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Spiritual Warfare in the Church over the Word
Gary has been talking about spiritual warfare in the church. One of the issues we have today is that preachers, teachers and church-goers no longer consider the Word of God that Last word on matters of faith and practice. Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church over the authority of the Word of God in the Scriptures. He found 95 reasons that the church had put the traditions of men above the Word of God. This situation is similar to what Jesus had to deal with in the 1st C.
He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:3–9, ESV)
But today, many consider God’s Word to be a good suggestion but outdated. We are free to reinterpret to make it fit our current day. So what God said was wrong back then, isn’t necessarily wrong today. This is the problem within the church. In the unchurched culture, the problem is a bit different. They don’t believe there is any truth, much less one truth. The universe is a product of evolution by accident and there is no ultimate purpose or plan to life. No God who controls destiny or gives life meaning. I remember reading an article back in the 1980’s in Wired magazine where this woman was talking about avatars. The word Avatar comes from a noun meaning:
1 a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher; an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea. 2 an icon or figure representing a particular person in video games, Internet forums, etc.
Her point was more like the second, where people adopt characters to play games, but she was applying it to all of human life. Her point was that identity is plastic. There is no ultimate purpose to gender or identity, so we can create our own. If there is no GOD, there is no ultimate truth, there is no right or wrong, no reason we can’t decide to change our gender, no morals, no real reason that life or death matters. So religion is just an illusion or an opinion, with no basis in fact, and can safely be ignored. We call this philosophy Relativism. All truth is just a subjective perspective. Anything goes. Do your own thing. And church leaders who have yielded to this philosophy in the culture in order to be “hip” or current, have abandoned any pretense that the Bible is true. They do not believe in any fixed form of truth, but truth has evolved as we have become more “Enlightened” and more “tolerant.” We now have “science” which tells us that the old morals of the bible are wrong. They have proclaimed “tolerance” as the highest form of love and the good, and in so doing, they have implied that because of their compassion, they are more tolerant and loving than God. On a national level, we have pastors and priests who indulge sin with a false form of grace that confuses license with love. And so have endorsed sin as if the Liberty of Christ is a license for all kinds of behaviors, and if permissiveness was actually helping rather than bringing harm. Why does God give us the Law? The law of God is there to protect us, not to punish us or bring us harm. If I put up a sign that says the bridge is out up ahead, and you ignore it and speed on, the signpost didn’t judge your or punish you. You were punished by your own actions. Just so, the leaders who ignore the law and encourage sin in the name of “tolerance” are not showing love… it is actually hate, because they could be trying to protect you. Instead they encourage you to hurt yourself. Jeremiah spoke of this situation in Judea, when religion had become corrupted by idolatry and a disregard for the Word of God.
“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?” (Jeremiah 5:30–31, ESV) “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 6:13–15, ESV)
Many pastors and whole denominations no longer preach righteousness or teach us that God requires holiness of us, but like Peter said,
“For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:18–19, ESV)
Law and Grace are not enemies. Grace is not accepting sin, it is accepting people who are sinful. It is saying yes to the person but no to the sin. We cannot restore the land without being willing to stand up for righteousness and endure persecution and hatred by those who hate truth. Jesus told us this:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:18–21, ESV)
Truth is offensive and it brings a sword of division. But we are to “speak the truth in love” and love our enemies and not respond in kind, but repay abuse with kindness… This is very difficult to do. But if you know who you are in Christ Jesus and whose you are, what others think of you will not define you. And knowing God loves you, when others hate you, will allow you to look upon them with pity rather than anger. By our kindness in the face of their animosity, it may be that some will repent and come to see God in us, rather than enemies. So How do you restore those who have fallen, or bring back leaders who have turned. If they show true repentance, we open our arms, but we are not foolish. We have seen things like Jimmy Swaggart, who after falling into sexual sin, was pronounced clean by Oral Roberts after “casting out demons” and returned to ministry in three months only to be caught in the same sin a few years later.
“Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:19–22, ESV)
In the same way on a personal level, we need to be able to hold each other accountable without casting judgments. But we are not to endorse sinful behaviors,
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”” (1 Corinthians 5:9–13, ESV)
What? We are to judge? Yes, we are to judge behaviors inside the church as sin. There is a difference between judging with condemnation, but if we judge someone who is unrepentant in the church, we are excluding them in order to bring them to repentance and heal them.
From The Scholars Corner
Restoration is different than reconciliation.
Restoration has to do with restoring those who have fallen, but reconciliation has to do with repairing relationships between brothers or parties.
Restoration is not enablement, excusing the behavior, or simply being polite but avoiding the person, but resolving differences in a way that relationships are deepened in love and intimacy.
Reconciliation has to do with restoring relationships. How you reconcile with someone who has hurt you, or sinned against you, either knowingly or unknowingly? You try to get them to see how their actions have harmed you. As in a marriage or in any relationship, reconciliation requires a willingness of others to want to reconcile. It doesn’t always work. But Jesus told us how to hold each other accountable, and even though it may be confrontational, it is still an act of love, because the goal is a restored relationship.
The Jewish sages said love is a commitment, not an emotion. Love is being committed to the welfare of another regardless of what it costs you.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “God did not call us to like our enemies, for that would be impossible; He called us to love them.” By confronting the government and authorities with their racism, the non-violent marches exposed the evil, so that people could see what was really at stake and might repent. Loving your enemies in this case was an act of confrontation.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:5–6, ESV)
If you think you can always reconcile without entering into conflict, you are being unrealistic. Like marriage, intimacy in fellowships require us to WORK out our differences, not just ignore them until they fester into bitterness, or rejection, or indifference and avoidance.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:15–20, ESV)
Every life matters. Everly life matters because each person is made in the image of God. To disrespect one life is to disrespect all life. After all, Jesus said, “If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.” It doesn’t matter what color, race, or nationality someone is. Born or unborn, he or she bears the image of the Creator and therefore that life matters, not only to other human beings, but also to God. Every Black life matters, just as every Asian, Latino, or Caucasian life matters. To discriminate against one race is to discriminate against all, because all of us belong to God. We are his property, and God is the Creator of all, if not Father to all. If we hate others, we hate God, who has made all men and women in His Image.
But if you hate someone in your heart, Jesus said you are no better than a murderer:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is enraged with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:21–22)
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15, ESV)
We are not just to NOT murder, we are also supposed to love our neighbors, and to love even our enemies! If we do not love, we are not walking with God, but walking in anger with Hate as our god.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:19–21, ESV)
Racism is an unmitigated evil, just as is hatred of others. One is not more evil than the other. Hate is an intrinsic evil.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43–48, ESV)
If you hate Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Socialists, you are not walking in love for your enemies. If you walk in hatred, you are not walking with God. You are libel to His judgment of your life.
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:37–38, ESV)
How is your walk? Are you contributing to the hatred and violence of this world or are you healing others by showing them the love of God? You don’t have to agree with them, but you do have to love them. The Jewish sages said love is a commitment, not an emotion. Love is being committed to the welfare of another regardless of what it costs you.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “God did not call us to like our enemies, for that would be impossible; He called us to love them.” By confronting the government and authorities with their racism, the non-violent marches exposed the evil, so that people could see what was really at stake and might repent. Loving your enemies in this case was an act of confrontation without retaliating in kind. It is okay to confront those with whom you disagree. Just don’t let your emotions of hatred and vengeance cause you to become the very thing in you that you protest in others.
From The Scholars Corner
In order to pray this prayer, one must come to understand the roots of abortion and how it became embedded in the will of our nation. The moral philosophy of Eugenics in the 1920’s provided the primary justification for abortion. Eugenics was a “scientific,” and socially acceptable, means of justifying the latent racism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism of the White New England community. It also found its way into the Protestant Churches in the early 20th Century through the culture. The Eugenics movement led to the Birth Control movement which led to the abortion movement. For a more complete history and documentation, see Racist Roots of Abortion online.
The present impotence of the Church in America regarding the sin of abortion can be directly attributed to the quiet assimilation of eugenic, racist, and classist ideologies by the mainline denominations during the 1930’s. This legacy began in the 1920’s with the adoption of the birth control ideologies promoted by Margaret Sanger [The founder of Planned Parenthood]. The nation at that time was awash in immigrants from Slavic and Catholic countries and was having trouble assimilating the people. Poverty and disease were endemic. It was especially evident in the New England areas. Margaret Sanger promoted her agenda, claiming that it was better for society as a whole to reduce the number of “Slavs, Hebrews, Italians” and other “dysgenic” peoples being born in the US. She promoted birth control as a means of reducing the reproduction of these and other “undesirables,” including the “colored” people.
The mainline Protestant church bought into her agenda and its subtle classism and racism. The churches came to believe that there are people who are less worthy, less intelligent, and made a little less in the image of God, who need to be managed by the more intelligent races [Anglo-Saxon whites]. Since these “poor creatures” were not as worthy and would corrupt the purity and quality of life in the United States, the “enlightened” whites tried to limit the reproduction of other races through birth control.
Contemporary writings reveal how this attitude of racial superiority was a socially accepted without fear of criticism or challenge. Well known, mainline Protestant church leaders in every denomination began to support Sanger in her cause, giving her open endorsements or verbal praise. Many signed onto her manifestos. Money poured in from such wealthy scions as Ford and Rockefeller and other bastions of American industrial wealth. As a result, by the 1950’s virtually every Protestant denomination supported the Planned Parenthood ideology (Sanger’s organization became the present day Planned Parenthood). They saw limiting the reproduction of “inferior” races as a “compassionate” way to remedy of the social ills of poverty.
The TRUTH is that the Image of God dwells equally in ALL people [Gen. 9:6]. Racial prejudice is a lie that denies God’s truth. The adoption of this attitude led to the present impotence of the Church. Whites who accepted Eugenics accepted a “quality of life” argument – that some people have more right to life than others because of their inbred “intelligence” or physical health. But by accepting this lie the mainline Church lost its moral authority to speak to the culture. Abortion is only a fruit of this seed ingested so long ago: if some are more worthy than others, then the abortion of the children of “lesser races” is not the same thing as the taking the life of a full person… It does not mar or kill the image of God, but only culls the herd of a “sub-human” species.
Of all the other errors of the Church [the questioning of the Word of God as the source of authority, the adoption of liberal humanism in the place of Orthodoxy, and the like] NONE of these errors of doctrine or practice invalidated the Church’s witness as seriously as this denial of God’s Image in Man.
For when the Church rejected the TRUTH that all people are made in God’s image, the Church lost its ability to speak coherently to the culture, it lost its unified voice, and it lost its ability to challenge the culture to moral righteousness. It had become co-opted and corrupted by the hatreds of this world. It ingested moral poison and began to die from within.
With this background in mind, I now offer this prayer for corporate and private use.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27). For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (Ephesians 3:14,15, RSV).
Majestic Heavenly Father! Father of all People! Who makes all peoples in Your image, so that the glory of God is evident in the faces of your little ones, whose angels continually look to You- (Matt. 18:10)
HAVE MERCY UPON US!
For we have turned our backs upon Your Covenant. We have disregarded the image of God Your Image Father! in the little ones who are about to be born. We have not considered them worthy of life and have discarded them like trash and refuse. We have cast them out like trash beneath our feet. Though it says in your Commandments, “You Shall Not Murder,” we have ignored Your Command and have not treated their life as sacred to You. We have put them to death as a matter of convenience in order to pursue our selfish interests. For this bloodshed we ought to be condemned and judged, for innocent blood is upon our hands, and innocent blood has polluted the land of our Country. Because we did not raise up an outcry against the sin, we too have become guilty by our silence and our complacency. We, as the Church, have loved our pleasure and our comfort more than our neighbor and more than Your Word. We deserve your judgment, O God. And we are without excuse.
Therefore, O God, we cry out to You, HAVE MERCY, for we do not deserve your kindness or your blessing. And cause the fear of the Lord to fall upon us so that we would no longer turn a blind eye to our sin or are nation’s sin.
Father forgive us.
It says, in days gone past, that the blood of Abel cried out to You for “Justice!” (Gen 4:10). The blood itself cried out from the ground for retribution for the sin and the crime committed against it. But we, O Lord, NOW have a blood that cries out “more graciously” than the blood of Abel. The blood of Jesus cries out “Mercy!” and “Forgiveness!” (Heb 12:24) Father, ONLY because of our hope in Jesus may we now dare approach You and beg You to have mercy upon us and heal our land of its great sin against you.
O God, for the historic sin of the Anglo-Saxon Churches against people of different races and ethnic backgrounds, we here make our confession. We pray You expose the wickedness of the Church and bring it to repentance. Expose O God, the secret and subtle approval we have given to racist sentiment, to anti-Semitism, to Catholic, Slavic and immigrant hatreds. Expose our consent to the evil of racism towards people of any color. Expose it O God and crush it. Put it beneath Your feet. Cause true repentance to come to Your People, Your Church. Cause the defiling LIE of hating others because of their differences to be destroyed in our hearts, O God, that we might display the true Love of Christ to ALL — for all people are made in Your Image.
For accepting and acting upon the lie of racism (that some races are superior to others and that some people are made more in the image of God than others) forgive us and heal us of its vileness! For accepting and acting upon the lie of the “quality of life” (that some people are more worthy of life than others due to health or intelligence or status of wealth) forgive us O God, and heal us! We have wickedly hated people whom you have made! We have arrogantly looked down upon others. By mixing racism with religion, we have made room for the sin of abortion in our midst. These lies still divide the Church and compromise the Church so that we do not speak with one Voice about these sins. And we are without excuse! If you judged us, we would be justly i want to order condemned for our arrogance and self righteousness.
We Could never make restitution for the damage our racism has done to others, O Lord. We can never repay the centuries of sorrows our greed and arrogance have caused. We pray therefore for those who have been wounded by the attitudes and deeds of our sinful hearts; for them and for their children and their children’s children. Undo the effect of our transgression! Let Your Love and Favor be More than Healing. May it be Privilege. Comfort them by Your Love. Heal them and make them Whole. Give them First Place among your Body, that their innocent suffering would yield for them a greater crown of Glory. Let their reward be greater, and assuage their pain by Your intimate comfort. And let their restoration be directly from Your hand, that they may know the God who has a heart to know the sufferings of the poor. Let their healing be of THEE.
Now O Lord, we ask, “How can your Church witness to Your Goodness and to Your love of all people, when we have consented to prejudice in our hearts? How can we minister to others your Good News, when we have rejected them as unworthy? Can we be instruments of your Peace while we still have such uncleanness in our hearts?” Lord, we are unfit vessels and unworthy to carry out Your Great Commission. We have accepted the Devil’s lie as Your Truth. Heal us and deliver us from this deception, that we may be worthy ministers of the Gospel and truly love our neighbors as ourselves, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
Now, O Lord, through the mercy of Jesus and his Blood, not our righteousness, we are bold to approach you. Because You have said, “If we confess our sins,” You are “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), we thank you Lord for forgiving us and cleansing us. Let our restitution to favor be followed by acts of true reconciliation, that our repentance may be real and visible. That others may know that we do truly love them and have not made light of our sins. Now, O Lord, as ministers who have been forgiven when we did not deserve it, we intercede on behalf of the rest of the Church and this Land. Forgive, O God, and Cleanse the blind Bride of Christ who continues in her transgression, not knowing how deeply she has offended you. We pray O Lord, forgive her, cleanse her, and heal her, that she may indeed be spotless before you and live righteously for you all her days. Heal her and cleanse her for Jesus’ sake, O Father.
And to this Land of the United States, whose shores are drenched in the blood of the unborn, whose Capital Cities and High Places of government are dripping red with the blood of the innocent, we ask You Father – we BEG You Father – Have MERCY!
Remember Father, how Our Lord pleaded with You from the Cross, saying “Forgive them Father, for they don’t know what they do.” Listen afresh to His Words, Father, and heed. We are told Lord, that a quarter of our generation has been sexually molested or abused. They have not known the safety of a loving Father or the security of protective home. Out of their great pain, out of their feelings of being rejected and left unprotected, they cry out against the shame and embarrassment of their past defilement. They know no comfort or healing. They do not know how to be free of the pain. Wrongfully, they advocate for abortion, thinking that by it, they can protect others from the same shame and spare them the pain they still feel. They do not see that they are ending a life, Father. They only see the anguish, and they identify with it as if it were their own. Lord, they do not know that You are the Bread of Healing and the Balm of Life that will bring healing to their souls. In their pain and grief, they cry out in confusion and do not see that killing the little ones will not bring relief. Forgive them Father, and forgive us, Lord, that we live in a nation that hates and abuses its own children. Forgive us, Father, for we know not what we do.
Holy Spirit, witness how the Devil has stirred up the anger and taken advantage of this great abuse. See how he has fanned the flames of vengeance and sown confusion – equating the murder of the unborn with the righting of the wrongs and the healing of the wounds. See how he has deceived the media and blinded the eyes of the people, so that they think they are bringing forth justice by destroying the life of the innocent. As You Lord judged the Serpent in the Garden, so now Judge him! Make him pay for his deceptions, but set the people free from his coils.
In a nation without Fathers, see how the Devil has taken advantage of the people’s desperation to know LOVE. See how they have substituted sexual touch for the true embrace of divine affection. And Lord, mark the consequence of this desperate deception – for from it all manner of evil results: broken families, fatherless children, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, rape, abuse, fornication, and abandonment. Forgive, O Lord, the promiscuity and the sins of lust that have enslaved this people, and deliver them from seeking fulfillment in one another to the true freedom of being fulfilled by You. Let them know Your Holy Love that is totally unselfish, and let them be restored to selfless love for others, that what is lame may be healed. Forgive the nation, Lord, for thinking that license is liberty. Wrest them from the false pursuit of self-centered need and free them by Your Sacrificial kind of Love. For You Said, Lord, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Forgive them, Lord, and free them, that we as a nation and a people, may be whole.
Now under the authority of Christ, and because we are ambassadors to this nation in Jesus’ Name, we declare to you this day — Your sins are forgiven, O America, For Jesus Christ’s sake. Not that you were righteous, but He is righteous. And because of His Love, your deeds ARE forgiven through the Blood of Christ. WE DECLARE UNTO YOU THE GOOD NEWS THAT GOD HAS OVERLOOKED YOUR SINS AND FORGIVEN YOU. He has declared mercy unto you.(Ephesians 2:17; Romans 10:15; 2 Cor 5:19-29) We, as priestly intercessors of the Most High God [for we have been called a Kingdom of Priests unto God (Ex 19:6; 1 Peter 29)], declare the Blood of Christ to You, O Land, and upon You O peoples, that it cleanses you of your sins. The Blood of Christ cries out for you to the Father “Mercy” and “Forgiveness” and satisfies the cry of Abel’s Blood for “vengeance.” And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven – Col 1:20. For the Blood of Christ covers the Mercy Seat, and He has paid the price for your sins. Therefore, we declare to you that God has reconciled himself to you and forgive all your sins!
This day, we declare over you, innocent blood will be shed no more. Your cities shall know peace, and your halls of government know righteousness. Your courts shall be inhabited by godly men and women, who shall put the Lord’s will into Law and His Love into Precept.
Not because you deserve it O People, but because the Lord has had Mercy — for the Sake of His Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and because He has heeded the prayers of His Saints.
Therefore Repent, and be Thankful, that you may know the healing times of the Lord and that your restoration may begin.
For we pray all these things in Jesus’ Name and for the Sake of the Holiness of the Holy Spirit. Father SEAL this PRAYER with the SEAL of YOUR HAND. Amen.
Prayer by Jefferis Kent Peterson, Nov. 13, 2000
May be freely copied and distributed.
A Reason for the Lord to Have Mercy
“O Lord, how can your people know the way, when their leaders lead them astray?”
As Moses stood in the gap when your people had departed from your ways, worshipped a false god, and had fallen into immorality [Exodus 32-33], so now I stand today to plead the case of your people:
O Great Father, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Author of Life, Giver of the Holy Spirit — have mercy upon us.
We confess that we have sinned against you in so many ways that if we were to number them, many books could not contain the record. If you were to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth, you would be entirely just in your judgments of us because our sins are many. We have turned from your Word; we have pursued pleasure and not righteousness; we have been cowered by the threats of the enemy; and we have longed for the praise that comes from men rather than prefer the praise that comes from God alone. Forgive us, Father, for turning away from you towards this world and its false affections. We have many idols. We are guilty and without excuse, O God. But for your sake and for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, though you would be just to destroy us, you have called us to be a kingdom of priests to intercede on behalf of the world. Therefore, Lord Jesus, Father Almighty, Gracious Holy Spirit, I now plead the case on behalf this people.
Look, O Lord, upon the people of this nation. They are like sheep without a shepherd who have been scattered among the hills by the roar of the lion and the prowling of the wolf, [Ezekiel 34, Zechariah 10]. False teachers have arisen in the midst of the flock to betray and deny your Word. They all claim to be speaking in your name, and the sheep are confused. These “teachers” have taken the seat of Moses and put on the garments of the priest, but they have counseled with a council of lies – to the end that even the leader of this nation is surrounded by those who claim to speak for you, yet who also say it is all right to destroy the littlest ones who rest within the womb.
Is it any wonder, Lord, that your people are scattered, when wolves have entered the fold and put on sheep’s clothing in order to lead your people astray? How can the people know the truth when even their pastors and priests mislead them? The people are scattered and confused because they have not heard your voice through the shepherds, O Lord. They have not heard You speak with One Voice. They have heard the arguing of the scribes but not the Teaching of the One who has Authority.
Come therefore now, O Lord, and stand in the midst of your flock [Micah 5:4], to shepherd them, that they may have a choice, hear your word and obey it! Have mercy upon us, for your Name’s sake, Lord Jesus — that through us you may be exalted in the earth – that the shout of joy and the cry of “deliverance” may yet again be heard in this land! Let your Name be exalted with thanksgiving and showered with a chorus of praises because of the victory you work on behalf of your people! Let it be so, Lord, and let it be told among the nations!
Father, there is yet another reason to have mercy upon this people: for 40 years, a generation, a foreign king has oppressed them and has forced alien laws upon them. And for 40 years, frog mouthed spirits have been loosed against this people to indoctrinate them with the law of this king. These spirits have used gossip, intimidation, propaganda, and have disheartened your saints with a cascade of lies. All manner of things have been spoken against your people, falsely, because of you O Lord.
Hear, O Lord! It was not by the will of the people that you were dethroned. They did not remove you from the schools of this Land. They did not vote you out nor desire it; it was forced upon them. They desired their children to be taught of you, but it was forbidden. It was not by consent that they were forbidden from praying or speaking your Name in the schools of this land, yet they were impelled to attend these schools through the economics of the public purse. It was not with but against the will of the people that your Commandments and your Word were taken from the public places in our Land. When the people desired to acknowledge you and your ways, it was declared illegal. No Lord! It was by the oppression of a foreign king, who threatened this people with lawsuits and imprisonment if they disobeyed, that these things happened. This arrogant king, the devil himself, passed his laws through the courts to oppress your people. Your people did not choose these laws, Lord. Even today, if the people were free, they would choose today to acknowledge You as the only for sale God, Sovereign Lord, and Leader of this nation. So, Lord, have mercy upon your people and rescue them from this foreign power and its evil ways.
Lord, it was not by choice nor by vote nor by Constitution, that murder became a right protected by the laws of this land. Even today, the majority of the people are against abortion for any reason, but their will has been thwarted continually by the courts of this foreign king. When they try to pass laws restraining the evil, their will is overturned. It was not by choice that parents were deprived of the right to intervene and even know of their children’s situation. It was not by vote, O Lord, that the perversions of lust became protected privileges of the state. The people of this land did not will these things. It is true, Father, that we allowed it, and for that we are guilty, but we did not choose it, it came upon us. Have Mercy, O God and deliver us, that we may again worship you freely and acknowledge your Name and establish your will by the laws of our Land.
Father, remember the sacrifices of those who tried to stop the murder of little ones made in your image – the murder of those waiting to be born. When some of them, your Church, took to the streets to raise up a cry of “repentance” and issue the prophet’s warning of “injustice,” we were arrested and thrown into prison. Some were stripped of property; others treated like criminals and members of organized crime. Even the right to freedom of speech was taken away to protect the murdering spirit reigning through the courts of this foreign king. And when the rest of your people saw what happened, they were afraid to speak out. They were scattered. Forgive us Lord.
But remember also, Holy Spirit, how for 40 years, those who believe your word, and who have upheld your truth and your values, have been subjected to a catalog of lies from the mouth of the frog like spirits of deception. In the media, the mouthpiece of this alien king, evil is called “good” and good called “evil.” License is promoted as liberty, and respect for life is vilified. Promiscuity is rewarded and purity is disdained. Those who want the freedom to pray, worship you, and acknowledge you as the Only true God and Savior are called “oppressors” and “intolerant.” Those who honor your Name and your Righteousness are called “bigoted” and “mongers of hate.” This did not happen just once, but daily. Just as your people in Egypt were subjected to the slavery of making bricks with straw under the taskmaster’s whip, so your people today are subjected daily to the whip of your enemies, who use the power of public slander to castigate and threaten.
Yes Lord, we have bowed under the whip. We have eaten at the fount of pornography and promiscuity, and we have fallen prey to the flood of lies, and for that O Lord, we are guilty. But we did not choose these things; they came upon us. The temptation of lust became our daily bread, and the false heralds of “freedom” declared it “good” for us. The courts of this alien king also declared that unholy and sinful temptations could not be censored or removed from the eyes of the people. The courts equated the freedom of worship with the license of sin. And daily, the assault upon our senses increases.
Yet in all this, the media still does not represent the majority of the people. The media serve the interests of the powerful few who intimidate even the legislators through a barrage of lies. The media do not reflect the will of the majority, Lord, yet constantly they try to manipulate the populace to uphold the values of this alien king. And your people are weakening, year by year, under the onslaught of the power of these lies. Your people are getting used to their slavery, Lord. Let us not become comfortable with slavery!
Therefore, O Lord, though we have sinned and surrendered to the powers of this age, we beg of you to have mercy upon us. For the sake of your Son Jesus, forgive us and deliver us from the oppression of the enemy, and restore our freedom, that righteousness may again reign through the will of the people over the courts and laws of this land. Give us courage and boldness to stand for you. Let our only King be Jesus, and may Jesus reign as King over this Land once again. Lord, we cannot save ourselves from this situation. Only You, O Lord, can deliver us.
Therefore, we beg of you Lord, Come! Give your people One Voice. Draw out from among your people the false shepherds and the wolves. Make a distinction between the true and the false, so that the people may clearly see —who is on the Lord’s side. Give authority and power to the shepherds who uphold your Word. And let the Spirit of unity and agreement reign in the true Church — that the world may know the voice of the Lord and discern it from the devil and his lies. Stand O Lord, in the midst of your Flock, this people in the United States, and gather them unto yourself. And then O Lord, Lead them that we may know your victory on this earth!
Father, hear us, for we ask this all in Jesus’ Name and for his sake.
Prayer by Jefferis Kent Peterson
May be freely copied and distributed.
THE JEWISH CONCEPT OF TIME
REPEATING PATTERNS -CYCLES & TYPES: THE STUDY OF TYPOLOGY
THE WESTERN CONCEPT OF TIME IS LINEAR
Modern historical chronology sees time as a linear progress from beginning to end; from Big Bang to the End of the Universe; from Genesis to Revelation. This idea from western rationalism, evolutionary theory, and scientific measurement has led to some non-biblical ideas such as the inevitability of human progress and enlightenment…. Forgetting that sinful human nature does not change through time, only individuals are changed when the human heart is renewed by Jesus Christ. In the early 1900’s they called this the Social Gospel Movement: theologians believed we could fix the human condition with social programs and government actions. WWI put an end to that theology, but today, we see an atheistic version of this belief in the perfectibility of mankind through laws and government programs. But we also see how this attempt to fix human nature with government programs and laws has failed.
The root of the error here is believing that people are basically good, instead of what the bible says: we are basically selfish and sinful, unless redeemed by Jesus Christ through faith in His Name.
THE HEBREW CONCEPT OF TIME IS CYCLICAL – PATTERN THAT REPEATS.
• In Jesus’ day, the Jews were looking for signs that would identify the Messiah. He was to be a King like David, a Prophet like Moses, and a Priest like Aaron. He had to have all three characteristics. • ““The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—” (Deuteronomy 18:15, ESV) • “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’” (Deuteronomy 18:18–20, ESV) “So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.” (John 6:30–36, ESV) • The irony here is that Jesus had just fed the 5,000 in the wilderness (not counting women and children, according to Matt 14:21). The problem was that the Jews were looking for an exact repetition of manna, and did not see what was obviously right in front of their eyes!
TYPES AND PATTERNS
- Because time is a repeating pattern to the Jews, with changes, time is like variations on a theme. You still recognize the tune even thought it has modulated. • “Now if he (Jesus) were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:4–6, ESV) • “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:11–12, ESV)
- The Gospels were written to prove or show that Jesus was the Messiah. But in what way were they trying to show Jesus as the fulfillment of a prophet like Moses, a king like David, and a priest like Aaron? They did they by using types and examples from the Torah and Joshua, to show how Jesus was not just like them, but the fulfillment of them. The Gospels were written as evangelical tracts with a lot of theology written in to them.
• It is important to remember then, that because they saw time as cyclical, they were not trying to write a strict linear chronology like we do in the west. They were using the events of Jesus’ life to show why he is the Messiah.
THE GOSPEL OF MARK
• Papias was Bishop of Hierapolis in the first century and knew the apostles: “Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord’s discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.”
So we see here that strict chronology was not the central concern of the way they wrote. That is why we see slight differences in the arrangements of the stories in the Gospels.
MATTHEW USED THE EXODUS AS HIS MODEL
- While all the gospels are very united on the Passion of Jesus at Passover, they differ on their arrangement of the events of Jesus’ life on earth. Matthew wanted to show how Jesus was the fulfillment of Torah and based his gospel on the pattern of Exodus. Here are parallels Matthew points out:
• Moses was rescued from death, hidden from the decree by an evil Pharaoh – Jesus was rescued from the slaughter of innocents ordered by evil King Herod.
• Moses was 40 days on the Mountain top – Jesus was 40 days in the Wilderness
• Moses gave the Ten Commandments and gave the Laws from Holy Mt Sinai – Jesus preached “The
Sermon on the Mount”
• Matthew also uses other parts of scripture like the Psalms and Isaiah to show how Jesus fulfilled the types: being born of a virgin and entering Jerusalem on a colt.
LUKE USES DEUTERONOMY AS HIS MODEL
- In Deuteronomy 5-6, Moses reiterates the Ten Commandments and rehearses the Laws of God on the plain – Luke 6:17-49 records Jesus Sermon on the plain. He did not record the sermon on the mount.
• Obviously, there are many other parallels and other scriptures used to show Jesus as the Christ. And Jesus’ own words testify to his nature.
JOHN USES GENESIS AND JOSHUA TO REVEAL JESUS
- John compares Jesus, the Word of God, to the Word spoken at beginning of Creation by God in Genesis one and John 1. He declares that is Jesus, by whom and through whom all things were created. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3, ESV)
• Jesus is the Divine Word of God. The Logos, in Greek, means the not just the Word but the reason behind all things and for all things. Jesus is the Reason, not just the reason for the season, but the reason for All Life.
JOHN USES JOSHUA, AS HIS MODEL AS WELL:
JOSHUA IN HEBREW IS YESHUA, YESHUA IS THE HEBREW FOR THE NAME JESUS
JOSHUA = YESHUA = JESUS
JOHN ALSO SHOW HOW JESUS FULFILLS THE FESTIVALS
- Jesus fulfills Passover in his death and resurrection at Passover.
- Jesus fulfills Tabernacles in John 7-9, which has the festival of lights:
- “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12, ESV)
• Drawing of water: “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ”” (John 7:37–38, ESV)
Just as Joshua led the people across the Jordan River to bring the people of God into the Promised Land, John records Jesus crossing the Jordan River, on his way to certain death in Jerusalem, to deliver the people of God from death to life; into the promised land of the Spirit. Jesus is on the other side of the Jordan River but returns (John 10:40) to raise Lazarus, knowing from then on they will try to kill him.
• “So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.” (John 11:47–53, ESV)
CONCLUSION – THE PATTERNS OF THE OT FULFILLED
• We see how the writers of the New Testament saw Jesus as the fulfillment and completion of the Torah, the Holy Scriptures, the Psalms, the Prophets, the prophecies, and the Covenants of God. They saw Jesus everywhere in the scriptures as foretold if not in literal words, then in the patterns of God’s movements in the past. And they wanted to prove that Jesus is the Messiah by pointing out how the types and patterns were repeated and fulfilled in Jesus.
Our Unity Is Greater than Our Divisions
I have been the only “white-boy” pastor in an all-African American church. I was born a gentile, but by faith I am also a son of Abraham. I am grandfather to my Hispanic grandchildren. I have a mixed-mutt Anglo-Swede-German-Celtic and who-knows-what-else of a heritage. I have brothers who are Asian and Native Americans. Our church is a beautiful melting pot of multi-ethnic souls. In the world, there are only two races of mankind. However they are not races based on skin color or ethnic origin. The two races of mankind are those who in God and those are not. If you are in Christ, we are of one blood and we share God as our Father. We are blood brothers in Jesus. We are family. We are one.
Historically, there has always been hostility between peoples of different tribes, tongues, religions, and colors. In Israel, in the Temple, there was a low wall called a “soreg” beyond which no non-Hebrew could go on pain of death. Within the wall, closer to God’s Holy Presence, only the covenant people could go. This wall created hostility between Jews and non-Jews; it was an exclusion zone that created a second class of citizens. It wasn’t racial, it was ethnic and religious. But still, there was a separation …that is until Jesus came.
“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:11–16, ESV)
Jesus came to unite all people of good will into one family with God as our Father. Therefore, anyone who is in Christ is my brother or sister… no matter what your skin color, tribe, or language. We are one family of one blood and we are all brothers: black, white, brown, red or yellow or anything in between.We all have God as our Father, and we are part of the royal family as princes and princesses of the King of King. We share a royal bloodline. There is no room for hostility between us because we are all sons and daughters of the King. We share in His Glory and participate in His Divine Nature through the wonderful gift of His Holy Spirit. We share a common destiny and we share a common hope and we are called to a common purpose: to love one another and to have compassion on the lost. Paul says this:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:28–29, ESV)
All inequality is banished in Jesus. All pride of position or of natural birth is excluded, for we all come to the Throne of Grace as children. The sharecropper’s son and the financier’s daughter are all equal in His eyes. So yes, there is hostility between the races. Those not in Christ, not in God’s family, often hate those who are one with Him. Jesus even said this would happen to our race:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:18–21, ESV)
Even though we must endure racial hostility for His name’s sake, those of us who are in Christ Jesus are called to love one another and love even our enemies. We are to reach out to those who do not know the beauty and goodness of the God who loves them. Until they are in Christ Jesus, they are still outside the wall… a separate race, who do not have God as their Father. Fear and anger are their masters, and they have not experienced the love and peace they long for in their hopes for a better world. They want perfection, but without a change in their own hearts, they are only adding to the flames of a hostile world.
For those of us who love one another, let us pour water on the scorched earth of their hearts and show them that to truly love others, they must first receive love from the God who loves them. When they are healed, they can be part of the solution in a world rocked with hatred and violence.
John’s Use of Genesis —-
“And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”” (Matthew 13:52, ESV)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:1–18, ESV)
The “Word” in Greek is Logos, and it means more than just a word; it means the reason for being, the meaning of things, the purpose of life, when it is ascribed to Jesus. The Hebrew scholars, when translating the First Testament into Greek, used the word Logos for the word “Dabar” in Genesis. We see that when God said (debar) “Let there be light,” the word for God’s spoken, creative word, is the same word used to describe the Son of God, through whom the hole universe was created and in whom the whole universe holds together. (Colossians 1: 16-17)
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:1–10, ESV)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life (logos of life)— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:1–4, ESV)
The 3 Temptations
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:1–7, ESV)
“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ” And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” (Luke 4:1–15, ESV)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17, ESV)
We are in a season where we are separated and have to have communion with our families in our homes, which is like the time the Hebrews were hiding in their homes during Passover, as the last plague in Eqypt took the first born children of the Egyptians. Their covenant with God was made by the blood of a lamb placed upon their doorposts. We too have a Lamb that was slain whose blood is placed upon the doorposts of our hearts.
Acts 2: 42-47. 1 Corinthians 11: 17-26. Communion is a Covenant Between you and God, not a Temple Sacrifice. It was celebrated in each family home, just as Passover had been. Our Communion with Jesus should extend to care for our neighbors… those hungry and without.