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The power of prayer is not in the one who is praying but in the one who hears and answers our prayers.

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The seal mark discovered in Jerusalem (Eilat Mazar/Biblical Archaeological Society)

Feb 23, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall

Archaeologists in Israel may have stumbled upon a major biblical discovery: a clay seal mark bearing the signature of the prophet Isaiah. The 2,700-year-old stamped clay artifact was discovered at the base of the southern wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount during an excavation. A seal stamp like this, also called a bulla, was used in antiquity to authenticate documents.

“We found the eighth-century B.C.E. seal mark that may have been made by the prophet Isaiah himself only 10 feet away from where we earlier discovered the highly-publicized bulla of King Hezekiah of Judah,” said Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in a statement regarding the artifact, which was found among undisturbed Iron Age remains outside an ancient royal bakery.

The half-inch wide, oval-shaped piece of clay is inscribed with the name Yesha’yah[u] (Isaiah) in ancient Hebrew script. The name is followed by the word nvy, the end of which is slightly damaged. As a result, experts do not know whether the word ended with the Hebrew letter aleph, a seemingly minor detail that makes all the difference in determining to whom the seal really belonged.

The presence of an aleph “would have resulted in the Hebrew word for ‘prophet’ and would have definitively identified the seal as the signature of the prophet Isaiah,” explained Dr. Mazar. “The absence of this final letter, however, requires that we leave open the possibility that it could just be the name Navi.”

“The name of Isaiah, however, is clear,” she added.

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William H. Curtis, senior pastor of the 10,000-member Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has drawn major criticism after his $230,000 Bentley Bentayga SUV was photographed outside the church.

“If ya pastor driving a Bentley truck … he’s sucking ur community dry with hope and tithes,” wrote Jarrell Taylor in a Facebook post sharing his photograph of the Bentayga in a parking space outside the church reserved for the pastor.

While the pastor’s assistant acknowledged that the church had received many reactions to the pastor’s vehicle, she reported to the Christian Post that a response would not be likely.

According to the church’s website, Curtis has served as the senior pastor at Mount Ararat Baptist Church since 1997 and is also an instructor at the United Theological Seminary in Ohio and co-owner of The Church Online, a technology and full-service marketing firm.

Under Curtis’ guidance, the church participates in a Community Tithe Program, which returns more than 10 percent of the congregation’s weekly offerings to other small churches, para-church ministries, and nonprofit organizations.

Samuel Cruz, associate professor of Religion & Society at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, shared with The Christian Post on Friday that “the Gospel was good news to the poor and I don’t know how owning a Bentley that’s worth $230,000 contributes in any way to the furtherance of the Kingdom and also how that could be justified.”

“To own a car that expensive you have to be among the top 10 percent of income earners or even higher of these United States of America, and I can’t consider how preaching could lead someone to so much wealth,” Cruz continued.

Noting that Curtis also earns income from his marketing firm, Cruz added that “at a minimum, I think that for a pastor to go to his church in a car that is worth twice the median of what homes are worth in his neighborhood, it shows me that this person has no common sense.”

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“A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life.”

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon to a group of pastors…

“Your work, brethren, is to set your church on fire…Keep up the fire within, and add fresh fuel to give a more fervent heat.”

“The Love of Christ is my prayer book”

~ Gerhard Tersteegen (quoted in The Hidden Life of Prayerby D.M. M’Intyre

“Theirs is an endless road, a hopeless maze, who seek for goods before they seek for God.”

~ Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), On Loving God

Bernard of Clairvaux - Gutenburg - 13206.jpg

“How we have prayed for a Revival – we did not care whether it was old-fashioned or not – what we asked for was that it should be such that would cleanse and revive His children and set them on fire to win others.

~ Mary Booth

“Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones… Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”

~ Andrew Bonar

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