Aloha Friday Message – December 20, 2019 – Here’s your sign!

1951AFC122019 – Here’s Your Sign (Originally posted in part under Aloha Friday Messages at http://www.aloha-friday.org – The Moon Beam Network – 1651AFC121616)

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     Matthew 1:22-23 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the Prophet*: 23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

* Isaiah 7:14 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. That is God is with us.

Romans 1:7b Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou ʻŌmea! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Belovéd! It’s a little early – I’ll probably tell you that again soon – but it never hurts to start early this time of year. It seems like the hedonists have decided they should get a jump on the competition by having “Black Friday” up to a month in advance and then run all month long. It’s not so important to remember the meaning of Christmas; what’s important is to make the first sale. There is just such an unprecedented, huge, disgusting tidal wave of Worldly distractions this year! There are still those among us who cling tenaciously to the Spirit of Christmas – not to the exclusion of concurrent celebratory events like parties, skits, gift-giving, caroling, alms, and church-going – but really it’s almost as bad as when Ahaz got that prophecy about the Virgin. Do you remember Ahaz? Let me tell you a little about him.

Ahaz was a king of Judah. He was a contemporary of the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied against four Judean Kings – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Of these, Ahaz was the wickedest one of them all. Sometimes people get him mixed up with AHAB who was a king of Israel and was the husband of Queen Jezebel. Ahab was a corker, that’s to be sure, and he did a lot of evil things. He was active during the time of Elijah – the middle of the 800’s B.C. Ahaz, on the other hand, lives during the time of Isaiah – around the middle of the 700’s B.C., or around 100 years later than Ahab. Here’s the introduction he got in 2nd Kings:

2 Kings 16:1-4 1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, King Ahaz son of Jotham of Judah began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

He reigned for about 16 years. That phrase, “ He even made his son pass through fire.. ” indicates that his male infant was sacrificed to Moloch by being burned alive on a white-hot iron idol of the false God Moloch. He took up the practices of the Peoples surrounding him and forsook the God of Israel. He abused and desecrated the temple and its sacred vessels and candle stands. He erected a profane altar to Syrian and Ammonite gods. Because of the evil he did, his kingdom was subjugated by the Assyrians. And yet, it was to Ahaz that the prophecy of the birth of Jesus was made. He tried to get out of hearing it by protesting “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” It was way too late for that! (See Isaiah 7:10-14)

And so it was that centuries later, the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would play a significant role in the birth of the Son of God, Emmanuel.

Wait a minute. The prophecy says “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” So why did she name him Jesus? Ah, the key to that riddle is in this little word call. (See Matthew 1:19-25) This verb is קָרָא (qara) { kaw-raw’} and it does not mean the same as the verb name. In this case, and in many other places in the Bible, “call” does not mean to name but rather to proclaim. It names a characteristic or characteristics of a person, place, or thing. Adam “called her woman because she came from man.” Her name was not “woman;” that was what she was proclaimed to be. “God called the dry land earth;” that was its nature and eventually became its name. “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was mother of all the living.” We can see, then, that Jesus was called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel (also spelled Immanuel), the Messiah, the Christ, and the Anointed of God – but his name was Jesus – YEHOSHUA. He got that name from Joseph: Matthew 1:25b and he named him Jesus.

Despite all of the wickedness Ahaz did in his life, it was he to whom the prophet Isaiah gave the news of a Savior of whom the Herald Angels would sing, “which is Christ the LORD.” That can be a source of hope and solace for us in these evil times when Satan has such a grip on the whole world. God can go into the dark and dismal hearts and minds around us and make everything bright and joyful. How can God to that? Because he is called Emmanuel, the Promised of Ages, the King of Glory, the Morning Star, God of Peace, Author of Life, Our Refuge, Our Strength, Our Rock, Our Salvation, The Good Shepherd, The Holy Infant, The King of kings and the Lord of lords, The Eternal, The Everlasting, The Almighty, The Dawn of Justice, The Branch from the Root of Jesse, Son of the Virgin Mary and The Only Begotten Son of God, Lover of All Mankind, The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and his name is Jesus, the Christ of God. And he is here. Μαρανα θα! Μαραν αθα! Maranâ thâ’! Maran ‘athâ’ – Come Lord! Our Lord has come! Just look for his sign in your heart. It’s the bright and joyful area right over there.

When you see these, you know what to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you see this, you know what’s going to happen to the almond tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you see red clouds in the western evening sky you, know there will be fair weather.

 

 

 

 

 

And when you see this in the morning, you expect a storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sign precedes a different kind of storm.

 

 

 

 

 

And when you see this happening in our time – be ready to meet the Lord: Wars, insurrections, nation against nation, famine, horrid disease, imposters of Christ, earthquakes, famines, plagues, Jerusalem surrounded by armies, a New Temple, families divided, innocent lives lost, great distress on the Earth, men’s hearts will fail, signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. One-third of the stars* will be swept from the sky, and then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. (See Luke 21:7-36) Seriously, read it, then study it. There’s your sign. Act accordingly, please Belovéd.

*This may refer to world leaders, “political stars” elevated to prominence and then swept away.

The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70AD —
a painting by David Roberts (1796-1849).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And when you see this happening in our time – be ready to meet the Lord: Wars, insurrections, nation against nation, famine, horrid disease, imposters of Christ, earthquakes, famines, plagues, Jerusalem surrounded by armies, a New Temple, families divided, innocent lives lost, great distress on the Earth, men’s hearts will fail, signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. One-third of the stars* will be swept from the sky, and then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. (See Luke 21:7-36) Seriously, read it, then study it. There’s your sign. Act accordingly, please Belovéd.

*This may refer to world leaders, “political stars” elevated to prominence and then swept away.

This is Advent. We have had three lessons so far on waiting. This is the last Sunday of Advent, and Christmas is just a hoot and a holler away. There is not much to wait for at this Christmas – or is there? Are we ready to testify? Are we ready for HIM and his coming New Advent? Are fully aware we trust him? Are we up-to-date on his mercy?

Here are the links for the Mercy Series I mentioned:

Aloha Friday Message Mercy Series and Mercy Series – Part 1 of 4

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —

at your service, Belovéd!

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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