The Wise Wise Men

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

“…There came wise men from the east… And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1,11 KJV).

When we see the Nativity Scene, we observe three wise men assembled around Baby Jesus’ manger. Actually, the Bible never indicates how many wise men there were, and the Bible never says they visited Christ as a baby.

According to the Bible, an indeterminate number of wise men from the east (Gentiles) saw the star of Christ in the east, so they travel to Jerusalem, inquiring where to find Christ, the King of Jews (verses 1,2). King Herod and Jerusalem are troubled, and Herod summons Israel’s religious leaders to tell him where the Messiah will be born. They tell him, according to Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem of Judaea” (verses 3-6). Herod then sends the wise men to seek Jesus, hoping to find and destroy Him (lest He become king and end Herod’s reign).

The star leads the wise men to Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary live in a “house”notice this is not the manger scene. Also, note that Jesus is not a baby here, but a “young child” (verses 9,11). In fact, he is as much as two years old (verse 16). By the way, according to Numbers 24:17, that star—an angel (cf. Job 38:7)—that the wise men saw signified the Messiah-King of Israel… they were wise in that they recognized and followed it!

Interestingly, the wise men worship Jesus, not Mary and/or the angel, and they bring Him gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (today’s Scripture)—frankincense and myrrh are aromatic gum resins burned as incense. Gold is for a King, frankincense is for a Priest, and myrrh is for a Prophet—Jesus is all three (Isaiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 6:13; Deuteronomy 18:15,18). Amazingly, Isaiah 60:6, written some 700 years beforehand, even prophesied Gentiles would bring God gifts of gold and frankincense. The Bible is an amazing Book!

Sadly, these Gentiles had more respect for Israel’s King than Israel. These wise men recognized fulfilled prophecy… they were wise men indeed!

For more information, see our archived Bible Q&A: “Were there really three wise men?

The Wise Wise Men

Saturday, December 20, 2014

“…There came wise men from the east… And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1,11 KJV).

When we see the Nativity Scene, we observe three wise men assembled around Baby Jesus’ manger. Actually, the Bible never indicates how many wise men there were, and the Bible never says they visited Christ as a baby.

According to the Bible, an indeterminate number of wise men from the east (Gentiles) saw the star of Christ in the east, so they travel to Jerusalem, inquiring where to find Christ, the King of Jews (verses 1,2). King Herod and Jerusalem are troubled, and Herod summons Israel’s religious leaders to tell him where the Messiah will be born. They tell him, according to Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem of Judaea” (verses 3-6). Herod then sends the wise men to seek Jesus, hoping to find and destroy Him (lest He become king and end Herod’s reign).

The star leads the wise men to Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary live in a “house”notice this is not the manger scene. Also, note that Jesus is not a baby here, but a “young child” (verses 9,11). In fact, he is as much as two years old (verse 16). By the way, according to Numbers 24:17, that star—an angel (cf. Job 38:7)—that the wise men saw signified the Messiah-King of Israel… they were wise in that they recognized and followed it!

Interestingly, the wise men worship Jesus, not Mary and/or the angel, and they bring Him gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (today’s Scripture)—frankincense and myrrh are aromatic gum resins burned as incense. Gold is for a King, frankincense is for a Priest, and myrrh is for a Prophet—Jesus is all three (Isaiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 6:13; Deuteronomy 18:15,18). Amazingly, Isaiah 60:6, written some 700 years beforehand, even prophesied Gentiles would bring God gifts of gold and frankincense. The Bible is an amazing Book!

Sadly, these Gentiles had more respect for Israel’s King than Israel. These wise men recognized fulfilled prophecy… they were wise men indeed!

Second of five special-edition Christmas Bible Q&As: “What is the ‘Immaculate Conception?

The Wise Wise Men

Friday, December 20, 2013

“…There came wise men from the east… And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1,11 KJV).

When we see the Nativity Scene, we observe three wise men assembled around Baby Jesus’ manger. Actually, the Bible never indicates how many wise men there were, and the Bible never says they visited Christ as a baby.

According to the Bible, an indeterminate number of wise men from the east (Gentiles) saw the star of Christ in the east, so they travel to Jerusalem, inquiring where to find Christ, the King of Jews (verses 1,2). King Herod and Jerusalem are troubled, and Herod summons Israel’s religious leaders to tell him where the Messiah will be born. They tell him, according to Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem of Judaea” (verses 3-6). Herod then sends the wise men to seek Jesus, hoping to find and destroy Him (lest He become king and end Herod’s reign).

The star leads the wise men to Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary live in a “house”notice this is not the manger scene. Also, note that Jesus is not a baby here, but a “young child” (verses 9,11). In fact, he is as much as two years old (verse 16). By the way, according to Numbers 24:17, that star—an angel (cf. Job 38:7)—that the wise men saw signified the Messiah-King of Israel… they were wise in that they recognized and followed it!

Interestingly, the wise men worship Jesus, not Mary and/or the angel, and they bring Him gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (today’s Scripture)—frankincense and myrrh are aromatic gum resins burned as incense. Gold is for a King, frankincense is for a Priest, and myrrh is for a Prophet—Jesus is all three (Isaiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 6:13; Deuteronomy 18:15,18). Amazingly, Isaiah 60:6, written some 700 years beforehand, even prophesied Gentiles would bring God gifts of gold and frankincense. The Bible is an amazing Book!

Sadly, these Gentiles had more respect for Israel’s King than Israel. These wise men recognized fulfilled prophecy… they were wise men indeed!

To Whom Are We to Pray?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV).

The Bible says we should be praying constantly, but to whom are we to pray?

Why not let God through the Holy Bible tell us how to pray?

“Giving thanks unto the Father (Colossians 1:12). “I thank my God…” (Philippians 1:4). “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). “For through him [Jesus Christ] we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18). “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… that he would grant you…” (Ephesians 3:14).

Firstly, whom did the Apostle Paul address? He directly addressed Father God, not Mary or any other deceased saint, in prayer.

Secondly, how did Paul reach Father God? “In whom [Jesus Christ] we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him [Jesus Christ]” (Ephesians 3:12). “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

We approach God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Jesus Christ has a perfect standing before God, and we have His righteousness because we are in Him (if we are members of the Church the Body of Christ). We cannot approach God on our own merits; thus, we must come through Jesus Christ. This is what it means to pray “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Interestingly, when we pray, we are actually praying with the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells us (Romans 8:26-27). The indwelling Holy Spirit links us to Father God in heaven, and when we pray, we are using the “mediatorship” of Jesus Christ.

So, we address God the Father in prayer, but we are using the merits of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit helps us pray when we are “at a loss for words.”

For additional insight about prayer in the Dispensation of Grace, please study the four model Pauline prayers—Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-12.

You can also see our study “Praying with Paul.”

Is Mary the “Mother of the Church?”

Sunday, July 8, 2012

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26,27 KJV).

Does today’s Scripture teach that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is “the mother of the Church?”

Pagan goddess worship was commonplace in the Roman Empire when Christianity spread during the first centuries A.D. So, “Christian” leaders, hoping to attract heathen followers, slyly adopted pagan practices and teachings. One of these compromises was to give Mary, Jesus’ mother, unscriptural preeminence. Religion took humble Mary (Luke 1:46-55) and exalted her to a godless-like position (today, she is called “the queen of heaven,” the title belonging to a pagan goddess; Jeremiah 44:15-28).

Mary is not the mother of any church in Scripture, and certainly not the Church the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ did not exist until Acts chapter 9 (see 1 Timothy 1:15,16), about a year after today’s Scripture. (The “church” at the time of today’s Scripture was the Messianic Church, those Jews who trusted Jesus as Messiah; Matthew 16:16-19).

In today’s Scripture, notice that Jesus (now crucified) is speaking to one individual, not a group: Mary is not everyone’s “mother,” but a certain disciple’s (allegedly the Apostle John, “the apostle whom Jesus loved”). Notice thy mother” uses the second-person singular pronoun; Jesus did not say “your mother” (the second-person plural “your” would indicate He is speaking to a group). Of course, you lose this in modern “bibles,” which replace “thy” with “your,” concealing God’s truth.

Joseph evidently died some time earlier. Jesus is Mary’s eldest son, but Jesus is dying. Mary needs a man to take care of her (in the ancient world, single women without a male authority would have no income, often being forced to become prostitutes). At this time, none of Jesus’ half-brothers or half-sisters are believers, so Jesus appoints a disciple (John?) to be Mary’s caretaker. How simple!

Friend, God Himself declares Mary is not our mother. That is pagan heresy and superstition, not Bible.

Be Not Blinded by ‘Bright Lights!’

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head [Christ]…” (Colossians 2:18,19a KJV).

Religious—and even nonreligious—people claim to see heavenly “visions” or angelic creatures (“Mary,” “Jesus,” “deceased relatives,” et cetera). Seeking monetary gain, some have written “Christian” books discussing how they allegedly died, visited heaven (or even hell!!!), and then returned to earth. Are these experiences of God?

“Bright lights” and “supernatural” visits do not belong in our dispensation. Look at today’s Scripture: those people are intruding into those things which [they] have not seen….” Interestingly, modern “bibles” omit “not,” stating the opposite of the King James Bible!!!

Our sin-tainted minds and our deceptive emotions can get so hyped up about having a particular religious experience that it seems to come to pass (when it actually did not happen). We imagine we see things (“angels,” “devils,” et cetera) that are not really appearing. Beware; Satan and his “seducing spirits” use these phenomena to draw us away from the truth of God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:1).

Notice the Bible’s description of false teachers: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13,14). Satan is the master counterfeiter: he wanted to be “like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Satan appears not as an evil-looking monster, but as “an [INNOCENT-LOOKING] angel of light!”

Paul wrote, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed(Galatians 1:9). Why would any “angel” “appear” to you in this the Dispensation of Grace? It would only be to deceive you! Angels have no ministry to us; their ministry and appearances belong in Israel’s program.

The Bible is the Final Authority, not emotional experiences. Let no one trick (“beguile”) you with false teaching… that includes preachers, “angels,” and “dead saints!”

Special Devotion to the Virgin Mary?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked” (Luke 11:27 KJV).

Religion encourages us to direct “special devotion” to Mary, Jesus’ mother, but slyly reassures us that Marian devotion is not equivalent to worshipping God. Is this true? What does our Lord Jesus Christ think of any Marian devotion?

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 1-26), Jesus is teaching. One woman is so amazed at the Lord Jesus’ doctrine that she begins to praise Mary, Jesus’ mother, not Jesus! Notice that this lady exalted Mary, giving her the “special devotion” that religion gives Mary today: “blessed is the womb and the breasts of Mary!” Such a statement originates from pagan goddess worship (and accompanying fornication) of ancient Egyptian and Babylonian religions.

Notice how Jesus responds: “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (verse 28). Recognize that Jesus immediately rebuked her: He corrected her. Our Lord Jesus knew that Mary was being exalted to a goddess’ position, and He clearly refused it with “Yea rather….” In other words, Jesus said, “Rather than singling out Mary for special attention, recognize that all who trust in God are blessed.” Notice Jesus never designated Mary to any special position whatsoever (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21).

Our dear religious family members and friends need to realize that Mary is no superhuman or goddess. Although God used her body to generate the human body of Jesus Christ, the Bible never presents Mary as an object of worship. No believer in the Bible ever prayed to Mary. According to the Bible, God clearly hates all Marian devotion.

Marian devotion is blasphemous because it robs Jesus Christ of devotion. It was what God did through Mary that matters. Mary did nothing for our salvation. She is not our mediatrix, savior, or mother, so why does she deserve devotion? According to God’s Word, she does not.