Advent 2023

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Christmas time

What is Advent? (Know: Truth)

Advent means “coming.” It is a time of expectancy and anticipation of a great event- the birth of Jesus.
(Explain why)
Candle- 1. Prophecy 2. Bethlehem, 3. Shepherd, 4. Angel
Luke 2:8-21- What made this news so good?
For 400 years, God had been silent.
Because there had been no prophetic voices, the people had become burdened under the law.
Pharisees/ Add to the law
The people were crying out for a Savior
God came to redeem them from the Tyrany of the law, of religion, of the lens

Great news of great joy

Advent is the unfolding of scripture. The calling forth of the redeemer.
Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men
Jesus came for ALL men to bring the peace of God to ALL men. He did not come to judge the world, he came to reveal that the God of creation so loved us that He wanted to irradicate the anxiety that sin brought to the world and the illusion of separation between God and Man.
Incarnation. God becoming a man. (Emmanuel, God with us.)- The Son of God became the Son of Man that the sons of men might become the sons of God.
It's about a Father saying, “I will do anything to restore my kids back to me!”
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7
Prophecies- Isaiah 700 years before
“The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.” Is 9:2
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Is 9:6-7
Luke 2:8-11 tells us the story of angels visiting some shepherds in a country field and announcing, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
After the heavenly hosts left, the Shepherds seemed to know exactly where to find this Babe, “Let us go to Bethlehem…” How did they know exactly where to go?
Because of the prophecies in scripture, they knew where to find Him. “And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.” Micah 4:8
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”Micah 5:2
The “tower of the flock” was known as Migdal Eadar (mentioned in Gen 35:21), a military tower at the edge of Bethlehem used to protect the city from enemies. It was also where ewes from a very special flock were brought to give birth- the lambs which would be used for temple sacrifices.
These particular shepherds were no ordinary shepherds. They were the shepherds specially trained to care for these newborn lambs. Because the lambs would one day be used for sacrifices in the temple, they knew these lambs could have no blemish, no injury or defect. The shepherds would care for them, wrap them in swaddling cloths and lay them in cribs called yatnh phatne- or “mangers".”
Because of Micah’s prophecy, the shepherds understood that the Messiah would be announced from Migdal Eder. Although the angels only announced that the Babe would be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, there was no other explanation needed for the shepherds.
Jesus, the “Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world,” was born as the final sacrificial lamb in the very place where He must be born. Just as Peter declared that our redemption was paid for by the “precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot… Christ, our Passover lamb is sacrificed for us!”
Jesus was the perfect spotless sacrificial lamb for us. He had no sin, committed no sin and knew no sin. He was the only human born to die and the only human qualified to die our death.
2 Samuel 7:8-13 and Psalm 89 contain four promises:
Luke also shows us in his genealogy, “the son of David, the son of Jesse” (Luke 3:31, 32).
He will be great. (“I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.” 2 Samuel 7:9.)
He will be called the Son of the Most High. (I will be his father, and he will be my son.)
The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David.
His kingdom will never end.
Jesus is the prophesied and promised son of David.
In Luke 1, when the angel Gabriel visits Mary, he references the Davidic covenant and shows us how Jesus fulfilled each of those four promises, “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him 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 Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. Even from the beginning of time, God predestined us in him from the foundation of the world.
At first, Mary was troubled. I wouldn’t say it was disbelief so much as sheer incomprehension. “How can this be?”
The favor of God is mind-boggling. Our minds cannot explain it. Happily, you don’t need to explain it to receive it. You just have to believe, and Mary did. “May it be to me as you have said.”
Right there is faith. Favor now begins to flow from heaven to Mary.
Did you know that only two people in the Bible were regarded as highly favored? One of them is Mary, and the other one is you.
Eph 1:6: “He made us accepted (literally, highly favored) in the Beloved”
To the degree that Mary was favored, so are you. It’s perfectly fine to put Mary on a favor pedestal, as long as you put yourself right up there, too. In Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3).
It is significant that the angel did not leave right after he made his announcement. He waited until Mary had responded in faith.
God’s favor was on her, but she needed to believe it to receive it.
So do you.
We need to cultivate the habit of seeing ourselves as God sees us – highly favored and deeply loved.
Forerunner prophecy
Sometimes, people ask for things (impartation- divine passing on of an anointing), but there are some things that can only be received through maturity.
You can be saved one minute, lay your hands on the sick, and see them healed.
It takes maturity to handle the fruit of that- the glory of God.
Sin causes us to miss the glory of God - the reality of God’s presence.
Salvation restores us to the target.
Jesus lives in us, but there are measures of His glory that are to be discovered.
Have you ever wondered how some experience greater anointing- it isn’t because they received a special impartation.
There are some fractures in our belief system/ values that cannot handle the weightiness of the glory of God.
God brings things to the surface so we will see what He’s seen all along.
Confession is to come into agreement with what God has said.
If I could pray for you today to receive an impartation, it would be a heart that believes and a heart that is thankful, but you don’t get that from impartation. You get that by making a choice.
First, have hope. (Without hope, you can’t have faith. Hope says, “It’s possible.”, Faith says, “It’s done.”)
Second, you must invest in your maturity. God wants to entrust His glory to us, but you may be unable to handle it if there are fractures.
Forerunners get bloody- can you get up? Can you persevere?
Fathers and Mothers- are we doing all we can to display the love of the Father?
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