Christmas messages are packed away after the holiday. Jesus is boxed up with the tree and ornaments till next year. Good parents raise their children to adulthood. Packing the baby away in a crate is regarded as infanticide under other circumstances.
God compressed himself into a space above the mercy seat, over the ark of the Covenant. In the greatest “communication” God compressed Himself, “voiced” himself, into human flesh, showing up as man. What powerful mystery! Even the Apostle Paul declared the flesh-God a profound mystery.
1 Tim 3:16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
Our Mystery is substantial, not ethereal! Our auditory, visual, and tactile senses discern the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.
1 John 1:1-2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked atand our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared;we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
I prefer calling Christmas “Incarnation Day.” The primary message is, God became incarnate among us wearing human flesh to save creatures made of flesh. “Incarn,” means “in flesh.” All of us are born with flesh, but how exceptional for God to show up wearing it!
Heb 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–
The story of Christmas is a rescue mission, a purposeful heavenly strategy to redeem us from death’s dominion and restore us to life! God’s war strategy utilized a virgin, a baby, a cross and tomb, and a few other items like hosts of angels. These weapons decimate death and hell and all their powers! Some babies come as “surprises.” Jesus’ birth was all about Heaven’s intention.
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the worldis to testify to the truth.”John 18:37
Have you noticed how stealthily, subtly, the Grinch has operated? Each Christmas the radio sings more “Santa and sleigh-bells” and less “Christ-has-appeared-among-us.” The message of incarnation has been watered down to dissolve its potency. Nativity has been replaced by naivety.
The anti-Christ is the Grinch who steals “Today in Bethlehem is born for you…” not just from one day, but from the other 364.
Who is the antichrist?
Most people think of the Antichrist as a man who is a really bad dude. “We’ll have to watch out for him when he shows up.” The far greater danger is the spirit of Antichrist, which is already in the world. If we cannot discern and overcome that spirit we will be cannon fodder for individuals who operate as antichrists. Many Christians have been decimated by the subtleties of the spirit of antichrist. The Apostle John warned us:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spiritsto see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the fleshis from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now it is already in the world.1 John 4: 1-3
What is antichrist’s malicious, seductive, intent?
Satan doesn’t want earthlings to know Jesus walked among them in flesh.
Antichrist reduces Jesus to a vague, warm, but powerless, spiritual feeling.
He clouds the realization that Jesus is physical, tangible, concrete and touchable.
He obscures Jesus physical incarnation and His ultimate tangible, sizzling, dazzling return.
He muddles the reality that Jesus raises us physically at the resurrection
Antichrist slanders Jesus, saying:
“Jesus only appeared to have flesh.”
“Jesus can’t relate to you because he doesn’t understand your fleshly struggles.”
“Jesus is powerless to help you in your day-to-day fleshly world.”
“Don’t expect Jesus to do anything world-changing. He will only grant you an indistinct ‘spiritual’ comfort.”
“Don’t expect to live a life of overcoming sin because nobody who has flesh can overcome.”
“Don’t expect much from Jesus because there is not much to Him. He’s insubstantial.”
The spirit of the anti-Christ is fine with us “spiritualizing” everything. This deceiving spirit is fine with otherworldly ideas of our Jesus, but not striking moments of awareness of His felt presence.
YOU MAY HAVE BEEN SEDUCED BY ANTICHRIST IF:
You divide the world into “spiritual” and “material.”
You have an abstract, theoretical, or hyper-spiritual image of Christ.
You are more interested in going to heaven than seeing heaven tangibly transform earth.
Your hope is in dying and going to heaven rather than the resurrection of the dead.
You settle for Jesus healing the “spiritually” blind and deaf but don’t expect Jesus to heal the blind and deaf physically.
You don’t expect to see tangible answers to your prayers.
PRCLAMATIONS FOR CRUSHING THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT
Sometimes we must shake ourselves and speak out loud the reality of our substantial Savior. Here are words for your to start with to crush the nay-saying antichrist!
I am a Christian materialist!
There is no division between spiritual and physical.
Jesus pre-existed eternally and “incarnated” as a baby for me.
Jesus solidly, physical lives for me.
He knows the pain of my stubbed toe, and personal rejection.
He knows what it is to be exhausted and feel hunger.
He knows the pleasures of family and friends.
Jesus connects with me because he became like me.
Jesus touches me in tangible ways, not just vague mystical ways.
When I pray I expect my Lord to respond with tangible answers.
He delivers and heals my flesh.
Jesus Christ is solid!
My Lord Jesus:
Was born in the flesh
Lived among us in the flesh
Ministered to mortals who wear flesh
Died in flesh
Rose in flesh
Ascended in flesh
He reigns in Heaven in flesh. [What does that tell you about heaven?]
He is returning in flesh, to our material world.
The antichrist was overcome at the cross. I will no-longer allow the antichrist to slink around. I uncover and expose Him! I certify the victory!
My Lord Jesus crushes antichrist because He is
INCARNATION BULLETS FOR YOUR GUN
Scriptures are bullets for our spiritual guns. Take the following incarnation passages to pow, bang and rat-a-tat-tat against the power of the antichrist.
But before you start shooting remember, we Christians do not quote Scripture like magical incantations. Jesus said, “If you abide in me AND my word abides in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be given to you.” John 15:7
Abide in our dearest Lord Jesus and let His word abide in you. It is open season on Giants. Happy hunting!
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isa 9:6-7 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Mic 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Rom 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful manto be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
Gal 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law
Phil 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross!
Col 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginningand the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
2 Cor 5:19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Heb 1:6 And again,when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
1 John 4:2-3 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the fleshis from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
2 John 7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Rev 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Steven C Johnson