VN520291 2013-12-15 Who Is This Mystery Man
We’re going to do a lot of jumping around today. Beginning with the first book, Genesis 46:26-27, “All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came from his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.”
This is something I hadn’t noticed and God pointed out to me. When you’re reading this it says that all the souls that came with Jacob. Now, I picked this up while I was reading some rabbinical stuff and they point this out. The reason I’m using King James this morning is the way they interpret it because that’s the way the Hebrew people read it, the rabbis and the sages, the rabbinical sages, all the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt. He says that’s not counting the wives, just the souls of the sons was threescore and six.
Threescore. A score is 20, threescore is 60 so 66 people came out. Then it says the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, so you have Joseph and his two sons, that’s three and that is 69. Then it says all the souls of the house of Jacob which came into Egypt were threescore and ten so 60 plus 10 is 70, but that word with in there, is what makes the difference for the rabbinical people. When we read it we say okay, there were 66. You’ve got Joseph and his two kids, that’s 69, and then you throw Jacob in and that’s 70.
But, when the rabbis read it they say that’s not what it actually says. What it actually says is there are 66 that came with him so you can’t count him because they’re coming with him so you can’t count Jacob. Then you’ve got Joseph and you have the other two, his two boys, so that’s 69 and yet it says there were 70 people who came out with Jacob. That word is what they keep pointing out. It says with Jacob, and so they try to trick us and they know Hebrew, I don’t. I’m just saying it’s interesting that the scriptures don’t lie and yet it says there are 69 souls because you can’t count Jacob. That’s the way they say it, and yet there were 70 that came out. Hold that thought.
Now, as you’re reading more rabbinical stuff you will also find out what they have is an old tradition, it’s the Talmud. You guys remember the book Roots and the movie Roots from years and years ago? The guy traced his ancestry back, and then he went to Africa and started looking for a matchup of his family history that he understood. He finally found this tribe of people who had an oral tradition which means that this wasn’t written down, but this history was taught by father to son and then on down, and they had to be able to memorize this word for word. It went on and on and on. I mean way back years and years and years, hundreds of years. They would start at the beginning and they would tell you everything that happened to these people right down the line name for name. All the things that happened in the history of this tribe. He comes to this group and he tells them what he’s looking for and the person starts on the history and then boom, there it is. There is the person he’s looking for and it talks about that person being taken and sold off into slavery, and that was like his great great grandfather and there it is.
Oral traditions in these tribal areas like Africa and like the Jewish nation were handed down in that way, they try to be very precise. Now, this oral tradition comes down to us and in like 400 BC (after Christ) 400 BC they started writing these stories down because they kept getting scattered and they were afraid they would lose it, but there is an oral tradition that says when the southern kingdom fell Nebuchadnezzar and his group came down and would get Jewish people and march them off to Babylon and being the good statisticians they were, they would count them. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 145 people and they would start marching them. Then once they would get them to the palace they were going to resell them they would count again to make sure everybody was there, and they noticed that every time, they got to a place where they were dropping people off, there was always one extra person.
Then they would go get another shipment of them, they would count them, march them across for sale and however they were getting them to the place and once they would get them there they would count them and there would be one extra person. In the Book of Daniel in chapter 3:25, we don’t need to go to it, most of you know what it says, there were three children. We call them Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and they were coming to the fiery furnace to be consumed. The people that were throwing them into the fire died because the heat was so great, and yet the king when he looks inside there he said there is a fourth man in the fire walking around and King James says he looks like the Son of God walking around in the fire.
So, we have two references here about this person in the Bible, the 70th person, in the Book of Daniel a fourth person. In the oral tradition this one person would keep showing up. Now, if you’ll hold that thought we’ll come back to it in just a little bit unless you guys just want to jump ahead. Okay, let’s just jump ahead. Matthew chapter 1. I’m not very good but I’m 8:30. Verse 23. Matthew 1:23. It solves the mystery. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” This 70th person, the rabbis tell you this, that there were 69 came out with Jacob and the 70th person was God. They also in the oral tradition, said that the people that were marching, noticed this, and finally asked a rabbi why is it that we pick up 145 people but when we deliver there is always one extra, 146? The rabbi looked at the guy and said because God is always with His people, and everytime a bunch of us are moved He is always there with each and every group.
When you go to the Book of Daniel and the fourth man in the fire, He looks like the Son of God. We threw in three but there are four. Who is that fourth man? This is what was astounding to the Jewish people through the prophet of Isaiah. He reveals the wonder and the marvel when he says this child that is going to be born, He shall be called, He shall be named Emanuel, God with us. This son who we know as the Son of God, “for unto us a Son is born.” That means He has prior existence, the Son of God, and unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, so that means the Son already exists and unto us a child is born. So, we have a son who existed, becomes incarnate into this child that is born so once again the mystery of it. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Emanuel. God with us.
Isaiah is pointing out folks, the person who mysteriously has been showing up with Jacob, the one who will in the future because Daniel wrote later, that is with those children in the fiery furnace, the one who is going to end up marching with you to Babylon is the Son of God, is God Himself. He is with you. He is with you. If we go to the Book of Genesis chapter 28 we’re going to pick up and continue this. God is with them. Who is that man? It’s the Son of God. The very God of very God. Genesis 28:15. “And, behold,” God is talking, “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”
If you go to Deuteronomy 31:6, that’s four books later. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Number, Deuteronomy chapter 31. When you get to 31 don’t turn the page because I want to drop right down to another verse in 31. Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Verse 8 says, “And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” We have to do some more jumps. 1 Chronicles chapter 28. This is like (swordsville) when you were kids isn’t it? It will all come together I hope. 28:20. David is talking to Solomon. “And David said to Solomon, his son, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.”
Then if you skip back a couple chapters. I’ll just tell you. He is telling once again his son Solomon do not be afraid. The Lord thy God is with thee and He shall prosper you while you are building the temple. It’s in there. Ask me later. I’ll find it for you. What we have here is, Chuck was talking about it this morning and I’ve talked about it in the past, we have a promise that is given by God. It started with Abraham and it is passed down to his children. Joshua. It’s passed down through Deuteronomy to Joshua. It comes down to Solomon. It comes down to Daniel, down to the children in the fiery furnace. He continually has said to the people of Israel, I will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Even though they are herded off because they failed Him, He still said I will be with you. I will go with you. I will prepare the way. Even though you’re bad and you’re being sent out of the land I am still there with you. I’m still your God. I’m still leading the way and I’m still with you, and that’s what the point of the oral tradition was, it is to say even though we were imperfect and we were forced off our property because we were imperfect, God Himself was always with us and God was always the extra man.
They point back to Jacob when he went to Egypt and they say look, even our great great grandfather when he got forced out of the land because of famine and he went to Egypt, 69 people were counted and there was a 70th one, and that was God. And that was God. We’re told that this presence of the Lord will always be with them, will never leave them, and will never ever forsake them. Isaiah points out who that man is. Matthew collaborates it, verifies it by telling us that that 70th man, the 4th man in the fire is Jesus, the Son of God, and He is always there with His people. Always, always with His people. As a covenant, Abraham’s covenant is passed down from generation to generation. It comes down to us. You can say but I’m not Jewish, how can it come down to us? That’s where, and you don’t need to turn to this, most of you probably know it by heart by now, Galatians 3:7, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
If you are a person who has put your faith in the God of Abraham then you are a child of Abraham and this inheritance, this blessing comes down to us and it is confirmed even in the Book of Hebrews where it says the promises made that neither will I leave thee nor forsake thee. I am always with you. It’s in the Book of Hebrews and comes down to us in Hebrews chapter 13. It comes down to us that He will always be with us. We have inherited this from Abraham. God came to Abraham and said your children are going to be the heirs of these promises and He demonstrated the promises to the Jewish nation as they were led away, that He was always there with them even as being the 4th man in the fire. He was there with them.
Now, the Chronicles verse, that’s where David is talking to Solomon and he says this. Solomon, God is always going to be with you and God is always going to prosper you as long as you’re building that house of God which He wants you to build. In the same way, God has given us the same kind of inheritance that is being passed down to His children. That’s us. This is a hard one for us, but I want to put it in context. I want you to frame it up so you understand it. I’m not preaching a prosperity gospel saying name it, claim it, God is going to bless us all and make us all rich, but the inheritance comes down like this. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we will prosper. That doesn’t mean we will become millionaires. That means we will do alright as long as we’re building the house of God. Samuel took it to mean building a stone structure, and then if you keep reading once the structure is done you start noticing that Samuel starts drifting off and starts getting in trouble and building temples to idols and all this stuff. He didn’t understand that the purpose of his prosperity was to build the temple of God and he should have invested not just money in that stone structure out there with the golden roof and all that.
He was the richest man and they say today that even when they calculate it by today’s standards he is still the richest man that has ever walked on the face of the earth. Billions and billions of dollars. Richer than any person that you could name that exists today. They say that if you calculated what he had it is still more than what they have got. Jerusalem became known as Jerusalem, the city of gold because that man brought in so much gold and silver into that city that it was just unreal. But, he lost his purpose when he quit building the structure and he should have understood that what he was supposed to be doing was building the church of God or the Assembly of God at that time. He should have been building a college or an institution to teach Jewish people to go out and share the knowledge of their God with us gentiles, but he lost the focus and he thought well, if I just build a stone structure then all the rest of the prosperity is mine to do with as I see fit and he started drifting away from what he was being blessed or the reason he was being blessed.
Christians today, you can also expect the presence of God in your life and you can expect to have enough. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack.” He will be there for you. I’m not saying you’re not going to have rough times along the way, but He will always come along and help you out as long as you keep that main focus of your point is to build the church of Jesus Christ, and we’re not talking stone structures. I have nothing against it. I have told you before I like architecture. I like big fancy buildings. I like big fancy churches. There are some in Chicago that are awe-inspiring. When I go up there I always go back to these churches just to see them. They honestly have in a Presbyterian church angels that are life size carved in wood on top of pillars so high that they only look about this tall and each angel it totally different from the angel on the other column, and you walk down and here are all these angels carved and I’m just. The money they lavished on this and yet I’m going this isn’t what God wants. He’s not against beauty and architecture, but He does want us to focus on building the church which is the assembly of people.
Our point is we are to use the blessings that God has given us, the prosperity that God has given us to enable the church of Jesus Christ to grow, to become more numerically and not just spiritually where we just learn, but we are to invest in ways that the numerical numbers will also start growing because we are going to be prospered and blessed, and as long as we’re out there causing the church of Jesus Christ to be growing we will continue to be blessed. But, once we lose our focus we will be just like Solomon. We will drift away and we will lose the focus of Christ. Now, if you will go with me to Luke 24. I want to just tag this onto the end of it. This is where Emanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ who we celebrate this time now of his birth, chapter 24 verse 48, we celebrate it and this God Man, Jesus, the anointed, the chosen One of God says in verse 48, He gives us some information that we’re supposed to have talking to the people.
Let’s start at 45. “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” And then He led them up to Bethany and He was lifted up and went into the heavens and ascended, but I want us to understand what He was saying to these people. He was talking to the apostles and those that were gathered. He reviews it and He said okay, now understand this. I am the anointed. I am the Emanuel. I am God. I am the person that Isaiah prophesized about. I am the fourth man in the fire. I am the 70th person who went with Jacob. I am the person in your oral traditions. I am that person and it was appointed to me to come and to suffer on your behalf to take the sins of the world and die for them so that you wouldn’t be punished, to give up My wealth in heaven so that you could have these blessings and these riches, and I had this all happen to me so that now you can go forth and I’m giving you the gift from the Father which we know is the power of the Holy Spirit so you wait right here until that power comes upon you and you are endowed with power, but the power is always given for a purpose and that purpose is that you might be a witness to those people out there.
He didn’t give us the power of the Holy Spirit so we could all become the greatest church people in the world. He didn’t give us the power of God to run around and speak in tongues. He didn’t give us all the power of God to, well, just anything except for one thing. He points it out and makes it very clear. The purpose that the power of God, the Holy Spirit comes down upon you, and He is talking to the apostles and those people gather there, the reason this is coming upon you is so that you, you will be a witness of the things that you’ve seen and the things that you’ve seen are that I am the Christ. I performed miracles and wonders just like it was prophesized. I was virgin born. I suffered, and I died, and I was buried, and I rose from the dead conquering death and now you are going to see Me ascend into heaven which proves the fact that I am totally acceptable and have total access to God Himself, the Father on the throne, and I will be there and you, apostles, are to take this out.
One last stop. Book of Acts chapter 2. You don’t have to go to it. Most of us probably know it. Chapter 2. Peter is preaching. A lot of people have told us down through the ages that the power of the Holy Spirit has actually ceased to exist as a marvelous power at the time of the prophets or at the time of the apostles, and when the last apostle died there is no need anymore for the power of the Holy Spirit upon people, but listen to what Peter says in his preaching the first sermon, chapter 2, verse 16. “But this is that which was spoken of.” Now, what’s happened before this? We had the sound of the mighty rushing wind. We had the flames of fire descend upon the people who were gathered there waiting for this endowment of power. We’ve had the people speaking in various languages of all the people that are gathered there, and the people thought they were drunk but Peter says, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days.”
So, since this happened and he says this is what is supposed to come to pass in the last days according to Joel, then we started the last days when Peter stood up and started preaching. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders,” and then it goes on, but the point of this is, the reason I’m bringing it out is because I’ve had people say you see what Jesus was saying in Luke is this, it’s the apostles that have the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life. It’s the apostles and when they ceased, when the last one died it’s all over with and we just have to rough it out, but according to Joel, according to Peter, according to Peter who quotes that in the last days, that’s what time period we’re in, upon all flesh He is pouring His Holy Spirit out upon all the young people, all the old people, all the rich people, all the poor people, all the men and all the women who have faith in Jesus Christ.
He is saying these are my hand servants, men or women, rich or poor, young or old. I am pouring my spirit out. I am empowering these people with my spirit. The point of this isn’t that we are to be walking around doing miracles all the time, the point of this is that we are being given the power of God in our life to do what? To be a witness of Jesus Christ to those people out there, and as long as we focus on the point we’re doing this to build the church of Jesus Christ we will be prospered. Not just physically, but spiritually. We will be prospered. We will be endued with power as long as we’re focused on this idea of being a witness to Christ to those people out there. You pull back from that the prosperity will start to slacken in our lives. It’s like I said, it’s not for us to get together and get the chills. If you do, that’s fine. It’s not for us to get together and see fire descend from heaven. I would pay money to see that, but it is for us to get together and seek the presence of the Lord so that we can continually be blessed by His presence with us, by the fact that He will bless us and prosper us so that we have a purpose of power and a purpose to build the church of Jesus Christ.
You have the same inheritance because you are a child of Abraham because you have trusted in Christ. You have and can experience the fact that that fourth man is always going to be with you even through your troubles and even through your problems, he is there because you’ve inherited it. You also have the blessing of prosperity in your life, and I’m not saying fabulous wealth, I’m just saying that you will do alright as long as your idea of prosperity is God bless me so I can be a blessing. God, I can’t give people cash if I don’t have cash. I can’t buy food and give it to people if I don’t have the money to buy food to give to the people. I can’t give people Bibles if I don’t have a way of securing Bibles to give to those people, so God I’m asking that I would be blessed to prosper so that I can be a person who is generous towards those people who do not yet know you.
They were to be witnesses, the apostles were to be witnesses to things that they saw. They saw Jesus the Christ, they saw the virgin Mary, they saw the fact that He did miracles, they saw the fact that He did suffer and die and He was beaten and He was crucified. They did see the fact that He was dead for three days. They did see the fact that he rose from the dead and they were to be witnesses to what they saw. A lot of us have problems and we say we don’t know how to be a witness. Here it is. Go seek Him for one reason and say I want Your presence in my life. I want You to prosper me spiritually, physically, whichever way. I want You to give me a story to tell to the nations. I want You to be that fourth man in my life, to be the 70th man in my family. I want You to be with me through those hard times so that even if I’m marched off into slavery that You are there with me and my people. I want to be able to do that God. Give me a story. Give me a story to tell other people so that I can say they told you all about that and it is true and I am here today to testify that Jesus is still the Christ, the Son of the Living God, still sitting at the right hand of the Father because He has blessed me, and He has met my needs, and I have seen Him do thus and so in my life.
Then you have a testimony and you can stand up and say I don’t know about you, but I know that God did these things for me. You can be a witness for the things that God does in your life, and if you say He has never done anything in my life then what you do is you say God, evidently I have been asking things for the wrong reasons just to heap them upon my own self. I know people that ask for the gift of healing. Oh God, let me have the gift of healing because it would be so cool to run around and heal people. God, give me lots and lots of money because it would be cool to have lots and lots of money. If you’re not asking for healing, if you’re not asking for the cash, if you’re not asking for any blessing from God other than you think it would be fun to see, which some of them it would be really fun to see, if that’s not the reason you won’t receive until you say the reason I want this is so that I can have a testimony to be a witness for Jesus Christ out in the world. Then you have a reason to be blessed, you have a reason for the power of the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself in your life because you are going to be a witness and you’re going to build that temple, that Holy Spiritual temple to Jesus Christ.
You could see some great, wonderful and marvelous things. I can’t put a limit on God. I don’t have a clue on how He will answer those prayers in your life, but every Christian if you are born again you are a child of Abraham. He promises to be with you. He promises to bless you in great and marvelous ways, and if you don’t have a blessing you’ve got a problem. You need to go in prayer and say why don’t I have a story to tell? Because a lot of us don’t want to be witnesses. We want to heap these things upon ourselves and marvel at them and gather in our buildings and talk about the great things that God has done within our walls and our church and we don’t really want to go out and share it. When denominations and churches start doing that they start faltering and going down just like Solomon did.
Folks, get on your knees. Start praying and saying God endue me with the power of the Holy Spirit so that I will have a testimony to tell. I will have a witness. I will see that You have done something in my life. If you’re a Christian you can at least say when I got saved He changed my life, and if He didn’t change your life you should wonder if you’re really saved because when He walks in people’s lives their lives change. If you have nothing to say and you’ve been a Christian for 40 years and you don’t have any other story to tell, it’s time that you say God, You said you’re the fourth man with me. Give me another story to tell so that people will see that my faith is alive and that Jesus is alive and He still works His wonders in lives. I’m not trying to limit it and I’m not trying to give anybody any ideas, but may God grant us all stories to tell, witnesses, things that we have experienced that we can say I was there and I saw it. I can share it, and I will tell you this is absolute truth and it is marvelous. It is marvelous.
We have all got that possibility within us. All we have to do is ask and trust because God is just absolutely tickled to death when we have faith in His word when He gives us a promise. Abraham, I’m going to show you a country, get up and leave and Abraham started packing. He didn’t know where he was going and didn’t know which way, I’m just going and he started walking. Whenever we can take the Word of God and say God, I’m doing this because I want to be a witness, I want a story to tell He will give us stories to tell. Truthful stories, not big stories like I tell sometimes, but truthful stories so that you can tell these marvelous things that God has done in your life.
Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that You renew our faith and our trust in You. I ask that You give Your children, each one of us, a story, something new that we can share with people so that we can say I saw God do this in my life. I saw God demonstrate His power and His love in my life. Let us always remember that when You do these things we need to witness to the fact to the world out there so that they know that Jesus is alive. Father, we plead the blood of Jesus over this. We ask that You grant this prayer request and move us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.