Prince of Heaven

by David Cook

Christmas by children of St Paul's Church, Auckland, New Zealand

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”    Luke 1:30-33 NKJV

The birth of the Prince of Heaven is the hope of the world.

We read a prophecy about the Messiah, the Prince of Heaven in the Jewish Tanakh in the book of Isaiah;

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV

The Prince of Heaven is the Son of the Highest. He is the Prince of Peace, the promised Son of David, the Son of the living God, and is a Mighty God. The kingdom of the Messiah will last forever.

 

Have you ever considered what was going through the mind and heart of God before He gave His beloved Son to be born in Bethlehem?

 

 

Messiah’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38 NKJV

To read more of the miraculous Advent account read Luke chapters 1 & 2 and Matthew chapters 1 & 2.

Yeshua is love incarnate.  God revealed His love for the people of the world by sending His beloved Son to earth.  Yeshua gave His life as a ransom for our sins, He is our Savior!

Long ago wise men came from afar to worship the Prince of Heaven.  Wise men and women from far and wide today come before the Prince of Heaven to worship Him.

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Trust in God

Moses Red Sea

Moses at the Red Sea from the Ten Commandments Movie, Paramount Pictures

By David Cook

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB

Sometimes you are waiting at the edge of the Red Sea in need of a divine  miracle.  But the miracle you are asking God for doesn’t come.  Sometimes the answer your seeking isn’t given, at least not in the way or time you expected and hoped for.  So what can you do?

We have been given numerous examples in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) and in the New Testament where at times God showed up in answer to prayers and the faith of His people.  There are times when heaven is silent and seemingly His people are left alone to suffer or wait on God’s timing.

We read in the book of Exodus how God’s people suffered in Egypt while they were afflicted, “enslaved and oppressed four hundred years” under the harsh treatment of the  Pharaohs.[1]  After many years, God sent a deliverer…Moses.

God worked through Moses to do several miracles in Egypt to demonstrate God’s power and so Pharaoh would let the Hebrew people go.  The final plague against Egypt and the miracle to protect the Hebrew people was God sent the destroyer to kill all the firstborn of the Egyptians.  Yet Yehovah passed over the Hebrew homes that had the blood of a lamb placed on the door post and lintel of their home.  This event is celebrated each year at the Passover Seder.[2]  Finally, Pharaoh set the Hebrew people free from slavery and let them go into the desert to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians,
and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts,
the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer
to enter your houses to strike you.
Exodus 12:23 ESV

The Passover in Egypt was an event that foreshadows a future event God would do for His people.  Later at the right time; God sent His Son Yeshua who was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.  He is a descendant of King David.  Yeshua became the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.[3]  Messiah Yeshua was killed at 3:00 PM on the cross on “the day of Preparation of the Passover”, before the high day miqra Sabbath began at sunset.[4]

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB

Through faith in Him, when His blood is applied by faith to cleanse you from your sins; then the death angel passes over your life.  By God’s grace through faith you can receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life!  Messiah is our Passover Lamb.

Since Messiah our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us.
-The Apostle Paul
1 Corinthians 5:7 HSV

Finally, Pharaoh set the Hebrew people free from slavery and let them go into the desert to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But Pharaoh changed his mind and decided to bring them back to Egypt as slaves.  So the Hebrews were a people on the run.  They saw God miraculously part the waters of the Red sea so they could escape the Egyptian army and flee into the Arabian desert.

At times we face events that test our faith, such as the loss of a loved one.  Lauren Daigle was faced with this just before she went into the studio to record her “How Can It Be” album.  Out of this time of grief and loss the song “Trust In You” was birthed.

Your faith in God, pleases God:  Trust is another word for faith.  To trust in God is to have faith in God.  We read in the book of Hebrews about the patriarchs and some of the heroes of the Tanakh.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.   Hebrews 11 NASB

We read in Proverbs 3 to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart”. Trust in the Lord with your all.  Yeshua the Messiah taught us to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[4]  On earth, we have various trials, tribulations and disappoints, some minor and some are major.  But at ‘the end of day’, certainly at the end of the age when Messiah Yeshua returns for His people; those who trust in the Lord will not be disappointed.

[1] God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.” Genesis 15:13 NASB, and also see Acts 7:6.

[2] The first Passover in Egypt, Exodus 12:1-13.

[3] the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  John 1:29 ESV.

[4] Mark 15:34, John 19:14 & 31, Exodus 12:6, miqra (the Hebrew word meaning ‘called assembled’) Sabbath.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Sabbaths

[5] Messiah Yeshua taught on the greatest commandment written in the Torah.  We can read this teaching in the gospel of Matthew 22:37.

Freedom Time

by David Cook

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
–Yeshua the Son of the living God

John 8:36 NIV

Everybody knows they are guilty of something, it could be stealing a cookie out of a cookie jar.  Or could be something more serious than stealing a cookie that haunts your conscience, day and night.

cloudsofgod

The prophet Moses wrote in the Jewish Torah;

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20 NIV

Ten Commandments

God gave His people ten commandments.  God gave us eight things not to do and two things to do.  Two to do and eight not to do.  Let’s take a look at them.  Don’t have any other gods, only serve YHVH (Yehovah).  Don’t make any images to bow down to worship or serve as your god.  Don’t misuse the name of the Lord your God.  Do remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. Do honor your father and your mother.  Do not murder.  Do not commit adultery.  Do not steal.  Do not give false testimony (perjury) against your neighbor.  Do not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, car, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

When you obey the ten commandments given by God,

you’re showing your love for God and your love for your neighbor.  

Have you broken any of the ten commandments given by God?  Are you suffering from any guilt as a result?  How can we get set free from guilt?  How can we get set free from our sin?

Are you free or are you a slave to something?  Is there an addiction that you run to for comfort that you think will make you free but now your caught?  You’re a slave to the thing that you thought would set you free.  Perhaps it’s alcohol, cocaine, “ecstasy”, pornography sex, or gluttony.  The thing that you think will bring freedom, an escape, temporary ecstasy instead gets you hooked, ensnared and you become a slave to your own sins.

What are you a slave to?

Facing the truth is the first step towards freedom.

It’s Time to Repent

What does it mean to repent?  To turn away from evil and do good.  To turn away from your sins and turn to a loving and merciful God for mercy and forgiveness.  Judgement is coming, but there is still time to repent.

The list of sins is long.  In the book of Proverbs we read of seven sins that are detestable to the Lord.

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

Pride, lying, murder of the innocent, wicked schemes, quick to rush into do evil, perjury, stirring up strife.  Perhaps these are some of your sins, perhaps you’re a slave to other sins.

Messiah Yeshua Came to Set Us Free

How can we get set free from guilt?  How can we get set free from sin?

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:31-36 NASB

God has a plan.  A plan to save us from our sins.  The apostle Paul explained it to believers in Messiah Yeshua living in Rome;

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.  — Saint Paul

Romans 3:23-26 NIV

Believe in Yeshua & Receive New Life

It’s time to get real.  It’s time to face the truth.  It’s time to believe the truth.  It’s time to get free!  It’s time to come to Yeshua (Jesus).

Living Now & Forevermore

www.geodun.com

By David Cook

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Yeshua the Messiah, Son of the Living God
John 10:10 NASB

Yeshua taught that He came that we might have abundant life now and forevermore;

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,
but that the world might be saved through Him.

He who believes in Him is not judged;
he who does not believe has been judged already,
because he has not believed in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.”

Yeshua the Messiah, Son of the Living God
John 3:16-18 NASB

When you put your faith in God’s Son, Yeshua the Messiah and believe in Him; then God will give you new life, abundant life and eternal life!

Lecrae and Mali Music sing about the transformation that begins in a person who believes in Yeshua (Jesus) to be their Savior and Lord.  Saint Paul wrote of this transformation to believers who lived in the ancient city of Corinth;

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and [i]He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NASB

Yeshua the Son of God knew no sin, He was without sin.  Yeshua took our sin and punishment upon Himself on our behalf.  He did this so that we could become righteous now and when we stand before God.  Paul wrote about our old self and the new self that God gives to those who believe;

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.   Ephesians 4:17-24 NASB

It’s come to Jesus time!  Today is a good day, now is a good time.

Heartbroken & Alone

by David Cook

Picking up the Pieces

If you have a broken heart,
it means you really loved someone.

After a romantic breakup, if you were really in love you end up with a broken heart, feeling all alone.  Doesn’t seem to matter if you were in a romance with someone for three months or in a ten-year marriage; you are left in an emotional fog, perhaps feeling isolated and dazed.

Sexual intimacy is a divine idea, yet our Creator designed it for those who are married to one another.  Sexual union is like a super glue to bond a husband and wife to each other; body, soul and spirit.  Maybe she was thinking about “forever” maybe he wasn’t.  When two people have been involved with each other sexually outside of a marriage covenant, then when you break up it is very difficult.  You may well feel you left a part of your heart and soul with the one you broke up with and not sure how to get it back.

You may feel like you can’t go on in life without the person you broke-up with and that life no longer has any real meaning.  But life takes interesting turns and twists.  Perhaps you broke up with him (for good reasons) or perhaps he broke up with you; or maybe it was a mutual decision.

“To be rejected by someone doesn’t mean you should also reject yourself or that
you should think of yourself as a lesser person. It doesn’t mean that nobody will
ever love you anymore. Remember that only ONE person has rejected you at
the moment, and it only hurt so much because to you, that person’s opinion
symbolized the opinion of the whole world, of God.”
Jocelyn Soriano, Mend My Broken Heart

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NASB

Perhaps you’re feeling broken.  You may have had such high hopes for a relationship that would last forever, but in the end someone broke your heart.  And now, you’re left feeling all alone; in emotional pain and grief.  Perhaps thoughts rush through your head asking yourself; “Why it didn’t work?”  Or “How can I fix it?”  Maybe you feel devalued, comparing yourself to his (or her) new “love” interest.

After a romantic breakup it’s good to hang with your girl friends (or guys with guy friends) and family to recover.  Problem is a common thought is, “I need to go out and find someone I can hookup with to boost my ego from the pain of the breakup” (regardless of who broke up with who).  Normally you feel pain, loneliness, disconnected, rejection, and a good case of the blues.  But jumping out of the frying pan into the fire is never a good idea.  Will you go out and drink a little too much and do something crazy you will deeply regret tomorrow?  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Does finding a shallow, self-absorbed person to have a quick fix sexual encounter with really fix your low self esteem?  Or will it just make matters worse?

When a dishwasher or washing machine breaks you call a handy man to repair what’s broken.  But how do you repair a broken heart?

Sometimes caring friends can come along side and you can share your pain.  Sometimes you may want to sort some things out for a while with a counselor.  But there is one friend who helped me sort things out…He is a wonderful counselor!  He is both human and divine.  He is better than a handy man, while He lived on earth He was a carpenter.  But He also knows how to fix broken hearts…His name is Yeshua (Jesus).  You can call on Him twenty-four hours a day.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
–Yeshua the Messiah, Son of the living God
Matthew 11:28 NASB

  “So do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

–Yeshua the Messiah
Matthew 6:34 NASB

Love One Another

by David Cook

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”  –Yeshua the Messiah
John 13:34-35 NIV

 Jesus is the Light Of the World

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”
The gospel of John 8:12 NASB

Light From Above

Jesus is the “Light Of the World”, He brought light and truth to set us free!  When someone turns to Him and takes a step of faith out of the darkness into the light of Christ they find the “Light of life”!

jumping_joy

The Truth Will Make You Free

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36 NASB

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
–Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the Living God
John 14:6 NASB

The Bible“Son of God” Movie [1]

Love God with Your All and Love Your Neighbor

Yeshua the Messiah was asked; what is the most important law that was written in the Torah by the prophet Moses?

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:36-40

[1] “Son of God” movie, directed by Christopher Spencer.  The life story of Jesus is told from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.