Duped Again?--by Timothy A. Southall
All scripture references are linked to The Bible Gateway. When you click on a scripture reference, it may take a few moments for it to load. Once you are finished reading the scripture reference, click "back" on your browser to return to this article.
Have you been duped into believing a false account of Christ's birth? Around the world every December, the events of Christ's birth are mixed with untruths. The manger scene is most usually turned into an arena of many characters. Did you ever wonder who really showed up at the manger to see the newborn Savior the night He was born?

Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem for a census of all the people. While they were there it came time for Mary to give birth. She gave birth, wrapped Him in cloths, and placed the newborn King in a manger, because there was no room in the inn (Matthew 2:1-7). Christ our Savior and Lord came into this world homeless.

That night only the shepherds received an invitation to the manger by an angel of the Lord. An angel appeared to the shepherds out in the fields while they were watching over their flocks at night. The angel told them that a Savior had been born that day in the town of David (Bethlehem) and that they would find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Then many angels appeared and praised God. When the angels left, the shepherds went to find the baby Christ. They found Joseph, Mary, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. After seeing Him, they went and spread the word of what they had been told about this Child (Luke 2:8-20). Notice that only the shepherds, the ones who were considered unclean because of their job with animals, were invited to the manger. Christ came to save the unclean sinners of this world.

The Magi (wise men) weren't anywhere near Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth. I have no idea why so many feel the need to have the Magi show up at the manger. They teach things which are not true and thus are false teachers. The Magi followed a star and went to Jerusalem after the birth of Christ and asked where the King of the Jews was born. (Matthew 2:1-2). When King Herod heard this, he and all of Jerusalem were disturbed. The King called together the Jewish leaders and asked where the Christ was to be born. They told one of their prophets had written that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:2-6). The King told the Magi to find the Christ and then return and tell him when they found Him so he could worship Him, too. Herod also found out when the star first appeared (Matthew 2:7-8). The Magi went to Bethlehem. The star had gone ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. On coming to the house, they found Mary and the child. The Magi bowed and worshiped Him and gave Him treasures of gold, incense, and myrrh. They returned to their country another way, because in a dream they were warned not to return to King Herod, since he had plans to kill the Christ child (Matthew 2:9-18). To reiterate, the Magi went to a house, not a manger, and found Mary and the Child (Christ). Joseph was not mentioned.

Many today claim there were three Magi, but their number is not given in the scriptures. Some have even given them the names Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthesar, which is not given in God's Word. The Bible-based facts of Christ's birth have often been turned into a fictional story.

Far too often, pastors, preachers, teachers, church plays, and nativity scenes change God's Word to meet their agendas or the self-made teachings of men. Have you been duped into believing falsehoods concerning Christ's birth by someone claiming to preach the truth of God's Word?

Maybe one should also question the other teachings of these men. What about your salvation? Is the plan of salvation which you were taught biblical? Or is it a myth taught by men who have turned from the truth to suit their own desires (Isaiah 30:9-11; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)? Have you been duped again? Let's look at some biblical facts about salvation.

After His resurrection and before He was taken into heaven, Jesus gave us what is commonly referred to as "the great commission." He said whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16), and that we are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:16-20). Do you love Jesus? Have you been baptized? Jesus commanded that we be baptized. Jesus said if we love Him, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15, 23; 1 John 5:13). If we obey Him, we will remain in His love (John 15:10). Whoever obeys Jesus, lives in Him (1 John 3:24). Are you a disciple of Jesus? Were you converted biblically? (See Acts 2:14-41; Acts 8:9-12; Acts 8:26-39; Acts 9:1-9; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 16:11-15; Acts 16:16-34; Acts 18:1-8; Acts 19:1-7; Acts 22:3-16.)

Don't be duped again. Read God's Word for yourself!

Copyright © 2000 Timothy A. Southall. All rights reserved.