A CELESTIAL PERSPECTIVE ON ADVENT
Westwinds Christmas Eve, 2020
1 John 1.1-3
1 I want to tell you about the One who was from the beginning. I have seen Him with my own eyes, heard Him with my own ears, and touched Him with my own hands. This One is the manifestation of the life-giving Voice, 2 and He showed me real life, eternal life. I have seen it all, and …I have to share it with you. I am inviting you to experience eternal life through the One who was with the Father and came down to earth. 3 What I saw and heard I pass on to you so that you, too, will be connected with me, and us, intimately and become part of our family. Our family is united by our connection with the Father and His Son Jesus, the Anointed King of Heaven…
1 Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.
The Voice was and is God.
2 This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator;
3 His speech shaped the entire cosmos.
Immersed in the practice of creating,
all things that exist were birthed in Him.
4 His breath filled all things
with a living, breathing light—
5 A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
…It cannot and will not be quenched.
John 1.14[This is the Story of how…]14 The Voice took on flesh and became human and chose to live alongside us. I have seen the Voice, enveloped in undeniable splendor—the one true Son of God—evidenced in the perfect balance of grace and truth.
Revelation 21.10-12, 18, 23-24[Once, while praying], the Spirit …showed me the [city of heaven] …It gleamed and shined with the glory of God; its radiance was like the most precious of jewels…the city itself was made of pure gold, yet it was as clear as glass.
23 And in the city, there is no need for the sun to light the day or moon the night because the resplendent glory of God provides the city with warm, beautiful light…And all peoples of all the nations will walk by this unfailing light, and the rulers of the earth will stream into the city bringing with them the symbols of their grandeur
Revelation 4.2-6, 8-11
2…and I saw a throne…and One seated upon it, …gleaming like jasper and carnelian…Encircling that great throne were …twenty-four elders clothed in white robes [with golden crowns]…
encircling the throne were four angelic creatures…they did not cease chanting. …
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God who is the All Powerful,
who was, and who is, and who is coming.
9 And…the elders cast down their crowns…and chanted
…Worthy are You, …O God,
to receive glory and honor and power.[And the Voice spoke to me…]
I am the light that shines through the cosmos; if you walk with Me, you will thrive…
13 I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end.
12 And, I am coming soon…
Heaven Gives Her Prince
Revelation 6.10b[In heaven, I heard martyred souls, victims of injustice, crying for help…]
How much longer, O Lord…until You …avenge our blood?
Revelation 8.3-5[In response, an angel…] came carrying a golden censer. He mixed a large portion of incense…with the prayers of God’s people…and then cast it upon the earth, causing a great commotion
Revelation 1.13-18a[And I turned and saw One like the Son of Man, right in front of me dressed in a long robe. Across His chest was draped a golden sash. 14 His head and hair were pure white, white as wool and white as snow; His eyes blazed like a fiery flame; 15 His feet gleamed like brightly polished bronze, purified to perfection in a furnace; His voice filled the air and sounded like a roaring waterfall. 16 He held seven stars in His right hand, from His mouth darted a sharp double-edged sword, and His face shone a brilliant light, like the blinding sun.
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though I were dead. But He reached down and placed His right hand on me.
The One: This is not the time for fear; I am the First and the Last, 18 and I am the living Voice.
10 And the twenty-four elders fell prostrate and worshiped…
11 Worthy are You, O God,
for You alone created all things,
through Your will and by Your design…
These are the words of the Son of God, the One whose eyes blaze like flames of fire and whose feet gleam like brightly polished bronze:
25 I tell you the truth: a new day is imminent—in fact, it has arrived…You see, the Father radiates with life; and He also animates the Son of God with the same life-giving beauty and power…Indeed, the Son of God is also the Son of Man.
I [will come] down from heaven to earth—not to pursue My own agenda, but to do what my Father desires. I go on His behalf…39 He sends Me to care for All, so that nothing and no one will perish.
40 So if you want to know the will of the Father, know this: everyone who sees me and believes will live eternally
Then He who holds the seven stars in His right hand (cf. Revelation 2.1) spoke to the Angels in Heaven, who were saddened by the news of his departure to earth.
6 I know …is overwhelming. 7 But the truth is that My departure will be a gift…
unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground…it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces …a great harvest.
And then He with the double-edged sword in His mouth (cf. Revelation 2.12) looked to the Earth and said
Daughter of Zion, do not be afraid.
Your King is coming.
See, I am making all things new…
Heaven Announces Her Prince
The angels announced the birth of Christ to the world
John 3.31b-32, 34, 36a
The One from the heavens is superior; He is over all. 32 He reveals the mysteries seen and realities heard of the heavens above, but no one below is listening.
34 The One sent from God will speak with the very words of God and abound with the very Spirit and essence of God.
36 Those who believe in the Son will bask in eternal life…
Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here…
Look! He is coming with the clouds, in glory.
He will capture every heart,
(John speaks, to the audience)
John 3.12-13, 16-17, 19b-
12 [Look…I know this is a lot…but do not let…] heavenly realities …elude you.
13…the Son of Man, [has come down from] heaven.
16 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him …will have everlasting life. 17 God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He came to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.
…The Light from God, has pierced through the world’s darkness to expose ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, and the like. Still some people prefer… the darkness…because their actions are dark…They scamper …in the darkness where vices thrive and wickedness flourishes.
21 [But] Those who abandon deceit and embrace what is true, will enter into the light where it will be clear that all their deeds come from God.
Heaven Defends Her Prince
Now the darkness was angry with the birth of the Light of the World, and…
7 A battle broke out in heaven. The archangel Michael… clashed against the dragon.
3 This was a great red dragon, with seven crowned heads and ten horns. 4 The dragon’s tail brushed one-third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth.
Revelation 12.7b-10a, 12a, 13, 17
The dragon and his soldiers fought against the angels, 8 but they …were defeated. As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven. 9 So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers. …
12 As I looked, a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman came into view clothed in the radiance of the sun, standing with the moon under her feet, and she was crowned with a wreath of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was painfully pregnant and was crying out in the agony of labor.
Look! This [child] is more than He seems! He is the Lamb of God, the sacrifice to erase the sins of the world!
4b The dragon crouched in front of the laboring woman, waiting to devour her child the moment it was born.
5 She gave birth to a male child, who is destined to rule the nations with an iron scepter.
Before the dragon could bite and devour her son, the child was whisked away and …6 The woman fled into the wilderness…
17 …the dragon was enraged at the woman and went to make war on the rest of her children—those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.
John 18.37[For this reason the child was born into the cosmos]…to demonstrate the power of truth. Everyone who seeks truth hears the Voice.
So…Walk as you have the light, and then the darkness will not surround you. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going. 36 While the light is with you, believe in the light; and you will be reborn as sons and daughters of [God].
I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world celebrates. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. 21-22 In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, …your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.
33 I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with trouble, but do not be afraid; Christ has triumphed over the world.
So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully.
13 There is no greater way to love than to sacrifice your life for your friends.
15 Christ doesn't call you servants any longer; for servants don’t know what the master is doing. But Christ has told us everything the Father has said. Christ calls you friends.
1 John 2.8
The truth is that Christ, the Light, lived; and now you are living, too
because darkness is fading and the true light is already shining among you.
1 John 2.12-16
12 I am [telling you this], my children, because your sins have been forgiven…
13 I am [telling you this], fathers and mothers, because you have known Christ as the Creator, as the One in whom it all began.
I am [telling you this], young people, because Christ has given you power to conquer evil.
1 John 4.7b-8, 12, 18
Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
12 No one has ever seen God with human eyes; but if we love one another, God truly lives in us. Consequently God’s love has accomplished its mission among us…God is love. Anyone who lives faithfully in love also lives faithfully in God, and God lives in him.
18 Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.
John 20.23[Do you hear me?]
23 You now have the mantle of God’s forgiveness. As you go, you are able to share the life-giving power to forgive sins…
In the same way the Father sent the Son into this world, Christ is sending you.
Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing[Listen to the the Voice
Love, and live in Light]
John 14.18[For Christ is with you always]