Summer 2017 Newsletter – AOMMinistries – Israel!

Hello everyone,

Thank you for making this trip possible!

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Garden of Gethesmane, Mount of Olives, Israel!

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Wow! Where to start? After an incredibly action packed year in seminary at Oral Roberts University, God made a way for us to come to Israel! While it did not happen the way I thought it should, we are here, in the land, a dream of 20 years, unfolding. From the flight through Amsterdam, to our first sight of the nation, it has been an incredible walk of faith, as we literally explore the places where the Bible has been written! Our faith turns to sight….

Amsterdam fam

Amsterdam Hulk

Amsterdam clock guy

We had fun in the several hour layover in Amsterdan. Check out this pic behind me. There is this guy inside this clock, who literally paints the minutes on as they tick by, then erases them, and paints the next minute and hour hand on the clock. Phew! What a day!

Israel first view

Finally, we had our first glimpse of the land!
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We landed in Tel Aviv, to discover we had no place to stay! We took a taxi to the hostel we had booked, and no one ever would answer reception to check us in! So the taxi driver took us to another place, that graciously gave us a room for the night:
Haykaron 48

This place is close to the beach, and despite the jelly fish stinging us multiple times, we braved the ocean, and had a blast.

Tel Aviv Jelly Fish

Yet, we quickly learned not everyone in Israel are living holy lives. The next night was some kind of a city wide pub crawl, where the streets filled up with partyers, so we hopped the bus to Jerusalem, and arrived there at 10PM with no money left, and no place to stay.

Yet, thank God for Facebook, and the IDF! My Jewish landlord in Tulsa had told me that if I was ever in trouble in Israel, to find a soldier, and we did.

IDF soldier help

This warrior, had a cool app on his phone that booked us into a hostel, and showed us how to get our luggage from the bus to a cab, while people donated on-line, and made the whole thing possible.

Suddenly, we found ourselves in Old Jerusalem, at 10 at night, on still crowded streets, in the Muslim section of town, and we had no idea how to find the hostel. Clackety, clackety, clack sounded the wheels of our suitcases on the cobblestone alleyways, and we were not comfortable!

Yet, God has people, and these two Jewish men who spoke English, escorted us more than a mile to Hebron hostel, owned by a Palestinian family.

Jerusalem helpers

Jerusalem helpers1

From here, the adventure began!
Each day, we had to fervently pray, for money to pay the next night, and buy food for the day. For those of us used to Oklahoma prices, Jerusalem is ‘sticker shock’. Expensive!

Hostels from $150/night, hotels $250, simple groceries for a meal, $60-70, and we had no money! Each day, God would provide, and the hostel did serve supper!
Hebron Hostel

Hebron roof

Really neat environment of international travellers and students, all in Jerusalem searching for something. Had some very animated discussions about the differences between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, where I was able to clear share the gospel of Jesus, and why I believed in Him.
That Friday we attended Shabbat at Western Wall!

Western Wall family

Western wall view

Shabbat Western Wall

We explored Jerusalem, and saw many things:

Garden Tomb0

The Garden Tomb was a powerful experience!
Garden Tomb family

Garden Tomb

Then there was the day we climbed the mount of Olives, where Jesus literally ascended from the earth with 500 eyewitnesses (Acts 1:

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come backin the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk[c] from the city.

Mount of Olives0

This is the very spot where Jesus ascended into heaven after rising from the dead, and where He will come again, to walk through the Eastern gate of Jerusalem! It is here that He prayed in Gethesemane, and at the base where Stephen was martyred. From here, He gave the disciples the Lord’s prayer, and from here that He wept over Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it)

Mount of Olives

Stephen the martyr

Stephen death

Here at Stephens death place, I found myself weeping as Holy Spirit still bears witness to his death!

Gethesmane Christ

This is where I spent Canada Day, July 1st, praying for Canada.

Before we left, we had gone to see Wonder Woman, and learned that the actress is a former IDF soldier.
Keila wonder woman

While we have been here, we have met many, many warrior women, real life wonder women of the IDF!

Keila soldier

Here are a few pics of Jerusalem:
Festival of Lights

They were doing a ‘Festival of Lights’ last week and we had fun toddling around at night:

Festival of Lights1

Festival of Lights3

Got to attend a great church Sunday, King of Kings in the New part of the City. Amazingly, three guys I’d shared Jesus with at the hostel, met us there at service!
King of Kings

One night, we ran out of money completly and were evicted from the hostel, with no place to go.

Scary, with no one to call, a long way from home:
Homeless

At 2AM, someone Paypaled us $200, and these two Hebrew youth got on their cell phones and demanded a hotel take us in! I asked them why they would do this, and the boy said, ‘You have white hair! It is impossible that a man with white hair spend the night on the streets of Jerusalem!’hotel City

The manager gave us 2 nights at a greatly reduced rate, if I would give him a good review! Easy! Great hotel, wonderful people, little kitchen so we could cook pancakes for breakfast!

I’m out of time for today, but here are a couple pics:
Atul

Atul from King of Kings Church helping us navigate insanity!
Davids Tower

grapes

Holy Seplechur Jedi

Holy Seplechur

This is the Holy Seplucher where historians say Jesus actually was crucified.

Will post more tomorrow! Thank you for making this trip of a lifetime possible! Tonight, we are invited to Bethany, to a rabbi’s house for Shabbat dinner with his family.

Please continue to pray for us, we still have to survive until the 21st, and it is a radical walk of faith!

 

 

This year Jerusalem!

Hi WordPress world, long time no post. Why? It has been a season of very, very busy work and school, and I opted for sleep instead of blogging.

This year Jerusalem

Yet, if you know me and my family, we are missionaries, and people of faith.

This Tuesday, we fly from Tulsa, OK, to Tel Aviv, Israel, for the first time.

For over 20 years, we have prayed for Israel, and loved the nation, for it is the birthplace of the Word of God, Jesus, and God’s country, truly the Holy land.

This year, God has made a way for us to actually set foot in the land, fulfilling a life long dream for our family.

We do have our passports and airfare fully paid, but not nearly enough to pay for accommodations and food for the five weeks we are there.

Therein is faith, radically trusting God to provide for our family as we go..

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I guess if we claim to trust fully in God, and our hearts scream: “Go to Israel’ we are going…

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Please pray for us, and if you are able to help us financially with this trip, the need is urgent, for I will be travelling with my two children.

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Thanks family!

Keep Smiling!

 

Jesus is Lord!

 

Chris, Karen, Keila and Jedidiah Walsh

We are here! Radically trusting Jesus daily!

 

Chris Keila Jedi PEIfamily pic

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

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Dangerous Love! by Ed Elliot

30 Dangerous things that can happen to a person who focuses too much on God’s love for them.

love-never-fails1

Recently, I have seen warnings from ministers to “beware” of focusing too much on God’s love. They seem to believe it is a dangerous thing to have too much information, knowledge or experience about God’s love. My question to them is, “what possible danger is there in knowing and experiencing too much of God’s love?”

I came up with a list of 30 possible dangers that could happen if you focus too much on God’s love for you. I could have easily come up with a few hundred more but here are some that I believe to be the most dangerous.

1. They will speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15
2. Their faith will work because faith works by love. Galatians 5:6
3. They will know God because He is love. 1 John 4:8
4. They will accurately communicate the gospel because the gospel is a revelation of God’s love for man. Ephesians 3:18-19
5. They will walk in love. Ephesians 5:2
6. They will have a better understanding of the scriptures because they were written by God who was motivated by love. John 3:16
7. They will evangelize because love is the motive to reach a lost world. John 13:34
8. They will have far more confidence in God because they believe in the love He has for them. Romans 8:35-39
9. People who fall in love with God, fall out of love with sin. 2 Corinthians 5:14
10. In loving others, they are actually loving and knowing God. 1 John 4:7-8
11. They will repent quicker because they know God’s goodness for them. Romans 2:4
12. They will know that nothing can ever separate them from God. Romans 8:38-39
13. They will overcome every obstacle and situation because they are convinced God loves them. Romans 8:37
14. They will reflect perfectly and accurately their true nature and God’s character because He is love. Ephesians 5:1
15. They will always know how to treat people, even their enemies. Luke 6:27-28
16. They will have a love, an insatiable appetite, for God’s word. 1 John 2:5
17. They will model what it is like to be loved by God in the same way Jesus did. John 15:9
18. The world will know they belong to Jesus because of their love for one another.
John 13:35
19. Wives will be extravagantly loved because their husbands will love them as Christ loved the church. Ephesians 5:25
20. They will never fail because love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8
21. They will know the heart of God because it is full of compassion and mercy.
Psalm 145:8-9
22. They will be extravagantly generous because love is giving by nature. John 3:16
23. They will be free from fear because perfect love drives out all fear. 1 John 4:18
24. They will fulfill every expectation that God has for them. Romans 13:10
25. They will never be spiritually unbalanced because they know love is greater than faith and hope. 1 Corinthians 13:13
26. They will never lose their faith because their heart is grounded and rooted in God’s love for them. Ephesians 3:17-21
27. They will always know that God will do exceedingly and abundantly for them beyond anything they could ask, imagine or think. Ephesians 3:20
28. They will always know the truth and live in freedom. John 14:6
29. What comes out of their mouth will always be laced with grace. Colossians 4:6
30. They will be spiritually mature. Ephesians 4:15

No where in the entire Bible does Jesus, Paul or the other apostles ever warn believers that focusing to much on God’s love for them can be dangerous thing.

So, I really don’t see any downside to a believer knowing or experiencing too much of God’s love. Seems like all these minister’s warnings to people to be careful about being exposed to too much of God’s love need a healthy dose of knowing and experiencing God’s love for themselves.

By the way, this list of 30 dangerous things that could happen if you focus too much on God’s love for you, isn’t dangerous to you but it is very dangerous to the devil who knows the impact and transformation that happens when a believer focuses on God’s love for them!

By Ed Elliot https://www.facebook.com/wordoflifeworldoutreach/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/02/27/do-you-want-to-go-to-heaven/

Judge Not? Judging like Jesus..

Judging like Jesus!

Fond

Been meditating on the concept of how Jesus judges. Watched the movie, ‘The Shack’ recently, and it got me to thinking. I remember one scene in the movie, where God the Father (appearing as a wonderful black woman) was asked “Why don’t you judge them?”

With raised eyebrows she said: “Judge?”

The overwhelming theme of the movie is how incredibly complex human lives are, and how far God will go in love to reach out and heal and redeem shattered people.

Clearly God is love, and hates evil, yet operates in love above and beyond all evil.

Got to thinking about some Scriptures.

Remember the woman caught in adultery?
woman caught in adultery

Let’s look at it together:

John 8:

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

stone

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

without sin

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

We see in this reading, that Jesus was called to judge in the case of the woman caught in adultery. Many have commented on His great mercy towards the woman, and the wisdom of His judgement on her behalf, standing against the corrupted judgement of the religious leaders of the day. Obviously, for adultery to have occurred, there had to be two participants, and the man was conspicuously absent from this mock trial and potential stoning.
judge righteous
Yet, Jesus was able to render true judgement in this case, and in His judgement, I believe there was grace imparted to the woman, power from God, to empower her to be able to do, what He told her to do: Go, and sin no more.

Yet, today as I meditated upon the Word, seeking the will of our Father for my life, I see something here that I suspected for many times, and that is the relationship between personal holiness and purity of heart, and the power of God displayed.
be-holy

Normally, judgement is rendered out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. The question logically might be: How do we know if the witnesses are telling the truth? Secondly, what do we do if the society has become so corrupt, that no honest witnesses can be found?
two-or-three-witnesses

Jesus heart was revealed in His relationship with our Father, in this:

John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Jesus walk with our Father, was from birth to the cross, in absolute purity, and sinless perfection.

I believe that we are called to walk this way also.

The question is how do we get there, and how do we judge or make decisions?


What about these verses?

Matt 7:1 ¶ Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Here we see a direct commandment not to judge people.

Joh 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Joh 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
judge righteous by Holy Spirit
Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

How on earth, are we supposed to do that?

Answer? This is only possible by correctly applying the Word of God, and accurately hearing the voice of Jesus in the earth, the Holy Spirit!
obey hear voice

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

In all of these Scriptures, we see that we are forbidden to judge other people, yet what about these verses:

Joh 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Joh 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Does Jesus still have authority to judge? Surely.

Question is, as His representatives and ambassadors in the earth, how do we judge?
ambassador

1 Cor 4:1 ¶ Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

I believe there is a place in obedience to the Holy Spirit, whereby Jesus reveals to us, as leaders, His judgments and decrees in the earth, and that these must be received by direct revelation from the heart and lips of our Father in heaven.

The challenge is what to do with what He shows us?

Are we to pray, prophesy, preach, confront?

This takes wisdom, because sometimes, because He loves us, He simply shows us things, to protect or bring understanding to us, and our families.

Sometimes the best I can do in these situations, where others are set in THEIR ways to do against the revealed will of God, is to quietly walk away and remove myself from them.

I have learned to seek purity of heart and motive.

Why?

Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I, like you, need to see God, clearly, so that I might know the will of the Father. Only when I see and hear Him, can I honestly obey, with a right motive, and judge correctly. He is Lord, I am not, I am nothing but a steward over His work, His Creation. Yet, there are times, when I must stand bold against sin, sickness, demons, and the constructs of the agendas of men and their worldly agendas.

Our job is always to endeavor to obey Him, no matter what!
obey no compromise

2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

As we obey, we will see more and more power of God manifest in the earth:

Ac 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

As a witness, I need to see something: either His plan, purpose, presence or revealed will in a situation, or perhaps to an event that He performed, a sign, wonder, miracle, that I can testify about. When I witness the Holy Spirit bears witness, and He graciously shows up in my life, as I obey Him!

This, and this alone allows me to judge situations, people, and even governments!

When this happens, I can take His authority, and war for His will in the earth, declaring His decrees and watching as He establishes these in power, as I believe His Word!

You can too!

Let’s Pray:

“Father, I believe that all judgement still belongs to Jesus. He is Lord, and I am His. Jesus, show me your will for my life, my family, my church, my community, my state, and my country. In every area these are not in alignment with your will and your Word, anoint me to arise in violent faith, and to blast every enemy, and to establish your kingdom through your Word declared. Thank you for signs, wonders and miracles establishing your Word in the earth. Amen’

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Seven Rules for a Healthy Marriage

Here’s a marriage and family counseling session:

spouse not Jesus

  1. Seek Jesus first, every day. Do a yearly Bible reading plan. Put Him only above your spouse. Except the Lord build our house and family, all our work is meaningless.
    obey seek first
  2. spouse love

    Love your spouse, and deliberately stay in love. Let no child, work situation, or church situation get between you two. Marriage, your one flesh covenant before God, takes precedence over everything else.
    spouse love children

  3. Love your children. Teach them right from wrong. Discover their gifts, and ‘the way they should go’, and get them help and teaching in their gifting s. Teach them to honor the other the parent, and to obey Jesus, and parents. If your spouse is doing wrong, or asking the children to sin against the Lord, stand with Jesus, in love, prayerfully seeking Him to instruct and correct the offending person, while you walk in honor. Children must be taught to obey their parents, first time, always, and if discipline is needed, then both parents should support each other in it. Never allow a child to play one parent against the other. Never use children as a pawn in conflict with each other, nor poison them against your spouse, even if you are divorced.
    Go to church love God
  4. Go to church. If you have to check out 50 of them until you find the one that is right for your family, attending a different one every weekend, find a church home, and get planted there. Pay your tithes, support missions, and love the poor. https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/
    God at Work
  5. Work, and grow in your education. The best gift you can give this life, is a better you. Work, contribute, increase, and continue to study, apply, and grow in your gift and vocation. Do not settle nor compromise, but press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    healthy life
  6. Eat healthy, and get or stay in shape.
    For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God‘s.

    Most health problems can be eliminated by enough sleep, clean water, healthy food, and decent vitamins and supplements.
    col-joy

  7. Have fun! Laugh a lot! I laugh most at myself and the stupid mistakes I make, and have learned to forgive quickly, and ask God’s forgiveness just as quickly. One third of of the kingdom of God is JOY. It is difficult victoriously serving the Lord, but joyful. Learn to laugh at adversity, and to pray and receive grace as you go, but GO you must…It is His command, not His suggestion.
    go_t1345056048
    If you need prayer: https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Systematic Theology Paper

Final Synthesis Paper

 

A Paper

Submitted To:

Dr. Hart

Graduate School of Theology and Ministry

At Oral Roberts University

In Partial Fulfillment of

The Requirements for the Course GTHE 561,

Systematic Theology II

By

Christopher B Walsh

April 26th, 2017

 

1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

Here we read of the mighty apostle Paul, near the end of his earthly ministry, refer to himself as the chief of all sinners.

From1 Corinthians 15:9, “I am the least of the apostles…,” to Ephesians 3:8, “I am the least of all the saints…” we see the progression in the apostle Paul’s life, as he is getting closer to the end of his earthly journey, beholding the glory of the risen Savior:

“It’s not so much that Paul wants to draw attention to himself as the “chief” sinner although I am sure he was not speaking hyperbolically here.  Rather, he wants to cast a greater light on Christ and show us the magnificence of Christ, His love, mercy and grace towards sinners!  Paul is calling us all to cast our eyes upon Christ and marvel at Him and the greatness of His saving grace.  As Paul is evaluating his own spiritual standing (i.e. in relation to the grace and glory of God in Christ) he cannot help but see himself as the “chief” sinner.”[1]

I believe this quote sums up the gospel!

Despite all the revelation given to the apostle Paul in writing much of the New Testament, I believe He sees the glory and heart of Jesus – the primary truth of the Word of God – we are all sinners, who need a Savior.

Truly it is written: Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

We are all touched by the traducianistic nature of the fall of the original couple in the garden – we have inherited not only the combined natural DNA of our parents, but also the fallen nature of all humanity – original sin.

From the taste of the forbidden fruit, came an avalanche of the effects of this insidious fallen nature manifested: from Cain murdering his brother, to Lamech taking vengeance upon his enemies, until God Himself can take it no more.

We read in Gen 6: 5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

So we read the account of Noah, saved through the flood, a beautiful picture of Christ, the only Savior of the world.
Why then does a person need to be saved or more importantly: why do I need to be saved?
It’s the eternal ancient story being worked out again, in this, my generation.

The Bible declares:

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

This insidious sin nature then, is not just “out there”, so to speak, rather “in here”, as we look in the mirror to discover the greatest enemy of ourselves, to be staring back at us. Each of us must confront our own fallen nature, and agree with God. It is I that has sinned, it is I who must be forgiven, and it is I who am need of a Savior.

So is this Savior?

He is God the Son, The second person of the Trinity!

Who is this Jesus?

Theologians have argued His nature, but the following creed was adopted was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451

Chalcedon Definition,

The Chalcedonian Definition (also called the Chalcedonian Creed) Following, then, the holy Fathers, we all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us One and the same Son, the Self-same Perfect in Godhead, the Self-same Perfect in Manhood; truly God and truly Man; the Self-same of a rational soul and body; co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead, the Self-same co-essential with us according to the Manhood; like us in all things, sin apart; before the ages begotten of the Father as to the Godhead, but in the last days, the Self-same, for us and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to the Manhood; One and the Same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten; acknowledged in Two Natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the difference of the Natures being in no way removed because of the Union, but rather the properties of each Nature being preserved, and (both) concurring into One Person and One Hypostasis; not as though He were parted or divided into Two Persons, but One and the Self-same Son and Only-begotten God, Word, Lord, Jesus Christ; even as from the beginning the prophets have taught concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself hath taught us, and as the Symbol of the Fathers hath handed down to us[2]

This is the officially accepted doctrine of the Christian church, but it has not been accepted without controversy. There have been six main heresies:

Ebionism states that Jesus is not God

Arianism – states that Jesus was not fully God

Docetism states that Jesus is not human

Apollinarianism states that Jesus is not fully human.

Nestorianism states that Jesus was two distinct persons

Eutychianism – Jesus has one blended nature.

While each of these positions has extensive reasoning’s of man behind them, they have been fully refuted by the person of Jesus, for has not He Himself declared for all eternity that I AM, the way, the TRUTH, and the life. All lies and deception fall crushed beneath the power of His glory, for He is the God of absolute TRUTH and holiness!

It is written: Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

As we seek to obey this command, we quickly find others who have gone before us in the journey, great theologians and academics that have contributed much to Christian thought and understanding.

Dr. Hart brilliantly and succinctly introduces three of these as we consider the questions:

What is salvation, or more importantly, what is redemption?

We discover three main theologies of redemption.

These are:

Gustav Aulen – The Ransom theory – Jesus is our Victory! “The note of triumph sounds like a trumpet call through the teachings of the early church”

Anselm – Satisfaction theory, the justice of God is fully satisfied in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

Abelard – The Moral Influence theory: It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance, that because God is love, we should automatically want to receive Jesus and serve Him.[3]

As great of each of these theories and lines of reasoning are, none of them is complete enough in and of itself to incorporate the whole gospel, rather each contributes to our understanding of redemption, and it is the study of all three of these combined that gives a more complete understanding of the miracle of redemption.

As I look at the spiritual landscape here in yea even Tulsa, Oklahoma, I see there is ‘nothing new under the sun’

Could the victorious teachings of Aulen, be the heart of the great Victory Christian Center with its far flung mission’s movement and over 1600 International Bible Schools in over 100 nations?

Could the teachings of Anselm be reflected in the Baptist and Holiness churches that teach believers the power of the cross and in living a crucified life?

Could the teachings of Abelard, be the heart of God reflected in ‘the grace movement’ focusing on the love of God, and our identity in Christ that should cause us to desire Him, His holiness, and a life free from sin?
Well then, if we need salvation, and have received redemption through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus, by what means do we receive this great gift?

By Faith!

Faith, – “pistis” What we believe, is the noun.

“Pisteo”, this is the verb, for faith without works is dead.

As a Rhema graduate taught at the feet of Kenneth E. Hagin, one would be tempted to believe that faith is the only topic in the Bible.  Obviously, this is not the full counsel of God.  Yet in light of eternity, faith is the most important for Ephesians 2:8 states: For by grace you are saved, through faith.  Yet faith works by love Galatians 5:6 and it is the love of God that made salvation available.  The text brilliantly makes this distinction between the noun and the verb.  So faith is both the belief and then the action upon the belief.  Since faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and the Bible says that everything we need for life and godliness has been given to us by these exceeding great and precious promises, so then faith: that is formally developing belief systems in others, must be the heart of every true ministry.  Families need divine order.  So ministers must preach on God’s covenant of marriage, the roles and responsibilities of wives and husbands in the home, the duty of children to honor and obey their parents.  And as these words are preached and people believe and act upon them, God brings great grace, power, and love from Heaven into the lives of those that do them.  This principle is true of every area of life and godliness.  Answers for all of life’s questions can be found in the Word of God believed and acted upon.

The illustrious Dr. Hart expounds on this by both teaching the Scriptures and quoting many, many theologians.  I love his quote “clearly then, faith (pistis), the noun and believing (pisteo) the verb are central to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. [4]

 

Clearly faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus will cause one to call on the Name of the Lord and be saved.  But the road to the cross must continue past the resurrection to Pentecost and the mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus gave the promise of the Holy Spirit, but clearly the promise had a purpose as American Baptist Scholar Howard M. Ervin stated, “The purpose of Pentecost is unmistakably world evangelism[5]” Holy Spirit prayer produces power for Christian service for each and every one of us.  Not only was prayer central to the event of Pentecost; Prophecy also played a major role.  This led to provocation as God deliberately intended that the Pentecostal experience would provoke.  We see the Holy Spirit portrayed as wind, creator, fire, the dove, and water.  He is both the personal spirit as the Paraclete and divine, but there is one work of the Holy Spirit.  We see Him displayed as paschal, purifying and Pentecostal, but Paschal. that is the direct application of Christ-saving work at Calvary is the manner at which He imparts to us eternal life.[6]

I love the way I heard gunnery sergeant USMC Gregory Gill state it while giving his testimony during the flag raising ceremony between veterans and the Navajo nation in July 2014:

“If all we got in receiving Jesus is eternal life, we have been overpaid”.

We see then a new law at work in creation, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  There must be integration between Calvary and Pentecost.  We recognize the work of the Spirit in Spirit baptism but also in leading people into true repentance.  Clearly He is the One that causes people to hear the Lord’s call through the Gospel.  We understand that in Christ we have been grafted into the faith of our father Abraham and that Jesus is the ultimate faith teacher.  Faith alone will move the hand of God and cause us to change as our born-again nature works in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure.  It is the cross that reconciles, the Holy Spirit that empowers, and faith that sanctifies, as we embrace the spirit disciplines as the means for sanctification.  We discover that we have been adopted, chosen, into the royal family of Heaven.  And so Dr. Hart discusses the age-old controversy between Calvinism and Armenianism to reveal the straight and narrow way that Jesus Himself promised.

 

Hope for a despairing world

Even the great Sir Winston Churchill looked to Billy Graham for the precious gift of hope.  For hope is a Christian virtue from the pages of Scripture to the lips of Dr. Martin Luther King we discover in the promises of God the great Christian hope laid out in the Scriptures.  The theology of hope may have had its origins in Germany.[7]

Is not Eschatology simply the theology of hope?  “Forward looking and forward moving and therefore revolutionizing and transforming the present.”[8] We see Christian hope in history for “Jews and Christians believe that God has revealed Himself redemptively in history.”[9]  Just as the Jew looks to the historical Exodus account, we look to the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So we find hope in our personal mission “the ultimate meaning of history between the ascension of our Lord and His return in glory is found in the extension and working of the Gospel in the world.[10]  Hope also produces assurance (Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ).  Paul was confident for he knew God would complete His good work.  We too can have this assurance, the hope of our salvation.  Christian hope will produce a joy-filled lifestyle.  We can face death squarely as Christians knowing our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life in Christ Jesus!  Jesus is coming again!  We see the signs of the times.  And yet hope has us looking up not fearfully but in joyful anticipation of the second coming of Jesus.  We read about the devil, the beast, and the false prophets, and hear the myriad voices declaring the second coming and the three main positions pre-millennial, post-millennial, and millennial.  Whichever position you choose, know that even as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too shall be raised and given a glorified body.  There will be a great white throne judgment where “we will all someday face judgment before the throne.”[11]  For those of us whose names are found in the Book of Life, eternal glory waits.  To those who are not found there, there is a place of eternal torment awaiting that the Bible calls hell.  This place was prepared, not for human-kind, but for the devil and his angels, yet many will end up there in this place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.  “If Heaven is the community of the redeemed, then hell is the community of the damned.”[12]  How can a good God send people into an eternal hell?

So then we walk on our pilgrimage with eyes facing forward looking and longing for the hope of Heaven.  If we really believe in Heaven, then we must also believe in hell.  Dr. Hart shockingly states that no one in his class actually believes in hell anymore. “If we really believed in hell, we would be moved to avert as many as we could from its horror.”[13]  While we shudder to think of our eternal responsibility to share the Gospel, we must also think of the glories of Heaven.  “This is the city, the community, the family, the fellowship, the joy, the perfection, the kingdom, the commonwealth, and the paradise for which we have all been longing!”[14]

If faith is not only what we believe, but also the way that God requires us to live in this covenant, we must understand the workings of faith and faith works by love.  Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  So what is the church of our Lord Jesus Christ?  For a general definition of the New Testament church, it must include all true believers in Jesus Christ at all times and all places and also the local gatherings of God’s people.  In relation to God, we have become both the people of God and the temple of God; in relationship to Jesus, we are both the bride of Christ and the body of Christ.  In relation to the Holy Spirit, we are the fellowship (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit and the ministry (diakonia) of the Holy Spirit.  The Church takes on many forms in its historical dimension and the eschatological dimension, our corporate worship and our home fellowships.  But I am more of a practitioner.  I love Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Church where he set his congregation on a research assignment in the Scriptures to succinctly express the main purposes of the church.  He summarized these into five main purposes which are outreach, worship, fellowship, discipleship, and service.  While there are many particular denominations of the Christian faith, and most were created at a time during history to meet a need of humanity or correct an error in the current institutionalized structure.  I have become firmly non-denominational in my theology embracing the spirit of St. Augustine of Hippo, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

The primary responsibility of the church is ‘martyria’ or (witness); it is this witness that is the root of koinonia (fellowship) and diakonia (service). I agree that Dr. Hart is correct Biblically, and his discussion supports my theology, that faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Therefore, the preacher, the oracle of God, speaks the Word of God, and faith comes, not only for salvation, but for everything required for life and godliness, which of course includes fellowship and service.

So then, the church of the living God is a charismatic, spirit empowered place for both fellowship and service, where believers worship in spirit and in truth. Since God Himself inhabits the praises of His people, Holy Spirit provides heavenly witness to His people, depositing His precious gracelets among His people, His supernatural gifts.

Yet, are the ‘motivational gifts’ listed in Romans 12, any less supernatural?

In Ephesians chapter four we read of the gifts of ministry offices, five-fold ministry; my number one prayer mandate, when I seek to obey Paul’s command to pray for those in authority listed in 1Tim 2:1-5. As goes the church in a nation, so goes the government of the nation, and so I daily pray heavenly offices fully obey God, that there be flaming pulpits in every nations declaring boldly, with authority the uncompromised Word of God, with signs and wonders following, that people can hear and obey, and fully submit to the reign and rule of heaven for that nation.

This verse explains why we pray for those in authority:

1 Tim 2: 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We then baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in water. I believe there are five baptisms recorded in the New Testament, the text mentions three, but suffice to say that believers should be baptized in water, as an outward sign of being baptized into the body of Christ, and should receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Every should observe the Lord’s supper, for this sacrament is a direct commandment of the Word of God, and a wonderful celebration of God’s covenant, with us, His people.

Who did Jesus come to save? Me and You, and though we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we have been redeemed, an each given wonderful, diverse and beautiful gifts from heaven to glorify the magnificence of our Savior, God the Son, Jesus King of all kings, Lord of the universe!

[1] https://graceforeachmoment.org/2012/04/25/paul-the-chief-of-sinners/

[2] Henry Bettenson, Documents of the Christian Church, (2nd Edition; London: The Oxford University Press, 1963 pp 51-52

[3] P363-67 Truth Aflame

[4] Truth Aflame p. 417

[5] Howard M Ervin, Spirit Baptism:  A Biblical Investigation “Peabody, Mass:  Hendrickson, 1987”p. 38

Hart p.377

[6] Hart p. 388

[7] Hart p. 465

[8] Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of Christian Eschatology. trans.

James W. Leitch (London: SCM, 1967),16.

[9] Hart p. 468

[10] George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1959, 133.

[11] Hart p520.

[12] Hart p526-7.

[13] Truth Aflame p528

[14] Truth Aflame p532

Why Do Jews often prosper more than Christians?

A Paper

Presented to

Dr. Brad Young

Graduate School of Theology and Ministry

Oral Roberts University

rabbi Brad

 

 

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Course

GBIB 688 – Jewish Background of the Gospels

 

 

 

By

Chris Walsh

April 4th, 2017

 

 

Why do Jewish business people appear to prosper more financially than Christians?

This semester, (Spring 2017) I had the privilege of hearing Rabbi Pesach Wolicki from Jerusalem.

rabbi1
He spoke on many things, but the thing that he was invited to speak on was some of the things that affect Christians and Jews from an Orthodox Jewish perspective. I sat enthralled as I listened to him and his incredible consecration to the word of God.

I saw some things in Jewish faith practices, which I believe could help us as Christians.

As many of you know I’ve traveled across North America for many years and I’ve been intrigued with the Christian spiritual practices of many Native Americans.  I have developed relationships with many Native American leaders on purpose, and I found that they hold often deep revelation of truth from the scriptures that I had never heard taught elsewhere.

(https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/reading-the-bible-with-red-mans-eyes/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/prayer-as-incense/

https://wordpress.com/post/chrisaomministries.com/13091)

I have also held a weekly Bible study for business leaders on and off for over nine years now.

contractors breakfast

The obvious question for Christian business leaders is how do we prosper financially God’s way?

Deuteronomy 8:18 (AKJV)

18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Clearly, we see prosperity promised in the Scripture but the question is: how do we actually achieve it and implement it in our lives, families and businesses?

I’ve read many, many books on Christian leadership and business ethics seeking the answer to this question (I believe the answer lies in Christian Leadership, and am working on a great book on that topic entitled: Leadership in the River, that I will publish when I’m done).

One little book that was given to me some years ago by the author named Craig Hill entitled: “Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Don’t Know[1]”.  It had a very interesting story in at that stuck with me. In the story a minister was interviewing a Christian accountant whose clientele was primarily either Christian or Jewish businessman.
craig hill
I quote from Craig Hill’s book:

“Another friend of mine, Earl Pitts, told me of an interesting conversation he had with his Jewish accountant many years ago.  After discussing his taxes, Earl queried if he might ask the man a personal question.  The accountant was happy to oblige him.

Earl then asked, “I assume that you have both Jewish and Christian clients.  Am I right?”

“Of course,” answered the accountant.

“Tell me honestly, continued Earl, “Who is more prosperous?  Who has larger financial statements; your Jewish clients, or your Christian clients?”

As one might suspect, the accountant chuckled and responded, “My Jewish clients, of course, probably about ten to one in magnitude.”

Earl then asked, “One more question.  Being Jewish yourself what is your personal opinion as to why that is?

The accountant mused for a moment, then picked up Earl’s Christian Bible, which he had with him and said something like the following:  “You Christians tend to live out of the back of this book, while we Jews tend to live out of the front of the book.  Unfortunately for Christians, most of the financial principles are in the front of the book.  So we Jews believe in and abide by these principles, while you Christians seem to ignore them and discount them because they are “Old Testament.”  However, I believe that the adherence to these principles is what causes people to prosper financially.”

Since I first heard this from my friend Earl, I have heard several times from Jewish friends explanations similar to the following:  “I don’t really fully understand your Christian beliefs, but from what I understand, it seems that most Christians have the idea that they can violate the basic principles described in the Bible, and then because of the grace of God extended by the sacrifice of Christ, they are forgiven, and everything will be alright.  Thus it seems to me that most Christians feel that they don’t have to pay any attention to the financial principles explained in Proverbs, or the rest of the ‘Old Testament’ because these are a part of ‘the Law.’ Since Christians are ‘in Christ,’ and no longer ‘under the Law,’ they feel no need to abide by these Old Testament financial principles.  On the contrary, we Jews believe that we actually have to practice and abide by these principles in the Law.  So, in my opinion and experience, abiding by the biblical financial principles produces much greater financial prosperity than ignoring and discounting them.”[2]

 

This story stuck with me for many years as we have sought the Lord for prosperity and wisdom, reading our Proverbs of the day, and doing what we needed to do to see steady financial increase in our day to day business operations, as we did what we felt we had to do in order to survive in the business world during the years that I’ve owned and operated several companies.

Clearly this story is relevant here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Just to name a few Jewish families here: The Kaisers, The Zarrow family, the Siegfried’s and the Schusterman’s, clearly these families have not only become wealthy, but have contributed, and continue to contribute philanthropically to the ongoing development of the city wonderfully! Perhaps there are Christians here as wealthy, but I have not yet been made aware of them.

But like a jigsaw puzzle, God began to put the pieces together on why this truth was working for the Jewish people and didn’t appear to be working as well for Christians.

I’ve been studying faith for many years, and I truly believe that faith will move the hand of God in our lives. (https://wordpress.com/post/chrisaomministries.com/13661)

As I studied faith and confession for over 25 years now, I have been looking for creative ways to see how our personal faith can change the world that we live in.

I had the privilege of hearing Navajo elder Elson Bennett speak at Dr. Negiel Bigpond’s church March 31st of 2016.

Ellson 3-31-16

He spoke on Joshua chapter one, but was I found it very interesting what he saw in those verses.

Lets look at them:

God’s Charge to Joshua

Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ [a]servant, saying,“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.[3]

 

Pastor Ellson explained that in this initial charge given to Joshua, we see the God side of the covenant. [4] God Almighty, the Holy One who inhabits eternity, has spoken, and He cannot lie.

 

Now let’s look at the next couple of verses:

Only be strong and very courageous; [b]be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may [c]have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may [d]be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will [e]have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The man side of the covenant

Notice the ‘man-side’ of these promises here. The promises of God are not automatic, but require an obedient, disciplined life from the person to whom they are given. Joshua was commanded:

  1. To do all the Law of Moses (no small task in and of itself!)
  2. Do not compromise, fully obey. (Do not turn to the left or the right)
  3. Constantly speak the promises (Do not let them depart from your mouth)  2 Corinthians 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” [a] we also believe and therefore speak.  “In other words, what you believe, you will speak.  If you believe the Word, you will speak it.  If you speak it, you will eventually believe it, and if you believe it you will be bold to speak it.”[5]  “Jesus said that whosoever shall say, believe, doubt not, in his heart, but believe what he says will come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he says.” (Mark 11:22-24)[6]

I have taught on this extensively over the years: https://wordpress.com/post/chrisaomministries.com/9174

  1. Constantly think and meditate upon them (meditate day and night)
  2. Do what the law commands (Don’t just think and talk about it)

Without going any deeper into the Word of God, these five things acted upon, will give any person something to do all day long. Clearly it is in DOING these things, will cause God to act in our lives, making our way prosperous, and granting us success. Knowing God is with us, gives us courage, and we overcome our fears.[7]

Pastor Bennett went on to say that this was the problem that many Christians face.

While many of us are very disciplined as we read our Bible and pray every morning, seeking God for His direction and blessing for the day.

Yet, he explained, as the day unfolds, in the business of the day the things that we had actually prayed and believed God for in the morning, we were negating later in the day. Why? Because we became tired, and our words and actions later in the work day were no longer in line with the word of God that we had read, prayed, and confessed that morning.

We were no longer meditating upon the Word of God, and keeping it in our mouths, rather, we were meditating upon our problems, challenges, and responding to the pressures and responsibilities of the moment.

How well I personally understand that principal running a construction company!

I would seek God in the morning and read my Bible carefully journaling my thoughts that came to me in prayer, and I would be peaceful and blessed entering into the workplace.

Suddenly, it was like the law of the jungle would kick in as soon as I set foot on my jobsites and went to work!

Men, equipment and building materials moved rapidly, and problems arose, and had to be solved immediately, if projects were to be completed on time, on schedule.

Thoughts of my prayer and confession of God’s word succumbed to the duty of the moment and the very real responsibilities that need to be fulfilled in order to make sure there was money in the bank for payroll each week and invoices due that week.

Back to the teaching from Rabbi Wolicki: remember I was looking for ways from the word of God that appeared to be causing God to prosper Jewish businessman more than Christians.

Rabbi explained that what was pivotal in the practice of the Jewish faith was the Exodus account where God delivered the Jewish people who had been slaves and bondmen in Egypt from the hand of Pharaoh. And that they remembered this account throughout the day. He said they probably recited it in their various daily prayers and liturgies, at least fifteen times a day!

They did this so often, that they actually saw themselves personally in the Word of God, living out the Exodus story every day.

He explained that orthodox Jews so deeply saw themselves in the account that it wasn’t just a history lesson to them but they saw them self as a people currently that had been delivered practically for the hand of Pharaoh of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 6:12 then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

They saw themselves in the word of God. This is exactly what we seek to do as Christians!

Read with me:

James 1:21 KJV

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Even as the Word became flesh in Jesus, this verse in James shows that the word becomes flesh in us, as we receive the engrafted word.

That as we pray and meditate upon the Word of God over the years, we take on the character of Jesus, as we see ourselves in and through the promises of God.

There is a process in this, as our very thinking processes change that the Bible calls the transformation or renewal of our mind, as Holy Spirit writes His laws deep within us upon the fleshly tablets of our hearts.

I believe this process can be accelerated as we deliberately meditate upon and confess the Word of God, even if we are not yet acting upon the very word we are confessing.

God, who is Holy, hears His Word muttered from our lips in our prayer and meditation, and sees our desire to want to do right, and in His mercy and grace, He first changes us, then in His great love, brings the provision of His promise into our lives, and in gratefulness, we thank Him and give Him glory.

Many of you remember how I’ve taught about the confession of faith versus the confession onto faith, and how Holy Spirit works with His Word in our lives as we confess things that are not currently happening in our life. He takes the truths that are eternally written in heaven and then writes them on the fleshly tablets of our heart and we become changed from faith to faith, strength to strength and glory to glory becoming more like Jesus in character, thought and action, day by day.

Rabbi spoke about the daily practices of a strict Orthodox Jew and he explained the frontlets they wore on their head when they prayed, and upon their right arm. He described the four portions of Scripture inside of these, and how they were made of leather, so well crafted, they appear to be molded plastic. This cause me to research and read of this practice, as one seeking to understand the world Jesus lived in His earthly ministry, as a Jew amongst Gods covenant people. [8]

As rabbi spoke of the liturgical prayers prayed daily by devout Jews, he introduced me to ‘The Amidah Prayer’[9], or as it is sometimes called, ‘The Eighteen’. [10]
Amidah1

As I have continued my research, I came upon this quote by Dr. David Bivin, in his interview on CBN:
“Every Jew was obligated to pray the Eighteen Benedictions daily; however, in times of emergency, one was permitted to pray a shortened form of the Eighteen, such as the Lord’s Prayer.

Rabbi Eliezer, a younger contemporary of Jesus, taught this abbreviation of the Eighteen: “May your will be done in heaven above, grant peace of mind to those who fear you [on earth] below, and do what seems best to you. Blessed are you, O LORD, who answers prayer.” Note the phrases “your will be done” and “in heaven above … [on earth] below” as in the Lord’s Prayer. Also note the parallel between “grant peace of mind” in the prayer Eliezer taught and “deliver us from evil” in the prayer Jesus taught.”[11]

As I read Dr. Young’s precious book on the topic of the Disciples, or “The Lord’s Prayer”, I find this interesting entry in his notes: “The early Christians were instructed to pray the prayer three times daily (Didache 8:2-3)”[12] I find this interesting, as rabbi told us, that devout Jews pray ‘The Amidah’ three times each day, although changes are made, depending upon the calendar of the various feasts and festivals.

Professor Biven succinctly summarizes the prayer into 19 covenant blessings that I would encourage students to study, exactly as rabbi explained to us in lecture here at Oral Roberts University.

 

The Offering Prayer

He said this prayer was called “the offering prayer” because it was to be prayed in the afternoon somewhere between two and four in the afternoon and that the time taken to pray these 19 blessings took about 15 or 20 minutes out of a busy workday. In the business world if one is a lawyer or accountant or executive, time is money: time taken out of the most productive part of one’s afternoon was considered and understood in the Jewish tradition to literally be an offering on to God.

Suddenly answers I sought in the two pieces of jigsaw puzzle of Gods truth, fit together perfectly.

I saw how we as Christians were seeking first the kingdom of God and his way of doing things in the morning but in the business of the day, even though we endeavor to be led by the Holy Spirit we are missing it.

We get weary in well doing throughout the day, so that the things that we had prayed and actively believed God’s direction for in the morning were not coming to pass, because we were just responding to the responsibilities in the pressures of the day.

The orthodox Jews that deliberately, intentionally, on purpose discipline himself and schedule themselves to take time from the busyness of their day to invoke God into their workplace: His presence, His promises, His mercy, His wisdom, His plan, His miracles, His prosperity, His knowledge and understanding, in their business, each and every day, are being radically blessed by God, on a magnitude of ten times more than us Christians!

They do this deliberately and intentionally every single business day!

Sadly I see how we boast in our personal relationship with Jesus and our spirit led lifestyles but truthfully I don’t believe we are as spirit led as we’d like to believe we are.

God and his word are one: He will never break his promises, so in the business of the day as one is beginning to wind down in an attempt to finish each day strong, I wonder what would happen if we deliberately scheduled an appointment with the King just like we would any other business appointment and then took fifteen or twenty minutes between two and three in the afternoon and prayed on purpose the promises of God and the blessings of God or even in faith the Amidah prayer, with all of the eighteen or nineteen covenant blessings that God promised to the Jewish people?

Have we not been grafted into the same covenant? [13]

As I read the Amidah, and learn how the devout would often spend an hour preparing their heart before they would begin to talk to God, I see a radical devotion as dedicated and passionate as my own, and perhaps more disciplined and obedient than I.

Romans 11:17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.

Romans 11:18 But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.

Jesus, through His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, has forgiven us, adopted us, and grafted us into His covenant with the Jewish people, as branches, not roots. The church in Gods eyes, will never replace Israel and the word of God, rather we clearly are to lovingly respect each other, and clearly it brings Him great pleasure when this occurs. We see in the book of Revelation, twenty-four elders around the throne, could these be twelve elders of Israel, and twelve apostles from the church?[14]

For the purposes of this paper, I have simply included a copy of ‘The Amidah’ to be used for our own personal devotional times.

Since, historically, ‘replacement theology’ has brought historic horrors upon the Jewish people from ‘Christians’ I have not changed it from the way Dr. Young has recorded it in his book.

As a Christian, as I have prayed these prayers before God, I see only one key difference between what they believe, and what we believe. They are praying for Messiah to come, we believe Jesus is the Messiah that He has already come, and will come again to judge both the living and the dead.

Yet, He will come to Jerusalem! The City of God, capital of the whole earth!

I know so little about the ways and worship of the Jewish people, but I began to look for examples in the New Testament of afternoon prayer. I found two:

Acts 3:1 [Peter Heals a Crippled Beggar] Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service

Acts 10:3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said.

Acts 10:30 Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me.

Seems both this miracle, and this angelic visitation both occurred at the time of afternoon prayer.

Conclusion:

So, being as I am, a man of practical faith, I’ve decided what I am going to do with this particular study. It has been said that it only takes 30 days to form a new habit. What I will do, over the next couple of weeks is teach this topic at my weekly breakfast meeting with business leaders, creating a 30 day challenge. Asking the people who attend to set an appointment with God every afternoon at 3PM (It will be 3:30 for me, as  I am in Dr. Young’s lecture Tuesday and Thursdays), and deliberately record what God does in lives this month. Should be exciting!

Let’s pray: Father God I’ve given you my life and Lord Jesus I’ve submitted to your Kingship your Lordship and your Sovereignty. Lead me, guide me. How well I know that I need you. I asked that you would give me the courage to deliberately schedule time with you in the middle of my workday to set an appointment and keep it each and every workday. How well I know I need Your grace to accomplish this.

According to George Robinson, a Jew need not invent his own prayers to God [although there is space within their liturgy to do so at points in the Amidah][15]

They deliberately Maimonides referring to the two most important prayers in the Jewish liturgy, Maimonides writes, “The first thing you must do is turn our thoughts away from everything else when you recite the Shema or Amidah…When you are engaged in the performance of religious duties, have your mind concentrated entirely on what you are doing.” (Guide for the Perplexed, 3.t1).  [16]  In fact, because the Amidah was considered the equivalent of a sacrificial offering for many years [until roughly the 9th century c.e.].
Amidah

THE AMIDAH PRAYER

The prayer is as follows:

 

Acknowledging God’s Character

 

 The God of Creation and Giver of Love

Blessed are You, O Lord our God and God of our ancestors, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, the great, mighty, and revered God, the most high God, who graciously gives loving-kindness.  You create all things; You remember the pious actions of the patriarchs and in love will bring a redeemer for their children’s children for Your Name’s sake.  O King, Helper, Savior and Shield.  Blessed are You, O Lord, the Protector of Abraham.

 

 The God Who Works Miracles.  You are Lord, all-powerful forever, You resurrect                       the dead; You are mighty to save.  You sustain the living with loving-kindness, resurrect the dead with great mercy, support the falling, heal the sick, release the prisoners, and uphold Your faithfulness to them that sleep in the dust.  Who is like You, Lord of mighty acts and who resembles You, O King, who orders death and restores life, and causes salvation to come forth? And You are faithful to resurrect the dead.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who resurrects the dead.

 

 “Holiness” and the Name of God.  We will sanctify Your Name in the world even as they sanctify it in the Heavens, as it is written by the hand of Your prophet:  And they called one unto the other and said, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts:  the whole earth is full of His glory.  Those over against them say, Blessed—Blessed by the glory of the Lord from His Place.  And in Your Holy Words it is written, saying, The Lord reigns forever, you God, O Zion, unto all generations.  Praise you the Lord.  Unto all generations, we will proclaim Your greatness, and to all eternity we will tell of Your holiness.  Your praise, O our God, shall not cease from Your mouth forever, for You are a great and holy God and King.  Blessed are You O Lord the holy God.  You are holy, and Your Name is holy and the holy ones praise You every day.  Blessed are You, O Lord, the holy God.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Spiritual Insight and Awakening

Request for Understanding.  You favor people with knowledge and teach human beings understanding.  O favor us with knowledge, understanding, and applied wisdom from You.  Blessed are You, O Lord Gracious Giver of knowledge.

Returning to God for Repentance.  Make us return, O or Father, unto Your Torah.  Draw us near; our King, back into Your service, and bring us again in perfect repentance into Your presence.  Blessed are you, O Lord, who delights in repentance.

Request for forgiveness.  Forgive us, O our Father, for we have sinned.  Pardon us, O our King, for we have transgressed, because You do pardon and forgive.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who is gracious and forgives a multitude of wrongs.

Requesting Divine Help for Personal Needs

Request for Freedom from Affliction.  Look upon our affliction and fight for our cause.  Redeem us speedily for Your Name’s sake because You are a mighty Redeemer.  Blessed are You, O Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.

Request for Healing.   Heal us, O lord, and we shall be healed.  Save us and we shall be saved.  You are our praise.  Provide a perfect healing for all our wounds; because You, almighty Kings, are a faithful and merciful physician.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who heals the sick of Your people Israel.

Request for Financial Prosperity.  Bless this year for us O Lord our God, together with every kind of the produce there is from it, for our wellbeing.  Provide a blessing upon the face of the earth.  Satisfy us with Your goodness, and bless our year like other good years.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who blesses the years.

Seeking divine help for the Jewish People, Society, and Community Needs

Request to Gather the Exiles of Israel to Their homeland.  Blow the great shofar horn of our freedom.  Raise the standard to gather our exiles, and bring us together from the four corners of the earth.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who gathers the dispersed of Your people Israel.

Prayer Seeking the Establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Restore our judges as at the beginning, and our counselors as in former times.  Remove from us sorrow and sighing.  Reign over us, O Lord, You alone, in loving-kindness and tender mercy and justify us in judgment.  Blessed are You O Lord, the King who loves righteousness and justice.

Request for Protection from Enemies.  Let there be no hope for slanders and let all wickedness perish as in a moment.  Let all Your enemies be speedily cut off.  May You root out, break off, bring down, and cause the ruin of the reign of evil speedily in our days.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who breaks the enemies and humbles the arrogant.

Request for Mercy upon God’s People.

 

Seeking Deliverance and Restoration for the Divine Plan and Future Hope

  1. Request for the Rebuilding of Jerusalem. With tender mercies return to Jerusalem, Your city, Your presence will abide in her midst as You have promised.  Rebuild her soon in our days as an everlasting building and speedily establish in her the throne of David.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who builds Jerusalem.
  2. Prayer for the Branch of David. Speedily cause the Branch of David, Your servant, to spring forth.  With your saving power, raise up the horn of his strength because we wait for Your salvation all the day.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who causes the horn of salvation to spring forth.
  3. Request for Prayers to Be Answered. Answer our voice, O Lord our God.  Free us and have mercy upon us, and accept our prayer in compassion and favor because You are God who answers prayers and supplications from Your presence, O our King, turn us not empty away, because You hear with mercy the prayer of Your people Israel.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who answers prayer.
  4. Request to Restore Temple Service. Accept with divine favor, O Lord our God, Your people Israel and their prayer.  Restore the worship to the inner sanctuary of Your house.  With compassion receive in favor both the offerings of Israel and their prayer, and may the worship of Your people Israel be ever acceptable to You.  Let our eyes witness Your return with compassion to Zion.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who restores His divine presence to Zion.
  5. Giving of Thanks to God for His Mercy. We give thanks to You, for You are the Lord our God and the God of our ancestors forever and ever.  You are the Rock of our lives, the Shield of our salvation throughout every generation, we will give thanks to You and proclaim Your praise for our lives, which are committed into Your care, and for our souls, which are under Your charge and for Your miracles which are daily with us, and for Your wondrous acts and your benefits, which are worked at all times, evening, morning and noon.  O You who are all-good, whose mercies do not fail; You who are all merciful, whose loving-kindnesses never cease, we have hope in You.  Because of all this, let Your name, O our King be blessed and be highly exalted continually, forever and ever.  All living beings will give thanks to You, Selah, and they will praise Your name in truth, the God of our Salvation and of our help, Selah!  Blessed are You, O Lord, the Good One is Your name, and so to You it is fitting to give praise.
  6. Request for Peace. Give peace, well-being, blessing, grace, loving-kindness and mercy to us and to all of Israel, Your people.  Bless us, O our Father, even all of us together, with the light of Your countenance because by the light of Your countenance You have given us, O Lord our God the Torah of life, the love of mercy and righteousness, blessing, loving-kindness life and peace.  May it be good in Your sight to bless Your people Israel at all times and in every hour with Your peace.  Blessed are You O Lord, who blesses Your people Israel with peace.[17]

 

Bibliography

 

Foundation, The Lockman. Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible – Nasb 1977 (Includes Translators’ Notes). publication place: The Lockman Foundation, 2013.

Young, Brad. 2007. Meet the rabbis: rabbinic thought and the teachings of Jesus. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers.

Young, Brad. 1984. The Jewish background to the Lord’s Prayer. Austin, Tex: Center for Judaic-Christian Studies

 

Hill, Craig S. Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Don’t Know. Littleton, Colorado: Family Foundations International, 2012.

Capps, Charles. 1987. Dynamics of Faith and Confession. Tulsa, Okla.: Harrison House.

Faley, Roland J. 2011. Joshua ; Judges. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press.

Robinson, George. 2000. Essential Judaism: a complete guide to beliefs, customs, and rituals. New York: Pocket Books.

Maimonides, Moses. 1961. The guide for the perplexed. New York: Dover Publications.

Comfort, Philip Wesley. 2005. Cornerstone biblical commentary. Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers.

DUNN, J. D. G., & ROGERSON, J. W. (2003). Eerdmans commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI, W.B. Eerdmans.

 

Other Sources:

Bivin, David, Jerusalem Perspective, http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/3643

Henshke, David. 2016. “BETWEEN BLESSINGS AND PRAYER: ON THE HISTORY OF THE AMIDAH PRAYER.” Tarbiz 84, no. 3: 7. Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, EBSCOhost (accessed April 22, 2017).

 

 

[1]Craig S. Hill, Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Don’t Know (Littleton, Colorado: Family Foundations International, 2012),

[2]Craig S. Hill, Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Don’t Know (Littleton, Colorado: Family Foundations International, 2012), p4-6

[3] The Lockman Foundation, Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible – Nasb 1977 (Includes Translators’ Notes) (publication place: The Lockman Foundation, 2013), 1

      [4] “In the beginning of chapter 1, God’s charge to Joshua introduces most of the themes of the book.  God’s sovereignty and God’s initiative are highlighted…The beginning of the charge to Joshua gives three promises (1)all the land would be theirs.  (2) No enemy would withstand them.  (3) God would be with them and never forsake them.”

[4]Comfort, Philip Wesley. 2005. Cornerstone biblical commentary. Carol Stream, Ill: Tyndale   House Publishers.

[5]Charles Capps(1987). Dynamics of faith and confession. Tulsa, Okla, Harrison House. p. 46

[6] Ibid, p. 127

           [7] First, the law (Torah) plays a normative role in the book.  This can be seen from the very outset.  Joshua’s (and Israel’s) relationship to Yahweh is based on the law and is crucial for Israel’s success.  Obedience or disobedience to the law determines success or failure.

DUNN, J. D. G., & ROGERSON, J. W. (2003). Eerdmans commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI, W.B. Eerdmans.

 

[8] http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/tefillin

[9]“Thus, the daily Amidah originally consisted of eighteen benedictions (although there appear to be nineteen) – for the blessing for peace was not part of the original Amidah. However, when the blessing of peace came to be considered an integral part of the Amidah, the blessings for the restoration of Jerusalem and the Davidic dynasty were combined into one benediction in the land o f Israel in order to retain the original number o f eighteen, whereas in Babylonia the blessing against heretics was explained as a later addition.” Henshke, David. 2016. “BETWEEN BLESSINGS AND PRAYER: ON THE HISTORY OF THE AMIDAH PRAYER.” Tarbiz 84, no. 3: 7. Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, EBSCOhost (accessed April 22, 2017).

[10] I had to learn about this, so immediately read: Brad Young. Meet the Rabbis: Rabbinic Thought and the Teachings of Jesus. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007.p145-155

 

[11][11] http://www1.cbn.com/biblestudy/the-amidah-prayer

[12] Young, Brad. 1984. The Jewish background to the Lord’s Prayer. Austin, Tex: Center for Judaic-Christian Studies

[13] Ibid NASB

[14] Revelation chapters 4,5,19

[15]George Robinson. 2000. Essential Judaism: a complete guide to beliefs, customs, and rituals. New York: Pocket Books.17

[16]Moses Maimonides. 1961. The guide for the perplexed. New York: Dover Publications.

 

[17] Young, Brad. 2007. Meet the rabbis: rabbinic thought and the teachings of Jesus. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers.