Before we talk about Christmas, we need to visit heaven. “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; and because of Your will they existed and were created.’ ” (Rev 4) Our Lord just gave us a mini tour of heaven so we might have an idea of the power and glory of God.
Let us continue our tour. “Boasting is necessary, though it is n0t profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows – was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger to Satan to torment me – to keep me from exalting myself. (2 Cor 12: 1 – 4 & 7) Can we imagine what Paul experienced in his vision? Words were spoken in the third heaven which Paul was not permitted to speak. Now if inexpressible words were spoken in Paradise I would imagine there are many other inexpressible things in the kingdom of the living God.
For thirty three years Jesus was in the flesh on earth. Before and after Jesus’ presence on earth He resided with His Father in heavenly places. Think of the vast period of time Jesus was with the Father compared to the time He was in the flesh, and yet our focus of worship pretty much centers around the thirty three years Jesus was on earth. We can never thank Him enough for the sacrifices He made for us while on earth; however, He is not on earth now as a flesh man. He is seated at the right hand of the Father and He’s, “…clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.” (Rev 1: 12 – 16) Jesus is in the spirit my dear brethren therefore we must worship Him in the spirit. “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.’ ” (John 4: 21 – 24) All the things that were available to man when Jesus was on earth are more abundant to us now that Jesus is in the spirit. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose My self to him.” (John 16 – 21)
We have seen a glimpse of heaven and we know of the the glorious words that are spoken in that place. We know Jesus in His glorified state and to be in Him gives an unimaginable life while we are yet here on earth; however, our nation has chosen to abandon all our Father has to offer in favor of things we can see here on earth. We have turned our backs on the greatest gift ever offered to mankind. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying ‘Glory to God in the highest, And upon earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’ ” (Luke 2: 7 – 14)
“We the people” know the truth; however, most refuse to accept it being totally deceived. To understand how deceived we are let us note how we observe Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior. For starters it’s not Christmas anymore but rather, “Happy Holidays.” In regards to the Christmas season who gets all the attention and glory? The Lord of Lords and King of Kings or Santa Clause? How many times have we taken our children to the mall to hear Santa say, “what do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” Have we ever heard Santa say to a child, “what can Jesus do for you this Christmas?” We are more concerned by whether our children believe, or don’t believe in Santa than we are if they believe in the precious One. We openly discuss our children’s belief in Santa with family and friends but rarely discuss their relationship with Jesus. Look at all the Christmas shows that are now appearing on television. Is there any mention of Jesus in the shows? Most towns and cities across the country have Christmas parades. Is Jesus honored and lifted up in the parades? When I was young I remember Jesus was honored in the schools especially at Christmas time. Scriptures and stories of Jesus’ birth were common place. Now He is not allowed in our schools or communities except to use His precious name to curse others. The only One who can give us eternal life has been stricken from the record in our nation. However, take heart America not all is not lost. In a few months we’ll have the opportunity to remember our Lord’s death and resurrection. Easter is just around the corner when our nation will once again worship a rabbit and hard boiled eggs.
This is the Person we should celebrate and worship during Christmas. “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers. He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which You established for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass over, So that they will not return to cover the earth. He sends forth springs in the valleys; They flow between the mountains; They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches. He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works. He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, And wine which makes man’s heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man’s heart. The trees of the Lord drink their fill, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, Where the birds build their nests, And the stork, whose home is the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim. He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. You appoint darkness and it becomes night, In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about. The young lions roar after their prey And seek their food from God. When the sun rises they withdraw And lie down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work And to his labor until evening. O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions. There is the sea, great and broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great. There the ships move along, And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it. They all wait for You To give them their food in due season. You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good. You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground. Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His words; He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth And let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 104) Can Santa and the rabbit, with his hard boiled eggs, accomplish any of the things mentioned in the above Scripture? Christmas and Easter are the most important events since the beginning of time. The way we observe them reveals our disconnect from the truth. It is this way because we worship a religion instead of a relationship. “Lord we haven’t a clue who You are, and as a nation we’re totally unaware of Your love for us. Those who know of you, worship who you were not who you are. Please Lord Jesus let your presence be known to the people. We are so in need of a Sheperd.” Love to all!
Roger D. Casterline
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