Friday, May 18, 2012
Are you a friend of God? Part 2
In our last study, We saw how friend is defined according to the Bible. It entails more than a relationship. It involves making a covenant with another person. We saw how Abraham, not only, became righteous, but had a strong covenant with God. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew definition of covenant means to cut. Usually, in some Middle Eastern Cultures, if you cut covenant with someone else, you cut a part of your body(An arm usually) and would insert a straw in your veins and the other persons would drink out of your blood. Growing up as kid in New York City, we would have a ritual called blood brothers. That ritual would involve a cutting of a finger and your other blood brother would cut his and there would be a mixing of blood.
A covenant would involve a sharing of one's posessions and wealth, as well as strength. When you broke a covenant, there would be consecuences. They would hunt you down to the 5th and 6th generation and beyond. A covenant was sacred and involved committment. As the ceremony would be formally enacted, there were a series of blessings and curses said over each party. God did the same with Israel in what is known as the Abrahamic covenant in which animal sacrifices were performed. (Deut 28)!
The Church needs to understand and know its covenant rights!
The reason why there are prayer failures is that the church does not know its covenant rights. We have used logic and human reasonings to "help" God and reach a series of conclusions on why we don't have our prayers answered. Many a times, Jesus, himself, would be amazed at Israel's unbelief. Why? Because of their failure to understand its covenant rights. God made a healing covenant with Israel in Exodus 15: 26- " And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee" (Exodus 15:26) This was done when he took Israel from the bondage of Egypt to take them to the land of milk and honey. Israel had, thru the years, become so involved in religion and traditions that it voided the power of God and did them no good.
Such was the case with the Roman centurion. Here was a Gentile, Stranger to the covenant, yet because of his faith, his servant got healed. Jesus said that this Roman centurion had great faith-Why? Because he relied on Jesus sending his word. (Matt 8:5-9) Look at how Jesus reacted-" When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." (Matt 8:10) Jesus was, actually, rebuking the Jews because they had a covenant with God, but yet traditions and religion had robbed Israel from receiving God's best.
My friends, God's word has power! It resurrected Jesus from the dead. It created the universe and it heals. (Ps 107:20) Why? Because it has the power and anointing inside the word and when loosed with faith, it will heal you and change your circumstances. If you are a Christian, you can send God's word as medicine to your body and get healed! Just put it in your mouth and speak it forth. That anointing will be released, when spoken in faith and do its job, flowing through your body and making it healed and whole!
Misunderstanding the communion elements
Many think that Jesus, only, had 12 disciples, but as you study the Bible-You will find that he had 70 disciples and ministered to thousands. Yet, in the midst of all this, Jesus ministry had a shaking! Why? Because of misunderstanding the covenant of God. Notice what controversial words Jesus used-"This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:50-54)
Jesus had made a radical statement!! The law spoke of animal sacrifices and prohibited human sacrifices! Yet, Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. A lack of understanding caused a shaking and many left him. Even the twelve were thinking of leaving him, but thank God, they stayed! Those that left had lost a great opportunity to see that a greater and newer covenant was around the corner. Jesus did not, literally, speak of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, but he was stating the symbolic significance of a greater and newer covenant that would be cut between God and man in the form of Jesus Christ. That is why you cannot read the Bible without Revelation knowledge. What you don't know can hurt you in the end. God bless and more to come!