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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20181209 FRANKINCENSE FOR A KING

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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              Pastor Ray Scott

 

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FRANKINCENSE FOR A KING
SERMON STARTER
          For thousands of years, the tree arbor thurifera, growing in the Arabian Peninsula and Lebanon, has been tapped for its resin. The bark was cut and exuding resin was allowed to dry as nodules, or “tears.” When hardened, the resin, called frankincense, was ground into a fine powder. When subjected to a flame, it gave off a sweet and powerful aroma—an incense used in the worship of God in the tabernacle and temple.
          Both frankincense and myrrh have been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for upwards of 5,000 years. ... According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense and myrrh were components of the holy incense ritually burned in Jerusalem's sacred temple during ancient times. 
FACTS ABOUT JESUS' BIRTH:
1. Only the Shepherds met Him at the Manger.
2. Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day after birth prescribed by Jewish law. Luke 2:21
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
3. Mary's purification (Mikveh) would have happened 40 days after His Birth. The Wise Men could have appeared after this Jewish ritual required for Jewish mothers who give birth and before 24 months.
4. The Star in the East was a conjunction of three heavenly bodies.
4. The Star did appear and guided the educated Magi from the East to Jesus probably after Mary's purification and before His 2nd birthday.
5. Herod ordered the murder of all male babies up to 2 years of age.
6. The Wise Men followed the star and came, not to a manger, but to a house, worshipped the child, gave their gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) and left.
7. After Joseph, Mary and Jesus received the gifts they were warned by an angel and departed for Egypt.
Pastor Phil  <><<         1
December 9, 2018 - Second Sunday of Advent
Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland  <><<
   
FRANKINCENSE FOR A KING
Matthew 2:1-12
                                        
"Special gifts were given to Jesus to honor Him and Celebrate His Birth. Wise Men set the example of focus, dedication and gift-giving to honor a King. Their persistence still amazes us today."                    Pastor Phil  <><<
 
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.     Matt. 2:11

THESE WISE MEN. . .
I. WERE MEN OF FAITH
          A. Their homeland was probably 900 miles from So. Iraq/Iran
                    1. Getting to Jerusalem was prpbably 25 to 40 miles per day
                    2. Camel could normally go at 2 1/2 miles per hour
                    3. With their camel packing necessities for travel
                    4. The trip could have taken them two and a half months
          B. Daniel went into Captivity as a Jewish Prince of Judah in 625 BC
                    1. Daniel no doubt took the Hebrew Scriptures into captivity
                    2. He taught the Hebrew language to Babylon's scholars
                    3. The Wise Men studied the texts and came to 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."
          C. Their Faith in the Word of God was amazing
                    1. Gathered all their resources together and packed
                    2. Round trip would have taken five months
                    3. Left their homeland with provisions and expensive gifts
                    4. Must have had an entourage to protect them
                    5. There were lots of thieves and robbers en route
THESE WISE MEN. . .
II. CAME TO WHERE JESUS WAS - Matthew 2:11a
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.
          A. They followed the prophet Micah's prediction and the Star
                    1. They found Him in a House, not a Manger
                    2. Bethlehem was only 5 miles South of Jerusalem
                    3. They only had the Word of God and a Star to guide them
          B. If you want more of Jesus in your life you must Seek Him

FRANKINCENSE FOR A KING, cont., p.2

          12Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
            13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your                       heart.  14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back                     from your captivity. . .  Jeremiah 29:12-14a

                    1. Want more of Jesus? Ask, Seek, Knock  - Matthew 7:7,8
                                        7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and
                           it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he
                          who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
                    2. You will find Him in unusual places, situations and ways

THESE WISE MEN. . .
III. SAW THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD - Matthew 2:11b
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.
                             
          A. They saw the Living God in human flesh - Exodus 33:20
                    20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."
                    1. Moses asked God to show him, His Glory
                    2. God allowed Moses to be His Back
                    3. His face shone with reflected Glory for weeks
          B. The Wise Men were the first gentiles / goyim to see Him
                    1. They set for us an example of seeking the Lord w/your heart
                    2. Want Revival? How bad? As bad as the Wise Men?

THESE WISE MEN. . .
IV. FELL DOWN AND WORSHIPPED HIM - Matthew 2:11b
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.
                             
          A. In the Presence of the Living God falling down is irresistible
                    1. At the end of His physical Life people Fall Down
                    2. Some things cause the knees to buckle
                    3. Eg. When I was a H.S. Senior I had an opportunity to spend a day                              and a night at San Diego. The next day we boarded a U.S. Naval
                           Cruiser. On that cruise they opened up their 8"guns and fired 360
                           pound projectiles onto an Island 18 miles away. We stuffed cotton
                           in our ears, and held onto the railings to keep from falling down.
          B. The soldiers fell when He spoke the Divine Name - John 18:4-6
            4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went

              forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" 5 They answered Him,
              "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who
              betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, "I am
              He," they drew back and fell to the ground.
                    1. No Flesh can stand in the Presence of the Living God
                    2. The knees buckle and you fall
          C. Moses took off his shoes / fell before God's Presence - Ex. 3:13-14
            13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel
              and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they
FRANKINCENSE FOR A KING, cont., p.3

              say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"
              14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall
              say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
                    1. God Himself spoke The Divine Name
                    2. It is written in Hebrew,   הָיָהיָ‎ "Yoth-Hay-Vath-Hay"   
                    3. Jewish people speak, "adonoy" or "Eloheim" when reading
                    4. It isn't just Jewish respect and tradition
          D. The Wise Men fell, worshipped Him and gave Him gifts
                    1. Have you ever sensed His Presence and had to sit?
                    2. Our God is real and powerful, even as a newborn infant
                                       
THREE QUALITIES ABOUT THE WISE MEN'S GIFTS:
1.  GOLD was a Tribute given to a King
          Present your bodies as a living sacrifice - Romans 12:1
                    1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present
              your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
              reasonable service.
          In God's Presence we Give Up something of great value
          We the lesser to G-d the Greater

2. FRANKINCENSE was burned in G-d's Presence
         
Incense Spirals Upward like our prayers
          Incense dispenses an odor for everyone to experience
          Incense is sweet-smelling and pleasing to God and man
          We carry the aroma of Christ
          What gift of frankincense can we give to Christ this Christmas?
          The highest quality incense of service to Him and to others—the                             aroma of Christ in us.

3. MYRRH was used to Anoint the Dead
          Jesus was born to die
          He was G-d's remedy for man's sinning
          The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World
          How can we bridge the gap between Eloheim and man's sin?
          The Cross of Jesus, He was born to die for your sin - John 3:16
                   
Luke 9:23-24
23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

SHOW ME YOUR FACE - Paul Wilbur
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=put1U0eqSrc

 

FRANKINCENSE FOR A KING - Matthew 2:1-12
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 '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.' "
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

 

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H E   W A S   B O R N   T O   DIE

 

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Philippians 4:18 (NKJV)
18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV)
15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Exodus 30:34-38 (NKJV)
34 And the LORD said to Moses: "Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each.
35 You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy.
36 And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.
37 But as for the incense which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its composition. It shall be to you holy for the LORD.
38 Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people."

Herod was king of Jerusalem when Jesus was born in Bethlehem (means “House of Bread.”) Bethlehem, also known as Ephrath, was about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, and when wise men came to Herod asking where the REAL King of the Jews was, Herod got pretty jealous and tense, not to mention angry. (Think of how you would feel if you were the current king and another one was born to replace you. Herod was on an egotistical “power trip” here.)

Frankincense and Myrrh were used to anoint the dead
Frankincense was used to anoint Prophets, Priests and Kings
It was allowed only to be burned in the Temple for special days

Frankincense was burned: a sweet smelling sacrifice to God
Sacrifices are burned. . .burnt offering to God
 God has called us into His Kingdom to be living sacrifices
          We die to self on the altar of sacrifice - Luke 9:23
          We live to Christ

 

 

SWEET AROMA
For thousands of years, the tree arbor thurifera, growing in the Arabian Peninsula and Lebanon, has been tapped for its resin. The bark was cut and exuding resin was allowed to dry as nodules, or “tears.” When hardened, the resin, called frankincense, was ground into a fine powder. When subjected to a flame, it gave off a sweet and powerful aroma—an incense used in the worship of God in the tabernacle and temple. (“Frankincense” derives from the old French franc encens, meaning “highest-quality incense.”)
When the Magi journeyed to Bethlehem and saw the baby Jesus, they “fell down and worshiped Him,” presenting frankincense—the most noble incense of worship—as one of their gifts (Matthew 2:11). Paul refers to the life of the Christian as a living sacrifice, a reasonable service of worship (Romans 12:1). That service becomes a wonderful aroma—the incense of worshipful service—in our life (Philippians 4:18).

 

Luke 2:7 (NKJV)
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

 

Frankincense and the other plant-derived treasure given to the newborn Jesus in the New Testament narrative—myrrh—have a long history dating back thousands of years. Though perhaps best known for their use in incense and ancient rituals, these substances—both of which boast proven antiseptic and inflammatory properties—were once considered effective remedies for everything from toothaches to leprosy. “We have textual—and also archaeological—evidence that both frankincense and myrrh were used as medicinal substances in antiquity,” confirmed Alain Touwaide, a historian of medicine at the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions and the Smithsonian Institution. Today, researchers like the Cardiff team are drawing on this centuries-old knowledge to develop modern treatments for a variety of disorders. Find out more about these healing gifts of the magi.
What are frankincense and myrrh?
Both frankincense and myrrh are derived from the gummy sap that oozes out of the Boswellia and Commiphora trees, respectively, when their bark is cut. The leaking resin is allowed to harden and scraped off the trunk in tear-shaped droplets; it may then be used in its dried form or steamed to yield essential oils. Both substances are edible and often chewed like gum. They are also extremely fragrant, particularly when burned, with frankincense giving off a sweet, citrusy scent and myrrh producing a piney, bitter odor.
Because frankincense and myrrh can be collected from multiple Boswellia and Commiphora species, several different varieties are available. The shrubby trees that produce them are native to the Arabian Peninsula and regions of northeast Africa, though Boswellia has also been cultivated in southern China. (Frankincense has been a staple of traditional Chinese medicine since at least 500 B.C.) Early attempts to grow the trees in the Levant—and specifically in what is now Israel—failed, according to Touwaide.
Ancient uses and value
Both frankincense—also known as olibanum—and myrrh have been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for upwards of 5,000 years. It is believed that the Babylonians and Assyrians burned them during religious ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians bought entire boatloads of the resins from the Phoenicians, using them in incense, insect repellent, perfume and salves for wounds and sores; they were also key ingredients in the embalming process. Myrrh oil served as a rejuvenating facial treatment, while frankincense was charred and ground into a power to make the heavy kohl eyeliner Egyptian women famously wore. Sacks of frankincense and potted saplings of myrrh-producing trees appear in murals decorating the walls of a temple dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt for roughly two decades until her death around 480 B.C.
According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense and myrrh were components of the holy incense ritually burned in Jerusalem’s sacred temples during ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Romans also imported massive amounts of the resins, which they burned as incense, used during cremations and took for a wide variety of ailments. By this time, medical practitioners had recognized and documented the substances’ antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, prescribing them for everything from indigestion and chronic coughs to hemorrhoids and halitosis. According to Touwaide, myrrh appears with more frequency than any other plant substance in the writings of the Greek physician Hippocrates, who revolutionized the field of medicine in the fourth and third centuries B.C. The Roman historian and botanist Pliny the Elder, who recommended frankincense as an antidote to hemlock poisoning, wrote in the first century A.D. that the pricey dried sap had made the southern Arabians the richest people on earth.

 

THREE GIFTS FOR THE KING
Gold — His Sovereign Dominion
You use gold to pay Tribute to a King. Royalty deserves and is entitled to Gold.
Gold is a gift that would be presented to a king because it was the most precious metal of that day and it symbolized royalty. The wise men recognized that this baby born in a manger was no ordinary baby this was King Jesus! The wise men did not cuddle Him. They did not play games with Him. Instead they bowed the knee in reverence to Him. Gold was the gift of wealth for the King.

Frankincense — His Sinless Deity

Frankincense was used to worship the King. These wise men recognized the sinless deity of Jesus that was deserving of their worship.

11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11 says, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh."
You see, Jesus was not only born a king, He was God in human flesh. Now, whether the wise men fully understood all of this or not, I don't know. But I do know that the Holy Spirit impelled them to make these gifts and the Holy Spirit recorded these gifts.
There will be many who read this and say, "Well I don't believe that Jesus Christ is God but I do believe that He was a good man." But what did Jesus say? "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Mark 10:18). If Jesus Christ is not God, then He is not good by His own words.

Myrrh — His Sacrificial Death

The third gift the wise men brought was a valuable gum-like substance called myrrh that was used to embalm the dead. Can you imagine bringing a little baby something that would be used to embalm the dead? They did this because they recognized that this little baby was born to die.
Myrrh was also used as a narcotic to dull pain. Mark 15:22-23 tells us, "And they bring Him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but He received it not." There upon that cross, instead of tasting myrrh to numb His pain, Jesus tasted death for every man. To prepare Him for burial, Nicodemus brought myrrh (see John 19:38-40).
As I have said before, I don't know whether the wise men understood all of this, but I know the Holy Spirit did. And this is not by accident. Of everything that could be listed as gifts to the King, we read they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to recognize His sovereign dominion, sacred deity, and sacrificial death.
What will you give Jesus this Christmas? Your wealth? All that we have belongs to Him. Your worship? Fall on your face before Him. Your witness? I want the world to know that He died for me. Do you? My wealth, my worship, and my witness belongs to my Lord. And so does yours.