Prayer Forum: Volume One

INTRODUCTION

The Prayer and Bible Study Forum is an inter-denominational site created to encourage believers to develop the habits of prayers and Bible study while they are involved in ministry’s works at their various denominations. It is an interactive prayer and Bible study forum that encourages Christians to adopt spiritual disciplines in the areas of prayers, Bible studies, and good workmanship to a committed life before God that leads to their spiritual formation in Christ (2 Cor 3:17–18). This document contains 170 pages delineating on various biblical doctrines relevant to prayers, divine laws, and covenants as to educate believers on the spiritual disciplines of prayers as to create the army of the Lord’s kingdom. Meanwhile, this document delineates on the spiritual armor while explaining its parts and gives synopsis of the major Godly covenants in the Bible and their significance to salvation and the Christian lives. The formation of divine covenants and their implications to humans’ relationships and other ungodly covenants implied that no one is free from covenants and therefore informs believers to break former demonic covenants that negatively affect their Christians’ lives and their positions in God.

METHODOLOGIES

This documentation is not written in the conventional style; rather, it is written in the conversational written format to satisfy group and individual prayer and Bible study method which requires determination and self-discipline to follow the daily prayer and Bible readings posed on messenger or other sites weekly. This document could also be used in the group settings for in-person or traditional classroom environment to educate believers regarding basic Christian doctrines and their stewardship responsibilities before God. Enjoy the reading!!

THE ARMOR AND ITS PARTS IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE

#01: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We will read Ephesians 6:10-18 today at our convenient time and pray for 30 minutes at midnight asking God to help us wear the armor. It is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil 2:13). The armor is worn through obedience and the grace; however, we are mandated in scripture to ask (Matt. 7:7). Prayer Forum, have a blessed day and may God protect you and family and give you your basic needs.

Memory Verse: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12 KJV).

#02: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Now we have read Ephesians 6:10-18 and have spent 30 minutes in prayer asking God to help us wear the armor. Today, we will read Ephesians 6:14 (a ) only. In this verse, Paul mentioned the Belt of Truth as the first part of the spiritual armor that we are required to wear before praying because prayer is a war between believers and Satan. We can successfully fight this war because it is a post war. The war was won 2000 years ago and Satan was defeated when Jesus died on the cross and resurrected from the grave; therefore, we are not fighting for victory; instead, we are fighting from victory; however, we are asked to put on the Belt of Truth. In Greek, it is called osphus aletheia[1], the capacity of the renewed mind based on truth. It means we cannot successfully fight this war provided we believe God and his word. During the 30 minutes prayer, we are going to ask God to increase our faith to enable us put on the Belt of Truth when we are praying. Praying without faith is equivalent to defeat.

Memory Verse: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph 6:18 KJV).

#03: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It is my prayer that we keep up with the reading and the 30 minutes prayer time that has been assigned to us. Today, we will read Ephesians 6:14 (b). In this verse, Apostle Paul, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, introduced the second part of the spiritual armor called the Breastplate of Righteousness. In Greek, it is called thorax dikaiosune[2], the capacity of moral preference we make that pleases God. The breastplate on the physical armor protects the heart, the most vulnerable part of the human body; therefore, the heart being the seat of decision making, allegorically, determines how well our prayers are heard and answered. It tells us that our prayers will not be heard and answered when we are carrying people in our hearts that we have not forgiven in point of time when they wronged us. Unforgiving spirit or bitterness against people is equivalent to defeat and could result into spiritual suicidal. We will spend 10 minutes in prayers forgiving people who have wronged us and 20 minutes confessing sins and thanking God for his forgiveness toward us. Lastly, we will ask him to put love into our hearts so we can love them.

Memory Verse: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Eph 4:32 KJV).

#04: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 6:15 and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. In verse 15, Apostle Paul introduced the third part of the spiritual armor that believers are admonished to wear. It is called the Gospel of Peace. In Greek, it is called euaggelion eirene[3], the good news of the coming Messiah (Christ) that gives peace of mind or wholeness to humanity. Preaching the gospel through evangelism and the lives we live to give wholeness to dying souls is a spiritual war fought between the flesh and devil. Pray that God will empower you to live the Christian Life so you can become an effective witness for his kingdom.

Memory Verse:  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Eph 6:14–16 KJV).

#05: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Prayer is a spiritual weapon that is used to control things according to your desire based on God’s plan. We are admonished in scriptures to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matt 7:7); however, we must do so by faith (believing); then, the door will be opened. Today, we will read Ephesians 6:16. In this verse, Apostle Paul introduced the fourth part of the spiritual armor called the Shield of Faith. In Greek, it is called thureos pistis[4], the soul protection of the believers based on confidence (God’s kind of Faith) during spiritual warfare. It is through the Shield of Faith we stop the devil’s operation. We remained undefeated and unharmed because we have the confidence that God is with us. The opposite of confidence is doubt due to fear. Apostle Paul admonished us in Phil 4:6-7 that we should be anxious for nothing, but by prayers and petitions, our requests should be made known to God. We will spend 30 minutes today at our convenient time praying against fear. Fear disarms the believers during Prayers and disables him or her to use the Shield of Faith. Fear during prayers is equivalent to defeat.

Memory Verse: Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6–7 KJV).

#06: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 6:17 (a) and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. In this verse, Apostle Paul introduced the fifth part of the spiritual armor. It is called the Helmet of Salvation. In Greek, it is called perikephalaia soterios[5], the protection of the soul that consists in the hope of salvation. Such salvation called soterios is an applied salvation that contains healing, deliverance from sin, demons, sickness, failure, disappointment, witchcraft and the list goes on. The helmet on the physical armor protects the head, the box that carries on the thought processes and happens to be one of vulnerable parts of the human body. Allegorically, salvation is a helmet that protects our soul during the spiritual war; therefore, the unsafe cannot fight this war. Everyone who is saved carries the seal of the Holy Spirit; therefore, demon knows who believers are in the spirit. This is scripturally proven in Acts 19:13-17. The seven sons of Sceva attempted to cast out an evil spirit from a demon possessed man because they saw Paul casting out demons. The demon spoke through the man and said, Paul and Jesus I know, who are you? The demon possessed man beat the seven sons Sceva and naked them. The helmet of salvation defends believers during the spiritual war. The enemy uses two devices to void believers of this weapon. 1) He lies to believers that they are not saved; therefore, people who attend churches lack the assurance of salvation. 2) He lies to believers that the Christian Life is difficult to live; as the result, believers get weaker to make changes to their lives that express the glory of God. All believers who have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior carry the Helmet of Salvation by default. Why allow the enemy to rule? Today, we will pray against the devil’s lies that we are not Christians and against habitual sins that gradually ruin our Christian lives for 30 minutes.

Memory Verse:  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9–10 JKV).

#07: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 6:17 (b) and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. In this verse, Apostle Paul introduced the sixth part of the spiritual armor. It is called the Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word). In Greek, it is called machaira pneuma[6], the slaughter knife for stabbing or an instrument to exact retribution carried out by the Spirit allegorically. The Word of God in the spoken form used in prayers and biblical quotations is called rhema. Rhema[7] creates things or episodes when they are spoken in the Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 that the words he speaks are lives and spirit. The word of God is living, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword according to Hebrews 4:12. God said, “Let there be light, and there was light (Gen 1:3). Life and death are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat its fruits (Proverbs 18:21). A man’s belly is satisfied with the fruit of his mouth (Proverbs 18:20). In prayers, we use the word of God called rhema to pray. The words are released from our months when we pray. When we pray using God’s Word, we remind God of what he is capable of doing on our behalf. We are admonished in Isaiah 62:6; 43:26 to put God in remembrance of his word and promises and he will fulfill them. Now you have taken on the Helmet of Salvation; therefore, you stand in the position to take the Sword of the Spirit and use it. What you speak to God in prayers and direct declaration is what happens now. I Pastor Jallah Koiyan, I stand by to pray with you in Spirit. During the 30 minutes prayer, speak against things that are not working for your good and call on things you want work for your good. The Sword of the Spirit hurts Satan and his demons. It is your mouth.

Memory Verse:  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 KJV).

#08: Good Evening Prayer Forum! Apostle Paul writes, ” And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Eph 6:18 NIV). Today, we will read this verse and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. In this verse, Apostle Paul introduced the seventh part of the spiritual armor called Prayer. It is called in Greek, proseuche[8], the prayer offered to God (Matt 17:21) and the place of prayers suited for prayer such as the Synagogue or the Church (Acts 16:13, 16) or a place of prayers offered without a Synagogue or a Church. Such place includes near water or beaches, mountains, designated gardens, or altar. It tells us that prayer has no boundaries with reference to place and time. We are admonished to pray for the Lord’s people in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests at all times. God has called every believer into an intercessory ministry or to pray for others. When we become intercessors, we serve as the reservoirs to carry the Lord’s blessings to others that need them. God will use you to open doors that have been shot for years, the demonaic or the demon possessed individual will be delivered when you pray, the sick will recover from their illness when you pray, and the intercessor will be blessed because he or she is wet as the result of being a reservoir. Can I hear ‘Amen’? Prayer is an offensive weapon that houses the believer’s source of power as the mitochondria of biological cell serves as center of power house for cellular activity to maintain vital life processes. When believers stop to pray, they begin to die spiritually. Most of the sins that controlled our lives as habitual sins can be overcome when we develop the prayer lifestyles. Every believer is required to have an altar where he or she can meet God. As we close or complete the parts of the spiritual armor today, let’s ask God to help us develop the habit of the prayer life while we pray for 30 minutes.

Memory Verse: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel (Eph 6:18– 9 KJV).

THE DIVISIONS OF THE SATANIC KINGDOM

#09: Good Morning Prayer Forum! This week, we will continue in the Ephesians chapter 6:10–13. Before Ephesians 6:10–13, Apostle Paul layout the responsibility of children, father, slave, and the master in Ephesians 6:1–9 and then introduced a transitional word, ‘therefore’ in verse 10. As we read through verses 10 to 13, we see a pattern of direct command such as ‘be strong in the Lord, put on the full armor so that when the day of evil comes you will be able to stand your ground. Apostle Paul was chained in prison in Rome around AD 62 when he wrote this letter to the people of Ephesus. Can someone tell me who was responsible for his imprisonment? The devil was responsible; therefore, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write in order to unveil the severity of the activities of the demonic kingdom. He used the word ‘evil’. In verses 10–13, we are admonished to be strong in the Lord and to put on the full armor of God. Imagine yourself wearing the armor in the spirit as the warrior of the Lord’s military and pray for 30 minutes using declaration. This kind of prayers is speaking things into existence and believing that they exist. I will give a short testimony to inspire you. I believe some of you have greater testimony than I have because some of you are pastors and know what I am talking about. In 2007, my wife was pregnant with my son; unfortunately, the child was bridged in the womb. The doctor recommended abortion to save the Mother. Based on our religious ethics, we refused to carry out the act. The next issue that came about the unborn child after my wife has performed the blood test, according to the prognosis; she was at risk to born a Down syndrome child (abnormal child). The Doctor recommended amniocentesis (using needle to draw a fluid from the Mother’s uterus). We refused because it is a dangerous procedure that could hurt the unborn child. Since Satan failed to kill my child through abortion, he designed another device or scheme to hurt my child. During this time, I was praying and declaring things on the unborn child despite the medical reports and the letters we received in the mail from the hospital. I was speaking to the bridged child in the uterus to align in the rightful position. Normally, the unborn child should be born after nine months; unfortunately, my son was overdue and he spent 12 months in the womb. I took my wife to the hospital after she got in labor pain due to this problem. Upon our arrival, she was examined and the fetal heart rate was zero; therefore, the Doctor recommended surgery because the child was dead in the womb. I was asked to sign a document for an immediate surgery; however, I asked the Doctor that I wanted to pray before signing the document. I went into the restroom and began to pray. After few minutes, the nurse called and told me that the child’s heart beating. I continued to pray while my wife was still under the machine. After 30 minutes of declaration prayer, my son was born. I give this testimony to inspire us what declaration prayer can do when we believers pray. Prayer Forum, declare things to come into being knowing that you are well armored after you read Ephesians 6:10–13.

Memory Verse: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12 KJV).

#10: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 6:10–11 and pray for 30 minutes. In verse 10, we are admonished to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. In Greek, to be strong in the Lord, is called endunamoo[9], the tendency of God sharing power ability with believers during spiritual warfare. God is the one who is fighting the war; however, he needs believers to fight the war. We are co-collaborators with God in ministry. There are certain things God cannot do without human involvement. God needs believers to pray and to preach so sinners can come to experience his power and be saved. He needs a body to occupy because he is the Spirit. Spirit does not have flesh neither bone; therefore, God needs us to fight the battle. Every one of us is faced with battle based on our background. Some of us were born in a town that has been dedicated to a deity; therefore, no one who is from such township can prosper. In some families, premature death is the pattern and no one in such families can live to see his or her 18th or 30th birthday. We have evil spirits that hunt us from our background through covenants. We face these wars daily despite of our involvement in the church. We can grow out of these wars when put on the full armor of God and develop the prayer life. You will grow out of them when God has fully anointed us. The ugly dream that bothered you formerly, will go away. We are also admonished to be strong in the power of his might. In Greek, his might is called ischus, the force that overcomes immediate resistance. We are empowered by the Lord as the result of putting on the complete armor. The complete armor in Greek is called panoplia, the complete set of defensive and offensive weapon that the Lord has given believers to wage war against Satan and his demons. Panoplia[10] indicates that believers are not fighting for victory; instead, they are fighting from victory. The battle is a post war because Jesus defeated Satan when he died, buried, and resurrected (Eph 4:8-12, Heb 2:14). When we put on the full armor of God, we will be able to stand our ground when evil comes. Evil is not a thing, but evil is a choice we make in life. The belt of truth will guide you to choose between lie and truth, the breastplate of Righteousness will guide you to identify wrong from right, the shield of faith will make you to have confidence in God, the helmet of salvation will qualify or identify you as the warrior of Jesus, you will be in the position to preach God’s word by virtue of your testimony, you will be in the position to declare things (rhema/Sword of the Spirit/Spoken word) and God will bring them to pass, and you will be a weapon (prayer) of war. During the 30 minutes prayer, break covenants and curses that affect you from your background using the name of Jesus.

Memory Verse:  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:10–11 KJV).

#11: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 6:12. In this verse, Apostle Paul introduced, what I called, the division of the satanic kingdom. The reason of being clothed in the armor is validated in this scripture with reference to the object of our warfare. We are fighting spiritual beings embodied through human agents. Satan manifests himself through people that interact with the members of family, neighborhood, community, and nation. In verse 12, we will discuss one of the agents of the satanic kingdom that interacts with the segment of societies introduced above. Apostle Paul called the agent rulers. In Greek, it is called arche[11]. Judges or magistrates who preside over judicial matters are arche and such people have the responsibility to judge cases and come out with the outcome with reference to conviction or the acquittal of the defendant; therefore, they are authorized to grant clemency or order the death penalty of an individual wrongly or justly. Apostle Paul and Silas were dragged, stripped naked, beaten, and thrown into prison by the order of the magistrate as the result casting out the evil spirit out of the woman who brought money to her master through sorcery (Acts 16:16-40). Apostle Paul admonished us that we are fighting evil spirits that live in magistrates or judges called rulers or arche. We are mandated to pray for all kings and all authorities so that we can live quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and holiness (1Timothy 2:2). The order to beat Paul and Silas and be imprisoned by the Magistrate was influenced by demons who in live the Magistrate. Why get angry with an individual who delivered an individual from an evil spirit? The evil spirit in the Magistrate was responding to the episode because one of its kinds was cast out. Paul writes,” For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against rules, authorities, powers, the spirits of the dark world, and spiritual wickedness of evil in heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). These guys are the objects of our warfare. We are required to pray for judges or magistrates so they can do the right things in society. They are strategically placed by God to judge and to convict criminals in our nation. If they connive with the perpetrator of evil; then, we don’t have justice and so is insecurity in the nation. We need to pray for judicial system in Liberia because people are being missing and killed and government is doing nothing about it. People were being arrested by the police in Liberia because they protested at the St. Moses’ Funeral Home for the three boys who are missing due to St. Moses’ involvement. Government has not made any arrest; instead, government is protecting the suspect. During the 30 minutes, we will pray against ritualistic killings in Liberia and for judges who have been placed in the court system to prosecute these cases so they can do the right thing. Remember to for the President and his officials.

Memory Verse: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Eph 6:16 KJV).

#12: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will discuss the second satanic agent called authorities in Ephesians 6:12 (b) and pray for 30 minutes. In Greek, it is called exousia[12], the delegated power invested in someone to act on behalf another person. When Jesus said in Matthew 28:16 that all powers have been given him in heaven and on Earth by his Father, he was referring to exousia. In the context of Matthew 28:16-20, with reference to the Great Commission, Jesus had given this exousia to his disciples to go, to make disciples, to teach, to baptize, to heal, and to cast out evil spirits. The word exorcism, the ability to drive or cast out demons comes from the Greek word “exousia.” Exousia in the context of Ephesians 6:12, is the earthly or spiritual power of the Jewish Judaism. Exousia or authorities carried out the order or instructions from rulers. They execute the directives from judges or magistrates. Examples of authorities are policemen, soldiers, sheriffs, and contemporaries that serve in similar jobs. In 1Timothy 2:2, we are admonished to pray for all those who are in authorities so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. When a policeman or a military man opens gun fire on peaceful citizens of a nation, it is influenced by demons or the spirit of murder. During physical warfare, these demons control people who are armed to commit atrocities at battle front. Physical war whether is a just or unjust war is diabolical because people are killed. Apostle Paul admonished us that we are fighting evil spirits who control authorities. God has empowered you to fight authorities. During the 30 minutes, let’s pray for the security forces.

Memory Verse:  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph 6:18 KJV).

#13: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 6:12 (c) and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. Let us be reminded that when we stop praying as believers; then, we will begin to die spiritually; therefore, prayer should be a lifestyle for believers. Apostle Paul introduced the third agent called rulers of the dark world. In Greek, it is called kosmokrator[13], the order, harmony, or the system of things as the unified whole responsible for the world order. Kosmokrator refers to Satan and his demons that control world leaders. These demons control Presidents and Kings of nation. Kosmokrator is the god of this world. Jesus and Paul refer to him as prince and god of this world.( John 14:30; 12-31, 44-47; 2 Cor 4:4). We are asked to pray for Kings, Presidents, and all authorities for peaceful co-existence (1Timothy 2:1-6). In the New Testament, Hero the Great, the King of Judea, orders the execution of children two years old and below in the vicinity of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18). The massacre of the children was influenced by Kosmokrator (Satan/demons). This is one of the reasons God has called the church into an intercessory ministry. We are called to pray for Presidents and Kings.

Memory Verse:  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1Timothy 2:1–2).

#14: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we read Ephesians 6:12 (d) and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. Do not take for granted these 30 minutes of prayer time. It will revitalize your spiritual life if you do follow time and discipline yourselves to pray; however, the enemy will suggest that you are too busy to pray. We will discuss the last agent of the satanic kingdom. The agent is called spiritual wicked of evil in the heavenly places. In Greek, is an invisible realm called pneumatikos[14]. All the wicked spirits that live in this spiritual realm are called pneumatikos. An example of this spirit is seen Acts 16:16-40. Evil spirits such as witchcraft, sorcery, necromancer or spirit of the dead, spiritual husbands and wives (mammy water/marine spirit), immoral spirits or sexual dysfunctional spirits etc are in the category of pneumatikos. People who are married to spiritual husbands or wives never continue in relationship or get married unless they are delivered. In some families, premature deaths can become prevalent and family members die younger. The spirit of the practice of dead calling called necromancy rules such family. In Christian practice, it is wrong to speak to dead bodies at burial or have feast for dead family member. These things are very common in the African settings; unfortunately, they are out of the norm of Christian practice are sinful in the eyes of God. People who spoke to the dead did not enter the Promised Land (Deut 18:10-12). God told Moses that such people should be executed. Some of us are affected by these things due to parental and generational covenants though we are members of some Christian Church. In Romans 8:18-24, Apostle Paul said, ” Even we ourselves groan within us waiting the adoption as sons the redemption of our bodies.” You can be a Christian and still be affected by these things because we live in the fallen world controlled by Satan. This is the one of reasons Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (Heb 2:14). God has empowered you to destroy parental and generational covenants and curses that are working against you. Use rhema to break them and set yourself free during the 30 minutes. This prayer is a declaration one. Speak it and it will come to pass.

Memory Verse:  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14 KJV).

INTRODUCTION TO GODLY AND DEMONIC COVENANTS

#15: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It reads, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God” (Deut 18:10-13 KJV). Today, we will continue in Ephesians 6:12 (d) and continue the discussion on the last agent of the satanic kingdom called ‘Spiritual Wickedness of Evil in the Heavenly Places.’ The operations of these demons are prevalent in the world; therefore, the demons interact daily with our daily lives in the context of cultural behaviors and practices. The forth runners or the agents that control what I called ancestral worship are in the category of pnematikos. Ancestral worship is any religious practice that is based on a belief that the deceased family members continue to exist in some capacity. Often, that includes a belief that the spirits of the deceased have an impact on the lives and luck of the living. It is the religious movement that affects culture and dictates how humanity relates to the spiritual world. The practice of magical acts, sorcery, witchcrafts, or secret societies such as the Poro, Sandy, Neggy, or Leopard is instigated by Spiritual Wickedness of Evil in the Heavenly Places. Globally, there are 12 types of ancestral worship religious movements in the world. The scripture introduced in this forum relates to the context of the worship of dead people called necromancy. This is very common in our Liberian setting when it comes to memorial, funeral, and feasting in order to commemorate the dead. It is not wrong to come together to bury when someone dies; however, it dictates what we do during the gathering that might lead us ignorantly to begin to worship the spirit of the dead (necromancers). Whenever we gather to bury the dead, the practice of speaking to the dead and telling the dead to communicate the message from the living to the departed is the direct act of ancestral worship. You are communicating with demons. The dead does not hear and neither understands what you are saying; rather, it is the spirit of the dead you are speaking to. Satan has modernized this in the church called memorial services wherein people gather to commemorate the departed. During feasting or worship of the dead especially in some settings in Africa, people cook and take the food to the grave yard to be offered to the dead. You are worshipping demons unknown to yourselves. The association with such demons can be characterized with setback in life, disappointment, failures, premature deaths, and among others. Ancestral worship is the tradition of men and it is out of the Christian tradition or norm. We are admonished in scriptures to avoid the traditions, philosophy, and rudiments of the world (Col 2:8; Mark 7:1-9; 1 Peter 1:17-19; Deut 12:29-32; Jer 17:9-10; John 4:23-24; Romans 8:7-8). During burial, some family members can ignorantly sign death covenant and this can be dangerous to the rest of the family members. In some settings in Africa, when a mother dies and leaving her child, during burial, the grave garment from the dead body is placed on the child and the child is asked to walk away from the burial site while someone walks with child. The family has just signed a death covenant and no child in such family is going to see her 18th birthday unless God intervenes. Having sex in dreams, eating food, flying in dream, and being chased by an unknown person in the dream is influenced by Spiritual Wickedness of Evil in the Heavenly Places. Fortunately by divine covenant, you are believers and have the power to break these things might be confronting you. Some of us are affected because our ancestors have been worshippers of the dead. During the 30 minutes prayer, we will be breaking parental, generational, and witchcrafts covenant using the name of Jesus. Any words you speak believe that what you have spoken is happening now (Matt 18:18). God has given us authority to bind and to lose. The power is in your tongue called rhema, the created word that creates things when spoken in the spirit.

Memory Verse: There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee (Deut 18:10–12 KJV).

#16: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue in Ephesians 6:12 (d); additionally, we will introduce a scripture as the sub-theme of today’s discussion. In the last discussion, we indicated that pneumatikos daily interacts with cultures of humanity as the open door to the spiritual world. The existence of these spiritual beings speaks volumes the complexity of the Spirit world. It reads, “You are here today to enter into this covenant that the Lord your God is making with you and to accept its obligations. You are not the only ones with whom the Lord is making this covenant with its obligations. He is making it with all of us who stand here into his presence today and also with our descendants who are not yet born” (Deut 29:12-15 NIV). God is Spirit; therefore, in order to incorporate man into his program, he does it through a contract called covenant; similarly, Satan does the same because he is a spirit. Spirit will access you and your generation through a blood covenant. In this junction, God signed covenant with Adam during the dispensation of conscience known as the Edenic or the Adamic Covenant by killing an animal (blood) to cloth Adam and Eve (Gen 2:15-17). During the dispensation of promise, God signed covenant with Abraham known as the Abrahamic Covenant by killing a lamb (blood) (Gen 17). During the dispensation of human government, God signed covenant with Noah known as the Noahic Covenant by ordering Noah to make an animal sacrifice after the flood (,Gen 9). During the dispensation of the Law, God signed covenant with Israel known as the Mosaic Covenant by instituting animal sacrifice as the means of atonement. During the dispensation of Grace, God sent Jesus through the likeness of sinful man to die for the sin of the whole world known as the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34). God is the originator of covenant and it is through covenant God accesses humanity. Satan knows this because he had been with God prior to his fallen on planet Earth. In the last discussion, we introduced ancestral worship, the religious movement that worships the departed members of the family involving the workshop of dead. Ancestral worship is a relationship existing between those who are born and the unborn according to biblical quotation introduced in this discussion. Demonic covenant works in the same manner as Godly covenant. Ancestral worship is characterized by animal’s sacrifices. Among the 12 types of ancestral worship, animals are sacrificed. All blood covenants have bloodshed, promises are made, and members of the covenant share liability and benefits. Ancestral covenant is the result of the worship of the dead. Our ancestors have been the worshippers of the dead and by default; we are members of such covenant. Anytime you have dream of a dead person, you have just encountered the spirit of the dead. It is not the person who died. The demon has transformed him to contact you. It is a bad dream and you should against. During the 30 minutes prayer, break ancestral covenant, generational covenant, witchcraft covenant, and curses that affect you as the result these things done on your behalf.

Memory Verse: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (2 ‘Cor 10: 3–6 KJV).

#17: Good Morning Prayer Forum! The Holy Spirit has introduced to us a prevalent religious movement in the world called ‘Ancestral Worship.’ In this week discussion, we introduced five Godly covenants at which God had worked with men in order to incorporate men into his program. What happens to your daily life is predetermined by what types of relationship your forefathers established with a deity and what will happen to your unborn generation determines what types of relationship you will establish. The blessings or the curses that affect you have their roots in covenant. In this session, we will introduce a scripture as the sub,-theme of our discussion and read Genesis Chapter 17 and pray for 30 minutes. Exodus 20:5 reads, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them hate me.” During the 30 minutes Prayer, pray to God to reveal your background. Revelation is equivalent to deliverance. Don’t take it for granted. Some of you are pastors; however, covenant breaking should be a continuous process activity in our prayer lives until we are totally delivered. No one graduates from spiritual things.

Memory Verse: And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations (Gen 17:1–4 KJV).

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

#18: Good Morning Prayer Forum! In previous week, we have been studying the classifications of the division of the satanic kingdom. The last classification called Pneumatikos/Spiritual Wickedness of Evil in the heavenly places seems to influence practices that the segments of human societies are involved. Such practices instigated by demonic religions include witchcraft, soothsaying, sorcery, and consulting medium (dead calling/necromancy) (Deut 18:10-13). Among the practices mentioned above, Ancestral Worship, the religious movement that believes that the deceased family member who has died has an impact to the luck of those who are living; therefore, during ancestral worship, one of the practices carried out during the worship of the dead is calling the individual by name and speaking to the dead in order for the deceased family to communicate the message from the living to the ancestors who had died. Scripture tells us that these practices are abominations and should not be found among God’s people. The second to this post, we introduced five Godly covenants that establish the relationship of blessing or curses based on the responses of the parties involved in the contract (Deut 29:12-15); therefore, consequences are layout. God said, when we violate the shared values layout in the covenant, we will face curses that follow our children, children’s children, the third generation and fourth generation; on the other hand, he will bless us, our children, children’s children, the third to the fourth generation of us and our children, children’s children, the third generation to the fourth generation of us and our children that love him (Exodus 20:5). In our previous discussion, we indicated that the blessings or the curses that follow us are engrained in covenants. In today’s discussion, we introduce Genesis Chapter 17 in order to discuss one of the covenants we introduced in the last post. The covenant is called the Abrahamic Covenant. God called Abram and asked him to walk before him blameless (1-3). In the covenant initiation, there is always an encounter between human and the deity. In this context, this is a Godly covenant as opposed to demonic covenants (ancestral covenant). Abram has encounter with God and God asked him to be holy. In covenant, there is always a shared value (do this and I will do that). God promised Abram that he would bless him and make him a father of many nations provided Abram kept the shared value (holiness) (4). Not only will God bless Abram, but God was going to change his name from Abram to Abraham as the result of the new identity in God. Our Christian identity in God is, we are kingdom of priests and a holy nation (1 Pet. 1:9-11). God did not change his name, but God asked Abraham to undergo circumcision including members of his household. As we read Genesis 17, we see the pattern of divine encounter, the giving of rules or regulation, promise, name changed, and the establishment of the seal (circumcision/identity). The elements mentioned in Genesis 17 are characteristics of all blood covenants. These elements are seen in demonic blood covenants. God the originator of covenants; so, does the devil know. God accesses humanity through covenants; similarly, the devil does the same. During the 30 minutes prayers, break covenants as the Holy Spirit leads you.

Memory Verse: Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day:That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Deut 29:10–13 KJV).

THE EDENIC COVENANT

#19: Good Evening Prayer Forum! We have been studying the divisions of the satanic kingdom in Ephesians 6:12 for a week ago; eventually, the study of these spiritual beings has led us to the study of Godly covenants. In our previous discussions, we learned that the operation of Pneumatikos (Spiritual Wickedness of Evil in the heavenly places) gives rise to the existence of demonic religions that gives birth to demonic covenants. For example, ancestral worship gives rise to ancestral covenant, a generational covenant. By definition, covenant is a relationship that exists between two or more parties. The parties involved in the relationship, must share the benefits and the liabilities of the covenant into consideration the term and the sign of the covenant. The next covenant we will be studying this weekend is the Adamic Covenant. Understanding the term and the sign of these covenants will better help us how demonic covenants work. We understand that the blessings and the curses we experience daily in our lives are engrained in covenants. To get started, we will read Genesis 1:27-28; 2:16-7 and Pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. Please don’t take for granted these prayers; adversely, Satan will tell us that we are too busy to pray. Please don’t pay heed to his suggestion.

We learn that God created man in His own image, blessed them, and told them to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth and have dominion over every living thing moveth upon the earth. Further, God gave a command that Adam & Eve may eat freely of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Further in Romans, we learn that by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Memory Verse:  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen 1:26–27 KJV).

#20: Good Evening Prayer Forum! We will read Jeremiah 31:31-34 and pray for 30 minutes. In our previous discussions, we have learned that God is Spirit; therefore, he will need man to execute his program through covenants since a spirit does not have flesh neither bone in order to function bodily. There are certain things God cannot do without human; therefore, he needs a body to function. He doesn’t work out covenant alone. Since he needed a body to function, he created man from the dust and breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul. In this light, man was created from the third dimension, the material world, and he was incorporated into the fourth dimension, the spirit world (Gen 1:26-31). The Bible defines man as the spirit, but lives in the body. Man is the spirit; as the result, he can be accessed by God and Satan via covenant due to the nature (spirit) he bears that enables him to work with God or Satan. Magical acts are possible via man because Satan exists while miracles are possible via man because God exists. Man is important to both God and Satan. As we reflect on Ephesians 6:12, we can agree that the spiritual beings studied previously, use man as the channel to carry out the activities of Satan. Having given preview of our discussion, let us get started with the Adamic Covenant. God created man from the dust, blessed them, and said be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:26-31). God commanded them to eat every tree in the Garden except the one that was in the middle of the Garden. The forbidden one was the tree of knowledge, good, and evil (Gen 2:16-17). The failure to keep the covenant through disobedience would lead to death. In other words, the promise and the consequence of breaking the Edenic or the Adamic Covenant through disobedience would lead to the death of Adam/Eve and his generations (Romans 5:12-20). When Adam and Eve disobeyed God after having eaten the forbidden fruit, we all became sinners and became subjected to sicknesses, failures, disappointments, demonic attacks, and death due to their failures to keep the rule of the covenant (Romans 5:12-20). The Adamic Covenant is the generational covenant that affects the unborn and the born. In Romans 5:12, it states that death has come to mankind through Adam. To summarize our notes, God created man from the dust so that he can have a body to use during covenant relationship. The tree in the middle of the Garden was a sign to the covenant. Violating the sign through disobedience would cause death of Adam and Eve and their generation (we). Death or life was the promise made by God to the covenant. Promises can be blessings or curses based on the choices made by the parties involved in the covenant. This covenant is an irrevocable covenant and breaking such covenant leads to the death of humanity. The breaking of the Adamic Covenant was influenced by Kosmokrator or Satan (Gen 3:1-24; Ephesians 6:12). The devil (Kosmokrator) used lies to deceive Adam and Eve to break the covenant (Gen 3:1-15; 2 Cor 4:4). Every time we disobey God as Christians, we break God’s covenant. When we become Christians, we automatically enter into a covenant relationship with God (Jer 31:31-34). We are Christians by virtue of covenant; therefore, covenant is a prerequisite to salvation. No one gets saved in the absence of covenants. When we become Christians, we enter into the communion with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This communion leads us to spiritual formation which guarantees our membership as members of New Covenant (2 Cor 3:16-18). During the 30 minutes Prayer, worship and have communion with the members of the Trinity. Your life is going to change when you develop the habits of worship. Why a spiritual experience!!

Memory Verse: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12 KJV).

THE NOAHIC COVENANT

#21: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue reading Jeremiah 31:31- 34 and will pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time. The study of the classifications of the satanic kingdom in Ephesians 6:12 coupled with study of the spiritual armor has ushered us to the study of covenants. The Holy Spirit is the leader in this prayer forum and we will follow his lead. Today, we will discuss the Noahic Covenant and pray for 30 minutes. We are posing the lesson early today. As we have read through Genesis 1:26–28; 2:16–17; and Romans 5:12–20 , it can be observed that we did not see the word ‘covenant’; however, it is inferred by the nature of the passage. As we advance through Genesis Chapter 6 verse 18, the Holy Spirit introduced the word ‘covenant’ and onward through chapters 6 to 9. To give the preview of the Noahic Covenant, we begin in this manner: when the sons (fallen angels) of God had sex with the daughters of men, they bore unto them giants; consequently, the earth became full of violence and the inclination of the hearts of men became wicked; therefore, God determined to destroy everything he has made including animals; however, Noah was the only righteous man and consequently found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen 6–8). In the midst of wickedness, God asked Noah to build the Ark and Noah did as instructed. Eventually, God destroyed the earth and everything in it using the flood waters; except, Noah, his sons, his sons’ wives, and the animals he had taken into the Ark. When he and his family members had gotten out of the Ark, Noah offered an animal to God as the burnt offering. Having given the preview of our discussion, let us get started with the Noahic Covenant. Noah and God entered into a covenant relationship during the dispensation of human government and the birth of nations (Gen 11:1–9). God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth “(Gen 9:1–2). God gave every plants and animals to them as food; however, he forbad them not to eat meat with lifeblood in it and to take the life of another human being (Gen 9:2–7). God told Noah and his sons that the covenant is an everlasting one for Noah and the generations that are yet to come (Gen 9:8–10). God placed the rainbow into the sky as the sign of the covenant and promised Noah that the earth would never be destroyed again using the flood waters (Gen 9:12–16). God set the rainbow into the sky to remind himself of the covenant between him and Noah whenever there is a cloud cover being set into the atmosphere that indicates the sign of rainfall. Let us summarize the notes to see what this covenant is made up of. God blessed Noah and his sons and forbad them not to eat meat with lifeblood and to take the life of another human being. He placed the rainbow into the sky as the sign to guarantee that he will no longer destroy the earth with flood waters. In the covenant, we see sacrifice being offered to God as burnt offering, blessing being offered to Noah and his generations, the rules being given to guide the covenant, and the sign (promise) being given as the guarantee to keep the promise of the covenant. Elements seen in this covenant are characteristics of blood covenants. The similar patterns are also seen in the demonic blood covenants. Lucifer or Satan had been with God from the very beginning of the ages. What Satan produces is the replica or counterfeit of what God has made knowing that God is the originator of covenants.

Memory Verse:  And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:8–9 KJV).

#22: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to read Jeremiah 31:31–34 and will add Exodus 19–24. Please read the entire chapters and pray for 30 minutes at your convenient time. Please do not under look these instructions; consequently, they are for our growths; though, you may be a pastor or have been in ministry for a while. God careless about the degree or the knowledge we hold or have acquired. What God looks at is our humility and willing to obey him. Reading the entire chapters will help us understand and be on course to digest the materials in the covenant we are about to study. Why study covenants? We study covenants because they are tied to relationship we hold with God and the demonic world. Understanding covenant will help us guide against the practices of the world system that are tied to covenants. I was teaching Blood Covenant in 1999 in Danane, Cote D’Ivoire, at the Charismatic International School of Ministry. One of the students, who attended the class, got offended because I exposed the practices of the Poro and Sandy societies in Liberia. After the class, she called and made me understand that it was wrong to talk about such things. I came to realize that though she attends church; however, she needed some biblical teachings coupled with deliverance before she can realize that she is part of the covenant called New Covenant and practicing such things that are tied to demonic covenants are equivalent to spiritual suicide. Let us get started with the previews of the covenants we have studied thus far. Naturally, we should have started with the Adamic covenant and go forward; contrary, we started with the Abrahamic Covenant and did the opposite. We will understand the reason of the unnatural approach to the topics being studied in our prayer forum. In previous study with reference to the Adamic Covenant, we learned that the tree of knowledge, good, and evil is the sign to the covenant. The sign to the covenant remind us and God the consequence of breaking or obeying the covenant. It has to do with the Do’s and the Don’ts. Included the Adamic Covenant are the promise (life or death), the sacrifice (animal killed to cloth Adam and Eve after the fall), and the rules (the don’ts). With reference to the Noahic Covenant, the sign is the rainbow to remind God of his covenant between Noah and him, the promise, the instruction not to eat animal with lifeblood and to take human life, the sacrifice, the burnt offering of animal Noah offered to God after the flood, and the rule, the Don’ts. The difference between the rule and the sign is that the sign reminds while the rule enforces which is directed to man, but does not apply to the giver (God) of the rules. With reference to the Abrahamic Covenant, the promise, Abraham is promised to be the Father of many nations, the Sacrifice, Abraham is asked to make sacrifice, the identity/seal, Abraham is asked to circumcise himself and his household, and the rule, Abraham is asked to walk before God blameless (holiness). Every covenant whether being Godly and demonic has either of the elements mentioned above. The next covenant to be studied is the Mosaic Covenant recorded in Exodus chapters 19–24. During the 30 minutes prayer, ask God to reveal the covenant that affects you. Let us be reminded that covenant breaking is the continue act or process in our daily prayer life until we are totally delivered. Revelation is equivalent to deliverance. In 2004 in the Republic of Guinea, I fasted for 30 days while spending time in the bush. During this time, I was breaking covenants from my background and asking God to reveal to me what was actually happening to me. After the fasting and praying, my Mother had a dream about me. This is what she told me: “I had a dream last night you were seated on a high chair in our town and we were asked to come to you in order to confess our sins.” After the narration, I knew that God has delivered me from the witchcraft covenant that is associated with that town. God speaks through dream; unless, you have revelation about your situation, the enemy will continue to play on you.

Memory Verse: And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes (Exodus 19:10 KJV).

DISPENSATIONS AND COVENANTS

#23: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to read Jeremiah 31:31–34 and Exodus 19 and pray for 30 minutes as we discuss the Mosaic Covenant. Naturally, we should have studied the Adamic Covenant followed by the others as were introduced in one of the posts in the chatroom forum; however, we did the opposite to help us understand the interrelationships and the commonalities amongst the covenants being studied; meanwhile, we will briefly re-introduce them in this post and give a synopsis on each. These covenants were given based on dispensations. Dispensation has to do with the specific time period God had dealt with man based on the particular prevailing condition. God does not change by his attributes or characters; however, he changes with dispensations based on man’s condition and what he intends to do. For example, during the dispensation of the Law, animal’s sacrifices were offered to God; on the contrary, we no longer offer animal’s sacrifices to God because the time of offering animal’s sacrifices to God had passed. Practicing such at this time is unbiblical and could be termed as demonic; therefore, understanding dispensational theology is necessary to practicing scriptures correctly in our time; unfortunately, there are religious movements in our time that call on the name of Jesus Christ and still practice such animal’s sacrifice. It is unbiblical and demonic to do so. Let us get started. During the dispensation of the conscience, God signed covenant with Adam called the Adamic Covenant. During this time, there was no written word of God and man lived according to his conscience to please God. During the dispensation of human government and the birth of nations, God signed covenant with Noah known as the Noahic Covenant. At this time, there was no written word of God and man still lived to please God according to his conscience. It was the time languages were born at the time of Tower of Babel. People decided to build a building that could reach to God in heaven; as the result, God confused their language and they eventually scattered on the earth (Gen 11:1–10). During the dispensation of promise, God signed covenant with Abram known as the Abrahamic Covenant. During this time, there was no written word of God; however, God dealt with man based on promise and man was declared righteousness by believing in God. The Bible states that by faith it was credible to Abraham to be a righteous person (Gal 3:6; Romans 4:9, 22; James 2:23). During the dispensation of the Law, God signed covenant with Israel. During this time, God used Moses to write the Decalogue or the Law books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). At this time, God introduced animal’s sacrifices as the mean of atonement and the Law became the standard by which man was evaluated; unfortunately, man could not keep the Law by virtue of the sinful nature and the Law condemned people at the time (Romans 8:1–4; John 7:53–8: 11). The Law was a school master to direct People to Christ; however, it could not save neither give power to man to live for God (Romans 8:1–4). During the dispensation of Grace, God signed covenant with both Jews and Gentiles by sending Jesus Christ to die for the sin of the whole world. It is called the New Covenant wherein God has written his word in our hearts (Jer 31:31–34). At this time, Christians have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19–20; 3:16; Eph 1:10–13; Acts 2:1–5; John 16:8–13; 14:26). Having given the previews of the five covenants, let us begin with the background information for the Mosaic Covenant: The Mosaic Covenant began with Abraham Covenant (Gen 17). God had asked Abram to leave his country (Gen 12). Abram obeyed God and it was credited unto him for righteousness (Gen 15:6). Abraham had a vision and God appeared to him to confirm with him through sacrifice (Gen 15:1–13). Abraham having been promised to be the Father of many nations; however, his children would go to exile to be enslaved for 400 years (Gen 15:13). This prophecy came to past at which the children of Israel became enslaved under the Egyptians’ rule for 400 years as God had told Abraham. At the divine encounter with Abraham, the God of Abraham became the God of Isaac and Jacob. Jacob is called Israel who had 12 sons which make up the tribes of Judah and the tribes of Israel (Gen 48). The Sons of Jacob having moved to Egypt and settled in Goshen due to famine, started to multiply in numbers; therefore, the king of Egypt feared that the Hebrews would overtake them and therefore decided to oppress them by enslavement. Being enslaved for 400 years, God heard the cry of the Israelites and sent Moses to deliver them. The deliverance was characterized by the ten plaques, the deaths of the first born of Egypt, and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. Based on the preview of the Mosaic Covenant, we have learned that the Mosaic Covenant began with the Abrahamic Covenant. God prophesied to Abraham to the enslavement of the children of Israel under the duration of 400 years under the Egyptians’ rule. The prophecy came to past (Exodus 3:7). God used plaques and the deaths to force Pharoah to allow the children of Israel to go. He delivered them using Moses as the agent of change (Exodus 3:10). The Mosaic Covenant began with deliverance of the children of Israel followed by the observance of moral, civil, and ceremonial laws, the stipulations of blessings and curses, the theological legacy, and the ushering of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34). Having given the previews of the Mosaic Covenant, let us get started with the Mosaic or the Sainaitic Covenant. When God used Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt on their way to Canaan, the Israelites camped in the desert before the mountain. In the desert before the mountain, the Lord reminded them how he had delivered them from Egypt and carried them on eagle’s wings. The Lord admonished them to keep his covenant so that they could be his treasure possession and the kingdom of priests and the holy nation; in response, the people agreed to keep the covenant (Exodus 19). God asked Moses to inform the children of Israel so that they could consecrate themselves because the Lord was about to visit them; however, God asked Moses to draw a line of demarcation between the mountain and the people. They were not allowed to go the foot of the mountain or else they would die. The Lord descended on the mountain like a fire and spoke to the people through thunder; in reaction to the voice, the people became afraid and asked Moses to tell God not to speak to them; instead, Moses should the one to speak to them. Then Moses went to the top of the mountain where the Lord gave him the Ten Commandments to serve as the school master to direct the children of Israel to the Lord in obedience. After Moses has been given the Ten Commandments, the Lord ordered the children of Israel to offer to him burnt and fellowship offerings including sheep, goats, and cattle. After the sacrifice, the Lord gave additional laws to Moses with reference to morality, civility, capital punishment, protection of property, and social responsibility with relative to sexual issues. In the confirmation of the Covenant, Aaron, Nadah, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel worshipped the Lord and offered blood sacrifice by springing the blood on the altar of the Lord. Let us summarize our notes to see what the Mosaic Covenant is made up of. God delivered the children of Israel and asked them to keep his covenant so that they could become his treasure possession and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. God asked Moses to tell the children to consecrate themselves because he was about to visit them. Moses was asked to go to the mountain where he received the Ten Commandments. The Lord ordered him including the entire population of Israel to offer him animal sacrifice. In response, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel worshipped the Lord and sprang the blood of the animal on the Lord’s altar. After the worship of the Lord, the Lord gave additional laws centering on the morality, civility, capital punishment, protection of property, and social responsibility with reference to sexuality. With reference to the rules, the people are asked to consecrate themselves. The rule dictates the shared values of God and the people to the covenant. God is holy; therefore, the people should be holy in order to approach God. To guide the holiness into place, God gave them the Ten Commandments called the Law. The rule guides how things are carried out while the law dictates what must be done with the penalty if it is violated. Consecration, the rule, will help Israel keep the Law while observing obedience. The former empowers the later. Similarly, to live for God under the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–31), one must believe in Jesus Christ and practice obedience in order to live to live holy life through the Law of the Spirit (Romans 8:1–4). Under the Old Covenant, the Law evaluated the children of Israel and condemned them and did not empower them to live for God; fortunately, under the New Covenant, believers are evaluated under grace and are empowered to live for God through the Law of Spirit (Romans 8:1–4); therefore, the Old Testament appears to be inferior based on the power to live for God; however, the New Testament was hidden in the Old Covenant. This is the reason the Bible says that the Old Covenant was a shadow of things to come. Finally, after the Ten Commandments are given, Israel is asked to offer blood sacrifice on the Lord’s altar followed by the giving of laws that govern morality, civility, capital punishment, protection of property, and social responsibility. In this covenant, the pattern of divine encounter, promise, rules, Laws, and sacrifice are seen. The elements mentioned above can be seen in demonic blood covenants that exist in various religious moments in the world. After you have read these notes, read Jeremiah 31:31–34 and pray for 30 minutes as the Lord leads you.

Memory Verse: And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years (Gen 15:13 KJV).

#24: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It has been a blessing to be together to pray and to study the word of God. Our prayer forum has two components: Prayers and Bible studies, why a blessing is? This week, we have begun the study of the Mosaic Covenant and will continue the study as the result of the elements (Promise, Laws, Rules, Worship, and Sacrifice) we need to know before exiting the study and proceed with the New Covenant. The reason we need to know these elements of the Covenant as Christians is because they are the links to the New Covenant which you and I belong presently as believers. In our previous studies, we have learned that covenant is the relationship that involves two or more parties with shared values, benefits, and liabilities; therefore, there can be no covenant without a movement or organization. For example, marriage is the relationship that involves husband and wife; therefore, marriage is the covenant instituted by God and cannot be annulled expect in the case of unfaithfulness (adultery) (Matt 5:31–32). The reason God is against adultery is that it is a sin that involves the sharing of another person’s wife that is associated with sexual activities involving the knitting of two fleshes and souls emotionally and spiritually leading to soul-tie. Marriage is an institution that involves sexual activities and taking one person’s wife to have sex with is an abomination that destroys the soul-tie of the husband and wife ruining the entire family. In this light, God told the children of Israel that he was a husband to them; unfortunately, they left God and began to worship idols (Isaiah 54:5; Ezek 16:8–14;59–60; Jer 31:32). Apostle Paul writes, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Cor 6:16–17). In this light when we become Christians, we enter into covenant relationship with God and become the bride of Christ (the Church) (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:27; Rev 19:7) under the New Covenant (relationship), the relationship that is tied to the movement of Christianity; similarly, the Mosaic Covenant that began with Abraham and consummated during the leadership of Moses at Mount Sinai, was led by a movement called Judaism, the religion of the Jews race. In this light, Judaism is the religion that gave birth to Christianity. I have given these scriptural analogies to tell us that there can be no covenant without a relationship and there can be no relationship without a movement called organization or religion. As Judaism is to the Mosaic Covenant; Christianity is to the New Covenant; similarly, Ancestral Worship is to Ancestral Covenant. Today, we will read Exodus Chapter 19 and Jer 31:31–34 and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time.

Memory Verse:  Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine (Ezekiel 16:8 KJV).

THE PENTATEUCH AND THE MOSAIC COVENANT

#25: Good Morning Prayer Forum! In the last discussion we learned that the Mosaic Covenant began with the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis Chapter 17. Abraham is the Father of Judaism, which now becomes the religion for the Mosaic Covenant, consummated at Mount Sinai under the leadership of Moses. We will break a little to have an interlude to enable us reflect on the books introduced in the previous discussion. The study of the books are necessary to help us understand the various themes when it comes to the message each book communicates to the audience in term of the history of the fall of man, the exodus of the children of Israel as the result of their deliverance, the numbering of the children of Israel as they journeyed to the Promised Land, the rules governing worship or sacrifice, the giving of the Law to the children of Israel in order to guide them to keep the covenant’s requirement (Law). The books are called the Pentateuch that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai when the Lord descended on the mountain like a fire and spoke in thunder to the children of Israel. The books include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Genesis deals with the history of sin and the fall of man. Exodus deals with the going out of the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. Leviticus deals with worship, sacrifice, and regulations governing the tabernacle and holiness of the people of God to qualify them to approach the holy God. Numbers deals with the numbering (census) of the children of Israel while heading to the Promised Land (Canaan), and Deuteronomy deals with the Law of God and covenants. God gave these books to Moses to serve as the blueprint to help Moses lead Israel when it came to the temple worship, sacrifice, civil issues, moral issues, and national issues. It should be understood that Israel was a nation that was ruled from heaven through the human king; therefore, the government system that existed in Israel was called theocracy (God’s government). The king led Israel with the responsibility to protect property and to keep security of the nation. The priest offered sacrifices in the temple according to ordinances set up in order to bring reconciliation between the children of Israel and God through animal’s sacrifices, and the prophets prophesied and spoke the minds of God to the children of Israel how they should live to keep the covenant enacted at Mount Sinai. Everything done in Israel was led by God of heaven. The King, the Prophet, and the Priest were God’s representatives to the children of Israel. God led Israel through the human king. Israel is a nation that comprise of 12 tribes by natural birth. The tribes of Judah and the tribes of Israel are made up of these tribes who are sons of Jacob. Having discussed some historical facts about Israel regarding leadership and rules of law, let us get back to the Pentateuch and their significance to the covenant. Each of the books in the Pentateuch speaks on particular subject as outlined above. As we study the elements (Promise, rules/Laws, worship, and sacrifice) of the Mosaic Covenant, the above mentioned books (Pentateuch) will naturally be occurring in our discussions to substantiate each explanation of the elements. As we discuss these elements in the subsequent discussions, please take sometimes to read Hebrews Chapters 8 to 12 while we get prepared to study the New Covenant. During this time, take 30 minutes to pray so the Lord can give you understanding about these passages. In our next discussions to complete the Mosaic Covenant, our focus will be the elements (promise, laws, worship, and sacrifice) of the covenant.

Memory Verse: And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,  As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations (Gen 17:3–4 KJV).

The Tabernacle

#26: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It should be understood by the members of this prayer team that we are in a vehicle heading to a destination; therefore, I am asking team members to be on course by reading these materials, responding to the reading of scriptural passages that have been assigned, and observing the 30 minutes prayer that have been allotted; adversely, Satan will oppose this idea and may mislead us that we are too busy and we may not pray. Let the Lord help us do these things. “Amen.” Today, we will continue to read Hebrews Chapters 8 to 12 while we introduce the study of the elements of the Mosaic Covenant; however, before starting the study of the elements, we will retrospect on the elements of the covenants studied thus far. The elements of the Adamic Covenant comprise of 1) the sign (tree of knowledge, good and evil, the do and don’t) 2) the promise (dominion and multiplication), and 3) the sacrifice (animal). The elements of the Noahic Covenant comprise of 1) the sign (rainbow; the do and the don’t), 2) the promise (dominion and multiplication), and 3) the sacrifice (animal). The elements of the Abrahamic Covenant comprise of 1) the promise (Father of many nations), 2) the identity (name changed), 3) the seal (circumcision), and 4) the sacrifice (animal). The elements of the Mosaic Covenant comprise of 1) the promise (treasured possession, kingdom of priests and the holy nation), 2) the Law (moral, civil, and ceremonial), 3) the worship (tabernacle), and 4) the sacrifice (animal). In our introduction with reference to the study of the elements of the Mosaic Covenant, we will begin with worship. The children of Israel worshipped in the Tabernacle for 440 years under the religion of Judaism. God instructed Moses on Mount Sinai to construct the Tabernacle and have it transported along with them while traveling to the Promised Land (Exodus 25–31 and 35–40). The Tabernacle was built in way to be moved apart and reassembled. The parts were bundled up and transported on animal’s back or by people. In their traveling, whenever they happened to stop or station, the Tabernacle was reassembled to become the building where the Ark of the Testimony or the Ark of the Covenant was placed. The Ark of the Covenant was the rectangular box where the presence of God dwelled. In the Ark of the Covenant contained the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant (Ten Commandments) (Heb 9:4; Rev 11:19). This box was carried by the Israelites during the 40 years of wandering in the desert. Wherever the Israelites camped, this box was placed into the Tabernacle where God was worshipped. The blueprint of the Tabernacle and everything in the Tabernacle was given to Moses with reference to its dimensions and the parts needed to construct the Tabernacle and the items in it and Moses should build the Tabernacle and the items in it according to the specifications given him by God without defeating. It must be exact without errors (Exodus 40:17–33). In this discussion, under the element of worship, we have introduced the Tabernacle, a place of worship and discussed one of the items in the Tabernacle called the Ark of the Covenant, a place of God’s presence. In this Tabernacle, the Priest entered into it periodically to offer sacrifices as they children of Israel stopped and camped while on their way to the Promised Land. We will close this discussion today and continue it tomorrow; however, I want you to answer these questions: 1) Where is this Tabernacle today in the New Testament? 2) Who is the Priest of this Tabernacle?

Memory Verse: For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity (Hebrews 5:1–2 KJV).

#27: Good Morning Prayer Forum! If you have read your assigned reading in Hebrews Chapters 8 to 12, you should be able to answer the above questions I posed in the previous discussion. Where is this Tabernacle today in the New Testament? Who is the Priest over this Tabernacle? These questions will have been answered when we will have deliberated on the continuation of the element of worship while focusing on the Tabernacle. During the Old Testament era, the priest daily entered the tabernacle in order to offer animal’s sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of sin while the High Priest entered the most holy place annually to offer blood sacrifice and to pray for forgiveness of sin. This went on yearly for over 400 years; unfortunately, the blood of animals could not forgive sin and was not sufficient to clear the conscience of the worshippers (Heb 9:1–10). The high priest entered the Tabernacle; however, before he entered the Tabernacle, he had to make ceremonial cleansing by offering sacrifice on behalf of himself; or else, if he went there with sin, he would die; on the contrary, Jesus did not enter into an earthly Tabernacle as the human priest did because he was without sin; on the contrary, he entered into a spiritual Tabernacle having obtained redemption for all through his death on the Calvary Cross (Heb 9:11–21). In summary, since the blood of animals could not take away sin, God deemed it necessary to abolish such ceremonial sacrifices of animals and to send the perfect sacrifice who is Jesus (John 3:16–17). Jesus is man and God in the flesh born of a woman through the Power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; John 1:1–5; 14; 1 Timothy 3:16). When God asked Moses to construct the Tabernacle according to the specifications, God was asking Moses to create on earth what were already present in heaven; therefore, what were made on earth were symbolisms of what were present in heaven. For this reason, the Bible declares that what was carried out in the Tabernacle and what were present, were shadows of things to come; therefore, the New Testament was hidden in the Old Testament (Col 2:17; Heb 10:1). When Jesus had confrontation with the Pharisees after having flogged the money changers out the temple, he told the Pharisees to destroy the temple and three days, he will raise it up (John 2:19). The Pharisees taught he was speaking about the physical tabernacle; instead, he was speaking about his body which was going to be delivered for crucifixion and indeed resurrection was sure. When Jesus was crucified, buried, and on the third day, he resurrected from the grave (Mark 16). His prophecy came to pass. Where is the Tabernacle? Who is the Priest over the Tabernacle? The Tabernacle is in heaven and Jesus is the Priest over this Tabernacle (Heb 4:14–16) and the Tabernacle is also in believers. When we become Christians, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit come to live in believers (Gal 4:6; 1 Cor 3: 16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Ezek 36:27; Isaiah 63:11). The Bible says in these references that believers are the temple (Tabernacle) of God. In conclusion, Jesus is the spiritual Tabernacle that is in believers as the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit. God lives in us under the New Covenant as opposed to the Mosaic or the Old Covenant. Jeremiah writes, “The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD. ‘This is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, “Know the LORD,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer 31:31–34 NIV). Christianity is the relationship between believers and God. We carry God in us; therefore, Christians have personal knowledge of God. Jeremiah said every believer will know God. When you have completed reading these notes, please read Hebrews Chapters 8 and 9 and pray for 30 minutes.

Memory Verse:  Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man (Hebrews 8:1–2 KJV).

#28: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to read Hebrews chapters 8 to 12 and will spend 30 minutes in prayers at our convenient time. In our previous discussion, we have discussed the Tabernacle under the element of worship and will complete the discussion on the Tabernacle today and will continue the discussion on two of the items in the Tabernacle called the Ark of the Testimony or the Ark of the Covenant and the Brazen Altar in the next discussion. We learned that there are two types of Tabernacles as discussed in Hebrews chapters 8 to 12. The earthly Tabernacle that God told Moses to construct after the Mosaic Covenant initiation and the Spiritual Tabernacle related to the death of Jesus on Calvary. The Tabernacle in the Old Testament was the house of worship and sacrifice wherein million of animals were slaughtered on the brazen altar annually to atone for sin; similarly, the Calvary cross was also a place of sacrifice where Jesus died once for all to redeem the whole world from sin thereby bringing reconciliation between humanity and God. To make a sense analogy about the explanation of the Tabernacle to that of the Calvary cross, let us introduce another item in the Tabernacle called the Brazen Altar; though, it will not be discussed in this context today. The Brazen Altar was the place in the earthly Tabernacle where the priest offered animal sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of sin while Calvary cross was a place in the spiritual Tabernacle where Jesus offered himself as the sacrifice for the sin of whole world; therefore, Jesus becomes the Mediator and High Priest of the New Covenant (Heb 8–12). How did Jesus become the High Priest? Jesus did not remain in the grave after his death (sacrifice), but he is resurrected and seated on the right hand of God in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:11–26; Acts 7:55–56; Romans 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1); therefore, believers are members of the priestly family as Jesus holds the post of High Priest in the heavenly. Apostle Peter writes, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV). Believers are priests by virtue of the New Covenant and are qualified to approach God in prayers. Under the Old Covenant, only the priest was qualified to approach God in order to offer sacrifice and to pray; therefore, the Old Covenant was inferior to what we have now called the New Covenant. We (believers) are qualified to pray to God; on the contrary, under the Mosaic or the Old Covenant, it was not so because this right to pray and to be heard, was only restricted to the tribes of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob, who represents one of the tribes of Israel. Today by virtue of the New Covenant, we have entered this tribe and are qualified to approach God to pray. The Abrahamic promise is an extension of the Levitical privilege. The items in the Tabernacle are symbolisms or typologies of the items in heaven. In the next discussion, we will discuss the Ark of the Covenant and the Brazen Altar.

Memory Verse: hen verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary (Hebrews 9:1–2 KJV).

#29: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will discuss the Ark of the Covenant. I have two questions for us today. The questions are: (1) What is the Ark of the Covenant? (2) Where is the Ark of the Covenant? The preludes to answering these questions, as we will deliberate are testimonies that set stage for the application of what will be taught today. The testimonies are inspirations to help us believe and to act on God’s word as Christians; meanwhile, while we study the Ark of the Covenant, please take sometimes to read Exodus 19–24 and Hebrews 9–12 and pray for 30 minutes of your convenient time. There go the stories: Abraham suffered rapture of the veins in the brain due to hypertension and eventually suffered from severe stroke; as the result, he received two surgical procedures in the brain in order to keep him alive; unfortunately, his survival rate was narrowed and if he did, he would be in rehabilitation center the rest of his life according to the nurse who spoke to the family about his condition. Abraham was hooked onto various tubes at CMC on life support from the machine. After a prayer was offered on behalf of him, God revived Abraham and after a week, he was discharged from the hospital. A woman was pregnant with her child for twelve months without giving birth; consequently, she experienced a pain and was taken to CMC. After examination, the child fetal heart beat was zero and the Doctor recommended surgery to save the Mother because the baby was dead. A man of God prayed in the hospital and the situation was reversed. An eight year old girl child suffered from the kidney failure for six months at CMC in 2006; consequently, she experienced edema and her body size and weigh underwent changes. Due to the extreme drug administrations to the child in order to treat the condition, her body could no longer respond to treatment and her body lied in the hospital to wait for death. A man of God went to the hospital to pray after his neighbor has explained the situation of the child and asked him to visit the hospital. After having prayed and anointed the child, the situation was reversed and the child lived. The 32 year old man named Joe got crazy in 2002 in Ganta, Nimba County, Liberia, and was found eating on the dumb site as the result of being possessed or demonized. The man of God prayed; consequently, he got delivered from demonization and his insanity was gone. A gentleman name Josephus aged 34 at the time he was prayed for, was at the age of 7 years old according to the story when he was initiated by his Father, who was dealing with the Mammy water spirit. He grew up at age 31 and started a relationship; consequently, he got sick because spiritual wife could not tolerate such. Spiritual wife or husband has options: The spirit will either kill the child or children you have with another earthly individual, or kill the individual or the person remains unmarried or the individual suffers failures or disappointments; unless, God intervenes. His illness could come in the form as if he has gone into a coma and he could remain in coma for at least two weeks in the hospital; then, he would be revived. He was taking to herbalists and witch doctors for interventions including the church; but not avail. The family members were told by one of the witch doctors that if Josephus falls into coma, anywhere, he should not be removed from the spot. Eventually, the man of God was invited to teach in the prayer ministry where Josephus was being prayed for by the prayer group. While the man of God was teaching, Josephus fell off and went into coma as usual in the church. The man of God asked the prayer band to take him into the room for prayer, but his Mother objected to the idea and said that the Son would not come back from the coma and might die according to what the herbalist had told her; however, the man of God insisted that he be moved into the room. He was moved into the room and the prayer band began to pray for him. Later the man of God joined the prayer band and began to pray; eventually, Josephus began to vomit. The vomiting was followed by crying. Josephus cried for more than an hour. This is what Josephus told the prayer band after the crying: “He said during the prayer session, he found himself in the big forest with a very big river containing huts systems and a very beautiful lady was standing across the river crying and telling him, Josephus, “Are you leaving me now?” This is what used to happen to him: During the two weeks period of the coma, the evil spirit used to take him into the water and he could remember nothing during this time. When he is revived from the coma, it would take sometimes before he began to speak and to eat. He said that he felt very cold in his body after the coma. God instantly delivered him from the Mammy water spirit and Josephus never experience the coma since his deliverance and the illness was gone. These are true testimonies that happened. After our deliberation on the Ark of the Covenant, we will have seen what substance believers are made up of and we will have discovered the spiritual potential believers carry in this world as Christians. In the last discussion, we mentioned that the Tabernacle including its items is symbolisms of what God has in heaven. God instructed Moses to construct the Tabernacle and he named the items with their dimensions and the kind of materials they should be made of. Moses should construct the Tabernacle exact as it is in heaven without errors. The emphasis on the dimensions, the kind of materials used, and the precision speak volume of the reality of the existence of the Tabernacle in heaven. God uses the natural to explain the invisible to the carnal mind because the carnal mind finds it difficult to understand the spiritual; unless, the natural man gives himself to the spiritual dimension of the Spirit; then, will he be able the understand the things of the Spirit with (2 Cor 3:16–18). Apostle Paul writes, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Cor 2:11–14 NIV). Let us get started. What is the Ark of the Covenant and where is the Ark of the Covenant? The Ark of the Covenant was the rectangular box God instructed Moses to build that contained the Pot of Manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the Ten Commandments Moses received from God on Mount Sinai. This Ark carried the presence of God and was always carried by the Priests during the forty years the children Israel wandered in the wilderness as the result of their disobedience. . According to the Hebrew Bible, the ark was constructed by the Israelites while they were camping out in the Sinai Desert, after they fled Egypt. But in 597 and 586 B.C., the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites, and the Ark, at the time supposedly stored it in the Temple in Jerusalem; however, the Ark vanished from history. Whether it was destroyed, captured, or hidden–nobody knows. Other sources said that one of the most famous claims about the Ark’s whereabouts is that before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, it had found its way to Ethiopia, where it still resides in the town of Aksum, in the St. Mary of Zion cathedral. Having some historical injunction about the Ark of the Covenant, let us talk about the content of the Ark. The Ark of the Covenant contained the Pot of Manna. The Pot of Manna was the food God fed the children of Israel for forty years while they wandered the desert. It indicates the humanity should always depend on God for daily needs. It was bread from heaven that relates to Jesus in the Gospel. Jesus presents himself in the Gospel as the Bread of Life (John 6:25–59). The Pot of Manna was the type of Christ according scripture. The people drink from the rock as Moses knocked the rock with his rod and water came out. The rock was Jesus (Exodus 17:6). Apostle Paul writes, “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:1–4 NIV). The Ark of the Covenant contained Aaron’s rod that budded. Aaron’s rod was the Moses’ staff used to turn the Nile River red with blood, used to initiate the plaques on Egypt, and used to part the Red Sea for the children of Israel to cross to the way of the Promised Land. Aaron’s rod that budded gave the exclusive right to the tribes of Levi to serve as worshippers and to offer sacrifices to God in the temple. Moses, Aaron, and his children constitute the Leviticus priestly line in Israel. Aaron’s rod that budded represents the believer’s authority in the Kingdom of God (Matt 28:16–20). The Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandment which represents the word for moral preference. The Bible says that man shall not live by bread alone; however, by every word that comes from God’s mouth (Matt 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2). Based on the contents of the Ark of the Covenant, it can be understood in practical reality that God has given us the preference to choose between right and wrong, he has empowered us to do the uncommon things, and he has instructed us to always study his word knowing that we need God’s word in order to bring glory to him (Psalm 111:11). In our previous discussions, we have learned that when God instructed Moses to construct the Tabernacle including its items, God already had these things in heaven; therefore, what Moses constructed on earth according to the specifications, were symbolisms of the spiritual things in heaven; therefore, there was an earthly Ark of the Covenant and the Spiritual Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant is in heaven; similarly, the Ark of the Covenant is in believers; for this reason, believers carry God; consequently, miracles are imminent when believers pray. The above testimonies are confirmations of this statement. Believers are God’s dwelling place in the Spirit (Eph 2:18–22).

Memory Verse: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:11–12 KJV).

#30: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We will read Exodus 27:1–8 and pray for 30 minutes. Today, we will discuss the Brazen Altar. We will answer two questions in this discussion. (1) What is the Brazen Altar? (2) Where was the Brazen Altar situated in the Tabernacle? The Brazen Altar was the site of sacrifices located to the front area of the Tabernacle where the ancient Israelites made sacrifice using animals to make atonement for their sins. The Altar was made up of bronze substance and had four horns situated at the corner of the altar. Whenever an animal was brought into the Tabernacle to be slaughtered, the animal was tied to the either of the horns before being sacrificed. The horns located at the four corners of the Bronze Altar symbolized the power of God being displayed in the Tabernacle and bronze was a representative of righteousness especially when it comes to representing the justified human nature of Jesus that was sacrificed for us to remove our sins. The Bronze Altar in the Tabernacle symbolizes Calvary in the New Testament where Jesus died once for all to atone for sin for the whole world including both Jews and Gentiles. Altars had long been used by the patriarchs including Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen 12:7; 13:14; 29:9; 26:25; 33:20; 35:1–5; Exodus 17:15). The word Altar in Hebrew signifies the place of the slaughter and this place was significant to the Tabernacle and to the children of Israel because it was the place for making peace in order to avoid God’s wrath through sacrifice of animals; however, this sacrifice was inferior and could not forgive sin neither clear the conscience of the worshippers; therefore, God made the perfect Altar and Sacrifice when Jesus himself entered the spiritual Tabernacle through death on the cross; then, obtained redemption for the entire human race.

Memory Verse: For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect (Hebrews 10:1 KJV).

#31: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to answer part two of the questions posed in the previous lesson on the teaching of the Brazen Altar: Where is the Brazen Altar? We did answer the question partially in the previous lesson with reference to the historical space; however, we left out the allegorical space interpretation of the Brazen Altar. Remember that everything God instructed Moses on Mount Sinai with reference to the construction of the Tabernacle and its contents was a copy of what that was already in heaven. To answer this question, we will introduce application answer from the biblical or the theological standpoint; however, we recommend that you read Romans 12:1–2 and pray for 30 minutes of your time convenient. There go the stories: It reads, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel” (Hebrews 11:24–28 NIV). From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even to be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. ‘Look,’ she said to them, ‘this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house. ’She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: ‘That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.’ When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, ‘This is how your slave treated me,’ he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined” (Gen 39:5–20 NIV). Having gone through these biblical stories, we can agree with Hebrews. It reads, “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, so obtaining[b] eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11–12 NIV). The Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle was the place of sacrifice. There were requirements put into placed what kind of animals should be sacrificed on this altar. The animals needed to be blameless or without spot (Leviticus 1–7). Any animal that had been blemished did not meet the qualification for a sacrifice. The spotlessness of the animal was symbolic of the holiness of God. This animal was pointing to Christ who would be born without sin and would come and die for sin once for all in order to abolish the Old and to establish the New order (Jer 31:31–34). When we become Christians, we are admonished in Romans 12:1–2 to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices as opposed to offering animals on the Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle. Moses and Joseph counted the cost of discipleship and denied themselves to serve God in true righteousness and holiness. We must die daily to the sinful nature to be living sacrifices. Obedience to the word of God and willing to suffer for Christ is the key of being living sacrifices. The Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle was a place of sacrifice. The animals placed on the Altar did not have their own wills; on the contrary, they were placed on the Altar against their wills and eventually died. We must give out our wills to God and accept his will in our lives to become the Brazen Altar. How many of you have been tempted and you were able to escape the temptation? God give you the power to escape; unfortunately, you did not escape because your will took over God’s will. Where is the Brazen Altar? The Brazen Altar is in our heart. In Proverbs, it reads, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips” (Proverbs 4:22–23 NIV). The decision we make to escape form temptations is dictated by the heart; therefore, the outlook of an individual is determined by the heart (spirit) the person has. There is no school of honesty; therefore, honesty is in the heart. We need God’s presence as believers to enable us demonstrate his power so that those who do not know him can come to know him. The presence of God can be maintained and sustained through character formation. In Psalms, it reads, “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” (Psalms 103:7 NIV). When we live in his presence through obedience, we can manifest his power to the world. Moses demonstrated the power of God to the children of Israel because he lived in God’s presence. Living in his presence is directly proportional to being living sacrifices.

Memory Verse:  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)(Hebrews 10:22–23 KJV).

THE NOAHIC COVENANT

#32: Good Morning Prayer Forum! As we have read through Genesis 1:26–28; 2:16–17; and Romans 5:12–20 , it can be observed that we did not see the word ‘covenant’; however, it is inferred by the nature of the passage. As we advance through Genesis Chapter 6 verse 18, the Holy Spirit introduced the word ‘covenant’ and onward through chapters 6 to 9. To give the preview of the Noahic Covenant, we begin in this manner: when the sons (fallen angels) of God had sex with the daughters of men, they bore unto them giants; consequently, the earth became full of violence and the inclination of the hearts of men became wicked; therefore, God determined to destroy everything he has made including animals; however, Noah was the only righteous man and consequently found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen 6–8).

            In the midst of wickedness, God asked Noah to build the Ark and Noah did as instructed. Eventually, God destroyed the earth and everything in it using the flood waters; except, Noah, his sons, his sons’ wives, and the animals he had taken into the Ark. When he and his family members had gotten out of the Ark, Noah offered an animal to God as the burnt offering.

            Having given the preview of our discussion, let us get started with the Noahic Covenant. Noah and God entered into a covenant relationship during the dispensation of human government and the birth of nations (Gen 11:1–9). God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth “(Gen 9:1–2). God gave every plants and animals to them as food; however, he forbad them not to eat meat with lifeblood in it and to take the life of another human being (Gen 9:2–7). God told Noah and his sons that the covenant is an everlasting one for Naoh and the generations that are yet to come (Gen 9:8–10). God placed the rainbow into the sky as the sign of the covenant and promised Noah that the earth would never be destroyed again using the flood waters (Gen 9:12–16). God set the rainbow into the sky to remind himself of the covenant between him and Noah whenever there is a cloud cover being set into the atmosphere that indicates the sign of rainfall.

            Let us summarize the notes to see what this covenant is made up of. God blessed Noah and his sons and forbad them not to eat meat with lifeblood and to take the life of another human being. He placed the rainbow into the sky as the sign to guarantee that he will no longer destroy the earth with flood waters. In the covenant, we see sacrifice being offered to God as burnt offering, blessing being offered to Noah and his generations, the rules being given to guide the covenant, and the sign (promise) being given as the guarantee to keep the promise of the covenant. Elements seen in this covenant are characteristics of blood covenants. The similar patterns are also seen in the demonic blood covenants. Lucifer or Satan had been with God from the very beginning of the ages. What Satan produces is the replica or counterfeit of what God has made knowing that God is the originator of covenants.

Memory Verse: For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer (Hebrews 8:3 KJV).

#33: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to read Jeremiah 31:31–34 and will add Exodus 19–24. Please read the entire chapters and pray for 30 minutes at your convenient time. Please do not under look these instructions; consequently, they are for our growths; though, you may be a pastor or have been in ministry for a while. God careless about the degree or the knowledge we hold or have acquired. What God looks at is our humility and willing to obey him. Reading the entire chapters will help us understand and be on course to digest the materials in the covenant we are about to study. Why study covenants? We study covenants because they are tied to relationship we hold with God and the demonic world. Understanding covenant will help us guide against the practices of the world system that are tied to covenants. I was teaching Blood Covenant in 1999 in Danane, Cote D’Ivoire, at the Charismatic International School of Ministry. One of the students, who attended the class, got offended because I exposed the practices of the Poro and Sandy societies in Liberia. After the class, she called and made me understand that it was wrong to talk about such things. I came to realize that though she attends church; however, she needed some biblical teachings coupled with deliverance before she can realize that she is part of the covenant called New Covenant and practicing such things that are tied to demonic covenants are equivalent to spiritual suicide. Let us get started with the previews of the covenants we have studied thus far. Naturally, we should have started with the Adamic covenant and go forward; contrary, we started with the Abrahamic Covenant and did the opposite. We will understand the reason of the unnatural approach to the topics being studied in our prayer forum.

            In previous study with reference to the Adamic Covenant, we learned that the tree of knowledge, good, and evil is the sign to the covenant. The sign to the covenant remind us and God the consequence of breaking or obeying the covenant. It has to do with the Do’s and the Don’ts. Included the Adamic Covenant are the promise (life or death), the sacrifice (animal killed to cloth Adam and Eve after the fall), and the rules (the don’ts).

With reference to the Noahic Covenant, the sign is the rainbow to remind God of his covenant between Noah and him, the promise, the instruction not to eat animal with lifeblood and to take human life, the sacrifice, the burnt offering of animal Noah offered to God after the flood, and the rule, the Don’ts. The difference between the rule and the sign is that the sign reminds while the rule enforces which is directed to man, but does not apply to the giver (God) of the rules.

With reference to the Abrahamic Covenant, the promise, Abraham is promised to be the Father of many nations, the Sacrifice, Abraham is asked to make sacrifice, the identity/seal, Abraham is asked to circumcise himself and his household, and the rule, Abraham is asked to walk before God blameless (holiness). Every covenant whether being Godly and demonic has either of the elements mentioned above. The next covenant to be studied is the Mosaic Covenant recorded in Exodus chapters 19–24. During the 30 minutes prayer, ask God to reveal the covenant that affects you. Let us be reminded that covenant breaking is the continue act or process in our daily prayer life until we are totally delivered. Revelation is equivalent to deliverance. In 2004 in the Republic of Guinea, I fasted for 30 days while spending time in the bush. During this time, I was breaking covenants from my background and asking God to reveal to me what was actually happening to me. After the fasting and praying, my Mother had a dream about me. This is what she told me: “I had a dream last night you were seated on a high chair in our town (Kpademai) and we were asked to come to you in order confess our sins.” After the narration, I knew that God has delivered me from the witchcraft covenant that is associated with that town. God speaks through dream; unless, you have revelation about your situation, the enemy will continue to play on you. This makes the prophetic ministry very powerful in the church.

Memory Verse: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Gen 1:26 KJV).

THE MOSAIC COVENANT

#34: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to read Jeremiah 31:31–34 and Exodus 19 and pray for 30 minutes as we discuss the Mosaic Covenant. Naturally, we should have studied the Adamic Covenant followed by the others as were introduced in one of the posts in the chatroom forum; however, we did the opposite to help us understand the interrelationships and the commonalities amongst the covenants being studied; meanwhile, we will briefly re-introduce them in this post and give a synopsis on each. These covenants were given based on dispensations. Dispensation has to do with the specific time period God had dealt with man based on the particular prevailing condition. God does not change by his attributes or characters; however, he changes with dispensations based on man’s condition and what he intends to do. For example, during the dispensation of the Law, animal’s sacrifices were offered to God; on the contrary, we no longer offer animal’s sacrifices to God because the time of offering animal’s sacrifices to God had passed. Practicing such at this time is unbiblical and could be termed as demonic; therefore, understanding dispensational theology is necessary to practicing scriptures correctly in our time; unfortunately, there are religious movements in our time that call on the name of Jesus Christ and still practice such animal’s sacrifice. It is unbiblical and demonic to do so. Let us get started. During the dispensation of the conscience, God signed covenant with Adam called the Adamic Covenant. During this time, there was no written word of God and man lived according to his conscience to please God. During the dispensation of human government and the birth of nations, God signed covenant with Noah known as the Noahic Covenant. At this time, there was no written word of God and man still lived to please God according to his conscience. It was the time languages were born at the time of Tower of Babel. People decided to build a building that could reach to God in heaven; as the result, God confused their language and they eventually scattered on the earth (Gen 11:1–10). During the dispensation of promise, God signed covenant with Abram known as the Abrahamic Covenant. During this time, there was no written word of God; however, God dealt with man based on promise and man was declared righteousness by believing in God. The Bible states that by faith it was credible to Abraham to be a righteous person (Gal 3:6; Romans 4:9, 22; James 2:23). During the dispensation of the Law, God signed covenant with Israel. During this time, God used Moses to write the Decalogue or the Law books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). At this time, God introduced animal’s sacrifices as the mean of atonement and the Law became the standard by which man was evaluated; unfortunately, man could not keep the Law by virtue of the sinful nature and the Law condemned people at the time (Romans 8:1–4; John 7:53–8: 11). The Law was a school master to direct People to Christ; however, it could not save neither give power to man to live for God (Romans 8:1–4). During the dispensation of Grace, God signed covenant with both Jews and Gentiles by sending Jesus Christ to die for the sin of the whole world. It is called the New Covenant wherein God has written his word in our hearts (Jer 31:31–34). At this time, Christians have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19–20; 3:16; Eph 1:10–13; Acts 2:1–5; John 16:8–13; 14:26). Having given the previews of the five covenants, let us begin with the background information for the Mosaic Covenant:

            The Mosaic Covenant began with Abraham Covenant (Gen 17). God had asked Abram to leave his country (Gen 12). Abram obeyed God and it was credited unto him for righteousness (Gen 15:6). Abraham had a vision and God appeared to him to confirm with him through sacrifice (Gen 15:1–13). Abraham having been promised to be the Father of many nations; however, his children would go to exile to be enslaved for 400 years (Gen 15:13). This prophecy came to past at which the children of Israel became enslaved under the Egyptians’ rule for 400 years as God had told Abraham. At the divine encounter with Abraham, the God of Abraham became the God of Isaac and Jacob. Jacob is called Israel who had 12 sons which make up the tribes of Judah and the tribes of Israel (Gen 48). The Sons of Jacob having moved to Egypt and settled in Goshen due to famine, started to multiply in numbers; therefore, the king of Egypt feared that the Hebrews would overtake them and therefore decided to oppress them by enslavement. Being enslaved for 400 years, God heard the cry of the Israelites and sent Moses to deliver them. The deliverance was characterized by the ten plaques, the deaths of the first born of Egypt, and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea.

            Based on the preview of the Mosaic Covenant, we have learned that the Mosaic Covenant began with the Abrahamic Covenant. God prophesied to Abraham to the enslavement of the children of Israel under the duration of 400 years under the Egyptians’ rule. The prophecy came to past (Exodus 3:7). God used plaques and the deaths to force Pharoah to allow the children of Israel to go. He delivered them using Moses as the agent of change (Exodus 3:10). The Mosaic Covenant began with deliverance of the children of Israel followed by the observance of moral, civil, and ceremonial laws, the stipulations of blessings and curses, the theological legacy, and the ushering of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34).

            Having given the previews of the Mosaic Covenant, let us get started with the Mosaic or the Sinaitic Covenant. When God used Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt on their way to Canaan, the Israelites camped in the desert before the mountain. In the desert before the mountain, the Lord reminded them how he had delivered them from Egypt and carried them on eagle’s wings. The Lord admonished them to keep his covenant so that they could be his treasure possession and the kingdom of priests and the holy nation; in response, the people agreed to keep the covenant (Exodus 19). God asked Moses to inform the children of Israel so that they could consecrate themselves because the Lord was about to visit them; however, God asked Moses to draw a line of demarcation between the mountain and the people. They were not allowed to go the foot of the mountain or else they would die. The Lord descended on the mountain like a fire and spoke to the people through thunder; in reaction to the voice, the people became afraid and asked Moses to tell God not to speak to them; instead, Moses should the one to speak to them. Then Moses went to the top of the mountain where the Lord gave him the Ten Commandments to serve as the school master to direct the children of Israel to the Lord in obedience. After Moses has been given the Ten Commandments, the Lord ordered the children of Israel to offer to him burnt and fellowship offerings including sheep, goats, and cattle. After the sacrifice, the Lord gave additional laws to Moses with reference to morality, civility, capital punishment, protection of property, and social responsibility with relative to sexual issues. In the confirmation of the Covenant, Aaron, Nadah, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel worshipped the Lord and offered blood sacrifice by springing the blood on the altar of the Lord.

            Let us summarize our notes to see what the Mosaic Covenant is made up of. God delivered the children of Israel and asked them to keep his covenant so that they could become his treasure possession and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. God asked Moses to tell the children to consecrate themselves because he was about to visit them. Moses was asked to go to the mountain where he received the Ten Commandments. The Lord ordered him including the entire population of Israel to offer him animal sacrifice. In response, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel worshipped the Lord and sprang the blood of the animal on the Lord’s altar. After the worship of the Lord, the Lord gave additional laws centering on the morality, civility, capital punishment, protection of property, and social responsibility with reference to sexuality. With reference to the rules, the people are asked to consecrate themselves. The rule dictates the shared values of God and the people to the covenant. God is holy; therefore, the people should be holy in order to approach God. To guide the holiness into place, God gave them the Ten Commandments called the Law. The rule guides how things are carried out while the law dictates what must be done with the penalty if it is violated. Consecration, the rule, will help Israel keep the Law while observing obedience. The former empowers the later. Similarly, to live for God under the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–31), one must believe in Jesus Christ and practice obedience in order to live to live holy life through the Law of the Spirit (Romans 8:1–4). Under the Old Covenant, the Law evaluated the children of Israel and condemned them and did not empower them to live for God; fortunately, under the New Covenant, believers are evaluated under grace and are empowered to live for God through the Law of Spirit (Romans 8:1–4); therefore, the Old Testament appears to be inferior based on the power to live for God; however, the New Testament was hidden in the Old Covenant. This is the reason the Bible says that the Old Covenant was a shadow of things to come.

            Finally, after the Ten Commandments are given, Israel is asked to offer blood sacrifice on the Lord’s altar followed by the giving of laws that govern morality, civility, capital punishment, protection of property, and social responsibility. In this covenant, the pattern of divine encounter, promise, rules, Laws, and sacrifice are seen. The elements mentioned above can be seen in demonic blood covenants that exist in various religious moments in the world. After you have read these notes, read Jeremiah 31:31–34 and pray for 30 minutes as the Lord leads you.

Memory Verse:  And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:17–18 KJV).

#35: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It has been a blessing to be together to pray and to study the word of God. Our prayer forum has two components: Prayers and Bible studies, why a blessing is? This week, we have begun the study of the Mosaic Covenant and will continue the study as the result of the elements (Promise, Laws, Rules, Worship, and Sacrifice) we need to know before exiting the study and proceed with the New Covenant. The reason we need to know these elements of the Covenant as Christians is because they are the links to the New Covenant which you and I belong presently as believers. In our previous studies, we have learned that covenant is the relationship that involves two or more parties with shared values, benefits, and liabilities; therefore, there can be no covenant without a movement or organization. For example, marriage is the relationship that involves husband and wife; therefore, marriage is the covenant instituted by God and cannot be annulled expect in the case of unfaithfulness (adultery) (Matt 5:31–32). The reason God is against adultery is that it is a sin that involves the sharing of another person’s wife that is associated with sexual activities involving the knitting of two fleshes and souls emotionally and spiritually leading to soul-tie. Marriage is an institution that involves sexual activities and taking one person’s wife to have sex with is an abomination that destroys the soul-tie of the husband and wife ruining the entire family. In this light, God told the children of Israel that he was a husband to them; unfortunately, they left God and began to worship idols (Isaiah 54:5; Ezek 16:8–14;59–60; Jer 31:32). Apostle Paul writes, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Cor 6:16–17). In this light when we become Christians, we enter into covenant relationship with God and become the bride of Christ (the Church) (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:27; Rev 19:7) under the New Covenant (relationship), the relationship that is tied to the movement of Christianity; similarly, the Mosaic Covenant that began with Abraham and consummated during the leadership of Moses at Mount Sinai, was led by a movement called Judaism, the religion of the Jews race. In this light, Judaism is the religion that gave birth to Christianity. I have given these scriptural analogies to tell us that there can be no covenant without a relationship and there can be no relationship without a movement called organization or religion. As Judaism is to the Mosaic Covenant; Christianity is to the New Covenant; similarly, Ancestral Worship is to Ancestral Covenant. Today, we will read Exodus Chapter 19 and Jer 31:31–34 and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time.

Memory Verse:  And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him (Exodus 24:1–2 KJV).

#36: Good Morning Prayer Forum! In the last discussion we learned that the Mosaic Covenant began with the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis Chapter 17. Abraham is the Father of Judaism, which now becomes the religion for the Mosaic Covenant, consummated at Mount Sinai under the leadership of Moses. We will break a little to have an interlude to enable us reflect on the books introduced in the previous discussion. The study of the books are necessary to help us understand the various themes when it comes the message each book communicates to the audience in term of the history of the fall of man, the exodus of the children of Israel as the result of their deliverance, the numbering of the children of Israel as they journeyed to the Promised Land, the rules governing worship or sacrifice, the giving of the Law to the children of Israel in order to guide them to keep the covenant’s requirement (Law). The books are called the Pentateuch that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai when the Lord descended on the mountain like a fire and spoke in thunder to the children of Israel. The books include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Genesis deals with the history of sin and the fall of man. Exodus deals with the going out of the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. Leviticus deals with worship, sacrifice, and regulations governing the tabernacle and holiness of the people of God to qualify them to approach the holy God. Numbers deals with the numbering (census) of the children of Israel while heading to the Promised Land (Canaan), and Deuteronomy deals with the Law of God and covenants. God gave these books to Moses to serve as the blueprint to help Moses lead Israel when it came to the temple worship, sacrifice, civil issues, moral issues, and national issues. It should be understood that Israel was a nation that was ruled from heaven through the human king; therefore, the government system that existed in Israel was called theocracy (God’s government). The king led Israel with the responsibility to protect property and to keep security of the nation. The priest offered sacrifices in the temple according to ordinances set up in order to bring reconciliation between the children of Israel and God through animal’s sacrifices, and the prophets prophesied and spoke the minds of God to the children of Israel how they should live to keep the covenant enacted at Mount Sinai. Everything done in Israel was led by God of heaven. The King, the Prophet, and the Priest were God’s representatives to the children of Israel. God led Israel through the human king. Israel is a nation that comprise of 12 tribes by natural birth. The tribes of Judah and the tribes of Israel are made up of these tribes who are sons of Jacob. Having discussed some historical facts about Israel regarding leadership and rules of law, let us get back to the Pentateuch and their significance to the covenant. Each of the books in the Pentateuch speaks on particular subject as outlined above. As we study the elements (Promise, rules/Laws, worship, and sacrifice) of the Mosaic Covenant, the above mentioned books (Pentateuch) will naturally be occurring in our discussions to substantiate each explanation of the elements. As we discuss these elements in the subsequent discussions, please take sometimes to read Hebrews Chapters 8 to 12 while we get prepared to study the New Covenant. During this time, take 30 minutes to pray so the Lord can give you understanding about these passages. In our next discussions to complete the Mosaic Covenant, our focus will be the elements (promise, laws, worship, and sacrifice) of the covenant.

Memory Verse: And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly (Gen 17:1 KJV).

#37: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It should be understood by the members of this prayer team that we are in a vehicle heading to a destination; therefore, I am asking team members to be on course by reading these materials, responding to the reading of scriptural passages that have been assigned, and observing the 30 minutes prayer that have been allotted; adversely, Satan will oppose this idea and may mislead us that we are too busy and we may not pray. Let the Lord help us do these things. “Amen.” Today, we will continue to read Hebrews Chapters 8 to 12 while we introduce the study of the elements of the Mosaic Covenant; however, before starting the study of the elements, we will retrospect on the elements of the covenants studied thus far. The elements of the Adamic Covenant comprise of 1) the sign (tree of knowledge, good and evil, the do and don’t) 2) the promise (dominion and multiplication), and 3) the sacrifice (animal). The elements of the Noahic Covenant comprise of 1) the sign (rainbow; the do and the don’t), 2) the promise (dominion and multiplication), and 3) the sacrifice (animal). The elements of the Abrahamic Covenant comprise of 1) the promise (Father of many nations), 2) the identity (name changed), 3) the seal (circumcision), and 4) the sacrifice (animal). The elements of the Mosaic Covenant comprise of 1) the promise (treasured possession, kingdom of priests and the holy nation), 2) the Law (moral, civil, and ceremonial), 3) the worship (tabernacle), and 4) the sacrifice (animal).

            In our introduction with reference to the study of the elements of the Mosaic Covenant, we will begin with worship. The children of Israel worshipped in the Tabernacle for 440 years under the religion of Judaism. God instructed Moses on Mount Sinai to construct the Tabernacle and have it transported along with them while traveling to the Promised Land (Exodus 25–31 and 35–40). The Tabernacle was built in way to be moved apart and reassembled. The parts were bundled up and transported on animal’s back or by people. In their traveling, whenever they happened to stop or station, the Tabernacle was reassembled to become the building where the Ark of the Testimony or the Ark of the Covenant was placed. The Ark of the Covenant was the rectangular box where the presence of God dwelled. In the Ark of the Covenant contained the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant (Ten Commandments) (Heb 9:4; Rev 11:19). This box was carried by the Israelites during the 40 years of wandering in the desert. Wherever the Israelites camped, this box was placed into the Tabernacle where God was worshipped. The blueprint of the Tabernacle and everything in the Tabernacle was given to Moses with reference to its dimensions and the parts needed to construct the Tabernacle and the items in it and Moses should build the Tabernacle and the items in it according to the specifications given him by God without defeating. It must be exact without errors (Exodus 40:17–33). In this discussion, under the element of worship, we have introduced the Tabernacle, a place of worship and discussed one of the items in the Tabernacle called the Ark of the Covenant, a place of God’s presence. In this Tabernacle, the Priest entered into it periodically to offer sacrifices as they children of Israel stopped and camped while on their way to the Promised Land. We will close this discussion today and continue it tomorrow; however, I want you to answer these questions: 1) Where is this Tabernacle today in the New Testament? 2) Who is the Priest of this Tabernacle?

Memory Verse:

The Tabernacle

#38: Good Morning Prayer Forum! If you have read your assigned reading in Hebrews Chapters 8 to 12, you should be able to answer the above questions I posed in the previous discussion. Where is this Tabernacle today in the New Testament? Who is the Priest over this Tabernacle? These questions will have been answered when we will have deliberated on the continuation of the element of worship while focusing on the Tabernacle. During the Old Testament era, the priest daily entered the tabernacle in order to offer animal’s sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of sin while the High Priest entered the most holy place annually to offer blood sacrifice and to pray for forgiveness of sin. This went on yearly for over 400 years; unfortunately, the blood of animals could not forgive sin and was not sufficient to clear the conscience of the worshippers (Heb 9:1–10). The high priest entered the Tabernacle; however, before he entered the Tabernacle, he had to make ceremonial cleansing by offering sacrifice on behalf of himself; or else, if he went there with sin, he would die; on the contrary, Jesus did not enter into an earthly Tabernacle as the human priest did because he was without sin; on the contrary, he entered into a spiritual Tabernacle having obtained redemption for all through his death on the Calvary Cross (Heb 9:11–21). In summary, since the blood of animals could not take away sin, God deemed it necessary to abolish such ceremonial sacrifices of animals and to send the perfect sacrifice who is Jesus (John 3:16–17). Jesus is man and God in the flesh born of a woman through the Power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; John 1:1–5; 14; 1 Timothy 3:16). When God asked Moses to construct the Tabernacle according to the specifications, God was asking Moses to create on earth what were already present in heaven; therefore, what were made on earth were symbolisms of what were present in heaven. For this reason, the Bible declares that what was carried out in the Tabernacle and what were present, were shadows of things to come; therefore, the New Testament was hidden in the Old Testament (Col 2:17; Heb 10:1). When Jesus had confrontation with the Pharisees after having flogged the money changers out the temple, he told the Pharisees to destroy the temple and three days, he will raise it up (John 2:19). The Pharisees taught he was speaking about the physical tabernacle; instead, he was speaking about his body which was going to be delivered for crucifixion and indeed resurrection was sure. When Jesus was crucified, buried, and on the third day, he resurrected from the grave (Mark 16). His prophecy came to pass. Where is the Tabernacle? Who is the Priest over the Tabernacle? The Tabernacle is in heaven and Jesus is the Priest over this Tabernacle (Heb 4:14–16) and the Tabernacle is also in believers. When we become Christians, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit come to live in believers (Gal 4:6; 1 Cor 3: 16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Ezek 36:27; Isaiah 63:11). The Bible says in these references that believers are the temple (Tabernacle) of God. In conclusion, Jesus is the spiritual Tabernacle that is in believers as the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit. God lives in us under the New Covenant as opposed to the Mosaic or the Old Covenant. Jeremiah writes, “The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband tothem, declares the Lord. ‘This is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer 31:31–34 NIV). Christianity is the relationship between believers and God. We carry God in us; therefore, Christians have personal knowledge of God. Jeremiah said every believer will know God. When you have completed reading these notes, please read Hebrews Chapters 8 and 9 and pray for 30 minutes.

Memory Verse: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Col 1:15–16 KJV).

#40: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to read Hebrews chapters 8 to 12 and will spend 30 minutes in prayers at our convenient time. In our previous discussion, we have discussed the Tabernacle under the element of worship and will complete the discussion on the Tabernacle today and will continue the discussion on two of the items in the Tabernacle called the Ark of the Testimony or the Ark of the Covenant and the Brazen Altar in the next discussion. We learned that there are two types of Tabernacles as discussed in Hebrews chapters 8 to 12. The earthly Tabernacle that God told Moses to construct after the Mosaic Covenant initiation and the Spiritual Tabernacle related to the death of Jesus on Calvary. The Tabernacle in the Old Testament was the house of worship and sacrifice wherein million of animals were slaughtered on the brazen altar annually to atone for sin; similarly, the Calvary cross was also a place of sacrifice where Jesus died once for all to redeem the whole world from sin thereby bringing reconciliation between humanity and God. To make a sense analogy about the explanation of the Tabernacle to that of the Calvary cross, let us introduce another item in the Tabernacle called the Brazen Altar; though, it will not be discussed in this context today. The Brazen Altar was the place in the earthly Tabernacle where the priest offered animal sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of sin while Calvary cross was a place in the spiritual Tabernacle where Jesus offered himself as the sacrifice for the sin of whole world; therefore, Jesus becomes the Mediator and High Priest of the New Covenant (Heb 8–12). How did Jesus become the High Priest? Jesus did not remain in the grave after his death (sacrifice), but he is resurrected and seated on the right hand of God in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:11–26; Acts 7:55–56; Romans 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1); therefore, believers are members of the priestly family as Jesus holds the post of High Priest in the heavenly. Apostle Peter writes, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV). Believers are priests by virtue of the New Covenant and are qualified to approach God in prayers. Under the Old Covenant, only the priest was qualified to approach God in order to offer sacrifice and to pray; therefore, the Old Covenant was inferior to what we have now called the New Covenant. We (believers) are qualified to pray to God; on the contrary, under the Mosaic or the Old Covenant, it was not so because this right to pray and to be heard, was only restricted to the tribes of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob, who represents one of the tribes of Israel. Today by virtue of the New Covenant, we have entered this tribe and are qualified to approach God to pray. The Abrahamic promise is an extension of the Levitical privilege. The items in the Tabernacle are symbolisms or typologies of the items in heaven. In the next discussion, we will discuss the Ark of the Covenant and the Brazen Altar.

Memory Verse: If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law (Hebrews 7:11–12 KJV).

 

#41: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will discuss the Ark of the Covenant. I have two questions for us today. The questions are: (1) What is the Ark of the Covenant? (2) Where is the Ark of the Covenant? The preludes to answering these questions, as we will deliberate are testimonies that set stage for the application of what will be taught today. The testimonies are inspirations to help us believe and to act on God’s word as Christians; meanwhile, while we study the Ark of the Covenant, please take sometimes to read Exodus 19–24 and Hebrews 9–12 and pray for 30 minutes of your convenient time. There go the stories:

            Abraham suffered rapture of the veins in the brain due to hypertension and eventually suffered from severe stroke; as the result, he received two surgical procedures in the brain in order to keep him alive; unfortunately, his survival rate was narrowed and if he did, he would be in rehabilitation center the rest of his life according to the nurse who spoke to the family about his condition. Abraham was hooked onto various tubes at CMC on life support from the machine. After a prayer was offered on behalf of him, God revived Abraham and after a week, he was discharged from the hospital.

            A woman was pregnant with her child for twelve months without giving birth; consequently, she experienced a pain and was taken to CMC. After examination, the child fetal heart beat was zero and the Doctor recommended surgery to save the Mother because the baby was dead. A man of God prayed in the hospital and the situation was reversed.

            An eight year old girl child suffered from the kidney failure for six months at CMC in 2006; consequently, she experienced edema and her body size and weigh underwent changes. Due to the extreme drug administration to the child in order to treat the condition, her body could no longer respond to treatment and her body lied in the hospital to wait for death. A man of God went to the hospital to pray after his neighbor has explained the situation of the child and asked him to visit the hospital. After having prayed and anointed the child, the situation was reversed and the child lived.

            The 32 year old man named Joe got crazy in 2002 in Ganta, Nimba County, Liberia, and was found eating on the dumb site as the result of being possessed or demonized. The man of God prayed; consequently, he got delivered from demonization and his insanity was gone.

            A gentleman name Josephus aged 34 at the time he was prayed for, was at the age of 7 years old according to the story when he was initiated by his Father, who was dealing with the Mammy water spirit. He grew up at age 31 and started a relationship; consequently, he got sick because spiritual wife could not tolerate such. Spiritual wife or husband has options: The spirit will either kill the child or children you have with an earthly individual, or kill the individual or the person remains unmarried or the individual suffers failures or disappointments; unless, God intervenes. His illness could come in the form as if he has gone into a coma and he could remain in coma for at least two weeks in the hospital; then, he would be revived. He was taking to herbalists and witch doctors for interventions including the church; but not avails. The family members were told by one of the witch doctors that if Josephus falls into coma, anywhere, he should not be removed from the spot. Eventually, the man of God was invited to teach in the prayer ministry where Josephus was being prayed for by the prayer group. While the man of God was teaching, Josephus fell off and went into coma as usual in the church. The man of God asked the prayer band to take him into the room for prayer, but his Mother objected to the idea and said that the Son would not come back from the coma and might die according to what the herbalist had told her; however, the man of God insisted that he be moved into the room. He was moved into the room and the prayer band began to pray for him. Later the man of God joined the prayer band and began to pray; eventually, Josephus began to vomit. The vomiting was followed by crying. Josephus cried for more than an hour. This is what Josephus told the prayer band after the crying: “He said during the prayer session, he found himself in the big forest with a very big river containing huts systems and a very beautiful lady was standing across the river crying and telling him, Josephus, “Are you leaving me now?” This is what used to happen to him: During the two weeks period of the coma, the evil spirit used to take him into the water and he could remember nothing during this. When he is revived from the coma, it would take sometimes before he began to speak and to eat. He said that he felt very cold in his body after the coma. God instantly delivered him from the Mammy water spirit and Josephus never experience the coma since his deliverance and the illness was gone.

            These are true testimonies that happened. After our deliberation on the Ark of the Covenant, we will have seen what substance believers are made up of and we will have discovered the spiritual potential we carry in this world as Christians. In the last discussion, we mentioned that the Tabernacle including its items are symbolisms of what God has in heaven. God instructed Moses to construct the Tabernacle and he named the items with their dimensions and the kind of materials they should be made of. Moses should construct the Tabernacle exact as it is in heaven without errors. The emphasis on the dimensions, the kind of materials used, and the precision speak volume of the reality of the existence of the Tabernacle in heaven. God uses the natural to explain the invisible to the carnal mind because the carnal mind finds it difficult to understand the spiritual; unless, the natural man gives himself to the spiritual dimension of the Spirit; then, will he be able the understand the things of the Spirit with (2 Cor 3:16–18). Apostle Paul writes, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Cor 2:11–14 NIV).

Let us get started. What is the Ark of the Covenant and where is the Ark of the Covenant? The Ark of the Covenant was the rectangular box God instructed Moses to build that contained the Pot of Manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the Ten Commandments Moses received from God on Mount Sinai. This Ark carried the presence of God and was always carried by the Priests during the forty years the children Israel wandered in the wilderness as the result of their disobedience. . According to the Hebrew Bible, the ark was constructed by the Israelites while they were camping out in the Sinai Desert, after they fled Egypt. But in 597 and 586 B.C., the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites, and the Ark, at the time supposedly stored it in the Temple in Jerusalem; however, the Ark vanished from history. Whether it was destroyed, captured, or hidden–nobody knows. Other sources said that one of the most famous claims about the Ark’s whereabouts is that before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, it had found its way to Ethiopia, where it still resides in the town of Aksum, in the St. Mary of Zion cathedral. Having some historical injunction about the Ark of the Covenant, let us talk about the content of the Ark. The Ark of the Covenant contained the Pot of Manna. The Pot of Manna was the food God fed the children of Israel for forty years while they wandered the desert. It indicates the humanity should always depend on God for daily needs. It was bread from heaven that relates to Jesus in the Gospel. Jesus presents himself in the Gospel as the Bread of Life (John 6:25–59). The Pot of Manna was the type of Christ according scripture. The people drink from the rock as Moses knocked the rock with his rod and water came out. The rock was Jesus (Exodus 17:6). Apostle Paul writes, “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:1–4 NIV).

            The Ark of the Covenant contained Aaron’s rod that budded. Aaron’s rod was the Moses’ staff used to turn the Nile River red with blood, used to initiate the plaques on Egypt, and used to part the Red Sea for the children of Israel to cross to the way of the Promised Land. Aaron’s rod that budded gave the exclusive right to the tribes of Levi to serve as worshippers and to offer sacrifices to God in the temple. Moses, Aaron, and his children constitute the Leviticus priestly line in Israel. Aaron’s rod that budded represents the believer’s authority in the Kingdom of God (Matt 28:16–20). The Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandment which represents the word for moral preference. The Bible says that man shall not live by bread alone; however, by every word that comes from God’s mouth (Matt 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2). Based on the contents of the Ark of the Covenant, it can be understood in practical reality that God has given us the preference to choose between right and wrong, he has empowered us to do the uncommon things, and he has instructed us to always study his word knowing that we need God’s word in order to bring glory to him (Psalm 111:11). In our previous discussions, we have learned that when God instructed Moses to construct the Tabernacle including its items, God already had these things in heaven; therefore, what Moses constructed on earth according to the specifications, were symbolisms of the spiritual things in heaven; therefore, there was an earthly Ark of the Covenant and the Spiritual Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant is in heaven; similarly, the Ark of the Covenant is in believers; for this reason, believers carry God; consequently, miracles are imminent when believers pray. The above testimonies are confirmations of this statement. Believers are God’s dwelling place in the Spirit (Eph 2:18–22).

Memory Verse: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph 2:19–22 KJV).

#42: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We will read Exodus 27:1–8 and pray for 30 minutes. Today, we will discuss the Brazen Altar. We will answer two questions in this discussion. (1) What is the Brazen Altar? (2) Where was the Brazen Altar situated in the Tabernacle? The Brazen Altar was the site of sacrifices located to the front area of the Tabernacle where the ancient Israelites made sacrifice using animals to make atonement for their sins. The Altar was made up of bronze substance and had four horns situated at the corner of the altar. Whenever an animal was brought into the Tabernacle to be slaughtered, the animal was tied to the either of the horns before being sacrificed. The horns located at the four corners of the Bronze Altar symbolized the power of God being displayed in the Tabernacle and bronze was a representative of righteousness especially when it comes to representing the justified human nature of Jesus that was sacrificed for us to remove our sins. The Bronze Altar in the Tabernacle symbolizes Calvary in the New Testament where Jesus died once for all to atone for sin for the whole world including both Jews and Gentiles. Altars had long been used by the patriarchs including Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen 12:7; 13:14; 29:9; 26:25; 33:20; 35:1–5; Exodus 17:15). The word Altar in Hebrew signifies the place of the slaughter and this place was significant to the Tabernacle and to the children of Israel because it was the place for making peace in order to avoid God’s wrath through sacrifice of animals; however, this sacrifice was inferior and could not forgive sin neither clear the conscience of the worshippers; therefore, God made the perfect Altar and Sacrifice when Jesus himself entered the spiritual Tabernacle through death on the cross; then, obtained redemption for the entire human race.

Memory Verse: And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee (Gen 17:7 KJV).

#43: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue to answer part two of the questions posed in the previous lesson on the teaching of the Brazen Altar: Where is the Brazen Altar? We did answer the question partially in the previous lesson with reference to the historical space; however, we left out the allegorical space interpretation of the Brazen Altar. Remember that everything God instructed Moses on Mount Sinai with reference to the construction of the Tabernacle and its contents was a copy of what that was already in heaven. To answer this question, we will introduce application answer from the biblical or the theological standpoint; however, we recommend that you read Romans 12:1–2 and pray for 30 minutes of your time convenient. There go the stories: It reads,

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel” (Hebrews 11:24–28 NIV).

From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even to be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.   When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. ‘Look,’ she said to them, ‘this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house. ’She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: ‘That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.’When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, ‘This is how your slave treated me,’ he burned with anger.Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined” (Gen 39:5–20 NIV).

Having gone through these biblical stories, we can agree with Hebrews. It reads, “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, so obtaining[b] eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11–12 NIV).

The Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle was the place of sacrifice. There were requirements put into placed what kind of animals should be sacrificed on this altar. The animals needed to be blameless or without spot (Leviticus 1–7). Any animal that had been blemished did not meet the qualification for a sacrifice. The spotlessness of the animal was symbolic of the holiness of God. This animal was pointing to Christ who would be born without sin and would come and die for sin once for all in order to abolish the Old and to establish the New order (Jer 31:31–34). When we become Christians, we are admonished in Romans 12:1–2 to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices as opposed to offering animals on the Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle. Moses and Joseph counted the cost of discipleship and denied themselves to serve God in true righteousness and holiness. We must die daily to the sinful nature to be living sacrifices. Obedience to the word of God and willing to suffer for Christ is the key of being living sacrifices. The Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle was a place of sacrifice. The animals placed on the Altar did not have their own wills; on the contrary, they were placed on the Altar against their wills and eventually died. We must give out our wills to God and accept his will in our lives to become the Brazen Altar. How many of you have been tempted and you were able to escape the temptation? God give you the power to escape; unfortunately, you did not escape because your will took over God’s will. Where is the Brazen Altar? The Brazen Altar is in our heart. In Proverbs, it reads, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips” (Proverbs 4:22–23 NIV). The decision we make to escape form temptations is dictated by the heart; therefore, the outlook of an individual is determined by the heart (spirit) the person has. There is no school of honesty; therefore, honesty is in the heart. We need God’s presence as believers to enable us demonstrate his power so that those who do not know him can come to know him. The presence of God can be maintained and sustained through character formation. In Psalms, it reads, “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” (Psalms 103:7 NIV). When we live in his presence through obedience, we can manifest his power to the world. Moses demonstrated the power of God to the children of Israel because he lived in God’s presence. Living in his presence is directly proportional to being living sacrifices.

Memory Verse: And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock (Leviticus 1:1–2 KJV).

#44: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Welcome again to another session of the prayer forum and Bible study. Today we will read Exodus 30:17–21 and Leviticus 8–10 and pray for 30 minutes. It is my prayer that we adhere to these prayer times and the reading of scriptural passages and the notes posed in the prayer forum chatroom. Today we will answer two questions: (1)What is the Bronze Laver? (2) Where is the Bronze Laver? The Bronze Laver was made up of bronze mirror of a woman and filled with water and used in the Tabernacle for the continued washing of the priests as they ministered in the Tabernacle daily. The water in the basin (bronze laver) is symbolic of the word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit in believers as they teach and preach the word of God during the era of the New Testament; in the same manner, the Old Testament’s priests needed the continued symbolic physical cleansing with the water in the basin while they played with animal’s blood and other impurities that contaminated them physically to prepare them physically or hygienically to carry out their services in the Tabernacle. Apostle Paul writes, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph 5:21–28 NIV). Though the passage is talking about relationship that exists in the Christian household; however, it also relates and correlates the church analogically using spiritual metaphorical languages and it mentioned message on the word of God that has a cleansing power to present the church (believer) to God as holy and without wrinkle or unblemished. The phrase “cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” indicates that the word of God has the cleansing power; similarly, the water in the Bronze Laver in the Tabernacle had a cleansing power symbolically to present the priests before God holy as they ministered in the Tabernacle. The Bronze Laver filled with water used for cleansing is symbolic of the word of God used to transform believers to become like Christ individual. The author of Hebrews writes, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb 4:12 NIV). The water in the Bronze Laver symbolically had a cleansing power and the word of God in the New Testament realistically has the cleansing power. John writes, “This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement” (John 5:6–8 NIV). The Spirit (God), the Water (Word), and the blood (covenant’s seal) are components of blood covenant seen in the Old Testament as the shadow of the things that was to come which has been actualized in the New Testament by the shed blood of the Jesus Christ. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the water; the Holy Spirit came down from heaven as the dove and sat on Jesus; then, God the Father spoke from heaven to confirm the Sonship of Jesus Christ (Matt 3:17). In conclusion, the Bronze Laver with water in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was a shadow of the real things (the New Testament’s protocols) to come.

Memory Verse: And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat (Exodus 30:17–19 KJV).

#45: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We will read one of these scriptures or read all and pray for 30 minutes (Hebrews 9:7; Exodus 20–31; Leviticus 16). Today, we will discuss one of the items in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle. It is called the Mercy Seat. What is the Mercy Seat and where is it located historically and allegorically? These questions will have been answered after our deliberation. According to Hebrew Bible, the Kaporet (Hebrew: הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת‎ ha-kappōreṯ) or the Mercy Seat was the gold lid placed on the Ark of the Covenant, with two cherubim (angels) spreading their wings from either end of the Ark of the Covenant where Yahweh (God) appears during the Day of Atonement (the day of sacrifice). The Ark of the Covenant situated in the Most Holy Place, was the section of the Tabernacle where the High Priest entered every year to offer blood sacrifice on behalf of the children of Israel. Between the Cherubim, which is called the Mercy seat, the High Priest usually sprinkled the blood seven times and prayed for the forgiveness of sin; then, he could exit the Most Holy Place (Leviticus 6:14). If the High Priest entered into the Most Holy Place with sin, he would die; therefore, he was required to make sacrifice on behalf of himself before entering to perform the rituals. The mercy Seat located on the Ark of the Covenant was the place of forgiveness where God appeared to confirm forgiveness of sin through the human priest. We should be reminded that under the Mosaic Covenant, only the Priest was qualified to approach God; therefore, he was a representative of the people to God. The author of Hebrews writes, “Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lamp stand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered Ark of the Covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover” (Heb 9:1–5 NIV).

            In the above quotation, it reads, “Above the ark were the cherubim” is called the Mercy Seat. The Mercy Seat is called the propitiation in the English language. In the verb form, to propitiate means to appease or to gain the favor of. When it is used in Christianity, it refers to the act of propitiation that Christians believe Jesus made to atone for sin when he died on the cross.

John writes, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2 KJV). As John the Apostle puts it according to the above quotation, Jesus is the Mercy Seat, the High Priest, and the perfect sacrifice; therefore, Jesus plays the role of multiple capacities when it comes to the redemption of the human race. He entered in a spiritual tabernacle as the High Priest, he offered himself unblemished to God as the sacrifice, he was buried, resurrected, and ascended into heaven to be the forever High Priest for us (Heb 10:11–14). Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:17–19 NIV).

            The word reconciliation used in the above quotation means to appease for in order to gain favor of. It is the same as propitiation and mercy seat. Jesus became the propitiation or the mercy seat for humanity when he died on the Cross to establish the New Order called the New Covenant. God was in Christ making the world to become friend of God when he died on the Cross to bring redemption. The Mercy Seat in the New Covenant is also called the Throne of Grace. The author of Hebrews writes, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16 NIV). Since Jesus became the sacrifice, equally so, he also has became our High Priest which qualifies us to be priest unto God. Apostle Peter writes, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV).

Memory Verse: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord (Exodus 30:20 KJV).

#46: Good Morning Prayer Forum! How did you spend the time with God this week? I am hoping everyone is doing well and my greetings to your Pastor and family. If you have any questions after you have gone through the notes, you could pose your question (s) in the chatroom. Members of the prayer Forum are welcome to contribute to answering the question (s) posed.

            Today, we will discuss the Table of Showbread and will read Leviticus 24:5–6 while we pray for 30 minutes. What is the Table of Showbread and its significance to the New Covenant? As we ride this train, we will have gotten to our destination and known what the Table of Showbread is and its significance to the New Covenant. Let us get started. The Table of Showbread was the holiness code that described the twelve cakes or loaves of bread baked from the fine flour and arranged in two rows or piles on a table that stood before God in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle and weigh approximately 4.9 pounds. The Table of Showbread in Hebrew literally means the “Bread of the Faces” which acknowledged that God was the resource for Israel’s life and nourishment and also served as Israel’s act of thanksgiving to God. The Priests in the Tabernacle were qualified to eat this bread and people from the Levitical priestly line. This bread was dedicated to God; therefore, it was an offering to Yahweh (God). During this time of the Mosaic Covenant, the Bread was still in heaven; therefore, God reminded the children of Israel to symbolize it in the Tabernacle. John writes, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51 NIV). Jesus made this statement when he had a confrontation with the Pharisees; unfortunately, the Pharisees though claimed to know the Law of Moses could not understand Jesus’ message about the bread. Jesus identified himself as the Bread who came down from heaven. They were twisted spiritually similarly like the ruler of the Pharisees; Nicodemus, who could not understand the message from Jesus about the new birth (regeneration) (John 3:1–8). This Table of Showbread, symbolically, was Jesus; however, this bread was the shadow of things to come according to the scriptures. Apostle Paul writes, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths,which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Col 2:15–17). Under the Mosaic Covenant, there are regulations regarding certain foods and observance of certain holidays or the new moon such as the Sabbath and such regulations restricted the Jews to not eat certain foods and to observe the Sabbath; however, Paul writes to the Christians of Colosse reminding them that these regulations no longer affected them because they are under the New Covenant which Jesus had settled when he died on Calvary to fulfill the Law of Moses. The writer of Hebrews writes, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect “ (Heb 10:1 NIV). The writer of Hebrews amplifies the statement in Colossians 2:15–17 as stated above. When Christians observe the Lord’s Supper during communion, they demonstrate symbolically by remembrance the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ until he returns for the Second Advent (1 Cor 11:23–26). The bread and the wine taken during communion services represent the body and the blood of Jesus. It is the Christian ritual or tradition observed under the New Covenant to remember the death of Jesus until he comes back to take Christians to heaven. The Table of Shewbread in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was the type of Christ.

Memory Verse:  And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the Lord (Leviticus 24:5–6 KJV).

#47: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Exodus 12:33–35 and pray for 30 minutes. We have one more item to discuss under the element of worship after this discussion. Let us get started with the item called the Golden Lamp Stand. The Golden Lamp Stand in the wilderness Tabernacle provided light for the Holy Place and served as the religious symbolism. It was made up of gold with sacred furniture given to the children of Israel by the Egyptians when the Israelites departed from Egypt at the time of Israel’s deliverance from captivity (Exodus 12:35). The Golden Lamp Stand had seven lamps that gave reference to human knowledge represented by the sixth lamp inclined-inwards and symbolically guided by the light of God represented by the central lamp. The seven lamps represent the seven days God used to create the world and the middle light represents the Sabbath that the Jews were to observe as indicated in the Ten Commandment (Exodus 20). John writes, “Saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea” (Rev 1:11 NIV). Biblically, seven is the number for God; therefore, the seven Golden Lamp Stands also represent theologically the seven churches Jesus revealed to John the revelator when he was on the Island of Patmos. The purpose of the lamp was to give light to the Holy Place in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle; however, this light was symbolic of the light that was to come to all men with reference to salvation. John writes, “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 nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1–5 NIV). Jesus is the Light that shined in the darkness; unfortunately, the darkness did not understand the light. Israel in this context is the darkness who did not understand Jesus neither welcomes him as the Messiah of the world; instead, they stood and told King Pilate to crucify Jesus and to let Barabbas go (Matt 27:17). John writes to confirm Jesus as the light of world: “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). As the Golden Lamp Stand gave light to the Most Holy Place in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle; similarly, Jesus gives light to the world through his teaching to reveal God to humanity and the miracles performed while he was on earth and the works he does through his followers who represent him today in the world. Jesus has mandated Christians to be the light and salt of the earth to continuously represent him as the light of the World (Matt 5:13–16). The Golden Lamp Stand with the lamps in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was the type of Christ that point to Jesus in the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34).

Memory Verse:  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 (John 8:12 KJV).

#48: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Exodus 30:7–8; 2 Chronicles 13:11 and pray for 30 minutes as we wrap off the teaching on the element of worship today and then begin with the Laws. In this discussion forum, we will define what the Altar of Incense is to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle and its significance to the New Covenant. The Altar of Incense was the consecrated altar with the anointing oil situated in the Most Holy Place when the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was dedicated (Exodus 40:9). At this Altar, incense was daily burned in the morning and in the evening at time of the sacrifice. The burning of incense in the Tabernacle was symbolic of the prayers of the saints and its rising vertically was the indication that the prayer was going to God (Psalm141:2; Rev 5:8; 8:3–4). Do we need to burn incense today before we pray? Absolutely we don’t need to burn incense before praying because when Jesus died on the cross, he abolished this practice. The Mercy Seat is Jesus; therefore, he is the individual Christians go to in prayers; for this reason, we are asked to pray in Jesus’ name (John 14:13–14; Matt 18:19; 21:22; Mark 11:24). Jesus’ name is like the incense that smells before God the Father. Understanding dispensational theology is necessary to correctly practicing scriptures; unfortunately, there are movements in our time that call on the name of Jesus and are still involved in incense burning in their prayers’ services. We have Jesus’ name to pray. Why burn incense in the Church; however, those who do such might be doing it on dubious motives best known themselves or might be doing it on good motives; however, they are walking in ignorance. It is necessary to research any practice before getting involved in such. Burning of incense during prayers can appeal to spirits; therefore, caution is required. Burning of incense is ceremonial; hence, ceremonial practices under the Old Covenant do not apply to the New Covenant. While we conclude the teaching on the element of worship, let us give a synopsis of each items and its corresponding allegorical meaning while we proceed with the study of the next element of the Mosaic Covenant called Sacrifices.

Meanwhile, the Ark of the Covenant stands for the standard for righteous living, the Altar of Incense stands for intercession, the Golden Lamp Stand stands for the spiritual light, the Table of Showbread stands for the spiritual food, the Mercy Seat stands for atonement, the Bronze Laver stands for cleansing, the Brazen Altar stands for the place of sacrifice, and the Tabernacle stands for worship. Jesus embodies the above mentioned items and he fulfilled them when he died on the cross to bring eternal redemption once for all to humanity. The author of Hebrews writes, “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (9:11 NIV). In the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, the Priest periodically entered the Holy Place and offered animal’s sacrifice; on the contrary, Jesus did not enter into the Tabernacle that was human made, but he entered the spiritual Tabernacle when he offered himself as the perfect sacrifice by dying on the cross. John writes, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29 NIV).

Memory Verse: And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints (Rev 5:8 KJV).

INTRODUCTION TO SACRIFICES

#49: Good Morning Prayer Forum! It has been a blessing to be together while we study the word of God. We have completed the element of worship and have arrived in the resting place to retrospect of what we have learned during our weeks of study thus far. While we have rested in the resting place while en route, we will continue this journey with the study of the element of Sacrifices. The Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant was characterized with daily sacrifices of animals and grains; therefore in conjunction to this journey, we are pleased to introduce the five offerings of the Mosaic Covenant under the element of Sacrifices. They include (1) Burnt Offerings, the sacrifices of devotion, (2) Grain Offerings, the sacrifices of thanksgiving, (3) Peace Offerings, the sacrifices of mutual benefits, (4) Sin Offerings, the sacrifices of rededication, and (5) Guilt/Trespass Offerings, the sacrifices of reparation or restitution. While we discuss these offerings under the Mosaic Covenant during the course of the weeks, we will read Leviticus 1:3–17; 2:7–13; 4:2–26; 5:1–5; 6:8–13; 7:17–32; Gen 8:20; 22; Job 1:5; and Judges 1 and pray for 30 minutes asking the Holy Spirit to graciously help us read these passages assigned us and to pray via the allotted time given us. We will need self-discipline and the grace of God to continue reading these passages assigned us.

            Modern revelation teaches that the ancient law of sacrifices was revealed to Adam in order to teach him and his generation of the plan of salvation and to testify of the Only Begotten. In this light, the Law of sacrifices was incorporated into the Law of Moses for the same purpose in order to reveal Jesus Christ. The children of Israel were stiffed necked people (stubborn), quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord, their God; therefore, God gave them the law of performances and of ordinances to help them strictly observe rules from day to day making them to remember their God so they can be on track. For example, before offering sin and trespass sacrifices for the remission of sins, the ancient Israelites had to show sincerity, reverence, and character trait referred to in scripture as holiness to the Lord. The traits had to be complemented by confession of sins (Leviticus 5:5) and restitution (Leviticus 5:16; 6:4) as part of the repentance process. The practice of such birthed what is called ceremonial law to satisfy the moral law that has been broken as the result of disobedience; in this light, the practice of ceremonial law to satisfy the moral or civil law gave birth to sacrifices; therefore, one cannot practically study sacrifices in the absence of the Laws. While we study sacrifices, it will become natural that ceremonial law surfaces to satisfy the moral or civil laws that have been broken as the result of sin and the sacrifice required to mediate. Please keep this in mind as we study sacrifices under the Mosaic Covenant.

            Meanwhile, the law of performances and the law of ordinances under the Mosaic Law are similar to the principles of faith and repentance as practiced under the law of the gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance before our sins can be remitted incorporates baptism as the ceremonial process leading an individual to salvation. Remission of sins through the gospel and purification under the Mosaic Law has identical prerequisites; therefore, the ancient Mosaic Law of sacrifices contained five kinds of sacrifices that serve the similar purposes which we introduced and briefly explained them at the beginning of this lesson. Why study sacrifices? Studying sacrifices and understanding their implications enables the Church to understand the Old Testament Law and how they are related to the New Covenant practices with reference to which ones apply to us (Christians) when it comes to Christian living.

Memory Verse: And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar (Gen 8:20 KJV).

#50: Good Morning Prayer Forum! This week, we will read Leviticus Chapter 1:1–17 daily and pray for 30 minutes as we discuss one of the items under the element of sacrifice called Burnt Offerings. In this study, we will discuss the definition and the characteristics of the offerings to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, their origins, their relationships to the New Covenant and the Christian life with reference to Christian living.

            Let us get started. God instituted Burnt Offerings in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle with the goal of the sacrificer or the penitent expressing complete devotion to God after having realized his or her shortcomings before God (Leviticus 1:1–17). Prior to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, Burnt Offerings started with Noah in the Genesis (Gen 8:20; 22:2, 13; Exodus 10:25–26; 20:24: 5; Exodus 32:6). It was offered on the basis of intentional and unintentional sinful acts being committed by the penitent (remorseful individual); therefore, the animal was burnt on the earthen vessel or the Brazen Altar after the patriarch or the priest had performed the ceremony concerning the sacrifice. The burning of the sacrifice indicated or was symbolic of complete surrender to God. The penitent was required to lay hand on the animal before the ceremony was carried out for the atonement. Animals offered for Burnt Offerings included sheep, goats, doves, or pigeons and such animal should have no defect (spotless). The person offering Burnt Offerings did offer them on the personal motive; therefore, Burnt Offerings offered were volitional to the penitent (Leviticus 1–2; Job 1:5). The ceremonial approach for Burnt Offerings should be taken seriously with reference to regulatory effects that may be sustained by the violators; therefore, caution should be taking into consideration by the priest and the penitent (sinner) who are offering the sacrifice (Leviticus 7:8; 1–7) and since the purpose of the sacrifice was to gain the attention for God’s approval, the penitent should come with open mind and be ready to follow the ceremonial steps outlined in the scripture (Gen 27, Lev 1; Exod 8:21; 32:9; Romans 4:19–21; Heb 11:9).

            Having discussed the definition, the characteristics, and their origins; then, we will discuss their significance to the New Covenant and Christian living. The Burnt Offerings instituted in the Old Testament under the Mosaic Covenant was a shadow that was pointing to Jesus Christ. Dr. Luke writes, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord), “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:20–24 NIV). The above scripture passage resonates with the birth of Jesus indicating the dedicatory ceremony according to what is stated in the Mosaic Law with reference to offering the first born male child to God through Burnt Offerings. It indicates that a pair of doves or two young pigeons was offered on behalf of Jesus when he was dedicated to God. This passage is in agreement with Leviticus chapter one with reference to the kind of animals that should be offered as Burnt Offerings. Doves or young pigeons are mentioned in Leviticus chapter one. Dedicatory ceremony is the act of devotion to the Lord, that the child who is being offered to God, will do the will of the Lord. Devotion is the sure purpose for Burnt Offerings being offered to God on behalf of the Penitent. The writer of Hebrews writes, “Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second” (Heb 10:9 NIV). The Spirit of Jesus Christ is speaking through the writer of Hebrews that he (Jesus) has come to do the Father’s will by fulfilling the Mosaic Covenant in order to establish the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34). The Burnt Offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were the types of Christ. Know that Jesus is both God and man; however, this passage is talking about his humanity not his divinity. Only man can offer sacrifice on behalf of himself to God; on the contrary, God does not offer sacrifice on behalf of himself because he is the receiver of the sacrifice. In the above passage, the Burnt Offerings were offered to God on behalf of Jesus Christ; in this case, he was man and became sin for us (Christians). He is man because he was born through a woman and was scheduled to take the place of sinful humanity by dying on the cross; therefore, he was dedicated to prepare him for this task.

            Meanwhile, the writer of Hebrews amplifies the position Jesus plays under the Mosaic Covenant as the substitution for the Burnt Offerings offered as the shadow of things to come. He writes, “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’”First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law.Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.  For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Heb 10:5–14 NIV).

            The above quotation explains the inferiority of the Mosaic Covenant and therefore presents the New Covenant as superior and the completion of the Mosaic Covenant. The Burnt Offerings offered formerly under the Mosaic Covenant could not please God neither did it have the efficacy to forgive sin despite of their numerous ministrations by the human priests who also were sinful and had to make sacrifices on behalf of themselves before approaching the place of sacrifice; on the contrary, Jesus Christ did not have to do so as the result of his sinless life and being God in the flesh (John 1:1–14); therefore, he has become the perfect Burnt Offerings and Perfect High Priest thereby replacing the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. He put an end to ceremonialism and made Christianity very simple. Through his sacrifice, we all have become holy nation and special people in his kingdom (1 Peter 2:9). Let us have a break here to reflect on the law of sacrifices called ordinances I introduced formerly in the last discussion when I introduced the five offerings under the Mosaic Covenant. I said in the introduction that ceremonial law naturally surfaces when sacrifices are studied and practically, it is impossible to study sacrifices without talking about laws. The reason is that moral laws under the Mosaic Covenant were satisfied through ordinances or ceremonial laws. For example, for the Burnt Offerings to be qualified and to please God, the offerings must be a male animal (sheep, goat, dove, or pigeon), must be presented at the entrance of the tent of meeting (Tabernacle), the penitent must lay hand on the animal’s head, the internal organs of the animals should be removed accordingly as stated in the law, the blood of the animal must be splashed against the altar, the animal must be burnt on the altar, and the animal offered must be sheep, goats, doves or pigeons. All the above stipulations are called ordinances or ceremonial laws. The above steps must be taken by the priest and the penitent to satisfy the requirement for the Burnt Offerings so that the offerings can be accepted by God; therefore, ordinances are used to solve moral law issues. The issues to be settled for the person who is offering the Burnt Offerings is for devotion or surrender to God after some moral laws have been broken by the individual as the result disobedience. I said this formerly in the introduction that God gave Israel law of performances and ordinances because Israel was too stubborn, quick to commit sin, and slow to remember their God. It is like passing written regulations in the home regarding washing of dishes, time to watch TV, time to study, and time to go to bed for your children so that they can be reminded and do what is required of them. This is how God was dealing with Israel; for this reason, not every law in the Bible is applicable to all humanity because some of the laws in the Bible were only applicable to Israel. The Ten Commandments called moral law is for all humanity regardless of nationality or geographical origin. Moral law is universal and should be adhered to because they are duties we have toward God and to our neighbors. They are never obsolete.

            We stopped in order to reflect and to continue our journey to wrap off this topic regarding Burnt Offerings. We understand that Burnt Offerings are no longer required because the Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled all when he died on the cross to redeem humanity from the penalty of sin; however, we have responsibility as Christians to complement what our Lord Jesus has done for us. We can do so when we offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1–2), when we yield to the Holy Spirit to lead our lives (Gal 5:16), when we put to death the sinful nature by self-denial (Romans 8:13), when we flee from sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18–20), and when Jesus’ life is expressed in our daily living (1 Thess 2:12; 2 Cor 5:15).

Memory Verse: And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God.  Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither (Exodus 10:25–26 KJV).

#51: Good Morning Prayer Forum!  In the previous lesson, we discussed Burnt Offerings in the context of the Mosaic Covenant with relative to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle. We learned that the purpose of Burnt Offerings dictates devotion of one’s life before God with total surrender; therefore, the offerings are burnt symbolically to indicate this validity. Burnt Offerings should not be taken for granted with respect to their ceremonies because any mistakes with reference to regulatory effects can have bad outcome. This is seen in Leviticus 10 wherein the sons of Aaron died before the Lord when they offered an unauthorized fire before him. Secondly, Burnt Offerings are offered with the spiritual intent to usher an individual into a divine mandate. This is indicative of Jesus’ dedicatory ceremony in the temple wherein Burnt Offerings were offered on his behalf to do God’s will. We learned that Jesus was dedicated into the temple for this reason to prepare him for the sacrificial death that leading him to sign the blood covenant. The author of Hebrews writes, “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every  precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people” (Hebrews 9:16–19 NIV). The blood covenant Jesus signed was never in force until he died; then, the covenant became effected. We can learn some spiritual truths about Burnt Offerings or dedicatory ceremonies of children. Dedicatory ceremonies are obvious in our traditional settings whereby children born in some families are dedicated to family gods and such dedicatory ceremonies carried out on children can have negative outcomes. Having given a preview of the past lesson, let us get started with today’s lesson. This week, we will read Leviticus Chapter 2:1–16 daily and pray for 30 minutes as we discuss the second element of sacrifice called Grain Offerings. In this study, we will discuss the definition and the characteristics of the offerings to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, their origins, their relationships to the New Covenant and the Christian living.

            Grain Offerings are sacrifices of food offerings that were offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle in accordance with the Levitical ceremonial fashions as dictated under the Mosaic Covenant. The purpose of the offerings was tailored towards thanksgivings; therefore, they are offerings of thanksgiving. The offerings were characterized with finest flour and olive oil mixed with incense and handful of flour and oil together with incense and these recipes mixed were taken to Aaron’s sons. The offering was burnt on the altar by the priest as the memorial food as the aroma went to God and the remaining portions of the offerings were eating by the priests after the burnt (Leviticus 2:1–3). Any other grain offerings prepared by individual Israelite other than the stipulations God has given, were also given other stipulations or instructions how those offerings could be prepared to meet the standard for God as Grain Offerings according to the ceremonial law (Leviticus 2:4–16).

            Besides the Burnt Offerings which began with Noah, Grain Offerings have root origin in the Levitical worship in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant. These offerings were given without lived animals and were regarded as gift offerings.

            Grain Offerings are bread based on the chemical contents (flour, olive, incense, & water) and represented divine provisions of sustenance God provided for his people during the wilderness experience for forty years before Israel entered the Promised Land (Canaan). In this junction, Grain Offerings have divine significance to the New Covenant and these offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were pointing to Jesus Christ. We should be reminded that everything God instructed Moses to build with reference to the Tabernacle, the material items, regulations, sacrifices, and the standard for the Levites, the Priests, and the High Priests were copies of the things that are in heaven.

            Apostle John writes, “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV). The purpose for Grain Offerings in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the act of gratitude we show toward the giver of the blessing we receive. The giver of the blessing is always God. It reads in the John 3:16 that God gave his Son to the world to die for sin once for all so that humanity can have everlasting life. This act of God is termed as divine providence or provision towards humanity. The provision is everlasting life which no man can give besides God. Bread, in Greek, artos (loaf), in scripture represents life. Jesus fed the five thousand and consequently dealt with hunger (Matt 4:3; 7:9) and therefore gave life. He is the Bread of life according to the above quotation. He is the Bread that came down from above and anyone who eats this Bread will never hunger. The Grain Offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were the types of Christ.

                In response to what God has done for use, we are required to reciprocate through our obedience to him. Our obedience to God’s provision of everlasting life (Bread) is crucial to the proclamation of the gospel done through evangelism and church planting via the lives we live as Christians. Matthew writes, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under the foot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:13–16 NIV). By virtue of our covenant relationship with God, we have been declared and qualified to be the light and the salt of the earth; however, to be what the scripture says we are with reference to being a light and preservative and to maintain these divine traits depends on our commitment to God to be like him with relative to what we think, say, and do. Perception, pronouncement, and execution in term of obedience are vital to Christian’s transformation, growth, and maturity (2 Cor 3:16–18). God wants us to be positive thinker, positive declarer, and positive executioner in his kingdom when it comes to thinking, declaring, and doing his will. It reads, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you” (Proverbs 4:20–24 NKJV).

            The above quotation summarizes what are being discussed in this lesson. Our heart is the center of our live; therefore, we are asked to guide it. Our Christian lives, family lives, career lives, ministry lives, and list goes on cannot be bigger than our heart (spirit).

Memory Verse: My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee (Proverbs 4:20–24 KJV).

#52: Good Morning Prayer Forum!  In the previous lesson, we discussed Burnt Offerings in the context of the Mosaic Covenant with relative to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle. We learned that the purpose of Burnt Offerings dictates devotion of one’s life before God with total surrender; therefore, the offerings are burnt symbolically to indicate this validity. Burnt Offerings should not be taken for granted with respect to their ceremonies because any mistakes with reference to regulatory effects can have bad outcome. This is seen in Leviticus 10 wherein the sons of Aaron died before the Lord when they offered an unauthorized fire before him. Secondly, Burnt Offerings are offered with the spiritual intent to usher an individual into a divine mandate. This is indicative of Jesus’ dedicatory ceremony in the temple wherein Burnt Offerings were offered on his behalf to do God’s will. We learned that Jesus was dedicated into the temple for this reason to prepare him for the sacrificial death that leading him to sign the blood covenant. The author of Hebrews writes, “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every  precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people” (Hebrews 9:16–19 NIV). The blood covenant Jesus signed was never in force until he died; then, the covenant became effected. We can learn some spiritual truths about Burnt Offerings or dedicatory ceremonies of children. Dedicatory ceremonies are obvious in our traditional settings whereby children born in some families are dedicated to family gods and such dedicatory ceremonies carried out on children can have negative outcomes. Having given a preview of the past lesson, let us get started with today’s lesson. This week, we will read Leviticus Chapter 2:1–16 daily and pray for 30 minutes as we discuss the second element of sacrifice called Grain Offerings. In this study, we will discuss the definition and the characteristics of the offerings to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, their origins, their relationships to the New Covenant and the Christian living.

            Grain Offerings are sacrifices of food offerings that were offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle in accordance with the Levitical ceremonial fashions as dictated under the Mosaic Covenant. The purpose of the offerings was tailored towards thanksgivings; therefore, they are offerings of thanksgiving. The offerings were characterized with finest flour and olive oil mixed with incense and handful of flour and oil together with incense and these recipes mixed were taken to Aaron’s sons. The offering was burnt on the altar by the priest as the memorial food as the aroma went to God and the remaining portions of the offerings were eating by the priests after the burnt (Leviticus 2:1–3). Any other grain offerings prepared by individual Israelite other than the stipulations God has given, were also given other stipulations or instructions how those offerings could be prepared to meet the standard for God as Grain Offerings according to the ceremonial law (Leviticus 2:4–16).

            Besides the Burnt Offerings which began with Noah, Grain Offerings have root origin in the Levitical worship in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant. These offerings were given without lived animals and were regarded as gift offerings.

            Grain Offerings are bread based on the chemical contents (flour, olive, incense, & water) and represented divine provisions of sustenance God provided for his people during the wilderness experience for forty years before Israel entered the Promised Land (Canaan). In this junction, Grain Offerings have divine significance to the New Covenant and these offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were pointing to Jesus Christ. We should be reminded that everything God instructed Moses to build with reference to the Tabernacle, the material items, regulations, sacrifices, and the standard for the Levites, the Priests, and the High Priests were copies of the things that are in heaven.

            Apostle John writes, “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV). The purpose for Grain Offerings in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the act of gratitude we show toward the giver of the blessing we receive. The giver of the blessing is always God. It reads in the John 3:16 that God gave his Son to the world to die for sin once for all so that humanity can have everlasting life. This act of God is termed as divine providence or provision towards humanity. The provision is everlasting life which no man can give besides God. Bread, in Greek, artos (loaf), in scripture represents life. Jesus fed the five thousand and consequently dealt with hunger (Matt 4:3; 7:9) and therefore gave life. He is the Bread of life according to the above quotation. He is the Bread that came down from above and anyone who eats this Bread will never hunger. The Grain Offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were the types of Christ.

            In response to what God has done for use, we are required to reciprocate through our obedience to him. Our obedience to God’s provision of everlasting life (Bread) is crucial to the proclamation of the gospel done through evangelism and church planting via the lives we live as Christians. Matthew writes, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under the foot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:13–16 NIV). By virtue of our covenant relationship with God, we have been declared and qualified to be the light and the salt of the earth; however, to be what the scripture says we are with reference to being a light and preservative and to maintain these divine traits depends on our commitment to God to be like him with relative to what we think, say, and do. Perception, pronouncement, and execution in term of obedience are vital to Christian’s transformation, growth, and maturity (2 Cor 3:16–18). God wants us to be positive thinker, positive declarer, and positive executioner in his kingdom when it comes to thinking, declaring, and doing his will. It reads, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you” (Proverbs 4:20–24 NKJV).

            The above quotation summarizes what are being discussed in this lesson. Our heart is the center of our live; therefore, we are asked to guide it. Our Christian lives, family lives, career lives, ministry lives, and list goes on cannot be bigger than our heart (spirit).

Memory Verse: Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:17–18 KJV).

#53: Good Morning Prayer Forum!  In the previous lesson, we discussed Burnt Offerings in the context of the Mosaic Covenant with relative to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle. We learned that the purpose of Burnt Offerings dictates devotion of one’s life before God with total surrender; therefore, the offerings are burnt symbolically to indicate this validity. Burnt Offerings should not be taken for granted with respect to their ceremonies because any mistakes with reference to regulatory effects can have bad outcome. This is seen in Leviticus 10 wherein the sons of Aaron died before the Lord when they offered an unauthorized fire before him. Secondly, Burnt Offerings are offered with the spiritual intent to usher an individual into a divine mandate. This is indicative of Jesus’ dedicatory ceremony in the temple wherein Burnt Offerings were offered on his behalf to do God’s will. We learned that Jesus was dedicated into the temple for this reason to prepare him for the sacrificial death that leading him to sign the blood covenant. The author of Hebrews writes, “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people” (Hebrews 9:16–19 NIV). The blood covenant Jesus signed was never in force until he died; then, the covenant became effected. We can learn some spiritual truths about Burnt Offerings or dedicatory ceremonies of children. Dedicatory ceremonies are obvious in our traditional settings whereby children born in some families are dedicated to family gods and such dedicatory ceremonies carried out on children can have negative outcomes. Having given a preview of the past lesson, let us get started with today’s lesson. This week, we will read Leviticus Chapter 2:1–16 daily and pray for 30 minutes as we discuss the second element of sacrifice called Grain Offerings. In this study, we will discuss the definition and the characteristics of the offerings to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, their origins, their relationships to the New Covenant and the Christian living.

            Grain Offerings are sacrifices of food offerings that were offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle in accordance with the Levitical ceremonial fashions as dictated under the Mosaic Covenant. The purpose of the offerings was tailored towards thanksgivings; therefore, they are offerings of thanksgiving. The offerings were characterized with finest flour and olive oil mixed with incense and handful of flour and oil together with incense and these recipes mixed were taken to Aaron’s sons. The offering was burnt on the altar by the priest as the memorial food as the aroma went to God and the remaining portions of the offerings were eating by the priests after the burnt (Leviticus 2:1–3). Any other grain offerings prepared by individual Israelite other than the stipulations God has given, were also given other stipulations or instructions how those offerings could be prepared to meet the standard for God as Grain Offerings according to the ceremonial law (Leviticus 2:4–16).

            Besides the Burnt Offerings which began with Noah, Grain Offerings have root origin in the Levitical worship in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant. These offerings were given without lived animals and were regarded as gift offerings.

            Grain Offerings are bread based on the chemical contents (flour, olive, incense, & water) and represented divine provisions of sustenance God provided for his people during the wilderness experience for forty years before Israel entered the Promised Land (Canaan). In this junction, Grain Offerings have divine significance to the New Covenant and these offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were pointing to Jesus Christ. We should be reminded that everything God instructed Moses to build with reference to the Tabernacle, the material items, regulations, sacrifices, and the standard for the Levites, the Priests, and the High Priests were copies of the things that are in heaven.

            Apostle John writes, “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV). The purpose for Grain Offerings in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle was for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the act of gratitude we show toward the giver of the blessing we receive. The giver of the blessing is always God. It reads in the John 3:16 that God gave his Son to the world to die for sin once for all so that humanity can have everlasting life. This act of God is termed as divine providence or provision towards humanity. The provision is everlasting life which no man can give besides God. Bread, in Greek, artos (loaf), in scripture represents life. Jesus fed the five thousand and consequently dealt with hunger (Matt 4:3; 7:9) and therefore gave life. He is the Bread of life according to the above quotation. He is the Bread that came down from above and anyone who eats this Bread will never hunger. The Grain Offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle were the types of Christ.

                In response to what God has done for use, we are required to reciprocate through our obedience to him. Our obedience to God’s provision of everlasting life (Bread) is crucial to the proclamation of the gospel done through evangelism and church planting via the lives we live as Christians. Matthew writes, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under the foot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:13–16 NIV). By virtue of our covenant relationship with God, we have been declared and qualified to be the light and the salt of the earth; however, to be what the scripture says we are with reference to being a light and preservative and to maintain these divine traits depends on our commitment to God to be like him with relative to what we think, say, and do. Perception, pronouncement, and execution in term of obedience are vital to Christian’s transformation, growth, and maturity (2 Cor 3:16–18). God wants us to be positive thinker, positive declarer, and positive executioner in his kingdom when it comes to thinking, declaring, and doing his will. It reads, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you” (Proverbs 4:20–24 NKJV).

            The above quotation summarizes what are being discussed in this lesson. Our heart is the center of our live; therefore, we are asked to guide it. Our Christian lives, family lives, career lives, ministry lives, and list goes on cannot be bigger than our heart (spirit).

Memory Verse:  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:3–4 KJV).

#54: Good Morning Prayer Forum! In today’s discussion, we will read Leviticus 3:1–17 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time. It is a blessing to study the word of God together through a written format and it is my prayer that God gives us understanding about the topic under discussion. Today, we will discuss the third item under the element of Sacrifices called Peace or Fellowship Offerings. While we study Peace or Fellowship Offerings, we will endeavor to delineate on their biblical meaning, their characteristics, their origin, and their relationship to the New Covenant and how they affect Christian living. Let us get started.

            Peace or Fellowship Offerings were prescribed by God through Moses upon God’s visitation with Moses on Mount Sinai at the onset of the Mosaic Covenant initiation. The offerings were prescribed and used in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle purposely to mediate between God and the penitent; therefore, the offerings served the basis of mutual benefits to establish communication between God and his people (Exodus 20:24). Since the offerings were prescriptive and propitiatory or reconciliatory, Peace or Fellowship Offerings could be offered along with Grain Offerings and the parties involved could eat together while the Levites and the Priests took their portions (Leviticus 7:11–18). Meanwhile, these offerings must be characterized with male or female bull without blemish. The penitent must lay his hand on the head of the animal and then kill the animal at the entrance of the tabernacle. Aaron’s son shall sprinkle the blood of the animal around the altar (Leviticus 3:1–3). The Priest shall remove the internal organs of the animal and follow the instructions as stipulated in the scriptures. The Priest shall burn the animal on the altar as the sweet aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 3:4). The potential priest or penitent shall follow the other stipulations referencing the offering of flock or goat as stipulated in the scripture (Leviticus 3:5–17). Peace or Fellowship Offerings that have similar characteristics of Burnt Offerings can be incorporated into Grain Offerings to serve the purpose of Peace or Fellowship Offerings.

                Having defined Peace or Fellowship Offerings, their origin, and characteristics; then, do these offerings which had become obsolete as the result of the New Covenant existence, have any connection and significance to the New Covenant and Christian living today? We can find out by using, analyzing, and reconciling scriptures in both the Old and the New Testament. Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:17–19 NKJV). The purpose of Peace or Fellowship Offerings under the Mosaic Covenant was to bring reconciliation between the penitent (sinner) and God; therefore, the above quotation resonates with the Peace or Fellowship Offerings. The offerings offered under the Mosaic Covenant were types of Jesus Christ; in this junction, when the fullness of time had come, God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto himself so that humanity can be saved; therefore, we (Christians) having received this everlasting life through the death of Jesus on the cross, have also been given the ministry of reconciliation. We can accomplish this ministry through the proclamation of the Gospel to dying humanity. John writes, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 NKJV). Jesus was speaking to his disciples about the peace which was to be delivered after his crucifixion, buried, resurrection, and ascension. Isaiah, the prophet, prophesied the reconciliatory ministry of Jesus before Jesus was born as stated, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV). John the Beloved writes, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” 1 John 2:1–4 NKJV). John lived in the era when the doctrine of false teaching (Gnosticism) proliferates and he writes to inform Christians that have not grown with respect to biblical knowledge; therefore, he categorized them as little children. In his message to inform young believers, he told them to hold onto Jesus who has become the propitiation for their sin and the sin of the world. The phrase, ‘Peace or Fellowship Offerings’ as seen in the Mosaic Tabernacle worship correlate to reconciliation or propitiation, which Jesus Christ has become when died for the sin of the world in order to replace the offerings that were prescribed and carried out in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant. The Prophet, Isaiah, prophesied Jesus’ priestly ministry, Apostle Paul explained Jesus’ reconciliatory ministry in order to incorporate believer to do the same, and John confirmed Jesus’ advocacy and reconciliatory ministry as he battled against Gnosticism (false teaching) of his days.

            Having discussed the Peace or Fellowship Offerings’ connection to the New Testament and the Testator (Jesus Christ), let us discuss how the offerings relate to Christian living. Apostle Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 5:17–21 that since we have been reconciled to God through Jesus’ reconciliatory ministry, we have also been given the ministry of reconciliation. The reconciliatory ministry is the ministry of proclamation of the gospel message to win souls for Jesus Christ. Christians can accomplish this ministry through their lifestyle and preaching the word. When we preach the gospel, we are preaching peace so humanity can become a friend of God again. This was the purpose of the Peace or Fellowship Offerings in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle. Apostle Paul concludes by asking rhetorical question, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14–15 NJKV). There are certain things God cannot do unless humans are involved. One is soul winning. You and I should answer the questions Apostle Paul has asked.

Memory Verse: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!(Romans 10:14–15 KJV).

#55: Good Morning Prayer Forum! In our previous lesson, we completed the third prescriptive sacrifice called Peace or Fellowship Offerings instituted by God through Moses on Mount Sinai. We learned that this offering was instituted to fix a broken relationship between God and his people; therefore, this offering was a type of Christ who became atonement for sin in order to reconcile sinful humanity to God through his death on the cross (2 Cor 5:17–21). Today, we will read Leviticus 4:1–35 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time. While we study Sin Offerings, we will delineate on the meaning, their origin, their characteristics, and their significant connection to the New Covenant and how they affect Christian living. Let us get started. Sin Offerings emerged when the Mosaic Covenant institutionalized and gave birth to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle after the deliverance of the Children of Israel from captivity while heading to the Promised Land. The purpose of Sin Offerings was to mediate and to fix the broken relationship between God and the people of Israel as the result of unintentional sin being committed; therefore, the Offerings were offered for the rededication of the penitent (remorseful individual). The Offerings were characterized with a young bull without defect and presented at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Before the penitent slaughtered the animal, he laid his hand on the animal’s head. After the slaughtering of the animal, the anointed priest took some of the blood of the bull and carried it to the tent of meeting, dipped his finger into the blood and sprinkled some of it seven times before the Lord in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. This was followed by the putting some of the blood on the various horns of the altar while the blood is pours at the base of the altar. Finally, the priest will burn the offerings on the altar (Leviticus 4:1–11).

            Having discussed the meaning, their origin, and characteristics; then, let us get started with their significant connection to the New Covenant and how they affect Christian living. We learned previously that Sin Offerings were offered for unintentional sin committed; therefore, the unintentional sin committed has the root in the original sin. The original sin began in the Genesis when Adam and Eve disobeyed and broke God’s Law bringing condemnation to the entire human race; therefore, scripture says that we are sinners by nature (Gen 3:1–15; Romans 5:12–18). The Psalmist exclaims, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me “(Psalms 51:5 NKJV). We all were sinners by nature before we became Christians; therefore, we needed the Savior to fix this broken relationship as the result of the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. This is a generational sin that affects the entire human race; therefore, no one is capable to stand before the holy God because all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23); however, God sent Jesus to remedy the problems. Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation “ (2 Cor 5:17–19 NKJV). Sin Offerings were offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle for unintentional sin. The sin we inherited from Adam and Eve as the result of their disobedience is an unintentional sin. Jesus was sent to die for our intentional and unintentional sin; therefore, the Sin Offerings offered in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle during the Mosaic Covenant were types of Christ. Apostle Paul summarizes the broken relationship’s remedy and states that God sent Jesus to make sinners friends of God again. He used the term, ‘reconciliation.’ Dedicatory prayer is a prayer of anew commitment to God; however, if it becomes re-dedicatory; then, something has gone wrong that will require more commitment to a cause. Whenever Sin Offerings were offered by the penitent to God under the Mosaic Covenant, the remorseful individual (penitent) was renewing his commitment to God in order to go extra miles in his Christian’s journey.

            How do the Sin Offerings in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle dictate how Christians live? If you lived during the era of the Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant, what would have been your intention if you offered such sacrifice to God? I guess your intention will be to live a committed life before God. How many times do you repent from a sin? I guess you will say many times. I know sin can become habitual and it takes sometimes for people to overcome such sinful habit; nevertheless, I have good news for us. Peter writes, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the [corruption that is in the world through lust “ (Peter 1:3–4 NKJV). You can live this Christian life in this crooked world because Jesus lives.

Memory Verse:  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor 5:20–21 KJV).

#56: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will wrap up the teaching on the last topic under sacrifice called Guilt or Trespass Offerings; meanwhile, we will read Leviticus 5:14–19 and pray for 30 minutes. While we discuss Guilt or Trespass Offerings, we will define the offerings, their origin, their characteristics, and their significant connections to the New Covenant and how they relate to Christian living. Let us get started. Guilt or Trespass Offerings emerged on Mountain Sinai as God signed Covenant with Israel giving birth to the Hebrews’ Tabernacle, the institution of Levitical worship, which lasted for 440 years prior to the entrance of the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Guilt or Trespass Offerings are offered as the result of unfaithfulness and unintentional sin, characterized with ram offering to the Lord without defect and ram valued at silver according to the sanctuary shekel and the offerings are restitutional.

                In the Genesis, we have learned from biblical history that man was created from the image of God as the perfect being (Gen 1:26–31) ; unfortunately, man drifted from the presence of God due to disobedience; consequently, the originality of man with reference to character was tempered with due to sin; consequently, man lost his position in the Garden of Eden and was eventually pronounced as sinner and driven out of the Garden as an indication that man has become a wayward child (Gen 3:1–13). In God’s providence, he set a salvation plan for humanity and prophesied in this manner, “So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3:14–15 NKJV). In this scripture, biblically, the serpent is the devil that entered the sneak to mislead God’s creation; nevertheless, his diabolical plan set him up for defeat. The seed of the serpent is the generation that opposed Jesus since the onset of his birth to the time of his crucifixion, buried, resurrection, and ascension into heaven to be seated on the right hand of God the Father (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55–56; Col 3:1; Romans 8:34; Eph 1:20). The triumphant resurrection of Jesus from the grave brought defeat to Satan. Scripture says that he led captivity captive and gave gifts to man eventually establishing the five-fold ministry gifts in Christendom. By the virtue of his resurrection and distribution of gifts the church is established forever and remained undefeated. Jesus said that he will build his Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matt 16:18); therefore, Christians remained undefeated in this ongoing battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. Can I hear “Amen.”

            It is biblically known that the goal of restitution is to pay back what has been stolen or taken away from a generation; in this light, Guilt or Trespass Offerings under the Mosaic Covenant, were offered on behalf of Israel in order to restore what has been tempered with due to unintentional sin committed by Israel; similarly, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they died spiritually and the repercussion brought death to the entire human race and subjugated God’s creation. It should take restitution to redeem mankind; therefore, God sent Jesus as the atonement to pay back what has been stolen (eternal life). The author of Hebrews writes, “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear the second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb 9:28 NKJV). Reparation or restitution offerings were offered to pay back what has been stolen; therefore, when Christ offered himself to die for sin, he redeemed us from the penalty of sin and eventually gave us salvation that now qualifies us to be Christians. In this light, the Guilt or Trespass offerings that were offered under the Mosaic Covenant were types of Christ. We have said previously that the New Covenant was hidden in the Mosaic Covenant; therefore, everything that was carried out in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle under the Mosaic Covenant was a shadow of things to come according to scriptures. In this light, the Mosaic Covenant is the explanation of the New Covenant while the New Covenant is the interpretation and the application of the Old Covenant in grace revised fashion. How do Guilt or Trespass Offerings affect how Christian live in this world? Apostle Paul answers this question in Romans when he teaches on universal holiness. He writes, “I beseech   you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”(Romans 12:1–2 NKJV).

Memory Verse: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:28 KJV).

INTRODUCTIION TO LAWS

#57: Good Morning Prayer Forum! I strongly believe that no one is going to leave this train until we all arrive at our destination. I understand that some people got on the train late; nevertheless, it does not depend when one gets on the train, but it depends whether one will continue the journey. In our last lesson, we discussed the institutionalized sacrifices in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle enacted under the Mosaic Covenant. We learned that the Burnt Offerings represented total devotion to God, the Grain Offerings represented thanksgiving, the Peace or Fellowship Offerings represented mutual benefits, the Sin Offerings represented rededication, and the Guilt or Trespass Offerings represented restitution or reparation between Israel and God. We concluded that the sacrifices were types of Jesus Christ according to dispensations and covenants. While we have completed this session of the study on sacrifices, we are pleased to introduce the element of the law. Why Laws? God had given us laws because we are wrong doers or are vulnerable to breaking laws due to sin nature. Scripture tell us that sin is the breaking or the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Today, we will read 1 John 5:1–3 and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. Please extend my greetings to your Pastor and family.

Many readers of the Law books in Christian circles have expressed opinions that God placed burden on Israel with respect to the laws given them and expressed that the laws are difficult to be obeyed due to the numbers. Besides the moral laws, there are 613 commandments that include “positive commandments”, to perform an act (mitzvot aseh), and “negative commandments”, to abstain from certain acts (mitzvot lo taaseh). Theologians have subdivided the laws into moral and ceremonial laws; adversely, others have also subdivided the laws into moral, ceremonial, and civil laws; however, the words moral or ceremonial or civil laws are not biblical with respect to the division of the laws based on the Hebrews Scriptures. Based on the studies of the Old Testament in the context of the Hebrews’ language, the laws of God can be subdivided into Duties (Dabar and Mishmereth), Judgments (Mishpat), Appointments (Khaqqah), and Commandments (Torah and Mitzvah).[15] These laws are seen in Exodus chapters 19 to 24 covering the laws of slavery (Exodus 21:1–11), justice and mercy (Exodus 23:1–9), annual festivals (Exodus 23:14–19), and covenants (Exodus 24:1–18). This category of God’s law is under Duties according to the Hebrews’ Scriptures. The second subdivision of the laws relate to the laws covering personal injuries (Exodus 21:12–26), protection of property (Exodus 22:1–14), and social responsibility (Exodus 22:16–31). This category of the laws is under Judgment and is legal or civil law God gave to Israel to guide the culture. Civil or legal laws were applied to compensate moral laws and were part of the constitution of the land. Moral and civil or legal laws overlap. The third subdivision of the law is called Appointment covering enactments and statutes (Exodus 23:20–23). This category of laws were direct instructions God gave to Moses concerning the prevailing situation and the children of Israel were required to act accordingly or experience adverse side of the law unfavorably. The fourth category of the laws is called Commandments that relate to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1–26). These are moral laws God gave to Israel and they apply to the entire human race because the laws describe the character of God. These laws do not expire and they serve as duties we have towards God and our neighbors. Jesus summarizes the Ten Commandments in this manner:  And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:25–27 NKJV). While we understand that God’s law is divided into Duties, Judgments, Appointments, and Commandments based on the sayings of God, it does not root out the fact that God’s law is categorized into moral, ceremonial, and civil laws. Nothing is wrong with this division of the laws because the moral and civil laws overlap. When God gave the law to Moses, he knew that the children of Israel were surrounded by the heathen nations. The Canaanites offered their children in the fire to their gods (Jer 32:35; Leviticus 18:21; Exodus 13:12–16); therefore, when God said that thou shall not kill, he was teaching Israel not to practice the practices of the heathen nations; in this light, God was not only speaking to Israel, but he was also telling the heathen nations that they were held responsible to breaking moral laws. Recently, the Pope of Rome, Pope Francis, endorsed the same sex marriage (homosexuality) which has brought division in the Catholic church; however, one of the members of the Catholic Churches said that whether the Pope endorsed the same sex marriage, does not nullify the doctrine in the Bible. The Pope is the progressive and liberal in his understanding of biblical truths. He might lack understanding when it comes to understanding scriptures and their applications or both. Apostle Paul writes, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor   homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:9–11NKJV). The practices listed in this scripture are described by the Greek word called “Porneia.” The word “Porneia[16],” signifies sexual immorality (fornication or adultery) and its usages include fornication, whoredom, idolatry etc. It comes from the English word pornography meaning to sell off or surrendering of sexual parity. Porneia is a general word that covers all sexual acts and the love for something which takes the place of God in one’s life. It includes incest, adultery, fornication, idolatry, homosexuality, lesbianism etc. When God said that shall not commit adultery in the Ten Commandment, it covers all sexual acts. The Ten Commandments is the summary or the table of contents of the God’s law. Jesus gave a theological principle about adultery: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28 NKJV). Thou shall not commit adultery (Exodus20:14) is the summary; however, lusting after a woman one has already committed the act. One does not need to literally have sex physically before committing adultery. Flee from sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18) is the theological principle and one’s refusal to flee will lead to committing the act. Flee is the command or ordinance as love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10).

The Divisions Of The Law

  1. Civil Laws: These deal with disputes between individuals.  They expired with the demise of the Jewish civil government.[17]
    1. Be just with the poor, (Lev. 19:15)
    1. Cattle of neighbors (Deut. 22:1-4)
    1. Children and rebellious (Deut. 21:18-21)
    1. Debt (Lev. 23:34-43Deut. 31:10)
    1. Divorce (Deut. 22:19)
    1. Dress or attire (Deut. 22:5)
    1. Hatred (Lev. 19:17)
    1. Inheritance (Num. 18:2626:53-5636:8-12)
    1. Justice and practices (Lev. 24:17-23)
    1. Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16)
    1. Landmarks (Deuteronomy 19:14)
    1. Property redemption (Lev. 25)
    1. Murder and killing (Deut. 21:1-4)
    1. Retain just scales in commerce (Lev. 19:35f)
    1. Robbery, extortion, false witness, and restitution (Lev. 6:1-7)
    1. Sabbath breaking punishment (Num. 15:32-36)
    1. Theft (Deut. 5:19Lev. 19:11)
    1. Warfare (Deut. 20:1-20)
  2. Ceremonial Laws: These have expired with the fulfillment of priestly work of Christ (Matt. 3:15).[18]
    1. Cleaning house of leper (Lev. 14:33-57Num. 5:2)
    1. Festivals (Lev. 23:1-25Nu. 29:39)
    1. Laws on animals for food (Lev. 11:1-47)
    1. Laws of Atonement (Lev. 16:1-28;17:1-16)
    1. Offerings (Num. 29:39)
    1. Priest and ceremonial consecration of (Ex. 29:1-46)
    1. Priestly duties (Lev. 7:1-37)
    1. Regulations for Priests (Lev. 21,22)
    1. Various sacrificial offerings for sin (Lev. 1,2,3,4,5,6)
  3. Moral Laws: These will not expire because it is based on God’s character.  “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy,” (Lev. 19:2).[19]
    1. Idolatry (Lev. 26:1-13)
    1. Love God (Deut. 6:4)
    1. Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18)
    1. Oppress your neighbor (Lev. 19:13)
    1. Stealing or lying (Lev. 19:11)
    1. Sacrifice children to Molech forbidden (Lev. 20:1-5)
    1. Sexual sins: adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism etc. (Lev. 18:2020:9-21Num. 5:12-15).

Memory Verse: And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not (Exodus 20:20 KJV).

THE QUESTION ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

#58: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We have introduced the laws and their subdivisions in the Hebrews and Hebrews’ post-era context. We learned in the introduction that God had given us laws because we are easily drawn to choose evil instead of good. Most of the decision we make in lives is the result of the choices we make in the midst of laws God has given us. The laws are enacted to guide us so we can be on course; unfortunately, we usually slip and fall dramatically on the daily basis. Why? We inherited the personality traits from our federal parents, Adam and Eve. God gave them the law for guidance; on the contrary, they chose evil instead of good as the result of disobedience. Since we are studying the law, it is necessary to discuss the problem of evil, one of the objectivities used by both atheists and high minded scientists to accuse God in their wasteful thinking and to discredit the characters of God. Many have the beliefs that God created evil since they see so many evil going on in the world. Some of us tend to even blame God and lessen his power in our opinions that God is not in control of the situation in this world; therefore, we conclude that God is not good neither is he powerful because we see evil taking place in minutes. Have you thought in like manner before? For me, I have thought in such manner before. Since we are studying the laws that are linked to how we make choices, it is expedient that we talk about the problem of evil in order to solve that it could mislead us. Did God create evil? While we tend to apply the law in our daily lives as Christians, it will be necessary to answer this question because we will be dealing with some controversial topics under the law such as divorce and remarriage, sexual purity, and others. We will answer this question as we ride this train. This piece of writing looks lengthy. We will read it and will pose questions or comments with our name. We want people to read and contribute to this piece of writing regarding the problem of evil. We will continue with the lesson next week after we have read and contributed to this writing. Let us get started.

One of the great questions facing those who believe the Bible is the problem of evil. If God is all-loving and all- powerful, then why do we have evil in the universe? Did God create evil? If so, why did He do it? Would that not make Him a bad God? The other possibility is that God is a good God, but does not have the ability to do anything about evil. This would mean that God is a good God, but not all-powerful. So which is it? Is God a bad God and won’t do anything about evil, or is He a good God and cannot do anything about evil? Actually there is a third possibility. God is neither bad nor limited in His power. It is true that if God created evil it would make Him a bad God. But this is not the case. Evil came as a result of sin, and sin is something that God did not want in the universe.

The above argument and reasoning concerning the existence of evil in the world in reference to God’s relationship to evil answers the question if God is the creator of evil. Indeed evil came as the result of sin and God indeed hates sin; therefore, he punishes sinners to make his moral government in heaven transcendent over human government; in this light, God cannot be the creator of evil; however, there are scriptural passages in the Bible that tend to support the idea that God is the creator of evil based on how the passages have been presented with reference to the misunderstanding of the translation of the Hebrew word, “Ra.” In Genesis, it reads, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day” (Gen. 1:26–31 NIV).

Memory Verse: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Gen 1:26 KJV).

The Gap Theory And Scriptural Examination

The last verse in this passage establishes the fact that everything God has made from the beginning was good. This was the last day God has established everything including the heavenly bodies and he declared them to be good; however, there are the passages in the Bible that tend to contradict this scripture and present God to be the creator of evil. The passages need to be examined knowing that man did the translation from the Hebrew Bible to the English Bible. In Isaiah, it reads, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 NKJV). I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 KJV). In Genesis, it reads, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you  shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16–17 NKJV). These scriptural passages will be examined after we have discussed the gap theory in the book of Genesis Chapter 1:1 and 1:2–31. After the discussion of the gap theory in Genesis, it will make sense to us that God did not create evil but evil came as the result of sin in the world. Theologically, “Gap Creationists believe that certain facts about the past and the age of the Earth have been omitted from the Genesis account; they hold that there was a gap of time in the biblical account that lasted an unknown number of years between a first creation in Genesis 1:1 and a second creation in Genesis 1:2-31.[2]

To explain and to support the above theory, we will begin with Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2–31. The first creation references Genesis 1:31 that everything that God has created was good. After the first creation, something happened that brought the existence of evil prior to recreation and after the recreation. In Genesis 1:1 says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. This is the first creation. In Genesis 1:2 reads, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2–31 there exists a gap in biblical account according to theistic creationism. If everything God has created was good according to Genesis 1:1, why in Genesis 1:2 made the earth to be formless, empty, and darkness coming over the surface of the deep of the earth? The word formless, empty and darkness indicate the presence of evil in the world. That’s being said, it indicates that something happened before the earth became formless, empty, and had darkness on surface of the deep. From Genesis 1:2–31 talks about the recreation at which God had to use the spoken word to bring about every existence of life on planet earth. Know that prior and after the creation of the earth, Lucifer and the angels had lived in heaven with God. In Isaiah, it reads, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!  You said in your heart, I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:12–14 NIV). The above scripture references Lucifer who became pride in heaven and decided to over throw God; as the result he was cast down on planet earth. In Ezekiel, it reads, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones” (Ezekiel 28:13–14 NIV). God is speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel to describe the beauty of Lucifer and his habitation in the Garden of Eden. He became pride and rebelled against God; therefore, he was cast down along with the angels that rebelled with him against God. It reads, “The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God: “Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are but a man, and no god, though you make your heart like the heart of a god— you are indeed wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you; by your wisdom and your understanding you have made wealth for yourself, and have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in your trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth “(Ezekiel 18:1–26 NIV). It reads, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev 12:9 NIV). The above scriptural passages tell us that Lucifer became pride and was cast down along with the angels that joined to rebel against God. The casting of angels from heaven to the earth as the result of pride and rebellion made the earth to become formless, empty, and dark because Satan and his fallen angels called demons were already present; therefore, evil was present on earth. Since God knew that evil was already present in the Garden of Eden, God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the tree of the knowledge, good, and evil because Satan was already present in the Garden of Eden. The Bible calls Satan the evil one. Does it mean that since the tree was called the tree of knowledge, good, and evil; then, God created evil? No, God created the tree; however, it is the description of the tree based on the choices Adam and Eve could make. Evil was already present in the Garden due to the rebellion of Satan and the angels. God did not create evil spirits, but he created angels; similarly, God did not create Satan, but he created Lucifer. Lucifer and angels became Satan and evil spirits based on the path (evil) they chose in heaven to be like God. Evil is the general description of the opposite of good; therefore, evil cannot be created as books, angels, Lucifer, because it is not a thing; rather, the choice the creatures of God make when it comes to decision making. Had not Lucifer, angels, and Adam and Eve sinned, there would not be what we call evil today. Evil is present in the world as the result of sin. Since God did not create sin and he hates sin; then, he cannot be the creator of evil. Let us examine the three scriptural passages that tend to present God has the creator of evil., “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 NKJV). I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 KJV). In Genesis, it reads, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you[a] shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16–17 NKJV).

The Hebrew word for evil used in the second passage is “Ra. The word for evil used in the second passage and the third passage in Isaiah 45:7 and Genesis 2:17 in the Hebrew is ‘Ra. Ra in the Hebrew has varieties of meanings. Ra in Hebrew means wickedness, wicked, mischief, hurt, bad, favorable, sore, affliction, ill, adversity, harm, naught, noisome, grievous, sad, and often miscellaneous terms. In the passage, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 NKJV). In this new King James Version, the translation for Ra in Hebrew is translated as disaster instead of evil. Looking at the various meanings of the Hebrew word Ra, disaster fits the correct translation of the word Ra to indicate specificity. Evil is the general term that describes the opposite of anything that is good. In conclusion, did God create evil? If so, why did He do it? Would that not make Him a bad God? The other possibility is that God is a good God, but does not have the ability to do anything about evil. This would mean that God is a good God, but not all-powerful. So which is it? Is God a bad God and won’t do anything about evil, or is He a good God and cannot do anything about evil? Actually there is a third possibility. God is neither bad nor limited in His power. It is true that if God created evil, it would make Him a bad God. But this is not the case. Evil came as a result of sin, and sin is something that God did not want in the universe.[3] Why then evil exists? Why bad things happen to good people? Is not God in control of everything? God is not in control of the choices we make; that could make God an unjust God if he infringes on the decision we make; therefore, he is not in control of everything. Does that make God to not be all-powerful God? No, God is all-powerful God; however, he does not use his power against our will because God has made us to be free moral agent; therefore, he could not have prevented sin in the Garden of Eden by infringing on the decision that Adam and Eve could have made; however, they chose to disobey God. Evil exists because sin exists and sin is here. Why then God cannot stop evil? He does not stop it because he does not have control over the decision we make because he wants to remain faithful to the other side of his character of being the just God. The God who had created the heavens and the earth is not a tyrant or the dictator; he is the loving and the just God.

Memory Verse:  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 54:6-7 KJV).

FREEDOM IN CHRIST FROM THE LAW (ROMANS 8:1–11)

#59: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We are pleased to introduce the topic, “Freedom in Christ from the Old Testament Law. Let us get started with the prelude. The law under the Mosaic Covenant was given to Israel to serve as the school master to teach them the Do’s and Don’ts and to direct them toward the coming of Jesus Christ; on the other hand, the law was also given to condemn Israel as the result of the weakness of the sinful nature. Realistically, none of them was able to keep the Law; therefore, God has to create the New order in order to fulfill the Old and establish the better Covenant. Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20 NKJV). The law was given to reveal sin; unfortunately, no one is put right with God by observing the law only. Belief in Jesus coupled with obedience is the road to salvation.

From our previous studies with respect to the Tabernacle and sacrifices, we learned that the sacrifices, the Tabernacle, and the items prescribed by God, were types of Christ. God gave the instruction to Moses in order to build the Tabernacle that could resemble the ones in the heaven; therefore, he gave Moses the dimensions and kind of materials to use.

             In our previous lesson we also learned that the New Covenant was hidden in the Old Covenant; therefore, we can extrapolate that the Old Covenant is the detailed explanation of the New Covenant while the New Covenant is the interpretation and the application of the Old Covenant. This is seen in the Tabernacle, the Sacrifices, and the Law. With respect to the divisions of the Laws, we learned that the civil law ended with the civil government of Israel; however, some of the laws still apply today especially those that are in the category of the moral law. On the other hand, the ceremonial law no longer applies today because it ended when Jesus Christ entered a spiritual tabernacle and died on the cross as the perfect High Priest and perfect Lamb (sacrifice).

            In our studies, we have learned the three divisions of the law classified as Moral, Ceremonial, and Civil; however, we are wondering in our minds if whether we are capable of keeping the Moral law that is still in forced under the New Covenant; possibly, Apostle John through the power of the Holy Spirit has good news for us. He writes, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome “(1 John 5:1–3 NKJV). The Holy Spirit has spoken through John that the Commandments of God are easy to keep. We can do so when we allow Jesus Christ to live in us through obedience (Gal 2:20). Apostle Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20 NKJV). When we allow ourselves to be crucified with Christ (put to death the sinful nature through self-denial); then, the Commandments will become easy for us to obey. While we study Romans 8:1–11 in the next session, we will have learned how we can be crucified with Christ to enable us obey the Law of God through grace. In this session, we will learn the keys to the spiritual life, the two laws, God’s response to the Law’s weakness, the nature of the carnal and spiritual minds, and the test indicators of salvation; therefore, we ask that you read Romans 8:1–11 daily and pray for 30 minutes of your convenient time as we will take off the train next week. Have a good blessed weekend from my end and say hello to your pastor and family.

Memory Verse: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:(8:2–3 KJV).

The Key To Spiritual Life (Romans 8:1)

#60: Good Evening Prayer Forum! Under the Mosaic Covenant, we have been introduced to the law and some of us are contemplating how possible we can keep these rules. The good news is Jesus has fulfilled the law so we can live it. In today’s lesson, we will delineate on the keys to living the law of God. Let us get started. The true journey for the spiritual life is centered and focused on spiritual formation that begins when someone is in Jesus (2 Cor 3:16–18). It begins when someone hears the gospel’s message, believes, repents, and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9). It does not begin by fasting and praying or having some kind of spiritual experience. Hearing, believing, repenting, and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savor are the keys to beginning the spiritual journey with the Lord. Apostle Paul asserts in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those that are in Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but who walk according to Spirit. He used the word, “condemnation.” In Greek, it is called katakrima[20], which gives reference to the Old Testament Law that had condemnation nature. The Old Testament Law condemned those who broke the Law; in connection, Paul is giving reference to the nature of the Old Testament to that of being in Christ under the New Covenant. Being in Christ is the reality of being forgiven, delivered, cleansed, set apart, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This is the nature of the spiritual life and journey with the Lord under the New Covenant. It is not possible that the believer will experience these spiritual phenomena and be overpowered by sinful living or the devil. John writes, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”(1 John 5:1–6 NKJV). Overcoming the world is the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. The world in this verse in Greek is called kosmos, which means a system of order or worldly affairs. This is the world of darkness which manipulates Christians to slip or fall back into sinful habits. Christians overcome the world of sin or perversion when they hear the gospel message, believe, repent, and accept Christ as Lord and Savior. The word called ‘regeneration’ is actualized when the above experience occur in the life of the individual Christian. It is called born again (regeneration). This is time the Holy Spirit comes to live inside the believer. Every believer is indwelled by the Spirit of God. John writes, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another   Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16–19 NKJV). Believers are not alone as the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence. The Spirit is holy, truth, loving, sincere, patient, gentle, self-control, teaching, merciful, and list goes on. If the Holy Spirit is living in you because you have allowed him, he will lead you in all truths. Anything that is out of the context of the truth, you will not be comfortable with it. One must have personal experience with God to follow his voice and leading. We must live in his presence to make his power known to the world. The Psalmist confirms, “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” (Psalm 103:7 NIV). Moses was used of God because Moses lived in his presence; therefore, he performed miracles and led Israel to the land of Promised; though, he did not enter as the result of anger. The Holy Spirit is God. This is the reason we pray and miracles accompany us because we carry God inside of us. Jesus is living in us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The author of Hebrews writes, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs” (Hebrews 1:1–4 NIV). What marvelous are you as believers when the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being lives inside you? Apostle Paul summarizes it in this manner, “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col 2:9 KJV).

            Secondly, Apostle Paul writes that the person who is not condemned is the person who does not walk according to the flesh. The flesh is the nature of the sinful desire that opposes the Spirit. The Spirit wants to obey God; on the contrary, the flesh is always on the path of disobedience. Whenever you are being tempted, the desire that leads you to disobey God is the flesh. Believers are admonished in Galatians 5:16 to walk in the Spirit so that they cannot satisfy the desire of the sinful nature (flesh). He said that those who are not condemned by the law are those who do not walk according to the flesh, but those who walk according to the Spirit. That is being said; in order to actualize this spiritual life, obedience is the key. The reason why more Christians don’t actualize the spiritual lives; instead, they become religious or traditional church going Christians is the root cause of continuous disobedience to God’s word. When church going becomes a tradition to such individual and obedience becomes obsolete, the individual does not know Jesus despite of his position in the church. From biblical history, we are advised not be misled by people’s position in the church. Nicodemus was the Chief Pharisee; unfortunately, he did not know God despite of his temple worship coupled with the religious performance in the Synagogue. When Nicodemus and Jesus had conversation about spiritual formation, he could not understand Jesus’ language (John 3:1–10).

            Recently, Pope Francis of the Vatican endorsed the same sex marriage; consequently, his endorsement has brought religious and doctrinal conflicts in the Catholic Church. I am of the opinion that the reason of his endorsement of the same sex marriage could be lack of understanding of biblical truth, biblical application, or lack of the Spirit or all. In the midst of the religious chaos, one of the members of the Catholic Churches said that the endorsement of the same sex marriage (homosexuality) by the Pope does not nullify the doctrine of the Bible against homosexuality. He is on point. Someone’s weaknesses should not determine your weaknesses or downfall. You can be part of the group wherein the majority is doing the wrong thing; nevertheless, it does not mean that you should join the group to do the same. You can become the minority redemptive in order to redeem the majority fools. Your testimony counts.

            In conclusion, the key to the spiritual life is the desire one has to walk according to the Spirit daily despite of temptations or trials. Your obedience is the key to obeying God’s law backed by grace.

Memory Verse: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:4–5 KJV).

The Two Laws (Romans 8:2)

#61: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Laws are principles that guide behaviors. The behaviors are guided with relative to issues that could relate to humans or natural phenomenon. For instance natural forces like gravitation, electromagnetic, strong nuclear or weak nuclear forces are guided and controlled by natural law that resonates to become scientific law. In the scientific world, there are scientific theories that are experimented, observed, evaluated, and results are obtained based on protocols and scientific laws are developed to guide the behaviors of materials objects like airplanes, spacecrafts etc. while they are en route to transport people from one point to another. Statements that are developments from these theories called laws use empirical data inserted into formulae to guide the behaviors of these objects in space or in air route. For example, when the Americans flew on Apollo 11 to the moon in 1969 with the three Astronauts in the persons of Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Buzz Aldrin, the Crew Commander, Neil A. Armstrong used law to manually calculate using empirical data into formula to redirect the spacecraft to the moon after the spacecraft has lost its trajectory or its path to the moon. Had the three Astronauts not been experienced, they couldn’t have returned to earth due to the problem they encountered in space. It took the use of scientific law guided by formula to redirect the behavior of Apollo 11 spacecraft back to planet Earth. It is my prayer that the above analogy will help us understand why God gave laws to humanity. Laws are given to guide our behaviors in societies; therefore, we have constitution of the land enacted by governments to keep law and order into place so that citizenships can live in an environment from anarchy. From the above analysis, we can conclude that scientific and spiritual laws come from natural law; meanwhile, our discussion today centers on two spiritual laws that emerged from the Mosaic and New Covenants that God gave Israel and the New Testament Church for behavioral guidance. Let us get started. God is the source of natural law that scientific and spiritual laws emerged. Before the law was given to Moses, man by nature knew the difference between right and wrong; therefore, man served God in awe and offered sacrifices to God for sin consciousness in the absence of written Commandments (Gen 8:20–22). Apostle Paul writes, “For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, they, not having the law, are a law unto themselves, which shows the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts between accusing and excusing one another. Thus will it be on the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel” (Romans 2:14–15 KJV). God is the source of natural law and since man was created in the image and likeness of God, man by nature has the law written in his heart (spirit) according to the above quotation. Man is the moral being by default because he was created in the image of God and he resembles his Creator, God; unfortunately, the state of his morality took the opposite from good to evil after the fall. While we have highlighted laws, let us go into the subject of today’s discussion while we discuss the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and the Law of Sin and Death. Apostle Paul writes, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh,that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:2–4 KJV).

            From the study of the Mosaic Covenant, we learned that animal sacrifices were recommended for sin atonement and the Ten Commandments with extra 613 Commandments were added to guide the behaviors of the children of Israel. At this time, man was placed on standard of morality by works; therefore, the Ten Commandments coupled with ceremonial and civil laws were to be obeyed; on the contrary, the children of Israel were not able to keep the law due to the weakness of the sinful nature. The law condemned the children of Israel and people who broke the law were put death based on the crime committed and the corresponding penalty. This law was weak and powerless to empower Israel because the animal sacrifices offered were not sufficient to forgive sin and to clear the conscience of the worshippers. This law killed and was inferior and became called the Law of Sin and Death. After years of sacrifices, God sent Jesus under the New Covenant as the perfect High Priest and perfect Sacrifice to make atonement for sin once for all thereby establishing the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. It tells us that there are two laws that are at work in humanity. People who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Law of Sin and Death is their master while People who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are controlled and led by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus; for this reason, the Bible says that if Christ is in us, our body is dead because of sin and our spirit is alive because of righteousness. This is the reason, Christians are dead living people. The sin that can recklessly control an unbeliever has no bearing on believer because the Law that guides the behavior of the believer is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit becomes the teacher, the comforter, the leader, and the empowerment of the individual Christian who is controlled by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Nothing the individual will do will be outside of the context of the Holy Spirit leading because he or she is yielding to the Holy Spirit; unless, the unbeliever, he or she is controlled by the Law of Sin and Death. This Law guides the behavior of the individual in the opposite direction and willful sinning can be characteristics of the individual lifestyles. The thought process of the sinful minds will always chase evil things in order to satisfy the desire of that sinful nature. Under the New Covenant, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus frees the believer from the Law of Sin and Death. This marks the victorious Christian living when someone comes to Jesus and surrenders to the Lordship of Jesus. There are scientific laws (gravitations) used to guide the behaviors of airplanes or spacecrafts into space and on the other hand, there are two powerful laws that determine the destiny of humanity on earth; unfortunately, many people do not know these laws. These Laws are the matters of death and life. They are called the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and the Law of Sin and Death; however, Apostle Paul has good news for us, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2 KJV). Which law controls your life?

Memory Verse: For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (Romans 2:14 KJV).

#62: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Romans 8:1–17 and pray for 30 minutes at our convenient time. We will continue the lesson on the two laws. It is important that we understand these laws to help us understand the implication of New Covenant that has replaced the Old or the Mosaic Covenant. In our previous discussion, we briefly gave the philosophical meaning of laws in the general context giving example of natural phenomena. We talked about gravitational force in nature that operates under laws. The understanding of natural laws through experimental theories to get an understanding of these phenomena (gravitation, electromagnetic or nuclear forces) has helped Scientists to build spacecrafts and airplanes and other traveling objects contemporaries as the result of the discovery of laws through experimental scientific theories to develop formulae that use empirical data to enable spacecrafts to fly into space where there is no gravitational force. The law that helps the spacecraft to constantly fly into space without gravity is the same law that helps airplanes to fly into air space under the influence of gravitational force; however, the materials made up of the material objects flying into space are different from the materials made up of the material objects used for the airplanes that are flying under the influence of gravity. The substances that make up the spacecraft are different from the substances that make up the airplanes; however, the both are using Newton’s Second Law of Motion to fly. The Aerospace Engineer should build the spacecraft differently from the aircraft in order to accomplish the mission to fly to those places outside of the earth’s atmosphere (orbital). The issue of problem solving is not the law, but it is about substance. The law is the same; however, there should be modification to fix the problem. I want us to keep this analogy in our mind while we ride this train. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the Law of Sin and Death operate under the same law; however, the content of these laws vary with respect to covenants and dispensation. The word Law, in Greek, according to the text, is nomos[21]. Nomos refers to the Old Testament five Law books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) or the Pentateuch. Having given some previews of our discussion, let us get started.

Apostle Paul writes, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:2–4 NKJV). In this passage, Apostle Paul presents one law (Old Testament Law), but different covenants and dispensations. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and the Law of Sin and Death represent the New Covenant and the Mosaic Covenant’s dispensations respectively; therefore, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. “(Matt 5:13–17 JKJV); in this regard, we can deduce that the New Covenant was hidden in the Old Covenant; consequently, the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Law of Sin and Death operated to condemn the wrong doers. Under this covenant, animals’ sacrifices were carried out to atone for sin; unfortunately, the sacrifices of animals such as bulls or goats could not forgive sins neither did it remove the quilts of the worshippers (Heb 10:4). Under this covenant, the children of Israel could not obey the Law of the Old Covenant due to the weakness of the sinful nature because the Law of Sin and Death did not have the power to empower the children of Israel to keep the Law. This Law was powerless and condemning according to the passage. This Law (Ten Commandment) only revealed sin and condemned the sinner; therefore, the Law was a school master to teach the Do’s and Don’ts. Under this Covenant, the Holy Spirit did not indwell the children of Israel as do the believers of the New Testament Church have. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Holy Spirit was upon the Priests, the Prophets, the Kings, Sons of the Priests, Judges, and the seventy elders of Israel timely as they carried out their duties (Num 11:17–28; Deut 34:9; Judges 3:10; 6:34; 1 Sam 10:6–10; 16:1–14; 1 Kings 3:7–12; 28; Psalm 51:11). The anointing of the Holy Spirit ended with the theocratic rule when Judah of the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity (2 Chronicles 15:9). The absence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Israel disabled them to keep the Law; therefore, the Law under the Old Covenant became the Law of Sin and Death due to its powerless nature and the lack of the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to drive them to keep the Law. Every law in nature including scientific law has a driving force that makes that law to work in the given circumstances. The Law of gravity exists and works because there is a gravitational force. The Law under the Mosaic Covenant could only be empowered to work through a perfect sacrifice in order to appease God’s wrath; unfortunately, those sacrifices offered over the years under the Mosaic Covenant were not prescriptive to empower the children of Israel to keep the Law and to appease God’s wrath; therefore, when the fullness of time had reached God sent Jesus to die in order to institute the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. This Law is empowered to work through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross (John 1:36). The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is the Law that guides believers’ decision in the Christian journey. Apostle Paul said that it is this Law that has delivered us from the Law of Sin and Death. Under this Covenant Law, we are justified by faith through grace; unless, under the Covenant Law of Sin and Death, works were the standard by which people were justified; unfortunately, man could not keep the law to meet the works standard for justification. We will end here and pray for 30 minutes and will continue the discussion in the next session.

Memory Verse: Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me (Psalms 51:11 KJV).

#63: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will continue our reading in Romans 8:1–17. We learned from the previous lesson that there are two laws that operate independently based on covenants and dispensations; however, it emerged from one Law called nomos, in Greek, which refers to the five law books or the Pentateuch of the Old Testament. Though, it is One Law; however, it had branched out and formed two subdivisions of the law called the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and the Law of Sin and Death. One Law, but two subdivisions of the law and two covenants and dispensations had emerged. It is like the spacecraft and the airplane flying using the same Newton’s Second Law of Motion, but the two are made of different substances to allow them fly to those regions of the earth’s atmosphere and out of the earth’s atmosphere (orbital). I told you in the previous lesson to keep this analogy in mind to help you understand how spiritual laws mentioned in Romans 8 operate in human’s life. Before getting started with the next lesson, I will ask this question: Are you an airplane or spacecraft? Whether we answer this question, we are one of these categories. You are either a believer or a nonbeliever. Let us get started.

            Apostle Paul writes, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh,that the righteousness requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3–4 NKJV). In this passage, Apostle Paul confirmed the works Jesus was sent to execute under the New Covenant after the failure of the Mosaic Covenant. In the passage, the phrase, “condemned sin in the flesh,” highlights his works as the perfect High Priest and Perfect Sacrifice. In Greek, it is called “Katakrinó hamartia sarx[22], which signifies to give judgment against sin in order to put off human nature. When Christ died on the cross, he condemned sin in the flesh (Katakrinó hamartia sarx), and empowered the church to keep the Law through the power of grace under the New Covenant. The phrase, “that the righteousness requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,” indicates that when Christ died, buried, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, he gave humanity a sentence of acquittal or condemnation before God and empowered the church to keep the ordinance (Law) through a righteous deed accomplished through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross (2 Cor 5:17–21). In Greek, it is called “dikaióma pléroó[23].” The righteous requirement of the law under the Mosaic Covenant was obtained through works; unfortunately, man could not keep the Law to obtain the standard for works; therefore, the Law revealed sin and condemned the Law violator. On the contrary, when Christ died, he destroyed the power of the Law of Sin and Death in the human nature and empowered the church to keep the Law through the power of the Holy Spirit. The author of Hebrews writes, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death— that is, the devil—and deliver those who all their lifetime were subject to bondage through fear of death.For verily He took not on Himself the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:13–16 NKJV). This passage confirmed the prophecy in Genesis 3:15–17 wherein God said that he could put an enmity between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. We learned in previous lessons that the Seed of the woman is Jesus and the seed of the serpent is the generation that opposed Jesus from the day he was born up to the time he was crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended into heaven. After the Mosaic Covenant had failed to justify humanity before God, God needed a sacrifice that was like him and like sinful humanity. Jesus was man and God; therefore, he stood between sinful humanity and the holy God and died for sin once for all. When he did that, he destroyed the power of death and delivered those that were held under the fear of death and he delivered everlasting life to all who believe in him. This makes the church to have the guarantee physical resurrection when Jesus returns to earth for the Second Advent. Apostle Peter writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5 NKJV). The test of true religion is the sure resurrection that awaits the followers of such religion; however, the pioneer of such religion should lay the groundwork. According to the above the passage, Jesus Christ did not remain in the grave; therefore, we (Christians) have the living hope for the sure resurrection. Apostle Paul concludes it in this manner, “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is alive because of righteousness.But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh; for if ye live according to the flesh ye shall die, but if ye live through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live.For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:10–14 NKJV). Under the New Covenant, believers are led and sealed (ownership) by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13–14). We will stop here continue the lesson in the next session.

Memory Verse: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time ( 1 Peter 1:3–5 KJV).

#64: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Romans 6:1–23 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time. We will wrap up the teaching on the Law today and will proceed to the Promise, the last element of the Mosaic Covenant. We believe that the materials learned on the Law of the Mosaic Covenant and its implication to how the Law is being explained and interpreted in the previous lessons taught in Romans chapter eight, should give us some understanding how we can relate the Old Testament Law to that of the New Testament Law with regards to its interpretation and application in our Christian lives daily. In our previous lesson, we mentioned that Christians are dead living people. This is a paradoxical statement; however, let us find out why makes Christians to be dead living. Let us get started.

Apostle Paul writes, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?   Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, so we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,   knowing this: that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.   For he that is dead is freed from sin.   Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid! Know ye not that to whomever ye yield yourselves as servants to obey, his servants ye become whom ye obey, whether of sin which leads unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked that though ye were the servants of sin, now ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 8:1–18 NKJV). The above passage summarizes what we have been teaching about the Law and its effects how we live under the New Testament. Indeed, we have been empowered as Christians to live the Christian lives as the result of Grace being apportioned us instead of the Law. The Law reveals sin and condemns while Grace empowers believers and saves; however, our obedience to live this Christian life victoriously also counts. After you have read this note, please list your name with comments regarding the ongoing prayer and Bible studies.

Memory Verse: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1–4 KJV).

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROMISE

#65: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Every time a treaty is signed or people entered into a covenant with another group, the signatories to the treaty will always make a promise or promises to one another. In such treaty, the higher power usually promises the subordinate the blessing under a condition or conditions and the subordinate will respond promising the absolute authority that such promise or promises will be kept. The passage listed below highlights the promises God and the Children of Israel made to one another. It reads, “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.And the Lord said unto Moses, “Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee forever.” And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.And the Lord said unto Moses, “Go unto the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes  and be ready against the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount or touch the border of it. Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death.There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live.’ When the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.”And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.And he said unto the people, “Be ready against the third day. Come not at your wives” (Exodus 19:5–10 NKJV).

            From the above passage, God asked the children of Israel to obey his voice in keeping with the covenant; consequently, he would make them to be a peculiar treasure unto Him, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation; in response, the children of Israel responded and agreed to do all the Lord had ordered them to do. In this covenant, the Lord gave them three promises in keeping with the covenant. The key to securing the promises is dependent on obedience. In our previous discussions, we learned that the Mosaic Covenant is the continuation of the Abrahamic Covenant. When God called Abraham in Genesis 17, he promised Abraham that could make him the father of many nations provided Abraham walked before him blameless and be holy. God in this passage is speaking to Abraham’s children and including all those who will become members of New Covenant after the Old Covenant is fulfilled and annulled through the death of Jesus Christ in order to establish the New Order (Jer. 31:31–34). During the 30 minutes prayers, you can confess these promises unto yourselves and your generations. The Abrahamic blessings belong to us. This is a generational blessing that extends to you and your children and children’s children.

Memory Verse: For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant (Deut 31:20 KJV).

The Promises

#66: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read 1 Peter 2:6–11 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time. In the previous lesson presented, we introduced the components of the Promise God gave the children of Israel as the guarantee to the covenant. He promised that he would make them the kingdom of priests, the holy nation, and the treasure possession provided they kept the covenant and its stipulations (Laws). Someone might say this covenant is not for us because we were not the original recipients of the message; however, though, we were not the original recipients of the message; nevertheless, prior to this message, God already had spoken to Abraham and made him understand that he would make Abraham the Father of many nations provided Abraham walked before him blamelessly and be holy. In this regard, we can connect the historical link from the Abrahamic Covenant and use it as the principalizing bridge in the parallel setting to become the contemporary audience that God also was speaking to based generational covenant. Realistically, we are the ones God is speaking to now. He said, he will make us the kingdom of priests, the holy nation, and the treasure possession provided we keep his covenant. I mentioned in one of the lessons that covenant is the prerequisite to salvation; therefore, no one can be saved in the absence of covenants. The time you heard the gospel’s message when it was preached, got convicted, repented, left your seat and walked to the stage, and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you automatically and spiritually entered into covenant with God. Those confessions you made before God when the Pastor led you into the sinner prayer, are promises you made to God to be holy before him as the stipulation of the covenant. When we obey the stipulation (law) of the covenant, God will make us to be the kingdom of priests, the holy nation, and the treasure possession. Let us get started.

Apostle Peter writes, “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that believeth in Him shall not be confounded.”Unto you therefore who believe, He is precious; but unto those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,”and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,” even to those who stumble at the Word, being disobedient, unto which also they were appointed.But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.In times past ye were not a people, but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:6–11 NKJV).

            The above passage confirmed Jesus as the Messiah or the Savior of the world whom was rejected by the Jews and had become a stumbling block to them; nevertheless, their rejection of the Messiah has also brought in the Gentiles race (non-Jews) to be part of the promises God had made to Israel when he signed covenant with them at Mount Sinai. Apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, confirmed the prophecy God made to Israel at the Sinaitic Covenant. In the passage, God is speaking through Peter indicating that Christians are chosen generation. The phrase, ‘chosen generation’ in Greek, is eklektos[24]. This word in Greek signifies, selected by implication of favor, chosen out, or elected. It indicates those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him (of the Hebrew race, particular Hebrews, the Messiah, and the Christians). Eklektos is an adjective describing those chosen by God who had obtained salvation through Christ. Its noun form is called ekklesia, the church in Greek which signifies the Called Out Ones. The chosen generation (ekklesia) is the body of believers who has received salvation through Jesus Christ. Apostle Peter is speaking to Christians in this context to confirm the promises God made to the children of Israel indicating that the promises also belong to the present chosen generation (ekklesia/church). Not only are Christians chosen generation; secondly, Christians are also described as royal priesthood. Royal priesthood in Greek is basileios hierateuma[25]. It signifies that Christians are kings assigned to work in the office of the priest. Basileios in Greek describes the influence the king has when it comes to making decision either by executive or kingly order. It is connected to the believer’s authority in scriptures (Matt 28:16–20). Priests in the Old Testament daily worked in the Tabernacle to offer animal and grain sacrifices before God and were also responsible to read and to teach the Torah (Ten Commandments). The priests in the New Testament Church refer to all believers who are qualified to approach God in prayers. Believers operate in the kingly and priestly office by virtue of their divine elections through salvation act. Believers are not only royal priesthood; thirdly, believers are also holy nation. The Greek word for holy is hagios[26]. Hagios is an adjective that describes the position of Christians with relative to how they approach God. God is holy; therefore, when he saves Christians, he automatically and spiritually sets them apart, sacred, or holy to approach him in prayers as the result of the New Covenant relationship obtained through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Holiness obtained through instantaneous sanctification (righteousness) empowered the Christians to live holy life. Righteousness is what Christians are and holiness is what Christians do daily to escape sin when they are tempted. God declares believers holy when they accept Christ as Lord and Savior (2 Cor 5:210. It is called positional holiness. You cannot approach God without holiness; therefore, you approach God in prayers when you receive Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus clothes you with his holiness and empowers you to live holy life through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal 2:20). Believers are made holy nation when they enter into the New Covenant relationship. The Greek word for nation is ethnos. Ethnos[27] refers to race, culture, custom, people, nation, the heathen world or the Gentiles as distinct from Israel. When Peter spoke the confirmation of the God’s covenant benefits, he was speaking to the Gentiles world or the non believing world. The covenant is inclusive (both Jews and Gentiles). Not only are Christians called to be holy nation; fourthly, Christians are also identified as peculiar people. The term ‘peculiarity’ in the English language defines the state of something or someone being abnormal, strange, unconventional, or belonging exclusively or identified distinctly with somebody or something. In the days of the apostles, when the people of the Romans’ era saw the disciples, they knew that these people have been with Jesus. Christians are identified by what they do and not by what they say. Your testimony will define and locate who you are in Christendom. It is not by standing on the pulpit to preach or to teach. Satan teaches and preaches as well. We are defined by our lifestyles as Christians. When you live to please God through your lifestyles to the extent that the non believing world cannot understand the decision you make daily because you do not agree with their opinions to subjugate you; then, you will become God’s treasure possession. The word the Greek Bible used for peculiarity is treasure possession. In Greek, it is called peripoiésis[28]. Peripoiesis indicates that Christians are God’s property, preservation, acquisition, and he has promised to preserve and to protect believers provided they keep his covenants. Believers need to know who they are in Christ, walk according to the covenant, and claim the covenant promises. We have concluded the teaching on the Mosaic Covenant. The Next topic will be the New Covenant which we have talked much about during the teaching on the Mosaic Covenant. The New Covenant topic is short. While we have completed the segments on the Mosaic Covenant, I would desire were you to ask questions or make comments on the ongoing Prayers and Bible Studies.

Memory Verse: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9 KJV).

INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW COVENANT

#67: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Blessed be the Lord of our Lord Jesus Christ who has given us the desire to study his word. We need to read the Bible everyday as Christians because it is therein lies the wisdom of God. We should endorse Bible reading as pleasure because it sustains our lives. Today, we will read Jeremiah 31:31–34 as we begin the study of the New Covenant. Previously, we have completed the study on the Mosaic Covenant dealing with the four major components (Promise, Law, Worship, and Sacrifices) extensively to help us understand the major tenets of all covenants because covenant began with God. Most of the things studied in the Mosaic Covenants were shadows related to the New Covenant; therefore, it is obvious that we might be repeating some of the things we studied under the Mosaic Covenant while we study the New Covenant; however, it will be different versions. While we study the New Covenant, the major tenets giving the delineation of the Promise, the Law, the Worship, and the Sacrifice will be highlighted under the New Covenant respectively. Enjoy the study! Let us get started.

Jeremiah writes, “Behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband unto them,” saith the Lord.“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,” saith the Lord, “I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be My people.And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,” saith the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”(Jer 31:31–34 JK21).

            The above passage concerned the prophecy the prophet gave regarding the New Order God would establish with remnant of Israel and Judah. It wouldn’t be like the old institution he instituted when he delivered them from Egypt; on the contrary, the New Order will not resemble the Old Order; however, it will be the fulfillment and the application of the Old Order. At this time, the Ten Commandments will not be written on the tablets of stones, but it will be written in the heart (spirit) of the present generation who accepts Christ as Lord and Savior.

            Under the New Covenant, God will write his Law in Man’s heart. What is the heart? The heart is not the biological heart responsible of pumping blood into blood vessels; on the contrary, the heart is the spirit of man, the channel through which God communicates with man. David writes, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee (Psalm119:11 KJ21). Man is the spirit that has the soul and lives in the body; therefore, man is the tripartite being (three parts being). The soul comprises the will, intelligence, and emotion. That’s being said , the soul is the center of decision making, the center of remembrance, and the center of anger or happiness. The soul of man is interwoven with the Spirit (heart) of man; therefore, one’s spiritual health is predetermined by how well one feels the will, the intelligence, and the emotion through the study of God’s word and prayers. Feeding your soul with God’s word through reading, studying, meditation, and praying helps the Christians to hear God and to make sound decision in line with God’s will. The word of God is written in man’s heart; therefore, man will know God and neither will a man tell his neighbor to know God; fortunately, all men will know God because God’s word is written in their hearts. Self-knowledge of God in the Christian journey is important. Every Christian should have personal knowledge of God and personal relationship with him. Daniel writes, “ And armies shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place there the abomination that maketh desolate.And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries; but the people who do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:31–32KJ21).

Memory Verse: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jer 31:31–34 KJV).

The Promise

#68: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read 2 Cor 15:1–58) and pray for 30 minutes. In the previous lesson, we introduced the elements of the New Covenant and laid the foundation from the text of Jeremiah 31:31–34 explaining the essence of man as the spiritual being with three dimensions and then explained the works and the significance of these dimensions which distinguish man from the other beings on planet Earth and locate him as the Creature made in the image of God (Imago Dieu). Man is the handiworks of God; unless, other creatures, God spoke them into existence according to the Genesis account (Gen 1:26–31). Man is wonderfully and fearfully made by God’s handiworks and man had testified it in scriptures (Psalm 139:14). In this lesson, we will discuss one of the elements of the New Covenant called Promise. Every covenant established between or among parties, Promise is the soul or the guarantee of the covenant. Many people are confused today which relationship or covenant in the religious world is the guarantee and we see proliferations (many) of religions with adherences. We have eleven major religions with adherences from the segments of human societies; however, the question is always asked, which way is the best way and which pioneers of religions should I trust? When I die, will I see God or what will be the fate or the status of my existence? Why am I here? Where am I going? Is there life after death? Where will I spend eternity? These questions trigger in man’s mind in general including the atheists and the high minded social scientists ask these questions? Among these eleven religions of the world, there are two that believe in one God (monotheism) and the rest believe in many gods. Christianity and Islam are monotheistic religions (belief in one God). Despite of the confusions among the adherences, we can find the answer in the Bible and demonstrative proof engrained in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Apostle Peter writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5 KJV). According to the passage, Christians are being gotten into a lively hope. The word in Greek, is elpis[29], that has to do with future expectation for the believers to be resurrected when Christ returns for the Second Advent. Elpis is the joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation for Christians. When Christians are resurrected from the graves at Christ’s return, Christians will access their inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and fadeth not away. Kleronomia[30]is the Greek word for inheritance which signifies the gift of God to His chosen people, in the Old Testament: the Promised Land, in the New Testament, a possession viewed in one sense as present, in another as future; a share, participation of what God has for the present church. At Christ’s return, Christians will be seen going up into the heaven that has been reserved for them for ages. The Greek word for heaven is ournos[31], which signifies the visible and spiritual heavens. This marks the future deliverance/salvation (soteria) for the Church on planet Earth. This is the promise resurrection of the dead in Christ termed as everlasting life. Apostle Paul said, if Christ has not resurrected from the grave, the gospel we preach is the vain gospel; then, you are lost without hope in this word; however, surely, Christ has indeed resurrected from the grave and we have hope for future resurrection (2 Cor 15:1–58). Apostle Peter said, we have the living hope (sure expectation). Apostle John concludes, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16–17 KJV). The examination of the true religion is the mark of miracles and the future resurrection of believers. Why follow someone who is still in the grave? Jesus is not in the grave; indeed, he is alive. This guarantees the everlasting lives we have in God.

Memory Verse:  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16–17 KJV).

The Law

#69: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We learned previously that the Law is the principle that guides or legislates behaviors in order to keep orderliness in society. The existence of laws is the result of sin; similarly, sin is defined in the context of the Law biblically. John writes, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1John 3:4 KJV). Indeed sin is the breaking of the law according to the passage.

            From the study of the Mosaic Covenant, we learned that God gave Israel 613 commandments. In this number, the three law categories emerged called the Moral, the Ceremonial, or the Civil Law. After the fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant through the death of Jesus Christ, Ceremonial and Civil Laws ended with the civil government of Israel; however, the Moral Law which comprises of the Ten Commandment stand today. The Ten Commandments express the duty we have toward God and our neighbors; therefore, these laws are never obsolete. Despite of the Laws being given to the children of Israel, they could not keep the law due to the weakness of the sinful nature coupled with the weakness of the subsistence of the Mosaic Covenant; as the result, God sent Jesus as the atoning sacrifice. To subjugate this nightmare, he died to condemn sin in sinful man so that the righteousness requirements of the Law might be met in sinful humanity. He fulfilled the Old Covenant, empowered humanity to keep the Law, clothed humanity with his righteousness, presented humanity before God as holy, and changed the Law subsistence and order called the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. This Law is the one which has delivered believers from the power of the former Law which operated under the Old Testament called the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:1–11). Under the New Covenant, the Law has not changed based on the Law’s origin and the giver of the Law; however, the substance of the Law has changed to give weigh that the former did not have. This Moral Law is being empowered by the Holy Spirit to help man keep the law. It is called the Law of the Spirit in Christ. Apostle Paul writes, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20 KJV). Under this Law, the believer’s body (sinful nature) is dead because of sin and the believer’s spirit is alive because of righteousness. We will read Romans 6:1–23 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time.

Memory Verse:  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1–2 KJV).

The Seal

#70: Good Morning Prayer Forum! A week ago, the Attorney General of Texas, sued the battleground States of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin of deviating from their States’ Law to introduce absentee and mail-in ballots into the voting system as the result of the Pandemic without consulting the Legislature body of the congressional States. The States’ Attorney General, who is an ally to the President of the United States, filed this Law sue against the four States to invalidate million of voters who casted their ballots for the Joseph R. Biden, the President-elect of the United States. After the Federal Supreme Court of the United States had gone through the case, the nine judges of the Federal Supreme Court of the United States, which comprise of four conservatives and three liberals, wrote, “The Attorney General of Taxes, has no standing to bring law sues against the States how these States should conduct their elections according to Article III of the Constitution of the United States.” This Attorney General of Texas had gone to law school; unfortunately, he does not understand this code of the law despite of his degree and present position as Attorney General of Texas. It is true that before States makes changes to their law, they should consult the lawmakers of their congregational States before making any changes to the Law; however, this ordinance is restricted to States’ level only. General election is national instead of States; therefore, the General Attorney of Taxes, miscalculated the law and came down with wrong conclusion and said that it was unconstitutional to do so. In this law sue, 18 Attorneys General of the Republican Party with 126 lawmakers and 100 Congressional delegates signed on this law sue in order to support the President to overturn the election he lost to Joseph R. Biden.

            In the previous lesson taught, we learned about the Law under the New Covenant that guides believers’ behaviors in the kingdom. The substance of this Law is different from the former law that operated under the Mosaic Covenant. Due to the change in the substance and the order of the Law, the Law had taken on different efficacy with respect to how the present congregations under the New Testament Church live as compared to how the former congregations of Israel lived under the Mosaic Covenant. Apostle writes, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1–4 KJV). In the above passage, we are made free from the Law of Sin by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. This Law has a code into believers when regeneration occurs at the time of salvation. Every law in the Constitution of the land has a code attached. The codes are attached to articles of the constitution of the land. The code can be in the form of letters, symbols, or numbers. The failure to understand the code can lead to misinterpretation of the law; therefore, it is necessary for judges and lawyers to understand constitutional codes so they can render judgment correctly. The judges of the Federal Supreme Court of the United States understand the code; on the contrary, the Attorney General of Texas does not understand the code.

            Apostle Paul writes, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise;Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:13–14 KJV). In this passage, the third element under the New Covenant is called the Seal (stamp). All believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation. The seal indicates ownership; therefore, believers belong to God. This passage correlates with the promise under the Mosaic Covenant wherein God said to the children of Israel and the New Testament Church that believers are treasure possession to Him. The seal is the signature of ownership God has on believers and the devil does not understand the code that is attached to this seal of ownership; therefore, Satan cannot defeat Christians provided believers remain committed to the New Covenant’s conditions. The Attorney General of Texas could not defeat the four States in law sue despite of this law degree because he does understand the legal code in such matter. Satan will not understand how you pray and people get healed or delivered because he does not understand the code. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day did not understand the spiritual code when Jesus healed and they accused him of being the prince of demons (Mark 3:22) despite their law degree in the Mosaic Covenant. Believers are marked or sealed by God with the spiritual code under the New Covenant. Understanding who you are as Christians before God enables you to use your code. You cannot use the code until you have identity. Believers’ identity is the seal of the Holy Spirit that enables them to use the code to unlock impossibility. You use your code when you pray and declare things to happen. The devil does not understand God’s spiritual code; therefore, he cannot stop the believers. Today, we will read Ephesians 1:1–23 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time.

Memory Verse:  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Eph 1:13 KJV).

Sacrifice

#71: Good Morning Prayer Forum! Today, we will read Ephesians 1:7 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time. Under the Mosaic Covenant, we have previously studied the five sacrifices that were offered in the Tabernacle daily as to appease God’s wrath on the Israelites as they journeyed and dwelled in tents on their way to the Land of Promise. This lasted for 440 years of tent’s worship. According to covenant theology, the sacrifices were the types of Christ. The author of Hebrews writes, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”(Hebrews 9:24–26 KJV). According to this passage, Christ offered himself on the cross to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. The phrase, “to put away sin” is athetésis in Greek. Athetésis is the act of setting aside, annulment, nullification, abrogation, or cancellation of sin that is against the People of God and thereby establishing genuine fellowship between God and his chosen people through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In Greek, this is the present continued tense functioning as the historical present tense which indicates that Jesus Christ forgave our sin when he died on the cross and the blood is still available today to cleanse us from our sin since we still stumble and fall daily due to temptations. He died once for all and we need not make any animal’s sacrifice because his sacrifice and death established perfect peace between God and sinful humanity; therefore, Jesus Christ is the sacrifice under the New Covenant. Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:17–19 KJV).It is true that Jesus will always forgive us our sin when we stumble and fall; however, it does not give us the license to continually disobey God when we are tempted. When we sin willfully against God after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin but a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire will consume the enemy of God(Heb 10:26–31). Apostle Paul summarizes in this manner, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1–2 KJV). Christians are dead living people; therefore, sin shall not be their masters. If sin becomes the master of believers; then, something is wrong that needs to be addressed. It is not possible to be saved and to continue to live in sin because scripture says that whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Being born of God gives one the status of being called the Christians that gives one the identity of the Seal of the Holy Spirit placing the individual in the peculiar position in the kingdom of God. If you belong to God by virtue of the Seal of the Holy Spirit, nothing can come between you and God because you are God’s possession (1 Peter 1:5).

Memory Verse: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Eph 1:5–7 KJV).

INTRODUCTION TO PERICHORETIC WORSHIP

#72: Good Morning Prayer Forum! In our previous discussion with reference to the Mosaic Covenant, we delineated on the various items under the element of worship such as the Tabernacle and its contents explaining each item and its significance to the New Covenant implication. I advise that before you read this note, please go back to that section to review. Under the element of worship, we will look at the Tabernacle in the New Covenant, the Godhead (perichoresis), and the seven sacraments that have been adopted by the Christian Church since 1545 by the Council of Trent during the era of Roman Catholicism. Among these sacraments, the Protestant Churches have agreed to adopt five instead of the seven; however, in this study, we will discuss the seven sacraments of the Christian Church (Romans Catholic). The sacraments include baptism, confirmation, Eucharist (communion), Penance, holy orders, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick. These sacraments are rituals adopted by the Christian Church that have biblical evidence according to scriptures; however, some are traditionalized by the Romans Catholic Church. While we introduce worship, we will read John 4:1–24 and pray for 30 minutes of our convenient time.

Memory Verse: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23–24 KJV).

THE TABERNACLE

#73: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We will continue where we ended last discussion. Perichoretic worship is the divine worship involving God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in the circular movement expressing their relationships to one another as the persons in the Godhead. The doctrine of perichoresis teaches that God the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; however, God the Father is not the Son and the Holy Spirit; God the Son is not the Father and the Holy Spirit; and God the Holy Spirit is not the Father and the Son. In summary, One God, but three persons working independently to accomplish a task as assigned each according to the perichoretic assignment in the divine worship of the Trinity. While we define perichoresis and its significance to the divine worship of the Trinity and believers, we will discuss the Tabernacle in New Covenant in relations to the divine worship involving Christians. In our previous discussion under the Mosaic Covenant, we learned that the Hebrews’ Tabernacle had the Ark of the Covenant where the presence of God was always. Annually the priest entered into this Tabernacle to offer animal’s sacrifice on behalf of himself and Israel for sin atonements. In the New Covenant, God does not dwell in the Ark of Covenant; on the contrary, he lives in Christians. Dr. Luke writes, “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.But Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet “(Acts 7:44–48 KJV). Dr Luke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit states that God does not dwell in temples built by human hands under the New Covenant. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 believer’s body is called the temple of God. The Greek word for temple is naos. Naos is the part of the temple where God himself resides as he resided in the Ark of the Covenant in the Hebrews’ Tabernacle. God no longer resides in that box; on the contrary, God resides in believers. When we are save God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us. Jesus confirms, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23 KJV). When we are gathered in the church during divine worship, we fellowship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit during worship; therefore, we are admonished to approach God in holiness. John writes, Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:20–23 KJV). Jesus affirms the kind of worship believers should be involved with God. This kind of worship should be in Spirit and in truth. The truth has to do with divine truth tied to holiness. Perichoretic worship involved the Godhead and believers during corporate or in private worship. Apostle Paul concludes, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph 2:21–22 KJV). Christians are dwelling place (Tabernacle) of God in the Spirit.

Memory Verse: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph 2:19–22 KJV).

THE SACRAMENTS

#74: Good Morning Prayer Forum! We will have come to the conclusion of the Volume One of the Prayer Forum and Bible Study after we will have completed the study on the seven sacraments adopted by the Christian Church in AD 1545 under the Romans Catholicism. Among these sacraments, two emerged from the Catholic traditions that have not been accepted by the Protestant Churches; namely, they are confirmation and penance. These seven sacraments are Christian rituals executed within the body of Christ as to obey biblical mandates according to scriptures. For example, baptism is carried out in the Christian Church because it is an ordinance that believers should undergo in order to fulfill righteousness (Matt 3:15). In the Romans Catholic Churches, infants are being baptized; presently, the Catholic Churches including their cotemporaries still practice infants’ baptism. Another heretical teaching that had sprung out on the teaching that baptism saves as the result of misunderstanding of scripture as recorded 1 Peter 3:21 and the teaching on impartation (ordination) and the laying of hands to transfer God’s anointing on people. There exists disagreement among the Mainline and the Pentecostal Churches when it comes to the practices of these biblical doctrines among the body of Christ (Church). Below are the sacraments:

  1. Baptism (Acts 2:38)
  2. Confirmation (John 20:22; Acts 8:14–17)
  3. Reconciliation/Penance (Acts 3:19; Col 3:13; Romans 5:10)
  4. Holy Eucharist/Holy Communion (1 Cor 11:20–34)
  5. Holy Orders/Ordination (Matt 16:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Peter 2:9)
  6. Anointing of the sick (James 5:16–20)
  7. Holy Matrimony (Eph 5:25; Mal 2:14–15)

Memory Verse: But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt 3:14–17 KJV).


[1]Robert L. Thomas, NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries. The Lockman Foundation, 1981, 1998,n.p [Cited 12 December 2020]. Online: http://biblehub.com

[2]Ibid., n.p.

[3]Ibid., n.p.

[4]Ibid., n.p.

[5]Ibid., n.p.

[6]Ibid., n.p.

[7]Bid., n.p.

[8]Ibid., n.p.

[9]Ibid., n.p.

[10]Ibid., n.p.

[11]Ibid., n.p.

[12]Ibid., n.p.

[13]Ibid.,n.p.

[14]Ibid.,n.p.

[15]_______________Strong’s Hebrew: /hebrew/632.htm – 6k, /hebrew/1697.htm – 8k, /hebrew/4931.htm – 6k, n.p [Cited 13 December 2020] Online: https://biblehub.com/topical/o/obligations.htm.

[16]Ibid.,n.p.

[17]Slick, Matt. “Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry,” n.p. [Cited 2 December

2020] Online: https://carm.org/what-are-the-main-divisions-of-the-old-testament-law.

[18]Ibid., n.p.

[19]Ibid., n.p.

[20]Ibid., n.p.

[21]Ibid.,n.p.

[22]Ibid.,n.p.

[23]Ibid.,n.p.

[24]Ibid.,n.p.

[25]Ibid.,n.p.

[26]Ibid.,n.p.

[27]Ibid.,n.p.

[28]Ibid.,n.p.

[29]Ibid.,n.p.

[30]Ibid.,n.p.

[31]Ibid.,n.p.