ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
December 1, 2022
You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE
Christmas-time will find Christians, the world over, rehearsing manger scenes, and telling the account of Joseph and Mary with their part in the birth of Jesus. Along with this, there will be dramatic presentations of "the Wise men" and their unique gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (interestingly enough Mark, Luke and John say nothing of these characters). You, no doubt, already are familiar with the spiritual relation to each gift.
However, their involvement will be integral to this newsletter, for their obedience was crucial in the destruction of many lives. Although the shepherds stirred Jerusalem with their accounts of the heavenly hosts, they did not arouse the ire of the King as did the Wise Men.
From the gospel accounts of the birth sequence, we learn something about the chronology of events surrounding Jesus' fulfillment of prophecy (Luke 2:1-39, We see the details of the rapid movements of the child Jesus, His being circumcised, then being presented as a "first born" at the Temple, along with the appropriate sacrifices, followed by His blessings from Simeon and Anna. Then, in a giant leap, the gospel of Luke skips several years to age 12.)
After a brief account of Joseph's dilemma, and the angel's visit, detailing his marital status and focusing on Mary's divine appointment, Matthew turns quickly to the actions of the Wise Men. This is where this December newsletter focuses as well.
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East and have come to worship Him."
Nothing gets the attention of a politicized King better than a challenger to his kingship, especially One having divine attributes. (Much speculation surrounds these men. Some say they were Zoroastrian prelates or wizards of ancient cults. Whoever they were, they knew Scripture, Bible prophecy, and they took their directions from a moving star and dream-authority.) They evidently were significant men of wealth and prestige enough to gain Jerusalem's attention.
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet (Micah 5:2):
6 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people, Israel.'"
Herod, under the power of the evil one, passed himself off as a religious adherent. The door of deceit flew open!
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."
Matthew does not relate a pledge on the Wise Men's part to return with information as to Jesus' whereabouts, only that they heard Herod's word and departed. They searched Bethlehem and found them in a house, so the Holy Family had not returned to Galilee.
9 When they (the Wise men) heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 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.
Joseph, after this, might have returned to his home, but the Lord gave him advance notice of Herod's plan to destroy Jesus.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an 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."
"Arise," is a command that requires haste—not everybody likes that kind of urgency, but Joseph responded by immediately packing things and he and his wife and Child headed by NIGHT to Egypt.
Going to Egypt was not a favorite vacation spot for Israelites. Egypt reminded Jews of captivity and Divine release. It would seem like satan was about to avenge their release. God's judgement of the first born brought tremendous sorrow to the pagan idolators; now, the children of Israel are being murdered and would bring sorrow to Israel (Rachel weeping for her children).
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 "A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more."
Think of it; there was a Joseph in Egypt again!
Joseph had grown accustomed to heeding the voice of God, so the emergency called for supernatural spiritual commitment. (It will require the same of you.)
Being directed to go required transportation that had to be in secret. It must be reliable and speedy. His departure from Israel meant no monetary supply must be considered. It meant no housing, no one to meet him and give him direction, no understanding of how far inland was required.
JESUS was very small and His care was not mentioned. Cultural differences were not addressed. How long he was to remain there could be a matter of days to years as the length of stay was an unknown quotient.
Being distant from their extended family, who had no way of knowing their whereabouts, was certainly a factor of concern for them. Joseph must have been the epitome of "…trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
Word from time to time was devastating as children two years and under were ordered to be murdered. Weeping, wailing and crying out in desperation was the order of the day as the King reigned down death, all the while being the leader of a religious nation—how could it be?
(Certainly, parallels can be drawn to modern society. The abortion travesty is not different from Herod's order. Presently, children are being targeted with godless material and physical mutilation, destroying their psyche [this is evil on a national level]).
God's provision supplies every need of the supplicant, including psychological. Review this next passage and see the methods of communication used by the Lord.
19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead." 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 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."
Since there was no mass communication, Joseph had an angel-visit in a dream. He told Joseph the latest news: Herod Died! What a relief and removal of tension that word must have been. I can just hear Joseph praising the Lord.
Joseph, once again, obeyed the voice of the Lord God-He went to Israel as was mandated by the angel-dream.
Arriving back among his cohorts, he learned the news about Archelaus, Herod's son, being made King. Fear fell across his path, and the Lord caused a directive—dream to appear before him. Joseph felt safe in Galilee and settled in a town called Nazareth, which fulfilled an Old Testament prophets' assertion that Jesus be brought up a Nazarite (Judges 13:5).
Whether by angel—dreams, national fear or prophetic-directive, God gets His message to His people. God's provision includes every aspect of need or assurance with that provision.
Believers should expect the Lord to do the same for them.
Think of the time Elijah was cared for by ravens. Think of the woman and the cruses of oil. Think of the children of God in the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea (Water flowing out of a rock, manna from heaven, clothing that did not wear out are just some of the great provisions cared for by the Lord).
Seek Him out; call on His name, for Him to show you great and mighty things.
He will lead you to the place called "there," where provision flows and rest is assured.
In times when there are great expressions of evil in governance and that evil imposes its will on the national scene through coercion, it is comforting to know that God has limitless provision for His saints.
When Paul penned the following words, he was in Prison awaiting an unknown
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
He knows, before we ask, what we need—for the supply is already there awaiting our faith.
(He also knows the hypocrisy of a nation who celebrates Christ—mass, while seeking to obliterate His Name and Power from government, education and
Until Next Month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.