Face to Face Series: August 2021 Byron and Jasmin spoke a series of messages at Deeper Life @ SBC which centered on coming into a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no hope with shallow faith to know the true depth of Jesus or the power of the Holy Spirit.
We really felt to release these videos all at once rather then individually so each session would build upon the next.
These 8 in-depth messages will lead you to come to know Jesus is a fresh and tangible way!
Session 1: Put Your Trust In Jesus
Session 2: Relationship With Jesus
Session 3: Jesus The Living Water
Session 4: Ministry Of The Holy Spirit
Session 5: A Baptism Of Fire
Session 6: Growing As A Disciple
Session 7: Living Sacrifice
Session 8: Finishing Well
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“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
To live you must die. To be born again you must allow your flesh to die.
To be alive in Christ you must be dead to your self.
If people truly knew the devastation of their sin, they would never “mess around”, “try it once”, “just have a little bit more”, say “it was just one time” or “it’s just a little lie.”
For those who have been burned by the sin they are in, or as a result of the sins of others, it’s just that, a painful fire of agony and devastation. It’s prison bars of hard labour and slavery to an unrelenting master.
Sin is woodworm. It rots the human soul at the roots, devouring all peace, joy, love and truth, leaving a putrid smell of rotting flesh.
Sin consumes and destroys. It destroys you and those around you. Like an uncontrollable fire ranging on a hot dry day. It devours everything that is set before it.
How poignant the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. He who knew no sin. He never expressed, gave way or made provision for any vile thing. Even so, He choose to take the penalty of the sin we so readily invite into our lives.
The violence of sin ravaged His body, tore His flesh and disfigured the one and only God who came to earth as a human. For sin is the heart of violence, cruelty and malice.
Jesus hung on the tree to free us from our prisons, our own deplorable lifestyles. Our beautiful Saviour’s face dripped with blood and grimaced in pain.
The reality of sin laid bare. The result of sin is death. Jesus took that death so we could be free from our own sin and the sin of others.
He bore our sin and shame. Jesus laid down His life and rose from the dead to break the curse humanity has been subject to since the garden.
He did not die to merely forgive your sins but to remove your sin.
He died not only to remove the cost of sin in our lives. He died and rose again to restore us to our created value, like a great artist restoring His masterpiece.
Jesus meticulously removes the grime, dirt, mire and mud, revealing His original design.
The colour and depth of His creation lay hidden under the darkness of sin. He could not leave His art work hidden. He needed to restore us!
No matter how deep and dark the sin. No matter how “far gone” you think you are, you’re not beyond the blood of Jesus Christ. You’re not beyond the loving gaze of the original artist!
He paid the ultimate sacrifice to restore you to who He created you to be.
His blood flowed to wash all your sin away. Your addictions, your fetishes and perversions; your lies and your cruelty. Jesus’ blood was shed for all that has marred you, all that has crushed you, disfigured and twisted you.
Turn to Jesus and come into your designed purpose. Come to Jesus and begin to live out the destiny He has had written for you before the foundations of creation. Follow Jesus and enter into your true identity.
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”– Acts 4:12
“Through the use of her weapons of prayer and faith, she holds in this present moment the balance of power in world affairs…the Church is the mightiest force for civilization and enlightened social consciousness in the world today.”
Paul E. Billheimer
“The line between national decency and a decent into fear and hatred is, and always will be, razor thin. Any nation that assumes it is too righteous to fall into these same sins will risk making the mistakes that Germany did in the 1930s.
The Church should “continually ask the state whether its action can be justified.”
During the last nine months multiple global events have transpired that humanity has not seen the likes of since the 1930s.
In 1933 a man came into power in Germany by the name of Adolf Hitler. He used the disarray and desperation of the German people to capture the hearts and hopes of the nation so he could take complete control over the country.
In the late 1920s, Adolf Hitler spent years spreading his ideas and furthering his political position by using propaganda and force. He slowly wore down the powers of Germany and became chancellor, which was a position second only to the president of Germany.
He used a crises which was later revealed to be entirely orchestrated by himself and his Nazi party.
There was a large fire started that burned down the German parliament in February, 1933. Hitler blamed this on the Communists and stated that it was started in their attempt to take over Germany. He convinced the then prime minister of Germany, Paul Von Hindenburg to suspend sections of the German constitution. The “Reich President’s Edict for Protection of People and State” removed all civil liberties from the people of Germany. This included the rights of free speech, freedom to assemble, and free press, among others.
Hitler used the fear of communism as a way to remove the individual rights of each German citizen.
We are seeing the same tactics being used today. Since March of last year, the media has been fuelling fear in society with the narrative of a deadly virus.
Society has been left vulnerable while they have focused on their “safety.”
Instead of the guise of communism overtaking the government, the Canadian politicians, health officials and media (as well those all over the world) are using the guise of a “health crisis” to take away our Charter Rights and Freedoms.
They are using the fear of COVID-19 as a way to remove the individual rights of each Canadian citizen.
This is not the only similarity we are seeing in Canada to Hitler’s grand schemes. When Hitler took power he began propaganda in order to control the people of Germany.
CTV reported four weeks ago that the Canadian military has for sometime been operating a propaganda arm of the military. They have admitted to releasing false information to Canadians to see how they would react to false news.
This is Canada!
After nine months of this “pandemic” the truth of COVID-19 is coming to light. We have seen that the news media have been giving misleading numbers and that much of what the general public has been told cannot be trusted.
The last number of weeks, the Alberta government released some of the specifics behind the COVID numbers. What the data states is only 11 people in Alberta without pre-existing conditions have died from the virus. The rest of those who have passed had heart disease, diabetes, AIDS, Cancer etc.
They also released that 88% of all COVID deaths in Alberta were people with high blood pressure.
This places a great deal of doubt on the cause of these individuals passing. Did they die as a result of COVID- 19 or as a result of these underlying conditions?
The BC government admitted that all but two deaths relating to COVID-19 were in longterm care facilities. Again, this shows that the general population has very little to fear from this virus. This also shows that the government has not done an adequate job of protecting the vulnerable in these facilities. It is strange we do not hear any ideas or plan to better protect those in long term care facilities. This along with Bill C-7 shows that the Canadian government cares little for the elderly and is not concerned with the amount of deaths we are seeing in the older age bracket.
They would rather piggy-back off these tragic deaths to gain control of the general population. They have segregated this community, isolated them from their loved ones and now they are dying at an exacerbated rate.
The data regarding all of Canada shows that less than 200 people have died outside of longterm care facilities. This shows that the majority of COVID-19 deaths are attributed to the very elderly and infirm.
The CDC in the United States just released new data stating that six per cent of deaths recorded passed solely from COVID-19. The other 94 per cent died with the COVID- 19 virus strain in their systems and had two to six other serious illnesses contributing to their deaths. Most were at advanced age (74 and up) and others died of suicide, stabbing, head trauma etc but were certificated as having the COVID-19 virus in their systems postmortem.
This data shows that the government’s reaction to COVID-19 is unwarranted.
Furthermore, there have been reports of false tests, and people who were never even tested getting positive results. These reports have also become more and more rampant.
The test used to detect COVID-19, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test has been proven to be inadequate to detect COVID cases. The inventor of the test himself, Kary Mullis said it was never meant to be used to diagnose.
He stated , “PCR tests cannot detect free infectious viruses at all,”
The fact that COVID-19 has yet to be isolated in a lab makes it even more concerning that most of the world is using PCR tests to verify COVID.
The PCR test picks up everything from the common cold to the flu which is another reason we have seen a spike in COVID cases but an all time low in flu cases this time of year.
The measures of mask wearing have also been debunked by a large body of reputable scientists.
The scientific evidence says that the wearing non-surgical cloth masks makes you 13-times more likely to get sick because you are breathing in your own toxins.
The World Health Organization even stated that “masks carry uncertainties and critical risk including risk of self-contamination.”
To those who are vulnerable, mask wearing is even more dangerous as they have a higher chance of infection.
For most people they think wearing a mask in the stores is no big deal. However, in Nazi Germany, Hitler made a certain population wear a yellow star on their arms.
Do you imagine anyone being forced to wear that star said, “No big deal it is just a piece of fabric.”?
If you know your history you know why they had to where that star. Hitler had a plan and it included step by step manipulation and control. From a small scale, to a greater and greater scale.
Once the general population was used to seeing the yellow stars he moved those same people who wore the stars into ghettos. He cut them off from the rest of society. After that he moved them into death camps.
We hear this as history but we are seeing the beginning of the same actions being done here in Canada. Once the general masses are compliant with wearing masks the governments will push further. Restrict every citizens freedom even further. The masks are just a starting point. Once people have accepted mandatory mask restrictions without even a shrug the government will push the envelope even further by implementing more restrictive and evasive measures upon society.
We have heard in the news there will be a vaccine ready in the next few months. Science tells us it takes 7 to 10 years to safely develop and produce a vaccine. Nine months is not close to seven years.
(I won’t go into all the details here about the how and why this vaccine is being released so early.
There are a couple logical conclusions to why this may be. Feel free to send us an email regarding this as well as to request the vast amount of research I am referring to in this message. I have included relevant links at the bottom of the essay.)
Why do we need a vaccine if the survival rate of COVID-19 is 99.8 percent?
The details surrounding the roll out of this vaccine gets even more concerning for the general public.
I do not share these details lightly.I am writing this after nine months of study and prayer and with a deep conviction. I am writing to Christ’s Church first and foremost and secondly to anyone with logical thinking who are seeking truth in these days.
I feel a deep conviction to shed light upon what is evident to me and many others who have had their eyes opened to the reality of what has been set before us.
The reports that are being released is that, those who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine will be cut off from society, not unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany.
For those who refuse this potential dangerous vaccine the threat is that we will not be able to work, or shop. That we will not be free to do much of anything involving people. Travel, socialize, take our kids to the zoo or museum, etc.
If these plans go through without the public’s refusal and condemnation of these dehumanizing policies, the results will be devastating.
I am not saying these things will happen. I am saying the writing is on the wall and judging by history it is not looking good.
No government who has removed the people’s basic freedoms has ever willingly given them back. The various arms of Government in Canada and other world powers said we would be shut down for three weeks. It’s been nine months and the Canadian governments have just rolled out more restrictions.
There is a very good chance that we will be facing some hard times.
The current events get even more concerning. As we saw in the news a few weeks ago, the city of Calgary is partial defunding the local police. This trend of defunding is happening all over the world.
Most of us have heard in the news two weeks ago about the federal government’s plan for the great “reset.”This plan is being supported and coordinated by multiple global players.
Everything is pointing to the same conclusion.
Some really sinister plans are unfolding. They have been conducted in sequence and in order to have the least amount of resistance from the general public.
The governments of the world using the politicizing of the BLM movement are posing to continue the defunding of the police. As a replacement they will bring in the military to enforce these new measures of control and seizure.
The measures have already begun as many provincial governments have announced that they will be using the military to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
There were similar shifts of militarization in 1930s Germany with Hitler’s storm troopers, the Germany military and the Gestapo.
What the worry here in Canada is and what many people in government have alluded to is that after a large portion of us have been cut off from society the next plan is to move those who refuse the vaccine into camps.
Seize all their property and move them into camps just like Hitler did to the Jews during his dictatorship.
This is where things are heading if something does not change. We cannot know the future with absolute certainty, however, these or similar things are may happen if something does not interrupt the current trends.
Our rights and freedoms are being chipped away and the majority of our society is going along with it.
Now many provincial governments have effectively canceled Christmas. What is the best way to control the population? To separated them from their support systems: their loved ones and friends, to isolate people and demoralize them so they are reliant on the government and not one another. Christmas is the one time each year that everything is closed and families get together to celebrate the birth of Jesus and connect with family.
This is a huge strategic step in the overall plan.
History shows us that when governments begin taking away their citizens rights and freedoms there is only a small window in which the people can peacefully assemble, refuse tyranny and keep the government accountable. Once the propaganda and early restrictions are imposed and the people go along with it, the government gains a foothold which historically is not released until a full on revolt or civil war is started.
This is why it is imperative that we see the signs of the times and take advantage of this small window of opportunity that is quickly closing.
How do we as the Church react?
What do we choose to do?
How is the Church to conduct her self with this present state of affairs?
I have been seeking the Holy Spirit about this for many months!
What is the role of the church regarding the COVID-19 problem?
This week I felt a great deal of clarity, peace and also a release to start sharing.
I think about the Second World War and how most of the Church in Germany accepted Hitler. How many who did disagree didn’t speak up because of fear.
I heard a story of a church which was near the train tracks where cars of Jewish people were being transported to the concentration camps.
The people in the church would hear the cries of those who were suffering in the box cars and they would sing louder to drown out the Jewish peoples screams.
We cannot sing louder when the cries of injustice start to scream.
“To delay or fail to make decisions may be more sinful than to make wrong decisions out of faith and love.”
We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend these things are not happening.
This is just the beginning. Things will get worse before they get better.
We need to be prepared as a Church!
“If we want to be Christians, we must have some share in Christ’s large-heartedness by acting with responsibility and in freedom when the moment of danger comes. . . mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behaviour.”
What the Holy Spirt has said to me is we need to get in front of this.
How do we do that?
First we cannot give into fear. Despite how dark things seems to be, we have no reason to fear.
“The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” -1 John 4:4
We have no reason to fear.
Satan has his strategies and he will do anything he can to implement them but he is a defeated enemy.
He has lies and deceit.
Jesus is the truth and the light and all the enemies lies will one day be exposed.
We know the end of the story. Jesus wins! He returns in bodily form just as He left.
Jesus has greater plans and strategies than those used by Satan and Jesus wants to use His Church for His kingdom plans.
We who are part of the Church need to ask Him how we are to walk out His kingdom plans in our lives regarding world affairs and then be faithful to His call and know the power of heaven is behind you.
Let us remember that Satan is behind these schemes. We cannot afford to make this about the people around us.
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.“- Ephesians 6:12
These ideologies go beyond one person!
Hitler himself was influenced by Charles Darwin and Charles Darwin was influenced by his grandfather Erasmus Darwin who along with other leaders of society signed the humanist manifesto. The purpose being, to get God out of every avenue of society.
After the Second World War, the same scientists who created the gas chambers went on to use some of the same compounds and chemicals to develop the morning after pill. Margret Sanger who created Planned Parenthood was greatly influenced by Adolf Hitler and she saw abortion as a way to eradicate the “lesser races”.
This selfishness, evil, self-worship and desire to control others is the essence of the first sin which was the attempt to be like God.
All of this is from the evil one. We fight against the lies and the false ideologies of this world, not against people.
I hate wearing the mask. Even more so, because it is a tool used to control and manipulate the masses.
Jesus loves that person. He died for that person!
We need to remember that.
We need to love those around us.
The governments of the world are manipulating people. Well intentioned people are following these “restrictions” thinking they are helping “flatten the curve” that they are saving lives, that they are not spreading COVID-19 to others. These people’s efforts and care for those around them are being used to enslave themselves and others. Those who have died “labeled” COVID-19 deaths have been used to further this underlying agenda.
I love those around me. I am not going to yell or argue with someone working in a store who is just trying to do their job by asking me to put a mask on. I will tell them politely that I am mask exempt. If that is not accepted I will quietly leave. However, I will not compromise my convictions nor my health to appease people. I will not contribute to the degradation of society by wearing a mask.
We have to tell others the truth out of love and not out of anger about the ideologies that they have been fed.
Then what do we do?
These huge global movements seem so overwhelming.
First we need to be informed. Maybe you have never heard the facts I have been sharing. Maybe it is all new to you.
Remember, all the information in the world will do you no good if you do not go to Christ to show you the truth behind the data.
How can we watch the news and not engage?
We need to engage with Christ!
Not engage with human reasoning but engage with the reasoning of the Holy Spirit.
We need to pray for our eyes to be opened to the enemy’s plans.
We need to ask the Father for discernment.
Then we need to speak up.
“First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out- Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”
How do we use the information that we have gathered?
We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada. Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Religion, of conscience, of belief. All of which are being trampled upon under the guise of health and safety.
The facts are clear. What the public health officials are telling us are not scientifically verifiable, nor do they represent the consensus of the health experts at large.
The public health officials are not the experts. The experts disagree with public health.
The public health officials get their pay cheques from the government, which are influenced by the mass media. It’s not to their advantage to listen to the proper science or to the experts. They actually are guilty of suppressing the truth.
It is reasonable to state our rights and freedoms just like Paul stated his roman citizenship. It’s within our rights to civilly disobey unjust and amoral rules and regulations. The restrictions are not laws and to subvert our rights and freedoms they need ample cause. It’s not a health emergency just because they stand up and say it is. They need proof. Which they have yet to provide. Nothing has been passed in the legislature or the parliament. We have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to stand upon for this very reason. We must stand upon them in times of wayward government regulations and restrictions. What the governments of Canada is doing is illegal and against our rights as Canadian citizens.
We need to ask the Holy Spirit where, and when we are to speak up and share the truth of what is going on in society. We need to ask the Holy Spirit where to take our stand.
“Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principals, his conscience, his freedoms, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith … and in exclusive allegiance to God…where are these people?”
The Church throughout the history of the world have been the leaders in every natural disaster, every social plight, speaking up regarding every corruption of society and injustice. The Church has lead all mankind forward by the guidance of Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
Matthew 5:14 says “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
We have the truth that the world needs. Jesus Christ is not surprised by what is going on and we don’t need to be either.
We are not behind the times. We as the Church have a prophetic voice to the nations and to the world.
Whether society wants to admit it or not, no where else will they find the answers they seek.
“The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is going to live.”
We as the Church cannot afford to sit in the shadows waiting for this “COVID Crisis” to pass. We need to rise up.
You see in scripture, the prophets rose up in the darkest of days prophetically proclaiming the coming days. Prophetical speaking about the deeper realities that they were facing in society.
They were shunned and despised, chased down and murdered. However, the Spirit of God could not be quenched. And it will not be quenched now. The Spirit of God burns on through His Church.
We are seeing a new season of prophecy unfolding in these trying times.
We saw an increase of miracles and healing the last decade. The increase of the miraculous will not stop. Along side the growing momentum of the miraculous, we are now seeing the spirit of prophecy increasing. It will continue to increase until Christ returns.
On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up and proclaimed this prophecy in Acts 2:16-21
“No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. 19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. 21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
We have been living in the end-times since Christ ascended into heaven. This passage expresses the increase of the Spirit’s activity as the end of the age draws to a close and all history will be rolled back like a scroll.
Satan is pushing his agenda and so the Holy Spirit pushes back with an increase of power, influence and truth.
We see the lies that are inundating our society. The Holy Spirit is proactively activating Christ’s Church with the Spirit of Prophecy. We see deeper words being spoken, we see spot-on accuracy with prophetic words increasing. We see servants of Christ cutting through the lies with words of truth.
Discernment will increase with the remnant that is the true Church. They will see with spiritual eyes to cut through the lies like a hot knife through butter. Their words will penetrate hearts and will open the eyes of those who are spiritually blind who will come to know Jesus as a result.
With a prophetic voice the Church will be given the wisdom and discernment to apply the gospel to what is going on in this nation and around the world.
We will have the prophetic insight on how to be proactive not reactive.
The world sees what they are being told to see/ Through the Holy Spirit we can see the unknown realm of the Spiritual battles that are going on behind the scenes.
2 Kings 6:15-18 conveys the reality of open eyes to spiritual realities. When the city of Dothan was surrounded by enemy forces:
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
Jesus, open our eyes to see the truth behind the curtain. Take the scales off our eyes to see the spiritual realities around us. Give us discernment, wisdom and piercing truth.
I proclaim every eye and ear be opened in your Global Church to be in complete unity with the work you wish to accomplish through us. In Jesus name!
I do not know how this all will end but I know how to read the signs of the times through discernment given by the Holy Spirit.
I do not know what the future holds but I know who holds the future.
I cannot accomplish anything on my own. The Church was never designed to function with a lone wolf mentality.
We cannot do this alone nor are we suppose to.
We must be united!
I can seek Christ on my knees and He will guide me. However, if the Church seeks Him on their knees together the nations will tremble and yield to the rushing wind of the Spirit’s power. All heaven will be moved by a Church united and deployed against the enemy of our souls and his demonic ideologies.
Matthew 10:34 says,”Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”
The Church formed in fire is the church that stands through the storm.
We have yet to be tested! Not tested in the ways scripture indicates we will be.
Hebrew 10:25: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
The Bible was not written to a single person but always to the Church as a whole. We must seek Christ together!
“The Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it.”(Matthew 11:12)
The number one thing we must do is seek Jesus on our knees. More then reading, more then researching, more than talking. We must be face down before the Lord in prayer. Seeking the Lord as a community.
We don’t have all the answers but He does!
History repeats it self. Nations, kingdoms, governments go to ruin and fall. Christ remains the same!
Jesus is the same, Yesterday, today and forever.
Let us remember that and ask Him for guidance as we go forward in the midst of the COVID-19 propaganda, repression and hate crimes which we see being afflicted upon society.
If you are reading this and do not have an intimate, functional relationship with Jesus Christ, if your heart was stirred by the spiritual truths that we have been expressing in this paper, if you long to know what this Christian life is all about, then you need to come into relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves you and has a purpose for your life!
Know that Jesus came as God to earth in the form and appearance of man. Fully God and fully man. He lived in perfect submission to the Father and then bled and died to break the power of sin and death. He died to free you, He died to bring you into right relationship with God. He rose again, vanquishing the power of death forever. And He is coming again! You can know Him and be free and be filled with the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was filled with. I invite you to enter into your true identity, your true purpose and be united with God through relationship with Jesus Christ!
Blessings in the name of the all powerful One, Jesus Christ!
“…whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
On a dusty road a young couple makes their way towards their destination. A long road for anyone, an estimate four days for those who hold a quick and steady pace.
For this couple it was closer to eight to 10 days. This woman was pregnant; nine months pregnant. Her husband trudged alongside her with their donkey carrying the precious cargo of wife and soon-to-be born son.
This is the scene you would have seen if you were on the road to Bethlehem at the same time as Mary and Joseph around 4 BC.
Not the best of situations by any means. Can you imagine yourself in their place?
You’re alone, walking beside your very pregnant wife as every bump in the very uneven road causes her pain. You’re trying to steady the donkey so she can have a smooth ride, making sure she stays hydrated while the hot sun beats down upon her.
You’re needing to search for water when your waterskin is emptied and trying to find cover from the sun when the heat becomes unbearable.
If you have ever been pregnant can you imagine being in Mary’s position?
You must keep going regardless of how much you just want to rest your weary body. All the regular pregnancy pains are times ten because you are forced to ride along this dusty road upon a donkey. There is no way to rest your feet and hardly a chance to lay down. The baby is kicking because you are not in the position he prefers. The bumps agitate your already small bladder and you have to stop every ten minutes to relieve yourself.
All these inconveniences and difficult variables are small in comparison to the rest of the circumstances and situations that surrounded the birth of Jesus Christ.
He was foretold by the prophets. He would be born to a virgin!
Did they envision how that would work out?
Mary was in very real danger of being stoned to death. She was unmarried and pregnant and her fiancé had no involvement with the conception of the baby.
If God had not intervened and let Joseph in on the secret she may very well have been put to death.
And after she was safe from death, Mary and Joseph would have been scorned by their community, by their families, by their friends. Mary would have been viewed as unfaithful, impure and labeled a sinner.
A woman blessed among all woman. The mother of the saviour of all mankind would have been called all kinds of foul names. She would have had her feet spit upon. Would have seen her father rip his clothes in dismay.
Mary and Joseph persevered. They had been visited by angles and knew they were protected by God almighty.
Mary broke into song when she received the news that she had become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. She did not fret about what people would think or what “this looks like.”
Why? Because she knew her present afflictions did not compare with the glory that was to come.
Mary and Joseph made their way to Bethlehem knowing there would never be anyone else who could understand the situation they found themselves in. They clung to one another during the cold windy nights knowing they shared something special. They would raise the Son of God, “God among us,” “Emmanuel,” the Messiah, the Saviour of all mankind.
They had the greatest mission of all—to carry, to hold and to care for the greatest person who would ever live, Jesus Christ the Lord.
It was this knowledge and the hope it brought that gave them strength to continue on.
But this was not the end of their struggles. When they arrived there was no place for them to stay.
Both Mary and Joseph could trace back their ancestral home to Bethlehem as both were from the house of David.
Why wouldn’t their families, who would have also been compelled to return to Bethlehem take them in?
Had they been so rejected that their own family’s refused to help them?
The scriptures do not say.
What the Gospels do say is that they found no room at the inn and had to stay in a stable.
Typically babies are born in the most sanitary of conditions. In our day and age, in hospitals. In Jesus’ day they would have boiled large amounts of water to sanitize the area of the birth.
Mary and Joseph did not have this luxury and had to have their baby in a dark and dirty stable. The ground would have been full of the manure of animals. Dirt, dust and animal dandruff particles would have been floating in the air.
The danger of contamination and sickness to both baby and mother would have been great.
This is where the saviour of all mankind was born. The king of kings was not born in a palace but in a barn.
The nation in which Jesus was born into was occupied by Romans. They were brutal rulers. They taxed the people of their conquered nations heavily. The reason Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem in the first place was so Cesar Augustine would know who exactly was in Israel to tax. While citizens of Rome had very little taxes to pay. The lands in which Rome conquered were heavily taxed (they had to give a large amount of their grain in taxes as well as taxes on produce, sales taxes, temple taxes, occupational taxes, custom taxes, transit taxes etc.).
To keep the people in line, the military would have been very much present in the community’s where Jesus grew up.
The land of Israel was under a weight of taxes they could not afford and if they did not pay they were subject to violence that they could not resist.
On top of this, Cesar Augustine had appointed local leaders in every territory he conquered. King Herod was the Jewish king over the land at the time of Jesus’ birth and he was brutal. He murdered anyone who was a threat to his kingship including his own family.
Upon Jesus’ birth the magi in the east had seen the star and visited Herod looking for “the one having been born king of the Jews.” This angered Herod and upon hearing about a new king his jealousy would not allow him to sit idly by and wait for this messiah to grow up and usurp him.
Upon conferring with the chief priests and scribes, he found out that the messiah was foretold to be born in Bethlehem.
At this time Jospeh was warned in a dream to flee
with Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Again the young family had to make a difficult journey.
Herod went on to massacre every boy two years old and younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.
“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” – Matthew 2:16-18
I have been mediating upon the circumstances around Jesus birth. Here was this precious little baby. The Prince of Peace.
He came to this earth innocent and perfect. His world was particularly brutal. His mother had hardships with bearing him. Both his mother and father would have been ostracized by their community. They had to go on not one but two dangerous journeys while He was at His most vulnerable. He was born in a filthy stable and finally violent rulers oppressed Him and tried to snuff Him out.
But God’s glorious plan would not be put to death. He supernaturally took care of Mary and Joseph, He kept the Christ child safe.
He showed glory through it all as angles sang about the majesty of who Jesus is!
He brought magi who recognized and christened Him King.
Satan could not stop His birth through stoning, heat, disease or massacre.
Gods plan unfolded as it was designed.
Light came to this earth so all men and women can see the truth through Jesus Christ.
The world has not changed. It is still dark and evil. Persecutions will come. People will lie and cheat and steal. They will be against you!
Satan will try to snuff out your light.
We, like Mary and Joseph carry a truth that brings hope.
We like Mary carry Jesus.
We have the Holy Spirit in our hearts!
We too are on the greatest mission of all humanity.
Can we sing when we are spit on, accused and called names.
Our identity comes from God and we journey on a hard road. But we have hope.
Jesus came into this earth as a baby and He will come again in glory as King.
I think of the dark night, two large shadows and a bundle of joy. A child of peace who would bring peace to all mankind, along with his parents. They slowly make their way out of Bethlehem, knowing they are escaping death. They venture into the unknown, into a strange land which is not their own.
But they have the same hope they did along the dusty road to Bethlehem.
The hope that is found in Christ.
This Christmas I am hanging on to that hope. But I know their hope realized. For they knew this child was destined for great things. I know these great things.
I know the Christ that bled upon the cross and rose from the dead. I know the resurrected King who is coming again.
I have the Holy Spirit working within me, which empowers me to persevere through all trials and emboldens me to let all mankind know that Christ has come to free us from slavery and sin.
So, my desire is that you take hope in the Christmas story, in the child of peace who came to this earth.
And that you take hope in the Saviour who died for our sins and rose again.
Take hope that He is coming again and He knows your struggles and provides strength to continue upon this dusty road.