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ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
December 1, 2010
Through centuries, the Roman Catholic "cult of the Virgin Mary" worship has grown with gradual, but increasing, acceptance. Currently, there is an expansion of this cult, making her not only the mediator between heaven and earth, but having her attain equality in the Godhead. One of the most outlandish claims is the immaculate conception of Mary herself, which not only places her positionally above Jesus (She passed to Him her status of immaculacy), but canonizes her authority as Mediator above Him. She is in line to be worshipped as God!
The cult of Mariology does what many cultish operatives do. They begin by conjecturing "this or that" might have occurred during the subject's span of years. Most often, these claims are without proof. They allow thoughts and fantasies to rule. Before long, the cult will begin to worship or deify the embodiment of what they would like that person or object to be. Such is the case with most of the celebrated "saints" of the Catholic church. Many of them have been appropriated "special" powers by the cult leaders.
(Such is also true of evangelical cults; take the cult built around William Branham as an example [attributing to him all manner of feats and prophetic words that never occurred during his lifetime]. Among his worshippers are those who display his picture prominently on their pulpits and limit themselves to only his teachings.)
Mariology is a cult! Just this past week, a photo appeared in a prominent newspaper showing a span bridge that was damaged. The article questioned how this could be, since a large statue of Mary was prominently displayed looking over its expanse. The columnist could not understand how the Blessed Virgin would allow such a catastrophe to occur during her watch.
(Mary, if she were alive today, would spend her time denouncing such nonsense and proclaiming her real persona.)
If conjecture is to be allowed to reign supreme, what could be conjectured about the circumstances of Mary's life if she had lived today? First, her parents would have been sited as "unfit" for allowing a child the age of Mary (some say she was about 16 yrs old at Jesus' inception) to engage in sexual activity. Mary would have been screened by the Child Protective Services (CPS) and probably committed to a guardianship away from her mother and father. If this had not happened, at the very least a school counselor would have summoned her and questioned her about her family and "who was the father." At this point, the CPS would have been notified as a matter of law. Mary would then have to undergo counseling. At counseling, when interrogated about the circumstances, she would have had a difficult time convincing modern analysts an Angel had visited her and that God overshadowed her and that she was still a virgin (even though a doctor would have had to verify this condition). Next, she would have received sex information and pressed to either abort the child or give it up for adoption (citing her young age, immaturity and because of her delusional state, based on her testimony). CPS probably would have ruled all this was necessary in order to assure the newborn child would not be subjected to such insanity.
Then, the matter of Joseph would have come up. More than likely, a grand jury would have been summoned and testimony given (Joseph was an adult and evidently had intercourse with a minor, thus violating state law). More than likely, he would have been brought to trial and given a hefty prison sentence, thus assuring the D.A. another victory to hang up in his trophy room for next election. Joseph would then have had to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. There would have been no marriage to Mary, no other children (siblings to Jesus).
Certainly had none of these other activities occurred and Mary had been allowed to live with her cousin during the pregnancy, the church officials would have been horrified, spoken to Joseph and his parents as well as Mary and her parents (Even though some cultures in modern society feel that 15 yrs of age is the threshold of womanhood or consider pregnancy in an unmarried relationship as permissible, still the power of the state most certainly would have prevailed in some form of oversight.).
Now let us consider the role of national government. Consider the circumstances regarding Joseph and Mary's registration. (Despotic governments require certain duties regardless of how much difficulty it places on its citizens.) The holy family was required to go to the city of their birth and pay taxes after registering. Surely at this point, a very pregnant girl and her "espoused" mate would have been denied a room at the local hotel, having experienced ID problems (It would be illegal for a desk clerk to rent them a room, knowing this is a pregnant girl with an older male companion.). The state today would definitely have forbidden a stable to be rented as a birthing place for any child. It would have been deemed unsanitary. There would have been no medical assistance present and the mid-wifery of Joseph would have been verbot! Jesus would have been born illegitimately, for Mary and Joseph had no marriage license at the time of Jesus' birth. The permanent record for Jesus would stand forever as evidence of his bastard state.
Had all these factors never surfaced, government intervention would surely have taken place when Jesus was 12 yrs of age and his parents could not locate him. They would have been cited by CPS as irresponsible (imagine, leaving him unattended in the midst of strangers and without their supervision). No doubt, authorities familiar with the case would have said, "We should have taken care of this earlier."
It is evident that the "manger thing" might have been avoided, but a totalitarian government in cooperation with local "authorities" would have rendered Joseph and Mary no choice-they would have had to appear to explain their negligence. The same is true of the "religious authorities" during the time of Christ and His ministry. They ruled over the life of those who lived in their jurisdiction---meting out judgment, making regulations and demanding their jurisdictional "rights" even under Rome's occupation. (This is much like the Sheria Law attempts in modern societies [Great Britain, France, U.S.]).
(Author's note: All this conjecture makes the Scriptural relevance of "the fullness of time," extremely important. God knew what He was doing by keeping Jesus out of modern society! Strangely, in this day, that is exactly what federal governments are attempting to do-keep Jesus out of society.)
Pulling away from the nonsense of Mariology and the foolishness of modern conjecture, it is time to see what Scripture has to say about this marvelous young lady and her maturation as the mother of Jesus.
Instead of beginning with the birth of Christ, attention begins in Acts-where the last mention of Mary is found in the Bible. Following the ascension of Jesus into the heavens, which Mary witnessed, her friends returned to the upper room, where they had been instructed to tarry until the Holy Ghost came upon them. Mary was particularly singled out as being present in that gathering.
Mary kept her family together after Jesus was taken to heaven. She was present when the Holy Ghost came with "cloven tongues of fire." He entered her, just as He did in the others, for she was like all the other disciples. Get this truth: the Holy Spirit baptism on the day of Pentecost was experienced by Mary. She was not singled out as an "exception." She was not given "special treatment" by the Spirit. She was just like the other disciples who gathered there and had all things in common. She was probably there when Ananias and Sapphira were struck down. She was surely present during the influx of 5,000 and 3,000 new converts. She was there when the Grecian widows complained. She was there, just like all the rest. Think of it--the woman who birthed, nursed and nurtured Jesus during his early years was just like everyone else-in need of Calvary, repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ. Mariology refuses to grasp this truth! Jesus took control of this issue.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. (My special appreciation for John Greiner of Glorious Way Church
in pointing out this scripture to me.)
Jesus honored His mother, but not above other mothers, and not above other humans. Never once did He elevate her to "sainthood" or offer her an exclusive "intermediary position." She was given no special treatment. Quite the opposite, for in some cases His words to her and to those surrounding her were a bit shocking.
Consider Jesus' provision for Mary while on the cross. His provision was a spiritual decision, which wrested her from her own children. As a widow with grown sons, Mary could have lived with them. Since Jesus was the eldest son, he recognized his positional responsibility and chose a fellow disciple to care for His mother's remaining years. Scripture handles this matter in just one sentence.
Addressing her as "woman" removed her from the realm of personal advantage and placed her as one among millions sharing her gender. "Woman," held an element of endearment as did reference to John, "Behold your mother." Jesus cared for her. Her station as His mother was now finished. The intention to "transfer" her to the care of another who would treat her as his own mother was a beautiful moment, especially from the agony and ignominy of the cross. Nevertheless, the event marked a milestone where, from that day forward, her relationship with Him had changed!
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
John took her to his home and assumed all responsibility for her care. But what of her care when John was exiled to Patmos? Was she deceased by then? Why is there no further word of her beyond the Acts reference? Surely the "blessed Virgin Mary" should have been taken up to heaven in some grand fashion and then festooned with regal robes of great authority, but she was not.
She finished her course true to the faith and awaits the resurrection just as every believer gone to the grave.
(Note the Scriptures below, in light of the Glastonbury theory, especially the passage relating to Galilee and His home country.) Whereas the Jerusalem group did not know him, the locals officials did. They were offended at Him, but recognized His family as being "one of them."
It is interesting to note that Mary lived in an arena of unbelief, as did Jesus' brothers and sisters.
Actually, Galilee was God's chosen destination for Joseph and Mary. Here, Mary definitely had a normal life with Joseph after the birth of Jesus-a life that included marital relations and the addition of several children. These half brothers to Jesus must have had a hurdle to overcome especially with His claim to be the Son of God.
There is some evidence, including the Glastonbury studies, that have Mary
returning to England and being buried there. The account of the "missing
years" of Jesus from his twelfth year to his thirtieth year when he started his
ministry has been a mystery to some. However, many historians believe He lived with His mother at Glastonbury. They have Him taken there following Joseph's death by his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea. They traced his uncle's business concerns to include a tin mine in England. They explain the twenty-eight year absence based on the consternation of the rulers of the Temple who questioned "who He was." Had Jesus remained local (they conclude) the rulers would have known Him without question. Some say those years in Glastonbury soon gave avenue for Mary's return after Jesus' death and the building of the stone church founded there.
(E., Raymon Capt, The Traditions of Glastonbury, 18th Printing, 2004, Artisan
Publishers, Muskogee, OK, 774402)
Jesus worked miracles everywhere He went, but not many in His home town. They were too well acquainted with Joseph, Mary and His brothers and sisters to believe His ascertions. They felt they had proof enough of His humanity, but not His Deity. Mary and her family were evidently accepted as a part of the religious community of that area well after Joseph's death.
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables (about the sower), then He departed from there. When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, 'Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?' So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.' Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
We know that wherever Jesus went, He took opportunity to teach and preach. Many people accompanied Him. The Scriptures do not relate in which small city Jesus was ministering, but does give attention to those in His entourage. We know He was near the Sea of Galilee, for after His teaching about the "sower," he went across to the demoniac to cast out a legion of devils. Just before this momentous victory over satan, His mother appeared on the scene and some felt she deserved His attention. It is on this occasion He distanced Himself from her the first time.
(There is no mention of His mother accompanying Him during this time. However, she did appear along the way, probably unbeknown to Him or without contacting Him before arriving. Some in the crowd recognized her.)
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities - Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
Jesus took the opportunity to distance himself from familial ties. His mother knew why He was addressing her in this manner. Jesus was saying that His real family is the family of God, not just his extended human family. He did not wish to subordinate any facet of his ministry to continuing earthly attachments and certainly not to familial obligations. In saying what He did, He was distancing himself from them. Certainly He was not elevating her to co-mediator or honoring her as living in some immaculate supernatural state. Roman Catholics have made an idol of her, and no one can follow Jesus and practice Mariology! Dependence on her for answered prayer or protection is futile and unscriptural.
Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, 'Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.'
But He answered and said to them, 'My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.'
If Rizzuto was depending on the "blessed Virgin Mary" to protect him, she failed. Like crucifixes around the neck of strippers and tattooed crosses on inmates arms, symbols are poor substitutes for a relationship with the Son of God. Crashing through all the "protective," "preventative" "bumper sticker witness" is the solid fact: 'My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.' "Hail Mary's," "yard statuary" and "parades with Mary effigies" mean nothing, now or in eternity! Communist militants in foreign countries display Roman Catholic symbols of crucifixes and Mary amulets on their person as they gun down innocent people. Jesuits have ordered murders while worshipping her.
Recently, a mafia boss in Montreal, Canada, was shot to death in his home's solarium, while standing musing his gardens and plants. Police spokesman Raphael Bergeron, covering the murder, said, "Nicolo Rizzuto died of a single bullet in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary which had outstretched arms.'
Associated Press, November 12, 2010
Great injustice has been done to Mary, who humbly followed her God and His Son!
In the following rather lengthy passage are several significant truths concerning Jesus and His mother. The scope of what Jesus said in these verses is enormous; it separates Him from the Jews and the Temple almost in the same manner He separated Himself from earthly ties in His family.
(At this point, three very important milestones had been crossed. First, He declared His divinity.
Second, He disassociated Himself from those who classified Him as "Rabbi" which would make Him subject to Temple censure. Third, His distracters sought to pull Him down to human level and human occupation by citing their knowledge of His father and mother. He soundly denounced this attempt by answering them as the Son of God.)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." 42 And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
(Jesus ignored the father and mother reference and stated new truth. He then denounced them as being part of a dying heritage. Verse 49 drew the line between the spiritual and the biological [read it aloud again].)
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
(Why did a large group fall away? They simply could not assimilate what Jesus was saying with their theology (see: verse 63). It is the same today. )
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven - not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"
When Simon said those words, he dropped (for the first time) his Temple credentials. Separating from the Temple culture was a slow process for him, because "fellowship" with the Templites appealed to his flesh. But there were limits and this was one. The line in the sand was drawn, and he saw the difference between a set of rules and the Saviour. To follow "them" would mean turning away from a relationship he knew was of God!
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus began His ministry by separating Himself from His mother and the "mother church." I use the term "mother church" because Romanists refer to themselves in the same way those in the Synagogues and the Temple referred to themselves. Both, filled with pride and arrogance, declared all that is true in religion has flowed from them. Both groups deny Jesus to be the living, breathing Son of God. (Review the following passage and the sequence of events which often are separated in preachment and are treated as unrelated events. No So! )
(The Scripture is plainly drawing upon the fact of Mary's presence as, "Mother." She gives orders and makes claims. She came to Jesus and said, "They have no wine." It was an embarrassing moment for the hosts, and she knew Jesus could do something about it. Look at Jesus' responses. First, He calls her "woman." As He began His ministry, the first order of business on His agenda was to distance Himself from His earthly mother. Instead of elevating her to supremacy, He lowers her status. Next, He further diminishes her ability to make claims on Him by saying, "What does this concern have to do with Me?" In other words, "This is Not my problem." His mother accepted her station and all but said, "I acknowledge His divinity and urge you to do what He says." She validated His divinity.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.'
4 Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.'
5 His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.'
(Jesus did a miracle of signs and wonders and by doing so manifested His glory as the Son of God. This act showed His divine authority. He was not doing witchcraft or wizardry but showing His lordship over the natural elements of this world. Jesus also created a picture of His kingdom.
The latter wine (the new covenant) would supersede the former (Old Covenant).
6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!"
11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
Next, Jesus certified His power over Spiritual Egypt. He would cleanse the Temple! The Wine and the Cleansing are greatly associated acts. Formerly, He had entered this Temple in Jerusalem as a baby submitted to custom and Law. At age twelve, He entered to begin His Father's work and spoke with authority as a teacher. Now, He entered once again, this time with divine Lordship. Both acts (the wine and the whip) produced one result; they established His authority and established His Lordship. They separated Him from the "ordinary."
Jesus catapulted Himself into ministry, but He did not take Mary with Him. These acts separated Him from Her. She needed a Saviour, and He moved on to be Her Saviour too! He actually separated from her and Joseph while Joseph was still alive. Although Jesus submitted himself to their parental authority, He declared in the Temple that Joseph was not His father.
13 (See: Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48) Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, 'Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!' 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.'
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, 'What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?' (Perhaps they had heard about the marriage wine.)
19 Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'
The underlined portions are for emphasis, as they show a trail toward the ultimate determinate found in verse 49. Without denouncing either of them, He stated He was not from Joseph, but from God! Did He defy His earthly guardians? No. The Scriptures plainly say that "they did not understand the statement." They had no special anointing for understanding mysteries, dreams, visions or appearances. They even missed the significance of Jesus' remarks. Why then do the Mariologists cling to her? Those who worship her lay claim to having had visions of the Blessed Mother and gladly join the corrupted masses who have encountered her face in pots, in window panes and on masonry walls.
His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; (Mary was not endued with supernatural intuitiveness) 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, 'Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.'
49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" 50 But they (Mary and Joseph and the crowd) did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
Their misdirected homage does disservice to Jesus and Mary. Their idolatry seeks to "ease into a surrogate relationship" with Jesus, rather than making Him personal Lord and Saviour. Alas, the Catholics are not alone in the universal ploy of claiming surrogate service to Jesus.
Christmas Season and Mariology:
Finally, "The reason for the season" comes to the forefront of this study. (This bible study has steadily "backed into" the life of Jesus and culminates with the birth of Jesus by citing the scriptures relating to Him and His mother. This is done in order to see His birth as Jesus saw it.)
Jesus divested heaven and became a man in order to carry out the plan of God. He viewed Mary as one of God's instruments in that plan. He never once elevated her to supernatural status, nor die He fail to point out the supernaturalness of His own life.
Elevation of Mary has been done by those seeking to diminish the power and authority of Christ. Mary adoration has been used to present a mediatrix to mankind and to add her to a long line of ancient female figures (all of whom were condemned by the prophets). Having a female deity lends itself to religious inclusionism. It joins the world's pagan schemes. Mary worship joins other pagan deities, offers solace to those who seek plurality to salvation. Praying to the "Blessed Virgin" whose "sacred heart" is portrayed as the "Queen of Heaven" or the "mother of God," profits nothing even when approved by Catholic Charismatics who speak in tongues, wave flags and raise their hands while singing "Kumbaya."
Proper perspective: Simeon and Anna
When Simeon and Anna met Mary and Joseph and honored their son as the Messiah, they represented all of the Old Testament saints bowing and prophesying over Him. They culminated the Old Testament and welcomed the New.
They recognized the unfolding plan of God in history. Since the foundation of the earth, the lamb slain had a sealed transaction. Unfolding in prophecy, from Genesis to the time of silence (400 years) before His birth, the proper time had come. Simeon and Anna honored the Messiah's birth, acknowledged His destiny and blessed Him, while offering no superlatives to Mary.
Simeon was led by the Spirit to the Temple area where Jesus was. As Simeon was blessing Jesus and warning Mary about His crucifixion, at the very moment when these prophetic words were being breathed, Anna arrived to add her benediction and blessing. "At that instant" is not happenstance.
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 'Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.'
33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, 'Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'
36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Simeon and Anna joined the sequence of events surrounding Jesus' birth. They were an integral part of an unfolding drama (just as the Angel announcement, the jumping of John in Elizabeth's womb, the journey to Bethlehem under government demand, the Shepherds, the wise men-even the threats and flight to Egypt). All these events were choreographed by Jesus' real Father.
When one takes the birth of Jesus in its sequential perspective as the unfolding of prophecy, then the human dimension positions itself properly in the grand scheme. The earthly players yielded themselves to the Spirit just as every soul, used of God, must yield to the grand plan of the ages.
It is time to review the following verses:
(The only accolades expressed from heaven upon Mary were these: Highly favored and blessed among women. That is why Jesus referred to her several times as "WOMAN." The Angel's words have been taken out of context and used to twist the meaning of what the Angel was saying. Does "Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus" sound familiar? )
(1) Luke 1:26-28
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!'
(Her reaction was a contrite one, willing to be whatever God wanted her to be---she "Amen-ed [let it be]" the Angel.)
(2.) Luke 1:38 Mary's Acceptance
Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
(Elizabeth reaffirmed what the Angel said. The response of Mary was right from her heart.)
(3) Luke 1:42 Elizabeth:
2 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'
(Notice her estimation of self as "lowly." Mary would never have dreamed the adulation and idolatry that has been associated with her name. Her confession that "All generations will call me blessed" has come to pass, for she was used uniquely and mightily of the Lord. She is known world wide for her place in history. We call her blessed. We call her Son Holy!)
Luke 1:46-49 Mary:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
9 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
(John's father added to the stream of prophecy, both over his son and Mary's unborn baby.
His words show the demarcation between these two who were born of women. Both women gave birth to men of destiny, both through submission to the will of God. )
(4) Zachariah's prophecy:
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace."
(Scripture is careful to point this matter out. Mary gave birth having no marriage ceremony even though betrothal held a great deal of gravity in ancient times. We are not told she had an easy time in child birth. We are not told there was none of the normal struggle, sweat, tears and crying out, while pushing and experiencing birth pangs. We are not told of any Israelitish midwife present, only Joseph. We do know, she was watched over, protected and had comfort from God.)
(5) Betrothed, Engaged.
Luke 2:5 Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
(The shepherds' visit was like a continuation of the words from God. It was an affirmation of the supernatural power operating in Mary's circumstances. "She kept and pondered" the Shepherd's words. I like that. That's the way revelation is-something to keep and ponder. )
(6) Luke 2:17-19 Shepherds
17 After the Angels came and spoke to the Shepherds; the Shepherds came and repeated all the words to Mary and Joseph. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
(The supernatural affirmation of the star in the sky, the arrival of men who had stored treasures of the past and brought them to Him [ the designated King] and their supernatural revelation to go another route home included a phrase, "they saw the young Child with Mary His mother-and worshipped HIM!)
(7) Matthew 2:11-12 The Wise Men:
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
(The forces of the devil were stirred because they could see God was at work. The flight to Egypt was already in the scheme of history. All history is supernatural. Note, the angel did not appear to Mary but to Joseph who was considered by God to be the head of his household. "Take the young Child and His mother." Provision was made for the family because they were uniquely a integrated unit. )
(8) Matthew 2:13-15 The Flight to Egypt
The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, 'Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.'
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.'
(Life was not easy being connected directly to the Son of God. It required an arduous and difficult trip to Egypt and living by faith while there. Joseph did not know how long he would remain in Egypt when he moved there. He was required to wait until the Spirit said, "Return." When he did return to Israel, he found he couldn't just live anywhere. He was fearful of an unholy government. Because these are a people of destiny, the Lord directed them to Galilee and the city of Nazareth in order to fulfill prophecy. So it is with all who are led by the Spirit. We must live where the Spirit dictates.)
(9) Matthew 2:22-23 Fear
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, 'He shall be called a Nazarene.'
These words were spoken by Mary at the very beginning of the advent of Jesus. Mary was of the lineage of David through Nathan (Joseph's lineage through Solomon is not relevant to Jesus.).
(10) Luke 1:54-55 Abraham's Seed
54 'He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.'
The significance of these four verses is twofold. They revealed the depth of understanding captured in the heart of a very young girl. The capacity for spiritual prowess among young people is greatly under cast among most Christian churches and groups. The same is often true of congregations as pastors are surveyed about the depth of message their audiences can receive.
Second, Mary's words reflected the Divine purpose expressed in God's covenant with Abraham. Saints should be continually reminded of their heritage through Abraham; they are his seed. The blessings, protection and promises through him are enormous. Paul understood this and so must we.
May this Christmas season mean more than pageants, great music and arrays of presents. May Mariology be forever buried as myth and exposed as a tragic misuse of Scripture. May saints recognize the greater aspects of Joseph and Mary's commitment and remember the real word for the New Year:
Until Next Month and Next Year,
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing will be impossible.
Dr. C. R. Oliver, PhD.
FROM THE MAILBAG:
From L. V., Wake Forest, N.C.
Hi, I have been greatly blessed and challenged by the writings the Holy Spirit has given you over the years and have several books and receive the email newsletter. The Lord has directed me to send a donation for new churches or a new church somewhere as the Lord leads you. Thank you and may God keep blessing and sanctifying you. We also pray for you and the ministry. 11/7/2010.
From Paul W., Florida
Since our conversation, yesterday, I have taken time to watch/listen to your Hot Springs "hot" message. That is the first message I have heard, confirming what our LORD has shown me, having come out of the "system", in 1994-95. Of course, your book (Sons of Zadok) had previously watered that seed.
I look forward to fellowship face to face at His appointed time….
In closing Isaiah 21:11 comes to mind, "Watchman, what of the night"? Could this be a clarion call for today? It appears to be.
Blessings to you, your family and all Zadok Sons
P.S. You have heard "you can take the boy out of the country but not necessarily the country out of the boy". Well, anything of the "system" remaining in me, "LORD, cleanse this vessel completely to be of your use in your Kingdom plan. Amen". "And, may this prayer be for all whose hearts are seeking You in spirit and truth".
In conjunction with Kevin and Joy Stoltenberg of Nevada, OEA is providing several projection
Groups with equipment as well as sponsoring Missionary, Jim Courier, as field director to Guatemala in January. It has been our blessings to assist in Ecuador projects and fund completely the Costa Rican work.
Many of you may not be able to sow seeds of dollars to the missionaries, but you just might have "Airline Miles" that could be used by them. If you do, please contact Kevin Stoltenburg and make them available for he and Jim Courier. firstname.lastname@example.org
Next month we will have a full report from them and our recent visit with Voice of Martyrs as well as our celebration of the 25th anniversary of First Cambodian church in Aldine, Texas.
For further study of this month's topic, please contact www.chick.com and order the book, Queen of All. I have not personally reviewed this text, but I am assured many of the items of this work are similar to what is written in the December Newsletter. Jack Chick has done a wonderful service to the kingdom and his newsletter, Battle Cry, is worth requesting.