Well, What Do You Expect?

There is a place in Death Valley known as Dante's View. From this perch, you have a choice. You can either look down 200 feet to the lowest hole in the US, a place called "Black Water." Or you can look up 14,500 feet to see Mount Whitney -- the highest peak in the US. From Dante's View, you can choose to feast your eyes on the highest or the lowest. It's your pick.

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

Ps 61:1.  Hear my cry, O Elohim; attend unto my voice. 2.  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  3.  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.  4.  I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.  5.  For thou, O Elohim, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.  6.  Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.  7.  He shall abide before Elohim forever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.  8.  So will I sing praise unto thy name forever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Acts 3:1-2 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o'clock in the afternoon. {2} And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple.

Prayer Changes Things

"Hour of prayer" sets the kairos timing of the whole story – it was the appointed time to pray.  The man is a lame beggar - begging a type of prayer.  No "welfare" then; he prayed (asked alms) only for "daily bread."  He asked because he had a desperate need, and asked specifically in expectation of receiving something.  It was customary for people in those days to give alms.  This situation described in the Scripture is a prelude or a set-up for an unusual work of Grace.

   We need to ask alms of the Father.  Do you know His phone number? It's Jeremiah 33:3:

Call to me and I will answer you; I will tell you the wonderful and marvelous things you know nothing about. When they hear about the good things I'll do for the people and the prosperity I'll bring, you will hear again the shouts of joy and gladness. You will hear people sing as they bring offerings to my temple. They will say,  "Give thanks to the Yahweh Elohim because he is good and his love is eternal." (I paraphrased it.)

This passage reminds us that we can't always expect Yahweh to respond to our prayer in ways we conceive. His ways are higher than our ways, and his answers are always more abundant than we can expect.

 

Answers to Prayer Require High Expectation

When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, the beggar asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.

There was eye contact here between the apostles and the beggar.  The Father tells us "Look to Me" when we pray. Often we don't. We don't pray with much expectation of receiving – we are often distracted and fall into deplorable “prayer ruts.” 

There is a place in Death Valley known as Dante's View. From this perch, you have a choice. You can either look down 200 feet to the lowest hole in the US, a place called "Black Water." Or you can look up 14,500 feet to see Mount Whitney -- the highest peak in the US. From Dante's View, you can choose to feast your eyes on the highest or the lowest. It's your pick.

It's exactly the same with our prayer.  Maybe our prayer isn't answered because our expectation level is down there in Black Water rather than in the lofty peaks of Yahweh's providence.  It seems that when we aren't looking into the face of Yahweh for the answer  -- when we are not expecting much -- then Yahweh grants us exactly what we expect -- not much.  So when it comes to needs, we should be expectantly willing to "Lift our eyes to the hills, from whence cometh our salvation."  For it is the expectation of Yahweh's answer that ushers in the unusual.  Ask yourself – “How high is my expectation level when I ask alms of Yahweh?” 

 

Yahweh's Blessing Is a Better Answer Than Any We Might Imagine

But Peter said, "I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Yahshua Messiah of Nazareth, stand up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising Yahweh.

"I don't have money."  Why didn’t he?  Peter should have had some, but he didn’t because he had given it all away.  It wasn’t important to him anymore.  "I don’t have money, but I have authority in Yahweh through the name of Yahshua."  When he makes this confession, four things quickly happen:  Peter commands the man to walk in the name of Yahshua; 2) Peter seized him and pulls him up; 3) The man’s feet & ankles become strong; 4) Then is was a crowd reaction in the temple, for the beggar is now leaping and praising Yahweh Raphaim – the Yahweh that Healeth.

   Let's put this expectation now in terms of assembly renewal:  As the beggar was powerless in his lameness, we must know we are powerless to do Yahshua’s work in our own strength.  As the beggar continually asked alms we must be praying seriously and without ceasing for grace and authority.  As the beggar looked expectantly into the faces of the Apostles, we must be seeking Yahweh's face with absolute expectation: that means keeping his commandments.  As Peter commanded the beggar to walk Yahweh will speak to us in anticipation of an answer.  Some Bible teachers call this insight the rhema word.  (More properly, the hrema word.)  As Peter seized the beggar and raised him up, Yahweh may seize us in an unusual way to bring about an answer.  As the beggar's feet and ankles received strength, we will receive an answer that we did not necessarily expect.  And as the beggar entered the temple leaping and praising Yahweh, we must be willing to witness about a wonderful blessing.

   Again, ask yourself – “How high is my expectation level when I ask alms of Yahweh?  What am I willing to do with the gift that Father bestows in answer to my plea.”   

We Do the Praying, But Do We Do the Seizing?

   Here's a true story that illustrates all these characteristics of answered prayer that led to revival:

 In 1965, there was a severe drought in Santa Rosa, Guatemala. Businesses were going bankrupt. Crops were perishing. Animals were dying. People were leaving. Special efforts were made to bring water in, but it was scarce everywhere. Assemblyes held special masses and prayer meetings but there was no rain and no water.

  Then in a small Pentecostal meeting Yahweh spoke. There was a message in tongues, followed by the interpretation: "Dig a well in the pastor's backyard. There you will find water." (Why a Pentecostal assembly? No other would allow Yahweh to speak in a scriptural way.) Though there was much opposition from other assemblyes the Pentecostals began to dig. It was thought that these people were fanatics or lunatics -- especially when they saw that the pastor's backyard was on a hill. Wells are not dug on hills, for water runs low. But the group continued to dig.

   One of the deacons became upset. "Why is it in the pastor's backyard?" he asked. "Why couldn't it be in mine?" An elder thought that maybe the prophecy was false. One deacon gave up, then another. But still the group pressed on. The ground was hard and dry, so the digging progressed slowly. On the fourth day, they encountered a boulder. It was so large that they thought they had hit solid rock. Disappointment was intensified as another elder left the shoveling team.

   But they kept digging around the boulder until finally, after two more days, they were able to remove it. As they did, a gush of water came forth. It poured, and they drank and drank. It was a remarkable sign for the whole town.  The number of conversions to Messiah was staggering. Assembly membership grew from a few dozen to over 900 that same year.

   You’ll notice that in this story, besides the praying, authority was taken.  There was a great deal of “seizing” and “raising up.”  This effort came in the form of shoveling.  Often, effort made is a sign of great sincerity on our part and it doesn’t go without heavenly or earthly notice.  Besides, practice makes perfect.  A minister must do ministry.  A prayer must do praying.  And must continue in doing … praying … healing … ministering, while claiming the authority that is rightfully placed. 

   Oh yes, there is the listening.  This is how the situation of the lame beggar was identified.  There were probably twenty beggars at the beautiful gate.  How do I know this?  Because the gate was beautiful.  That’s where I would want to be beg – in a beautiful place.  And it’s a beautiful place when we hear the Father’s instruction on what we should do or how we should pray.  And we would hear him if we would listen more. 

   Have you ever been to a Quaker meeting?  They just sit around the room quietly listening.  Then when someone hears from on high, he gets up and tells everyone what he heard.

 

When the Answers Come, All Will Know

   All the people saw him walking and praising Yahweh, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Isn’t it wonderful that people recognized this lame beggar, now healed?  People were amazed and wondered about what had happened. Whatever he had received, they wanted some! As the multitude saw and heard testimony of what had happened, revival broke out.  When Yahweh moves in healing or answering or revival as a response to fervent, expectant prayer, there will be little need for programs or anything else to stir up interest in the assembly. People will start turning up because they are interested in the Father. Is that too much to expect?  We know it is not too much to expect because we have received answers to prayer in our lives.  He answers those little things that are important to us and take up our prayer time.    Don’t you think that if His Kingdom Come was as important to us as our own needs, it would now be here?  I imagine so.

   Today the healing of the beggar at the beautiful gate is known by millions and has become not just a local event in history lost, but also a global event in the teaching of expectant prayer.  We’ve had our expectant prayers answered on a local level; maybe now it’s time to launch out on the global scale, touching large, important issues to see what expectant prayer can accomplish.  Only Heaven knows what we could accomplish on a global scale, though we be a tiny group in a tiny corner.

Jackson Snyder, August 19, 1997