Hebrews 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Summary so far… 1.The need of the church to enter into a new depth 2.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. 3.Two types of worship (using psalms, and with unveiled face) 4.Intro to worship using the Book of Psalms, & Agpia
Worship & its fruits – especially that which God wants this group to consider Worship = all aspects of the life of prayer (supplication; intercession; praise) Characteristics include 1.Ministering to God 2.Sanctifying life & Formation of Christ in us 3.Divine protection & establishing spiritual walls 4.Release of the prophetic
1.Ministering to God Hebrews 1:14”ministering” = liturgea & “serve” (some translations minister) = diakonia Liturgea = a kind of worship that is repeated exactly as it is (viz liturgy) – used regarding angels ministering to God eg in Revelation same phrases repeat (Holy Holy Holy) – NB in middle ages meanings changed so we are going for original. Diakonia – unrepeated ministry – always inspired/new – angels serving people
More about Liturgea God searching for undivided heart filled with purity & love – doesn’t mind re words as long as heart not stained by sin Eg of poor illiterate person in 4 th Century who only knew Lord’s prayer – monks tried to teach him more words – then monk full of HS found he was crossing river on cloak so clearly he had a very pure heart & full of HS & living in the realm of miraculous so monk said “you don’t need more words!” (viz 1 Sam 16:7 & Matthew 5:8)
How to minister to God in our Worship? God wants His children to minister to Him in the heavens (our prime call & our privilege – different from daily worship) Ministry and professional work done in strength of this as created for God’s glory & pleasure Isaiah 43:7&21; Rev 4:11; - because God is a giver & wants us to partake in His love Prov 8:30b prophetic words for Christ representing us & only possible as we minister in the heavens
Priests in Christ OT priest lit lights & made offerings to God – then other ministry to the people – we as priests -> the Holy of Holies to put on the lights on for the world. 2 Cor 4:4 – evil one puts darkness on people’s minds -> gospel rejected Eph 6:12 As evangelists seek to wage war in heavenlies - > ministry effective - they need discernment to know nature of powers against them. A true Worshipper will destroy darkness ->veils fall
From John 1:5 light overcoming darkness is authority given to any worshipper & value of ministering to God Continuity & regularity & pure heart of prime importance (OT priest must not let fire out) By contrast Diakonia is changeable and adaptable to the individual – angels do this & we find this in our engaging with people. However our ability to meet their true need is from our Liturgea ministry to God ->absolute obedience & understanding God’s heart & mind
Sharing God’s Heart & Mind In Acts angels frequently -> apostles and ministers with messages from God Latterly angelic interventions infrequent – God doesn’t want this but people unprepared as ministry of liturgea missing Ministry of Liturgea continuously prepares people mentally & spiritually -> obedience & understanding God’s heart & it overflows in them
The Fall Affected mind, spirit, soul etc (Isaiah 55:9, & Romans 11:33) Gap closes via liturgea -> can understand angels Eg Abraham understood much better than Lot – more of a distance with Lot Eg Acts 13:1–3 (they ministered to the Lord) Important significance in End times Holy Spirit teaches each their own liturgea
Regularity of Liturgea Word in Greek meaning to continue regularly with no interruption is in these verses Acts 2:42&6:4 Romans 12:12 Eph 6:18 Col 4:2 1 Thess 3:10 1 Tim 5:5 Experience of worshipper following regularity is that HS teaches own Liturgea Also finds a place reserved in heaven which calls him if he misses a worship time (spiritual experience which happens)
Priestly responsibility Priesthood has privileges & responsibilities Jesus – had Messianic responsibility and then given Messianic privileges after emptying himself Eph 1:3 – our privileges in Christ – these are like mystical seeds needing to be opened -> grace released & we enter into rest in Christ. Heart of Christ in pain as our seeds/jewels hidden. HS wants to adorn us & knows how to
Chain becoming a crown Song of Songs 1:9 & 11 – Arabic, close to Hebrew – chains of gold changed to have appearance of a crown Only HS can change chains to be a crown – ornated w. studs of silver Crowns to put at Christ’s feet in Revelation – embarrassing if only ideas & fears to bring!
Ministry of Liturgea in the Heavens Corrects the mind and cleanses Takes away the thoughts of the world and it’s concerns Prepares the mind to receive the Bridal crown that we will present to Christ Carries responsibility Subject of book of Hebrews & mystery behind worship @ Wadi Natroum which led to many miracles
This changes the shape of Heaven & Earth so very important – locked up @ present and has to be released - unlocked in practice via Liturgea When we take our place – serving with the High Priest of Heaven - He begins to share what is in His heart & mind Ministry of Liturgea in the Heavens
Can’t claim that this is happening lightly as need take our place & stand in the Heavenly place in the Spirit for it to happen, & we take our places when priesthood is revealed in us Jesus “You are far far away on earth, but when I made the heavens I made a place for you there – you are not in it! Need to take this place now not after death, by attending to the ministry of the liturgea” Ministry of Liturgea in the Heavens
Concluding stories - Shenouda Head of a community of solitary people Special gift – spiritual eyes enabling him to see what was happening in whole world Spent whole night praying agpia – in morning raised hands in intercession – HS showed him events which he prayed for – very clear fruits. Although solitary, he journeyed about when needed – had freedom in the Spirit
Shenouda (cont) Aware of his responsibility to uphold truth in the area (church = pillar of truth) -> local farmers went to him when injustice done and he had an authority when he challenged people – feared no-one& universally respected Heresy happened & he travelled to place of conference & confronted heretic – discerned dared to declare spirit of blasphemy over him and rebuke it.
John the short Prayed & worshipped liturgea long hours Pious rich family visited his monastary (in those days to bring gifts & ask for prayer (no walls round monastries as wanted not to constrict HS & liked to walk in the desert – carried by Spirit in different ways) Only daughter – after parent’s death she became a prostitute – news came to him.
Went to girls house – asked brothers/disciples to stand in worship at his back Began to weep by the girl – “I see the devil & impurity around you and you are the daughter of pious people. Tears because his heart was soft. John the short
Ministry very few words. Girl frightened & repented with tears– asked for help to leave that place as wanted to repent thoroughly. On the way to convent she needed rest – she had gone to heaven – He asked re her eternity & voice “she was accepted/cleansed completely from the minute she began to repent” John the short
Don’t always need to die! However very few words needed in those circs Many of people who repented wanted to be worshippers Because Spirit who released them was the spirit of worship This is the church of Christ – gates of Hades cant stand before her & captives released Where are we re this? John the short
EF learned the meaning of ministering to God and of doing ministry of liturgy before Him like the angels Main difference between their worship and ours today Result – the church has lost important part of it’s spiritual heritage -> is weak & paralysed Power of prayer from liturgea cant be expressed in term s of power & authority Conclusions
Practical suggestions – (re busy lives) Set apart 2 hours in an evening once a week to go before the Lord Best to take all prayer tools – book of praise – book of prayer – phrases in our notebook/journal Romans 8:26 – start to call on HS to help you learn the liturgea. Start to do different things – at the beginning wont have clear leading but don’t give up
Persevere – even if hard to do 2 hours & have finished everything in 1 hour. HS will see I insist in being with Him – He will draw near & teach me – then He will begin to show me my liturgea I will love it and practice it every day (not able to wait a week!) Pressured time will be sufficient – don’t know how Then will have taken my place as a priest practically. Practical suggestions – (re busy lives)