FROM THE DESK OF THE CARDINAL
Sir Eric Alleyne
FROM THE DESK OF THE CARDINAL
Sir Eric Alleyne
PICTURES OF MEMBERS OF THE MYSTICAL CLERGY
Archbishop Godfrey, Queen Abbess Patricia, Chief Bishop Roberts and His Eminence Eric at St. Anthony Anniversary
Queen Abbess and Reverend Brenda at Philadelphia
Archbishop Godfrey at a funeral
Inside the church in St. Croix
St. Philomen Spiritual Baptist Church in St. Croix
Queen Abbess Patricia, Archbishop Godfrey and Reverend Mother Brenda at Philadelphia
Queen Abbess Patricia, Archbishop Godfrey and Reverend Mother Brenda at Philadelphia
Archbishop Godfrey, Bishop Andres, Chief Bishop Roberts and Senior Bishop at the elevation of the Patriarch
The escort Party at the elevation of the Patriarch
Abbess Patricia lying prostate at her Consecration
Archbishop Godfrey with Women of Faith in Philadelphia
Archbishop Godfrey at pilgrimage
Queen Abbess on her way to church
Patriarch and Archbishop Queen Adonis
Archbishop Godfrey, Bishop Adonis, Chief Bishop Roberts, Archbishop Queen Adonis and our Patriarch
Blessing of the garments by Apostle Dr. Waterman at Patriarch’s Elevation
Archbishop Dr. Darrin and Bishop Godfrey at a funeral
Bishop Godfrey at Good Friday service 2012
Bishop Godfrey after preaching in New Jersey
Archbishop Darrin after Ordination
Bishop Roberts administering the oath of membership
Reverend Teacher Marcia
Dr. Waterman preparing to bless the clothing for the Patriarch
Bishop Godfrey after Ordination
FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
It All Comes Together in Christ at Calvary
The cross is one of the most familiar of all symbols. In our church sanctuary there are a number of crosses to be found from the one on the altar to the ones found on the doors between the sanctuary and in the corners. The cross is a familiar piece of jewelry to be found around many a person’s neck. Bishops, clergy and most likely the entire church membership wears a cross. You can see athletes crossing themselves as they participate in sports. The cross is a familiar symbol to most people.
As we look at the cross of Calvary in the light of today’s text, the point of emphasis is about what Christ’s cross reveals to us concerning God and our relationship with Him. Jesus’ death upon the cross is not just a historical event that happened over 2000 years ago, but it is a revelation about God and how He brings all aspects of His being together at Cavalry to enrich and bless us for all eternity.
The Psalmist notes that at the cross of Calvary “love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Let us consider through these words how Christ’s cross – a symbol of suffering, pain, and death – can also be a symbol of peace, comfort, and joy for those who know Christ. In the cross of Calvary, God’s love is seen in Christ coming to lay down His life on the cross for us.
The love being described here is not some heart-throbbing emotion that expresses itself by means of a strong embrace or a kiss. The love spoken of here is of the highest kind. It is rarely found in people, but it is at the heart of God’s nature and His interaction with us. The Apostle Paul speaks of it in Romans chapter 5: 6-8, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
It is amazing to consider why Christ went to the cross of Calvary and why He did not use His power to remove Himself from it. He was there for us even though we had not befriended Him. We denied, rejected, and turned our backs on God and everything He commanded and will for our lives. We were not a lovable people, but enemies of Christ who rebelled against Him in our sinning. Yet, God loved us in spite of our sins, and He did what true love is meant to do.
He gave Himself, His life and His blood, to pay the debt of our sins, so that we would be forgiven and made heirs of everlasting life in heaven. This love of God in Christ met up with God’s faithfulness at the cross of Calvary. God’s faithfulness is seen in Christ keeping the promises concerning our salvation.
Our lives are filled with broken promises to one another. We promise our children something that they look forward to with eager anticipation, only to break the promise because something else came up or we forgot about the promises we had made. Many a husband or wife has known the pain of a broken marriage because their mate did not love, honour, and keep them in sickness and in health until death. Our lack of faithfulness to God and one another is the basis of many of our sins. Yet as we went through all that pain and thought we would do better or just learn from our mistakes; we do the same in the body of Christ. I speak of the church and its relationship with God. We rebel against our leadership and against the Holy Spirit. We fail to recognize the marriage between us and Christ. We live like we don’t care or just like harlots with no sense of reason or directions.
But while our lives are filled with unfaithfulness in thought, word, and deed, God’s faithfulness is displayed at Cavalry’s cross. Some 4,000 years before Calvary, God made a promise to Adam and Eve that the seed of a woman would come into this world to defeat Satan. While man waited for 4,000 years for the promise to be fulfilled, God never forgot His promise. The Bible tells us in Galatians 4:4, “When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
While we need to be careful in being faithful to the promises we make, (we make promises that we cannot keep) but God’s promises are always faithfully kept by Him. In Christ at Calvary we see God’s love meet with God’s faithfulness to bring us a complete package of blessings for our lives here and eternally. The complete nature of this package is seen in the fact that at Calvary God’s righteousness is seen in Christ paying the debt of our sins. The righteousness of God is more than just doing the right thing. It is about Christ using His very holiness to make all things right with Him, while upholding the very laws He established.
The point is that God very clearly declared to Adam and Eve this law in the Garden of Eden: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). God in His righteousness could not let this promise go unfulfilled. The promise stated that if man ate from the forbidden tree he would surely die. It is a promise and law of God that still stand today. So what will be the punishment, eternal damnation? God in His righteousness could not ignore this promise.
The cross is the place where God’s righteous judgment was upheld and His righteousness paid the debt of sin we owed. The Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:21, “God made Christ who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. “Ponder the magnitude of what God did at Calvary through His Son, Jesus
Christ, our Saviour. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took on human flesh that he might die and transfer His holiness and righteousness to each one of us. Jesus, who had no sin, fulfilled God’s Law and maintained His holiness. Then in the greatest transaction ever made, Jesus took our sins upon Him and died for the sins of which we deserved to be punished. Christ’s resurrection from the grave is our guarantee that the heavenly Father accepted Jesus’ payment for our sins. At the cross God’s judgment over sin was upheld and we were pardoned of all our sins. Yes, my brothers and sisters Jesus paid the debt we did owe and that price is not repayable.
It is at the cross that righteousness and peace kiss each other. God’s peace is seen in Christ who made us His eternal children. The Apostle Paul states in Colossians 1:19-20, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwells in Christ, and through Christ to reconcile to Himself all things… by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” At the cross the greatest and most enduring peace treaty was signed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are no longer enemies of God but His beloved children – forgiven, redeemed, and cared for – by the One Who gave His all to save us. At the cross of Calvary, Jesus brings it all together. Love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss. All of these attributes of God come together at the cross to bless us for all eternity.
The cross then is not to be a mere piece of jewelry we wear or an item to decorate our homes and churches. The cross is an emblem of suffering and shame, where our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was slain for your sins and mine. At the cross the dear Lamb of God left His glory to know the perils and pains of hell, encountering the punishment for sin we deserved. The cross of Calvary was stained with the holy blood of Jesus, so that our lives would be pardoned and made holy by Christ. God help us to cherish Christ’s cross for there we behold the greatness of God’s love faithfulness, righteousness, and peace coming together to bless us now and eternally.
FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
PRACTICING THE ART OF ACCEPTANCE
In life, there are things we can change…and things we cannot. An example of the latter is what’s happening outside, right now. Is it hot or cold? Raining buckets or dry and sunny? By and large, we all know that we can’t control the weather, so we adapt. We celebrate a gorgeous day with a picnic or protect ourselves on a horrible day by closing the windows and staying indoors. If it’s hot, we can peel off some clothing…and if it’s brisk, we can layer up. There’s wisdom in how we handle the weather that we can apply to the rest of our lives—our health, relationships, careers, finances, our church and our jobs.
While acknowledging that we all must learn to accept certain sad and painful realities (and the fact that some of us have more than our fair share), I am not suggesting resignation. “What many people call acceptance, I call ‘being dead’ to certain things. Not acknowledging the truth, or not admitting to your own role, or pretending you have no choices and just giving up—those reactions are not acceptance.” “Acceptance means understanding that even when terrible things happen, as they do to everyone, you can still make empowering choices. Your attitude is the key. “To truly practice the art of acceptance, you need to…Be truthful with yourself about how you feel. Whatever it is that you are feeling powerless about—getting a bad diagnosis from your doctor, having a mentally ill family member, hating how your muscles just aren’t what they used to be—it’s important not to pretend that you don’t hate it (because that’s denial, not acceptance) or to get stuck thinking, “I wish this weren’t happening” (because it is happening). Instead, find a way to get in touch with your true emotions. I will suggest that you start writing about the situation and keep going until your words take you to the heart of the matter. At that point, if you need an emotional release—taking out your frustrations on a punching bag or having a good cry—go ahead. Yes, why I am saying this to you, because it worked for me and many others. It is part of my treatment. However, these days I pray when I am over taken with many situations. As you will notice I write my heart out and when I cannot write anymore I release my soul in prayer. Afterward, you’ll be better able to figure out where to go from here.
Claim your responsibility. Many situations that people label as being entirely beyond their control actually are not as they say. To make positive changes, you first need to acknowledge whatever responsibility you may have for the situation. Examples: Suppose your doctor says that you have diabetes. That’s hard—but he’s been telling you for several years that you were pre-diabetic and needed to make significant lifestyle changes…which you didn’t do. Or suppose that you lost your job, and you have no savings. Yes, the economy is rough—but have you been as responsible as you should have been about your finances? The idea here isn’t to castigate yourself, but rather to accept the degree to which your own action or inaction played a role. This allows you to see that you do have a measure of control. People have this way of speaking about themselves as if they were liked the weather, as if who they are and how they act is something they cannot change? “But the fact is, you can change yourself.” For instance, you can start now to make the lifestyle changes that will help you manage your diabetes well…you can educate yourself now about personal finances and draw up a realistic budget. STOP trying to change other people, because it doesn’t work? They must be willing to make a change. For instance, suppose your son is a deadbeat dad who doesn’t accept financial responsibility for his children, and the situation upsets you. You need to understand that you cannot force him to pay up and that you don’t get to dictate how he lives his life. What you can do is accept that your son is an irresponsible man and that your grandchildren need help—then figure out what role you want to take in the situation. If this means accepting that you are the one who must make sure that there is food in the house and that the kids have school supplies, so be it. But don’t stay mad.
Hanging onto your anger is like building a memorial to your wish that the other person would behave ‘properly.’ To let go of the wish and the upset it causes you, you have to accept that the other person is what he is, and then do what is right for you. You don’t get to pick the situation, but you do get to pick your attitude—and that’s what gives you power. Combine acceptance with integrity. Getting to this point requires a close examination of your core values, what you most strongly believe about right and wrong. No one can figure that out for you, but to get the wheels turning, I suggest pondering a few scenarios. Your father is an active alcoholic. He loves you and your kids. In accepting both those facts, what level of involvement do you allow him to have in your family life? There’s a difference between not letting him drive home after he’s had dinner (and the wine he brought) with you and his grandkids at your house…and not ever inviting him to dinner. Do you recognize that difference? Your sister has dementia. She’s in a nursing home an hour away. How often do you need to go see her? She won’t remember whether you visited or not—but that’s not the important issue. What matters is who you want to be. If you’re struggling to figure that out, ask yourself what level of integrity you’d want your own loved ones to demonstrate if you were the one with dementia. You are diagnosed with breast (prostate) cancer. You don’t know what treatment will be like or whether it will succeed. The goal is to accept that the cancer is real and let go of the wish that it would just disappear—so you can devote your energies to figuring out how you want to live in whatever amount of time you have left. Remember that prayer makes the darkest cloud withdraw. Yes, prayer changes things. Follow the Holy Scriptures and healing is imminent. What relationships do you want to repair, what dreams do you want to achieve, what lasting legacy of good do you want to leave behind in the world? Let’s sum it up like this. “Acceptance means to stop making excuses or wasting energy wishing for what can’t be, and instead to figure what you can change—which is your own attitudes and actions in handling the situation. Remember, you can choose to have a great day in the worst possible weather, to stop pining for the sun and go play in the rain. That is how to practice the art of acceptance. You are your own boss and you have to make the decisions that best suit you and the situation that you are in at the moment.
God has called you to a place where He wants to use you, and He can only do that if you make the right decision to let Him have His own way in your life. First you must acknowledge the plan and purpose of God. You must recognized the calling and know the place that God wants to take you. We have heard many testimonies of people and the parables of Jesus and that should be an eye opener. We will not see the will of God because we are blinded to the Grace that God has offered us. Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord. This is your time and moment to look within yourselves and see you for who you are. Don’t fool yourself with self-denial, but accept that you are what you are and ask God to make that change for you. Let the Love of God take you to that level where you can say I surrender all, take me Jesus take me now.
Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP
Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
LIVING SACRIFICES UNTO GOD
Romans 12:1-5 “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” (Rom. 12:1).Have you ever stopped to think about what God expected of his people when it came to the sacrifice? It is clear to every Bible believer that all sacrifices which were brought to the altar were of the highest quality, first class! An acceptable sacrifice was holy to God then, and it is holy to him now. Any sacrifice that is less than holy (first class), is profane and unacceptable to our Creator. To present one’s body a “living sacrifice” would demand holy and acceptable living. How could a person living a profane life ever offer to God what is expected of him while continuing in such a condition? It is true that no person is perfect, but it is also true that Christians are to live holy lives, “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:14-15).
To do any less would be profane and nothing short of the antics of Nadab & Abihu at the altar before they were struck dead offering strange fire. Just like in today’s world the believers live anyhow offering sacrifices to different gods and to the devil all in the name of culture; then call for a prayer breakfast. Some call for holy convocation, or pilgrimage. It is time for us to have a conversation with God and to see where we are heading. I am persuaded that many of God’s people today (or those claiming to be God’s people), have forgotten or neglected to bring the “first class” offering to the altar. It is seen in the attitudes of brethren everywhere. The lax clothing some are wearing to the assembly in some cases is offensive for the fact that these same individuals would not think of wearing the same outfit to a funeral or wedding. Yes, my brothers and sisters since we are a royal priest unto God, our mood and dress must reflect the word of God. Simple some people just represent themselves. Where is the pride in our lives to deserve God? Many people that are placed in position or authority in church are failing miserable or have failed already. I think we all should conform to the statutes of the word and start to produce some fruits. Even our conscience should dictate for us. It is seen in the way husbands and wives mistreat each other. It is seen in the way that brethren lash out at one another, indict one another, and predicate such scathing rebuke upon weak hearsay evidence and partial knowledge of all the facts. We continue to judge others by assumption of the things we hear rather than seeking the facts. Holy living does not demand weakness or compromise. It demands the proper attitude and demeanor of life. For without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Where are we standing as a church?
The commitment to present our bodies as an instrument of holy and acceptable sacrifice will produce the kind of life our Father expects of us. It might also be appropriate to add that this type of sacrifice is a long term commitment and must be accomplished in order to be acceptable, every day, every year, of our whole life. There is no time that we take a vacation from this responsibility. Our lives must be a constant reflection of who Jesus Christ is and was and ever more shall be. This is daily living, and it will continue until this life is no more, and I’m thankful for the opportunity. (Verse 2) “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”. To be conformed is to be fashioned as something or someone else.
I will remind us, “Do not take this age as your fashion plate”. The world should never become a template or pattern of life for us children of God. And yet too often many Christians are living lives produced from the fashion plate of the world. There is no difference to how the world act or behave. Some of us have taken on the very nature of the world and the things therein. It’s time for some strict self-evaluation when God’s people become more interested in looking like the world than living like the Saviour. Paul said, “Imitate me just as I also imitate Christ” (1Cor. 11:1). The fashion plate of our lives must be Christ. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away and behold all things have become new.
Sometimes kids will act like someone else. They will come home from school acting like their school peers. It is often a menace because there are some characteristics which are better off unlearned or imitated. I am convinced this principle is applied in 1Corinthians 15:33. Evil companions corrupt good manners because those with good manners conform to those who have bad manners. This is equally true with Christians. Paul warns that we should never take on the form of the world. A material, worldly character has no chance of entering the portals of heaven as long as we continue in that condition. The world and Christ cannot live in the same body, one has to give way. The Bible tells us to choose this day whom we will serve: are you prepared to make this choice before it is too late? Serving God and mammon won’t cut it! Taking the form of the world secures a place in Hell, not in Heaven! Being transformed is something quite different. Transformation demands change. In fact it shares the same definition as the term transfigure. The devil has the ability to transform himself into an angel of light. Therefore, transformation is not always a good thing unless it is done properly. Paul states that this transformation should take place by the “renewing of your mind”. This is the epicenter of the person who presents his body a living sacrifice.
(Verse 3) “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”. Pure ego! It’s the motivating factor that compels a person to look in the mirror to check their hair every time a mirror is available. It’s the factor that causes a young man to flex his muscles. It is sometimes described in our generation as vanity, but it is pure ego. If we stop to think, every sin is somehow rooted in selfishness. Selfishness and ego is a tandem pair. Therefore, sin is usually borne from the womb of the inflated ego. It’s that part of us that justifies entertaining our self while the wife or the husband and kids stay at home, or the part of us that boasts of accomplishments in subtle ways but never admits the success of others. It is the part of us that becomes drunk with self, totally inebriated with personal gratification, even if it means that others must suffer. It is not an inherited trait. This feature is a learned characteristic and ought to be discarded. Paul said to think soberly, to fill the heart with sobering material. Sometimes people just need a personal revival! Reviving of senses that are. The prodigal son was no stranger to this idea. He came full circle in his self-inflicted dilemma. And it is seen in the statement of the Lord, “And when he came to himself” (Luke 15:17). Where had he been? He had been in the land of selfishness and finally returned to his senses! He learned the hard way that humility would bring him closer to his Father than material gluttony. Growing up as kids, we looked at every detail at home to see who will get the most at mealtime. Sometimes we complained and if not careful we would get a beating along with the meal. My mother made sure we were not at a disadvantage. — Isn’t this just as true in the Christian life? Which one of us has been granted the advantage in this kingdom? Who is it that has opportunity to boast? It is true that there are some who have a better knowledge of God’s will than others, but it should also be understood that knowledge must be shared. God has given to every man the same measure of “the faith” (the inspired word). No person can boast of possessing anything greater than another. By applying what we learn, and sharing what we learn with others, we again participate in presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
(Verses 4-5) “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another”. The body of Christ is likened unto the physical body here and in 1 Corinthians 12. Every member of the physical body has its specific task in the biological scheme of things. They are needed in their totality to be a whole or complete body. I can live without the use of my arm or my eye, but I would give everything to have them restored to their proper place and function. So it is with the body of Christ. Every person in the kingdom has a unique position.
You are the only you. No one else can take your place. You are needed to fulfill your function in this body, whatever that function is. It is clear that the apostle recognizes that not all people have the same ability, but all are an important part of the complete body. It is ridiculous to believe that my hand refuses to pick things up because it feels that the foot will probably do it. Part of presenting my body as a living sacrifice is using my living body as an instrument to that end. If you think about it, you can’t worship or serve God at all without your body. It is the tabernacle that houses your heart. It is up to every Christian to seek opportunity to be active in the body of Christ. Everything you do or don’t do affects the rest of the body. The husband and wife are two persons yet one union. Everything one does, the other is also enjoined and affected by it. So it is with the body of Christ. We are many members, but we are one body. Everything that one does, affects the rest of the body. We are members one of another.
The Patriarch, Archbishop, Queen Abbess, Cardinal, Bishop, Abbess, Deacon, Deaconess, Reverend, Mother, Teacher or Admiral has to function in the body of Christ and in the Mystical Order. Each one that holds an office must function within the scope of that office for the furtherance of the church and ministry, and so advance the Kingdom of God. Likewise all brothers and sisters have to find there place and as judge Karen said in her book “Stay in your Lane”. Within the church and more so the Baptist faith we learn to recognize the importance of spiritual gifts and if not carefully used can cause a lot of problems. Gifts and offices go hand in hand and we have to be very mindful not to use the office to influence wrongly.
To all my beloved here and abroad we have a duty to fulfill, and that is to renew our lives before God. Remember our own lives are a mirror to the world. I love you and God bless you richly
FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
WHAT VARIOUS HINDRANCES WE MEET
BY: Sir, Dr Godfrey Gregg
Exodus 17:12 “But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun”
In this chapter of the book of Exodus we find God’s people continuing their journey to Canaan, the Land of Promise. In verse 1 the place called Rephidim was the next stop which is the place of “rest”. They were looking forward to that relief because they were travelling for some time. That was their big hope and for them to find some water. However, “there was no water for them to drink” look at the second part of (verse 1). There was no water because the streams were dried up and now there was a crisis on the hands of the leader. What they were hoping for was not present and forth coming. They were thirsty and needed to quench their thirst.
The Lord promised to bring them (His people) to Canaan Exodus 3:8, but He had not promise them a journey free of difficulties. However, the certainty of His presence and to provide for them was laid out in the promise. So with us as believers and children of this Worthy and Noble Mystical Order, God will not take us to a place that He cannot take care of us. We were never promised an easy pathway to heaven, but since we were promised heaven it should include everything necessary to get us there. Yes he that hath made my heaven secure will here all good provides.
I challenge you that every need is to test our faith in God. And after the journey the Lord reminded the Israelites of the experiences in the wilderness for the forty years. Hear what is recorded in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 8:2 “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
Revealing, yes it proved the behaviour of the people with another round of complaining. Just like the church today it is all about the individual and not the purpose or will of God. God hate murmurers and complainers and I wonder why the church today is not moving to another level. We complain too much about nothing and it blocks our growth. Look at Exodus 17:3 and read “And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured….” Instead of looking to the Lord for the solution in the emergency they were facing. they found fault with the way God was handling the situation. We are too much fault finders and none of us are fault menders. We will never know what is taking place unless the Lord shows us what is in our hearts. Then and only then we will know where we need more of the grace of God. God has the solution for all our problems but we have to get to the place and STOP complaining.
God moves in His own time and at the right moment. Read on in Exodus 17:6 here is the solution for the murmuring and complaining “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the Elders of Israel. Bishop Andres wrote in his weekly email that “but the Lord let His people undergo trials in order for Him to reveal His wondrous supremacy and control.” Oh Hallelujah for the promised word in this hour. It was a miracle,. Yes, Water came from the most unlikely place; the dry hard rock. The greater the need the greater the glory to God when He meets that need. This was just the beginning of the journey and of the trials. No sooner the first miracle was done the Amalekites launch an attack on Israel. Exodus 17:8 “Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim”. It is often like this that our trials cones not in one but in two, sometimes in threes. So what else can the Lord do to prove to us that He is still God?
If the water shortage or the drought called for faith then this war in the camp called for prayer. So what does this teaches us and a church? We pray in hope only when we have done our best. It would make no sense for Moses to be on the Hilltop praying, if Joshua was not in the valley. Prayer without means is a mockery to God. But prayer it was more powerful that all the weapon Israel had. Moses prayer alone was not sufficient, he needed help. Verse 11 in chapter 17 of Exodus states “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hands, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hands Amalek prevailed.”
Clearly you will see that the outcome depended on prayer, to maintain his intercession was vital. We do not need that Joshua needed help, but Moses who was in prayer needed that help. We must not just pray but I must emphasize it must be persevering prayer: Moses hands were steady. As long as his hands were up he had control of the battle. Prayer is ok but perseveringly to pray is even harder. We knew that Moses won the battle. “But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun”. And Joshua prevailed against Amalek and his people with the sword.
Moses support was for his weak legs and weary arms; the stone on which he sat and for the two men that held his arms. The “stone” can represent the promises God has given us concerning prayer. We lean the weight of our needs upon these and they support us. “Aaron” is the High priest of Israel and represents our great High Priest in Heaven. “Hur” represent the comforter in our hearts who strengthens us in prayer.
As we continue to look at the activities of this study let’s see where we will fit in:
Why Aaron and Hur did gave Moses a stone to sit on (verse 12)
So what are the promises of God? The stone supporting Moses’ weight illustrates how diving promises help our prayers. For God has declared in His promises shows His goodwill toward us when we draw near to Him. Here are a few instances to consider.
Psalm 65:2 O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. This truth is like an attribute of God: He hears prayers. It means than when we draw near to pray, He is already listening. “While they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast Holden me by my right hand. (Psalm 73:23) Asaph confesses he is always in God’s presence- so close that his hand is held. Preserving grace kept him close, even while he was disillusioned over the prosperity of the wicked. Now he sees more clearly the love “that will not let me go.” This is our promise too as recorded in Isaiah 41:13 that we are always in His presence, we can turn to Him at any time, and He who holds our right hand will hear our prayers.
In the book of Songs of Solomon chapter 2:14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the saints, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Here our Lord actually asks us to pray to Him, that He may have the pleasure of our company and voice! What greater incentives and consolation to prayer can there be than this? So, after reading these are you going to continue praying to some dead people or to some saint even Mary the mother of Jesus. God is calling on us to pray to Him and him only. Will you be able to tell me what the benefits of these prayers are? Are you better person and where is God when you pray to these idols. I was on a pilgrimage and seen Spiritual Baptist praying to idols and putting money in the hands of these idols. I was like “is this for real? God has no pleasure in idol worship and neither am I.
So what is God’s provision for us in this hour? Aaron and Hur show two other ways the Lord helps us in prayer: Was there a ministering presence in heaven? In Hebrews 4:14 we think of Aaron and this is what Paul said, “we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of God.” We need the assurance that our prayers will reach the Throne of God. This can only be done through the mediator that God has provided for us through His son Jesus Christ. I say to you that there is no other way to the gate way to the inheritances of God but by Jesus Christ. There is no Mary, saint or person to take the place of Jesus Christ. Spiritual Baptist you have to look at the word of God and only the word for your leadership and direction. There is no other way to receive but by Jesus Christ.
Paul said in Hebrews 9:24 tells us that He is in heaven, “there to appear in the presence of God for us.” Our Lord sits in the courts of heaven advocating on our behalf. He is not just our friend but also our surety, who has forgiven and discharged all of our debts and fulfilled all our obligations. This is what He represents to the Father on our behalf. You will notice that Paul never mentioned any other person (Mary, Pope or saint).
So how do we look at prayer and the effects it has on us. The sin in our prayers is taken away. Again, we read in Exodus 28:38 that Aaron’s mediation was to “bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts”. We are greatly comforted, because our prayers and no good unless there is atonement for them; and this is the role that Jesus does on our behalf to the Father.
We should seek perfection in our prayers and as 1 Peter 2:5 states that it may be “acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”. His good name in heaven, representing His righteousness, is our guarantee that our prayers will be received. So, when we pray in His Name, it is as if our Lord is saying hear this Father for my sake. God will love us to send up our prayers with much incense. Revelation 8:3, 4 states that “the smoke of the incense, which comes with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God”. Incense represents prayers and we as Baptist s have to be careful how we use it so as not to send the wrong signal.
We are so discouraged at times and yet we pray with doubts, we fail to leave all the things that weigh us down before we approach the Throne of God. When we pray we are to be victorious but we have so much doubt in our hearts and too many thing that blocks the movement of our prayer. Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 2:8 told Timothy “lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” Yes if we could see those prayers by the time they reach our Father, through Christ, we would not recognize them. We would be astonished of the cleansing process that takes place when the prayers left us. When Christ is finished with the process of atonement our prayers are made perfect to be presented to His Father. We must never lose sight of our Intercessor as we pray. So with our hands up to the Lord we must prevail. Now you see why Moses had to keep his hands up to the Father.
We are strengthened by our prayers and our souls are satisfied. This is by the Comforter. Our Lord in His glorified state of manhood is in heaven for us, but indwells us through the divine presence of the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:9 and 10 states “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Without the Comforter in us we are useless and helpless. We will never get the results of our prayer.
Therefore, like Hur on the other side of Moses holding up his arm, the Spirit supports us in prayer. He enlightens us and bringing to our hearts the truth of Christ our Mediator, and the certainty that our prayers reach before the Throne through Him. He suggests to us the things we should pray about and the words to say; He draws us out and warms our hearts, makes us feel God’s love. So that as Jude wrote in verse 20-21 “ But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Here we see the two arms and the help we can achieve. In heaven, and in our hearts. Our Lord is at our Father’s right hand, and our right hand. Within the veil, and within our hearts, So look to your great High Priest, and your glorious Comforter.
Let’s continue Exodus 17:12 “and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” Let’s see with this encouragement where our prayers stand in this light. One thing we know as Spiritual Baptist is to pray morning, noon and night. Some of us make the habit to pray at sunrise the midday and at the setting of the sun. It does not matter, we know how to pray. We often say Lord teach us how to pray with reverence and with fear. We also have our secret times to pray. Our Lord says in Matthew 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” It is good to follow prayers as said by the minister or to recite what is written in the book, but we do need a prayer life of our own. That is the proof of a true believer or Christian.
If we love to pray and have a prayer life then will want to be sustained in prayer daily. And our “stone” the promises and our “Aaron” the Mediator, and our “Hur” the Comforter will be our help. A merciful Father who waits to hear us, a mediating Christ who never get tired representing us, and a ministering Spirit who never gets weary of helping us. This is what Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus. Ephesians 2:18 “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
We cease to pray we cease to fight, and this should be our constant hope and desire; praying for someone or something. While the Lord is pleased to answer our everyday prayers, some of our requests and petitions have a long term answer. It is not that God didn’t hear us or answer us. In most cases it is immediate. You will recall when Daniel was in prayer Michael the Archangel known to us as the warrior and defender, was immediately dispatched with the answer to Daniel’s prayer.
However, he (Michael) was intercepted and had to fight fiercely before he reached Daniel. As believers we pray constantly asking for things like protection, basic needs, for the sick and many things we are required to pray for according to the Scripture. Yes, we must pray without ceasing. However Paul commands us in Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance.” And we continue to send the incense towards Heaven. At this point you should be praying and lifting me your servant before the throne of God’s grace.
Moses made intercessions all the way to heaven and the Bible tells us “Until the going down of the sun.” At our conversion we prayed and we continue through baptism and our first “throne of grace”. We gave up many things but we never cease to pray. That is all the believer knows, is to pray. Sometimes we still feel we are not doing it right and we ask “Lord teach us to pray aright with reverence and with fear.” We shall continue to pray until the last breath leaves our body. Or when our sun goes down.
Moses is our example of prayer and we should covet to pray more than anything else. Then when time shall be no more and we are in the place where there is no more need for the sun. Revelation 21:23 “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moons, to shine in it: for the glory of the God did lighten it. and the Lamb is the light thereof.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow Ministers of this Mystical Order at that point every prayer will then have been heard, and every victory won. We shall be at home with the Lord forever where prayer is swallowed up by everlasting praise.
What various hindrances we meet
in coming to the mercy-seat?
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
but wishes to be often there.
Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw,
prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
gives exercise to faith and love,
brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright;
and Satan trembles, when he sees
the weakest saint upon his knees.
While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
success was found on Israel’s side;
but when through weariness they failed,
that moment Amalek prevailed.
Have you no words? ah, think again,
words flow apace when you complain;
and fill your fellow-creature’s ear
with the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
to heaven in supplication sent;
our cheerful song would oftener be,
“Hear what the LORD has done for me.”
O Lord, increase our faith and love,
that we may all thy goodness prove,
and gain from thy exhaustless store
the fruits of prayer for evermore.