City of Detroit, people of God, this lesson will be introducing to us information on the traditions of the Fathers of Israel, the importance of those traditions or customs at that time and those things which God through His Spirit has for us.
The term Ha-Kotel, meaning The Wall, or the Western Wall is the holiest of sites in Judaism, and is located in Jerusalem’s historic and sacred Old City. For centuries, Europeans called this wall the Jerusalem Wailing Wall because this is where Jews would gather to lament (weep and wail) the loss of their temple. Today, Wailing Wall is a rarely used term. See http://www.destination360.com/middle-east/Israel/wailing-wall.
The lost temple is the Second Temple (or Temple Mount). The first temple was built by Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BC. It housed the Ark of the Covenant and the Ten Commandment tablets. The second temple was completed by King Herod in 516 BC, and was destroyed by Romans in 70 AD. Both temples were enclosed, as was the practice, by the Jerusalem Wailing Wall and other walls.
It is an age-old tradition to write prayers on bits of paper and stuff them in the cracks between the Western Wall stones. See http://www.destination360.com/middle-east/Israel/wailing-wall.
Why are these traditions important? Why do we mention the traditions here in this lesson?
This segment is addressed here to inform us that the traditions of the fathers were fine. Customs and traditions of men will continue. However, our customs, traditions, methods or rituals of worship have less to do with the Living God than we might believe. Why do we say this?
Jesus came to introduce the Father, the Spirit of God, to the children. Christ lived His Holy life performing miracles as the work of the Father in Heaven to let men know that each of us, every individual, can have a similar personal relationship with the Father. Moreover, God will assign His Love in our lives as an added quality or gift to comfort us. Much like the other gifts that he has given us. It is the greatest gift of all. This is an everlasting connection with the Living God, which is the Holy Ghost or Spirit of Truth. This Spirit or Comforter, was designed and intended to be a gift given as an everlasting promise from the Kingdom of God.
Finally, our lives here are a preview of that which He ultimately has in reserve for us. We can seek anything great. We can desire or accomplish anything here that we want. God will assist us in obtaining it. All He wants is the glory, honor and praise in our lives.
Explanation of Customs and Traditions. Customs are only important to the one who performs or possesses them. Traditions are similarly only relevant to the person who seeks to keep them. However, to God, customs and traditions are irrelevant. God is a Spirit. The Spirit of Truth is the quality of God, the Character of God. We are given this righteousness as a gift. It is imputed or assigned to us through the forgiveness of sins.
Notice Matthew 6: 4-8:
4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Explanation of Fasting (which is a custom or tradition)
Notice Matthew 6:16- 18 :
16Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Our customs or traditions are not recognized by God. We appear before God in Spirit. Wash your face, lift up your head. Trust and travel through your life with great joy. God is with us in Spirit and in truth.
Finally ask, seek, knock. By promise all things are made for us as they were for Him according to His will.
Notice first Matthew 7:7 then John 1:3 :
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Customs or Traditions may change. Customs or Traditions may endure centuries. But the concept is the same.
We should appear before God in Spirit (secret)(or hidden location) and place our most earnest desires in that secret place. Then leave them there and live your life trusting that God, by His Character, will answer us and assist us by adding that which we need. For this is the Kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33.
In conclusion, the prayers of the righteous availeth much, meaning the prayers of those who possess the qualities given of God (The Righteousness of God) assigned to us through (The Holy Ghost or Spirit of Truth), are of value or of a benefit to them . God prepared this system which is the government of His Kingdom. This is the government of our lives.
To be continued. . .