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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

The Stars Tell The Story Of Jesus

Sunday, 22 December 2019
 

These are notes on the sermon, The Stars Tell The Story Of Jesus, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 22 December 2019, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: Discover the story of redemption
  2. The story of redemption begins with free choice
  3. God can righteously forgive us because of Jesus' redemption at the cross
  4. Nothing can prevent the story of redemption from unfolding
  5. God created the stars to tell this story of Jesus, our Savior
  6. Closing prayer

Introduction: Discover the story of redemption

This Christmas service, let’s remember that we are celebrating because the SAVIOR was born.

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
—Luke 2:10–11 NKJV

God is judge, but more than anything else, the Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:7–8). Because of God’s great love for us, He sent Jesus down to earth to save us. Jesus took not only our sins, but also our sicknesses on the cross so that we might walk in His abundant life.

When we stand before God, we stand before Him as our Savior. Jesus’ name means “salvation.”

The Christmas story is actually the story of redemption, and we are all caught in it.

The story of redemption begins with free choice

Before God created man, He created angels. The highest-ranking angels are called cherubs. There were 3 of them: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer (before he fell and became Satan).

Lucifer’s name means “light of the morning” or “son of the morning.” Lucifer’s appearance was supposed to be dazzling, bright, and beautiful.

Cherubs are very powerful beings. They were created to be guardians of God's righteousness and holiness. If there was any deviation from God’s righteousness and holiness, their swords would come down on the guilty one.

Apart from being the guardian of God’s righteousness and holiness, God gave Lucifer other gifts. One of them was the ability to make music to worship God. But as Lucifer led the angels to worship God, he wanted to receive the worship for himself.

When Lucifer became proud and attempted to take God’s place, God exiled him to earth (see Isa. 14:12). On earth, Lucifer developed an extreme hatred toward God, and he became Satan.

This was before man was created.

When God made Adam, God told Adam to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. The word “replenish” means that there once existed life and on the earth.

When God created man, God created man in His image. God never created the angels in His image.

God made us in His image before man fell. Today, we all have traces of the fall. The fact that you fall sick, grow old, and experience pains in your body is because of the fall.

God never meant for us to go through pain and suffering. God’s heart is never for us to suffer, just like your heart is never to see your children suffer nervous conditions, depression, and fears.

Pain and suffering were never part of God's plan for us. His plan was and is still for us to walk in perfect health and peace.

When God made man in His image, He created both, male and female and called them Adam.

When God made man, He made man with free choice. God did not make robots. If God made us robots with no free choice, we would live in a perfect world, free of rebellion and strife. But He didn’t want robots. He wanted us to have the choice to respond to His love.

God, so full of love, created man to be a recipient of His love and to walk in His best plans for us. But man, with their free choice, chose to sin and rebel against God by eating from the tree that God said not to eat from.

Why did God have to create that tree? Because if God had created everything good, there would have been no way for man to exercise their free choice because there would have been nothing to choose from. There had to be an option where man could exercise their free will and show they love God.

God gave man free choice because God doesn’t want forced relationship or worship from us. God doesn’t want us to obey because we have to, but because we genuinely trust Him.

God is a good God and He’s always looking out for us. He wants us to obey because we know that He has our best interest at heart.

When man sinned and rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, the result was death. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.”

But it doesn’t stop there. The verse continues: “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (see Rom. 6:23).

Even though man sinned against God, God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to be our Savior—to take the punishment of sin for us at the cross.

But let’s rewind to the moment when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Satan tempted them to do it because he was waiting to see if God would still accept man despite their sin. If God were to do so, He would compromise on His righteousness, and the foundation of His throne would be shaken (see Ps. 89:14).

God hates sin and cannot allow it to dwell in His presence.

Sin is like cancer. You need to remove it completely before it spreads.

What happens if cancer is found in a loved one? How do you separate the two?

You love the person, but you hate the cancer. How much you hate the cancer is how much you love the person.

In the same way, God loves man but hates the sin. Because God loves man deeply, He hates sin vehemently. He knows that sin will ultimately destroy us.

So how can God accept sinful man without compromising on His righteousness?

God instituted the divine exchange. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God demonstrated a shadow of the divine exchange by killing animals in their place.

God can righteously forgive us because of Jesus' redemption at the cross

In the Old Testament, a sinful man would bring a blemish-free lamb to the altar. His sins would be transferred to the lamb, and the innocence of the lamb would be transferred to him. The lamb would take the man’s place and be killed and burnt. The man would walk away free from judgment because he had the lamb’s righteousness.

This practice was a picture of how God would one day send His Son, the true lamb of God, to take away the sins of the world.

The Christmas story is all about how God so loved the world that He gave us His Son—the best heaven has.

Jesus existed even before He came down to earth as a man (see John 1:1–14).

When God made man, He gave dominion over the earth to man. But when man sinned by listening to Satan, man gave that dominion to Satan.

Because of sin, man gave the authority of this earth to Satan, who brought in death, disease, and sickness.

Sickness and disease are not from God.

When Jesus was born and grew up, one of the first things He did was to heal people. Jesus cleansed the lepers, unstopped deaf ears, and raised the dead to show God's will in action.

You want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus. He never made one person sick. He made sick people well.

Jesus came to make all of us, who were spiritually dead, come alive. Jesus came to resurrect us first spiritually and later physically in the rapture.

Nothing can prevent the story of redemption from unfolding

When Adam sinned, God said this to Satan who took the form of a snake:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel."
— Genesis 3:15 NKJV

enmity between you and the woman” — The devil hates men and women, but he has a special hatred for women. If he can, he will put in place laws that subjugate women. He will oppress women emotionally and mentally with illnesses like depression.

He hates women because it’s from a woman that the Champion would come and conquer him.

We can see throughout history how Satan tried to prevent this prophecy of the Messiah’s coming from coming to pass. For example, when he influenced Cain to kill Abel, and when he influenced Pharoah to kill all the Hebrew babies in Moses’ time.

Make no mistake that Satan is real. One of his greatest accomplishments is making people think he doesn’t exist. Just because you cannot see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Before atoms were discovered, we couldn’t see them. But they existed.

And even today, science cannot explain the force that holds the atoms together. But the answer is in the Bible, where it says, “In Christ, all things are held together” (see Col. 1:17).

What is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel."
— Genesis 3:15 NKJV

her Seed” — Women don’t have seed; it is the man that has seed. So this is the very first prophecy in the Bible where God prophesied the virgin birth. God was saying that a champion would come to rescue man and God would do it without compromising on His righteousness.

So the devil knew that a woman would bring forth the champion and down through the years, he tried to prevent the birth of Jesus.

When Jesus was born, there were three Persian kings who studied the stars. This study is not the same as the astrology we know today.

Today, we do not need to look to the stars to guide our lives. We can look to the One who created the stars.

The stars don’t have a heart for you. The Creator of the stars does.

"He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name."
— Psalm 147:3–4 NKJV

He counts the number of the stars” — God counts the numbers of stars. This is something that even with the advancement of science and technology, man is unable to do.

"He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name."
— Psalm 147:3-4 NKJV

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” — This God who counts the stars and calls each of them by name heals our broken hearts and binds up our wounds.

God is very close to those who are brokenhearted. When Jesus came to earth, He declared that the Spirit of God had anointed Him to heal the brokenhearted (see Isa. 61:1).

Even at the most glamorous and luxurious party, you’ll find people with broken hearts. And God cares for them and wants to heal their hearts.

Just like Christ holds the atoms together, He wants to hold our lives together. We need Christ in our marriage, in our families, because He will hold our relationships together.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel
."
— Genesis 3:15 NKJV

He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” — The word “bruise” in Hebrew is actually “crush.” So the dragon-slayer who will come will be hurt, but He will bear that price to save us by crushing the serpent’s head.

God created the stars to tell this story of Jesus, our Savior

The first man whom God used the stars to show the story of Jesus to was Abraham.

“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
— Genesis 15:5–6 KJV

if thou be able to number them” — The Hebrew word for “number” is “saphar” which means “to tell the story” or “to declare.” It is the same word for “book” in Hebrew.

“The heavens declare (“saphar”) the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.”
—Psalm 19:1–3 NKJV

People from different parts of the world are able to see the same stars in the night sky. God ordained it this way.

The Australian flag is a picture of the Southern Cross. The Southern Cross belongs to the constellation of Libra. When men were lost out at sea, the mariners would steer their way home by looking for the cross. Once they located the south, they were able to find their way back home.

God made the stars for a purpose.

During Bible times, the Hebrews had a word for the 12 zodiac constellations, and it was called “Mazzaroth.”

“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”
—Job 38:31–32 KJV

Mazzaroth” — This is the Hebrew word for Zodiac. Zodiac means “steps” or “the way.” In the book of Acts, Christianity was called “the way.” Jesus said, “I am the Way.”

We know that each of the 12 constellations form a picture (refer to slides to see the formations). Each constellation is made of 3–4 clusters of stars.

Virgo

  • Virgo is first sign of the Mazzaroth.
  • Virgo means “virgin,” which depicts Jesus who was born of a virgin.
  • Jesus’ sacrifice can pay for the forgiveness of our sins because He had sinless blood. Science has discovered that the baby’s blood comes from the father. Because Jesus was born of a virgin, His blood came directly from His heavenly Father.
  • The woman in the image is holding a branch and a shuck of corn
  • The brightest star in the shuck of corn is called “spica,” which means “seed.” This refers to the prophecy in Genesis that the woman would bring forth the Seed, Jesus.
  • On Virgo’s right is a woman carrying a baby called Coma. The baby has a star called "the desired one.”
  • Virgo has a man on the side, called Arcturus who is holding a shepherd’s rod and a sickle. This is a picture of Jesus, who harvests souls and then shepherds them (see Psalm 23).

Libra

  • Libra comes after Virgo.
  • Libra is a pair of scales. This is a picture of justice, equity, and righteousness. When God put man on the scales, man was completely sinful.
  • Right below the scales, there is a cluster of stars which forms a picture of a slain animal. That animal is a lamb, which represents Jesus as the lamb of God.
  • Next to the lamb is the cluster of stars called the Southern Cross.
  • What balances the scales of justice is Jesus on the cross.

Scorpio

  • Scorpio consists of a man holding a snake and stepping on a scorpion.
  • Both snake and scorpion are pictures of the devil.
  • Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
  • This man is not Hercules, it is Jesus, the Champion who conquered the devil at the cross.

Taurus

  • Taurus is a picture of a bull.
  • In the gospel of Mark, Jesus is depicted as an ox, which represents a tireless, powerful servant who never ceases in serving us.
  • Pleiades and Orion are in the cluster of Taurus.
  • Pleiades means “seven stars,” and they are found on the neck of the bull.
  • In the book of Revelation, Jesus holds the seven stars, representing the seven churches, in His hand. Jesus carries us.

Leo

  • Leo is the last sign of the Mazzaroth.
  • Picture of a lion, which speaks of Jesus, the Lion of Judah.
  • The brightest star in this constellation is found on the lion's foot. It is called “Regulus,” which means “the foot that crushes.”
  • The Hebrew word for “foot” is “regal.”
  • Right below Leo’s foot is a long cluster of stars that form a snake, Hydra. It looks as though Hydra is trying to get away but cannot because the foot of the lion is crushing it.
  • Leo reveals how the promised Seed will crush the head of the serpent, as prophesied in Genesis.

The story of the new testament opens with Virgo, the virgin birth, and ends with Leo, where Jesus is called the Lion of Judah in the book of Revelation.

But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
—Revelation 5:5 NKJV

Jesus has prevailed by dying for our sins on the cross. There was no other way.

All our sins were transferred to Jesus and He suffered the full vengeance of God's punishment upon His person. He exhausted all of God's anger and punishment, all of God’s judicial righteousness against all lawlessness into His own person.

Now, Satan is silenced because God is righteous in making righteous any sinner who comes to Him and says, “Lord, I have no righteousness of my own.”

Abraham believed God's story of redemption written in the stars; he believed the same gospel we believe. He read the story from Virgo to Leo and God explained it to him. Today, we don't need to look at the stars anymore. We have the Bible.

When God showed Abraham the story of Jesus through the stars, God counted his belief for righteousness. Today He counts our belief in the gospel for righteousness too, and that is why we can always expect only good from Him.

God has gone ahead of us this coming year, and He wants us to take His hand and trust Him step by step.

Closing Prayer

“The Lord bless you, the Lord favor you, and the Lord grant to you and your families shalom-health, wholeness, and peace. The Lord keep you and your loved ones throughout this week from every danger, harm, accident, and tragedy. The Lord favor you and your loved ones. And the Lord grant to you and your loved ones health in every part of your being, in Jesus' name. Receive that right now. Amen. Thank you, Lord. God bless you.”

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2019
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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