Searching for the Messiah: Following the Star & Listening to the Prophetic

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as was written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters two and three of this New Testament book. SEARCHING FOR A KING IN THE PLACE OF KINGS FINDING THE KING IS NOT THERE! SEARCHING FOR A KING IN THE PLACE OF KINGS DISCOVERING THE KING WAS NOT BORN THERE! ONE BORN KING OF THE JEWS YET WAS NOT BORN IN THE CITY OF KINGS! WHERE IS HE THAT IS BORN KING OF THE JEWS? THE DAYS OF A NEW KING BEING BORN IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL! THE FIRST KING TO BE BORN KING OF THE JEWS SINCE THE DAYS OF THE KINGS WHICH BEGAN TRUTHFULLY BEGAN WITH DAVID, YET CAN BE TRACED BACK TO SAUL!

THE TIME OF THE KING HAS COME! THE BIRTH OF A NEW KING AND WITH IT A NEW KINGDOM! [IN THE SECOND CHAPTER WE READ OF THE BIRTH OF THE KING, WHILE IN THE THIRD CHAPTER WE READ OF THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM]. NOW BEHOLD YOUR KING! THE BIRTH OF THE KING! THE STAR OF THE KING WHICH APPEARED IN THE EAST!

(THE CHRISTMAS STAR RECENTLY APPEAREDIN THE SKY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS). THE WISE MEN CAME SPEAKING OF ONE BORN KING OF THE JEWS AND WHEN HEROD INQUIRED WHERE THE CHRIST WOULD BE BORN HE WAS TOLD IN BETHLEHEM! HEROD SENT THE WISE MEN TO BETHLEHEM! IT WAS HEROD THAT SENT THE WISE MEN TO BETHLEHEM! [LED BY THE STAR FROM JERUSALEM TO BETHLEHEM! IT WAS THE STAR THAT LED THE WISE MEN TO THE MESSIAH AND CHRIST] A SIGN IN THE HEAVEN ANNOUNCED THE ARRIVAL OF THE MESSIAH! A SIGN IN THE HEAVEN ANNOUNCED THE BIRTH OF THE KING!

WORSHIP AND TREASURES! (AND BEING WARNED OF GOD IN A DREAM! THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARETH TO JOSEPH IN A DREAM! AN ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARETH IN A DREAM TO JOSEPH IN EGYPT! BEING WARNED OF GOD IN A DREAM). A STAR IN THE EAST, DREAMS IN THE NIGHT, THE PROPHETIC WORD FULFILLED! [THE SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS & HEROD’S RAGE] [CHAPTER ONE IS THE SAVIOR! CHAPTER TWO IS THE KING!]

DREAMS AND THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHETIC WORD MADE WAY FOR THE EMERGENCE OF THE FIRST PROPHETIC VOICE IN FOUR-HUNDRED YEARS! THE MANIFESTATION OF THE FIRST PROPHETIC VOICE IN FOUR CENTURIES! [CHAPTER THREE BEGINS WITH THE VOICE OF THE MESSENGER AND CONCLUDES WITH THE VOICE OF THE FATHER!] FOR THE FIRST TIME THE VOICE OF GOD IS HEARD FROM HEAVEN! (WHO BESIDES JESUS HEARD THE VOICE OF GOD SPEAK CONCERNING THE SON WHEN HE EMERGED FROM THE WATERS OF THE JORDAN?)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will immediately be captured and captivated with the fact that when and during the days when Jesus the Messiah and Christ was born in Bethlehem there came wise men from the east in search of this Messiah. What so absolutely and utterly fascinates me about the wise men coming from the east is that Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how far they traveled that they might arrive in the land where the Messiah was born. Scripture makes no mention of what the journey of these wise men were who came from the east—only that they observed the star of the Messiah and of the Christ appear in the night sky and followed that star unto they finally came unto the city of Jerusalem. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that this star would have led the wise men as far as Judaea and unto the city of Jerusalem, and yet upon their arriving there at the city of Jerusalem they would discover the Messiah had not been born there. In fact, what we find when reading the text is that when Herod heard of this reality of one being born King of the Jews he was troubled—and not only he was troubled, but all Jerusalem was troubled with him. There is not a doubt in my mind that even though the Messiah had been born unto and among them during those days there was absolutely no one who was even aware of the presence of the Messiah among them. If and as you read the words found within this text you will find and discover that when the Messiah was born—not only was He born in obscurity, but He was also born without and apart any fanfare, any pomp and any circumstance. We know that the star of the Messiah appeared in the sky and that the wise men from the east followed the star unto the city of Jerusalem, and we know that the angels appeared in the night time sky in the heavens singing praise and glorifying the living and holy God for the birth of the Messiah, but aside from these two experiences there was no announcement, nor was there any proclamation concerning the birth of the Messiah, nor that a King had been born among them.

What so absolutely and completely fascinates me about this passage of Scripture is that if it weren’t for the wise men appearing from the east and arriving in the city of Jerusalem speaking of one who had been born King of the Jews and their seeing His star in the heavens—not only would Herod not have known that one had been born unto and among them, but neither would Jerusalem know that there had been one born among them who was destined to be King of the Jews. Stop and consider just how absolutely incredible this truly is, for the Word which was in the beginning with God, and the Word which in the beginning was God became flesh and dwelt among us within and upon the earth, and there was not a single soul in the city of Jerusalem who was the wiser concerning His birth and presence among them. The star appeared in the sky unto wise men from the east, and those wise men made the conscious and deliberate decision to rise from their place and make the journey unto where the star would lead them. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if like the Queen of Sheba came from the east unto the city of Jerusalem to witness and behold all she had heard concerning Solomon king of Jerusalem, so also the wise men from the east made a similar journey as they followed the star which appeared in the heavens. If and as you study Scripture you will find that east was incredibly significant, for there was always this pull and this draw for men to come from the east and unto the place of promise and blessing. We know that the LORD called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans unto the land of Canaan, and how that land would initially be a land of sojourning and pilgrimage for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s household before they would venture down into the land of Egypt. We know that during the days of Solomon many kings of the nations round about Israel and the city of Jerusalem came unto the land to witness and behold the wisdom, the wealth, and the witness of Solomon king of Israel in the midst of the land. We know that the Queen of Sheba came from the east and would come unto the city of Jerusalem that she might witness and behold the truth and report of what she heard concerning Solomon king of Israel. Now here we are several generations removed from Solomon and there was one who was born King unto and among the people of Judaea and Jerusalem whom those of the east would once more be brought unto the place of kings.

WHEN WISE MEN ARE BROUGHT UNTO THE PLACE OF KINGS! It’s actually quite astounding to think about and consider the fact that during these days there would be wise men from the east who would follow a star which emerged and arrived in the heavens, and they would follow that star—perhaps not even knowing where it would lead them—and would ultimately come unto the city of Jerusalem, which was in times past known as a city of kings. Not only this, but during these days wise men from the east—essentially wisdom itself and the wisdom of man—was brought from the east unto the place of the throne of David and that place where the kings of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah would sit, rule and govern. I have to believe that the wise men who saw the star appear in the heavens in the east undoubtedly knew what the star meant, however, they did not know where the star would indeed and would in fact lead them. There is not a doubt in my mind that much like Abraham who followed the voice of God who appeared to him in the land of the east unto a place which he knew not, so also would these wise men follow the star which appeared in the east not knowing where it would ultimately lead them. In all reality, I find it absolutely intriguing to think about and consider the fact that the wise men who saw the star in the heavens in the east knew what the star meant when it appeared in the heavens, and they knew enough to follow the star where it would lead, however, they did not know where the star would indeed and would in fact lead them. The wise men who lived and dwelt in the east knew that when the star appeared in the heavens during those days it would signify and symbolize the birth, the arrival and the emergence of that One who was born King of the Jews, however, they did not know, nor could they predict where the star would lead them. One can’t help but wonder whether or not the wise men followed the star which appeared in the heavens unto the city of Jerusalem, or if they followed the star unto the land of Judaea and presumed and assumed that One who was born king of the Jews had been born within this city. It is absolutely and entirely unclear from Scripture whether or not the star led the wise men from the east unto the city of Jerusalem, or whether or not they followed the star unto the land of Judaea and came unto the city of Jerusalem thinking and believing that if there was one who had been born King of the Jews, they would have been born in the city which historically was known as a city of kings.

The more I think about and consider the words which are found within this passage the more I am absolutely intrigued and captivated with and by the fact that when the wise men came unto the city of Jerusalem and unto Herod having followed the star which appeared in the heavens they would inquire of Herod where this one who had been born King of the Jews was located. I happen to find this truly astonishing and remarkable, for neither Herod nor anyone in the city of Jerusalem had any idea or clue that the One whom the prophets had spoken, prophesied and foretold about in times past had indeed and had in fact been born unto and among them. When Herod heard the words which the wise men spoke unto him he was greatly troubled, and yet in the midst of his being troubled he gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together and inquired of them where the Messiah would be born. Please don’t miss and lose sight of that which is found within this passage of Scripture, for what we find within this passage reveals the fact that the scribes and the chief priests knew the Scriptures and prophecies which spoke about the birth of the Messiah and the Christ, and yet none of them had any clue the Messiah had been born unto and among them. This actually leads me to something concerning the generation in which we are living—particularly and especially concerning and considering the media outlets last month covered the Star of Bethlehem and/or “the Christmas star” would appear in the heavens. I remember reading all the coverage concerning this particular star, and immediately began thinking to myself whether or not this was indeed and was in fact a sign appearing in the heavens that would not speak to the birth of the Messiah, but rather the return of the Messiah. We know that the star appeared in the heavens and that the wise men from the east would follow the star unto Judaea and the city of Jerusalem, and I can’t help but think to myself concerning the appearance of this star in the heavens the week of Christmas that it was in and of itself a sign which was appearing in the heavens once more announcing—perhaps even preparing us for the return of the Messiah.

I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and I cannot help but be absolutely and completely captivated with and by the fact that although the scribes and the chief priests among the people within the city of Jerusalem knew the passage and prophecy in the prophetic book of Micah which spoke of the birth of the Messiah—there was not a single among them who actually knew or were even aware that what the prophet had prophesied and spoken had indeed come to pass among them. Oh they knew the Scriptures, and they knew the prophecies, and yet they were none the wiser, nor were they even aware that what the ancient Hebrew prophets had prophesied and foretold centuries and generations earlier had actually taken place among them. Building upon this theme and this concept I find myself encountering and coming face to face with the fact that this same reality can indeed—and in all reality is undoubtedly present among us within this generation. There are men and women among us who know the Scriptures, and who might know the prophetic words which have been spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets, the apostles and early church fathers, and yet they are completely oblivious to that which is taking place unto and among us within this generation. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering that the chief priests and scribes of the people knew the Scriptures and knew the words of the prophet, and even knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and yet not only were they aware that what had been spoken came to pass in their generation, but also that they were living in the days of prophecy and Scripture fulfilled. Pause for a moment and consider just how absolutely remarkable those days truly were—particularly and especially when you read the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew—for when you read the words which are found within the opening chapters of this gospel you will find Matthew quoting and referring back to the words of the prophets, and how what was taking place during those days was indeed the fulfillment of what had been spoken in times past by the prophets.

LIVING IN THE GENERATION OF PROPHECY FULFILLED! I am absolutely blown away with and by the fact that time and time again within the opening chapters of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the mention of the prophetic and that which had been spoken in time past by the ancient Hebrew prophets. I read the words which are found within these Scriptures and not only do I see the apostle referencing how events which took place during those days fulfilled that which had been prophesied by the ancient Hebrew prophets, but even the words of the prophet Micah were quoted and referenced by the chief priests and scribes of the people when Herod inquired of them where the Messiah and Christ was to be born. In all reality there are two distinct elements of the prophetic which are found within the opening chapters of this gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, for on the one hand we find the apostle Matthew using the events which took place during those days to show and demonstrate that what the prophets spoke about and foretold was indeed coming to pass during those days and among those who were living in that generation. On the other hand, we find the chief priests and the scribes of the people quoting the prophet Micah concerning that place within the land of Judaea where the Messiah and the Christ would be born. The apostle Matthew would use the events which took place during those days to demonstrate how the words of the prophets were being fulfilled and being brought to pass among them, while there would be the additional element of the prophetic that would be found during those days as the prophetic message concerning the Christ would be proclaimed unto Herod in the city of Jerusalem. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how incredible important and powerful this truly is, for it brings us face to face with the fact that although prophecy was being fulfilled during those days there were very few who were even aware that what their ancient prophets had spoken of and foretold had actually come to pass.

The more I read and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the fact that the wise men who came from the east and appeared in Jerusalem did so because they saw the star of the Messiah appear in the heavens, and they themselves would indeed be a witness and proclamation concerning the Messiah. If you stop and think about and consider the journey which the wise men took—and not only the journey they took, but also their arrival and appearance in the city of Jerusalem—you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that their arrival and appearance in the midst of the city of Jerusalem was indeed a witness concerning the birth and the arrival of the Messiah. We know the star appeared in the heavens and how the wise men from the east followed the star and would ultimately come unto the city of Jerusalem, however, with this we must also recognize and understand that while the star would appear in the heavens, there would be a secondary witness that would be manifested and present in the midst of the land of Judea and the city of Jerusalem—namely, the appearance and arrival of the wise men. There were none within and none among those living within the city of Jerusalem who knew that outside the city that One who was to be King of the Jews had been born unto and among them, and yet wise men from the east would themselves arrive unto and among them and be a witness unto Herod and unto all those in this city that something profound and prophetic had taken place among them. Although the Messiah would not be born within the city of Jerusalem, and although the Messiah would not be born in the city where the ancient kings of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah would sit upon the throne of David, He would nonetheless be born in the very city of David where David the king of Israel would be born and would be anointed by Samuel the prophet in the presence of all his brethren and his father. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for the appearance of the wise men in the city of Jerusalem would indeed in and of itself be a powerful witness unto Herod, unto the chief priests, unto the scribes of the people, and unto the people themselves that there was one had been born among them who was to be King of the Jews.

With all of this being said, I find it completely and utterly intriguing to think about and consider the fact that the wise men saw the star appear in the heavens, and they would follow the star from where they dwelt in the east, and they even understood what the star meant, however, their journey would not end and reach its final point in the city of Jerusalem. For these wise men—their arrival in the city of Jerusalem might very well have seemed to be the end of their journey to find the Messiah, however, Scripture points to and reveals that the star would lead them unto the city of the kings of Israel, and the city of David. It would be in the city of Jerusalem where they would receive a critical piece of information that would be directly linked and connected to the star which had appeared in the heavens, for essentially the star would first lead them to a place of revelation and interpretation. As you read Scripture you will find the star which appeared in the heavens would bring the wise men unto the city of Jerusalem, however, the Messiah had not been born in the city of Jerusalem, nor was the Messiah present within the city. It would be there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the wise men would receive that revelation—that revelation which had been prophesied centuries earlier by Micah of Moresheth—concerning the Messiah. The wise men from the east would follow the star unto the city of Jerusalem, however, it would be in the city of Jerusalem the star would be intrinsically and directly linked to the prophetic revelation which had been spoken in times past, and was once more spoken during those days. One might almost get the sense and say that the star which appeared in the heavens would lead the wise men to the place of revelation and unto the place of the prophetic and Scripture, and it would be that revelation that would lead them to the place where the Messiah actually was.

THE STAR LED THE WISE MEN TO THE CITY OF JERUSALEM, HOWEVER, THE CITY OF JERUSLAEM WAS MERELY A PIT STOP AND RESTING PLACE UNTIL THEY WOULD ULTIMATELY COME UNTO THE PLACE WHERE THE MESSIAH ACTUALLY WAS! I have to admit that when and as I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I am completely and utterly captivated with and by the fact that the wise men would see the star appear in the heavens in the eastern sky, and they would receive the revelation that the Messiah was to be born in the town of Bethlehem, however, their experience with the star would not be complete. Upon reading the words which the apostle Matthew wrote in this passage of Scripture you will find that after the wise men had heard how the Messiah was to be born in the town of Bethlehem the star which they had followed would lead them unto Bethlehem—and not only unto Bethlehem, but also unto that place where the Messiah actually was. How absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that when the wise men first followed the star which had appeared in the heavens in the east they would do so without the manifestation of the prophetic revelation, however, when the wise men arrived in the city of Jerusalem they would receive that prophetic revelation which had been spoken by an ancient Hebrew prophet. This second journey of the wise men would not only be one that would find them following the star which had appeared in the heavens, but also following the star according to the revelation which had been spoken by the prophet Micah. Oh there is something about following the sign(s) which appear in the heavens together with the knowledge and understanding of that which had been spoken by the prophets. I firmly believe and am absolutely and completely convinced that while in recent years there was talk about “The Revelation 12” sign appearing in the heavens, as well as “The Christmas Star” appearing in the heavens, we must needs understand and acknowledge the fact that the signs in the heavens are only part of the mystery and part of the picture. There is not a doubt in my mind that while the signs which appear in the heavens are themselves a powerful witness and testimony unto themselves—there is a great and powerful need to follow, pay attention to, and observe the signs in the heavens together with the words which the ancient prophets, apostles and early church fathers spoke and wrote during their generations.

I sit here today writing these words and I am absolutely and completely captivated with and by the fact that the wise men initially followed the star which appeared in the heavens knowing what the star represented and what the star meant, however, they did not know where the star would lead them. Moreover, the wise men which traveled and journeyed from the east had the appearance of the star without and absent the prophetic revelation which would be revealed within the city of Jerusalem. We must needs pay close and careful attention to this, for the city of Jerusalem was absolutely critical and necessary for the wise men on their journey, for it would be there in the city of Jerusalem where they would receive that additional piece of revelation that would accompany their following of the star. It is truly something worth noting and pointing out that the star would continue to lead the wise men—even from the city of Jerusalem—however, the wise men would now have something they did not have when they initially set out on their journey. Oh there is something about following the star which appeared in the heavens, and doing so with the prophetic revelation which was made known unto them upon their arrival in the city of Jerusalem. This must needs be absolutely and carefully considered when seeking to understand the words which are found within this passage—and not only when seeking to understand the words which are found in this passage, but also within our lives. There is something about not only following the star, but also following the star with the prophetic revelation at the forefront of our hearts and our minds. The wise men  initially set out on their journey with the star and sign in the heavens which would lead them, however, once they came to Jerusalem they would now not only have the star and sign in the heavens, but would also have the revelation of the ancient Hebrew prophet.

FOLLOWING THE STAR AND UNDERSTANDING THE REVELATION! THE SIGN AND THE REVELATION! THE SIGN AND THE PROPHETIC! I have to admit that in all the years I have read and studied Scripture—and specifically the four gospels—I have never seen this particular reality and truth. I have read the gospel narrative of the birth of the Messiah countless times, and this is indeed the first time I have seen and observed the truth of the sign in the heavens and the revelation in the Scripture. THE SIGN IN THE HEAVENS AND THE REVELATION IN SCRIPTURE! I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs pay close and careful attention to what is found within these passages, for they present us with a tremendous blueprint and guide for us within the days and generation in which we are living. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that there is something truly powerful about initially following the sign which appeared in the heavens, however, there was something entirely and altogether different about following the sign in the heavens together with the prophetic revelation. If and as you read the Scripture you will find that the prophetic revelation would lead the wise men unto the city of Bethlehem, however, it would be the star that would actually lead them to the actual house, the actual abode and dwelling place of the Messiah. Please don’t miss and lose sight of just how absolutely wonderful and incredible this truly is, for it is absolutely necessary and imperative for us within this generation—particularly and especially as we are living in the days and generation leading up to the arrival and appearance of the Messiah at His second coming. Scripture—and specifically the apostle Matthew—reveals how the prophetic  revelation would reveal the town and location where the Messiah would be born, however, the star would still be necessary for them to come to the very place where the Messiah was. Oh how truly wonderful it is that the wise men would ultimately accomplish and complete their journey which they had set out from the east to fulfill. The wise men from the east would follow the star that they might ultimately come unto the place where the Messiah and the One who was born King of the Jews had been born, and they would ultimately be brought to the very place where He, Mary and Joseph were.

YOUR JOURNEY DOES NOT END HERE! THIS IS NOT THE FINAL POINT OF YOUR JOURNEY! YOU STILL HAVE FURTHER TO GO! YOUR JOURNEY IS INCOMPLETE! THERE IS YET MORE DISTANCE YOU NEED TO TRAVEL! THIS IS NOT THE PLACE YOU SOUGHT TO COME UNTO! The words which are found in this passage of Scripture points to and reveals the awesome fact that while the wise men would initially follow the star which would appear in the heavens from the east unto the city of Jerusalem—the city of Jerusalem would not be the final place of their journey. The journey for the wise men which began in the east would indeed lead them to the city of Jerusalem, however, it would be in the city of Jerusalem they would receive an additional piece of revelation needed as they followed the star. What I find absolutely astonishing is when you think about and consider the fact that wise men didn’t simply follow the star from the east unto the town of Bethlehem, but they came unto the city of Jerusalem. I still cannot escape the thought of whether or not the wise men followed the star itself unto the city of Jerusalem, or whether in the process of following the star they came unto the city of Jerusalem thinking that the One who was born King of the Jews had been born there. Regardless of how and what happened we can be absolutely sure of the fact that it was in the city of Jerusalem the wise men received additional revelation which would directly impact their journey following the star. In all reality, I have to admit that I absolutely love the narrative of the wise men coming unto the city of Jerusalem—and not only their coming unto the city of Jerusalem, but also the revelation that would be received within the city—for it would demonstrate and reveal that the city of Jerusalem was not the final destination of their journey. Jerusalem would be but a city they would pass through that they might receive that revelation which would be needed to bring them unto the place where the Messiah was.

If and as you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that it was in the city of Jerusalem the wise men would hear and learn of the importance and significance of the town of Bethlehem, and how it was foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophet Micah that the Messiah would be born within it. It would be in the city of Jerusalem the wise men would discover the name of the town of Bethlehem, however, it would be the star that would lead them from the city of Jerusalem unto the town of Bethlehem. Not only would the star lead them from the city of Jerusalem unto the town of Bethlehem, but the star would actually stood over the house and place where the Messiah and Christ was together with Mary and Joseph. Oh we must needs recognize and pay close attention to this particular reality, for while the wise men would discover the name of the town where the Messiah and Christ would be born—they would follow the star from the city of Jerusalem unto Bethlehem that they might come unto the exact place the Messiah would be present. How truly remarkable and captivating this is when you take the time to think about it, for what we find within the narrative of the wise men coming from the east is that their journey would lead them unto the city of Jerusalem where they would think—and perhaps even assume the Messiah had been born—and yet their journey would extend beyond Jerusalem and would ultimately bring them unto the town of Bethlehem. Please do not miss just how absolutely incredible and important this truth and reality truly is, for it brings us face to face with the fact that there was a strong and intrinsic link and connection between the sign which appeared in the heavens and led these wise men and the prophetic revelation that had been revealed by the prophet Micah of Moresheth. Although the Messiah had not been and would not be born in the midst of the city of Jerusalem it would be in that city the wise men would learn the name of the town where the Messiah actually would be born. Upon hearing the name of the town and place the wise men would then follow the star from Jerusalem until it would lead them unto the town of Bethlehem, and ultimately unto the very house and location where the Messiah was.

DON’T STOP AT JERUSALEM! DON’T STOP NOW! THERE IS STILL MORE TO JOURNEY! THERE IS STILL MORE TO TRAVEL! YOUR JOURNEY DOES NOT END HERE! THIS IS NOT THE FINAL DESTINATION OF YOUR JOURNEY! Oh it is truly something remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that while the wise men would indeed come unto Jerusalem—perhaps thinking and believing the Messiah had been born there—their journey would not stop nor culminate there, for their journey would lead them just a little further until they would arrive in the town of Bethlehem, and unto the place where the Messiah and His parents were living and dwelling. I have to admit that it is quite astonishing to think about the fact that the wise men were adamant and determined to find this One who had been born King of the Jews, and even after speaking with Herod in the city of Jerusalem and learning of the town of Bethlehem, they would continue on with their journey until they would come unto the house where the Messiah was. This is something we must needs recognize and pay careful attention to, for I am absolutely and completely convinced it stands and serves as a powerful witness and invitation to us as the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in this generation. There are countless men and women who have come unto their own personal Jerusalem in their pursuit and quest to find and experience the Christ and the Messiah, and yet that journey does not end, nor does it culminate in that Jerusalem. There are countless men and women among us who are being called and invited to travel and journey beyond Jerusalem until they arrive and come unto the place where the Messiah and Christ actually is. I can’t help but be hear the voice of the Spirit speaking unto men and women within this generation and instructing them to not stop at and to not stop with Jerusalem, but to continue on until they come to the place of the Messiah and the place of the presence.

FOLLOW THE SIGN(S)! HEED THE PROPHETIC REVELATION! CONTINUE WITH THE JOURNEY! There is not a doubt in my mind as I write these words that there is a wonderful and powerful invitation that is found within this passage for the saints and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in this generation to pay attention to and follow the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws us into the place where we continue on in our journey and pursuit of the Messiah. The wise men saw the star of the Messiah in the heavens while they were in the land of the east, and they rose to follow that star not knowing where the star would indeed lead them. They would initially come unto the city of Jerusalem inquiring concerning One who was born King of the Jews only to discover that it had been prophesied that the Messiah and Christ would be born in the town of Bethlehem. It would then be from the city of Jerusalem the wise men would then travel and journey unto the town of Bethlehem as the star would lead them unto this town and unto the very house where the Messiah actually was. Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a great need for us within this generation to pay close attention to the signs which have appeared and will continue to appear in the heavens—and not only follow and pay close attention to the signs which appear in the heavens, but also understand and consider that which has been spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets, as well as the ancient Jewish apostles and early church fathers. There is a great need for us to recognize the signs which are appearing before us within this generation and to understand those signs in light of that which has been spoken by apostles and prophets alike and is presented before us within Scripture. We must needs acknowledge and understand that which has been written and recorded within the Scripture, for there is a tremendous invitation found within Scripture to bring us face to face with what is absolutely necessary from us within this generation and during these times. The wise men arrived at Jerusalem, however, their journey would continue to lead them beyond Jerusalem and ultimately unto the town of Bethlehem.

ARE YOU WILLING TO VENTURE BEYOND JERUSALEM? ARE YOU WILLING TO JOURNEY BEYOND JERUSALEM TO ULTIMATELY REACH THE FINAL DESTINATION AND PURPOSE OF YOUR JOURNEY? It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, for the words which are found in this passage of Scripture bring us face to face with our need to not only recognize and understand the signs which are manifesting and appearing before us, but also understand that which has been written and spoken in times past by the apostles and prophets alike. I am convinced that just as the wise men saw the sign of the Messiah in the heavens and followed that sign unto the place where the Messiah was during and at His first coming, so also must we see and recognize the signs which are appearing and manifesting themselves unto and among us within these days and within this generation that we might come unto the place of revelation, knowledge and understand. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how incredibly important the signs are within this generation, for the signs are ultimately pointing us to the tremendous reality that the Messiah is indeed returning and coming again. Just as surely as the wise men from the east followed the star and sign which appeared in the heavens unto the place of the Messiah, so also must we be sons of Issachar who not only understand the times, but also understand what is needed and what ought to be done during these days and this generation. There is a great need for men and women in this generation to make ready and prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah a second time—and not as a babe born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

It is truly something worth thinking about and considering—in addition to the journey the wise men made from the east to come unto the town of Bethlehem where the Messiah who had been born was with Mary and Joseph—the intrinsic link and connection between the prophetic words of the ancient Hebrew prophets, the events which took place during those days, and the dreams which were given unto Joseph. You cannot read the words which are found within these chapters and within these passages and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that these days were not only days that were filled with prophetic fulfillment, but these days were days that were filled with dreams and revelation. You cannot read the words found within these chapters and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous reality of how the events which took place during those days—and not only the events which took place during those days, but also the dreams which were given unto Joseph—worked in perfect harmony and unity with that which had been spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets. There is absolutely no denying and mistaking the fact that during these days the words of the ancient Hebrew prophets were being mightily fulfilled among those in that generation, as that which the prophets had spoken and foretold would ultimately come to pass among them. Even though the entire city of Jerusalem—the chief priests, the scribes of the people, the people themselves, Herod, and others—had absolutely no clue the Messiah had been born in the town of Bethlehem, the words spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets had indeed come and were indeed coming to pass before and among them. Those who were alive and present during this generation and within these days were living in days and times of tremendous and incredible prophetic fulfillment, as words which had long been at the very heart of the Messianic expectation were now being manifested unto and among them. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and not be entirely and altogether captivated with and by the fact that the events which were taking place during those days were indeed taking place that what the LORD had spoken through and by the prophets would come to pass among them.

I SEE PROPHECY FULFILLED! There is absolutely no denying the fact that during the days of the birth of the Messiah—and not only the days of the birth of the Messiah, but also the days of the public life and ministry of the Messiah—prophecy was indeed being fulfilled among those which were present within that generation. With this being said, I am absolutely and completely convinced that within the days in which were are living, and in this present generation prophecy is indeed and once more being fulfilled among us. I firmly believe that we who are alive in this generation and during these days are not only seeing certain prophecies being fulfilled, but we can and will continue to see prophecies being fulfilled. What’s more, is that I believe that we are going to see the words which the apostles and early church fathers wrote and spoke about being manifested unto and among us within these days as we prepare ourselves—not for the first coming of the Messiah and Christ, but for the second coming of the Messiah of the Christ. There is not a doubt in my mind that we are indeed living in days which are leading up to the second coming of the Messiah and Christ. I believe with everything inside me that we are indeed living in days leading up to the coming of the Messiah, and that there is a great need for us to make ready and prepare ourselves for His coming and appearing. We have a great need among us in these days and within this generation to recognize and understand the signs which are appearing unto and among us—and not only the signs which are appearing unto us, but also the prophecies which are being fulfilled before and among us in these days. That which we find within these chapters brings us face to face with the truth that the dreams which were given unto Joseph to guard and protect the Messiah were not only for the guarding and protecting of the young Child, but they were also to bring about the fulfillment of that which had been spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets.

THE BIRTH OF THE KING AND THE BEGINNING OF THE KINGDOM! The words which are written and recorded within these chapters are such that must needs be carefully considered and understood, for the words found within them are such that not only demonstrate the birth of the King, but also the beginning of the kingdom. As you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find in the second chapter the birth of the King, for when the wise men arrived in Jerusalem they inquired concerning that One who was born King of the Jews. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how incredibly important this truly is, for what we find within the third chapter is the beginning of the kingdom which that King would come to establish and set up in the midst of the earth. In the second chapter we find and discover the birth of the King, the birth of the Messiah and the birth of the Christ in the midst of Judaea, however, in the third chapter we find the beginning of the kingdom which would be established in the midst of the earth. You cannot read these chapters without encountering and coming face to face with the fact that in the second chapter we are presented with the birth of the King, and in the third chapter we actually begin to encounter the beginning of the kingdom that King came to establish in the earth. What makes this even more intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that thirty years would elapse and pass between the birth of the King in the town of Bethlehem and when John the Baptist would arrive on the scene preaching and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven, and baptizing men and women in the waters of the Jordan River. Thirty years would pass between the time the King was born in the town of Bethlehem and the time John the Baptist would begin preaching and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven and calling men to repentance. While in the second chapter we indeed read about the birth of the Messiah and the birth of the King of the Jews, it is in the third chapter where we actually begin to discover the proclamation of the kingdom that King and that Messiah actually came to establish in the midst of the earth. As we will see in the fourth chapter Jesus Himself would begin preaching the kingdom of heaven in the midst of the earth, and in chapters five through seven Jesus will actually begin to establish that kingdom through His teaching and preaching in the Sermon on the Mount.

It is something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words contained within these chapters, for if you want to truly understand chapters two and three of the New Testament gospel of Matthew you must understand them in terms of the birth of the King and the beginning of the kingdom that King came to establish in the midst of the earth. It would be in the second chapter we read of the King being born in the town of Bethlehem, and the sign of the King appearing in the heavens and leading wise men from the east unto the place where He and His parents were dwelling and abiding. It is when you come to the third chapter of this gospel narrative you will begin seeing the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven, as it is in the third chapter John the Baptist begins preaching concerning the kingdom of heaven, calling men unto repentance, baptizing men and women in water unto the remission of their sins, and preparing a people for the coming of the Messiah. That coming, that appearing, and that manifestation of the Messiah would begin to manifest the kingdom of heaven within and upon the earth, as the Messiah would not only come announcing that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and would not only begin establishing the kingdom through teaching, preaching, signs and wonders, but would also emphatically declare and proclaim that the kingdom was within them. How absolutely incredible it is to think and consider that the Messiah would initially begin declaring how the kingdom of heaven was near to actually declaring that the kingdom of heaven was actually present within them who were His disciples and followers.

The words which we find and read within these chapters and passages are absolutely and incredibly intriguing when you actually take the time to read them, for what is found in the second chapter is the birth of the King which would be signaled by a sign appearing in the heavens and would be pronounced and proclaimed by wise men who appeared from the east in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It is in the second chapter where we discover the birth of the King and the birth of the Messiah—and not only the birth of the King and the birth of the Messiah, but the journey He would take with Mary and Joseph into the land of Egypt to escape the murderous genocide Herod would unleash against and upon all those infant males who were two years old and younger. Mary, Joseph and Jesus would remain in the land of Egypt until the death of Herod when Joseph would receive a dream revealing that it was safe to return unto the land of Judaea. Joseph would take Mary and the young child back to the land of Judaea, however, when he heard that Herod’s son reigned in his place, and being divinely warned in a dream, he would take the child and his mother and live in the city of Nazareth in the land of Galilee. Oh within the second chapter you must needs recognize and understand the tremendous and intrinsic link and connection that existed between the prophetic words of the prophets which had been spoken in times past, and the direct fulfillment of those words which would be accompanied by dreams given unto Joseph. With this being said—when we come to the third chapter of this gospel narrative we find the preparation for the beginning of the manifestation of the kingdom in the midst of the earth, as John the Baptist would faithfully proclaim the powerful word and message that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. It would be John the Baptist who would rise up as a forerunner and messenger of the Messiah and would make ready and prepare a people for His arrival and His appearing. It’s interesting and worth noting that within this first coming of the Messiah there were essentially two distinct elements to it with the first being the fulfillment of that which the ancient Hebrew prophets had prophesied, and the second being the anticipation and expectation set by John the Baptist that the Messiah was about to be revealed and manifested in the midst of the earth.

If you want to truly understand this first coming of the Messiah you must needs understand it as being comprised of this first element of His being born of a virgin as was prophesied by Isaiah, and being born in Bethlehem as was prophesied by Micah. With this being said, we must also understand and recognize that this coming of the Messiah would also have a second element of anticipation and expectation, for when John the Baptist would emerge on to the scene he would prepare people for the reality that there was one coming who was mightier than he—one who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. It is truly something worth noting and pointing out that surrounding this first coming of the Messiah there would be the initial expectation that would surrounding His being born among men, while there would be a second anticipation and expectation that He was among them. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that although the Messiah who was born King of the Jews and who was the Christ had been born unto and among those in Judaea and Galilee, it would be thirty years before the Messiah would actually be manifested unto and among them. For thirty years the Messiah, the Christ, and the Word which was made flesh would dwell among men in obscurity as He would live life among us. For thirty years the Word which was made flesh would dwell among us as He lived life among men in the town of Nazareth. For thirty years the Word which was made flesh would dwell among men, and for thirty years the Messiah would be present in the midst of the earth before actually being revealed and manifested.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find myself encountering and coming face to face with the reality that surrounding the Messiah’s first coming there was the long awaited expectation and anticipation that the Messiah would be born unto and among the people of Israel. With this being said, there would be a second expectation and anticipation that would be presented unto men during the days of John the Baptist, for John the Baptist would engage in a preparatory ministry of making men and women ready for the coming of the Messiah. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to and consider this, for the words which we find within these chapters highlight and underscore the events surrounding the birth of the Messiah, however, it would be thirty years before the ultimate manifestation of the Messiah and Christ would begin to be realized and actualized in the midst of the earth. It would be thirty years before the Messiah would actually be manifested unto and among those in Galilee, Samaria and Judaea, and would walk among them as the Messiah and Christ. For thirty years He would simply walk and live among them as Jesus of Nazareth before He would begin walking among them as Jesus the Son of David—and even as Jesus the Son of God. We must needs recognize and acknowledge this, for when John the Baptist emerged on to the scene—not only did he preach and proclaim a kingdom that would be manifested in the earth, but he also proclaimed and spoke of One who was coming after Him who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Oh that we would understand just how incredibly powerful and significant this truly is when you consider the Messiah and His manifestation and appearance in the midst of the earth, for there was a secondary anticipation and expectation that One was among them who was about to be manifested unto them—One who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire, and one whose sandals John the Baptist was not worthy to loose. How truly incredible it is to think about and consider this wonderful and powerful reality, for it brings us face to face with the awesome truth concerning the birth of the King and the beginning of the kingdom, as well as the initial anticipation and expectation of the Messiah, as well as the secondary expectation and anticipation which would take place according to the preaching of John the Baptist in the midst of the earth. There would first come the appearance of the wise men from the east, the star in the heavens, the announcement of the angels in the heavens unto shepherds in the field, and the arrival of the shepherds to the place where the Child and His parents were, and second there would come the manifestation of the Messiah in the midst of the earth.

The reality which I feel absolutely necessary to leave you with when reading and considering the words which are found within these chapters is how after four-hundred years of silence we would begin seeing that silence being broken by the visitation and declaration of the angel Gabriel in the midst of the earth. This would be followed by dreams which would be released and revealed unto Joseph and unto the wise men concerning events which would take place during those days. After this and after thirty years of virtually no revelation and vision we find John the Baptist emerging on to the scene as the first prophetic voice in the earth since Malachi who had preached nearly a century after the return of the captives and exiles unto the land of Israel. John the Baptist would be the first prophetic voice that would appear in the earth after four hundred years of silence, and this divine messenger would prepare men and women for the arrival and emergence of the Messiah in the midst of the earth. What I so absolutely love about these chapters is that the third chapter closes and concludes with the heavens being opened, the Spirit descending upon Jesus the Christ in the bodily form of a dove, and the voice of the Father speaking from heaven concerning Jesus that He was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about and consider this, for what we find in the final verses of the third chapter is the heavens being opened, the Spirit descending upon Jesus, and the voice of the Father speaking for the first time in centuries. It would be that voice of the Father that would essentially be the introduction and ultimate preparation for the manifestation of the Messiah in the midst of the earth. Oh that we would understand that first would come the preaching of John the Baptist as he would prepare men and women for the manifestation and appearance of the Messiah. That preparation would ultimately be culminated and punctuated with the voice of the Father Himself speaking from heaven concerning Jesus and declaring that He was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. Oh that we would read these chapters and that we would recognize that we are living in similar days of prophecy being fulfilled, of the anticipation and expectation of the coming of the Messiah, and the great need to prepare and make ourselves ready for that coming.

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