“These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:24).
Praying for healing of the land
2 Chronicles 7:14-16: “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.”
If my people will pray is a promise to Israel, not to the Church. Only Israel was a theocracy, the church is not a nation in a specific land. My People was a common phrase for Israel in the Old Testament. There is a principle that we are to pray to receive, however this is not a promise to the Church like it was to Israel. In their conditional covenant God said that if they do this, I will do that.
Israel was the only nation ruled by God (a theocracy). They were under a different covenant than the unconditional for the church. If they would obey, God would do what He promised. We are under an unconditional covenant, under grace, so this cannot be a promise that will make everything right in America, in Britain, or any country. To lift this out of its context changes its meaning.
If one is going to take promises to Israel and specifically apply them to us then one might as well apply what was said to Abraham, that I would have uncountable offspring, make me a great nation and be rich. The principle is still there, that we are to pray to receive but again it is not a promise.
Context always makes a difference in having a correct interpretation. 2 Chronicles 7 goes on to state “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. He is speaking about Israel.
New wine skins
Matthew 9:16-17: “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
“you can’t pour new wine into old wineskins.” This is one of those bad interpretations to justify the “new thing.” First we need to see this is a parable not a prophecy (Luke 5:36-37). What Jesus spoke already took place and is not to be repeated. What Jesus meant is that He did not come to strengthen the law (the old covenant) or perpetuate it but to bring people into a “new covenant” of grace (the old covenant was wearing out Hebrews 8:7-13).
The context bears this out by his example of both the wine and the sewing of the garment: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.” What Jesus spoke on the new wineskins already took place and is not to a repetitive act throughout history. It was accomplished almost two thousand years ago. We don’t have a new, new covenant to practice as some are teaching.
This is made even clearer in Luke 5:36-39: “Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. “But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.”’
The people did not want to change, the religious leaders were concerned about Jesus and the law being changed or removed. This is why Jesus responded, to clarify his mission “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill it” (Matt 5:17). He brought the law’s requirements to completion.
Till next week,
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD – firstname.lastname@example.org, @drrobharrison (Twitter), Robert Bob Harrison (Facebook)
Florida West District Elder | Pastor – Open Door Church of God and True Holiness, Inc – www.opendoortrueholinesschurch.org
Church of God & True Holiness, Intl. www.trueholinesschurches.org
Senior Pastor |Founder, True Holiness Worship Ministries, Inc. www.trueholinessworshipministry.com coming soon! – 2800 41st Ave. N, St. Pete
The Gathering of Pastor Member – Chairman, Outreach and Political Action Committee
Chaplain – SCLC of Pinellas
Parent Support for Education Council Executive Board Member
Chaplain – Dept. Juvenile Justice for Circuit 6