Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

A COMPILATION OF POSTS PERTINENT FOR THIS ADVENT SEASON! - PART 1 of 4

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Advent


Advent is from the Latin word adventus and describes the season of waiting ... and celebrating the birth of the Lord Messiah.  It reflects the Jewish people's waiting for their God, YHWH, to bring them deliverance from their oppression, by bringing them an anointed King to lead them from the throne of David, in a Kingdom that would have no end.

Adventus is translated from the Greek word found in the Bible - parousia -
"Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him."  2 Thessalonians 2:1.

"The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" is translated from the Greek words, "parousias kuriou iēsou" which is translated as literally -
"the coming of lord or master Yehoshua."   

So, for Christians, ... We are ... waiting in great expectation for Jesus' second coming to the earth, to finally accomplish God's plan of that everlasting Kingdom He promised us, here upon the earth.
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank You for knowing the beginning and the ending of this great story of mankind!  Your plan is just and righteous and true.  We know your word will be accomplished through Jesus.  This Advent Season, let us take the time to reflect upon Your son - his birth in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, and upon his second coming, in which we eagerly await!  Prepare our hearts and minds, over the days to come, to truly celebrate all that Jesus means for us and how he has brought us such great hope and joy for today and for the age to come!

In Jesus' Name I pray,
Amen.
 
 

 
...
 

Many people are falsely taught that Jesus claimed to be the God of the Old Testament, "I AM who I AM" from Exodus 3:14.  They use the text John 8:58 to prove this, when Jesus states, "I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am he."  Except some Bibles translate it and even change the capitalization to have Jesus saying,
"before Abraham was born, I AM."  However, this is very misleading and incorrect.  This phrase is taken from the Greek words "ego eimi" which is translated "I am he," such as in John 8:28 when Jesus says, "then you will know that I am he." (correctly translated in most modern NASB translations), and again in John 4:26-27 when he is speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well about whether he is the Messiah who is called the Christ.  


If it was to read "I AM" then its original Greek would be "ego eimi ho hown."  But, it's not and he is not the "I AM" or YHWH of the Old Testament.  Jesus is the promised Messiah to whom the Jewish people had been prophesied would be coming, and who were waiting and eagerly anticipating at this time!   He is simply stating in my paraphrase, "Before the foundation of the world, I am he, the Messiah.  I have been in God's plan all along! And here I am!  Don't you recognize me as sent by God?  Don't you see, by all the miraculous signs I've performed by God's power, that He really did send me to be the Anointed One, the King of His Kingdom?"  


But, the Pharisees didn't believe Jesus was sent by God, but of the Devil!  They were hard nuts to crack.  Jesus spoke cryptically to them, not exactly making it easy for them, because he knew their hearts were hardened.


In John 8, Jesus is attempting to tell the Pharisees that he not demonic, but here to glorify God.  Jesus told them that he not only knew the Father, but kept (obeyed) His word - God's spoken logos.  


Jesus goes on to explain that Abraham rejoiced to see the day of the Messiah, saw it and was glad.   Hebrews 11:13 testifies to this as well, by stating,
"All these [great fathers of the faith] died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having SEEN THEM and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on earth."  


Abraham had faith that one day, his seed [Jesus] would bring about a blessing for the entire world, so that they could inherit the land forever, at their resurrection.  ...  Abraham may not have known that the Messiah's name would be Jesus and at what point in history, his coming would occur, but he believed this promise of God, this Gospel message, and saw it by faith and rejoiced.


This verse does not mean that Jesus was existing before Abraham was born, but that the Gospel or the plan of God existed long before any of them were born.  The Hebrew people had such great faith in the fact that when God speaks, it will be accomplished, that they saw His word as if it was already done....but they died without seeing the complete fulfillment of it.  To this day, we are still awaiting our Lord to return to the earth to accomplish God's logos.


It is only through the miraculous birth, life, preaching, and death of this Messiah, that God has revealed His great mystery to us ~ that we, even Gentiles, can be saved by faith in this Jesus, so that we, too, can be inheriting the coming Kingdom of God.  That is great news, indeed, ...
Jesus is truly the Messiah, and he will be coming back soon!  This is what the Advent is all about, dear ones!  Let us rejoice as we see the Day approaching.
 

 
...
 
The appearance of the angel Gabriel, announcing the good news to Mary, that she will conceive a son in her womb.  
 
The angel proclaims to her about this son, Jesus:
"He will be great,and will be called the Son of the Most High;and the Lord {YAHWEH} God will give him the throne of his father David;and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;and his kingdom will have no end."
Luke 1:32-33.
For today's devotional, let us focus on Jesus' position as the anointed King, sitting on the throne of David forever, reigning over a kingdom that will have no end.  
As we have been discussing some of the prophecies weaved throughout the Old Testament of the coming Messiah, this angel's proclamation also echoes the promise made to Israel's King David, hundreds of years before Jesus' birth.

Read 2 Samuel 7:12-16
"When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers [die], I will raise up your seed after you, who will come forth from you and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My Name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."

Thoughts
God, through His prophet Nathan, spoke His word to David, first referring to David's son, Solomon, but ultimately prophesying something much deeper, about the Messiah and the everlasting kingdom that is yet to come.  It's important when we study our Bibles to connect the dots, and God's promise to David that He would establish the throne of David's descendant forever, makes us immediately think of the Messianic prophesies found in the book of Daniel.
 
Daniel 7 provides us more details of this everlasting Kingdom that God will give to David's descendant.  
 
  • "And to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve him.  
    His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. "  (7:14)
  • "But the saints [that's hopefully you and me!] of the Highest One ... will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come." (7:18)
  • "Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One;
    his kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and all the dominions will serve and obey him."  (7:27).
Gabriel announced not only the miraculous conception of a baby boy, but oh, so much more than that!  He was announcing that the long-awaited Messiah -
the descendant of David who was promised by God to rule and reign forever in an everlasting kingdom - would be born to Mary.  She was the favored one chosen to birth and mother this child who would later be given a dominion by the Most High God.  This good news was incredible!  Mary didn't ask, "To what kingdom do you refer?" for she had been taught the Hebrew Scriptures and knew that the Jewish people were looking forward to the consolation of Israel and
the LORD's {YAHWEH's} Christ (like Simeon - found in Luke 2:25-26).  
 
Today, we can rejoice over Christ's birth just as Mary and David did, because we, like them, know God's word will be fulfilled just as was spoken to them.  Elizabeth told Mary when she saw her, "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord. {YAHWEH}"  (Luke 1:45) and David, after hearing God's promise, prayed "And now, O Lord God {O Adonai YAHWEH}, Thou art God and Thy words are truth and Thou hast promised this good thing to Thy servant."  (2 Samuel 7:28).
 
We know how the story ends.  "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and he will reign forever and ever."  
Revelation 11:15.  ...
Let us add more depth to our celebration, by understanding that we are rejoicing in the birth of our King and waiting expectantly for his return.  When he returns, he will begin to establish that everlasting Kingdom and we "will reign upon the earth" with him.  (Revelation 5:10b).  Blessed are we who believe that God's word will be fulfilled through His Son, Jesus.
 
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
You, alone, are God!  We praise Your Holy Name and give You the Glory for bringing us salvation through the miraculous birth of Your Christ!  The more we study and learn about Your coming Kingdom, the more we can begin to grasp the significance of Christ's role in it.  Our faith that You will fulfill what You have promised, increases, and our certainty that Christ will accomplish Your will grows stronger.  Let our knowledge bring about an increase in our boldness and confidence to share this good news of a coming Kingdom with others.  Let us spread the news, far and wide, that Jesus is the King of this Kingdom, and we will someday rule and reign with him upon the earth, that we will inherit as adopted sons and daughters of the Most High God.  You are good to us and we are grateful for Your mercies, new each day!  
Thank You for the gift of Your Son and may we use today to rejoice in our King.
 
In Jesus' Name we pray,
Amen.
 

 
...
 
{This Advent season} should automatically shift our thinking to the birth of Christ Jesus.  We are {supposedly} celebrating his birthday, after all!  So the facts of his birth are important to us.  In fact, by examining the information that God provides us about the details and prophecies of Jesus' birth, this process provides for us both, a deeper understanding and a richer comprehension of whose birth in which we are rejoicing.  By looking closely at Scripture, we gleam just who Jesus is.

Read Psalm 2:7
"I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh:  He said to me, "Thou are My son.  Today, I have begotten thee."  Psalm 2:7.

Thoughts
This is well accepted in the realm of Biblical scholarship, that this Scripture is a Messianic prophecy.  There is no doubt that this verse refers to the Messiah.  It plainly states that Yahweh (note:  a singular 'He') who is the Most High God, says to His Anointed (Mashiyach - meaning king or messiah), "You are My son."


When I first began studying this and realized that Jesus was called the "Son of God" and also went by title, "the Son of Man," I merely assumed that Jesus was part God and part man.  A god-man sort of creature, much like the Greek mythology characters who came to earth, cast from heaven.  Jesus had God as his Father and Mary, a human as his mom, so I reasoned that must be what he was.   Then I learned that the Trinity theory believes that Jesus is not merely a part of anything, he is 100% man, while being 100% God at the same time.  They, too, call Jesus a God-Man, but are very defensive if you call Jesus a man and often deny that Jesus was a man.  Both assumptions (mine and theirs) are wrought with error, that only further study can reveal.  People have written books on this subject, but I will attempt to explain it in one "brief" blog article. Wish me luck!  


Let's begin with Gabriel's message to Mary in Luke 1:35:
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason, the holy thing begotten shall be called
the Son of God."
The reason Jesus is called "the Son of God" is because he was miraculously begotten by the Spirit of the Most High God.  Jesus was not born like we are - of a man and a woman - but he was miraculously begotten in the womb of Mary, by the power of God.  And for this reason, he will be called the Son of God.


So, what does that old word, 'begotten' mean?  The word 'begotten' found in Psalm 2:7 is from the Hebrew word "yalad" which means: to generate, to bear a child, to come into existence.   {I John 5:18 (not KJV)} tells us Jesus "who was born of God."  The original Greek word for born is "gennao" - which means:  begotten, coming into existence.  Matthew 1:18 states, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows."  The word "birth" can be translated as 'genesis' or the beginning, derived from the same Greek word for born:  "gennao."  Jesus was brought into existence by the Father.  He was created, begotten in time.  Jesus had a beginning.  There was a time he did not exist.  Jesus did not exist before his miraculous birth brought about by the power of the Most High God, Yahweh, who calls Jesus "His Son" because of this fact.


I do not believe Jesus is Yahweh, nor is he part-God, part-man (as I once erroneously thought) nor a god-man, as what is popularly taught in churches across our nation as an ... incarnated god dwelling in the flesh, temporarily.  At all.  I have studied this for myself, and once my beliefs were just merely based on what I thought, combined with conjecture; but now what I believe is based on the evidence of the study of Scripture and truth.  I am still learning and sharing what I learn as I go!  How important it is, that we keep this state of mind as a humble student of Scripture, always yearning to understand and learn more, and willing to correct ourselves when we discover something new that may prove our old way of belief had errors.


Jesus was called the title, "The Son of God" because of his miraculous birth and this important position of Anointed King (a.k.a. "Messiah"), that he was given by his Father.
That position comes with glory, exaltation, power, dominion, authority, and is above all other names and esteemed rulership positions in the heavens and the earth.


In fact, an interesting detail is that Adam is called "the son of God" in Luke 3:38, and Jesus is later called the "last Adam" in I Corinthians 15:45.  Both were 100% man, not a god-man, and both shared a very unique trait - that both were uniquely created by Yahweh.  One brought death into the world by his disobedience; while the other brought the resurrection of the dead and eternal life.


Today, I have begotten Thee.
Yahweh, the God of the universe, begat Jesus into existence by His power.  He created him with a divine purpose and a special relationship with Him that no one before him or after him will ever experience.  God's fullness dwelled in Jesus and His Spirit anointed him in a measure that is beyond the scope of what we will ever be privileged to share, but we too have God's fullness dwelling in us and His holy spirit anointing us as believers.  We get a small taste of what was made available to Jesus, which was on a much more grander scale.  He is the only begotten Son of God.  We can be called the sons and daughters of God, but it is no way near THE Son of God title that was bestowed upon Jesus.


There is still only one true God, who is our Heavenly Father (see John 17:3); and His Son, Jesus who He has begotten, to be a light to the world, in order to save us.  Today, let us conclude with this passage from 2 Corinthians 5:18-21:
"Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself, through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word [logos] of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  He [God] made him [Jesus], who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him."


In other words, get right with God!  And after you do, we have been given the ministry to help others get right with God!  God made Jesus to be sin on our behalf, so that we can be made holy, blameless, and righteous by Jesus' atoning sacrifice of his blood that covers our sins and blots them out in the sight of our God!  God provided this opportunity for us to inherit eternal life, because of His miraculous begetting of His Son, Jesus.  


{This Advent season} is not the celebration of God coming down to be born in the body of a baby to save mankind Himself, as a man.  This is such a distortion of the message!!!  


{Rather it is} the celebration of God miraculously providing a man, who was able to live a sinless life, in order to be our blameless Lamb, sacrificed upon a cross, for the sins of mankind.  He was a unique man, able to live without sin, because of his unique birth!  We give glory to God for saving us and reconciling us to Him, through the ministry and work of Christ Jesus!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish, but have eternal life."  John 3:16.


This is the message that the bells should be tolling ...  
"Glory to God in the Highest,
and on earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased."
Luke 2:14.


We will indeed have peace, when we get right with God, by accepting and believing in His son, Jesus, who bled and died for our sins, in order to save us.

...

Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
Glory to You, the Most High God, who begot Jesus by Your power!  You had a plan for him, as the redemption for mankind, since before the foundation of the world.  At the right time in history, You brought him into existence and revealed Your great plan for us.  In fact, You revealed the mystery that one day, not just Your chosen Jewish people would be saved, but that we, too, (Gentiles) could be grafted in as part of Your family, to be heirs of the Kingdom, and co-heirs with Christ Jesus! What a gift You have given the world, if we would only receive it and believe it.  I pray that ..., eyes will be opened and ears will hear the beautiful redeeming tale of the birth of Your son and how we can all be reconciled to You, through Your Son's sacrifice of his life.  Grant us boldness and opportunities to share this with a hurting world, beat up by guilt, condemnation and shame.  They need Your peace and Your forgiveness, God.  Let us love them enough, to share the ministry of reconciliation with them.

In Jesus' Name I pray,
Amen.
 

 

The above posts are the work of

Some editing has been done.

They were taken from:

 
 
 

A COMPILATION OF POSTS PERTINENT FOR THIS ADVENT SEASON! - PART 2 of 4

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Read Isaiah 9:6
"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 Hero, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Thoughts

Wonderful Counselor
Indubiously, every Advent Devotional book you will ever purchase or any Christmas sermon series you will hear preached across America, will mention Isaiah 9:6.  They do not use it, however, to teach us how Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah will be called Wonderful Counselor, referring to how this Messiah will be anointed with the Spirit of Yahweh ~ with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength and the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh resting upon him (Isaiah 11).  This special anointing of God upon this King, who will sit upon the throne of David to reign over this everlasting Kingdom, will provide more wisdom and counsel to this man, than anyone else would normally receive.  Although the Scriptures tell us that the kings of Israel were regularly anointed by God to lead His people ~  such as King Saul and King David ~ this anointing of God's Spirit will be even greater upon this child who will be [was] born to us.  The Hebrew word translated to be "wonderful" is 'pele' which is a noun meaning "a wonder, a miracle, a marvel, used to represent something unusual or extraordinary" or used here as an adverb to describe how this Messiah will be able to miraculously counsel his people.  So Isaiah's prophecy teaches us that this Messiah will have an extraordinary anointing to counsel his people with the wisdom God provides.
 
Mighty Hero
The popular books will not teach you that the Hebrew word "gibbor" translated as 'mighty' is an adjective that means brave, strongly, manly, vigorous and it refers regularly to warriors, heroes, and champions in battle.  This adjective has been used to describe angels, God, and in Psalm 45:3,
the Messiah - 'o warrior one' or  as 'o mighty one' in other translations.  
 
The problem with translating the Hebrew Scriptures into English, is that we are often at the mercy of the translators' opinion of which English word to choose that best fits the context of the verse.  Sometimes, they choose erroneously, based on their bias, as they attempt to prove the divinity or deity of the Messiah.  That is why it is so important to go back to the original word to determine what Yahweh is communicating to us, still today.  Is Yahweh telling us in this Scripture that the Messiah would be the second person of the Godhead, "God the Son," ... incarnated in the flesh of this child to be born?  Or was He telling us that this Messiah, anointed King, would be "el" meaning:  mighty one, hero.  Yes, this word 'el' can also be translated for God or god, but it is a word that has been translated in other verses as well, to designate men of power or high rank, (Eze. 31:11); mighty men (Job 41:25), or mighty warriors (Eze. 32:21).  
"And I saw heaven opened; and behold a white horse, and he who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness, he judges and wages war.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses.  And from his mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it, he may smite the nations; and he will rule them with a rod of iron; and he treads the wine press of fierce wrath of God, the Almighty." Revelation 19:11, 14-15.
The problem with using this verse (Isaiah 9:6) as a proof text for the Trinity, to attempt to prove that Jesus is Yahweh or deity, is that we lose the significance of what Isaiah is communicating to us - that this Messiah will be a brave champion in battle for his people and he will bring about God's wrath on those who reject Him.  It changes the entire meaning and message significantly!
 
Everlasting Father
This name is often translated as 'Eternal Father,' but I think this, too, should be examined more closely.  The Hebrew is 'aviad ab.'  The Hebrew 'aviad' is from the noun, 'ad' which can refer to the continuance of a king on the throne, such as in Psalm 132:11-12:
"Yahweh has sworn to David, a truth from which He will not turn back;
"Of the fruit of your body, I will set upon your throne.
If your sons will keep My covenant, and My testimony which I will teach them,
their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever [ad]."  
This term can be translated 'everlasting, forever, eternity,' referring to a future age without end.  Many want to teach that this means that Jesus was 'eternal' and thus had no beginning; therefore he is able to have pre-existed as 'God the Son' before he was born.  But this text teaches no such concept.  It's not just not there.
 
Father:
I've read commentaries on this Scripture, and most writers spend their time trying to convince people that this does not teach that Jesus is the Heavenly Father, the 1st person of the godhead, but only the 2nd person of the godhead.  If you begin to believe Jesus is the Father, then you will believe a Oneness doctrine, not a Trinitarian creed, and they definitely don't want you to be confused there!  So, that causes them to look a little deeper to explain how the name "Everlasting Father" does not mean the Messiah will be "God the Father incarnated as the Son."  
Here is a great and quite simple explanation provided by the Christian Monotheism's website:  
"Because the Messiah will be the one to establish the age to come, raise the dead into it, and rule over it, he is called “the father of the coming age.”
Prince of Peace
The Messiah will be called Prince of Peace.  Acts 5:30-31 states:
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as
a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."
The Most High God wanted to bring His people the knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of their sins, made possible when He miraculously begat a baby in a virgin, named Mary.  Through Jesus, we can be reconciled to Yahweh, thus gaining the greatest gift of peace afforded to mankind.  Redemption through belief in the Son of God, gives us peace with our Almighty God.  We are no longer at odds with Him, but are completely forgiven by the blood of His Lamb.
"I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior,
who is Messiah the Lord."  Luke 2:10-11.
Good news, indeed, that we joyously celebrate this Advent Season!
 
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
Today, we thank You, Yahweh.  We thank You for the descriptions you have provided through Isaiah, that gives us a better glimpse of who our Messiah is and what he is truly like.  Please forgive us of making up our own ideas and placing them upon him, true or false!  May we instead, study your Scriptures to get a more accurate view of who our Lord and our Messiah truly is, and give You the glory and praise for providing us salvation through him!  Jesus is our Lord and Savior, the Son whom You have given to us, to bring us eternal life in that kingdom one day!  Let us be ready and watching and take great comfort and peace, knowing we are right with You.
 
In Jesus' Name we pray - Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Hero, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
Amen.
 
For further study
Check out this great article - Isaiah 9:6 - and especially note this point:
Furthermore, “he will reign on David’s throne (v. 7), which could never be said of God. God could never sit on David’s throne.
But God’s Messiah, “the Son of David,” could (Matt. 9:27, et al). Thus, a study of the verse in its context reveals that it does not refer to the Trinity at all, but to the Messiah, the son of David and the Son of God.
 

 
...
 

During this Season of Advent, we continue to pour through the passages found in the Old Testament that prophesied the birth of the Messiah and how the New Testament Scriptures prove that this man, Jesus, truly was, and is, our Lord Messiah.  One such fact is the prophecy of where this Messiah would be born and the tribe from which he would descend.
 
Read Micah 5:2-5a.
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you one will go forth for Me [YHWH] to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of old.
Therefore he will give them up until the time,
when she who is in labor has borne a child.
Then the remainder of his brethren will return to the sons of Israel.
And he will arise and shepherd his flock in the strength of YHWH,
 in the majesty of the name of YHWH his God.
And they will remain, because at that time he will be great to the ends of the earth.
 And this one will be our peace.”
 
Micah 5:2-5a.
Thoughts
1)  The prophet Micah records that the ruler of Israel, sent by Yahweh, would be from Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah.  Here are the Scriptures, Old and New Testament, that show this:
  • Matthew 2:1:  "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem."  
  • Luke 2:4:  "And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David."
  • Matthew 2:6:  "And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; because out of you will come a leader who will shepherd My people Israel."
  • John 7:42:  "Does not the Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?"
  • Hebrews 7:14 "For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests."
  • I Chronicles 28:4 "Yet YAHWEH, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the house of Judah he chose my family, and from my father's sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel."
  • Matthew 1:1-17 "The book of origin of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham... Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar.... and Matthan fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah...."  
  • Luke 3:23-38: "....son of Simeon, son of Judah...."

2) ...  One MEGA HUGE part of the Messiah's role is to shepherd his flock in the strength of YHWH, in the majesty of the name of YHWH, his God.  Our Messiah will be great to the ends of the earth and will be our peace.  


Gabriel tells Mary, "He will be great," in Luke 1:32.  The word "great" is from the Greek transliteration "megas" from which we get our word, 'mega' meaning:  very great; big; mighty; large!  In Micah 5:4, "he will be great" is translated from the Hebrew word, "gadal" meaning:  to grow up; to become great; to be large; to be highly valued.  


When you learn that this Messiah will rule and reign to the ends of the earth, over all people and all governments, tribes, and nations, you can quickly surmise just how 'great' or mega this ruler will be!  He will shepherd his people on behalf of his God, in the strength and majesty of Yahweh.  He will be ruling from the throne of David, as a world leader, like no one has yet to see before.  There have been various 'world empires' and 'world leaders' in our history (read Daniel chapter 2), but we have yet to see someone like the Messiah, who will literally rule the world, and his saints, with him.  


3) He will be our peace.
This theme of Jesus' peace keeps coming back throughout these Advent devotionals.  Jesus told his disciples, appearing to them after God raised him from the dead:  
"Peace to you!  As the Father has sent me, I also send you."  After saying this, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the holy spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."  John 20:21-23.  


Jesus gives us sweet, sweet peace, by the forgiveness of our sins.  God gave Jesus the authority to forgive us our sins, as Jesus grants us this same authority over men.  We carry the message to men of reconciliation to our one LORD God, through our Lord Jesus.  It is a heavy responsibility to share this message of peace with others, and it must not stop with ourselves!  What a shame it would be that we rest in this blessed peace of forgiveness, and it goes no further.  Instead, we are challenged and commanded by our Messiah to spread this peace with others.  Many people are in torment, depressed, and struggling with such deep wounds, guilt and shame.  We hold the precious gift of peace to share with them ... that can alleviate their burden and bring them peace and joy in Jesus.  ... it is the one thing that will bring them the one thing that they lack: peace, knowing they will inherit everlasting life in the coming Kingdom of God.  You may be the only one in their life, who knows of this and can share this with them. What will happen to them, if you remain silent?


...

Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
As we see the details of the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus' birth unfold, we come to see how Your hand was in each minute detail, of even where his birth would take place!  We also realize just how great Jesus is and why!  He will rule and reign in Your strength and majesty one day, upon this earth, and we look forward to it with great anticipation!  How our hearts yearn for a leader who will bring about a righteous government and shepherd us with Your love.  

We thank You, Yahweh, for the gift of Your son, who brings peace to our hearts and souls at this time of year.  There is no better place to be than basking in the warmth of Your love and forgiveness, knowing we are right with You.  Knowing Christ and being baptized in the forgiveness of his name, gives us confidence to approach Your throne to ask You anything, to praise You, to lift Your Name on High!  Let us not keep this good news to ourselves, but give us boldness and confidence to share it with others, who may be hurting, broken, and fighting despair.

In Jesus' Name we pray,
Amen.
 
Further Study:
Please take the time to read my blog entitled, "Celebrating the Coming Christ" for a more in depth look at our Scripture passage, Micah 5:2-5.
 

 
...
 
Today's Scripture passage will probably not be one of the Messianic prophecies you will typically find in your Advent Devotional book, but it should be!  It is the main reason Jesus was sent by God ~ to restore God's people and save them.  
 
Read Psalm 80: 14-15, 17-19
"Return, God of Hosts.  Look down from heaven and see;
take care of this vine, the root Your right hand has planted,
the shoot that You made strong for Yourself.    
Let Your hand be with the man at Your right hand,
with the Son of Man You have made strong for Yourself.  
Then we will not turn away from You; revive us, and we will call on Your name;
look on us with favor, and we will be saved."
 
Thoughts
Let's unpack this Scripture and see what we find in its rich, fertile ground for us, today!
1)  The word 'root'  that "Your right hand has planted" is literally 'shoot' [from the Hebrew word kannah].  The NASB translates this verse much more accurately based on the original Hebrew:
"Even the shoot which Your right hand has planted, And on the Son whom You have strengthened for Yourself."
Here is a paraphrase of this passage:  "and for the King Messiah, whom You have strengthened for Yourself; that is, for the sake of Christ, whom You have appointed to work out the salvation of Your people by his great strength, and who was to come from this vine, or descend from Israel; for the sake of him destroy it not, nor suffer it to be destroyed; and is the same with the Son of Man."
 
Jesus, the King Messiah, is that offspring from the tribe of Judah and the seed (or blood relative or descendant) of David, ... who Yahweh, the one true living God, has planted.  Yahweh has planted, [begotten, created, originated] this offspring of David to be His agent; to be in this esteemed position of great power, and He has therefore given His authority and rulership to this Son of Man. (see Daniel 7)
 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the shoot [from the Greek word rhiza] and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."  
2) Jesus - God's right hand man!
"Let Your hand be with the man at Your right hand,  with the Son of Man You have made strong for Yourself."
Many people shy away from calling Jesus a literal 'man,' but that is what Scripture teaches us that he was and is still, today!  This is what is so absolutely astounding about Jesus ~ the fact that God would exalt a human being to sit at His right hand, ascended into the heavens!  Isn't it incredible?  
 
How worthy is the Lamb who sits at the right hand of our God!!!!!
  • "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!"  Acts 2:36.
  • "Men of Israel, listen to these words:  This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know."  Acts 2:22.
  • "For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself - a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time."  2 Timothy 2:5.
3)  God's right hand equates to a position of power and authority over the heavens and the earth.
  • I Peter 3:22:  "who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to him."
  • Acts 2:33:  "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured forth this which you both see and hear."
  • Mark 16:19:  "So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God."
The phrase 'let your hand be' "denotes a request from a subordinate to a superior", my Bible commentary notes tell me.  
"The transfer of divine power flows through God's hand and into His agent."   
 
"The man at Your right hand" is usually a king who received his appointment and approval by Yahweh.  To be sitting at the right hand of God is the most esteemed, powerful position of the universe!  Jesus' position as firstborn of the dead, due to his complete and utter obedience to his God, gained him the right, the privilege and honor, to sit there, until the time of restoration, when he will come down from heaven to the earth, to begin to establish his Father's kingdom. (Acts 3:21).
 
4)  The last phrase we will look at today is: "look on us with favor, and we will be saved."
It makes me think of the angels proclamation to the shepherds announcing the birth of the Messiah:  
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors."  Luke 2:14.
 
... We too, give glory and praise to our Most High God, because He has looked upon us with His favor, to bring us salvation, through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  
  • I Thessalonians 5:9 tells us, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."
  • 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
We have a loving God, who has supplied us a sacrificial Lamb to atone for our sins.  He is waiting patiently for each one of us to come to repentance.  To acknowledge and confess our sins and our need of a Savior.  God is that Savior, through His provision of Jesus, our Lord Messiah, if we believe in him.  We not only are required to believe, but we need to act on that belief.  By faith, we need to make the choice to be baptized and then begin to live, day by day, in submission to our Lord and Master, thus becoming a follower of Christ Jesus.  It's not an easy path, but a well rewarded one, my friend!
 
If you've never made the decision before, to become a follower of Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9 tells us "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Don't wait!  Do this today, and then contact someone;  find a Bible-believing church, so you can begin your walk as a believer, and know with certainty, that the hope of eternal life in the coming Kingdom will be yours to inherit, at the day of our Lord's return.
 
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
I pray today: revive Your people.  Breathe new life back into us and let us return to our first love - Jesus Christ!  Renew our minds with Your word and transform us into a people who are bold, confident and on fire for Your promise of salvation to us, through Your Son.  Forgive us for our complacency, our lukewarmness, and our selfish motives to look inward, rather than outward and Upward!  Stir us up Father, and fan into flame the gifts You have given us that we will use them to bring You glory and honor today!
 
We praise You for the gift of Your Son, through whom You have miraculously brought us favor and salvation, so that on the day of his return, we will be ready, alert and watching.  Forgive us of our sins, Father, and let us be found pure, blameless, holy and righteous, by Jesus's cleansing blood.  Because of his obedience, to the point of death, we, too, might be saved from Your wrath and be resurrected one day, to receive our gift of immortality ~ eternal life in the age that is to come.  What a glorious day that will be!
 
May those who are reading this, have hearts that will be stirred, softened, and made willing to hear Your word of the Kingdom and Messiah Jesus; turn from their sins; repent; be baptized; and be saved.  That is my prayer this day.  Help them to gain a sense of urgency...that tomorrow may never come.  Today is the day to make that choice.   
 
In our Lord Messiah's Name ~ JESUS ~ we pray,
Amen.
 

 
...
 
{During this Advent season} you often hear people state that because Jesus is called "Immanuel" by Matthew, that it tells us that Jesus is therefore God or "Deity."  
Today, we will look into this name of Immanuel to determine what it meant to God's people and what it means to us, today.
 
Read Matthew 1:20-23
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived [lit. begotten] in her is by the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him "Immanuel," which is translated "God is with us."
(HCSB translation)
 
Thoughts
In this text we just read, Matthew applies Isaiah 7:14 to Jesus ~  "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."  Isaiah 7:14.   
 
Let's begin, by examining the phrase "the Lord Himself."  There are many 'lords' in Scripture, but this particular "Lord", found in Isaiah 7:14 is from the Hebrew "Adonai" which the Hebrew scribes were very careful to designate to Yahweh, the only true God, only.  Other men, angels and even the messiah are called 'lord' but those lords are from the Hebrew word, "adoni."  So knowing this Lord is "Adonai", tells us that Yahweh, Himself, is providing a sign.  I believe it's important to know just who is behind the orchestration of a sign to His people!  
 
The next thing we need to understand is the context of Isaiah chapter 7.  It was first spoken to King Ahaz, about 700 years before Christ.  At this time, Ahaz is King of Judah and he is about to go into war against two kings - King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel.  Ahaz is worried, so God sends His prophet, Isaiah, with a word from Him, to assure Ahaz that these kings will not attack him.  To provide confidence that God's word is trustworthy, God provides a sign - a virgin will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him "Immanuel,"  which means in Hebrew literally:  "with us is God."  
 
In other words, the name "Immanuel" is a sign to the people, that God has not abandoned them; that He has not forsaken them; that He is surely still with His people and will help them.
 
Now read Isaiah 8:10:  
"Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; State a proposal, but it will not stand, for "God is with us."  (or "Immanuel").  
I think this text puts the meaning of "Immanuel" into the right perspective ~  that "Immanuel" means that God has spoken and His plan will be the one that is accomplished.  Not man's plan, but Yahweh of hosts' plan; the One who is holy, who we should fear, who is mighty and powerful.  We do not need to fear man, when God is on our side!
 
Now, as we read the text in Matthew, where he records the angel's proclamation to Joseph that Mary, still a virgin at the point of this miraculous conception by the Spirit of God, will have a son, who will save his people from their sins; He then applies this text in Isaiah 7:14 as prophetic of the Messiah.  This time in history, God is again providing a sign to His people that He is still with them.  His sign is that this son will be born of a virgin and will be called "Immanuel" which means
"with us is God," or "God is with us."  
 
Matthew accurately applies this Scripture to the Messiah, as a sign that this child will mean that God is still with His people.  For in John 3:16-17, Jesus tells us
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him."
God is not abandoning His people.  He has provided us our way of salvation, through His son, so that we can inherit eternal life in the coming age.
 
Jesus said in John 14:6:  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me."
 
The only way to be reconciled to God [to get right with Him] and be found holy, blameless and pure [totally forgiven of our sins] on the day of our Lord's return?  Through this man, Jesus, who is the Lamb of God, whom God provided to His people for their salvation.
 
It does not mean that Jesus is God, nor does it mean that God temporarily came down to dwell among His people as a human or in the flesh of a body.  
 
The name "Immanuel" is giving us the assurance that God has not abandoned us, but instead, has provided us a way to inheriting the Kingdom of God and eternal life in this coming Kingdom!  His provision is through the miraculous begetting of this child, the prophesied Messiah, who will someday rule the world.  
 
Praise to Yahweh, the Most High God, for His gift to His people, through Christ Jesus!  We are saved!  {Throughout this season}, let us rejoice in the knowledge and understanding that God has not forsaken us.  Whatever we may be facing - tough economic times; marital problems; rebellious children; a prodigal son or daughter; health issues that may be chronic or life threatening; joblessness; or some heartache or hurt that seems to never quite heal... let us take comfort in knowing that our God is with us.   
  • "Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9.
  • "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, and of the son of man who is make like grass?" Isaiah 51:12.
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
My heart goes out to people who are hurting and struggling at this time of year.  Those who may not share their personal, private struggles with anyone, but suffer quietly, feeling isolated, discouraged and alone.  I pray that they will learn to seek You and find You, and rest in the assurance that You are with them.  Help them to know that they are not alone.  
 
And as You provided Your son, Jesus, as a sign that You have not forsaken us, let us be a sign to those hurting in the world; an real flesh and blood indication that You have not forgotten them, either.  Open our eyes to see the world as You do, and let us take time out of our busy lives, to show them Your love, Your kindness, and Your comfort in tangible ways.  Remind us today, that it's not about us, but about loving You and loving others.  Help us to reach out to them Father and show them Your way to experiencing joy, hope, and peace, through Your only begotten son, Jesus ~ our Lord, our Messiah, our Savior.
 
Thank You for speaking to us, even today, through Your word.  Let us have eyes to see and ears to hear, the magnificent message that You bring to us.  Let our hearts be open and receptive, so that we can turn to You, to be healed, to be saved, to be rescued and redeemed.
 
In Jesus' Name we pray,
Amen.

 

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A COMPILATION OF POSTS PERTINENT FOR THIS ADVENT SEASON! - PART 3 of 4

...

Read Matthew 1:18
"This is how Jesus the Messiah was born.
His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph.
But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin,
she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit."  Matthew 1:18 (NLT)
 
This is the same verse, but from a different translation, varying it just slightly:
"The birth of Yeshua The Messiah was thus:
when Maryam his mother was engaged to Yoseph before they would have a conjugal relation she was found pregnant from The Spirit of Holiness." Matthew 1:18 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English).
 
Thoughts
Mary became pregnant through or from the power of the holy spirit.  It is a tiny preposition translated from the Greek "ek or ex" which means:
from, from out of, because, by reason of, by the means of.  
 
Luke chapter 1 gives us further insight into how this genesis took place.
34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” 36 “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.” 37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Mary was curious how this would be accomplished, so she asked!  The angel graciously explained it to her ~ The holy spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High God would overshadow her.  If you're like me, you may be wondering what that means exactly!  These are times when I wish the Bible was just a wee bit longer and provided us more details!  However, if we do a little digging, we might get an idea of what this 'coming upon' and 'overshadowing' from or through
the holy spirit meant.
First, it's important to define the holy spirit.  Pastor, book author and speaker, Greg Deuble defines it best:  
God's Spirit: the mind and energy behind the works and word of God.  
"The Spirit of God," "God's Spirit" and "the Holy Spirit", are all the same - the ruach [Hebrew] or pneuma [Greek] meaning Spirit = God's power = mind = Presence = Breath= wind = word.  These words have all been translated for ruach or pneuma.  If you can imagine a strong rushing, moving wind that has the power to create a universe from nothing; enter into people to give them supernatural abilities that they would not normally have; blind or confuse men in battle; or divide a sea, holding back the waters so much, that the land is dry to walk upon... you get just a small inkling of what God's Spirit is capable of!
 
During the vision of the transfiguration (when Jesus is seen on the mountain speaking with Moses and Elijah), "a cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: This is My beloved son; listen to him!" Mark 9:7.  This word "overshadowing" is the same one used in Luke 1:35.  It simply means that a cloud was casting a shadow upon them, enveloping them.  
 
It is reminiscent of the glory of Yahweh, in the Old Testament, "when Moses went up the mountain, the cloud covered it.  The glory of Yahweh settled on Mount Sinai and the cloud covered it for six days.  On the seventh day, He called to Moses from the cloud.  The appearance of Yahweh's glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop.  Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain..." Exodus 24:15-18.
 
In other words, when Moses, and later Jesus and the disciples, went up to the mountain to have an experience with the Most High God, they did not actually see Him
(for Scripture tells us that no man has seen God - "the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, the only one who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, no one has seen or can see Him, to Him be honor and eternal might.  Amen."  I Timothy 6:15-16).
Instead, they saw Yahweh's glory, being represented as a cloud ~ a symbol of God's presence.
 
God's Spirit and Voice
In the genesis [the beginning, origin] of creation, "the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.  The God said..." Genesis 1:2.  
His Spirit was hovering, or the Hebrew transliteration ~ "rachaph" which means to flutter, move, shake.   His breath, His wind, His power, was moving and accomplishing His spoken word.  At creation, He spoke things that did not exist, into being.
 
"Ascribe to Yahweh, you heavenly beings, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.
Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due His name;
worship Yahweh in the splendor of His holiness.
The voice of Yahweh is above the waters.
The God of glory thunders ~
Yahweh, above vast waters,
the voice of Yahweh in power,
the voice of Yahweh in splendor.  
The voice of Yahweh breaks the cedars; Yahweh shatters the cedars of Lebanon...
The voice of Yahweh shakes the wilderness,
Yahweh shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of Yahweh makes the deer give birth and strips the woodlands bare.
In His temple all cry, "Glory!"
Yahweh sat enthroned at the flood;
Yahweh sits enthroned, King forever.
Yahweh gives His people strength;
Yahweh blesses His people with peace."
Psalm 29:1-5;8-11
 
We can surmise something similar happened to Mary for the genesis of this miraculous baby to be begotten in Mary's womb, just as God's Spirit hovered over the waters, as He spoke creation into being.  "By faith, we understand that the universe was created by God's command so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible."  Hebrews 11:3.   Yahweh's Spirit hovered, moved, overshadowed Mary, and His voice caused Mary to become pregnant, just as His voice spoke the world and the first Adam into being.  Yahweh's voice in power, in splendor did this mighty thing!  The heavenly host praised Yahweh and ascribed to Him, and Him alone, the glory that is due His name!
 
It was God's power that accomplished His spoken word [logos] of the Messiah, being miraculously begotten in Mary, without her knowing a man.  When we wonder, how can this be?  We are reassured by the angel's proclamation to Mary, "For nothing will be impossible with God."  If God can speak it, He can do it.  It's that simple.  He is that powerful and mighty.  He is that great and awesome of a God. Now, it is time for us to give Him the glory that is due Him.  Yahweh, He alone, is the one true, living God, who orchestrated this magnificent miracle of a bringing a baby boy into existence within a woman, without a man.  Yahweh, alone, is the one whose power is so incredible, that He can bring a human baby into the world, without an earthly father.   


GLORY to our Most High God!!!!!!!
 
Often times, during this ... season, Yahweh is left completely out of this miracle or His part in this amazing feat is downplayed, when mainstream churches state
"the 2nd person of the godhead chose to come down to take on human flesh, while still being God Almighty and Jesus at the same time."  The glory then goes, mistakenly, to something else entirely, then to the one to whom it is rightly due:  
Adonai (Lord) Yahweh, the one and only living God and Creator of the universe!
 
I challenge you today ~ give Yahweh the glory that He is due for the miracle of our Christ's birth, for which He is entirely responsible!  Without Yahweh's Spirit, miraculously begetting this baby, we would have no hope.  We would have no future.  We would have no forgiveness.  We would have nothing.
 
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
Today, we give You the GLORY that is due You, for Your amazing power that works through Your Spirit, which You have provided within believers, today!  We are simply in awe of how You can speak and Your word is performed.  Your word is always accomplished and fulfilled, through the power of Your holy spirit.   

Forgive us, Father, if we have given Your glory to another.  Let us ascribe to You, glory, strength and honor!  Let us worship You and see that You alone, are God.  Let us be more like Moses, who wanted to see Your glory, to spend time with You, and sometimes escape to the mountain for long periods of time to hear from You.  We might not be able to escape somewhere private, Father, for we have responsibilities, jobs, families, marriages, and commitments that we must keep, but we pray that You show up today in our devotional time.  Speak to us.  Let us hear Your still small voice, whispering to us  Your will, Your purpose, Your plans for us, and let us feel the warmth of Your love envelope us today.  Let us see Your glory and ascribe that glory to You!

Thank You for giving us Jesus.  As we get busy, with our shopping, baking, and preparations for the holiday, with family gatherings and church festivities, let us not lose sight of what You did for us and how exactly this came to be!

In Jesus, Your son's Name, we pray,
Amen.
 

 
...

Read Luke 1:35:
And the angel answered and said to her,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
and for this reason,
the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God."
Luke 1:35  
 
Thoughts
Let's start with the 2nd phrase first ~  "the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God" We will attempt to break it down a bit so we can understand it a little more! Ready?
 
Holy.  It's from the Greek word, "hagios" and means set apart by or for God, holy, sacred.
 
Offspring.  It's from the Greek word, "genna√≥" and means beget (procreate a descendant), produce offspring; begotten. ...
 
Jesus, from his birth, was set apart for God.  It reminds me of a similar story of Samson, found in Judges 13:
Then the angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son.  Now, therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing.  For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines."  Judges 13:3-5.    From the womb, this baby Samson, was set apart for a special purpose that Yahweh had planned.
The great prophet, Samuel, was also dedicated and promised to Yahweh, even before he was born - "So I have also dedicated him [Samuel] to Yahweh; as long as he lives, he is dedicated to Yahweh."  His mother praises Yahweh, and even prophesies of the Messiah in I Samuel 2:10 "Those who contend with Yahweh will be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens, Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king and will exalt the horn of His Anointed [Messiah]."  Some Bible scholars think that Hannah is speaking prophetically of God's everlasting Kingdom here on earth, under the rulership of the Messiah.  
I believe they are correct.
 
In Psalm 119:73a, David pens, "Thy hands made me and fashioned me."
 
In Jeremiah 1:4-5, Jeremiah writes, "Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  And before you were born, I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet of the nations."  
(Consecrated means to make clean, dedicate, to be sacred, to be devoted, to show oneself holy, to be selected for God.)
 
When you consider that the angel was telling Mary that this baby, who will be begotten in her womb, is set apart for Yahweh - to be holy - it is because he has a special purpose planned long ago by His heavenly Father.
 
Jesus' Purpose
"But he [Jesus] said to them, "I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose."  Luke 4:43.  
This everlasting Kingdom that is to come, in which Jesus will sit upon the throne of David, to rule and reign the entire earth - that is the subject he was preaching to the people!  That kingdom is the purpose for which he was sent by God.  When it begins to dawn on us, that this everlasting Kingdom of God is the central message of the entire Bible, something will click and understanding will increase, a hundredfold!  From before his birth, even since before creation, the plan for this Messiah was set in stone.  Jesus was destined to be great and take this esteemed, highly exalted position over mankind, even having been placed in authority over the angels!  Incredible!
 
"the Son of God"
"The Son of God" is a title which was given to Jesus, for the explicit reason that he was miraculously begotten or brought into existence by God.  Just as in Luke 3:38 in Jesus' genealogy, where it lists each man and whose son he is, Adam is listed as "the Son of God."  It was not because he was "God in the flesh" which is popularly believed of Jesus, because of this title, but because Adam had no earthly father and had been created by God; for this reason, Adam was called "the Son of God."
 
"And for this Reason"
kai - and, even, also, namely
dio - for this reason, because, due to, therefore, on account of.
 
These two tiny words join the sentence of how the Spirit of God will be miraculously begetting the baby in Mary, to the title of what this child will be called.  
In other words, it is namely because of God's supernatural intervention of His power that this baby would be generated in the womb of Mary, and because of this miraculous conception, this baby will be called the Son of God.  It does not infer that Jesus would have part God-genes or God's chromosomes making up his genetics.  It does not mean that Jesus would be both 100% man and 100% God, as {trinitarians} teach in mainstream Christianity, based on their creed from 325 AD.  It only means that because of Jesus' miraculous birth caused by Yahweh's Spirit, he will be designated a special, unique position as "the Son of God," "the last Adam", and after his willingness to give up his life for the atonement of our sins ~ and then be raised back to life from the dead ~ Jesus is then considered the 'firstborn of the dead,' or the 'firstborn of creation.'  
 
God does not become the created;
He does not become a man;
Yahweh does not take on the flesh of a man or baby.  
 
These erroneous teachings convolute the plan and purpose of God for Jesus and the reason Jesus was begotten.  It muddies the water, so people can't quite see the real Jesus, who is to be our living water.  People are dying of thirst for Jesus, because they have been sold down the river with an incomprehensible creed that was never taught by the man whom they claim to follow.  Let the cry for reformation of the Church be heard around the world, as we go back to believing and following the Jesus of the Bible, who is not Yahweh, but a man, miraculously begotten by Yahweh in the womb of a young virgin named Mary.
 
As you read through these Advent Devotionals, you might think they sound repetitive, or like I'm attempting to beat a dead horse.  However, the truths of who Jesus is, of why he was begotten, and the plan for the Kingdom that God has designed for mankind, in order to grant us eternal life on this earth ~ they are weaved throughout all of Scripture, and a basic understanding is a crucial foundation for your salvation.  It is like putting pieces of a puzzle together, and if you borrow a piece from a completely separate puzzle and try to fit it in, it will make the picture distorted from what the original artist had intended.  Things won't quite fit and you'll always never quite get it.  
 
Many people might say, "well the puzzle looks fine.  What does it really matter?  It's close enough.  No one can really see the whole puzzle.  Just accept the puzzle pieces you've been given, and go on.  Don't let it bother you."  But, I blog to differ!  It DOES matter, and the result, when you start using the right puzzle pieces, is a glorious vision of your hope!  When you catch the vision of what that coming Kingdom is all about and who your true King is, then you will sit up and take notice!  You will want to learn more!  You will want to obey more!  You will begin to fall on your face in worship of the Most High God!  You will begin to grasp just how much He loves us and has made a way for us, through His Son.
 
This {season}, do not celebrate the birth of God!  Instead, celebrate the birth of God's Son.  It makes all the difference in the world.  
 
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
Today, we simply just praise You for who You are.  You are Yahweh.  You alone are God.  Only You are good.  You miraculously brought into existence this man, Jesus, in the womb of his mother, Mary.  How the world dramatically changed when You performed this miraculous feat!  We praise You for Your plan and purpose for him, and for us, as well.
 
Jesus' purpose was to preach the Kingdom of God to people.  As his followers, should our purpose look any differently?  Give us confidence and boldness to proclaim this message to people to whom You send us.  
 
Your plan for us is a wonderful future in this coming Kingdom of God!  "For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope."  Let us be prepared for that hope and not ashamed to speak of it.  "Sustain us according to Your word, Father, that we may live.  And do not let us be ashamed of our hope."
 
In the Name of Jesus, the Son of the living God,
Amen.
 

 
...
 
Have you ever heard people call Mary, "the mother of God?"  Many people believe that Jesus wasn't a man, but the second person of a triune godhead, who came down to be born as a baby, to dwell in human flesh.  So, when they call Mary the "the mother of God," they mean the mother of "God the Son."


Today's devotional will look into whether Mary is the mother of God, or not.


Read Luke 1:39-45:
Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth (Mary's relative).  And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the holy spirit.  And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed among women are you and blessed is the fruit of our womb!"
 
And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?


For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.  and blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what has been spoken to her by the Lord."
Luke 1:39-45
 
Thoughts
Let me draw your focus into Elizabeth's question, as she was filled with the holy spirit, "And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Here, the text tells us that Mary is the mother of Elizabeth's Lord.  What Lord is she referring to?  Is it the same Lord as the next one she refers to in Luke 1:45 ~ "blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what has been spoken to her by the Lord," or are there two "Lords" in this paragraph?   


Typically, when we have a question about Scripture, there are many other places within the Bible that will consistently give us other verses to clue us in to help us find the answer.  
  • Luke 1:68:  Zacharias (Elizabeth's husband, also filled with the holy spirit as he is prophesying), says this:  "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people."  Luke 1:68.  
    Here, the Lord references the Lord God, who is a singular "He."

  • Luke 2:26 "and it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ."  
    Here, the Lord is also referring to the Lord God.  The Christ is obviously Jesus.  
    So we could accurately say 'the Lord God's Messiah is Jesus.

  • Luke 2:11 "for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  
    Here, "the Lord" is referring to Christ.   

  • Ephesians 1:3  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."  
    This Scripture calls Jesus Christ "our Lord" and also mentions "the God and Father OF Jesus."
     
  • Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-- this Jesus whom you crucified."  
    In this text, God actually makes Jesus to be Lord.  
So by looking at these verses (and there are MANY, many more!), we can see that there are two "Lords" -
one is the Lord God and the other is the Lord Jesus Christ.  
Two very distinct "Lords" who the writers differentiate between with great clarity.  
 
David's Lord
This brings us to the conversation Jesus had with the pharisees about the Christ's title of "Lord":
 
Matthew 22:42-45, Jesus asks the Pharisees, "What do you think about the Christ, whose son is he?"  They said to him, "the son of David."  He said to them, Then how does David, in the Spirit, call him "Lord," and he quoted Psalm 110:1.  If David then calls him "Lord," how is he his son?  
Jesus quotes the prophetic Scripture from David in Psalm 110:1 showing the Pharisees that David calls the Messiah "Lord":  
"A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."  
Here, Jesus is using this Old Testament prophecy to explain to the Pharisees that the Christ [the Messiah/Anointed One] is David's Lord.    
What trips many people up is in the New Testament, where both God and His Messiah are called "Lord."  The word "Lord" in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word, "kurios."  People are falsely led to believe that "Lord" = "God," so when they read Jesus is Lord; and God the Father is Lord; they are reading "Jesus is God" and "God the Father is God", but this is not what it means...at all!  This is why it is so crucial in our study, to look at the entire Bible for our theology!  
The Old Testament provides us insight into whether or not all "Lords" are the same and mean "God" every time it is used.


Does "Lord" Mean "God?"
In the Old Testament, mostly written in the Hebrew language, the writers had two words that they translated into the English "Lord":
1) Adonai
2) adoni

Both are translated as "Lord" in the Old Testament, but the first one, "Adonai" always refers to Yahweh, the one and only living God.

The second "Lord" - "adoni" is a Hebrew word that means "master" and is used as a title for men and angels,
but never for Yahweh, the LORD God.
 

For example, Sarah calls her husband Abraham, "Lord" in Genesis 18:12, "Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord (adoni)  being old also?"  I Peter 3:6 tells us,  "just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear."


The word Lord means "master" and signifies that we are willing to obey our Lord.  So, in Romans 10:9 when Paul tells us, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved," he is telling us that we need to make Jesus our master and obey him.  
He is not telling us that we must believe Jesus is the Lord God, Adonai Yahweh!
 
The Lord our God is one Lord.
Now, let us examine Jesus' words closely in Mark chapter 12:
Jesus answered the scribes of which commandment is the most important,
The foremost is "Hear O Israel!  The Lord our God is one Lord."  Mark 12:29

With just a little big of digging, we see that our Lord God consists of only one Lord, not two, not three!  


It is important to distinguish that in Psalm 110:1, Adonai Yahweh (the Lord God)  is speaking to adoni Messiah (the Lord Messiah).  
There are obviously two lords in this verse, and throughout Scripture, but only one Lord of these two, is
Yahweh, the Lord God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  
The  Lord God and Father made Jesus to be Lord (master) and Christ for His people!


John 17:3 tells us plainly who is God and who is the Christ:
 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  
Our Heavenly Father is Yahweh, our one and only true Lord God.  Jesus is our Christ, our Messiah, our Lord.


"Mother of my Lord" versus "Mother of my God"
Obviously, if one does not understand the difference between the "Lords" in Scripture and erroneously believe that the word "Lord" = "God" every time it is used,  then hearing Elizabeth's proclamation that Mary is the mother of her Lord, one would then come to the conclusion that Mary is the mother of her God!

However, when we understand that Jesus is the Lord [adoni] Messiah, then it makes perfect sense for Elizabeth to proclaim that Mary is the mother of her Lord Messiah, who will someday grow up to be her Lord and King.  She is not saying that Mary is the Mother of Yahweh, the one true God and Father of Jesus, who spoke of the Messiah through His prophets of old.  ...

Let us understand with a little more clarity, just who our Lord Messiah is, who our Lord God has sent us, to be our salvation, our redemption, our King of a coming Kingdom.   Let us celebrate the birth of our Lord Messiah and praise our Lord God and Father, for this miraculous gift He has given to all people!


...
  
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,
This study that we did today on the word "Lord" gives us valuable insight on who You are, and who Your son, Jesus, is.  I pray that this knowledge and understanding will bring about some much needed clarity within believers, and that it can begin to overcome the false assumptions and teachings that they have held for many years, taught by well-meaning people.  Open our hearts and our minds to Your teaching, Your understanding, and Your knowledge.  Let Your Spirit help us to understand what You want us to learn.

We recognize the fact that we will not be able to understand everything.  We know that there are some things that we just have to accept by faith and wait until the return of our Lord Messiah, to find the answers.  However, let that acknowledgement not close us off from learning and understanding what we can about You and Your son!  Let us seek You and find You.  Let us pursue You and your Kingdom, as if looking for a lost and valuable pearl.  Let You, Your righteousness and Your coming Kingdom be our focal point this Advent Season, as we look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus, who will raise our loved ones to immortality and change us, in the twinkling of an eye. For this day, Father, we eagerly await!

In our Lord Jesus Christ's Name we pray,
Amen.
 

 
...
 
How many times do we get our beliefs, traditions and theologies from song lyrics, rather than Scripture?  How often do we get an image of how something is, but when we really begin to study something in the Bible, we realize we've made some false assumptions and it wasn't there at all or somewhat altered, subtly tweaked so that its truth is smudged?  A great example of this is the lyrics from "We Three Kings" ... :
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light
 
Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb
 
Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav'n replies
 
In today's devotional, we'll look at a few details of the story of the visiting Magi and the King of the Jews, whom they sought to find to bow before as King, Lord Messiah.
 
Read Matthew 2:1-4, 7-12:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.  And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him.  And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born.”  Matthew 2:1-4.
 
Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make careful search for the child; and when you have found him, report to me, that I too may come and worship him.”  And having heard the king, they went their way and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.  And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  
 
And they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshiped him; and opening their treasures they presented to him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.  
Matthew 2:7-12.
 
Thoughts
The Magi
Magi - pronounced “may-ji” is from the Greek word, "magos" and were a caste of wise men specializing in astrology, medicine and natural sciences suspected to be either from Arabia or Persia.  The Nativity scene and popular Christmas carols sing of three kings visiting from afar, but Scripture omits how many men make up the plural “magi” or wise philosophers group who arrived.    
 
The three gifts that these magi brought to the child (Jesus who is estimated to be two years olds by this time, with the young family now residing in a house), consisted of gold, frankincense of myrrh.  It was custom in the East to give gifts to someone superior in rank, and the Magi recognized this child born as the King of the Jews.  The gifts were symbolic and held meaning, denoting Christ's future destiny:  
  1. The gold signified royalty and was given to Jesus as future King.
  2. The Frankincense is a resin or oil from the Boswellia tree.  "Ancient people burned frankincense, believing it to carry their prayers to heaven."  Its use as incense illustrates Jesus' future role as our High Priest and mediator, between God and man.
  3. Myrrh is "an Arabic word for bitter, and it is considered a wound healer because of its strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  One of its many uses was as an embalming material, used in Egyptian mummies. As an embalming ointment, the gift of myrhh signified that Jesus would die for the sins of the world as
    the Lamb of God.  In fact, Myrrh was one of the spices used to prepare Jesus' body for burial."
When presented to the King of the Jews, the magi in verse 11, 'fell down' - Barnes' notes Bible Commentary tells us
"This was the usual way of showing respect or homage among the Jews," and
worshiped him ~ "Did him homage as King of the Jews."  (See further study notes below).
 
King of the Jews, the Christ
When the Magi come to Jerusalem, inquiring about the child who had been born "King of the Jews", Herod then begins to question the religious leaders of the Jewish people to find the location prophesied where "the Christ" was to be born to answer their question.  This tells us that the title, “King of the Jews” is synonymous in the people’s minds to the title, “the Christ.”  Christ means “Messiah” or “Anointed One” and this specific Christ of whom they were speaking, was to be the anointed King of the Jews, who would one day, sit upon the throne of his father, David, to rule their Kingdom forever.  We know this for certain, due to the angel, Gabriel’s proclamation to Mary before his birth.
 
How ironic it is then, that by the end of Jesus’ life and ministry, we find Jesus standing on trial for this very thing.
 
“Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” and Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”  
Matthew 27:11.
 
Pilate, later in verse 22 asks the Jewish people, “Then what shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?”  They all said, “Let him be crucified!”  
 
The Jewish people in that crowd, obviously did not believe that this man, Jesus, was their prophesied Christ, the King of the Jews, so they chose to crucify him upon a cross.  
And they put up above his head the charge against him which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”  Matthew 27:37.  
 
We are all familiar with how the story goes.  Jesus dies on the cross, as an atoning sacrificial Lamb of God for all people, and then lies dead in a tomb for three days. On the third day, God raises him back to life, and he goes on to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom for another forty days, before ascending to the heavens, to sit at the right hand of his God, until the time of restoration.  He ascends in the clouds with his disciples looking on.  
 
Right before his ascension, his disciples ask him, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the Kingdom to Israel?”  Acts 1:6.
 
Many religious people of our day have scoffed at the disciples when they asked such a question.  ‘Do the disciples not realize, even at this point, that this Kingdom that the Jewish people were looking for, would not be literal, that it is a spiritual concept only?’  However, I believe the disciples were spot on with their question.  
Remember, Jesus was the Christ, the King of the Jews.  He was born with this destiny and it had yet to be accomplished.  
The only missing element of this man’s royal destiny and purpose to rule and reign upon the throne of David, was WHEN.
 
Jesus’ answer to them was, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.”  Acts 1:7.  “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, but the Father alone.  For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.”  Matthew 24:36-37.  
 
In other words, no one knows the day or the time of Christ’s return to the earth, when he will restore the Kingdom to Israel, and ultimately rule the world, with his saints. Only God our Father, knows this date, and we are to live ready, waiting in expectation, and alert, so that we are not caught unaware at his second coming.
 
...
 
Prayer
Dear Father in Heaven,  
How awesome it is that we can study Your inspired Scripture that is God-breathed, and grasp the beauty and significance of who Jesus is to us and to all mankind!  ...
We can come to you afresh with worship for bringing us our King!
 
He came the first time as a newborn baby, miraculously begotten by You.  Mary and Joseph, Gabriel, Elizabeth, the shepherds, the angels, and now the Magi, all recognized this Jesus as the Christ, the King of the Jews, who would one day rule and reign upon the throne of David forever.  His purpose, his life, even his death, are all revolving around this Kingdom that he will usher in, when he returns to the earth one day.  No one knows when that time will be, but we pray that we will be ready and watching!  
 
Every devotional on the birth of Jesus seems to hammer the point even further, that this man Jesus, is our Messiah, our King of a coming Kingdom, our mediator,
our High Priest, our sacrifice for our sins, to reconcile us with the one and only living God - You - Yahweh, who created us for this very purpose, to dwell with You for an eternity when You finally come down to the restored earth to dwell with mankind.
 It seems almost repetitive to hear this over and over again, but how can we discuss the birth of Your only begotten Son, without talking about the purpose and destiny for which he was created?
 
So many Christians during this Christmas season, celebrate "the Deity of Christ," "the Incarnation of Christ", and try to prove that Jesus is You, but the more we study the details of this, the more it becomes glaringly obvious that You have given us the gift of eternal life through Your Son, not through one 'who' - the second person of a triune God 'what.' (three who's in one 'what' is how the Trinity is typically explained to those who dare to question it).  We pray that those who have accepted this Trinity doctrine and believed it as truth, will see that this creed is not found in Scripture.  

Open their eyes to see that the Son of God is an uniquely begotten man, who You have exalted to be our Lord and Messiah.  Let us give homage to him as our King and continue to worship only You as the supreme Adonai Yahweh, Almighty God of the universe.  
 
In Jesus' our mediator's Name we Pray,
Amen.

 
For further study:
Should Jesus be worshiped?  This blog article, "Should We Worship Jesus" written by Sean Finnegan, addresses this topic from a Biblical viewpoint.   In Matthew 2:8 "worship" is translated from the Greek word, "proskune√≥" which means "to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior; to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one's knees; to do obeisance."  It can be translated as 'bow' or 'worship' depending on the translators' choice.
 
Sean writes:
Translations and Bias
Most translations are carried out by Christians who believe Jesus is God. As a result, they usually render proskuneo as “worship” when it is done to Jesus and “bow” when it is done to humans. Consider the following examples taken from the NASB:

1)  Mat. 4.10
Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
 
2)  Mat. 2.8
And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and
worship Him.”

3)  Rev 3.9
Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie– I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
 
In the first verse Satan tries to get Jesus to do proskuneo to him. Jesus replies that one should only do this to God. In this case the translators correctly translated it “worship” since it is the kind of proskuneo that is done to God alone. In the second instance Herod tells the Magi that he wants to come and recognize the baby Jesus as the “King of the Jews” by bowing before him. However, the translators, overcome by their bias that Jesus is God (even as a baby!), rendered the word as “worship.” In the third instance, again the same word proskuneo is used, but this time, since the Christians are receiving proskuneo, the translators used the words “bow down” rather than “worship.”
 
If our translations said “bow” every time someone came up asking Jesus for healing or when the disciples recognized him as the Son of God (the rightful Davidic King), there would be no issue. In other words, I am suggesting that the proposition,
“In the Bible Jesus is worshiped,” is not actually true.
People did not worship Jesus, they bowed before him out of respect for what he could do for them or because they recognized him as the Messiah.
 
As Christian monotheists we freely and with great joy bow before Jesus and do proskuneo to him, since he is the God-anointed ruler of the world to come. However, this should not be confused with the worship we render God, which is much higher since our attitude when bowing before the Father of Jesus is that he is the one true God, the only one we love and serve with everything in us
(Deut. 6.4-5).
 
 

 

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