Monday, 11 December 2017

Advent One Gods messengers




God promised in Genesis 3v15 that through the seed of Eve that the world 
would be saved. The mother of all the living would give birth to hope. 
This promise came through her descendants. At various stages the line was 
broken or diverted as people returned to God and became God s 
messengers. So Eve, Shem, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob were physical 
messengers of Gods promise. Jacob had twelve sons and it was Judah who 
carried the promise. The tribe of Judah 10 generations later, led to David, the
shepherd king. (Ruth 4:18-22).
Isaiah 9:6-7 reads “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And 
the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” 
So ordinary people who were faithful to God leaders and prophets were Gods 
messengers. 
Through the virgin birth Jesus became the legal son of Joseph by adoption, 
but the physical descendent of David through Mary. Joseph, who was in the 
royal line of David through Solomon, gave Jesus legal title to the throne of
Messiah (Matt. 1:1-17). Mary, made Jesus a literal son of David through 
Nathan another one of David’s sons (Luke 3:23-38).
Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send my messenger, and he will clear the 
way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His 
temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He
is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. 
And in Micah 5v2-3 we read: 
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of
Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth 
are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Therefore, He will give them up
until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. “
So the Old Testament prophets all pointed to Jesus and from them before he
was born we discover that he would be: 
1.A male child, a son (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 9:6)
2. A child born in the line of Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Jesse, 
David, and Solomon. 
3. A physical descendant of David and legal heir to the throne through 
Solomon, 
4. A child born of a virgin
5. A descendent of David, son of Jesse, but not until the tenth generation after 
Perez. 
6. Born around 4 A.D. in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel 9:24f. 
7. One who would be preceded by a forerunner who would prepare the way 
(John the Baptist Mal. 3:1; Mark 1:1-4). 
8. Born in Bethlehem of Judea (Mic. 5:2).
9. Born of circumstances that would identify Him as the Savior and the Star of
David (Luke 2:9-14; Num. 24:17; Matt. 2:1-9).
10. His life would fulfill Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah. 
Zechariah and Elizabeth 
Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, loved God. Zechariah was a *priest. He
was on duty at the *Temple twice a year. Zechariah and Elizabeth had no
children. For Jews to have no children was very sad. They also felt ashamed. 
They had prayed for a child for a very long time. 
One day Zechariah was on duty in the *Temple. He had a very special duty. 
He would do this only once in his life. He had to burn incense to God at the 
*altar in the *Holy Place in the *Temple. [This incense would have a very 
lovely smell. The Jews believed that the smell carried their words to God.] 
When Zechariah was doing this, an *angel suddenly appeared to him. The 
*angel had a message for him from God. 
Luke 1:13: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; God has heard your prayer. Your wife 
Elizabeth will have a son. You are to call him John”. 
Zechariah and Elizabeth were now old. So Zechariah could not believe the 
*angel’s message. The angel made him unable to speak until Elizabeth had 
her son, John. The words of the angel referred to the *prophecy of Malachi: 
And the Angel was Gabriel! 
The *angel also said this: John was to be a Nazirite as long as he lived, (see 
Numbers 6:1-21). This meant that John would not drink any wine. And John 
would not cut his hair. A Nazirite promised to live only for the *Lord. We know 
about two other men who were Nazirites for all of their lives. These were 
Samson and Samuel. John was to be a very special person. To be a Nazirite 
helped him to remember this.

Mathew 1v18-25

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Mary and Joseph ended 
up in Bethlehem where the birth took place. In Hebrew Joseph means 
increaser. In the Bible, the name Joseph was first mentioned as the eleventh 
son of Jacob, and the first of Jacob’s wife, Rachel. Joseph had the coat of
many colors, and he served God all his life with integrity. Mary’s husband, 
Joseph, was more than likely named after this Joseph from the Book of
Genesis. 
“After he had thought about it, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a 
dream. “Joseph, son of David,” he said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your 
wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will 
give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he is the one
who will save his people from their sins.”
The angel is not named. 
Matthew 1v22 “Now all this happened to fulfill what was declared by the Lord 
through the prophet when he said, “See, a virgin will become pregnant and 
give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means, “
God with us.”
Luke 1:26-38
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of
David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 
'Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.' 
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting 
this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have 
found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you 
are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of
the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and
he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.' 
'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' 
The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of
the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called 
the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old 
age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is
impossible with God.' 
'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.' 
Then the angel left her. 
So God through his story his golden thread in human history used women, 
men, prophets, kings, shepherds, old people and angels to be his messngers. 
That means we all can be messengers of God! 
Tracing these predictions and prophesies is really amazing. May that give us
joy this Christmas ! 

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Dust and Ashes by Brian Wren

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