We see this passionate anger in the heart of the Son of God, because the temple had ceased to be what it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a house of prayer, but he said you've made it a den of thieves. The leaders had actually stolen from the people the presence of God.
That was the thievery. We read about Jesus rebuking a fig tree, and then later we discover that Jesus enters the temple courts and drives out those who were buying and selling. In today's message, Carter will explain how both of these seemingly unrelated events are connected to the gift of prayer, because the ultimate arrogance in the house of God is prayerlessness. Let's find out more as we join Carter with his message titled, The Passionate Anger of God. I think that people are just now waking up to the reality of the depth of the fight that we are really in for the future. We're fighting for the future of our children. We're fighting for freedom itself. And this battle can't be won apart from prayer, an intervention of God.
So you're on good ground, and I want to really encourage you, don't give up the fight. I agree with what was said here today. The prayer meeting is the most pivotal and important meeting in the house of God. Jesus never said it is written my house shall be called a house of preaching.
He said it should be called a house of prayer, a place where we petition God. And I'm hoping that I can unlock something to you that just might help you and I, all of us, in our approach to God. I want to talk to you today about the passionate anger of God. The passionate anger of God. Now when we think of the passionate anger of God, we generally think about sin. You know that God is angry against sin and sinners every day, but that's not where I'm going. This is about prayer. And there's something about prayer, or the lack of it, that brings out this passionate anger in the heart of God. Mark chapter 11, if you have your Bible with you. I've been studying something in the scriptures for a few months now, and it's a study that really, it's a teaching on prayer, that Jesus was not expressly saying so, but he was teaching his disciples something about prayer.
That if we can lay hold of this, it can change our whole perspective on what it means to come into the presence of God and lay our petitions before him. Now in Mark chapter 11, it says Jesus went into, in verse 11, into Jerusalem and into the temple, and when he looked around on all things, as the hour was late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. Now the next day when they came out from Bethany, he was hungry, and seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, he went to see if perhaps he would find something on it.
When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response, Jesus said to it, let no one eat fruit from you ever again, and his disciples heard it. Now the disciples are describing this particular interaction with a tree from their perspective. They assume that he was hungry, and I think the assumption is probably correct. I'm assuming he was more hungry for fellowship with you and I than with a fig tree, than with some fruit on a fig tree.
Now remember in Genesis 3.7, when Adam and Eve bit into the theological lie that you can be as God is without God, and you can become the judges of what is good and what is evil. When they lost, I believe they were naked and didn't know it because they had the Shekinah glory covering them. Just like Moses when he came down from the mountain, the glory of God was all over his countenance. He had been in the presence of God. When they lost the glory of God because of sin in the Garden of Eden, what did they cover themselves with?
The broad leaves. I can just imagine how ridiculous Adam and Eve must have looked. You once had the glory of God, and now they're standing there and they probably took these broad leaves and made hats for themselves and skirts. They would have looked totally ridiculous, and that's what humankind looks like when we think that we can be godly without God.
We can cover ourselves in man-made robes and all of these things that in the sight of a holy God and every heavenly being ever created, they must look thoroughly ridiculous. They assumed he was hungry because he approached the tree. I have a problem with their assumption because he's an omniscient God. He knows this tree has nothing on it. He has to know or he's not omniscient or he doesn't know all things. Secondarily, it was not the season for figs, so he should have known that himself just being raised in the area he would have known.
To approach this tree, it would not have any fruit on it. I think it just represents the initial stages of prayer when we stand up and curse those things in our lives that offered us satisfaction, but there is no satisfaction. They offered us nourishment, and there is no nourishment. And that's the way our prayers start in the kingdom of God. It's all about me, myself, and I. We come into the house of God and we recognize that in alcohol there's nothing but captivity there.
Relationships don't satisfy. These former fig trees, may I put it this way, that we once went to looking for sustenance and looking for hope, we now know what they are. They're just deceptive trees.
And so the beginning of our prayers is more or less standing and taking authority over these things. May I put it that way? You will deceive me no more. Whatever you were, whatever this thing was, that maybe it's your career, whatever it was that got a hold of your life in the fallen state of humanity, and you believed that this was going to offer you satisfaction, you now know that it's fruitless. And just as Jesus did, now I don't believe that God is so petty that he just curses a tree that he should have known that there's no fruit on it.
No, he's teaching something. He says, no one eat fruit from you henceforth and forever again. And you and I did that in our lives. There are certain things in our lives that deceived us, all of us. And then when we came to Christ, we took a stand in prayer against those things and say, you will deceive me no more. I will never eat fruit from you again.
I will never go back to that fountain of deception thinking that somehow this thing is going to satisfy. The most satisfaction I will ever know in life comes from a living relationship with the living God. From there, from cursing the fig tree, he goes into Jerusalem and he went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And he would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. And then he taught them, saying to them, is it not written my house shall be called a house of prayer of all nations, but you have made it a den of thieves? This is where we see the passionate anger of God. It's the only place I see in the New Testament where you see Christ actually becoming angry. Elsewhere in the scriptures, it tells us he made a scourge of cords. This was this was not a calm moment in the temple. He's overthrowing tables.
He's he's he's hitting animals and probably money changers and driving them out. There are temple guards there that were there for the purpose of protecting the money changers and such like and all of the money they're making from the system of religion they had concocted. But nobody dared to raise a hand against them. It must have been I'd love to see this when I get to heaven in the video section.
I'm going to go there. I want to see that because there must have been a fury that arose in the Son of God that scared everybody. Even the guards carrying swords would not raise their hand. They would have had this sense. I'm going to if I do something, I'm going to die.
And they're right. They would have died. Most likely when God gets angry, get out of the way. When God is angry, nobody can stand in the presence of God. And we see this passionate anger in the heart of the Son of God because the temple had ceased to be what it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a house of prayer, but he said, you've made it a den of thieves. The thievery is not necessarily the money changers. We don't expect them to always be honest or the prices being proffered for cattle and doves and all the other things and goats that they were selling for the sacrifices. The thievery is that because the house had ceased to be a place of prayer, the leaders had actually stolen from the people the presence of God. That was the thievery. And I happen to believe in my heart that every church that has no permitting is a den of thieves.
I'll say it straight out and make no apology for it. We steal from the people the presence of God. Now, in order to understand why this anger in the heart of the Son of God was so severe, I want you to go back to Second Chronicles, chapter six. It's when the original temple that stood on that foundation was built, given to the King David by the Holy Spirit, passed on to Solomon through his father, David. Solomon builds the temple and the temple is now built. Let's just pretend we're inside the temple. The temple is ornate. It's filled with gold.
It's designed by God for a specific purpose on the earth. Solomon is now dedicating the temple. He builds a brazen scaffold. He builds like a platform, stands or actually at one point kneels on the platform, raises his hands and begins to cry out to God in the dedication.
In Second Chronicles six, beginning at verse twelve, it says, Then Solomon stood at the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. Then he goes on. He begins to pray. And he says in verse 19, he said, Regard the prayer of your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry of the prayer which your servant is praying before you, that your eyes may be opened towards this temple day and night, towards the place where you said you would put your name, and that you may hear the prayer which your servant makes towards this place, and that you may hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray towards this place. Hear from heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. Then he goes on and talks about the types of prayer that God would answer, or he's asking God to answer certain types of prayer in that temple.
I'm just going to scan it for time's sake. If anyone sins against his neighbor, and he says if somebody has sinned and they come into the temple and be the one who determines who is righteous and who is wicked when they stretch out their hands before you, if your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they've sinned against you and they return and confess your name and pray and make supplication before you in this temple, hear from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land which you gave them and their fathers. If we're defeated, when the heavens are shut up and there's no rain because they've sinned against you, when they pray towards this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you afflict them, hear from heaven, forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel and teach them the good way which they should walk and send rain on your land which you've given to your people as an inheritance.
He goes on, he says when there's famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, when the enemies are besieging them in the land of their cities, does that not describe America today? Whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone or by all your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief and spreads out his hands in this temple, hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and give everyone according to his ways whose heart you know, that they may fear you to walk in your ways as long as they live in the land which you gave to our fathers. Then he goes on, he says now concerning a foreigner who's not of your people Israel but has come from a far place for the sake of your great name and your mighty head and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray in this temple, hear from heaven and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you for, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you as do your people Israel. When your people go out to battle against their enemies, when you send them and they pray towards the city which you have chosen and the temple which I have built for your name, hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication and maintain their cause and when they sin against you for there's no one who does not sin and you become angry with them and they're delivered to the enemy and they take them captive to a land far or near, yet they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive and repent and make supplication to you in the land of their captivity saying we have sinned, we've done wrong, we've committed wickedness.
When they return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity where they've been carried captive and pray towards this land which you gave to their fathers, the city which you've chosen and towards the temple which I've built for your name, then hear from heaven your dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you. Now my God I pray let your eyes be open and let your ears be attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. And chapter 7 verse 1 says when Solomon had finished praying the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Then it goes on and this is where it gets very very interesting because up to this point it's now Solomon praying to God. Now God has, he's heard this prayer because his presence has filled the temple but in verse 12 it says then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night. The Lord appeared to Solomon, not just a voice in his heart but the Lord himself.
He appears to Solomon by night and said to him I've heard your prayer and I've chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven that there is no rain or command the locusts to devour the land or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray. You know the ultimate arrogance in the house of God is prayerlessness. Prayerlessness is telling God we don't need you, we don't need you. We can do this Lord, we've got this down, we've got the program down, we know how to do this.
Well a fine job we've done in America haven't we? Look at our society, how can you lay the blame for the mess of this country anywhere but at the doorstep of the house of God? There are 120 people in the upper room completely yielded to God in prayer and through those people eventually even the nation of Rome bent its knee to Christ at one point in measure at least anyway. But yet we've got churches on every block in America and we don't even affect our communities anymore.
Does anybody have the courage to stop the parade now and just say something might be wrong, maybe the emperor has no clothes? There's a point where we just we're not condemning ourselves or each other we just say let's just stop this thing and let's just go back. I always tell the kids in our Bible school when all else fails read the instructions.
It's all here, read the instructions. So the Lord appears to Solomon and said I've heard your prayer and I chose this place for myself as the house of sacrifice. So when I shut up heaven that there's no rain if I command the locusts to devour the land or send pestilence among my people, if my people 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 forgive their sin and heal their land. Now he says my eyes will be open and my ears attentive or listening to the prayer made in this place. For now I've chosen and sanctified this house that my name may be there forever and my eyes and my heart will be perpetually there.
That's amazing. He says I've heard you, I've chosen this place, this is to be a house of prayer and when the people come in I will actually forgive them. I will turn back their captivity, I will answer their prayers, I will be there for the stranger.
I'll be God to you and you'll be my people when people come before me and pray. Now the same God, the same God that appeared to Solomon now comes into the temple that's on the foundation of this original house and an anger comes into his heart. He makes a scourge of chords and it must have been a fierce moment drives the whole thing out of the house of God and say is it not written? The house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations but you've made it a den of thieves. You see in this scenario the passion in God's heart to answer prayer.
That's what it comes down to. You know quite often we think prayer is you and I getting the right phrases to actually move the hand and heart of a reluctant God somewhere off in the cosmos. And we don't understand the passion in God's heart.
It's much deeper than the passion in our heart. That's where the only place in the New Testament where the tangible anger of God is displayed through Jesus Christ. The fury of God and if I may paraphrase for Jesus, if I may be permitted to do that, He's saying I wanted to answer the prayer of the people but you stole my presence from them by making this a prayerless house. I wanted to be God. I wanted to bring them home when they're captivated, when they find themselves in a place that's far away from my kingdom and my purpose. I wanted to bring them home. I wanted to fight against their enemies. I wanted to provide for their families. I wanted to make the crooked places straight.
I wanted to bring the lofty places down. I wanted to be God and I wanted my name to be brought to reputation through my people. But you stole from them the source of their life, the source of their strength, the source of their power. As a matter of fact, God's saying you stole something from me when you cease to pray.
The passion of my heart. You see, when you see God this way, it changes everything. When you see He's not sitting there in a throne with His arms folded saying if you get the right phrase or you pray long enough, maybe I'll answer you.
No, He's actually leaning forward. My eyes and my heart will be there perpetually. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, 365 days a year, I will be leaning forward, listening and waiting for your prayer. Waiting for you to ask me to bring your children home. Waiting for you to ask me to restore your marriage. Waiting for you to ask me to heal your land. Waiting, waiting. I'll be waiting for you to come and ask because I desire to be your God.
As much as you desire to be even more than you desire to be my people. So now, after throwing out all of this stuff that's going on in the house, in the temple at this time. In the morning they passed by and they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots and Peter remembering said, Rabbi, look, the fig tree which you cursed has withered away. So Jesus answering said to him, have faith in God. For verily I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done. He will have whatever he asks.
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them. That's either true or it's a lie. You can't have it two ways. These are red letters in my Bible that means they were spoken by the mouth of Jesus. It's either true or it's a lie.
You can't have it two ways. When we're praying according to the will of God, when the will of God is understood, when the passion in God's heart to be God to us is fully known. He says when you stand, of course, we understand that's praying according to the will of God. Now that the disciples are really they're really taken with the fig tree. It's just this little tree. And the next day they say, look, the tree you cursed is dried up from the roots. It's sort of like these things that were once in our lives when we took authority, when we believe God, they lost their power over us.
Whether it's alcohol or anger or drugs or depression or whatever it is that was a governing factor, offered hope and brought you into captivity. It doesn't take long, in a sense, in the beginnings for those things to be cursed when we stand against them in the name of Jesus. But I find it interesting that Jesus doesn't really even talk about the fig tree anymore.
He immediately moves their attention to the mountain. Now, the fig tree is one form of deception. The only mountain in the area is Jerusalem. It's an entire system of deception. It's a whole manmade thing that is deceiving the people of that part of the world at that time. And he's basically talking about Jerusalem when he speaks to if you've ever been there.
Jerusalem is the only mountain in the area. Whoever speaks to this mountain is not just a deception in your own life. The fig tree. We've got to move beyond fig trees to mountains now in our generation. We've got to move beyond the things that we've gotten free of. Thank God for that. To what the whole of our generation needs to be set free from. I spend a lot of my time now praying, God, give us a mercy moment. I don't know if the nation can be saved.
I mean, with God, all things are possible. But it's not about saving a nation or a way of life. It's about people. It's about our children.
It's about the future. The devil always goes after the children. You notice that throughout scriptural history always. And we're now the devil is in full flight against our children in this generation. But it's time now for the people of God, for those of us who know how to pray or at least have an inkling about how to pray.
When he appeared to Solomon at night, he said, I will do these things. My eyes will be open and my heart will be there. And I will be listening for this prayer. That's why I'm so thankful for you. I'm so thankful for this gathering.
I'm so thankful that you desire to pray. Believe God. Die. If you're going to die, die on the side of the mountains. Don't die where the fig trees are. Die on the side of the mountains. Begin to pray. And whatever he tells you to do, do that.
That's what we do. And when we begin to move with God, miracles start happening. Doors start opening.
People start coming into freedom. So, Father, I just want to thank you, Lord, for just one more time. Just opening your word and speaking to each one of our hearts, God, in a way that that only you can.
Oh, Jesus Christ, have mercy on this generation. We ask you, Lord, to move this mountain of godlessness and cast it into the sea. We ask you for a spiritual awakening in America, one perhaps one last time before you return to this earth.
Oh, God, Lord, we thank you. We thank you, God, that even though it looks hopeless, we have the precedence in all throughout scriptural history and hopeless moments. God, when you sent miracles, you delivered your people. God, remember the prayers that were prayed by your saints in this country. Remember the moms and dads that have cried out to you over the 400 years we've been a nation. Remember the pilgrims who cried out, said, Lord, you gave us a promise. Remember your promise to them, oh, God, and don't let it be stolen from this generation by the powers of darkness that want to eradicate the testimony of Christ in the earth. Oh, Jesus Christ, we ask you for a touch of heaven that will stun us. We ask you for your hand to move in power in such a way we never anticipated it. Lord Jesus, we thank you, God, that we can recognize today that we are limited in what we can do, but because of you, Lord, all things are still possible in our time.
God, thank you. Thank you for joining us this week for A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information, log on to tsc.nyc. That's tsc.nyc. You can count on a powerful message each week on A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-04 07:35:41 / 2022-12-04 07:45:59 / 10