One fascinating part of a trip to Israel is a walk through what is known as the "Rabbi's Tunnel" along the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. As our group marveled at the stonework of Herod the Great and wondered how he managed to move stones of such size, a group of local people hastened past us along the wall. Since they obviously were not tourists, I wondered what their hurry was. We soon found out.
At a particular grotto along the wall, they had gathered to pray, read and chant. This spot was, in traditional thinking, the closest place a Jew could come to the location of the Holy of Holies of past temple days. Their service blocked our progress but broke just enough for us to get through. The moment awakened my thinking about the hopelessness of their cause and the glory of the Mercy Seat.
The most important feature of the Tabernacle and the Temple was the Ark of the Covenant and the most important feature of that glorified box was the Mercy Seat. That piece of furniture with its promise was the hub around which sacrifices and other rituals occurred.
In their focus on the Law, no one seemed to truly notice that the center of all their hope and worship was the Mercy Seat.until Jesus came and began to explain the very nature of God the Father.
Jesus berated the unloving Pharisees for not understanding mercy. Had they understood mercy, they would not have killed the prophets. The release of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 embarrassed the Pharisees. The healings (so many done on the Sabbath) infuriated them. He accuses them of keeping minor matters of the Law scrupulously while forgetting the weightier matters such as mercy. He encourages them to go and study mercy. The story of the prodigal son illustrates the mercy of a father over and over. The cries of a blind man begging for mercy stopped Jesus in his tracks. Jesus was a walking illustration of the Father, "full of grace and truth."
The careless handling of life and the Ark of the Covenant finally resulted in its loss, probably at the time of the captivity of Nebuchadnezar. However, Jesus drove the final nail into the coffin of temple worship when he declared "Your house has been left desolate." No more could they look to the Temple as a place where Mercy could be found. Indeed, the very nature of God is Mercy. By his own voice in Exodus 34:6 he made that clear.
This brings up the joy of this article. True, the Temple and the Ark were gone and desolate, but the Mercy Seat was not lost. Indeed, now it was permanent and imminently approachable. Hebrews even exhorts us to "come boldly to the throne of grace (Mercy Seat) to find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 5) No longer is mercy a once-a-year limited access moment, but is available as needed, not to the sweet and deserving, but to whoever needs it, in other words, to everyone. Awesome. Jesus finished all the sacrifices with his obedience unto death so that Mercy could take its rightful place at the center of our lives.
What more do I need to know? What more could I ask for? This is the throne at which I bow, the truth around which I wrap my being, the action of God that holds my heart in its hand. Finally, it is the stuff of the Church. The one thing uniquely ours in this vicious world is mercy. Let us hold it tightly and give it freely.
— Gayle D. Erwin
Servant Quarters, Vol. 20 #1
Published about six times a year.
Available by request.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
United States media, desperate to hide truth when it appears religiously tainted, failed to tell us the truth about the new radical Hindu party ruling India. At least we know that persecution of Christians has mushroomed. Murders occasionally make our papers, but only if they are murders of white Westerners, especially in Orissa, the poorest of Indian states.
At first, this seems surprising since, officially, India, like the United States is secular and grants religious freedom. But, now I give you the real story.
This new government is not a ground swell of popular sentiment, it is a desperate attempt by Hindu Brahmans, the upper caste 10% that considers themselves to be gods, to keep the lower castes subjected and subdued. If this is merely a push for political power, why the persecution of Christians?
The answer is simple: The message of the Gospel is most joyously received by the lower castes, a phenomenon readily deduced from the love of God for those out of favor. However, mere conversion would not bother the Hindu Brahmans since Hinduism is tolerant about religious belief. What twisted the Brahman noses was the fact that along with Christianity came education and prosperity, two items that the upper castes had carefully preserved for themselves and had studiously denied the lower castes.
The result is obvious. If this Gospel continues to give new hope to the downtrodden masses through education and enlightenment, they will have the power to vote a democracy that will destroy the enslaving caste system and upset the wealth/power/viciousness of the upper caste.
How so many sprig-haired young people of our generation have fallen prey to the Hare Krishna system amazes me. If you told them they supported slavery, they would probably be offended. Of course, they would all have to consider themselves Brahmans. Who, in his right mind would join a Hindu lower caste?
So, the Hindu caste system is simple slavery. Christ is freedom. Dare I say, "Go figure"?
These have been valuable lessons in who really deserves the glory. If we don't give him the ball we fail. A friend recently told me that if you think God is really calling you to do something, then go do it for HIS glory and you'll always be on track.
This morning when I awoke, my mind was still savoring those precious days at Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale. Then I came to this appreciation and pondered if I should express it. After I got out of bed, my husband Billy woke up. I told him I couldn't sleep and that I was getting on the internet. I told him I thought about e-mailing you to thank you and he confirmed my doing so. He said that he too wanted to e-mail you.
He said yesterday while he listened to your tapes he became deeply thankful for your being so faithful and never tiring of the message that the Lord has burned on your heart to share with all of us.
Now that leads me to my thanks; please forgive me, I can get flowery and mushy; but this is what my heart was impressed with. Pastor Gayle thank you so much for going to churches when they are so small. You brought to us a message tough and tasteless to the depth of our selfish pride and made it as sweet and smooth as pudding. You know what babies the leadership in a young church can be in the Lord and you spoon fed us.
Our Lord was so good to protect us from the stench of seeking position or recognition before it could ever overpower us. Don't get me wrong I do get disgusted with myself. But you have armed us with the weapons we need to fight that wicked and deceitful part of hearts when it rears it's ugly head.
I thank God for you and the message He has given you. And I thank God for Bob Coy fortifying these principles and for God giving him the wisdom to ask you to come and teach us how to be a servant. I was raised in a worldly, Catholic, big city, liberal family yet I feel like I've had the upbringing of one of the local Montreat missionary families. Thank you for sharing your deep understanding of Jesus Christ and thank you for taking such good care of us.
Francesca (and Billy) Osigian
Your ministry has really blessed both our marriage and family. In addition to The Jesus Style, I personally found both The Father Style and The Spirit Style to be incredibly insightful and fantastically presented. I have such a clearer focus now with the right lens in place.
Jay and Teresa Parkman
One year ago last August I learned that my old pastor, no disrespect on the age thing intended, was going to be visiting my church and doing a seminar on the nature of Christ. I was so excited to get to see you again. Now I have e-mail, courtesy of Jesus, so I can tell you how much my family and I enjoyed hearing you teach.
My name is Lisa Link, my maiden name is Wainscott. I'm Jim and Lornas' oldest daughter. It's amazing what God has done in your ministry. So many people are being touched. I got popular after you left because you used to be my pastor. Well I kinda' bragged about it a little. But that's okay. My small group watched the Nature of Jesus tapes soon after your visit. They were great. You are everything I remember. You were the first pastor I ever had that didn't yell when preaching God's word. Thanks for being so kind to my family.
Years ago you and your family lived at 1240 Londonderry St., Costa Mesa, CA. My parents, the Vanderwarker's happened to be your neighbors at 1234 Londonderry. (Picture this-The cigar smoking, grouchy old man who tinkered in his garage, my mom working in her garden, and many children.) Currently, my father is in a nursing home in the last stages of Alzheimer's disease.
I will tell you that, God, in his mercy and grace, allowed my father, in a lucid moment before his hospitalization, to let me know that he knew and believed in Jesus Christ! This was an incredible answer to many prayers and a comfort to know that he will be face to face with God when he's called home!
My mother, Dolores, has made a full commitment to Jesus and even has "Jesus loves you!" on her checks. She has blossomed as The Lord has expanded her borders! She visits my father everyday, is involved in the support group at the nursing home, and even ventures out on her own, which didn't happen much before.
We pray that God would continue to comfort our family and daily make Himself manifest to my Dad to comfort and assure him that he's not alone, even though he doesn't recognize any of his family anymore.
Thank you for having me see Jesus in a whole new and enriching light. Your message is powerful and gets to the heart. You have changed my life forever.
Terri and Keith Short
Dalette and I are still on a spiritual high after our tour of Israel with Servant Quarters. Your teachings at the various sites visited have caused us to thirst after God's word. The excitement we feel is like the excitement one feels when he or she first discovers the richness of knowing the Lord. The teachings at our local church and Christian radio come alive as we visualize the Holy sites which our tour took us to.
Chuck and Dalette Knight
Coos Bay, OR
If it were possible to demand, I would want every person to have a copy of the video set entitled God's Nature. This condenses the main message of The Nature of Jesus and The Nature of the Father and The Holy Spirit.
These are the messages that move hearts and adjust minds. These are the messages I am under contract with God to share. These are the ones I always deliver first when I am with a new audience. These are the ones that cause people to say, "I have never been the same since." These are the ones that cause people to thank me for restoring the Jesus they first accepted.
Little wonder that this set of videos is our most popular one. I wish everyone had a copy.
Now, the second prayer.
When you try to be a good servant, you discover that many people want to take advantage of you. As if they say, "Oh, you are a slave, eh? Wonderful. I have always wanted one."
Is that what true servanthood is all about? No! Servanthood is a choice, not a response to manipulation. For this reason, I recorded the tape "Dealing with Manipulators." I wish every Christian could see this one after seeing the Nature of God series. In the tape, I detail several attempts to manipulate Jesus and how he responded as well as showing modern methods and practical ways to resist. This tape can save your life. Many have told me that it did.
The third prayer.
The book, The Jesus Style, is the flagship expression of my heart and the understanding out of which all other tapes and books flow. The one item I desire for complete distribution is this book.
Pastor after pastor from multiple denominations has told me that this book has revolutionized his church and is required reading for all leaders. Schools around the world require students to read it. I have lost count at the number of people who tell me their home fellowship is studying the book.
Now in its 41st printing and 26th language, the results have been most heartwarming to me in the ways the message has changed me personally and affected others. I dream of sending millions of them free to pastors all over the world.
So! Do you have all three?
You can order by calling us at 1-888-321-0077.