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The Three Tithes of The Mosaic Law

The Three Tithes of The Mosaic Law

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE THREE TITHES OF THE MOSAIC LAW

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

THE THREE TITHES OF THE MOSAIC LAW

THIS IS MY UNEDITED NOTES. THIS BLOG WILL BE PROPERLY FORMATED OVER THE WEEKEND.

 

 The festival tithe

 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23 

 

  • When the Israelites settled the land, they all had enough space to farm whatever they desired. They had other trades but they only tithed on the farm produce from their land.
  • Notice, that this is a yearly tithe and it has nothing to do with supporting the priests or religious leaders.
  • This was a yearly celebration in which the people of Israel feasted together with thankful hearts for all that God had provided them.

 

And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. Deuteronomy 14:24-27 

 

  • This is the same tithe and it’s pretty straight forward.
  • If it’s too far to carry your tithe to Jerusalem, then sell it and purchase whatever you desire in Jerusalem and consume it all during the festival.
  • It doesn’t say anything about giving money to the temple or to the priest, it say go and buy what you desire and consume it in God’s presence.
  • Don’t forget to invite the Levites because they have no land to farm and therefore they cannot bring anything to the festival.

 

 NEW COVENANT APPLICATION

 We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.

  1. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  2. We no longer celebrate this festival.

 

 

The poor tithe

 

At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. Deuteronomy 14:28 

 

  • This is the tithe referred to in Malachi 3:10.
  • It was only every 3 years and it was based upon only one of those three years.
  • Each city had a storehouse, and the tithes were for the Levites and the stranger, the fatherless and the widow within that city.

 

 

NEW COVENANT APPLICATION 

  1. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
  2. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  3. The government of the land takes care of the poor.

 

 The Levitical tithe

 

Leviticus 27:30-32  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. 

 

  • The tithe is from the land, anything from the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree and anything from the herd or the flock.

 

Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.”Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Numbers 18:20-21 

 

  • The Levites get no land for themselves, therefore they can’t do any farming.
  • Their job was to perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
  • Not all Levites were priests and only 10% of the tithe went to the priests (1% of all the farm produce).

 

“Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe. Numbers 18:26

 

  • So, the Levites set aside a tenth of the tithe, 1% of all the farm produce of the land.

 

And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. Numbers 18:27

 

  • So, because the Levites don’t do any of their own farming, they are to tithe on the produce that they receive from the people.

 

Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the LORD from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the LORD’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. Numbers 18:28 

 

  • Only Aron and his sons could be priests and they got 1% of all the farm produce of the land of Israel.
  • So, 9% of all the farm produce went to the Levites, and 1% went to the priests.

 

 What did the Levites do?

 

(Numbers 3:21-39) In the wilderness 22,300 Levites were appointed to assist the priests and to look after the tabernacle and all its components and furnishings

 

  • The daily sacrifices as well as the tabernacle maintenance required 22,300 Levites.
  • The work was manual labor, not preaching and teaching.
  • The preaching and teaching was the job of the priests.

 

And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 18:6 

 

 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. 1 Chronicles 23:1-5 

 

Work of the house of the Lord: David appointed 24,000 to build the temple. Chapter 22 is all about the preparations for the building of the temple.

 

  • There is no physical tabernacle or Temple in the New Covenant because the global body of Christ and the individual believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. There are no church buildings in the New Testament either.

 

Officers and Judges: Government officials and judges spread throughout the nation of Israel. They would be very similar to the executive and judicial arms of the government today. The Levitical officers and judges were spread throughout the land of Israel administering the law and commandments of the King.

Porters: 1 Chronicles 26:1-19 seems to indicate that these were guards stationed around the Temple.

Singer & musicians: That’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

NEW COVENANT APPLICATION

 

  1. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
  2. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  3. There is no temple system anymore and no religious buildings in the New Covenant.
  4. If people want to meet in buildings, that’s fine, but those who want to do that, especially the pastors and church leaders, need to pay for it.
  5. If pastors insist we all meet in a dedicated church building on Sunday then they should pay for it.
  6. Take the synagogues for example; there was no law requiring God’s people to go to or meet in a synagogue. There was no law requiring people to tithe towards the cost of a synagogue.
  7. It was all free will offerings.

The True Meaning Of The Widows Last Mite

The True Meaning Of The Widows Last Mite

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE WIDOWS LAST MITE UNDERSTOOD IN CONTEXT

 

The story of the widow’s last mite has widely been misunderstood as being an example of Christian giving. It’s frequently used to guilt Christians into giving to their church even if they are in poverty. However, the story of the widow’s last mite is not a story about giving. It’s a sad story about the Jewish religious leaders conning poor widows of their livelihoods.

The story appears in both the gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke. In each appearance of the story Jesus had been in the midst of rebuking the Pharisees for devouring widows houses and making long sanctimonious prayers while doing so.

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” Luke 20:35-47

 Although the story of the widows mite appears only in Mark and Luke, the devouring of widows homes is mentioned in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew 23:14, Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47). Mark and Luke say that they will be punished most severely because of it and Matthew says that they will not escape the damnation of hell. Jesus used incredibly strong words in his rebuke to the Pharisees.

 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Matthew 23:14

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Matthew 23:33

What’s fascinating is that immediately following this, in all three synoptic gospels, Jesus begins to prophecy the complete and utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. It’s in this context that Mark and Luke present the story of the widow’s last mite. They both squeeze the story in-between Christ’s condemnation of the Pharisees and his prophecy about the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the City of Jerusalem. This is something that the prosperity preachers will never tell you. With that in mind let’s look at the story of the widow’s last mite.

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:4

Notice that she put in everything that she had to live on. There was nothing left for food, for clothing, for anything! Is that what these pastors are asking people to do today? While they live in luxury? How is that different to the Pharisees devouring widow’s houses? If Jesus condemned the Pharisees for devouring widow’s houses and pronounced damnation upon them and destruction upon Jerusalem for doing so, then wouldn’t he be equally angered at today’s religious leaders for doing the exact same thing? New Testament Scholar Dr Craig Evans agrees and makes the following statement in his Commentary on Luke.

He (Jesus) saw in the episode an illustration of what he had said earlier in 20:46–47. In other words, because of the teaching of the religious authorities of her day, the poor widow gives up her last penny and so is victimized for the sake of an oppressive religious system. Her wealth, or what little wealth there was, was “devoured” (see v. 47). Jesus’ statement in 21:4, therefore, is not one of praise, but one of lament. It may be because of this great economic injustice that Luke is satisfied to have this episode immediately precede Jesus’ prediction of the temple’s destruction. Evans, Craig A. Evans. Luke (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series)

As Christians, we should not be teaching these kinds of lies or deceit. When we look at the teaching of the Apostles in the New Testament we see something very different to what the Pharisees were teaching. In the corrupt Temple system the religious leaders took money from widows, but in the church the believers looked after the widows (Acts 6:1-6, 1 Timothy 5:3, James 1:27). James tells us that true religion is to visit the fatherless and the widow in their time of need. Paul exhorted the church to honour widows with financial aid just as surely, and in the same chapter, that he exhorted the church to honour church elders with financial support.

Sadly, preachers and so called bible teachers are all too frequently using this verse as a passage about Christian giving, when in reality it’s about religious abuse and divine judgement upon false teachers.

Written By Caleb Corneloup

 

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

The Lukewarm Church of Laodicea

The Lukewarm Church of Laodicea

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE LUKEWAR CHURCH OF LAODICEA

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

THE LUKEWARM CHURCH OF LAODICEA

Ancient ruins

BIBLE COMPARES THE LUKEWARM CHURCH TO SODOMY

I want to show you something in scripture that you have probably never noticed before. I want to show you two passages of scripture, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. When you look at what is being said in both of these verses you will quickly see that according to the Bible a lukewarm church makes God just as sick as incest, bestiality and homosexuality.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Leviticus 18:22-25

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16

Notice here that in the same way that the land of Canaan vomited out the Canaanites for adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality and child sacrifice, so too will Jesus vomit out lukewarm Christians. Lukewarm Churches make Jesus just as sick as someone who has sex with animals. Think about that. What is it about these people that makes them lukewarm and makes God want to vomit them out? It’s their works.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. Revelation 3:15

The issue Jesus had with this lukewarm church is their works! In fact, when you look at all seven of the churches in Revelation, each time God was examining their works. Jesus was examining the fruit of those that claimed to have faith in Him.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18

It’s not that works contribute to our salvation, rather, works are a result of our salvation. In the same way a fruit tree bears good fruit because its a fruit tree, we as Christians produce good deeds because we are already Christians. The lukewarm church thinks it is rich but really it is poor.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Revelation 3:17-18

Jesus calls them wretched and uses the same word that Paul uses to describe himself prior to conversion in Romans 7:24 when he says “wretched man that I am”. He calls them pitiful or miserable using the same word Paul uses to describe those who have no resurrection hope in 1 Corinthians 15:19. When the Laodicean church looked at themselves with their physical eyes they appeared to be wealthy, well dressed and increased with material goods. But when Jesus looked at them they were poor, like beggars, blind and naked. Man looks at the outside but God looks at a person’s spiritual condition. They professed to know God and claimed to be Christians but their works revealed that they were not saved at all.

In place of their poverty he encourages them to buy gold tried in fire that they can become rich. 1 Peter 1:7 tells us that gold refined in fire represents a tested and tried faith. In place of their nakedness he encourages them to buy white raiment so that they can be clothed. Revelation 19:8 tells us that white raiment represents the righteous deeds of the saints. Their blindness refers to their ignorance and lack of understanding and the only solution is for them to humble themselves and ask God to help them understand the Word of God. To man people base their beliefs on their own wisdom and understanding or some spiritual experience they have had or heard from others. Without the Bible these people are blind.

Compare this to the church in Smyrna;

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich). Revelation 2:8-9

True riches are not material, they are spiritual and they are found in Christ.

Most Church Worship Is A Stench In God’s Nose

Most Church Worship Is A Stench In God’s Nose

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THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

MOST CHURCH WORSHIP IS A STENCH IN GOD’S NOSE

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

MOST CHURCH WORSHIP IS A STENCH IN GOD’S NOSE

Worship

Did you know that most of today’s church worship is a stench in God’s nose? I want to show you a passage of scripture where the Israelites from the Northern Tribes of Israel were coming regularly to worship God and God sent a prophet to tell them that their worship was a stench in his nostrils!

“I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:21-24

Now you might look at that passage and say “what’s that got to do with modern church worship”? Well, what a lot of people don’t realise is that the issues that made their worship was a stench unto the LORD are issues we see all over the modern church today. Amos 6:4-6 that the Northern Tribes of Israel were living in prosperous times, eating choice lambs and fattened calves, drinking wine by the bowlful and using expensive lotions. Amos 2:7-8 tells us that they were sexually immoral, Amos 5:11 says that the rich taxed the poor while they themselves lived in mansions and Amos 4:4-5 tells us that the people brought the tithes and offerings to Bethel and Gilgal, where the two golden calves were worshipped, instead of bringing it to the temple in Jerusalem. They sought to worship Yahweh at Bethel and Gilgal and even worshipped idols in Beersheba. While living these lives of sin and iniquity, they also sought to worship Yahweh assembling on God’s appointed festival and feast days. Amos 5:10 tells us that they detested those that spoke the truth and Amos 2:12 says that they commanded the prophets, who were rebuking them, not to prophesy. It is in this context that God says, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me

Now let’s look at the church today. It’s prosperous and wealthy. The pastors live in multimillion dollar mansions and demand the common man with little money give them their tithes and offerings. Those tithes and offerings are meant for the LORD, not for the pastors to live in luxury. Just like the Israelites brought the tithes and offerings to Bethel and Gilgal, today’s modern church gives tithes and offerings to false prophets and false teachers. The church congregations are soaking up the prosperity gospel and the Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 that greed is idolatry. People in the church are fornicating together and going to nightclubs getting drunk. The pastors just excuse it and say that their under grace. Divorce and remarriage is rampant and pastors just approve of relationships which destroy homes. Today’s churches despise and mock anyone who speaks the truth and exposes iniquity! They silence anyone who speaks about God judging sin and demean anyone who challenges someone’s salvation. Then in their iniquity they come, without remorse or repentance, to worship God and God says that their worship is a stench in his nostrils!

Touch Not Mine Anointed Doctrine Examined

Touch Not Mine Anointed Doctrine Examined

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THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED

THE UNTOUCHABLE DOCTRINE EXAMINED

BY CALEB CORNELOUP

 

TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED

THE UNTOUCHABLE DOCTRINE EXAMINED

eyes of wolf

False teachers such as Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer and, Kenneth Copeland claim that the Bible forbids anyone from criticizing them based on several verses which contain the phrase “touch not mine anointed”. They automatically claim they are “God’s anointed” and argue that “touch” refers to speaking against them. Thus they use these passages to make themselves “untouchable” in the eyes of those who follow them and attempt to instill fear into the hearts of anyone who opposes them. Are they correct? Is their interpretation and application of these verses correct?

Before we examine the relevant verses, we need to realize that scripture cannot contradict scripture. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus warns us to watch out for false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. It’s worth noting here that Revelation 13:11 describes the false prophet as having two horns like a lamb but he spoke like a dragon. False teachers try to present themselves as fellow believers but really they are evil deceivers. Paul frequently warned the church, with tears, that false teachers would secretly creep into the church. He specifically instructed the church to mark and identify false teachers publically. To top it all of Jesus commended the church in Ephesus for testing those who claimed to be apostles but were not.

Coming back to the subject of “touch not mine anointed”, when we examine scripture, there are three main texts commonly referred to by these false teachers; 1 Samuel 26:9, 1 Chronicles 16:22 and, Psalms 105:15. Let’s look at these passages carefully and in their context.

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless? “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”1 Samuel 26:9-11

In 1 Samuel 26:9-11, King Saul has been hunting David and is trying to kill him. David and Abishai manage to sneak up on King Saul while he is sleeping in a cave and they have an opportunity to kill King Saul. However, David tells Abishai not to kill him because he is God’s anointed. It is clear that in this context “touch” means physical harm, specifically killing him. In the same breath, David says that God might strike him down instead. Later David publically reproves Saul for hunting and seeking to kill an innocent man. Therefore, speaking against king Saul does not come within the scope of what it means to “touch God’s anointed”. Indeed the authors of scripture speak against and expose King Saul’s sins numerous times. Therefore, this text cannot be used to support the interpretation of pop preachers like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland.

 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” 1 Chronicles 16:22

“Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” Psalms 105:15

Psalms 105 and 1 Chronicles 16 are almost identical are songs of thanksgiving for God’s blessing and protection upon the patriarchs and the nation of Israel. The psalm recalls the history or Israel from Abraham to the settlement in Canaan. In verse fifteen the Psalmist recalls how God rebuked the Egyptian Pharaoh and the Philistine king Abimelech telling them not touch God’s anointed and to do his prophets no harm. In both of the stories Abraham and Isaac feared that the relevant ruler would kill them and take their wife away. In both instances God intervened and rebuked the kings. Given the context, as well as the fact that it is a psalm of David, it’s reasonable to interpret the word “touch” in each passage as a reference to physical harm.

Another important point worth noting is that the psalmist uses the terms “anointed ones” and “prophets” synonymously. In Genesis 20:7 God informs the Egyptian Pharaoh that Abraham was a prophet. It’s worth stating Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland are false prophets. They are not true prophets because they fail the test of a prophet stated in Deuteronomy 18:21-22.

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. Deuteronomy 18:21-22    

A quick search on google will reveal that both of these men have made multiple prophecies. Therefore, they are not one of God’s anointed. They are more akin to the false prophets who opposed Jeremiah. Neither are they to be compared to King Saul since King Saul was anointed by a true prophet of God whereas Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland have always been false teachers associating with other false teachers.

In conclusion, we can see that testing false teachers, false prophets and false apostles is not only right and good, it is commanded in scripture. We see that the passages which say “touch not mine anointed” refers only to physically harming true prophets and the anointed King of Israel.   

Corporate Prayer | Article Review

Corporate Prayer | Article Review

THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

MOVING FORWARD ON OUR KNEES: CORPORATE PRAYER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Grant R. Osborne

Journal Review

MOVING FORWARD ON OUR KNEES: CORPORATE PRAYER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Grant R. Osborne

Grant Osborn has written a convicting article on the subject of corporate worship in the local church. He laments over the lack of prayer in modern churches and he rightly argues there is a desperate need for corporate prayer in the modern church.[1] He begins his article by arguing that in second temple Judaism, the temple was not only a place of sacrifice, it was also a place of worship and prayer.

Grant produces a number of biblical passages which serve as examples of corporate worship in New Testament times. For instance, when Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, went into the temple to burn incense, there was a congregation of people outside waiting in corporate prayer. He points out that the burning of incense was symbolic of the people’s prayers and the angelic visitation appears to have been an answer to those prayers.[2] Additionally, Jesus took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane for corporate prayer. He encouraged them to pray in order to overcome temptation.[3] The instruction of Jesus underscores the disciples need to pray for strength in order to resist temptation, how much more should we pray so we do not fall into temptation. 

Grant also highlights Jesus reference to the Temple as His Father’s house, indicating that God’s presence was still in the temple.[4] Interestingly, when Jesus drove the animals out from the temple courts he said, “My Father’s house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”. The outer courts were specifically reserved for Gentiles to worship God as they were not permitted beyond this point. Even though sacrifices were necessary for Temple worship, it seems as though Jesus was more concerned about Gentiles coming together for prayer, then he was about the selling of sacrifices[5].

Grant also argues that persecution often causes the church to turn to God in prayer. When Herod imprisoned Peter, with the intention of executing, it resulted in an all-night corporate prayer meeting at Mary’s house.[6] As Grant points out, the longest prayer in the Book of Acts was a prayer offered to God after an instance when Peter and John were released from prison and warned not to preach in the name of Jesus.[7] This prayer resulted in the place being shaken and the people receiving a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.[8] Perhaps the lack of persecution and the comforts of this world are the cause of our present complacency.[9]

There is no doubt that there is a lack of corporate prayer in modern churches. In the midst of his article, Grant says prayer focused churches are churches that make a difference.[10] If this is true, then it says a lot about churches that have an appearance of success but are not prayer focused. Where does their success come from? If it does not come from prayer, it does not come from the Lord. If it does not come from the Lord, then it can only come from human effort and achievement. 

 

[1] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, JETS 53/2 (2010), 267.

[2] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 248.

[3] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 251.

[4] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 243.

[5] Colin G. Kruse, John: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentary,

 (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, rev. ed. 2017), Chap. 2, Kindle Ed.

[6] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 255.

[7] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 256.

[8] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 256.

[9] Tertullian, The Apology, Beloved Publishing (2014), 83.

[10] Grant R Osborne, Moving Forward on Our Knees: Corporate Prayer in The New Testament, 257.