OUTSIDE OF SPACE AND TIME

OUTSIDE OF SPACE AND TIME

Last year I read a Christmas message by Augustine preached at his church in northern Africa over 1500 years ago. This is the second installment of part of that message with my own comments included. Merry Christmas.

He’s the Day as the Angels count time; He’s the Clock as human beings tick off the day.

He inhabits eternity with the angels, outside of time and space. In time he is the sovereign ruler directing every detail of history.

He’s the Word of God before there were timepieces; He’s the Word made flesh who stopped the clock when He was made flesh.

John 1:14
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the Father’s Word, idea or expression of Himself. When He became a man all history was permanently impacted.

He made the sun with His own hands, and yet He Himself was made under the light and heat of the sun.

John 1:3-5
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

He formed the stars of the universe including our star, the sun, yet as a man he lived under the light and heat of the sun.

He regulates human history from the bosom of His Father; and yet He consecrates this one particular day from the womb of His mother.

John 1:18
18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Jesus retained His sovereignty ruling in heaven even as he lived amongst us as a man. His supernatural birth made that day supernatural.

He remains with His Father, and yet He goes forth from His mother.

John 3:13
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

The mystery of the omnipresence and the humanity of Christ is the mystery of godliness. This mystery is life changing, actually it could be called life starting. Life begins for us in the reality of God’s presence. Until we come into living contact with Him we are wandering through life, when He bursts on the scene, we begin to experience harmony and unity with Him. Merry Christmas to you and your house.

TWICE BEGOTTEN

TWICE BEGOTTEN

Augustine was amazed at the two generations of Jesus Christ, how scripture reveals Christ as the eternal Son always in the state of being generated from the Father. He is the radiance of the Father’s Glory. He also was amazed at the miracle of the virgin birth. I wanted to give you an excerpt from one of Augustine’s Christmas sermons. I also included some of my thoughts and some scripture. Enjoy. You and your family have a blessed Christmas.

“Open my lips, O Lord, so that my voice may break out in praise!” So the Psalmist has sung (Ps.51:15). He was saluting his Lord with a chain of seemingly incompatible attributes. And so too I sing this morning.

Augustine is overwhelmed with joy as he reflected on the birth of Christ. His message seems to be delivered as a “song”.

Almighty God the Father I want to praise but, to my amazement, He’s the Infant Christ.

I Timothy 3:16 NKJ
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Augustine is astounded at the beauty and mystery of the incarnation. God Himself as an infant in a manger.

The Lord has made all things, and yet He takes His stand among the very things He’s made.

John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

The creator God – Jesus Christ – enters into the very creation He has made. He became part of creation when he became a man.

He’s the Revealer of His Father, and at the same time He’s the Creator of His mother.

John 1:3, 18
3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Augustine explores the mystery of Jesus Christ, He is the radiance of the Father’s Glory but created His mother before He was conceived in her womb.

He’s the Son of God born of the Father without a mother; and He’s the son of man born of a mother without a father.

Micah 5:2
2 “ But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

The two generations of Christ, begotten of the Father as the eternal Son yet born as a human from a virgin mother. And now, the greatest of all miracles, He is actually born in our hearts. Just as the Ethiopian asked Phillip, so many years ago, “Who shall declare His generation?” Today, we discover this Christmas miracle. Christ is born in our hearts! What an incredible God!!!

CHARLES WESLEY’S ANGELS

CHARLES WESLEY’S ANGELS

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
Mal 4:2

You can tell a lot about what is going on in a culture by the songs they sing. We have been effected more than we know by the songs written in special times of God’s awakenings throughout history. One of the special times was the 1740’s. One of God’s instruments in those days was a song writer and preacher by the name of Charles Wesley. Our churches still sing many of his songs, but the whole world sings one of his Christmas songs known as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. This song is filled with worship and great theology about the unveiling of God’s love to man. One of my favorite parts of the song goes like this.

“Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.”

What an incredible thing, today in malls, shopping centers, church services and Christmas programs around the world, this special message is being proclaimed. Hail the Sun of Righteousness who brings the revelation of God’s love and forgiveness to our hearts. Hail the Sun of Righteousness who is risen from the dead with healing for our bodies. Hail the Sun of Righteousness that has given us second birth that men no more may die. Today the angels are singing, “preach it again Charles” as his words are being sung amongst the nations. This Christmas, listen carefully to the old songs, you never know, you may hear the angels singing just like the shepherds from so long ago. As you do, your world will begin to change. Like the shepherds long ago, like Charles Wesley 250 years ago, the birth of Christ will become a living reality inside of you. When that happens, you will know what life is all about, you will know why you are alive, you will know for yourself why the angels are singing.

THE ANGELS ARE STILL SINGING

THE ANGELS ARE STILL SINGING

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Lk 2;13,14

This was the strangest day ever for these shepherds. They were just simple men, after all, they were only shepherds, they were just ordinary jewish men, just taking care of their flocks, trying to survive and support their family. But this was not an ordinary night, this was the night that would define their lives. They had never seen an angel, they had never met or even heard of anyone who ever had, but that was about to change. Suddenly a light like they had never seen filled the meadow where they were resting, they were suddenly all wide awake. Then they heard it, it was a sound like they had never heard before, it was music, but much more than music. This music was like a living being, it seemed to be full of life itself. It was all around them, it was inside of them but seemed to be coming from these strange, holy creatures that were lighting up the sky with the glory reflecting off of them. They were singing about a Savior, born of a virgin in a manger in nearby Bethlehem. As unbelievable as it sounded, after what they had just witnessed, they knew it was true. Suddenly they were on the run, they couldn’t stop until they found this child wrapped in swaddling clothes in the stable at the inn in Bethlehem.
These angels are still singing, after 2000 years, and they are not about to stop. How could they stop ? Living in the presence of such greatness, they have to sing! Those that have ears to hear can still hear their singing today. Charles Wesley heard the angels singing in the 1700’s and wrote his famous song “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Listen to one of the verses of his song, you never know, maybe you will hear the voice of the angels in his song.

“Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King”

“Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface”. All of us carry the “likeness” of the fallen man, Adam. Christ came to stamp His image in it’s place. As we draw near to the Lord, the hope of Christmas is being formed in each of us, the image of Christ Himself.

COUNSELOR

COUNSELOR

6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa.9:6

Isaiah used the word Counselor to describe the nature of this wonderful child, born of a virgin in Bethlehem. Actually, He is the embodiment of counsel itself, after all, He is the Word that became flesh. The Father in heaven is unlimited in wisdom, the bible cleary teaches the all knowing characteristic of our Lord. Then comes the amazing part, this infinite wisdom and counsel were revealed to mankind at the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the word that came to dwell amongst us. Jesus is the revelation of the wisdom of God, He is that wonderful Counselor that Isaiah spoke about. Adam Clarke spoke about the the unveiling of the wisdom of God in this man called the Wonderful Counselor.
“Logos, which signifies a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine, reason, or
the faculty of reasoning, is very properly applied to him, who
is the true light which lighteth every man who cometh into the
world, John 1:9; who is the fountain of all wisdom; who giveth being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; who is the grand Source of revelation, who has declared God unto mankind; who spake by the prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Re 19:10; who has illustrated life and immortality by his Gospel, 2Ti 1:10; and who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the bosom of the invisible God from all eternity, John 1:18.”
Jesus is the Wisdom of God. Today, this wisdom and counsel is available. How do I get it? It is very simple. This wisdom is available to us in Christ. If you have Him, rather, if He has you, you have access to the hidden wisdom of the ages revealed in the person of Christ. Embrace His love, seek after the Lord, you will find Him to be the Wonderful Counselor in your life.

WONDERFUL

WONDERFUL

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa.9:6

What a description of this infant king born in Bethlehem. The prophet said, “His name shall be called wonderful”. This word in the hebrew language is pele. This is a powerfully descriptive little word about the very nature of this special child. This word means wonderful, supernatural, incomprehensible, and immediately tells us about the supernatural nature of Christ and everything related to Him. Albert Barnes spoke about the wonderful qualities associated with Christ.
“Anything which is suited to excite wonder and amazement, from any cause, will correspond with the sense of the Hebrew word. It is a word which expresses with surprising accuracy everything in relation to the Redeemer. For the Messiah was wonderful in all things. It was wonderful love by which God gave him, and by which he came; the manner of his birth was wonderful; his humility, his self-denial, his sorrows were wonderful; his mighty works were wonderful; his dying agonies were wonderful; and his resurrection, his ascension, were all suited to excite admiration and wonder.”
There was nothing ordinary about His life, but His birth could only be described as wonderful; born of a virgin, born in an animal stable, His birth announced by angelic appearances, signs in the heavens seen from hundreds of miles away. He was worshipped by kings and shepherds but despised and feared by those in positions of power. Civilization itself is centered on the birth of the child with the wonderful Name.
The Name of Jesus Christ has always carried that supernatural, wonderful quality about it. It is by faith in that Name that we receive salvation, it is through the power in that Name that the chains of sin and addictions are broken from off of our lives. There are healing qualities in His Name, everywhere He goes, people are healed from their diseases. Fear and depression are subject to that Name, the devils themselves flee in terror at the mention of the Name of Jesus. This special season, begin to recognize and honor the wonderful and supernatural nature of your relationship wih Christ, as you do, you will recognize just how wonderful He is to you on a daily basis.

MIGHTY GOD

MIGHTY GOD

6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa. 9:6

This is one of the most loved prophecies about the birth of Christ. I have to remind myself that these prophetic words were written 700 years before the birth of Our Lord. They describe the various supernatural aspects of Jesus revealed in His Name. This is a poem the Lord gave me about this incredible verse of scripture.

His Name Shall Be Called

His name shall be called Wonderful
A miracle in every breath
The love of God
Revealed to man
Revealed by His life and death

His name shall be called Counselor
The counsel of God for me
The plans of God
Concealed through time
Revealed on a bloody tree

His name shall be called Mighty God
The greatest of all mysteries
The strength of God concealed in a child
This weakness revealed Deity

His name shall be called Father
The one that lived before time
The love of the Father
Displayed in His Son
The love that has now become mine

His name shall be called Peace
The prince of all life has come
The misery and strife
Which had stolen my life
Has bowed its knee to the Son

My prayer is that Christ Himself will become alive in you, to you, and through you this Christmas season. His love is glimpsed in His amazing supernatural birth. May this birth be realized in your life. As it is the real meaning of Christmas, God’s love for the world expressed in His Son, will be seen in you.

EFFECTED BY LOVE

EFFECTED BY LOVE

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:2 NLT

Love has a strange effect on humans. If we love something we will go to great measures to indulge ourselves in the pleasures of that love. People spend money they don’t have on things that they “love”. They may buy tickets for sporting events, clothes, jewelry, or new cars because they really “love” something. When someone loves another person, the wages go up even higher. Wars have been fought, friendships lost, fortunes wasted all in the name of love. Love definitely effects our actions.
What about the love of God? How does His love, when tasted, effect the way we conduct our lives. If you experience the intimacy available to us in Christ, what will that do to the way we live our lives?
Augustine had been looking for love all of his life. He had searched for love and acceptance in his academic pursuits and his work as an instructor in the university. The respect and accolades he received in that arena left his heart cold and empty. He searched for love in the arms of a mistress whom he lived with for several years. This human love never satisfied the hunger he felt in his soul, there had to be more. Finally, Augustine’s search ended when he was captured by the love of God. This love not only met the hunger he had in his soul, his life and lifestyle were radically changed by his encounter with God’s love. Listen to his classic words about love’s effect on his life.
“How sweet all at once is was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose. You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine the light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honor, though not in the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. O lord my God, my Wealth, and my Salvation.”
Augustine had experienced the love of God that not only satisfies the hungry heart, but also changes our behaviour. How has your behavior been lately? Maybe you need a good dose of the love of God. It is amazing the effect His love can have upon our heart. After all, as Jonathan Edwards says, “Our affections are the spring of all of our actions”. Drink of the Savior’s love today, He has loved you all along, actually He has loved you with an everlasting love. Drink from that fountain, you will be surprised at the changes in your life.

REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE

REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE

“In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Lk. 17:31-33

Recently I heard a sermon by Billy Graham on the radio entitled “Remember Lot’s wife”. It was a powerful message full of deep concern about the course our country and our churches have taken in the past few years. He compared our society today to the sinful culture that had developed in Sodom. Over and over he called for the lost, as well as church members, to flee “Sodom” and to never look back. He reminded us of the warning the Lord had given to Lot and his family and how Lot’s wife looked longingly back at Sodom, remembering the life of earthly pleasures there. Jesus Himself warned us of the attachment the world can have on us and reminded us to “remember Lot’s wife”. Today, the pull of the world is strong, all of its pleasures and attractions are calling out for our affections, we have to remember the warnings and decide to never look back. Jonathan Edwards preached a message on what he called ” The Folly of Looking Back in Fleeing Out of Sodom” . He reminds us of the warnings of God’s ministers as well as the angels, reminding us of the danger of looking back to our former manner of life.
“We are warned by messengers sent to us from God to make haste in our fleeing from Sodom, and not to look behind us. God sends his ministers, the angels of the churches, on this errand to us, as he sent the angels to warn Lot and his wife to flee for their lives; “and when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife,and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city”. After we have had such forewarning, if we delay or look back after this, we shall be exceedingly inexcusable and monstrously foolish.”
We should all heed the words of God’s messengers, the warnings of Billy Graham, Jonathan Edwards, and the Lord Jesus Himself. Our world is in moral collapse. Whatever happened to Lot’s wife? After she looked back, she was turned into a pillar of salt. The judgement on Sodom got on her. This is why we are warned to flee from the wrath to come, judgement is coming upon this generation. “REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE”.

HELP

HELP

John 14:26
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you

Have you ever needed help? I have, all kinds of help. We needed help when we were born, we couldn’t do anything. We needed help in school, and as teenagers, we needed all kinds of help, we just didn’t realize it. We needed help getting started as adults, we needed help in our marriages and raising our children. We really needed help after Katrina, we were in need of lots of help for a very long time. Let’s face it, we are very needy people.
All of us have needed the Lord’s help all of our lives, like immature adolescents, we avoided God at all costs. “We have everything handled”, we silently muttered, at least we thought we had it handled. Then, inevitably, the bottom fell out of our lives. The day had finally come when we saw we needed help. We became painfully aware of our greatest need, we are sinners in need of a Savior. In that moment, He came to our rescue. As soon as we turned toward Him, He was already there, ready to move on our behalf. After all Jesus called this unseen person the Helper. He is always there, always ready to show Himself as the Helper in our lives.
What kind of help do you need? He is the Counselor, to those who need guidance. He is the Great Physician to those who need healing. He is the source of all things for those suffering financial lack. He is the greatest of all friends to those who are lonely. He is the faithful High Priest when we need forgiveness. He is Unspeakable Joy to those imprisoned with depression. He is the Opener of prison doors to those captive to alcohol or substance abuse. For those caught in the world of lust and immorality, He has mercy and freedom in His touch.
He is the Helper and there is no problem too big, no sin too dark, no chain to strong that He is not able to overcome in your life. The term Jesus used in greek for Helper is Paracletos, one called alongside to help. When does He come?; when He hears someone calling. Today, I think He heard your cry. He will come Himself to bring His supernatural help into your life.