Prayer Can Move Mountains

"Then the angel took the censer,
filled it with fire from the altar,
and hurled it to earth;
and there came peals of thunder, rumblings,
flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
Revelation 8:5
Tuesday was Remembrance Day in Israel and today Israel celebrates their 60th Anniversary. The Jerusalem Post reports that "since 1860, when the first Jewish settlers began establishing Jewish neighborhoods outside the Jerusalem city walls, 22,437 men and women have been killed in defense of the Land of Israel. "

My bible study yesterday started with verses from from Ezekiel chapter 38, which is the story of the "Battle of Gog and Magog" and Acts Chapter 16, the story of "Paul and Silas" who were arrested and jailed. The words that stood out in both these stories were" Earthquake, Prayer, Place of Prayer, Israel, future and the city of Thyatira."

We've all heard the popular expression that “prayer can move mountains" but I never made the connection until yesterday that God's word meant it literally!

"When Gog Attacks There Shall Be
A Great Earthquake in the Land"
Ezekiel 38: 17-20
"'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.
Note: Absolutely no mention of prayer is made here in this chapter only that their will be a great earthquake in the land and that when this happen it will be felt around the world.
Yet, common sense tells me that when the battle of Gog and Magog occurs and the Sovereign Lord's wrath reigns down upon Israel's enemies that fateful day; it's probably in answer to millions of people praying at once to be saved by the Almighty.

Paul and Silas Are Jailed in Thyatira
Freed by Earthquake
Acts 16: 14-34

One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.2

When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.

"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and every body's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!

"The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family.

To the Angel
of the Church in Thyatira

(the Prosperous Church)
Revelation 2:18-29

"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come.

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-- 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'-- just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Life Application Bible Study Notes

Thyatira was a working man's town, with many trade guilds for cloth making, dyeing, and pottery. Lydia, Paul's first convert in Philippi, was a merchant from Thyatira. The city was basically secular, with no focus on any particular religion. The believers of Thyatira were commended for growing their good deeds. We should not feel satisfied when our church only rejoices in the salvation of its members or in the comfort of gathering for worship. We should grow in love, faith and acts of service. Because the times are critical, we must spend our days wisely and faithfully.

A woman at this church was teaching that immorality was not a serious matter for believers. Her name may have been Jezebel, or John may have used the name to symbolize the kind of evil she was promoting. Jezebel, a pagan queen of Israel, was consider the most evil woman who ever lived. Sexual immorality has tremendous power to destroy families, churches, and communities because it destroys the integrity of which these relationships are built. God wants to protect us from hurting ourselves and others, thus we are to have no part in sexual immorality, even if our culture accepts it.
The Golden Censer of Prayer
is hurled on the Earth
Revelation 8: 1-6

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. ..."

Life Application Bible Study Notes

A censer filled with live coals was used in temple worship. Incense was poured on the coals, and the sweet smelling smoke drifted upwards, symbolizing believers' prayers ascended to God (see Exodus 30:7-9)

The trumpet blasts have three purposes: (1) to warn that judgment is certain, (2) to call the forces of good and evil to battle and (3) to announce the return of the King, the Messiah. These warnings urge us to make sure our faith is firmly fixed on Christ

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