Volu me 2 ~ Issue 1
Janu ar y /Febr u ar y 2 0 1 8
In this Issue:
Two End-time Churches The House of Eli & the House of Samuel!
God is Fire! His Nature of Justice
Seven Biblical Covenants
THE HOUSE OF eli
My House, a House of
THE HOUSE OF sAMUEL
nfortunately due to the bussiness of the holidays and a prolonged sickness I got a very late start on this issue but I hoped to get it out before February and looks like I will. Despite its late start it is jammed packed with many interesting articles. I hope you will take the time and download this issue, and read it at your leisure. The Lord spoke to me very clearly about the two kind of endtime churches and its similarity to the House of Eli and the House of Samuel. There will be many churches steeped in tradition but dead and religious and there will also be churches that walk in the Spirit, hear God’s voice and move under his power. Read my article on The Two Endtime Churches. God’s promises are “Yes and Amen.” He has set His promises to his people through covenants. Inside is the second part to my article “The Seven Covenants of God! In the last issue of TPP there was an article on the nature and properties of light as they relate to God. In this issue I show another side of God in “God is Fire-His Nature of Justice” What does it mean when the bible says “God is a consuming fire?”. I wrote a short article on the need for Prayer in the church. It is the least attended meeting in church yet is so important. Read “My House, a House of Prayer!” There are several other articles for your edification and enjoyment. Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think. If you would like to contribute financially or with articles you might think fit with this publication please contact me and submit your article for me to see if can be published in an upcoming issue. This is an intense job of writing, editing, designing, laying out and publishing for a single person but I will continue as long as I can to share what the Lord shows me. Please pray for this work! Blessings!
DEEP FOUNDATIONS By Rick Peterman This book contains Biblical insights about History, Prophecy, the Trinity, Spiritual Warfare, Heaven & our accountability at judgment day. It also explains how God’s sovereignty & man’s free-will both work together in complete harmony. You will find this book enlightening, empowering, thought provoking and well documented in the authority of Scripture. The information contained in this book will be interesting, relevant and useful to at least four types of people. To the Skeptic: The honest doubter can see how the Bible has logical and reasonable answers to the problems in our world. It reveals the causes and effects we see all around us, as well as the reasonable conclusions, we often don’t see in time. (Galatians 6:7) To the Truth Seeker: You may be looking at all the different religions of the world with their isolated and disconnected ideas that promote contradictions. It is important to know how to test them to find out if they have true lasting treasure or are just an illusion that temporarily makes you feel good. (John 8:32) To the Believer: It gives a foundation for our belief, connecting the facts between the origins of Genesis 1 to the destiny of Revelation 22. By examining the details and illustrating the sequences of events, we can see and understand how redemption works, as well as the many benefits available to us. (Luke 6:48) To the Spiritual Leader: It encourages and challenges us with truth, exposing the Deceivers’ strategy. It gives Biblical insight to the mysteries and questions of life. It helps us to envision our future rewards, reflect on our present position, and take a closer look at our past traditions and assumptions in the light of our ultimate authority, the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:7) BUY TODAY AT :
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents 4
Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 SERMON - Two Endime Churches. . . . . . . . 4
The Seven Covenants of God! - part 2. . . . 9 God is Fire- His Nature of Justice. . . . . . . 14
My House, a House of Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 BIOGRAPHY - Phoebe Palmer. . . . . . . . . . . 19
Godâ€™s City - The New Jerusalem. . . . . . . . . 21 Poem - Cup of Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
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SERMON - Two Endime Churches
The House Of Eli And The House Of Samuel
The definition of the word contrast is “to compare two people or things in order to show the differences between them.”. Awhile back I woke up one morning and heard the Lord speaking to my spirit. He told me that in the last days there will be two types of churches. One will be like the house of Eli and one would be like the house of Samuel. Naturally I was quite curious so started studying the two and seeing the contrasts and similarities. The contrasts are quiet stark. Jesus often used contrasts to convey a teaching point such as lambs and wolves, wheat and tares, good fruit and bad fruit, broad roads and narrow paths, etc. There has always been a wide expanse between dead, complacent churches and real, sincere churches. Jesus made that comparison in His day with the Pharisees and religious leaders and the poor devout sinners. In the book of Revelation the church is warned by the Lord to be careful not to be complacent, corrupt, high minded, overly tolerant and religious but rather be sincere, humble and repent and hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Many of the churches are becoming the very thing that the Lord warned them against. So lets examine the lives of two men who can represent two different ministries that may be indicative of the direction of our churches today!
The House of Eli Eli was A high priest from to the tribe of Levi. He was a judge in Israel. He lived at Shiloh in a dwelling adjoining the Temple. We know little about him until he was well advanced in age. The first mention of him is when Hannah came to the temple to seek GOD!. The fact that, unlike other judges we hear nothing about him speaks volumes. Prior judges did great exploits for the Lord. We know of Samson and Gideon and Deborah and others but Eli's life was uneventful. Nothing is recorded of his judgments in Israel. There is nothing recorded of his priesthood or years of being high priest in Israel. There is no record of him hearing from God or speaking for God. It says: “... In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”1 Sam. 3:1 He was simply a religious figurehead in a dead religion. He followed all the rules of the temple and went through all the motions but there was no spirit and no life. This is the conditions of many churches and ministries. There are dead churches or religious churches where the ministers and the people are going through the motions but there is no life. The voice of God does not speak. There are no miracles; the Spirit of God is not present yet they continue with their ritual
SERMON - Two Endime Churches year after year. “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, Eli was advanced in years when the bible records hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look his encounter with Hannah. Hannah was childless and beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones went to the temple to pray. Her heart was so broken of the dead and of everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside she stammered as she wept and cried out to God. The you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “ Matthew Bible says that the Lord had closed her womb and even 23:27-28 though her husband loved her, Hannah felt disgraced in Many churches are large and ornate and look good not having children. The Bible says: on the outside but are dead on the inside. Many are “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, outwardly righteous but inwardly full of hypocrisy and weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery lawlessness. Eli so quick to judge, was corrected by Hannah: and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or head.”As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli here out of my great anguish and grief.”Eli answered, thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” I Sam. you have asked of him.” 1 Sam. 1:15-17 1:10-14 Eli is not hearing from the Lord here. He is not Eli the high priest had lived such a dead spiritual life prophesying! He is just saying “ May the Lord grant he had no sense of discernment, or compassion. you what you've prayed for. Eli did not know what she It is ironic that years later God would speak to prayed for. He did not know that she made a vow to Samuel and tell him when it was time to pick a king God that if the Lord would open up her womb and give over Israel: her a child then she would dedicate that child to the “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. Lord. She promised the child would take on a Nazarite People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD Vow like Samson did (Numbers 6:1–21) . No razor looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 would touch his hair. He would abstain from fermented Eli looked at the outward appearance and assumed and strong drinks. He would not eat anything unclean that Hannah was drunk. Eli did not understand that nor come near dead or unclean bodies. His life would she was pouring her heart out to God. He had become be wholly dedicated to the Lord. Thus Hannah was judgmental not gracious. Religion is very judgmental. saying that if God gave her a son than that son would The Pharisees often judged Jesus for dinning with be brought to the temple and dedicated to the service of tax collectors and prostitutes; for healing the afflicted God as a priest. This is exactly what happened. She went home got on the sabbath. He too contrasted the outside and inside pregnant and had a son and named him Samuel! Hannah when he said: named him Samuel to commemorate her prayer to God for a child. “Samuel” is from the Hebrew root word "sha’al", meaning "asked". How ironic that there is no record of God answering Eli's prayers even as a judge over Israel but God hears and answers the woman he called drunk. Hannah weaned Samuel and brought him to the temple (probably at the age of 4) and left him in the care of Eli to be brought into the service of the priesthood. “After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull,an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. When the bull had been
SERMON - Two Endime Churches not before men. They are serving their God not their religion, denomination, sect or sanctuary! Thirdly it says that Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord! How wonderful. Gods true people do not just grow up in church or even grow up in bible school or seminary. The church is not just about growing in knowledge, experience or even in maturity. It is growing Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord “For his whole in and before the presence of God! life”. She came every year to visit but entrusted her son “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in to the Lord that Samuel would grow up to be a man of all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” Eph. God. Eli replaced Samson, a judge who lived for the 4:15 flesh, sowed to the flesh and broke every Nazarite vow. The true church contains the presence of God! Eli did He had strength but even that was taken away. Eli a spiritually dead leader would replace a carnal leader not have it. He did not know it. He only knew religion But God raise up Samuel to do everything Samson like so many churches. ”Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything couldn't. He kept his Nazarite vows and grew up a true his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept spiritual leader and prophet in Israel. with the women who served at the entrance to the tent “But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such wearing a linen ephod. Each year his mother made him things? I hear from all the people about these wicked a little robe and took it to him when she went up with deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would among the Lord’s people is not good. If one person sins bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give against another, God may mediate for the offender; but you children by this woman to take the place of the one if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s go home. And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death. gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.” 1 in favor with the Lord and with people.”1 Sam. 2:22-26 Sam. 2:8-21 Eli was getting old and the tradition was that the priest’s son would follow in the fathers steps but Eli's In 1 Sam. 1:28 it says that when he was brought to sons were corrupt. They took the best meat from the the temple “He worshiped there.” In 1 Sam. 2:8 it says offerings for themselves and were sleeping with the when Samuel was in the temple He “ministered before women serving in the church (er... Temple). Eli tried to the Lord” and in 1 Sam. 2: 21 it says that Samuel “grew warn them but they did not listen and did not fear the up in the presence of the Lord.” Lord. If Samuel represents the true spiritual church we see Samuel’s wicked sons: Phinihas and Hophni! a different contrasting pattern here. The first is worship. Even as a very young boy he came to the temple not just for religious ritual but to sincerely worship God. Some know the temple of the God but some know the God of the temple. Jesus said: “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." John 4:24 sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.” 1 Sam. 1:24-28
A true church has genuine worship not just a perfunctory service. Second we see even at an early age he was “ministering before the Lord.” He had an ephod which only the priests could wear and though not quite an adult he was serving the Lord not just the temple. The true church is ministering before the Lord
SERMON - Two Endime Churches God sends a prophet to Eli and rebukes him and his sons and the Lord says “Why do you honor your sons more than me?”. Many churches put people, traditions and other things before the Lord and in the end will lose those things. The prophet pronounces a curse on the house of Eli: “I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.“‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day. I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.”’”1 Sam. 2:30-36
ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.” 1 Sam 3:12-14
As God did with King Saul when he looked to David to replace him for his wickedness so God was rejecting the house of Eli and would instead build the house of Samuel. Samuel would : The word was a judgment on the house of Eli. It was a judgement also on Israel for the Lord said he was going “...continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people. 1 Sam. 2:26 to do a thing that would make every ones ears tingle. Rabbis say that Samuel was about 11 when the next This is not the death of Eli’s sons but the prophesy that events in Chapter 3 occurred. Eli has not just very old soon the ark of the covenant would be taken form the but he was now nearly blind. Dead religion blinds you house of the Lord. Later about that. Eli asked Samuel what the Lord said and this would in the end. Eli went to lay down one night when God be the first test of little Samuel. Like Nathan with David, called out Samuel's name. Samuel thought it was Eli calling him but Eli said it wasn't him. After the third time a prophet must speak the word no matter how bad or that God called Samuel. Eli recognized that perhaps the convicting. Samuel hesitated but told him everything the Lord said and Eli said : Lord was talking to Samuel so Eli told Samuel, “It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.” “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” Samuel grew in the Lord and the Lord appeared to him and often spoke to him. He became a great prophet Samuel did so and this is what the Lord told Samuel: “Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the and priest and was often called Samuel the Seer. The ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day true church must be prophetic with a solid spiritual I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken priesthood. They must be guided by the word of the concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an Lord and not just by nice sermons, great music and old end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for traditions.
SERMON - Two Endime Churches is void of the Spirit for “ the Glory has departed.” The ark was returned to Israel 20 years later and Samuel urged the people to repent: “And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. “ 1 Sam 7:3 During tough times and spiritual drought, the true church will continue to preach repentance. Israel repented but the Philistines attacked and Samuel prayed and God supernaturally defeated them The bible says: “So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no Ark of Covenant being brought into battle! more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.” 1 The dead church can not stand. Soon the word of Sam. 7:13 judgment came upon the house of Eli. The Philistines Samuel had the same problems with his children as attacked Israel and were defeated. They thought that if Eli. They were wicked but He did not put his sons over they do what Israel had done in the past and bring out the ark of the covenant then they would win like in the his Lord. Samuel would go on to be a powerful man of days of Jericho and the early battles for the promised God who would lean upon the word of God and walk in land. Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinihas brought out the the power of the Spirit. He would anoint two kings over ark but Israel was defeated again, both sons were killed Israel. It is believed that he started the school prophets. on the same day as the prophet prophesied and the He was the last judge. Perhaps the Samuel church will Philistines took the ark of the covenant as a spoil. The be the last witness before the Lord returns. news was brought to Eli. “Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes Samuel anoints David to be King of Israel were dim, that he could not see. And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.” 1 Sam. 4:16-18 Eli knew that a judgement would come upon his sons for their wickedness but when he found out the ark was taken, he fell back, broke his neck and died. So goes the house of Eli. The ark symbolized the presence of God and the glory of God. When one of Eli’s daughter in laws heard about the ark being taken she too died but before she did she gave birth to a son and called him Ichabod which means “the glory has departed.” In the end time there will be a church that goes through all the motions but can not hear from God and
The Seven Covenants of God! - Part 2
Most people think of only two covenants in the bible... the Old covenant and the New covenant, There are however seven biblical covenants that God made with man. In the last issue we talked about four of those Covenants, so lets recap:
“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen. 3:14-19
1. The Edenic Covenant The first covenant God made with man was with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden thus it is referred to as the Edenic covenant. This was before the fall and God promised a blessing to Adam and Eve and their seed and thus was intended for all mankind and creation. In Genesis we read: “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And unto every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.” Gen. 1:28-30
The following curses came upon Adam and Eve as a result of violating the Adamic covenant. • Enmity between Satan and Eve and her descendants. • Painful childbirth for women. • Marital strife and servitude. • The soil cursed. • Introduction of thorns and thistles. • Survival to be a struggle. • Death introduced. • Death will be the inescapable fate of all living things.
The covenant was a three-fold blessing: 1. Fruitfulness: blessed in multiplying and propagating the species. 2. Dominion- Blessed to subdue and take dominion over all living creatures (animals, birds and sea creatures.) 3. Provision – blessed in food provision from plants and trees (But not meat. Eating of meat was established in the Noahic covenant: Genesis 9:3).
Although these curses are severe there was also the promise a future Messiah or deliverer from sin. . “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Gen. 3:15
However this covenant of blessing was conditional. The one requirement was to not eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (and we know how that worked out.)
3. The Noahic Covenant
2. The Adamic Covenant
The third Covenant God made was with Noah. Like with Adam, this covenant pertained to all mankind. The first three covenants God made was with gentiles and all nations including Israel! After the flood, mankind got a reboot. God destroyed all mankind for their wickedness except Noah, his three sons and their wives. He tells
This is the covenant that God made with Adam and Eve after the fall. Now instead of blessings, there were restrictions and curses placed upon them. God came down to judge the serpent and Adam and Eve along with their progeny.
The Seven Covenants of God! - Part 2 them as he did Adam and Eve to repopulate the world and promises to not destroy the world again by rain. He now adds a sign to His covenant which is the rainbow. His covenant was with all humanity because it was to them and their descendants. See Gen. 9:1-17
• God promises the land of Canaan as his children's inheritance. • God has Abraham sacrifice animals as a sign and prophecies the Egyptian captivity and entrance into the promise land.
God blessed them but gave restrictions. The Noahic Covenant included:
The significance of this covenant is the sign of the sacrifice. Abraham was doing a prophetic act signifying the future Mosaic period. Interestingly, the animals were a heifer, a goat, a ram, a dove and a young pigeon. These were the same offerings that would be required by the priests in the tabernacle and temple sacrifices. God was showing Abraham the future of Israel and the blood sacrifices that would point to both Moses and Messiah Jesus! Abraham was instructed to cut the animals in half. This is like the parting of the Red sea. He had to drive the ravens away just like the armies of Pharaoh were driven away and most interesting is that in a vision Abraham saw two things pass between the divided animals: a smoking firepot with a blazing torch! This is a type of the pillar of smoke and pillar of fire that went between the parted red sea and guided the children of Israel in the wilderness. In the final part of the covenant God initiates the sign of circumcision.
• Blessings upon the eight survivors of the flood. • A command to be fruitful and multiply (as commanded to Adam and Eve) to replenish the earth. • Fear of mankind upon all living creatures. • Permission to now eat meat with exception of the blood. • Prohibition to murder. • The sign of the rainbow as a promise not to destroy the earth again by flood.
4. The Abrahamic Covenant The fourth Covenant that God makes was with Abraham. This was not a global covenant but a personal and national covenant with Abraham and his descendants, the Jews. God sets aside a people to become a nation that would bear witness to the one and only true God. At this point polytheism and idolatry had spread to all mankind. God revealed himself to Abraham as the creator; the only one and true God. This conditional covenant is found in Genesis 12-17. There are actually many parts to this covenant. The first part came when God first called Abraham out of Mesopotamia to go to Canaan. “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen. 12:1-3 Abraham had to be willing to leave his old life behind and start a new life! The promise was that God would make him a great nation. This is unusual since Abraham was 75 years old and too old to have kids. He would eventually have Isaac when he was a hundred years old! The second part of the covenant came later. After Abraham rescued Lot when he had been captured and Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchezidek the Lord appeared to him again to renew the covenant but with a prophetic sign! See Gen. 15:1-21
In this encounter: • God reveals himself to Abraham as his shield, or protector! • God says a natural not adoptive child shall be his heir. • God has Abraham look at the stars of the sky to confirm his seed will be innumerous.
See Gen. 17:1-13 In this third part God reiterates his covenant with a couple of additions or addendum's. First he changes the name of Abram to Abraham. Abram means "Exalted Father", which was probably an embarrassment since he aged without children. He however didn’t receive that name from God but from his father. God gives him the name "Abraham", which means "father of many” to reaffirm that he would be a father of a great multitude as promised by God. His wife Sarai, which means “my princess, “would have her name changed to “Sarah,” “mother of nations”, again fitting with the promise of God to multiply their seed. Also God basically added the “ah” sound to their names. Ah in Hebrew is the word “oath” thus affirming the covenant! Besides the changing of names, God instituted the sign and act of circumcision. Remember when Abraham “Cut” the animals’ n half? This is known in Hebrew as the Brit bein HaBetarim, the "Covenant between the Parts". Circumcision is called the brit milah (covenant of circumcision) in Judaism. By being “cut” you are marked as belonging to God. Here is man’s blood covenant with God until Jesus sheds His blood for man! This was a covenant not for humanity but for the nation and people of Israel only! God would use the nation of Israel as a witness to the world of monotheism and the true and living God. He would accompany that covenant with signs, miracles, prophecy and ultimately the Messiah who would be the deliverer of not only Israel but all mankind.
Now let us continue with the last 3 Covenants!
The Seven Covenants of God! - Part 2 The fifth Covenant that God made with man was with Moses and can be found in Exodus 19-24 and Deuteronomy 5:6-22.
“You shall not murder.“ You shall not commit adultery.“ You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
“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. “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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 ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.| “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.” Exodus 19-24 This conditional covenant is often referred to as the Sinaic Covenant since it took place at Mt. Sinai or simply the Law. At the time of the covenant, God reminded the people of their obligation to be obedient to His law (Exodus 19:5), and the people agreed to the covenant when they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” (Exodus 19:8). the Mosaic covenant is a much larger and complicated covenant with laws, rituals, and a tabernacle that allowed humans to enter Yahweh’s presence. This covenant would serve to set the nation of Israel apart from all other nations as God’s chosen people. The Mosaic Covenant differs significantly from the Abrahamic Covenant and later biblical covenants because it is conditional in that the blessings that God promises are directly related to Israel’s obedience to the Mosaic Law. If Israel is obedient, then God will bless them, but if they disobey, then God will punish them. The blessings and curses that are associated with this conditional covenant are found in detail in Deuteronomy 28. The Mosaic Covenant either brought God's direct blessing for
5. The Mosaic Covenant
The Seven Covenants of God! - (Cont) obedience or God's direct cursing for disobedience upon the nation of Israel. Part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the rest of the Law contained over 600 commands—roughly 300 positive and 300 negative . In this covenant God promises to make Israel “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). The polytheistic nations around them would be witnessed to by Israel and its relationship with the true God. Israel was to be God’s light to the dark world around them. They were to be a separate and called-out nation so that everyone around them would know that they worshiped Yahweh, the covenant-keeping God. The sacrificial system of the Mosaic Covenant did not really take away sins (Hebrews 10:1-4); it simply foreshadowed the bearing of sin by Christ, the perfect high priest Who was also the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9:11-28). The Mosaic Covenant is also referred to as the Old Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:14; Hebrews 8:6, 13.
6. The Davidic Covenant “Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place hand be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I
appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, 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 to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 2 Samuel 7:8-16).
Whereas the Mosaic Covenant was the priestly covenant the Davidic is the Kingly and prophetic covenant. The Davidic Covenant is God's unconditional promise to David that he would have an eternal dynasty. The provisions of the Davidic Covenant center around three major components: • An everlasting throne, • An everlasting King (Jeremiah 32:21) • An everlasting kingdom (Daniel 7:14). Found in 2 Samuel 7:4-16 and 1 Chronicles 17:315, There will be a time, however, when someone from the line of David will again sit on the throne and rule as king. This future king is Jesus (Luke 1:32-33). Christianity traces David's lineage to Jesus Christ, who was a descendant of David many generations removed, and see Christ as the rightful heir. Jesus kingdom will be everlasting (Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 89:3-4; Revelation 1:5-6).
The Seven Covenants of God! - (Cont) The Davidic covenant is an unconditional covenant—that is, its fulfillment does not depend on David's actions, or the actions of any of the members of his household. Both David and Solomon committed grievous sins (2 Samuel 11:1-27; 1 Kings 11:4-8), and though these sins were displeasing and hurtful to God, He would still honor His promise to establish David's house eternally. God had purposed to do it, and He would accomplish His promise, despite the actions of men (2 Timothy 2:13).
towards them. He promised also to put the law into their minds, and write the law on their hearts. This prophecy of Jeremiah looks forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit, who would indwell all who have faith, teaching and helping them to follow the Lord's commands (John 14:26; Psalm 23:3-4; Romans 8:9-11). Some of the provisions: • Forgiveness of sins • Indwelling of the Holy Spirit • Law fulfilled (In Love -written on their hearts)Rom. 8:2, Gal. 6:2)
7. The New Covenant “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the Lord; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.” Jeremiah 31:31-40 The most important element of the new covenant is the blood of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, blood sacrifices were required for cleansing and atonement when the Law was broken. Under the new covenant, Jesus Christ provided His own body on the cross as a sacrifice that would purify once, for all time, those who had faith (Hebrews 10:10, 14). God proclaimed the first covenant, the Mosaic covenant, as flawed because of the inability of the people to fulfill their part of the deal. Because His love, and His promise to Abraham, superseded the demands of the Mosaic covenant, God did away with the old covenant and made the "new covenant" in Christ's blood (Hebrews 8:8-13). According to the terms of the new covenant, God would forget about the sins of the people, and be merciful
Some people believe there are more or less numbers of covenants. Many add an eighth covenant called the Land Covenant or Palestine Covenant giving the promise land to the Israelites but this can be inclusive of the Mosaic covenant.
CONDITIONAL and UNCONDITIONAL COVENANTS Three of the eight covenants of the bible are conditional: The Edenic ,Mosaic and New Covenant. Many argue that the New Testament is unconditional since God sovereignly did the work of salvation regardless of man while others argue that salvation non-the-less requires man’s acceptance and commitment to Jesus. The other unconditional covenants are: The ADAMIC, NOAHIC, ABRAHAMIC, and DAVIDIC The covenants that God has made are ETERNAL and are not conditioned by time. God’s Covenants are eternal promises to His people and his legal commitment to his word, His church and to Israel! Shalom~
God is Fire- His Nature of Justice
ast month I wrote an article on the nature of them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away Light, it's properties and its relationship to God. from him who warns us from heaven? At that time st The bible says in 1 John that “God is light.” his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, Well by the same token we can see another side of God. “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the God is fire! God is both grace and justice; He extends heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing mercy and executes judgment! of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that Fire plays an important place with man. It can be what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since both beneficial and dangerous! It can warm the body, we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let heat up food, fuel a fireplace, fire clay pots, smelt metal us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with and much more. But it can also burn and destroy! reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” God can be gracious to the righteous and fearful Heb. 12:18-21,25-29 to the wicked! Fire represents God's holiness and his God is Love and Life to those who seek truth and justness and judgment. We see this in Deuteronomy: righteousness but is a destructive, all consuming force “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your to the wicked and those who love darkness more than light. God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves The first time we read about fire is right after the sin an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, of Adam and Eve. When they were kicked out of the Garden the bible says: a jealous God.” Deut. 4:23,24 “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Gen. 3:24
It does not say he is like a fire. It says He is a consuming fire! The new testament affirms this fact: “You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”... ...See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned
An angel with a fiery sword protected the Tree. That fire must have been a sight to see! Moses met God in the wilderness when He spoke to him from a burning bush and later when he climbed Mount Sinai the mounted contained Gods presence with fire and smoke! The children were led in the wilderness by a Pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night!
God is Fire- His Nature of Justice Let us look at the nature of fire: The definition of fire is “combustion or burning, in which substances combine chemically with oxygen from the air and typically give out bright light, heat, and smoke” Combustion is burning with fire and smoke is the result of that burning. There is a trinity with fire. When oxygen and a fuel source and heat combine than this can ignite a fire. Fire can be extinguished by removing any one of those three elements of the fire. A campfire will go out if you remove the wood (no more fuel), smother the fire ( no more oxygen) or pour water on the fire (no more heat)! [perhaps God's anger is the heat, His spirit is the oxygen and the ungodly men and fallen angels will be the fuel] Fire produces several by-products: • A Flame -This is a mixture of reacting gases and solids emitting visible, infrared, and sometimes ultraviolet light! This visible part emits light and heat. In the upper room the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 as tongues of fire (or individual flames). • Soot or ash- impure carbon particles or incomplete combustion of gas and include the residual fuel particles such as coal, charcoal or charred wood, and petroleum coke that may become airborne. Soot is an airborne contaminant causes cancer and lung disease. • Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particles and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion. Air is often mixed into the mass. Smoke is commonly an unwanted byproduct of fires but may also useful such as pest control (fumigation), communication (smoke signals), defensive and offensive capabilities in the military (smoke screen), cooking, or smoking (tobacco, etc.). Smoke is used in rituals where incense, sage, or resin is burned to produce a smell for spiritual purposes. Smoke is sometimes used as a flavoring agent, and preservative for various foodstuffs. Smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death in victims of indoor fires. • Gas and Fumes- Visible particles emitted from a fire are referred to as smoke. Invisible particles are generally referred to as gas or fumes. This is best illustrated when toasting bread in a toaster. As the bread heats up, the products of combustion increase in size. The fumes initially produced are invisible but become visible if the toast is burnt.
To keep a fire going one must stoke the fire. That is he must poke and stir up the fire and ashes to add more oxygen to it. When a fire looks like it is almost out, when you stoke it, it will ignite again. Stirring the fire will increase it. Perhaps that is what Paul meant when he told Timothy to “stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” Fire is an example of the nature of God but has several implications in the bible. Fire Represents The Presence Of God! Fire communicates the very presence of God. As mentioned before in burning bush from which God spoke to Moses ( Exod. 3:2-6 ), here fire from which God spoke was a manifestation of God himself. Moses turned away from the sight "because he was afraid to look at God" (v. 6). Similar to this is Yahweh's descent upon Mount Sinai "in fire" (Exod. 19:18; Deuteronomy 4:11-12, 15, 33, 36) In the New Testament Paul describes the second coming of Christ as "in blazing fire" ( 2 Thess 1:7 ), an appearance that carries overtones of judgment as well as mere presence. Also John's vision of Jesus was with eyes "like blazing fire" ( Rev 1:14 ; 2:18 ; 19:12). “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Rev. 4:5 Interestingly the Holy Place in the temple had two sources of fire representing the presence of God. One was the menorah, a seven branch candlestick which was lit by a wick dipped in oil by the priests every day. The rabbis said that the seven branches represented the seven days with the center branch representing the
God is Fire- His Nature of Justice Sabbath and light of God. The other was The altar of Incense also called the Golden Altar. Incense was burned daily on this altar at the time of the morning and the evening sacrifices. The bloodied coals used on this altar had to be taken from the Altar of Burnt Offerings which was outside the temple where all the offerings were sacrificed. The incense used had to be made according to a specific formula (Exodus 30:34-35). The burning of the incense was symbolic of the prayer of the people rising up to God (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4). Once a year, the Altar of Incense was purified when the High Priest, mixed the blood of animals together then smeared the blood on each of the four corners of the Golden Altar. Gods wrath must be purified by the blood of His Son. He was the offering and our prayers to God like incense go through the Son (John 14:6).
In each sacrifice consumed by fire from heaven, God was making an important point. In David’s case, God was forgiving David’s sin for conducting a census and halting a plague in Israel. He was also choosing the place where the future temple would be built. In Solomon’s case, God was consecrating that location as the place where His name would dwell forever (2 Chronicles 7:16). The people’s reaction was to worship the Lord and say, “He is good; his love endures forever” (2 Chronicles 7:3). In Elijah’s case, God was shaming the prophets of Baal, whose god sent no fire, and claiming His rightful title as Lord God of Israel. The people on Mt. Carmel “fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!’” (1 Kings 18:39).
Fire Consumes The Wicked! Fire Represents The Glory Of God! The Bible records several instances of fire falling on A number of passages focus on fire as synonymous with God's glory. At Sinai "the glory of the Lord looked the wicked as judgment: • Fire fell from heaven and destroyed Job’s flocks like a consuming fire" ( Exodus 24:17, Leviticus 9:23, (Job 1:16). Leviticus 9:24, Deut. 5:24 ). In visions of God in his • Fire in the form of burning sulfur rained from glory in both Old and New Testaments, fire is a regular the heavens and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah phenomenon. (Genesis 19:24; Luke 17:29). • Moses called down hail mixed with fire in Egypt. Fire Consumes The Sacrifice! (Exo. 9:23-24) • When Aaron's was set in as priest. • God also used fire from heaven to judge the ( Lev 9:23-24). soldiers sent by the wicked king Ahaziah to • God's acceptance of offerings of Gideon ( Judges arrest Elijah—twice, fire descended from heaven 6:19-24 ) to consume a group of fifty soldiers sent on the • The offering of the father and mother of Samson king’s business (2 Kings 1:10, 12). ( Judges 13:15-20 ). • In the rebellion of Korah and his followers many • David's offered on the threshing floor of Araunah of them perishing by fire, a manifestation of the Jebusite (1 Chronicles 21:26). God's hot anger ( Num. 16:35; 26:10; Lev. 10:2). • The dedication of the King Solomon's temple • And, at the end of the millennium, God promises (2 Chronicles 7:1) that He will destroy the armies of Gog and • Also fire came down and consumed the sacrifice Magog with fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). when Elijah prayed: "Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.” I Kings 18:37-39
Interestingly, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, two of His disciples, James and John (rightly called the “sons of thunder”-Mark 3:17), wanted to call down fire from heaven in judgment of a Samaritan village that did not welcome the Lord. James and John wanted what they thought was justice, but their idea went against God’s plan of mercy. God’s justice will come, but in His time, not ours.
God is Fire- His Nature of Justice Counterfeit Fire • Aaron's sons Abihu and Nadab were killed because they offered “Strange fire” (foreign or profane) on the alter rather than the prescribed method that God had told them. (Lev. 10) • Korah and 250 men contended with Moses about the authority of the Levites They thought they had the same right as the priests to carry the fire in the censors but they were consumed by fire; their censers are taken away, destroyed, and symbolically refashioned. • In the end-times tribulation, the false prophet will cause fire to come down from heaven as a means of deceiving people into worshiping the Antichrist (Revelation 13:13).
“For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire.” Isaiah 66:15 The Prophets Likened Judgement To Fire! David said:"How long will your wrath burn like fire?" ( Psalm 89:46 ) Isaiah sees him "coming with fire" and bringing down his rebuke "with flames of fire" (66:15). Jeremiah says in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem that Yahweh "poured out his wrath like fire" ( Lam 2:4 ). Ezekiel uses the term "fiery anger" to speak of God's out-poured judgment, especially when speaking of the impending Babylonian conquest ( 21:31 ; 22:31 ). This is also the language by which he describes the overthrow of Gog in the end times. In his "zeal and fiery wrath" he will bring about massive calamity ( 38:19 ).
Fire: The Final Judgment • Most commonly, fire is associated with the judgment of hell ( Matt 3:10-12 ; 5:22 ; 18:8-9; Mark 9:43 Mark 9:48 ; Luke 3:17 ; 16:24 ; James 3:6 ; Jude 7 ; Rev 20:14-15, Rev. 21:8) • The destruction of the old heavens and earth in preparation for the new ( 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Peter 3:12 ).
Fire , The Nature Of Trials And Tribulation! The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3) is a great example of trial by fire. They trusted God and God spared them. He burned away their rope bindings yet they came out with out even the smell of smoke on them and Jesus was the fourth man in the fiery furnace. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
“Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.” 1 Cor. 3:13 “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7 God is Love and mercy to those who seek him and his righteousness but to the wicked and unrepentent He is justice and judgement y fire!
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:18
My House, a House of Prayer
My House, a House of Prayer? “My House shall be called a house of Prayer” (Isaiah 56:7)
the Acts 2 experience without the Acts 1 prayers. They want the signs and wonders; the tongues and miracles but dont want to seek, inquire and wait upon God. Ten days of prayer brought them to the point of unity (They were in one accord). Then they were ready to recieve the power of God! We may not be unified in doctrine or teaching. We may not get along with everyone in our fellowship. We may have diferent liturgies and traditions, but the one thing we can be unified in is prayer.
“And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.“ (Matt. 21:13)
When Jesus turned the tables of the temple he accused them of being a a den of thieves rather than being a House of Prayer. He was doing more than quoting Isaaih, he was saying that the temple wasn’t just a place of sacifice but it was meant to be a place of corporate communion with God. A People of Prayer and Praise Daniel prayed 3 times a day on his knees (Daniel 6:10) Psalms says David prayed 3 times a day; evening, morning and noon. Psalm 55:11. Psalm 119:164- says David praised God 7 times a day. The Jews traditionally fixed three times a day for prayer: • The Third Hour, (9am) morning prayer - (this is about when the holy Spirit fell in the Upper room (Acts 2:15)- [This was also the time of the morning sacrifice!] • The Sixth Hour, (12am Noon)- Mid-day prayer -(Judgement of Jesus by Pilate (Behold your king) • The Ninth hour, Evening Prayer (3pm), [Time of the Evening Sacrifice.] Peter and John went down to the temple at the “hour of Prayer” (the ninth hour3pm) when they encountered the lame man.
Difficulty of Prayer Jesus asked his disciples to pray with him for ONE HOUR in the Garden of Gethsemene but they kept falling asleep! I met with an intercessory group for eight years. We weekly invited the church to meet with us one day a week and pray for us for one hour and out of a church of 200 we averaged about seven people a night each week. We use to joke that you can get alot of people to come out for a bible study and everyone to come out for a pot luck dinner but hardly anyone would come out to a prayer meeting! Prayer is so essential to the life of a church but sadly Church is no longer much of a house of prayer! The saints of old met three times a day but we can not pray for one hour a week. The Bible’s’ Call To Prayer • “Ye have not because you ask not” (James 4:2)
Prayer and the early Church The early church made prayer a vital part of its meetings: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” Acts 2:42-43-
Church history confirms that according to Clement in the 2nd century many in Alexandria were observing the same three hours of prayer. The Didach, (60 ad )- the oldest known liturgical manual for Christians, recommended disciples to pray the Lord's Prayer three times a day. After the ascension the disciples went back to Jerusalem to the upper room and prayed for 10 days until the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Many want
“Whatsoever you ask I my name.” (John 14:13)
Ask, seek and Find and you will receive” (Luke 11:9)
“Call on me and I will show you great and mighty things, which you know not of.” (Jer. 33:3)
In these last days, it is time to seek Him and make again His house a House of Prayer!
BIOGRAPHY - Phoebe Palmer
Phoebe Palmer ~ (December 18, 1807 – November 2, 1874) Phoebe Palmer was a 19th-century female Methodist evangelist associated with the holiness movement. She is considered one of the founders of the Holiness movement in America. Palmer was born Phoebe Worrall in New York City. Her father Henry was a devout Methodist who had experienced a religious conversion during the Wesleyan Revival in England before immigrating to the United States. Their parents were active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City. They instilled in their children strict Methodist values and they conducted twice-daily in-house family worship services. For the century after John Wesley founded Methodism, conversion meant emotion, an intense religious experience lasting moments or days. It established one's salvation and was considered the absolute prerequisite of Christian perfection, or "entire sanctification." But still she had not experienced the "powerful conversion" (as she put it) as had her Methodist friends and family. Her first decade of marriage to Methodist physician Walter Palmer didn't help. Their marriage was strong, but she lost three of her four children. Phoebe was convinced God was punishing her for not totally devoting herself to him: "Surely I needed it, or it would not have been given," she wrote. "Though painfully learned, yet I trust the lesson has been fully apprehended." They developed a particular interest in Wesley’s doctrine of Christian perfection, which is the belief that a Christian can live a life free of serious sin. At some point in the year 1837 Phoebe Palmer experienced what she called “entire sanctification.” She didn't need "joyous emotion" to believe—belief itself was grounds for assurance. Reading Jesus' words that "the altar sanctifies the gift," she believed that God would make her holy if she "laid her all upon the altar." She identified entire sanctification with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She linked holiness with power and taught that entire sanctification is the beginning rather than the ultimate goal of Christian life. To a greater
extent than Wesley, Palmer believed that the "second blessing" could be instantaneously acquired. Through her "altar theology" she simplified the achievement of sanctification to a three-step process of entire consecration, faith, and testimony. She taught that one needed no evidence other than Biblical text to be assured of entire sanctification. "I now see that the error of my religious life has been a desire for signs and wonders," she wrote. "Like Naaman, I have wanted some great thing, unwilling to rely unwaveringly on the still small voice of the Spirit, speaking through the naked Word." Her family experienced this "sanctification" soon thereafter. They felt that they should teach others about that experience and teach them how to have it for themselves. In 1835 Palmer’s sister, Sarah Lankford, began having weekly prayer meetings or “class meetings” with Methodist women. Class meetings, started by John Wesley in 1742. In the American version of the class meeting each member was assigned to a class and was placed under the direct supervision of a class leader. Weekly, when the class met, each member was called upon to stand up and talk of his experience. Two years later, Phoebe Palmer became the leader of the meetings, which were referred to as the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness. The meetings were held in the Palmer’s home. Beginning in 1839, men were allowed to attend the meetings. Among the men were Methodist bishops, theologians, and ministers. Eventually, word of these successful prayer meetings inspired similar gatherings around the country, bringing Christians of many denominations together to pray. Phoebe soon found herself in the limelight—the most influential woman in the largest, fastest-growing religious group in America. At her instigation, missions began, camp meetings evangelized, and an estimated 25,000 Americans converted. This renewed interest in Holiness eventually influenced the Methodist Church nationwide. She wrote several books, including The Way of
BIOGRAPHY - Phoebe Palmer Holiness, which was a foundational book in the Holiness to Holiness in 1864. It had been started by Timothy movement. In her book, The Promise of the Father, Merritt to promote the doctrine of Christian perfection. Palmer defended the idea of women in Christian ministry. Phoebe Palmer edited the magazine from that time until From the northeastern United States the movement her death. Though she considered herself simply a "Bible spread. She and her husband visited other regions, then Christian" who Canada in 1857, took Scripture with and then the United “Earnest prayers, long fasting, and burning tears absolute seriousness, Kingdom in 1859. may seem befitting, but cannot move the heart her theology is her They stayed in the of infinite love to a greater willingness to save.” legacy. Considered United Kingdom the link between for several years. Wesleyan revivalism Phoebe Palmer's own expanding activities included "protracted meetings" and modern Pentecostalism, her "altar covenant" gave The protracted meeting was a well established rise to denominations like The Church of the Nazarene, practice in Methodism by Palmer's time. These had The Salvation Army, The Church of God, and The been introduced by revivalist Charles G. Finney. The Pentecostal-Holiness Church. protracted meeting did everything the camp meeting was supposed to do except the atmosphere was more BOOKS: "urbanized." It was at these protracted meetings that Palmer came closest to "preaching", although she did • The Way of Holiness (1843), not admit to it being "preaching, technically so called." • Entire Devotion to God (1845), She was a concise and articulate speaker. By 1866, • Faith and its Effects (1848), Phoebe was a "well-polished " public speaker. • The Promise of the Father (1859) She herself would often preach, "Earnest prayers, long fasting, and burning tears may seem befitting, but cannot move the heart of infinite love to a greater At age 11, she inscribed a willingness to save. God's time is now. The question is poem on the flyleaf of her Bible: not, What have I been? or What do I expect to be? But, Am I now trusting in Jesus to save to the uttermost? If so, I am now saved from all sin." She combined constant personal testimony with "exhortations" to believers to lay hold upon the promised blessing by simple faith Palmer was also deeply concerned about social This revelation—holy, just, and true ills. She was an ardent supporter of the temperance Though oft I read, it seems forever new; movement and one of the founding directors of America's first inner-city mission—New York's Five While light from heaven upon its pages rest, Points Mission. I feel its power, and with it I am blessed. A prominent religious woman in such an age was met with suspicion. Actually, she agreed with critics Henceforth, I take thee as my future guide, that it was not right for women to engage in "women Let naught from thee my youthful heart divide preaching, technically so called." But, she added, "it is . in the order of God that women may occasionally be And then, if late or early death be mine, brought out of the ordinary sphere of action and occupy All will be well, since I, O Lord, am Thine! in either church or state positions of high responsibility." Such an example inspired other women, like the Salvation Army's Catherine Booth and the Women's Christian Temperance Union's Frances Willard. The Palmers bought a monthly magazine entitled The Guide
God’s City - The New Jerusalem
ost people think that the New Jerusalem is just another name for Heaven. This is false. The New Jerusalem is an actual city that will come down from heaven during the thousand year reign of Christ or when he creates a New Earth afterwards. The city of New Jerusalem is a fascinating study. When settlers came to America, they often renamed cities after existing cities they had known in England. Thus there was York, England and New York in America. Same with New Jersey, New Hampshire, etc. Well Jerusalem in Israel is so precious to God that he has constructed a city in heaven to bring to earth and calls it New Jerusalem. Old Testament The Book of Ezekiel contains the first record of the New Jerusalem and the fourth Jewish temple. (Ezekiel 40-48). The problem with Ezekiel's New Jerusalem is the measurements are far smaller than the ones given in Revelations. This is more likely a description of the future temple to be built and a new walled city that is a type of the New Jerusalem in Heaven. All though Ezekiel first mentions it, Abraham knew about and looked for the city of God that later would be called by the prophets the New Jerusalem.
“...for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Heb. 11:10 Abraham knew that there was a city not built by man but by God himself.
The clue was the foundations. The Prophet Isaiah saw in vision the future City of God built in splender acompanied by peace. He too saw the foundations:
“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” Isaiah 54:11-14 New Testament The term New Jerusalem occurs twice in the New Testament, in verses Rev 3:12 and Rev 21:2 but is referred to in many other places: • Galatians 4:26- talks about the Jerusalem that is above • Heb.12:22–24–It is called Heavenly Jerusalem • Heb. 13:14 – It is called “the city that is to come” Some believe that the New Jerusalem will come down during the millennium reign of Christ while other believe the New Jerusalem will come down after the New Heavens and Earth are made. There is good scriptural argument for either view but probably the latter is most likely. But the book of Revelation calls this
city the New Jerusalem and gives us a greater picture of this great city:
“The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.” Rev 3:12 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev 21:1-4 Apocrypha Although the book of Esdras is not in our protestant canon it was widely used by the early church and many of the Church Fathers In 2 Esdras 10, there is a vision of a woman who turns into a city. It speaks of a Woman who had a son who died
God’s City - The New Jerusalem entering his wedding chamber. (Jesus -the Messiah!) She mourned for her son but an angel tells her “For if you acknowledge the decree of God to be just, you will receive your son back in due time.”(resurrection!) In the Vision Esdra says: “When I looked up, the woman was no longer visible to me, but a city was being built,[ and a place of huge foundations showed itself.” An angel tells him that the woman that turned into a city is Zion. Zion has always been Jerusalem. The angel says to Esdra: Therefore I told you to go into the field where there was no foundation of any building, because no work of human construction could endure in a place where the city of the Most High was to be revealed. “Therefore do not be afraid, and do not let your heart be terrified; but go in and see the splendor or the vastness of the building, as far as it is possible for your eyes to see it.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls The Dead Sea scrolls contain a New Jerusalem tradition that focus specifically on the twelve city gates, The gates of Simeon, Joseph, and Reuben are mentioned in this partial fragment. The New Jerusalem’s twelve gates signify the reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel. We do not have enough scroll fragments to completely analyze their New Jerusalem picture. Their vision of the New Jerusalem looked for the reunification of the twelve tribes around an eschatological Temple. The Splendor of the City John's elaborate description of the New Jerusalem show many features of the Garden of Eden with a river of life that flows down the middle of the great street of the city from the Throne of God. The tree of life grows on either side of the river. The tree bears twelve kinds of fruit and yields its fruit every month. According to John, “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
The New Jerusalem is "pure gold, like clear glass" and its "brilliance is like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper." The street of the city is also made of "pure gold, like transparent glass". The base of the city is laid out in a square and surrounded by a wall made of jasper. It says in Revelation 21:16 that the height, length, and width are of equal dimensions - as it was with the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and subsequent Jewish temples.
half the width of the United states. This is roughly equal to 1.9 million square miles. If rested on the Earth, its ceiling would be inside the upper boundary of the exosphere but outside the lower boundary. Clearly Israel could not hold this city without drastic geophysical changes. Most likely it would take a new earth with no sea for this city built in heaven to come down to earth and fit.
The Structure of the City The Wall is 72 yards thick. There are twelve gates in the four walls, three each on the east, north, south, and west sides. There is an angel at each gate. These gates are each made of a single pearl, The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on these gates. The city has twelve foundation stones, and on these are written the names of the Twelve Apostles. Each of the twelve tribes has long been associated with a certain type of precious stone. These historical connections go back to the time of Temple worship, when the same kinds of stones were set in the golden Breastplate of the Ephod worn by the priests. The names of each of the twelve tribes of Israel were inscribed on each stone. The Vastness of the City The city of New Jerusalem is huge! In Rev. 21:16, the angel measures the city with a golden rod or reed, and records it as 12,000 stadia by 12,000 stadia at the base, and 12,000 stadia high. A stadion is usually 185 meters, or 607 feet, so the base has dimensions of about 2220 km by 2220 km, or 1380 miles by 1380 miles, nearly
Size of base of New Jerusalem
The Presence of God There is no temple building in the New Jerusalem. God and the Lamb are the city’s temple, since they are worshiped everywhere. God presence will fill the city as this is the place where He will dwell with man forever! John states that the New Jerusalem will be free of sin. Night will no longer fall, and the inhabitants of the city will “have need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.” John ends his account of the New Jerusalem by stressing its eternal nature: “And they shall reign forever and ever.” We too like Abraham should be looking for a city: “...whose architect and builder is God.”
Poem - Cup of Life
The Cup Of Life by Jerry Wall
Drink from the cup of life, A tiny taste will do! A child need not worry, For there is much for you!
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Drink from the cup of life, Though its half way through. Sip and salivate the taste as life seems long and full!
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Drink from the cup of life, A quarter yet remains. Forget about the loss And focus on the gains!
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Janu ar y /Febr u ar y 2 0 1 8
24 page Christian e-magazine