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Advent

December 8, 2021 • Mark 1:1–3, Luke 2:10–14, John 3:16–18, Isaiah 40:9–11, Isaiah 52:7–9

The Advent season is among us and I wanted to share with you its origins and its meaning. We talk about Advent during the last part of November into Christmas every year, but do we really know where it came from? Advent is a powerful and important season that became liturgy because of the spiritual relevance. It is not known when the period of preparation for Christmas that is now called Advent began – it was certainly in existence from about 480 – and the novelty introduced by the Council of Tours of 567 was to order monks to fast every day in the month of December until Christmas. According to biblical scholars “it is impossible to claim with confidence a credible explanation of the origin of Advent". Most people in the early Church believed Advent as a time of penitence. It was a period of fasting known also as the Nativity Fast or the Fast of December. “While Advent is certainly a time of celebration and anticipation of Christ’s birth, it is more than that. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated, and it is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes sense. It is between the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming and the yet-to-be-fulfilled promise of his second coming that Karl Barth penned these words: “Unfulfilled and fulfilled promises are related to each other, as are dawn and sunrise. Both promise and in fact the same promise. If anywhere at all, then it is precisely in the light of the coming of Christ that faith has become Advent faith, the expectation of future revelation. But faith knows for whom and for what it is waiting. It is fulfilled faith because it lays hold on the fulfilled promise.” The promise for Israel and the promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent.” (Holcomb, 2021) Advent Readings (Four Sundays prior to Christmas) Hope (or promise) – The hope and promise of salvation both from tyranny and from sin. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:9-11 KJV) “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 52:7-9 KJV) Preparation (waiting or prophecy) – Having believed in the promise, we as believers are to wait and prepare for the promise to become a reality. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.” (Mark 1:1-3 KJV) Joy (peace) – After preparing ourselves for the coming prophecy to manifest, we move to a spirit of joy. Joy because we know the promised King is coming, and Joy because he is bringing salvation, healing, and victory as well. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-14 KJV) Love (adoration) – The last Sunday reading is about God’s love washing over us and through us to develop a loving environment for the arrival of the promise and the lasting love that comes with Jesus entering the earth and returning to the earth and saving it. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18 KJV) So let us not forget the Advent season and celebrate the blessings of God that comes with the blessed anticipation of the Advent season. Thank you for reading another Bishop’s Buzz. A buzz is not a buzz unless you share it! God Bless, Bishop Adam Blackstock

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No Other King

April 1, 2022 • Bishop Adam G. Blackstock

In the book of Psalms, we find a powerful passage of scripture that gives us a great illustration of Jesus. He is strong and mighty and the King of Glory.  Besides that account in Psalms, we find other accounts that describe Yeshua as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the Prince of Peace.  No other King is described like that ever before God, and no other king will be described like that ever again.  There is a simple reason for this plain hard fact, as Kenneth Copeland would say “Jesus is Lord.”  He, being Jesus, means so much to Prophetess and me that we say it after every radio broadcast as well.   Repeat after me --- There is no other king because Jesus is Lord.     Let’s look at a few passages of scriptures that reinforce my message today.  The first is Psalm 24:1-10.  It reads “The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, That seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.  Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” (Psalm 24:1-10 KJV) We find David, the writer of this Psalm defines God as the King of Glory.   Repeat after me --- There is no other king because Jesus is Lord.     Secondly, Paul, in the first letter to Timothy tells us that the Lord is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It reads “that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 1who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:14-16 KJV) Repeat after me --- There is no other king because Jesus is Lord.     Lastly God has also revealed this same powerful revelation to John in the Book of Revelation during the great revelation.  In the book, it is mentioned twice verbatim.  First, in chapter 17 and again in chapter 19.  Let’s look at both of those scriptures.  “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14 KJV) Notice in this text that we that follow Jesus are called, chosen, and faithful.  I declare and decree that you are called, chosen, and faithful.  Two chapters later Jesus says the same thing.  Here it reads “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:15-16 KJV) Here it is written on His clothes and body.  I am believing for us to see Jesus like that again.   Repeat after me --- There is no other king because Jesus is Lord.     In conclusion, God will reveal Himself to us from this point on as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the King of Glory!!! He is doing it in my life right now.   Repeat after me --- There is no other king because Jesus is Lord.     Thank you for reading another Bishop’s Buzz.  A buzz is not a buzz unless you share it! God Bless, Bishop Adam Blackstock