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Our Universal King

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2022 9:00 am

Our Universal King

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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December 2, 2022 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah discusses the Kingship of Jesus Christ. With Christmas approaching soon it is important that when we think of Christ as a baby in a manger we also remember He was the promised King. 

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30 Days to a New Beginning:


Happy Friday, everyone.

It is December the 2nd. I'm Ryan Hill. I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or suggestion for a future episode, you can send us a text at 252-518-5028.

You can also send us an email at contact at That's right. And you guys can help us keep the conversation alive by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, and leaving us a good review on iTunes that just helps us keep the discussion of Jesus Christ in the airwaves. That's right. That's right.

So, so important. John, first of the day. All right. Yeah, let's hit it.

It comes from Hebrew 4-16. Sorry. Take your time.

Take your time. Let me breathe. Hebrews 4-16. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Amen. There's a purpose behind it. We come boldly to the throne of grace.

We don't have to approve. I mean, there's reverence, of course, but we have confidence in Jesus Christ. We have confidence in our salvation, and it's that we may obtain mercy. Why?

To find grace and to help in time of need. I love that. I love it.

John, I've seen some pictures. Your wife has been texting my wife a lot, which is great, but I've seen some pictures of projects that you guys have been in the midst of. My house is in chaos 24-7. Explain what's going on. She's nesting. Y'all know what nesting means? It means she's pregnant and she's tearing the house asunder. She's got something going on upstairs that's saying, this house is a death trap. Rearrange the whole thing for the new baby. Even though we've got a baby running around, completely fine. He ain't getting into nothing. No knives, no electrical, no poison, none of that stuff.

But something up here is saying, nothing in this house is right. Redo the whole thing right now when you're the most pregnant. You know what that means? That means projects for me. That sounds like a honey-do list, my friend. That means I'll go home after, like today we're recording a little bit late in the evening.

It's about 7, 12 PM. Better believe when I go home, I'm rearranging an entire bedroom because something upstairs is telling her, you've got to rearrange this house. But you physically can't rearrange this house. Which means that your husband can rearrange the house. But there is one who can.

There is one. I'm thinking maybe we just go ahead and get next week's episodes in the bag. Let's just go ahead and stay later tonight and go ahead and record next week's episode.

That unfortunately is going to be a hard pass for me. Did Elizabeth go through nesting? Does she? Every time. Really?

Absolutely. We have five kids, but two of them are twins, so all four pregnancies. Every time it was like, we got to rearrange the entire house.

But I'm eight and a half months pregnant. So I can't. You got to rearrange the entire house. Did you do it or did you try to talk some sense and be like, hey Elizabeth, everything's cool?

I did. There were a couple of times that I pushed back and I'm like, hey, I feel like maybe now is maybe not the best time to do this. But what happens when the baby falls off of the bunk beds? Honey, we don't have bunk beds. So I think we're okay in that realm. But you know, by the time that babies four and five were on the way, everything was pretty much settled where things were.

There was a little bit of like, get the baby's room ready, but everything was mostly settled. Look at this. The radio audience is not going to be able to see it, but that's our bedroom. Yep. It's destroyed.

And there's a two year old walking around thinking it's playtime. Yeah. Everything's in a different place. So it's time for me to play.

Yeah. Oh, mommy's rearranging the whole house. I'm about to help with this. Oh, you're pulling stuff out of drawers? I can do that too. Here we go. Boom. Toys all over the floor.

Cables and wires and the TV's coming off the wall. It's just a bunch of, I don't want to say it's nonsense because I know people, you know, pregnant women go through this kind of thing. I get that. Um, but it's not fun for me.

That's right. It's absolutely not fun. Well, you'll get through it. I'm praying for you. Thank you. Move the furniture.

I'm gonna move it, man. And just kind of, kind of greet, greet your teeth and get through it. Yeah. I was going to go to the gym tonight, but I think either way, I'm going to be working. You're going to be lifting weights no matter what. So you're probably fine.

That's right. Well, today we're continuing our Christmas discussion by looking at a pretty familiar story from the whole nativity narrative. Um, but we're going to look at it with fresh eyes today and kind of understand it in a different light. We're going to get Dr. Shaw in just a second, but if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at

We'll be right back. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Dr. Shaw's book, Changing the Goalpost of New Testament Textual Criticism. Before the 1960s, the goal of New Testament textual criticism was singular to retrieve the original text of the New Testament. Since then, the goalpost has incrementally shifted away from the original text to retrieving any text or many texts of the New Testament. Some scholars have even concluded that the original text is hopelessly lost and cannot be retrieved with any confidence or accuracy. If that's the case, how can we claim that the Bible is inerrant? To answer these questions, make sure you order a copy of Dr. Shaw's book.

That title again is Changing the Goalpost of New Testament Textual Criticism. You can pick up your copy on Amazon right now and let us know how it's helped you by emailing us at info at You can also support our ministry here at Clearview by visiting us at forward slash give. Thanks for listening. Now back to the show. The Christmas is coming up. So much fun. You feel the excitement in the air?

I do. During December, this is just kind of my personality. It's just Christmas. Yeah, and I feel like we keep talking about it on the show, so they're hearing it, and they're like, oh man, they keep talking about it. But you guys don't have to hear the Christmas music in the office every day.

So I feel like this is our only chance to really think about it. I haven't busted out the blazer yet that has the Christmas lights in it, but that's coming soon. That's not just a blazer. That's a full-fledged suit, right? No, no, it's just the blazer that has the lights in it. You have multiples?

I have about three Christmas suits. Anyway, now I feel like I can't introduce the show properly. You guys are joining us for the first time.

You've never listened to the show before. Dr. Abbadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, an author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. You guys can follow his blog. We're going quickly into chaos.

You guys can follow his blog at You laughed and I got tickled. Rain it back in, but you can do it. Trying. I'm trying. You got it.

Oh man. Well, in the spirit of Christmas, on today's episode, we want to talk about, you know, one of the messages from a Christmas series that you preached a while ago, Dr. Shah. One of the things I look forward to every year is learning about your Christmas series and how we're going to take the Christmas story that's familiar to many of us, but look at it with fresh eyes and understand it in a fresh way. And this message that you preached was called Our Universal King. And it kind of draws this comparison with Jesus as the universal king versus this phony king, Herod, who was reigning at that time.

Can you talk a little bit about kind of what led you to that message and what was the heart behind, I guess, the inspiration behind that message? Well, throughout the history of our world, there have been kings, you know, who had a God complex. Of course, there have been some good kings and queens who really loved their people, served their people. But overall, kings have a God complex. And so also, during the time when Jesus was born, King Herod was ruling that area, that Judea, and he was threatened by the arrival of this king of the Jews. And so it is, again, a reminder of how the world is threatened by the true universal king. And that's Jesus Christ.

Wow. Now, can you kind of lay out the timeline between, because this is like, starting in Matthew, this is like the beginning of what we would really know as the New Testament. So you've got the 400 years of silence. Right. Then the angel visits Mary and says, you know, that Jesus is coming. So how does word get out to Herod, I guess? Like Jesus is born.

Right. And now Herod somehow hears through the grapevine that the king of the Jews has come. And so he, uh, I guess it comes through the Magi or through the wise men. Now, some people think that he was born in Bethlehem. I mean Nazareth, but it's not true.

He actually wasn't. He was born in Bethlehem. That's right. We want to give some context for what we're talking about over here. So in the last, so we tried to do this episode just a few minutes ago and I got tripped up and I said that he was born in Nazareth and they left Bethlehem to go to Nazareth.

I had goofed up. That's not what happened. So it's the other way around.

Right. So, um, because Caesar Augustus ruling the world during the time of Kyronias being the governor of Syria, you know, Luke gives us that context. Um, uh, Joseph took his wife and he went to Bethlehem to register because he was from Bethlehem.

And that, that tells us a lot about, um, what was going on. Um, maybe Joseph moved to Nazareth because of work reasons. You know, we often call him a carpenter, but really that word can mean construction worker, builder, everything.

It's not just like a wood carpenter. Uh, but anyways, so he moved there. Uh, also Nazareth was known, uh, that, that word Nazareth comes from the Hebrew word Netzer, which means root. Uh, and according to some sources, I mean, we have very meager evidence that the people who were living in Nazareth and this little small town were of a priestly class and they believe that the Messiah was going to come through them. The root of David was going to come through them, hence Nazareth, Netzer.

So take it for what it's worth. I believe Jesus being born to this couple from Nazareth was not an accident. He was all part of God's plan. Of course, when you see the genealogy, it all makes sense.

Right. But so he goes to Bethlehem and while he's there, she has the baby. And then we find out about, um, magi coming to visit, uh, Jesus and they come and they, they, um, come to King Herod in Luke chapter two.

And of course he is troubled and all Jerusalem with him. So who are these magi then? Who are these, these wise men or these magi? Like what role, I guess, do they play in the, in the, in the nativity story? Well, from what we know about magi, you know, they are coming from Persia.

Okay. Now there are a lot of people today who, who challenged that and they say, you know, we don't know for sure if it's Persia or if it's Arabia or India or whatever, but I believe it's probably from Persia. And, and if you read the book of Daniel, that's where you find out about these magis. He was a magicians, a soothsayers. Uh, these were highly intelligent people, kind of like the scientists of the time. And, um, they would interpret dreams, stargazers, astronomers, and, uh, somehow they saw a sign in the East, you know, they saw a star in the East and they began that journey. I personally believe, this is just my opinion, I believe that they knew about the coming of Jesus through Daniel.

You know, if you read Daniel chapter two, you know, uh, in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he had dreams and his spirit was troubled, um, so troubled that his sleep left him and he gave a command to call the magi, the Magoi. Now how long, how long before Christ is this? So we're talking about Daniel would be, you know, in, in the sixth century. Okay. Right. So we're talking about 597, um, BC into probably about, you know, the early part of the fifth century.

Wow. So these, so for a long time, they knew that Jesus was coming. They knew that he was coming.

I mean, think about Daniel being a soul winner. You know, he also talks about how those who bring many to light will shine like the stars forever. Don't you think he shared the gospel with the people who were working under him?

Yeah. Because when it was all said and done, you know, uh, the King made him the ruler over all the sorcerers, the Chaldeans, the astrologers, and the Magi. He made, made him a ruler of all of them.

So I have my opinion that Daniel probably gave them some information. And said, Hey, look, look for these signs. And when they happen, just know, start packing, start heading that way because the King of the world has arrived. Wow. You know, this is, this is what the entire universe is waiting for.

He has arrived. And so just like clockwork, um, these Magi, you know, they, they left and they headed towards Israel. Is there, what is the relation then I guess with them if they're Persian or if they're in the Persian court under, uh, under, under Cyrus?

Right. Well, yeah, probably prior to that would be Nebuchadnezzar and then after that Cyrus. What, I guess why interest themselves in, um, Jewish prophecy? Was it, I mean, did they know, do you think that Jesus was for the whole world? Well, they were known as King makers, you know, Magi were known.

It's a very, it's hard to understand them without spending some time studying about these people and their mysticism coming. A little bit of Zoroastrianism is there as well. Um, but somehow they got grafted in God's plan of salvation.

And so a little bit of this, their study of the stars, a little bit of their study of the calendar, because remember, Daniel almost gave it to the point, you know, if you read some of his prophecy, uh, when he talks about the end times and also the coming of Christ, I mean, I don't have time to get into that. Maybe we can have a show on that one day on how much he gave it almost to the date when the Messiah would be born. And so these guys love this kind of stuff and God used them to bring them to Palestine. What a picture of God's grace too. Just no one at all is too far from his grace or no one is counted out of being grafted into his plan.

That's right. I was going to say, I love their inclusion in the Nativity story because, you know, you have the shepherds who God has worked through shepherds in throughout the Bible. You see God working specifically with, you know, people who are shepherding or engaged in that role. But having these men who are from way far away or from somewhere else that even still, even still, you know, God had touched in his plan through Daniel, having them brought in even, even in that moment is Jesus was for the whole world. Right.

And also keep in mind, and maybe we are kind of veering off our topic if that's okay. I mean, keep in mind, everybody who went, who was taken into exile to Babylon didn't come back. In fact, for thousands of years, the Jewish people stayed in Persia right up until our 20th century.

I mean, up until very recently, the last Jewish person left Iran and went to Israel because of persecution and all the hate towards Jewish people was just too much. But for thousands of years, these people stayed there. So the Magi coming to find Jesus, these Gentile, maybe some of them were also Jewish, we don't know, was to take that message to this group that never came back.

So there's application on so many levels, of course, Gentiles, but also the lost sheep of Israel. You know, these were the lost sheep. They were gone, never came back. Even the God told them to go back.

Some said, you know what, we're done with this. We're staying right here. We love Persia. We love Babylon.

We're not going back. So the Magi came to take back the good news that, hey, we found him. Your King has arrived. The poetry of the gospel is beyond beautiful. Everything ties together and there's this imagery.

I love that imagery of just the wise men or the Magi in Persia. And they look to the star in the east, they look and they see the sign and something in them clicks like, this is it. This really is it. Because it's interesting with us, because we always look backwards and say, it's already happened. But the anticipation of this is it, this is what everything has been pointing to. And it's right there.

I can see that star. That moment of finally. And it's us, it's our lifetime. We get to see it. There's so many generations that have come before, but in our lifetime, we get to now go and see the Messiah.

Yeah, that's insane. Prior to his coming, people were looking forward to it. And those who were looking forward to it were truly saved. And then since his coming, we look back at it. We know that he's come. We talk about 2000 years ago, Jesus came, past tense has been done.

So just the way we look back, those prior to his coming were looking forward. But either way, is Christ the only way truth in life. And the more you study the Bible, the more you delve into details like this about the Magi, you realize there is no other way of salvation, but through Christ.

And that's been that way since Genesis. I actually think that goes perfectly with the topic because we're talking about how he's the king. And just like you said, salvation is through him. He's the only one.

He is this ultimate king. And that was their response is they brought him gifts. They saw his sign, they obeyed, they followed, and then they brought all of these gifts. What was the gold, frankincense, and the myrrh? I never knew what myrrh was. I don't even know what frankincense is, I just kind of know gold.

I mean, that was their response. It was obedience and worship. Why those three gifts? Well, it's part of prophecy. Psalm 72 verse 10, it says, the kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents. The kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before him.

All nations shall serve him. And then Isaiah chapter 60 verse six, the multitude of camels shall cover your land. The dromedaries of Midian and Apaph, all those from Sheba shall come and they shall bring gold and incense and they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord. Now keep in mind when it comes to biblical prophecy, there is a near fulfillment and then there's a far fulfillment. So on one level, this prophecy is talking about that Christmas story where the Magi came. They were not kings, but they were kingmakers. And they came and they brought all these presents and they bowed down and worshiped him, the Bible says. So also here in Psalm 72.

But then also in the end of times, all kings will come and bow before Christ because he is truly the king of kings, the Lord of Lord. And again, I wish we had more time to flesh all these things out. I know our listeners are going, wow, talk more about this, but hey, listen, that's why we come back on the air every day. That's right. That's the perks of having a daily show. You never really run out of content.

Absolutely. And if you guys were talking yesterday and today about messages that Dr. Shah has preached, you can find those messages on his website, The transcript of each of his messages is there. Just search that title, Our Universal King, and that message will come up, or even just do a search for Christmas. And you can also find videos of those on our church's website, Under the messages portion, you can find all of those past messages on there. You can go in there and watch those messages. Watch the other messages from this series, because this was one of a series of Christmas messages that you preached.

And as we go forward, we're going to take some more of those messages and kind of bring them to you in the form of this podcast. But I do really love just this. I think this actually came from a series.

It was the Royalty Series. We just explored different facets or different aspects of Jesus being our King, especially at Christmas, because we felt like that was missing. We felt like the reverence and the majesty of Jesus around the Christmas time is missing, because we always think of the baby. We always think of the little baby wrapped in swaggering cloths, wrapped in a manger. But at the same time, that baby was the King of creation, the King of everything.

That little baby had so much authority and so much power. And it threatened people. It threatened Herod. We began talking about Herod, but we kind of ended up talking more about Magi and the gifts and the prophecies.

But think about Herod. Who was Herod? Herod was from the Antipatric family of Edumia. He was an Edomite. And who were the Edomites? They were sort of descendants of Esau and then kind of a mixture. The Edumians were a mixture of Edomites and Jewish people and Arabs and Phoenicians and Greeks. And then under John Hyrcanus, they were sort of forced to become Jewish, which by the way, never happened any other time where Jewish people forced anybody to become their people.

But they did. And so they sort of became Jewish, but they never truly were accepted because they were not. And this man rose to power. His grandfather worked his way up and was very powerful, the governor of Edumia. And then his father was also very powerful. And then Herod, I mean, he was also a hardworking man at the age of 25. He was a military governor of Galilee. He was not the type to just sit back and watch his soldiers fight. He would go to battle.

I mean, he would be out there out front, unbeatable in hand to hand combat, a very good horseman, and even a good hunter. So there's another side to Herod, which sometimes we don't talk about. Well, that's what I like about your preaching and just your exposition of the Bible is that when you preach, the Bible characters are not just one-dimensional characters. They're human beings. The way that God created them with flaws, yes, but with other aspects of their personality. And those aspects are not negligible. They feed into the person that that that person is. And there's context behind every single thing in the Bible and every character in the Bible.

Yeah. I mean, he was an amazing person. He was a great architect, by the way. Where did we go in Israel? We went to Caesarea Maritima, and we walked along those aqueducts that are still standing to this day. Of course, in the Byzantine time, another line of aqueduct was also built right next to it. But the one from Herod's time is still there. And Herod is the one that ordered those built? Yeah, one line of them. The second line was built later. But nonetheless, they're still standing.

Right? I mean, of course, there are other ways to bring water in now. You say, why do you need the water there? You have the Mediterranean Sea, I mean, salt water.

You can't use that. So you got to bring water from the mountains. And so the aqueducts did that. But such an amazing guy built the temple even more glorious than Solomon's Temple, all of that. And yet, he didn't get it. He didn't understand that none of those things made him approve to God.

In fact, it didn't make him approve to his own family and in his own subjects, because they didn't like him. But if he had only bowed before Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, man, the story of Christmas would have been so different. But he went down as the king who wanted to kill the Son of God. He went down as a son of the serpent. Outshines all of the, not outshines, but I guess it just overshadows all of those other achievements. Everything, think about that, just everything you can accomplish in your life.

But you make the wrong choice or you, like you said, you go down as the son of the serpent. I mean, none of those accomplishments. That's not what people remember about him.

No. And he had a sad life. His family didn't accept him and always trying to, you know, sabotage him or he thought they were sabotaging him. Nonetheless, I mean, he never had a time of peace and joy. So even more so the reason to come to Christ. But King Herod just couldn't do it.

He just could not do it. So, I mean, it's a message there for somebody listening today. You know, you may not be a king, but you have that king complex. You think, man, I built my own life. I have worked hard. I have done all this and my family doesn't appreciate me. The world doesn't appreciate me.

You don't know what I had to do to get to where I'm at today. Hey, listen, I hear you, but unless you bow before Jesus Christ and receive him as your savior and your Lord, none of that matters. I feel sorry for you.

My heart goes out to you, but that's not enough. You need your sins forgiven. You need new life. You need to be born again. And that's what Jesus came to do. And so, you know, you may be a King Herod. Come to Christ today. Amen. I love that idea. How different would the Christmas story have looked had King Herod bowed at the feet of the one true king?

And how different could our Christmases look if we do the same thing? That's right. The Magi did. The shepherds did.

That's right. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, or you have any questions or suggestions for future topics, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at Don't forget on that same website, you can click that button and support us financially. Every gift, every contribution goes to building up this partnership to impact the world for the kingdom of God. We're thankful for you. We're thankful for that partnership. Continue to share this podcast. Follow us on Facebook and on Instagram so you can stay up to date with everything that God is doing through Clearview Today. And I just know that we're grateful for you as a teammate in this endeavor.

That's right. Jon, do you have any last minute advice for our listeners today? I do. You're gonna be invited to Christmas parties this year. It's gonna happen. At least one of those Christmas parties people are gonna want to play. And there's a lot of names for it. White Elephant, Dirty Santa.

There's a couple other names. But everybody's gonna want to play that. That gift exchange where you pass and steal and this is now locked and blah, blah, blah. Okay, so here's my strategy for winning every time. Don't play that game. Absolutely refuse to play White Elephant.

It is the worst Christmas game I have ever played. I've never seen a game of that end happily. I've never seen anybody walk away from a game of White Elephant being like, either if they're happy, someone's mad at them. Someone is not happy.

If everyone else is happy, you're mad. It just never works. Don't play it. Do a secret Santa.

Get a gift for who you want to get a gift for. Do not play White Elephant at your Christmas parties. David, you're shaking your head.

Why are you shaking your head? I don't like those kind of games either because I feel like every time I've ever played a White Elephant or some of those games, I've gotten the short end of the stick. You never, nobody ends happy. Nobody ends happy. It's just not a happy. It's the worst. It's the worst.

So just cast it, cast it asunder. And if you think, no, at my parties, when I do it, everybody has fun. They have fun to your face. But when they leave, they are talking about, why couldn't we just do secret Santa like everybody else?

It's not an anonymous survey. You'll get a different story. Yeah, absolutely. Let us know what you guys think. We love you. And we'll see you next week on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-02 10:19:45 / 2022-12-02 10:32:12 / 12

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