Merry Christmas, everyone. Today is Friday, December the 23rd.
I'm Ryan Hill. Merry Christmas. Today's the 23rd.
Yeah, it's Christmas 23rd. I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com. I'm so sorry. I was trying to pull up a review for the show.
If you guys want to help us keep the conversation going, you can do so by supporting this podcast, sharing it online and leaving us a good review on iTunes. I was pulling up one to read. I was trying to be slick about it while Ryan was talking, but that did not work. I saw you working. I was trying to stretch it out, but I ran out of words.
We're going to leave a link in the description so that you guys can leave us a review. But in the meantime, I wanted to read you one that comes from a user. Also I said Merry Christmas because this is the last episode that airs before Christmas. But today's not Christmas. You don't say Merry Christmas just in the middle of December.
But I've been saying Merry Christmas all month. Oh my goodness. I just wanted to read a review that came in that I really liked.
This is from K Wade at 23 on iTunes. This podcast is a blessing and impactful. The content is biblically focused and geared towards practical action. I appreciate the focus and effort of sharing and amplifying sound doctrine.
It encourages Christians to stand up for their beliefs and to share the good news. To me, starting your day with this podcast is a must. Keep going. K Wade, I appreciate you, man. I appreciate you for that. Thank you. Thank you. We want you guys to be able to leave those reviews too. So we're going to leave that link in there to help set you up for success.
That's right. You want to hit the first of the day? Sure.
Let me see. Today it comes from Luke 2, 13 through 14. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will towards men. I love that. Quintessential Christmas passage. Yeah.
You got to read it at Christmas time. Ain't really much else we can say about it. Glory to God. The glory is his, you know, and he's, he's never proven that more than in the, in the, in the coming of Jesus Christ and the coming human for us.
The response was worship and the response encountering Christ every moment since has been and should be worship. Absolutely. I, I got a big beef that I want to, that I want to talk about today.
Okay. And it's with a Christmas movie. Before, before we do that, did you notice my jacket? Is it lighting up? It is lighting up. I have a little Christmas lights inside of the jacket. You can see one lighting up. If you guys want to head on over to TodayShow.com to watch the video version, you can see that we're both dressed like Christmas clowns.
We look phenomenal. I was pressured into wearing this. I was pressured into wearing this. It was light bullying. It was like light Christmas bullying, right? Light Christmas bullying.
And it was a, I was uncomfortable saying no. Here's the deal. And I hate to take away from the beef that you have, but I'm going to say this. I get so much grief for being just filled with holiday cheer. Right. People say it's too soon.
It's obnoxious. I say October's not too soon. My gosh, Ryan. But anyway, that aside, um, this is the 23rd of December. We are at the cusp of Christmas. Fine. You can, you can be celebratory. You can, you can be happy. That's fine. 23rd is fine. I've got beef.
Okay. Well, I've got beef with the polar express. The whole crux of this film, the emotional like tag at the end was the little boy grows up into a man, but he's got the spoiler alerts for the polar express. He's got the bell that he got from, from the north, the sleigh bell. And over time people start to, they can't hear the bell no more because you can only hear the bell. If you believe in Santa Claus, the boy grows up always believing in Santa. So he hears the bell. He's like the, the bell can only be heard by those who truly believe. And it's like, Oh wow, what a boy of faith.
What a man of faith that he, after all this time, he never lost his innocence. You met Santa Claus. You went to the north pole and physically met him.
It's not a test in it. That would be like me saying when I'm like 90 years old that I truly believe that Ryan Hill exists. Yeah, of course. You know him, you met him, you touched his hands, you shook hands. Y'all saved Christmas together. When he's in the north pole, it was kind of like that dreamy sequence where all the lights are kind of hazy. You don't take a trip. He's like, maybe I dreamed all of that. You don't have Tom Hanks pull you onto a train and take you to the north pole and you'd say that was all in like one night or whatever.
Fine, fine. But you don't do that and then be like, maybe it was a dream. Maybe I dreamed meeting Santa Claus and all this stuff.
But that dream is going to impact me for the rest of my life. Meeting Tom Hanks, Santa Claus. Yeah. No, Tom Hanks was the guy on the, was the conductor. Santa too. Tom Hanks was Santa Claus? Oh, I didn't even know that. And he was the bum. The bum? Yeah, he was everybody. Oh wow. This was just a Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks was pulling out Eddie Murphy. He went the nutty professor out and just played every character.
Yeah. I just don't think it's the, again, if this was just like a minor plot point, it's like, ah, you're being nitpicky. But this is the whole emotional centerpiece is that the boy never lost his faith in Santa Claus. You met Santa. And so that's not impressive. That's not faith. That's just knowing that my friend exists.
I don't have to have faith that Ryan or David or Nicholas or Dr. Shaw exists. Anyway, I'm done. I'm not going to ruin it for nobody else. But I just feel like polar express. Not your favorite Christmas movie.
Not my favorite Christmas. I understand. Yeah. Well today we are prepping our hearts for Christmas by reminding each other and reminding you who our listeners and viewers of the comfort and joy that Jesus brings. I feel like I need to backpedal cause now I didn't prepare nobody's hearts for Joe.
You, you ended on a, on a grim Christmas. Yeah. I ranted and raved and just brought a lot of negative energy into the studio today. And I feel like maybe, maybe I owe the listeners an apology.
Sure. I'm sorry. We're sorry, listeners, but we're going to fix that by talking about the comfort and joy that Jesus brings. If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at two five two five eight two five zero two eight or visit us online at Clearview today show.com. We're going to go grab Dr. Shaw and we'll be right back.
Hey there listeners. My name is John and I'm David and we just want to take a second and talk to you about Dr. Shawn Nicole's new book, 30 days to a new beginning daily devotionals to help you move forward. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck. You're going to have goals that you just can't seem to reach and you're going to be looking for some new way to start over. Unfortunately, life does not have a restart button, but here's the good news.
God's mercy is new every day, right? And so that means every day is a new chance for you to start over. Now, Dr. Shaw and his wife Nicole have written a new 30 day devotional in their 30 day series designed to give you practical tools for starting over. No matter where you are in life's journey or what pitfalls you've encountered, this devotional is going to help you move forward. Refocus your mind on God's truth and meditate on his word and you guys can pick up a copy right this second on amazon.com unless you're driving. Yeah, don't shop and drive unless you're driving, in which case, wait till you get home, but we're going to leave a link for you right here in the description of this podcast.
So it'll be waiting for you when you get home. That's 30 days to a new beginning daily devotionals to help you move forward for the remainder of November and all through December. We'll be sending a free copy to anyone who supports the podcast by visiting us online and donating to the show at Clearview today show.com.
That is a very, very good incentive gang. That's 30 days to a new beginning daily devotions to help you move forward by Abaddon and Nicole Shaw. Thank you guys so much for listening. David, you want to jump back into the show? Let's go.
All right. Welcome back to Clear View today with Dr. Abaddon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at Clearview today show.com or you can send us a text at 252-582-5028 with any questions or suggestions for future episodes. Dr. Shaw's back with us in the studio today. Dr. Shaw, welcome back. Do you like my uh, do you like my light up jacket?
You took Dr. Shaw's jacket? At first I was like, what are those red things? Something's happening. Yeah. Is there something in my eyes? You know, sometimes you can get like that. You know, you see a little strand here or there. You just think you're tired or something?
I'm just tired. It's just my eyes playing tricks. Your eyes do not deceive you. There are Christmas lights in the jacket itself. You're not going to get electrocuted are you?
Hopefully not. It reminds me of a shirt. I had a shirt in first grade.
It'd be a shocking experience. For those that are wondering, it's just a, there's batteries. Yeah.
Yeah. I had a shirt in first grade. It was in 1999 when the Godzilla remake came out that everyone hated, but it was a shirt that roared and it had like a speaker in the shirt. I don't know if y'all remember those little shirts with big noise. I get in trouble for wearing that to school. That shirt is right there with those squeaky shoes kids wear.
A little whistle in it. Yeah. Yep.
I don't know who invented those, but I'm not happy with them. Oh yeah. We need to have a little chat. Well, if you guys are joining us for the first time today, Dr. Abbadon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina University, author, full time pastor, and the host of today's episode.
And you can follow his work on his website at abbadonshah.com. That's right. Like we said earlier, this is the last episode that will air before Christmas day.
That's crazy. Christmas has snuck up on us this year. I love it. It hasn't snuck up on me because I've been planning. You've been marking every single day. Where are you Christmas style? Christmas has been here. For our listeners, for our viewers, there's, you know, a lot of emotions that circulate around the holidays. We, I talk about being excited at Christmas, but you know, there are other people who may feel different sorts of emotions at the holidays. Maybe they're feeling sort of down.
Maybe they're feeling lonely. Maybe they don't get to spend Christmas with like family or friends like they'd hoped. This is like the first holiday season without a loved one. So there's a lot of emotions that are circulating around the holidays.
How can we focus our minds and our hearts where they need to be and find what we want to feel at Christmas? Well, if I can, you know, based on something that's going on with a family that is struggling right now and we can't share their struggles, you know, it's something that the Lord knows and it's fine. But be in prayer for this family because in a sense they literally lost their home, you know, or maybe in divine providence they may not, but it seems like they have. And it's not because they're poor or it's not because they don't have money or whatever. It's just circumstances of life.
And it's very tragic to think about that, you know, what Christmas would be like for them. You know, sometimes folks, you may be going through something, but you don't know what someone else is facing in their life. So be grateful in all seasons in life. Be grateful. And so I hope today's episode, whether we tell those folks or not, you know, I want to dedicate it to them, to this sweet family.
Yeah, absolutely. You know, when we think about the coming of Jesus, we often think about the emotions that we tend to feel like this anticipation, you know what I mean? This thrill of hope that's coming in. But we also know that the coming of Jesus had some very real world implications.
There's a death that's coming, you know, and there's this sweet baby that Mary is holding in her hands was born for the purpose of dying. And I think that's one thing that makes us very human is acknowledging those emotions. Those negative emotions aren't inherently bad because they exist. You know, they're bad when that's what we fixate on. And that's what we start turning the Christmas story or even our Christmas experience into.
Yeah. We want to shy away from those negative emotions. Like you said, we want to just kind of push those down because we're supposed to feel happy and we're supposed to feel just overjoyed at the holidays, but there's so much more. And I mean, even Jesus's birth, there was a bitterness to it. There was a sort of sadness that tinged the joy because we knew that his birth was headed ultimately toward the cross. One of my favorite Christmas carols is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love that one.
I love listening to it every year, but a lot of people I feel like don't understand the history behind that Christmas carol. Right. It's not, there's a comma there, right?
Yeah. And the comma comes after Mary. So it's God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. It's not Mary gentlemen. Right.
The gentlemen weren't married. It's not like, like, what's that guy that in music, man, the really Mary poppy guy that sings Shappoopy. I can't read his name.
Oh, Harold Hill. Something like that. Yeah.
Not like a bunch of them. Right. The words really mean this, you know, the word rest means to keep or stay or rest assured. There's an idea of comfort there.
The word Mary means joyful. So, think about that. And then gentlemen is not like Victorian gentlemen in top hats.
Like the monopoly man. No, no, no, no, no. We're not talking about that or something out of Charles Dickens novels.
Okay. So it's just gentle people. It's a generic reference to people. So God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen really means God keep you joyful people. God keep you joyful people. Wow.
I like that. And it is kind of going back to the idea that we have a lot of sadness and difficulties and fears in our lives, but because of Christ, you can, or you can rejoice. Yeah. People you can rejoice.
Yeah. We, we have that idea of, you know, a lot of times people get happiness and joy mixed up and they think we should have this sort of over just exuberance at Christmas like, Oh, the lights and the presence and the tinsel and the gifts and the, and you know, everything's a celebration. But joy goes so much deeper than that. Yes. How, how do we, I guess, get to that joy of Christmas, not just the happy, like, you know, bright flashy emotion, but how do we get to the joy that we should have at Christmas?
Well, honestly, we need to go back to the scriptures to find not just joy, but why our perspective should be on joy. Okay. And the place to begin, in my opinion, is going back to the holiness of God.
Okay. Deuteronomy chapter 18 talks about, and again, keep in mind, you know, Jesus talked about this, you know, about Moses writing about him. So where do we find Moses writing about Jesus? When Deuteronomy chapter 18, you know, Moses made a kind of a solemn promise to the people of Israel that after his own death, God would raise up a prophet for them who would be, be just like him, but be a mediator between God and them and a mediator who will be forever and ever. Moses was a mediator, but for a temporary period, right?
Those 40 years. But this prophet will be a mediator forever and ever. And that should bring them comfort and joy. Now let's back up again and then think about how did God's people in the old Testament see God? They saw him in a sense, kind of dreadful.
You know, in Exodus chapter 19, it talks about God's people at Mount Sinai, you know, or Mount Horeb. They were scared to death of God. You know, in the thunder and lightenings, they saw God's holiness. They saw God's power and it was very destructive.
Why destructive? Because holiness will always try to destroy sin. You know, that's the nature of holiness. It cannot tolerate even a spot, even a tiny dot of sin.
Right. Or else it's not holy. It's not holy.
Yeah. That's, that's holiness by nature. Holiness is not static. Holiness is not something passive that I'm just trying to be holy.
The holiness will always aggressively try to purify things. You see, we don't understand that. That's why when, you know, you explained to people the gospel, that Jesus came to take God's wrath upon himself.
They're like, oh, come on now. There are other ways to think about the atonement. You know, you don't have to think about the penal substitutionary atonement, you know, the God penalizing Jesus on our behalf. Well, you don't understand the holiness of God. That's true. And it's a very, that's exactly right.
And I've never thought about it until now, but we tend to think of sin and like the darkness and evil. That's the aggressor. That's what spreads like the disease. Oh yeah. Yeah. That's true.
Yeah. But that's not how God sees it. Holiness is far more aggressive than sin will ever be. Right. It's God doesn't want us to just endure. Right. That's not holiness. Holiness. I mean, okay.
Sin to me just is erratic and it's uncontrollable, right? It just kind of spreads everywhere. It's like if I were to, that's not even a good example, but if I were to knock this coffee mug down, it will, water will splash everywhere. But keep in mind, it'll splash only in one direction. It's not going to splash back at me if I push it this way, maybe it'll splatter back. Sure. But it's, but it's not as erratic as something like, like if I were to drop a water balloon down on this table, okay.
It'll just splatter everywhere. Right. That to me is how sin works. Holiness is very calculated, aggressive. Yeah.
And aggression in a good way. So when the people of God were around the foothills of the Mount Sinai, they saw it completely in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire. This is, I'm reading from Exodus chapter 19 verse 17 and verse 18 says, now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire.
Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace and the whole mountain, mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him by voice. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain. Moses went up verse 21 and the Lord said to Moses, go down and warn the people lest they break through to gaze at the Lord.
And many of them per perish. So the whole point is this, why all this noise, why all this thunder and lightning, it was a visible attempt to demonstrate to the people the power, but especially the holiness of God. I can, I can certainly see where that dread would come from. I mean, that's borderline apocalyptic if you're not, you know, if you're seeing it for the first time. That's scary imagery. Even if, even if like Moses warned me it was coming, I can, I can certainly see that.
Yeah. The, I mean the destructive holiness of God, we don't, we don't often think about that, like God's, the aggression of God's holiness, the force behind it. But there's a sense in which, you know, when the Bible talks about fearing the Lord there, there should be some healthy fear. And so now I can see why that they would need to hear that from time to time. Hey, have comfort, be joyful. Like for us, it's like, that's the default of God, but for them, it's something they needed to be reminded of.
Like, remember I'm on your side. Right. Exodus 24, 17, the sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. So think about that, how terrifying that must have been.
Yeah. So think, let's begin with the holiness of God and how dreadful that is and how it cannot tolerate any spot, any dot of sin and wants to clean it and clear and cleanse it. But now let's shift gears and talk about the patient and understanding mercy of God. Cause if it was just aggressive holiness, I mean, all it would have done in the beginning of time is when Adam and Eve sinned or Satan sinned, uh, immediately aggressive holiness would have destroyed everything.
Purge at all. Right. But it didn't do that.
There's also the patient and understanding mercy of God, uh, because the people in Exodus 20, they stood there and they trembled and stood afar off because they were not ready to get near because we're going to be destroyed. Right. Yeah. Right. I mean, it's like some very, very deep doctrine, but in a very visible form. Yeah. That's a great way to put it. It's this deep, like, you know, daunting concept that's just so rich and, and terrifying almost, but it's a physical representation of that. You're like, we believe it, but it's in the back of our mind somewhere that God has been not vengeful, but God is, is a holy he's aggressive.
He will not tolerate sin, but we keep it back here cause we don't see it. Right. These people were actually acting it out. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Right. You know, so what happens then? The people then told Moses, this is Exodus chapter 20 verse 19, you speak with us and we will hear, but let not God speak with us lest we die. And Moses had to comfort them. Here comes the mercy of God. He said, do not fear for God has come to test you and that his fear may be before you so that you may not sin. Right. So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. So God did not have to have Moses there to protect his people. God could have just said whoever gets near, he's going to get burned up. Yeah.
But he did. Yeah. In his patient understanding mercy, he allowed this man, Moses, his man, his friend to stand between him and sinful people. Yeah. And I think it just goes to show how much God is willing to work with his people, how much he's willing to like, like it's like you said, if he wanted to, he could just wipe it all out and be completely justified. Right. God, it's like God bends over backwards to keep us coming back to him and he keeps providing a way.
Yeah. So holiness aggressive and yet patient understanding mercy, which is his, his nature to keep us from getting burned up and purged. But then comes the future and ultimate promise of God, which God gave to Moses in Exodus chapter 20 and verse 17. And the Lord said to me, what they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren and will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak to them all that I command him. Now it is very interesting what God says here to Moses. On one level, God's going to send some prophets after Moses because people were concerned, Hey, well, what if you die?
Then what is this consuming fire going to consume us? No, no, there's a prophet coming. In fact, there are prophets coming. So there were Isaiah and Jeremiah and Daniel and Zechariah and others who came and stood between them and God. But on a second level, there was also the ultimate prophet coming. And who was he? Jesus Christ.
That's right. You know, John the Baptist, when they asked him that question, who are you? In John 1 19, he said, I'm not the Christ. And they asked him, are you Elijah? He said, no. Then they asked him the question, are you the prophet?
You know what they're talking about? This reference in Exodus chapter 20, are you the one that Moses talked about the prophet who's coming? And he said, no. So if John the Baptist is not the prophet, the prophet, who is it? It's Jesus. And then Jesus fed the 5,000, his own disciples said in John 6 14, this is truly the prophet who is to come into the world.
Wow. And then when people were offended at him, Jesus himself said in Matthew 13 57, a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house. So he himself talked about being the prophet.
So what is the point of all this? There is the aggressive holiness of God. And there is a patient understanding, mercy of God, but it requires somebody to stand in between in the old Testament. Moses did for a while.
Isaiah did for a while. Jeremiah's Zacharias, all these prophets, John the Baptist did for a while by the banks of the sea of gal of the Jordan river, but none of them were the ultimate prophet, right? The ultimate prophet was Jesus himself.
And when he came, he spoke like a prophet. John 7 16, my doctrine is not mine, but his who sent me. John 12 49, for I have not spoken on my own authority. You know, the prophets spoke. That's what Jesus is saying. I'm speaking, but the father who sent me, gave me a command that I, what I should say and what I should speak. And John 17 eight, for I have given to them the words which you have given me. The prophets were given words to give to the people. That's what Jesus says in his high priestly prayer.
And they have received them and they have known surely that I came forth from you and they have believed that you sent me. Yeah. So he is the prophet who stands in between speaking to us, God's words and protecting us from the wrath of God. And what a symbol of comfort and joy that we have in Jesus. Just like Moses was a symbol to his people.
Jesus, I mean, ultimately is the bigger symbol of comfort and joy for us. Yeah. Yeah.
Wow. He is that high priest, but he's also the prophet who went before us. I mean, if somebody wants to read for us Hebrews chapter 10, verses 19 through 22.
Yeah, absolutely. I read that. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he consecrated for us through the veil, that is his flesh and having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart and full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
So think about that. Moses told the people, stay away. Jesus, the prophet invited us to boldly enter, draw near the holiest holy. Wow. That should bring us comfort and joy. That is beautiful. But it requires some thinking, doesn't it?
That's right. It really does. Because we always just think that the default is comfort and joy. God is ultimate.
I mean, he is all good, but there's also this holiness and I think that really puts things in perspective. When you understand the why, then you're not going to lose the comfort and joy. Right. It's not based on something temporary. It's based on the unchanging truth of who God is and what Christ has done for us.
That's right. You know, there's no substitute to constantly living in these thoughts, daily communing with God, talking to God, whether you're having good days or bad days, tough situations, complicated situations, you have to daily be talking to God. And in that talking, you will find true comfort and joy.
You cannot detach and disconnect your life and talk to God a little bit and then go back into the world, talk to God a little bit, go back into the world. We can't live like that. Beautiful. So yeah. So important. Such an important reminder for us, not just at Christmas, but every day of the year. If you guys enjoyed today's topic and you have suggestions for future topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com where you can also support us financially. Just click that donate button on that website.
And every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other opportunities to reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's right. We had a, if we, if you want to end with a user submitted question, Dr. Sha, we had a question come in from Martin D. What are you reading right now? Oh my goodness. Not right now at this second.
Not on the podcast, but like he can see through the cameras. I mean, there's so many books that I'm constantly reading. I'm reading devotionals like Oswald Chambers. I'm reading that right now. I'm reading a book on Asia Minor. You know, Colin Hemmer wrote a book on the seven churches of Asia Minor.
This is in Turkey. So I'm reading that book. So a lot of books, a lot of books.
I have like five or six of them open. Wow. Very cool. Well, let us know what you guys are reading by sending in that text or sending us an email. We love you guys from all of us here at Clearview Today. We wish you a very Merry Christmas. Hope you have a wonderful celebration honoring Jesus with your family and we'll see you next time on Clearview Today.
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