one-third of the universe, had been sent in person to bear the message to the Shepardís, and with him came the mighty and tremendous hosts of heaven. For Michael was the commander of hosts; and everywhere he went, there went with him, always, the hosts of heaven. In that day when the announcement was made to the shepherds, it says in Luke, "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the hosts of heaven." You can read what it says in the Gospel of Luke. It says that round about were the heavenly hosts!
In a daylong before, when Elijah was speaking as a prophet, the hosts of the enemy were gathering against him, and his servant was greatly disturbed, and he said, "O man of God, the enemy is gathering around." Then Elijah said, "I just want you to see something, something I see which you donít see. Just for this moment, I hope your eyes can be focused on this." And his servant looked, and lo, he saw the great and mighty hosts of Godís Kingdom. He saw the chariots round about, he saw the mighty warriors, he saw the great military staff of Michael, and he saw the force of divine power. So it isnít always with your video plane to see some thing, even when they are all around you.
We have discovered in our time that there are laws of science that we do not understand. But there are technicians out in space, in the universe, who know so much more about these things than we do, at this time, that even their solid ships can be invisible to us, except when they wish them to be seen. We have proof of this, because across our radar screens we have seen the evidence. We see things passing across the screens, but we donít see the objects with our eyes then suddenly, maybe, they do appear.
But I want you to know that at the time of that event, nearly two thousand years ago, the hosts of heaven were standing by and they displayed their presence, for when the Wise Men left the palace of Herod, remember that a "light" went before them. The Scriptures says, "Star," but this is a mistranslation in the King James Version, as the old Alexandrian script tells us. And the light, which came out of the heavens, shone down upon them and led them down the road the spot in Bethlehem where the Christ child lay.
We know that no star came down, but the light did go before them. The Wise Men couldnít see the ship they were following, but they could see the glory. The shepherds couldnít see the great fleet of accompanying ships that were in the sky above them, but they could see the glory.
I would like to call back to your remembrance that magnificent day when the Eternal came and stood upon Mount Sinai and spoke to Moses and brought the law to Israel. It says in the thirty-third chapter and the second verse of Deuteronomy, that the Lord sailed or flew from Sinai over mount Seir and shined for His lights from mount Paran, and there was with Him ten thousand of His saints. You read that second verse of the thirty-third chapter of Deuteronomy and you will learn that God didnít come alone. He came with one of the great fleets of space. He came with the mighty hosts of heaven. And ten thousand of His saints were there, on that great day, when He delivered unto the race, which was His Kingdom, the laws and oracles of the Kingdom.
But how much greater was the magnitude of the day when God was to be born into the body of a man, when the transference of the fullness of God was to pass from heaven to earth and lay in a manger, when all the guardian angels of time, without challenge, were charged with the super job of standing by, when the forces of the hosts of heaven were to proclaim their joy for this event.
It shows you, my friends, that all the thinking in the planes of spirit are attuned with God, that great numbers of celestial beings would gather for this event and sing their carols of heralding joy; because the redemption of the sons and daughters on the earth, was an event of such magnitude to them, that they were happy about it and expressed their happiness.
Sometimes we become so deeply engrossed in our affairs that we hardly think abut the children of the Kingdom, about their welfare or about their status. But there is a great love that fills Godís children. There is a force that brings them to meditate on the same things in a pattern of thought. But if you want to know something about the magnitude of the pattern that exits among the spiritual beings in the celestial planes, and understand something of their great desire to see all things in harmony in the universe, then consider how it must have been for the angels and mighty minions of God, like Gabriel and Michael and all who were there, who were so filled with the intensity of this event that their hearts were filled with joy.
Some people say they donít like to think about heaven, they just like to think about the earth. But I like to think about earth, when heaven bends so close to it that everybody on earth hears the hosts of heaven sing. I like to think about what God has placed around us, when I hear the great war threats coming out of the Canaanites of today, when todayís modern Philistines are making their mighty missiles and their mighty jets, while men are talking about peace on earth and good will to all men.
We know there is no peace, because the powers of darkness and evil hate Godís Kingdom. Then I like to think how close to earth heaven bends, how close to earthís battlements and its fortresses, how great is the magnitude of the events which God has planned and of which we are a part.
There can be no question about the events of that night, for there, traveling before the three Wise Men, was the vehicle of glory, and it led them exactly to the spot were they had journeyed to meet. History was to show us the exactness of the scientific revelations which these men had been following, for the revelations had been recorded and the event was anticipated; and the words of Enoch prove that our people knew what they were looking for, as they had known all those years from the time of those revelations until the Wise Men arrived. The race that looked for the Messiah are the people, today, who worship Him and are in festivity, today, because He was born.
Some people have said this should be so solemn an event that men should be somber and they should be meditative and they shouldnít be filled with joy and laughter. My friends, there is no somberness in Godís Kingdom. He doesnít want His people to be somber. He wants a people rejoicing, He wants a people happy. He wants a people filled with the light and the glory of His presence. He came to set you free, not to put you in bondage. He came to let you see the vastness of His grace, to be that grace and manifestation, not to cast upon you fear. He didnít want men to drop down at His feet and not look up at His face. He wanted His children to be able to run up and say, "Hello, Father, "just as you want your children to throw their arms around you. You wouldnít want them to fall down in fear when you came by. And your Father had tried to cast out all fear and has justified you by the act of His grace: it started with His birth it culminated with His resurrection.
You are the children of freedom, the household of liberty, the Kingdom that God planted on the earth. Probably, no nation in this world can appreciate the value of liberty as much as we do in this nation, because God gave unto us the responsibility of lifting high the image and standard of liberty to the world.
So it is that we look back upon that event and consider the magnitude of it, when the heavenly choirs sang and the mighty fleets and hosts of heaven stood by, for it was an hour in which God was born among men. This was the mighty miracle; this was the thing in vision, which became the cardinal doctrine of Christian church: that God identified Himself with His kinsmen who were His relatives and He said, therefore, that He came to be one of them. He was born out of the same substance of flesh and the body, the bones, the structure of the body God dwelt in, was like that of your race. And the spirit that dwelt in Him was like the spirit that dwells in you but the absolute fullness of it dwelt in Him, for this was very God. That is why the Apostle Paul could say the fullness of God dwelt bodily with us. No wonder an effulgent glory shone around that manger.
Many people think that the events of those days were fulfilled in twenty-four hours, but it was not that way. The Wise Men had been coming; they say the "star." The shepherds were on the hills when the announcement of the birth of Christ was made; they went down to the manger. The Wise Men journeyed from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. They didnít get there the same day that the shepherds arrived; they arrived a day and a half later. And still the event was in operation.
It was almost eight days after the birth of Christ when the fourth Wise Man arrived, when he went to the temple, and then went to the seat of authority and found that Herod was a very angry person, because, so far, the other Wise Men had not returned to tell him where Christ was born.
It was the eighth day after Christís birth that Mary and Joseph took the child Jesus to the temple for His presentation. And there in the temple was Simeon, an aged priest who had all of his life waited for the deliverance of his people. As Simeon took the Christ Child in his arms he thanked God that there had been spared unto him the opportunity to see this visitation of God among His people, the promise of salvation to the people of Israel an event concerning which the whole world eventually hear and know: that Christ had come. And he said in prayer, "Now let Thy servant die in peace. My joy is full, now that I have beheld this." And there was one Anna, a prophetess and a widow, about eighty-four years of age, who departed not from the temple but served God continually day and night, who proclaimed, "This is very God!"
Mary and Joseph then took the child and left the temple after the blessing, and they returned to Nazareth. There, the spirit of God moved upon them and warned them to go down into Egypt. They left that night and went down into Egypt, because they had been warned in a dream of the evil that would seek to destroy the child soon after his birth.
That is why it was on the ninth day that the fourth Wise Man arrived. It was on the ninth day that he fulfilled his destiny, about which we will have more to say in our sermon tonight, as we consider the vastness of this great design of the heavens and of its purpose and measure. But there is no question, today, that all the values of Godís plan and purpose that involved His identifying Himself with you, were filled with a mystery that thrills the soul to contemplate.
It is hard for us to realize that in that babe was the life energy that held the universe together. It is hard for us to realize that, as that boy grew in stature, the wisdom and the knowledge which was within Him would confound the wisest theologians; that the miracles He was to perform and the things which He was to declare, as He walked the earth, were to become living words whose vibratory capacity would change the minds of men and transform their lives and change the world.
When Jesus spoke about John the Baptist, who was born of Elisabeth the cousin of Mary, He said, "Never has there been a man born of woman like this man." For this was Elijah that was to come, whose spirit had ascended into heaven, but by some strange miracle had been incarcerated by God in the body of John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the King.
You and I, living at the present time at the close of another year, look back over that panorama of history and our hearts overflow with joy when we contemplate the significance of the birth of Christ, even after the passage of nearly two thousand years of time. The enthusiasm had not diminished. The great lift in the hearts of the children of Israel, the Christian civilization of your time, had not in any way lost its zeal for the celebration of His birth, Nor, my friends, has there been any thing that has eclipsed in magnitude this event in the lives of men.
We have had philosopherís come and go. We have had historians record the pageantry of the conquerors. We have been moved by oratory and we have been swayed by the work of the artists. We have felt the emotion that comes from listening to some magnificent musical creations by composers of tremendous talent. Human emotion can be touched in its vibratory plane but the strains of beautiful music. But there is nothing that charges the soul of man quite like the realization that God is his kinsman that God made a special trip out of the vastness of His universe, from the throne of God in the far off Pleiades, to earth, and that God was born in earth among his own particular race of people. And did you know that for the following thirty-three years, after His birth in earth, that the earth was the throne, the seat of the universe? Did you know the whole universe hung around this point?
Did you know that all of Satanís design, to destroy Christ, was to take over the universe? Did you know that Satan worked incessantly to that end? And for thirty-three years, at every opportunity, he tried to destroy this body. For he knew that God had not put on immortality in this body, but had taken on a body just like you have, so He could conquer and overthrow death; in that body, for you. Yes, this was the miracle of God.
The heavens above had been filled with angels. The sky was clear, and suddenly it was overshadowed by the glory of heaven. In every part of the world, people are still remembering that. There has been lighting of lights, there has been decking of trees and someone has said, "My, this is a pagan custom." It might be, but it still proves who you are. Do you remember what the scripture said? It said that you would go out in the forest and cut down a green tree, a workman with an axe, and you would bring it into the house and you would fix it with hammer and nails and deck it with silver and gold. That is what the Scripture said you would do and you are doing that. Donít let someone tell me that the Palestinians are Godís Israel. I donít here any of any Christmas trees down there in Palestine. You see, my friends, the children of God have adopted strange customs and picked up traditions, and may have added these things to make a part of their celebration, but the fact remains that you who the Scripture said would do it, are the ones that are doing it. And the real reason you do it, is because it is a part of the organization of your festivity.
It is good to say, Merry Christmas. It is good to say, Joyous Christmas. Could there be any greater joy than to know that God has become one of us, and then has lifted us back again to His own stature? That you stand guiltless and you stand free, that you can sleep without fear!
You know, the greatest conquest of fear was what God accomplished for us in His body, that as God dwelt among us, He let us understand God, as men in the flesh had never been able to understand Him before. In the power of His resurrection and before His ascension, He told His disciples that they were free; and when He carried into the heavens the body of a man and He was enveloped in glory, He raised the element of humanity to its highest level of divinity. Because of that, today, those words "Ye are gods, and all of you are the children of God. Why shall ye die like men?" are the words that take on stupendous significance. For the hour is coming when, because God was born as man, and there was a day when God was so born, you shall live as gods and never die. What greater hope, what greater fulfillment? What greater reason for rejoicing?
This day when we look back over that panorama, we realize why God charged the event, why the angels and the host of heaven, the mighty company of the Eternal, all were present that day. It was because of the tremendous importance of the hour. Then I know the promise will be fulfilled, that this same Christ shall return as King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I know the promise will be fulfilled, that his same Christ shall return as King of kings and Lord of lords. Then all the space ships, that menís eyes do not as yet behold, will be visible for all to see. At that time, every invisible force shall become visible, all the angels and hosts of heaven and all of your race, the sons and daughters of God from the four corners of the universe, the elect of God from the four corners of heaven, shall accompany Him in that forthcoming majestic hour and that hour is not very far removed.
I can lift up my eyes to Leo; I can see also that there, in Leo, is a promise. I wait for it to burst like a new nova; for some night, before your very eyes, there shall be in that sign of Leo, a bursting glowing light, as though a star had exploded. You will say when did it explode? It might have exploded a hundred thousand years ago, but it is going to dawn on you one day with a great bursting light, and the light will only be overshadowed by the suddenness with which His glory will fill the earth.
He will keep that appointment. Then suddenly will disappear all the problems and fears, and even in the moment of that mighty conquest, when every sword shall be broken and when every enemy shall cry out, and when all the powers of darkness shall lose their force, the light that will fill the earth will also flood every soul. In that day when they will say, bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him King; you will know that it started with a birthday in the city of Bethlehem. It shall end when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall proclaim that He is King of kings and Lord of lords.