|Ancient Jerusalem At Night|
"When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." (Matthew 2:3)
Two years ago, I addressed this most overlooked verse of the "Christmas story" here: and showed why the so-religious types - the Jewish rabbis/scribes/pharisees and the Sanhedrin - were in a virtual panic when the 'wise men' from Persia followed the Star of Bethlehem straight into Jerusalem. These corrupt rulers of the Temple, Judaism and everything that moved in the social life of Jerusalem and Judah, could smell their corrupt reign and association with the ruling Roman Empire could be in danger. They were correct, of course. Christ was born around 3 BC and less than 75 years later, the Roman General Titus would surround Jerusalem and fulfill Jesus' Prophesy of Matthew 24, by burning it down. All the followers of the Way (or Christians) were taken out of that city before Titus destroyed it and moved to a safe region in what is now Jordan called Pella (a beautiful protective valley there)!
Now we know why the religious rulers of Jerusalem were "troubled" as Matthew 2:3 says. They knew the prophesy from Micah 5:2 (recorded in Matthew 2:5-6), which says: "So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘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."
Now, as evil and lost as these guys where, they knew what the Lord had said from the Sacred Scriptures and were wise to discern it. They did not follow what it said, but went in the opposite direction. They knew the Scriptures inside out and comparatively better than most today. Yet they did know know what to do as that prophesy mean the Promised One was now here! So what about today?
The Lord has shown that oh, how He wished His people, His under-shepherds (today's Pastors) and other religious leaders, would be troubled. But apart from a small remnant who are lone voices crying out in the loud noisy wilderness of Zin/Sin, today's parallel to the religious rulers seem to want to get along with the various Herods of culture, political correctness and anything worldly. We already saw what the top five concerns of American pastors were from a long two year extensive survey released in the Summer of 2014 by Barna Research. Here are the top five concerns:
- NUMBER OF PROGRAMS
- NUMBER OF STAFF
- SQUARE FOOTAGE
The wise men do not have to show up on camels any more for the modern day version of the rulers of Jerusalem to be "troubled". Why? Because they don't care! Look at what their top five concerns are! Does anyone see the following words in these top five: Salvation; Hope; Repentance; Discipleship; Holiness?
I suppose if you dig deep enough they will show up down the list, after the Wednesday night potluck and the new wardrobe for the "worship music" superstars for Sunday morning. After all these body-fitting jeans cost, what, about $100 a piece?!
So, all through the previous thousand years, HaShem - the Name above all Names - had promised in every prophet from David to Isaiah to Daniel, Micah and Malachi - that the Branch, the Messenger, the HaMaschiach- the Messiah was on His Way. The LORD told them exactly where YAHWEH was going to be born - Bethlehem - yet they blew it? Why? For the same reason western and American pastors think attendance; bank accounts and a good live streaming in HD is more important than the Gospel and people's souls.
It is too numerous to list the outrages committed by the so-called under-shepherds of Christ who are trying to make this more complicated than it is. The timeless, pure and Holy Word of God is what it is. All these men have to do is follow what it says, prove themselves to be workmen who are not ashamed and proclaim it- come what may. But by remaining silent in an empire of evil, where the rulers and powers of the air are now completely in charge, they have not protected their sacred duty. They not only remain silent when the Name of the Lord is dragged through the mud in cultural rut-gut like movies and music, but some of them even get paid to go along with it. Some of the "technical advisers" of the failed and abominable NOAH movie, starring an atheist named Russell Crowe, were actually mostly California preachers. They swore up and down it was a good biblically based movie and we should go see it....or "give it a chance". When even Glen Beck was laughing at it about 20 minutes in, we knew it was bad from his review.
There are consequences to being more troubled with the ruling class of this world and not the Ruler of the Heavens. Next, we will look at the fruit of this spiritually deadly negligence as Barna research's new survey shows a new indictment against today's church system.