Presentation on theme: "Dr Atef 2005. 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing."— Presentation transcript:
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Recap from Last Time 1.The need of the church to enter into a new depth in her love for Christ and her spiritual growth 2.The third mile – from Jesus conversation with Peter – “do you love me…” 3.We need to learn the different ways of worship that the Early Fathers used so that we will enter into these depths that we need.
Two Types of Worship… Practiced by Early Fathers 1.Worship using the Book of Psalms and 2.Worship with Unveiled Face. They complement each other… because there is a different food for each element – spirit, soul, mind etc, and the food for the spirit is the book of psalms
Book of Psalms Inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to God’s people as a means to worship -> needs to be used daily – like collecting manna in the wilderness – Revives the spirit of the worshipper so they can enter into the second dimension which is prayer with unveiled face or prophetic prayer Many biblical bases for use of psalms.
Fruits of this… 1.Being transformed into Christ likeness 2.Being filled with God’s mind “Unveiled face” is a reference to Moses needing a veil over his face. Normal daily life -> many veils come & cover our hearts without us being aware of this – when our spirits are revived and active and we worship with unveiled face we reflect the Lord’s glory and we are transformed.
The Church Today Focusses on the mind and soul – we can discern problems with our mind when we are distracted and with our soul if we are anxious etc, but not good at discerning the state of our spirit - hence can spend years and not be transformed Can blame personal circumstances or bad teaching when actually it is because we do not worship with unveiled face.
Role of the spirit It is the strongest element in a man’s being so can control the soul and flesh - hence faces used to shine when spirit was filled with God’s glory. Doesn’t happen now as we worship with mind & soul – God in His kindness meets us but the transformation is missed. The spirit is the only element that can receive the reflection of God
Main Purpose of Worship To make our spirits active & to make the veils fall The devil tries to add veils to our spirits and evil influences are concentrated there -> our spirits become constricted and week and imprisoned – hence role of psalms very important Child in Mauritania in 1990 – Jesus taught her psalms word for word
History of Wadi Natroum Home of the advanced worshippers (prayed the whole book of psalms daily – read scripture constantly & some memorised whole bible) - in south were the Bahoumic group (beginners recently called out of idol worship) Angel appeared to Bahoum saying they needed an easier option & taught Agpia. ½ book of psalms divided into 7 (vizPsalm 119:164)
Structure of Agpia Psalms plus short prayers and scripture readings Each prayer centred on an aspect of Christ’s salvation and the cross. Linked with the time of day - purpose is the cross – a well and the prayers are channels of varied grace during the day flowing from the cross – not legalistic. A tool not an end in itself - important!
Holding a Cross Every aspect of the Agpia had known significance – they liked to hold the book in 1 hand and a cross in the other as an expression of gratitude & love for the crucified one. Also a reminder that they are crucified to the world and the world to them (Galatians 6:14)
Facing East Not a legalistic requirement – but they liked to do this as Jesus is coming back from the East (Matthew 24:27) A sense of protocol before the Angels and an expression that they are waiting for the return of the King.
Thanksgiving & Repentance As an entrance to each hour of prayer. Long sentence repeated in Thanksgiving was very significant as an expression of the priesthood of the believers over creation – first statement in 3 rd person directed to creation/on behalf of creation and the second in the 1 st person directed to Jesus on their own behalf.
Prostration Practised a lot for several reasons – 3 times before each prayer to the 3 members of the Trinity 1.Very biblical – eg Angels & the worship in Heaven in Revelation7:11 & 11:16 - John 4:23 correctly translated “bow” not “worship” 2.Isaiah 26:13 – a proclamation of the leadership of Christ leading to release. EF saw OT as a mirror of spiritual things in NT – hence practical
Self Deliverance EF had very strong gifts of deliverance but used these rarely for v difficult situations - concerned that people could not sustain deliverance -> end up in a worse state. -> advised disciples to pray psalms and prostrate a lot, -> other masters show themselves & are cast away. A slower method, but privileges gained in Christ protect from further attack.
Prostration & Flesh Romans 12:1 shows that flesh needs to take part in worship & prostration does this Flesh is sanctified Helps to restore the integration of the elements
Grace from Prostration Romans 6:5 “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” Bow – we are united with Him in death to sin Stand – we are united in His resurrection Expressing theological truths by faith Also a mystical significance – that specific grace is imparted from Christ’s death and resurrection as we do this
Historically… Nicene Council in 325 agreed that this was the general kind of prayer for all believers In the Middle Ages the prayer became the focus leading to legalism Well documented that Jews and Christians were practising this around 2 nd Century AD Islam started in 6 th Century – probably copied practices that were common then.