On First Sunday, as Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake prepared to continue his series on the tabernacle of meeting, West Angeles Church of God In Christ was surprised by a prestigious guest: Former President Bill Clinton.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continued his series on the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting and their symbolic meanings in a sermon called, “The Table of Bread”, in keeping with the June 5, 2016 Communion Sunday service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. But before he could begin the sermon at the 11AM service, West Angeles was honored to receive a most prestigious guest: Former President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton.
Clinton praised West Angeles’ extensive community developments; having been to the church long before the Cathedral was built.
“I was here before you all were in such fancy digs,” the former President joked with the congregation.
But he also acknowledged that West Angeles’ success should be mirrored throughout America.
“If we did what you’ve done here; if we did it everywhere in America, could we restore upward mobility? Could we help bring people back from the depths of despair? I believe we could,” stated Clinton.
Bishop Blake said that he welcomed the opportunity to share with President Clinton the importance of Christians’ right to worship freely, without compromising doctrine.
“I shared with [Former President Clinton] how important it is that the church be allowed to pursue its mandate from Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Blake, “to preach Biblical principles and holiness and righteousness, without being discouraged.”
As the Presiding Bishop of over 12,000 COGIC churches, as well as the Co-Chair of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), Bishop Blake spoke of former President Clinton’s visit to West Angeles as an honor.
“We are honored by his presence here, and happy for the opportunity to remind him that there are some things that the church just cannot bow to. Let’s praise God for his coming to us today.”
To see this entire service and more, please click HERE to visit West Angeles Gospel on Demand, or call the West Angeles Christian Emporium at (323) 731-3012. Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “The Table of Bread” follow:
“As you enter into the Holy place just to the right, there’s a furnishing called the “Table of Bread.”
“It was made of acacia wood, which is a very strong, durable wood, and it was overlaid with pure gold.”
“Gold was the most beautiful and valuable of all metals. The bronze altar and the bronze laver were made from brass. One symbolized the atoning work of Jesus Christ; the other, the cleansing work of the Spirit of God.”
“Everything in the Holy place was either made from gold or it was overlaid with gold.”
“It’s always disappointing to be moved from a higher level to a lower level.”
“Most people try to see to it that they either rise higher and higher or they at least maintain the highest level that they’ve reached. That ought to be the same in our walk with the Lord.”
“If we want to go from silver to gold and gold to platinum in our frequent flyer clubs and credit cards, how much more should we want to go higher and higher in our relationship with the Lord?”
“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord?” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord? I don’t want to be where I was last week…As I go through this Christian walk, I want to go higher and higher and higher.”
“The wood in the table symbolized the human and the gold in the table symbolized the divine. The table symbolized the coming together of, and the interaction of, the human and the divine.”
“Jesus Christ, Son of God, divine, took on humanity that He might bear us to and before God the Father. The table, then, represents Jesus the Son of God, who was both human and divine.”
“There was also a frame; a band, an elevated edge around the table, about the width of a man’s hand. It was designed to keep the bread from falling off the table…Israel was, and believers are, the bread; and thus, the elevated edge is there to let us know that God has put some provisions in place to keep us from falling.”
“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘You just don’t have to fall.’ God has made so many provisions for us to survive in Him, that it takes special effort to fall away from the will and the plan of God in our life.”
“So many are worried about their spiritual survival, so many worried about slipping over the edge. But God does not want us to be worried and anxious. He’s not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind.”
“Most commentators feel that the 12 loaves represent the 12 tribes of Israel, and that the table of bread communicated God’s desire to dwell with His people, and that His people should dwell with Him.”
“They said, ‘Lord bring us back together again; let us be as one in You.”
“Tell your neighbor, ‘God wants you in His face.’”
“We focus our attention on Him. We realize that He’s our source, and that all must come through Him.”
“When you praise Him, chains are broken.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“It’s not just about the place. It’s about entering into personal relationship with the Spirit of God: always before Him, always reaching out to Him, always yearning for the more of our God.”
“My soul thirsts for God…for the living God.”
“When you do what you should do for God, God takes care of you.”
“We’re here today because the Lord has provided, and because we know the Lord will provide.”
“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’”
“I assure you, my brother, my sister, if you put your trust in God. If you put God first, the Lord will make a way somehow.”
“Let the people bring bread. Let the people bring fine flour. Let the people bring that which is made from the best of wheat: and I’ll take care of them in the wilderness. I want their best, so I can give them My best.”
“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
““Every time she took something out, God put something in.”
“When you give [to God] what you might enjoy, what you might consume, then you are investing in your covenant with the Lord.”
“Child of God, you never lose when you Bless the work of God.”
“They gave bread from the earth and God gave them bread from heaven.”
“This manna, this bread made from wheat that they provided, not only nourished the priests on their behalf, but it set the covenant aright and firm in the heart and mind of God and of the people.”
“The Bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives Light to the world.” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“The manna was in many ways symbolic of Jesus Christ.”
“’Most assuredly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven,’ for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and give light to the world.”
“Jesus is bread to us, and we are bread to Him.”
“Jesus is blessed by our praise…Praise Him for who He is. He’s worthy!”
“When you praise Him, miracles start to happen. When you praise Him chains are broken; yokes are broken. When you praise Him, He takes you higher than you’ve ever been before. Clap your hands and praise Him!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Leviticus 24:5-9, Philippians 2:9-10, 3:12, 4:19; Exodus 25:25, 30, 40:23; Jude 24-25, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 27:8, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 42:1, Matthew 6:33, John 6:31-35, 55, 15:7; Numbers 11:7, 1 Kings 17:13, Psalm 22:3, Romans 14:11.
In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire…will come!”
Photo of Sutton Bank: courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.
Image of the Table of Showbread: courtesy, Tabernacle Ministries.