Above All Remember These Things

Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

Dear Friend,

Today is Christmas day, so remember this:  Yes, we live in a world of explosive insecurity.  Yes, we live in a time where disaster comes without warning and destroys lives instantly.

America has finally become the generation with nothing to look forward to.  This is a time where people are melting down because of a crushing sense of helplessness and despair.  Some react with mindless panic and rage. They shoot and kill their loved ones and then turn the gun on themselves rather than face their losses.  Others are too frozen by fear and uncertainty to do anything.  Still others frantically try to numb their despair by plunging into addictions and perversions that prior generations never imagined.

How deep and widespread is this panic?  It is so pervasive that it has seeped into the hearts of God’s people.  Many in the church, including leaders, admit that they have developed destructive addictions trying to cope with anxiety.

This Christmas threatens to be a time of very little comfort and joy.  Many who love the Lord passionately will not even celebrate it this year!  If you are under attack, if you feel the devastating sense of helplessness, then it is time for you to remember one thing about this Christmas.

Christmas is not just the story of the most important birth in history; it is the proof that an invisible force guards the children of God with unstoppable, irresistible, compassionate protection. Christmas unfolds the masterstroke of God our Father against evil.  Let me explain!

He was the most anticipated person in history and yet His arrival fooled everyone. It requires skill from beyond our planet to sneak the Desire of all nations into our world unobserved with only a handful taking notice. God can fool anyone and He cannot be fooled by anyone.

 

How deep and widespread is this panic?  It is so pervasive that it has seeped into the hearts of God’s people.  Many in the church, including leaders, admit that they have developed destructive addictions trying to cope with anxiety.

This Christmas threatens to be a time of very little comfort and joy.  Many who love the Lord passionately will not even celebrate it this year!  If you are under attack, if you feel this devastating sense of helplessness, then it is time for you to remember one thing about this Christmas.

Christmas is not just the story of the most important birth in history; it is the proof that an invisible force guards the children of God with unstoppable, irresistible, compassionate protection. Christmas unfolds the masterstroke of God our Father against evil.  Let me explain!

He was the most anticipated person in history and yet His arrival fooled everyone. It requires skill from beyond our planet to sneak the Desire of all nations into our world unobserved with only a handful taking notice. God can fool anyone and He cannot be fooled by anyone.

The Jews believed that the arrival of the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God, would be with all the pomp and ceremony possible.  They expected to immediately lay crowns and scepters at his feet, and that the high and mighty princes of the world should have been his humble servants.  He came into the world, and the world knew Him not.  Hcame to his own, and His own received him not.

It was not as if his arrival was without fireworks. The first burst of wonder came to the shepherds in Luke chapter 2.  They saw and heard glorious things concerning Him, and made them known abroad, to the amazement of everyone (v. 17-18).  After this, in Luke 2:38, Simeon and Anna by the Holy Spirit spoke of Him to all who were willing to listen.

You would think that this would have shaken the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, so that they would have finally risen up as one and embrace the long-looked-for Messiah; but no.  He continued to live for nearly two more years at Bethlehem, and no further notice was taken of him until the arrival of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East.

Trouble!  Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”  These were no singing angels. They were mere men; notable men to be sure, but still mere men. The Magi were the Persian’s philosophers and their priests.  No one could become a Persian king who had not first been enrolled among the Magi. It was their royalty that caused the ruckus.  When kings arrive and ask the local king, “Where is the real KING?” Something has to give!

 

What are we to have in this time of great darkness?  Look again at the command from Hebrews: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

“Where is He who is born King of the Jews?”  Their question made it clear that a new power was now freely working in the earth.  Moreover, this power operated as no other power had previously operated.  This power came and went as it pleased.  It raised the humble to be a force against the proud.  Love had taken on muscle and showed that a gentle but irresistible change was coming.  A new kingdom had come and it would expand through means that nullified human force.

Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar 600 years before this day that this kingdom would come.  Daniel 2: 44, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”  

Break and consume: Here is the big picture!  The Kingdom of God is expanding. It grows by tactics and weapons that have no peer. It is breaking and consuming everything that opposes Christ.  The mustard seed that sprouted in the Bethlehem stable would grow until it absorbed every foe and fulfilled these words: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” -Revelation 11:15

Satan took the bait from Daniel’s prophecy!  Every other kingdom that Daniel referred to in his prophecy was set up by physical force. When he heard the words break and consume, the devil assumed that the Messiah would be a Jewish liberator like King David.  The devil never thought that a baby’s cry in a lowly manger was the real threat to his throne.

The regions of hell convulsed when it finally hit them that Messiah was now on earth. Evil now had an expiration date.  Intuitively, Herod felt this same dread.  As a puppet for Satan and Rome, what else could he feel?  Reason left him.  He knew he had no power over this, he knew that the Anointed One could not be stopped, yet he decided to commit a great atrocity by destroying the children of Bethlehem.

There it is! Great evil at work while at the same time the kingdom of God expands!  The Magi are led away from danger.  Joseph and Mary are warned to leave and use the treasure brought by the Magi to pay for their escape to Egypt.

You are receiving a Kingdom.  Never forget it!  Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

This is the one thing for you to remember.  God surgically injected the kingdom of God on earth; a kingdom which cannot be shaken by global warming or moral cooling!  You are inextricably connected to the story of Christmas.  It lives in you, it breathes in you, and it energizes, protects, and guides you.  It is the power of Christmas that exempts you from all of the tragic outcomes that you see around you.

Psalm 37:18-19, “The LORD knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”

 

Christmas 2019 in America

The shepherds to whom the angels appeared that night near Bethlehem were carrying the same weight of misery that we as modern Americans are carrying.  Did you ever wonder who they were and why they were gifted with the greatest angelic light show the world had ever seen?

That question is more important than you may realize, because their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common threat and a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on Americans today.

The leaders of Israel had taken the Word of God and had replaced it with the traditions of men—what we now call ‘political correctness.’

Every line between right and wrong had been blurred in order to keep them in power. They used guilt to extract money and to help them maintain their control over the people. Our 21st Century Pharisees use boycotts, cancel culture, and shame anyone who doesn’t use the right pronoun, or who doesn’t share their political faith.

In the first century, Israel’s national debt mortgaged their future to a foreign power, Rome. For them it was Rome, for us it is China.

Caesar Augustus was their globalist threat—a threat that was absorbing their sacred values, freedom, and the faith of their fathers. All of which is happening right now in America.

Why were these “certain poor shepherds” abiding in the fields? Because the convulsions in their culture had resulted in widespread robbery and murder. Even shepherds had to respond to the raised threat level and protect their sheep.

Why do we in this nation live in a perpetual state of high alert? Because lawlessness has increased, just as Jesus said it would. Our cultural obsession with deviance and drugs has resulted in chaos.

Why did God choose shepherds, those who were considered the lowest of the low in Jewish society? I believe it was because they were utterly believable. Our impression of shepherds is skewed. They were not ‘90 pound weaklings,’ they were battle hardened by life. Remember that David, the boy shepherd, had killed a lion and a bear.

When the shepherds told the story of seeing angelic messengers, the people of Bethlehem believed them because their first reaction was to say to themselves, “Why would men like these tell such a lie?”

Let’s reread the word of God:

Luke 2:8 Now, there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 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. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

What is the Christmas story trying to tell us in 2019? Let me answer a question with a question. What do you think those men were like after the angels visited them? The angels brought them into a reality that nullified their daily grind. The stage lights went up and suddenly they were aware of the ‘real world’—the spiritual realm, inhabited by angels.

God skipped the theologians, the priests, and even the king.  He sent angels to lowly shepherds. How embarrassing! None of those in power, not one professional student of the Law and the Prophets received this visitation.

Every year, Christmas returns with a vengeance. How puny are man’s efforts to destroy this annual celebration. This year, Christmas comes to pull the plug and drain our fears.

The angels turned their priorities upside down. 

We know the Bible says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments before the angels appeared, these men were on high alert and were so protective of their herd that they would have gladly fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now, they are completely oblivious to the fate of the sheep they left behind, and are hurrying to see a Baby that had been laid in a feeding trough.

Christmas beckons us to see through the lies and the boasts of evil, and remember: this will all be over soon because, in Christ, we have already won.

In the words of the timeless carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, “Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Modern pulpits have ruined us by preaching a “how to” Christianity. It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money, and handling emotions. And that is the very problem—we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves. This is not wrong if it subsequently leads to a glorious encounter with God, but what we need most at this moment is the Glory of Christmas. Glory will make our soul gaze at God, and while we gaze and are distracted by His splendor, God Himself will fix the issues of our life.

The shepherds took off in a glory-fueled sprint to the manger. It was an act of total defiance against all their fears. And that, my friend, is how we celebrate the birth of Christ—in defiance of all of our fears, and in spite of all our circumstances.  We must leave behind our “sensible selves” and become like little children.

 

 

THE THREE UNWISEMEN

The three unwisemen are following a light, but it is not a heavenly light.  It is the headlight of a speeding locomotive and they are trapped in a tunnel, on the tracks.

Whenever someone says “with all due respect” they usually only say that because they are about to act with disrespect, but want to come across as respectful. And so it is—with all due respect—I explain to you the three kinds of stupid that have possessed these three unwise men: Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and Chuck Schumer, who have come bearing gifts of fool’s gold, Frankenstein, and myth.

There are three kinds of stupid, and in this case they are guilty of practicing all three.

Kind #1: You are following Nancy Pelosi. Following Nancy Pelosi, like socialism, has never worked.  Ask anyone who has followed her. Ask Kamala Harris. Nancy is a political train wreck who manages to survive by postponing disaster, but she cannot prevent the inevitable.

She is known for one amazing tactic: She comes up with a crazy idea, but she wants others to think it’s their idea. She feigned not wanting Trump impeached and then got others to take the lead on impeachment.

She is what is known as a ‘Jonah’. There’s something you must always remember about ‘Jonahs’: they are jinxed and bad things happen when they are present, but when the plane crashes, they survive. It’s everyone around them who dies.

Come close Adam, Jerry and Chuck, while I explain: there is no version of this fiasco that will have a good outcome for you. Here’s why: you have done nothing for the people who put you in office. You have wasted most of President Trump’s first term and millions of taxpayer dollars on fruitless investigations, libelous insults, and vicious attacks. You have done nothing for Americans.  Zip. Nada.

We get why you what you did. You have no vision, no solution, and no plan for America.  All we know about you is what you are against. You are literally accomplishing nothing for Americans. (That’s how mad you’ve made me. I hate the word ‘literally’ and you made me use it. Shame on you!)

Kind #2. You have stupidly declared war on 70 million voters. You three kings of disorient are declaring war on 70 million voters so far. While you are obsessed with getting Trump out of office, you are blind to how your ludicrous tactics are playing in millions of living rooms across America. To them you are not heroes. You are out-of-control demagogues who want to overthrow a legal election—their election—and who want to nullify their vote.

Not only are you trying to overrule their vote, you add insult to injury by calling anyone who voted for Trump racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, and worst of all (and, here is the irony)—stupid.

You don’t get it. But then how could you. You live in a bubble. You believe your own hype. You believe that by slinging mud and throwing rancid red meat to your base you will increase your chances of winning elections.  Here’s what you have actually done:

  • You have galvanized Trump’s base. He has the highest approval rating among Republicans since Ronald Reagan. You have inspired his base to increase contributions to his election campaign by tens of millions of dollars. You have driven people to our side—especially minorities, those on the fence, and independent voters.
  • You have used up your currency with Americans who don’t even like Trump, but who can’t stomach how unfair and nasty you are to him and his family.

Kind #3. You are ruining Christmas. This is by far your worst mistake. You are extending hearings into the Christmas season. Americans were sick of this already, now you want to sling mud during Hallmark Movies.  Instead of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men, we must endure your ceaseless screeching during the Christmas season. Your impeachment hearings will sound like fingernails across a blackboard. Even your own party will hate it.

And finally, it is unwise to stake your future and the future of your party on yet another expensive investigation.  This one, like the last one, has produced zero justification and will die with a whimper. Some of your fellow Socialist/Democrats have done far worse than anything you are accusing Trump of having done, and you gave them a pass.  None of your witnesses are credible. None of your accusations have been substantiated. None of any of this rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and still you have made it abundantly clear that you will try to impeach Trump, no matter what.

You are doing it because Nancy says you have to. She said, “Trump has left us no choice but to impeach.” Your downfall, unwisemen, is that you believe her and are following a star that is headed over a cliff.

Who were they?

Who were those shepherds who saw the angels that Christmas night? The answer to that question is more important than you know.

They are us. Their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common theme.  We share a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on the hopes of believers today.  They are so much like us!  Their future was sold to pay a debt to a foreign empire.  For them it was Rome for us it is China.  Their leaders forged an unholy alliance with Augustus Caesar.  Our leaders, preachers who should be leading the way back to Bible values, appease our enemies, apologize to the world for our greatness.

The faith of their Fathers was diluted by false ministers and mocked by pagans. Our Faith suffers the same fate! Their weak economy created a crime wave that forced them to stay out in the fields watching their sheep. We spend hours at our job, actually hoping for overtime and then the final insult of a cruel commute home.  Can you relate to getting through a day by choking down emotions and watching robots taking jobs?

What do we want most for Christmas?  Let me brave an answer.  What we want most in all of this mess is good news.  We could sure use some good news!  It would be so wonderful to see the unrelenting torrent of scary headlines, dire predictions and disappointing reports swallowed up by good news! But what would be good news to you right now?  What message do you need from God right now?

What we want most is a visitation of God.  It is easy to think that we want something else but nothing would help us more, nothing would do the job better, nothing can compare to it.

San Jose California 1982:

I watched San Jose enveloped by the Glory of God.  It was a time when the economy was as bad as it is now.  The prime rate soared to 22% and unemployment was high.  Yet thousands crowded into the meeting every night for 22 weeks!  The atmosphere in the building evaporated fear and worries.

Yes, the people needed jobs desperately but somehow it was overruled by the Glory.  Each night they sang their hearts out, each night tears of joy washed away the cares of their life.  Other things became important.  Something priceless had come to them and they were not about to let human concerns rob them of this precious moment of their life.

I am a Pentecostal it is that simple.  I know what it means to have the Holy Spirit drench me. I know that when the Spirit of God is upon me fear, worry and anxiety vanish.

What the Angels did is turn their priorities upside down.  We know the Bible says “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments ago these men were taut with tension and defensive of their herd to point where they would have gladly have fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now they are ready to run to a manger oblivious of the sheep they leave behind.

Yes we need jobs, healing and many other things but what we need most is the Glory.  Glory will make our soul gaze at God and while we gaze distracted by His splendor God will fix the issues of our life.  Modern pulpits have done us a great disservice by focusing on “how to” Christianity.  It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money and handling emotions.  And that is the very problem we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves.

This is the bait of Satan: to get us to strive and fret and battle by our wits and not by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  What leaders are failing to do is to seek and obtain a move of God among their people.

Why did God skip the theologians, the Priests and the King and send these angels to the shepherds?   This is the question of the ages! How embarrassing to all of those in power and to all of those who made a life out studying the prophets, reading the times and being “in the know” who were overlooked in favor of these shepherds!

We are constantly trying to qualify for a career, a credit card, a club or some kind of status but are we qualified for a visitation of God?

Now they are warning that the stock market will crash again, and all the gains will be lost. The experts are saying hard times are coming. I believe that the attack will not come from that direction. I believe it is immorality that is making the times so miserable.

But something good can come out of these “bad times”?  Maybe in these hard times you are holding your loved ones closer, praying a little deeper and trying a little harder to be humble and grateful.  Maybe instead of suffering, you are merely getting into position to be visited by God.

“…but the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits.” Daniel 11:32

Did You know Christmas was a weapon?

The leading newspaper in the nation has not mentioned Christmas in 10 years. Christmas is attacked by both God haters and religionists. It has fallen into great disfavor—accused of everything from paganism to materialism. It is socially unacceptable to celebrate Christmas.  It is 1843 England. Also known as the hungry 40’s.
A young and gifted writer is deeply restless and can’t sleep. He asks an assistant to meet him in the middle of the night, “take me to see the worst of London. Do not spare me anything.”
What he saw horrified him and left a mark in his soul that would haunt his novels for the rest of his life. Children, living like stray dogs scavenged through garbage in sub-zero temperatures.
Charles Dickens had to do something. So, he mustered his considerable weapon: he marshalled the English language and sent it into war against child abuse. Vast corruption must be exposed! This nation-destroying curse must be lifted!
He set ink to paper with the force of a volcanic eruption and the skillful cuts of a surgeon. The result was a pamphlet entitled An Appeal on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child. Then something happened:
He never released the pamphlet. Historians are divided about why. Usually, it does not fall upon facts but on anti-Christian bias. Here is my heart tells me happened: He heard the voice of God. “If you release this pamphlet it will bring good for a season, but if you write the story, I am about to give you, it will bring good for all time.”
It would be a story where the main character is the most uncompelling, and unsympathetic character to any audience: an old man—a wealthy miser! Even his name is off-putting: Ebeneezer Scrooge.
With only weeks left before Christmas how could he finish it and get it published? Astonishingly it was published on December 19, 1843. Not only that, it was made into a script and opened in 2 theaters that Christmas day.
This story is not only credited with saving Christmas, it has been synonymous with Christmas ever since.  Outside the Bible, no written word about Christmas has been more influential and widespread in its power to evoke love for children and the poor.
Christmas has inspired the best music. Musical artist regardless of their fame are compelled to release a Christmas album. It has a power that no one can explain or predict. Opposing armies have stopped combat, met on neutral ground in the middle of a war to celebrate Christmas.
Here is Nephew Fred from A Christmas Carol: “I have always thought of Christmastime… as a good time: a kind forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
The supernatural power of Christmas is also seen in the creation of Silent Night. It was written because the organ broke and a song for a guitar was necessary.  Christmas again showed its power with Handel’s Messiah. Handel wrote it in 24 days. When he finished the Hallelujah Chorus, he said it was as if the roof came off his room and he saw the great God Himself.
Christmas is a weapon! It brings proof of the Deity of Christ by its inexplicable effect on the world. Even when it offends it is doing God’s work. Even Scrooge screamed, “then let me leave it alone!” But Christmas won’t let us leave it alone.
But the message about Scrooge transcends even Christmas. It is about God’s power to create a weapon to combat evil through anointed artforms.
It is because of Scrooge, that I find much of some today’s  Christian music formulaic, unimaginative, predictable, and even snowflake like. Bono from U-2 called some of those songs “dishonest.” How dare I make such a criticism? Because we didn’t use to scare so easily. We wrote songs of sacrifice and commitment; towering themes filled majestic hymns.
Somewhere in the mid to late 20th Century the church developed an insecurity complex and began to “do things almost as good as the world does.” Not just in music, but in all art forms. We even have green rooms which is a nod to Hollywood.
A great exception is Black Gospel Music. It was so original the world had to copy it for Motown and R and B. Black Gospel was so powerful the world kept trying to steal talent out of the church. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and many others began in church.
The spark of divine creativity does not rest on those who surmise what might sell or what won’t offend. It comes on those who would sacrifice all to obey God.
However, there is another reason creativity is in short supply: We don’t recognize the multiple opportunities of service outside the pulpit. Not everyone is a preacher—nor should they be! The gifts of God fit in business, art, media, healthcare, education and yes, politics.
Because God came upon a famous novelist like Charles Dickens, the devil was blindsided. What if you are supposed to create something no one has seen before?
Finally, the idea that we need to tone anything down to win souls is hogwash. Johnny Cash comes to mind. It is truly amazing the influence he carried. Bob Dylan, Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones revered him. Yet, he never muted his faith or his witness. God gave him a sound the world couldn’t resist.
A heart filled with love for God and hatred for evil, who is willing to be completely open to do something new is our greatest need today. God is searching to drop original miracles on someone like you.
Now check out the video of the entire village.  It’s one way Mechelle and I want to Merry Christmas and God bless you and yours.

A WEAPON CALLED CHRISTMAS

https://www.facebook.com/mariomurilloministry/videos/217238692528286/
The leading newspaper in the nation has not mentioned Christmas in 10 years. Christmas is attacked by both God haters and religionists. It has fallen into great disfavor—accused of everything from paganism to materialism. It is socially unacceptable to celebrate Christmas.  It is 1843 England. Also known as the hungry 40’s.
A young and gifted writer is deeply restless and can’t sleep. He asks an assistant to meet him in the middle of the night, “take me to see the worst of London. Do not spare me anything.”
What he saw horrified him and left a mark in his soul that would haunt his novels for the rest of his life. Children, living like stray dogs scavenged through garbage in sub-zero temperatures.
Charles Dickens had to do something. So, he mustered his considerable weapon: he marshalled the English language and sent it into war against child abuse. Vast corruption must be exposed! This nation-destroying curse must be lifted!
He set ink to paper with the force of a volcanic eruption and the skillful cuts of a surgeon. The result was a pamphlet entitled An Appeal on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child. Then something happened:
He never released the pamphlet. Historians are divided about why. Usually, it does not fall upon facts but on anti-Christian bias. Here is what really happened: He heard the voice of God. “If you release this pamphlet it will bring good for a season, but if you write the story, I am about to give you, it will bring good for all time.”
It would be a story where the main character is the most uncompelling, and unsympathetic character to any audience: an old man—a wealthy miser! Even his name is off-putting: Ebeneezer Scrooge.
With only weeks left before Christmas how could he finish it and get it published? Astonishingly it was published on December 19, 1843. Not only that, it was made into a script and opened in 2 theaters that Christmas day.
This story is not only credited with saving Christmas, it has been synonymous with Christmas ever since.  Outside the Bible, no written word about Christmas has been more influential and widespread in its power to evoke love for children and the poor.
Christmas has inspired the best music. Musical artist regardless of their fame are compelled to release a Christmas album. It has a power that no one can explain or predict. Opposing armies have stopped combat, met on neutral ground in the middle of a war to celebrate Christmas.
Here is Nephew Fred from A Christmas Carol: “I have always thought of Christmastime… as a good time: a kind forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
The supernatural power of Christmas is also seen in the creation of Silent Night. It was written because the organ broke and a song for a guitar was necessary.  Christmas again showed its power with Handel’s Messiah. Handel wrote it in 24 days. When he finished the Hallelujah Chorus, he said it was as if the roof came off his room and he saw the great God Himself.
Christmas is a weapon! It brings proof of the Deity of Christ by its inexplicable effect on the world. Even when it offends it is doing God’s work. Even Scrooge screamed, “then let me leave it alone!” But Christmas won’t let us leave it alone.
But the message about Scrooge transcends even Christmas. It is about God’s power to create a weapon to combat evil through anointed artforms.
It is because of Scrooge, that I find much of today’s formulaic Christian music unimaginative, predictable, and even snowflake like. Bono from U-2 called it “dishonest.” How dare I make such a criticism? Because we didn’t use to scare so easily. We wrote songs of sacrifice and commitment; towering themes filled majestic hymns.
Somewhere in the mid to late 20th Century the church developed an insecurity complex and began to “do things almost as good as the world does.” Not just in music, but in all art forms. We even have green rooms which is a nod to Hollywood.
A great exception is Black Gospel Music. It was so original the world had to copy it for Motown and R and B. Black Gospel was so powerful the world kept trying to steal talent out of the church. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and many others began in church.
The spark of divine creativity does not rest on those who surmise what might sell or what won’t offend. It comes on those who would sacrifice all to obey God.
However, there is another reason creativity is in short supply: We don’t recognize the multiple opportunities of service outside the pulpit. Not everyone is a preacher—nor should they be! The gifts of God fit in business, art, media, healthcare, education and yes, politics.
Because God came upon a famous novelist like Charles Dickens, the devil was blindsided. What if you are supposed to create something no one has seen before?
Finally, the idea that we need to tone anything down to win souls is hogwash. Johnny Cash comes to mind. It is truly amazing the influence he carried. Bob Dylan, Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones revered him. Yet, he never muted his faith or his witness. God gave him a sound the world couldn’t resist.
A heart filled with love for God and hatred for evil, who is willing to be completely open to do something new is our greatest need today. God is searching to drop original miracles on someone like you.

No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

Christmas dinner in San Francisco with Mario and Mechelle Murillo

Mechelle and I are bringing back a beloved tradition.  For years, in different cities across America, we would gather partners, and friends to have a Christmas Dinner together.

Our partners looked forward all year to these wonderful dinners.  We celebrated Christmas—the way Christmas should be celebrated—with wonderful music, unforgettable fellowship, a sumptuous dinner, and a powerful vision for winning souls in the New Year.

This year there will only be one of these dinners.  It will be in San Francisco! 

Here are the details:  Saturday December 9th at 7 PM at the beautiful Marriott Waterfront near the San Francisco Airport. 

The tickets cost $50 per person.  But right now, you can get them for only $25 by using the special link below.  The link will direct you to an easy-to-use page to order your tickets.

I promise you—you will be making a Christmas memory that will last a lifetime.  We could sure use a joyous break from the stresses of this time.

This is going to be an exciting reunion, wonderful fellowship over dinner and a chance for Mechelle and I to greet you personally.

Do not be disappointed.  Space is limited.  Order your tickets as soon as you finish reading this!

It will mean so much to Mechelle and me to be able to celebrate Christmas with you.

REMEMBER, IT’S SATURDAY DECEMBER 9TH 7 PM AT THE WATERFRONT MARRIOTT AT SFO.  IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CALL US AT 775 238 3473

Click here to buy tickets at this special price:

https://mariomurillo.org/christmas-dinner/

PS you can also reserve a room at special rates at the Hotel by using this special link

https://aws.passkey.com/e/49385627

Breaking news from Mario Murillo

Today’s news is so bad and the division is so deep that pundits are saying a popular horror movie is helping the nation.  How low do you do go when a horror movie is your comfort?  Since good news is needed this bad, we decided not to wait to make this announcement.    Mario Murillo Ministries is announcing two events that you do not want to miss.  We are going to celebrate!

These are homecomings, they are nights of miracles, they will celebrate, not only what God has done, but what He is about to do.  We have chosen the two most Christmassy locations possible  for our celebrations:  Branson Missouri and San Francisco California.  It is not too early for your to secure your place in these two amazing events.

The first celebration honors Christmas in an atmosphere of ongoing revival and signs and wonders.  Here’s why

It’s Sunday Morning, August 23, 2015 I am preaching to a small congregation in Branson.    I ask a woman to place her hand on the back of the neck of the woman beside her.  Instantly, a bulging vertebra flattens.  The audience bursts forth in praise.

Word spreads.  That night the audience doubles.

August 27th, I call out Pastor John Willis’ diabetes.  Two years later his blood sugar is still normal.

I am forced to stay in Branson.  Crowds form by 4:30PM. Divine healings and dramatic conversions replace local gossip over lunch counters, in stores, and at schools all over Branson.

God can stun an audience into silence—people give each other a knowing look, a look that says, “this is not going to fade with time, no one will ever be able to talk me out of what I just saw.”  It is still going 2 years later!

That’s the atmosphere you will walk into when you join us at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake on Monday November 6th and Tuesday November 7th.  Bring those who need Jesus or a healing.

My Special guest will be none other than Dino.  He will present a worship concert that include your most cherished songs. Including Christmas!  I will bring a message about God’s plan to take back America.  There will be surprise guests as well.

This is a homecoming for the entire MMM family nationwide.  These nights are free but please register!  You can print out your own ticket and have a guaranteed seat for you and your group.

Some sticklers may ask, “how can you celebrate Christmas in early November?”  The loving answer is: “this is Branson silly…it’s Christmas all year round!  Act now, do not be disappointed.  These nights are free but please register!  You can print out your own ticket and have a guaranteed seat for you and your group.  Click here now to print your ticket:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mario-murillo-in-branson-mo-tickets-37859564978

Saturday, December 9th, 2017 we are bringing back the most cherished tradition of Mario Murillo Ministries.  How can I describe it to you?  Think of grabbing a beautiful ornament out of a box in the attic.  As you dust it to its original gleam, you are flooded with emotions and memories.  Yeah, it’s like that.

Our partners used to look forward—all year long—to our Christmas Dinners.  Then the times changed.  Well, those times have changed back.   We get to meet and greet you.  This is the Christmas you remember.

We will rejoice together in an elegant setting over a Christmas Dinner.  We will celebrate the past, sing carols and seize the future with a glorious vision.

San Francisco at Christmas time is the best.  Even this notorious town succumbs to glory of the birth of Christ.  If that were not enough—here is the bottom line:

The regular price for tickets is $50 (they will have to be $75 at the door) but right now you can use the link to buy tickets for half price.  You heard right—you can get

them for $25 each.  Join us Saturday night December 9th at 7 PM at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront.

Do not think it is too early for you to get your tickets!  Get them right away so you will not be disappointed.  This is the event you do not want to miss.  Click here to buy your tickets right now!

https://mariomurillo.org/christmas-dinner/

 

 

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

“What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.”

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

By Mario Murillo

What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.

It has moved writers…yea, it has seized them.  Billions of words have been consecrated to it.  When reason screams “don’t write anymore!” Christmas moves the foolhardy to write again—to find that fresh meaning—about the most repeated story in history.

The power of Christmas turns children into righteous grownups.  Then it turns righteous grownups back into children.

A testament to its glory is the cosmic grudge Satan bears against Christmas.  He never leaves it alone.  He must commercialize it.  In one instance—he grew so desperate to harm it—he had it banned in England through misguided ministers.  They thought it was carnal!  The London Times didn’t mention Christmas for 10 years!

Then in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the story of Scrooge and Christmas was back.  Here—from the story—is one of the best descriptions of Christmas ever:

 “But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

However, no musician, no orator, and no artist, no writer (including Dickens), can touch the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.

The reason is simple.  The words I will refer to were forged in heaven by God Himself.  It was a note sent on ahead to explain what He meant by sending His son to earth.

“He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.”

He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.

Then he chose messengers whom He solemnly charged to speak these matchless words.  Relive with me that night when the best words ever spoken about Christmas were given to man.

Luke 2: 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 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. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Christmas says “do not be afraid of the supernatural!”   The angels knew humans are terrified at the appearance of angels.  Fear not!  It is a normal part of the life of the righteous to see signs and wonders.

Don’t be afraid of needing miracles.  Don’t be startled by the way God answers your prayers.

Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.

Not only is the supernatural normal—it is good news!  When the Holy Spirit begins to act in a sedate church, the pastor should recognize that it is not an emotional thing—not a heretical thing—but a glorious thing.  It is a takeover that will push the work of God forward.  Miracles are not a menace.  They are the perfect solution.

This will be to all people.  Christmas will not stop until it has achieved its goal.  Nothing can stop the march of the Son of God.  Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.  The Kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.  And He shall reign forever and ever.

“Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.” 

This child is the perfect gift from God to you.  God has given you His best.  He has come because of your need.   Here is the absolute answer to mankind’s curse.  This cure has no side effects.  This solution does not miss the mark.  It is for you from someone who totally knows you.

Break out in Joy! Use joy as a weapon. Use joy for renewed strength.  Let joy do its job.  Don’t restrain joy because of the evil around you.  Release joy because of the evil around you.

Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.  It is not that you can’t fight Christmas…it’s that you shouldn’t!  That is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.   Merry Christmas.

Now check out the video my son filmed of a Christmas Village I built