We have just spent a blessed three days in special prayer for our Church, School and Country. There is a wonderful encouragement to prayer in Exodus 17. The children of Israel were just a few weeks out of Egypt when they faced their first war situation with the Amalekites. Moses put the army under Joshua while he and Aaron with Hur went to the top of the hill overlooking the battle site. Moses lifted his rod towards heaven, and Israel prevailed. But his arms were tired, and when they dropped down, Amalek prevailed.
Aaron and Hur made Moses sit on a rock, and they held up his hands, one on either side. With his hands and the rod held high, Israel was victorious in the battle.
There is wonderful typology here. Moses is a picture of the believer, and his raised hands represent prayer. The battle pictures our struggles against sin, self and Satan. Moses’ weary hands illustrate our natural weakness in prayer. The rock on which he sat is Christ.
Moses had two helpers to hold up his hands, Aaron, the high priest and Hur, meaning light.
Our hands are held up in prayer, on the earthward side by Hur, a type of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” [Romans 8:26]. On the heavenward side, our prayers are helped and presented by the greater High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, “Who also maketh intercession for us” [Romans 8:34].
What a lesson for us all –
“The battle of the plain is won on the mountain top!”
BIBLICAL PURPLE FOUND
A purple dye dating back to the reign of King David (Circa 1000BC) has been found on a piece of fabric by Israeli archeologists. Israeli Antiquities Authority expert Dr. Naama Sukenik called it a “very exciting and important discovery.” Purple figured prominently in the Jewish Tabernacle and the crucifixion of Christ.
In antiquity, purple was associated with the nobility, priests and royalty. The dye is made from minute quantities found in the body of mollusks. Dr. Sukenik said it was “the most highly valued of the dyes” and “often cost more than gold.” Yet another proof of the veracity of the Bible.
A NEW NAME
When a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he gets a new name. In Antioch (in Syria), the disciples of Jesus were called Christians for the first time [Acts 11:26]. Some say it was a derogatory term, but it was necessary. The world of the early church was divided into Jew and Gentile.
With the coming of Jesus Christ, Jewish people accepted Him as their Saviour. Likewise, Gentiles were converted, so the old terms of Jew and Gentile no longer accurately described the new converts. So the name Christian was coined.
What is a Christian? Literally, a Christian is a Christ-One, just as a Canadian is a person who belongs to Canada. So a Christian is a Christ-one, one who belongs to Christ.
How does a person become a Christian? A person’s citizenship is determined primarily by birth. The great difference in Christianity is that we are not born into our faith by birth in a Christian country, attendance at a Christian church, or fellowship with Christian people.
We become Christian by the new birth that Jesus spoke about to Nicodemus when He said, “Ye must be born again” [John 3:7].
We are born into natural life by one never-to-be-repeated physical birth. We enter into spiritual life by being born again by a one-time operation of the Holy Spirit.
How is one born again? R. A. Torrey said there were two things to know and one to do in order to become a Christian. We need to know that we are sinners and that, in Jesus, there is One who can save from sin and its consequences. What we need to do is to call upon Him.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Romans 10:13].
Have you called? Are you a Christian?
The church is waiting somewhat impatiently for reopening after the lockdown. The Whitefield Christian Schools have been on virtual teaching since the New Year but hopefully will be back in class on February 10, although there is a real possibility of a delay.
The Toronto church is technically able to be open, but with a maximum of ten people. However, it continues to broadcast each Sunday on sermonaudio at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. with the pre-service prayer time at 5:50 p.m. on Zoom. The Wednesday prayer meeting is at 7:30 p.m., also on Zoom.