I was going to sit down here at the keyboard and finish up my expository teaching on the Letters of John, but I have a “pet-peeve!” Oh, oh, here we go again. Brother Roland has something he’s gonna take out on us and all we want is a teaching from the Lord!
I’m sorry; and here again I have to preface, I truly DO love my Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. This is why I DO what I do and it is why the Lord called me. He knows my heart and my love for His people. But I have to ask, what is wrong with His preachers and teachers who are spreading misinformation using Scripture; and then thinking it is going to cure America’s (or other nations of the world) ills and the things that have beset it. Yes, America is going through bad times, but a BIG yes, God IS in control and always has been!
Here goes. I’m AM going to give you a lesson in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant; something today’s preachers and teachers should be doing from behind the pulpit!
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14. Taken directly from the New King James Version of the Bible. And now for you die-hard King James supporters who believe any other version is sacrilege (I’ve done that lesson so many times already), here’s directly from that; “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14. ALMOST identical in the wording, but you tell me if the Spirit of that Scripture is the same! I’m here to tell you it is, so now can we move ahead with our lesson?
In the NKJV, the verse starts of with a small (i) showing it is a continuation of an ongoing thought. In the KJV they ended the previous thought and started the verse with a capital (I) as if it is another thought. Here’s the rub, you have to take it in either version in the context with which it was given! I’m sorry for those of you who don’t like Scriptures repeated in a lesson, but here is the WHOLE context (sorry, but in the NKJV) as found in 2 Chronicles 7:11-22:
Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house; and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the LORD and in his own house.
Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’ “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’ “Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.'”
Yes, I combined the verses with the appropriate paragraphs for ease of reading, AND I boldened and italicized the verse that everyone is using out of context! So tell me, did it change the Spirit of the text in anyway? I’ll take that as a rhetorical NO!
Do you preachers and teachers and you members of the Body of Christ, all, remember the difference between the Old and New Covenant? Do you remember that historically and spiritually speaking, God, our Father took the Jewish people to be His chosen people and set them within a land He promised to them? A land by the way that He has planned all along to use as the place of His earthly Throne during the Millennial Reign when Jesus Christ sits upon that very Throne?
I hope that you realize that the ONLY nation that God, our Father associates with His chosen people is that nation that is known today as Israel. Remember, Israel has not recognized Jesus as their true Messiah yet, so they are still TRYING to live under the Old Covenant Law! Yet, they are STILL God’s chosen people; it is just that due to the Messiah’s sacrifice and the faith of Abraham that us Gentiles share, that we have been ADOPTED through faith into that branch of God’s chosen people. BUT, it is that very faith that has given rise to the New Covenant of which we now belong as God’s people. It does not make the Jewish people any less God’s chosen people still, it just means that if they live by the Law, that is how they will be judged! AND, Jesus is coming again to Redeem those born-again spiritually, but also the remnant of God’s chosen people who will THEN recognize Him as the TRUE Messiah.
God’s spiritual children, adopted into the house of Abraham by faith and by being spiritually born-again are found all over the world in every nation and country. America is NOT the only place. Yes, America (and I mean the United States) was founded on Biblical principles, but even then, though we were known for our “Christianity” in the past, we were never God’s chosen people associated with the land. God’s chose (spiritual) children, as stated live in every country.
Now, let’s delve into some other interesting aspects. We live in under a New Covenant, a dispensation or era established by Grace through faith in the gift and sacrifice of Christ Jesus. How does this sound in light of that: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,”
In ancient Israel, the Prophets were CONSTANTLY sent to give a message, from the Lord, to HIS people, to turn from their wickedness and idolatry and back to the LAW, the Covenant, established between Him and them! Their plight and the plight of their “promised” land was always tied to their obedience.
Today, those of us born-again, are NOT under the Covenant of the Law but under the Covenant of Grace! Our plight is not tied to the land, but to our individual and spiritual liberties in the Lord! We now live in an age when many within our nation have rejected God outright and have taken the very Biblical principles with which this nation was founded and have discarded them. It is NOT God’s PEOPLE that are doing that, but unregenerate, unrepentant and CARNAL man that is doing the wickedness!
Now hear this and remember it; if people are living wickedly, they are NOT God’s people! Not today, where our sins have been washed by the Blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus! When we do sin, and we still do (it is a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit) we KNOW with full assurance we have an ADVOCATE, an Intercessor with the Father, Whom we can go too and repent because we ARE recognized as His NO MATTER WHAT LAND WE LIVE IN!!
The Old Covenant is not non-essential either, but the Law has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus! Jesus stated this: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” – Matthew 5:17-18. That Law, WAS and is fulfilled in Christ Jesus! Now we are not bound to it naturally, but rather spiritually for we have been spiritually renewed through Christ and that is why the Spirit of the Word gives life and the letter still breeds death!
So then, since we are NOT under the Old Covenant there is a new and better way to pray and THAT is what we should be teaching the Body of Christ, and believe me, I am having a hard time in believing this has to be taught again. Before I tell you, I’m going to give you another Scripture and if you ARE a child of God, I hope you take it to heart; “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:12-14.
I’m sorry if a Scripture like that is hard, but come on, we are way past the time when the Church, the TRUE Church, the Body of Christ should be leading! But now for that BETTER and more effectual way of praying as taught by Jesus:
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” – Matthew 6:9-13.
Now again, understand this; this is NOT the prayer though tradition has made it one, but rather it is the MODEL, the pattern of how we should be praying and I want to accentuate what is most effectual and important under this New Covenant in which we are living:
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” When it comes to the ills and problems of our nations, ANY nation, we should be praying to God, our Heavenly Father in Jesus Name, in Jesus’ authority and we should be praying for God’s perfect will to be fulfilled!! We know that according to the Word of God, our Lord HAS a perfect plan for mankind and He has graciously forewarned us of what MUST happen and to what end it will lead. God is and ALWAYS has been in total control. If our eyes are constantly on what we see around us, and not on the Father above, it is no wonder there are Christians, who should know better, I might add, who are panicking and doing so needlessly and with a lack of faith!
When we KNOW that God IS in control and when we believe His Word and realize He has given us the secrets of His plans for mankind and for His Kingdom, we should be praying in that direction and NOT that things go back to normal or go back to the way we have been accustomed!
Let me tell you how you should be directing your prayers, and especially with all the wickedness add evil “coming out of the woodwork” as it were. Where fires and destruction of property and vandalism and anarchy reign, we SHOULD be praying for the leaders of those areas and we should be praying that God will save their souls and that God would bring TRUE revival fires through the Holy Spirit! I guarantee you, that if revival fires get hold of peoples hearts, then natural fires of property and such will have no place to take root and grow! But we have to PRAY for that in mind and we have to be in agreement that no matter how it looks, God’s perfect will for our nation and the nations of the world will go forward!
In closing; if you are more interested in getting back to the comfort and peace and tranquility of past times, then you are not looking forward with spiritual eyes to what God wants. He WANTS Christ Jesus to be on the Throne while the enemy is chained and bound until He gathers ALL who will accept His will and He can make a brand NEW heaven and earth! That IS God’s will and that is what we should be praying for!
So please, as a preacher/teacher of the Word, I implore you that before you start spreading a teaching that no longer applies to our dispensation or situation in the world, read AND study your Word and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten, which He will do most readily!
Pray for our leaders, pray for the people of this nation and most definitely pray for salvation of the lost and those who ARE walking in wickedness, through the anointed fires of true spiritual revival! Amen and AMEN!