Monday, February 27, 2017

Why Prayers Not Answered? 1 (HP01)

Mat 7:9  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
When our children ask for bread (food), we will immediately feed our hungry children. Similarly, when we pray for bread (jobs to provide food for the family), our Father in heaven will always provide. However, if the bread the son asked for, to God is a stone, which will choke him to death, He will not answer his prayer no matter how much he pleads, e.g. a youth (esp. girls) wanting a job in bars, gaming dens, and places of sins where temptations and sins are everywhere.

Mat 7:10  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
A fish gives better nutrition. If a faithful and able brother comes before the church and ask for prayer to fill the GM or CEO position, the whole church will pray and fast for him because he will get the vans to ferry the children to Sunday schools and get his staff to be exposed to Christianity.

However when God sees that the fish is actually a snake which will kill him (this new job will require him to travel and also to entertain, and it won't be long before he becomes an adulterer or drunkard) God will not answer his prayer no matter how much the church had prayed or fasted.

God can see that soon his marriage will be broken, family destroyed and damnation awaits him.

Brethren, all our prayers for bread, fish, provisions, blessings, healings, jobs, successes, restorations, etc. are excellent for us in our own sight, but unfortunately in God's sight, majority of these requests are either stones or snakes.

God knows each one of us especially our faith and our limitations. He will always protect us and will not allow us to be killed by stones, snakes, etc. for nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Why Prayers Not Answered? 2 (HP02)

Luke 11:12  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
An egg is extremely nutritious and also the start of a new life. When one prays to God to change from his busy, poor and despised life (always have to pray for needs, directions, helps, etc.) to a peaceful happy and rich new life (an egg), we as parents, will be happy to help him achieve his ambition. But when our Father God sees that the egg is actually a scorpion, which will harm him and cause him great pains and sorrows, He will not answer his prayer because He loves him very much.

1 Tim 6:9-10  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

So when God did not answer our prayers, some brethren will wilfully use unrighteous and sinful ways to fulfill their ambitions (e.g. bribes,  deceptions, theft, disobedience, lies, etc.), then God has nothing to do in their pursuits. All their temporal sinful achievements are snares and unacceptable to Him.

Please note that God cannot force us to do anything against our will and neither can He stop us from wilful sinning.

Luke 11:13  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

John 14:26  "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
Brethren, let the Holy Spirit be your Teacher, Lord and Master and He will guide you to pray for your best gifts (and not stones, snakes and scorpions). For all good gifts come from God, along with the blessings of peace, fulfillments, forgiveness, mercies, satisfactions, healings, love and most of all the joy of being counted worthy to serve Him. So be patient and wait for His best gifts.

Why Prayers Not Answered? 3 (HP03)

James 4:3-5  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

The day we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we belong to God and His Holy Spirit dwells in us as the seal of redemption only. (John 20:22  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “receive the Holy Spirit".)

John 14:15-16  “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever"

John 16:13  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
The work of another Helper (after the baptism of the Holy Spirit) is to help us to know truth so that we are set free from the things of this world. If we have not love Him (but still love the world) then we cannot be transformed into His image because we have not received the Helper or Spirit of truth yet.

Eph 4:20-24  But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

So when we pray for the pleasures of the world, we grieve the Holy Spirit (The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously), because we make Him our Enemy by rejecting His love and Kingship, for the love of the world again, thereby indirectly loving or worshipping the Devil who is the ruler of this world in John 14:30.

Brethren, will you say 'Amen' to these prayers, which will lead us to much pains, sorrows, worldliness, licentiousness, lustful, doubting and hating God, faithlessness and possibly damnation?

1 Pet 4:1-3  Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Why Prayers Not Answered? 4 (HP04)

Isaiah 1:15-17  When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

'Your hands are full of blood' - we have killed or murdered many.

1 John 3:15  Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

When we hate a brother we have murdered him by reviling and the spreading of lies, false witnesses and deceptions.

Mat 15:18-19  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

'Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.'

When we avoid righteousness, truth, justice and mercies, God will not hear our prayers for He is a just God and He sits on the mercy seat.

Psalm 89:14  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.

We thank God for all those who are merciful to the poor and needy, and the lawyers fighting for their justice (esp. OA).

James 4:17  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Brethren, let us repent of our sins, lies, unrighteousness, deceptions, hatred, unforgiveness, reviling, covetousness, etc. Be merciful and do good and our loving Father in heaven will hear our prayers.

Why Prayers Not Answered? 5 (HP05)

Mat 6:7  "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."

In their prayers, heathens often weep before their idols to help them out of their crises (financial, health, sufferings, addictions, etc.). In their long prayers, they will made all types of promises and use vain repetitions because their idols are deaf and dumb - 'Having eyes they cannot see and ears they cannot hear'.

Do Christians today also use long prayers with vain repetitions to try to convince God to grant their desires and requests? Our Lord condemned such long prayers with vain repetitions because we (by the way we pray) have reduced Him, the Almighty God to be the dumb and stupid idols of the heathens.

By using vain repetitions in their long prayers, do they (these so called prayer warriors) not realize the abominations they have committed against God, their loving Father?
God always watches over us and He knows beforehand our needs. He wants us, His beloved children, to talk to Him by asking Him for them. Brethren, repent from this abomination and do not rebel against His command by using long prayers (to me - without repetition, any prayer more than 3 minutes is long).

Mat 23:14  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
Our Lord warned us that long prayers are usually made by hypocrites in their wicked schemes of deceptions, so all those practising them may end up in eternal damnation.

God loves sincere, truthful, merciful, direct and short prayers and intercessions. So pray wherever you are, whenever possible and as often as you can.

Why Prayers Not Answered? 6 (HP06)

Luke 18:2-8  saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
This parable has been wrongly interpreted and is used by rebellious Christians to force God to answer their selfish prayers. How do you like when your son keeps reminding you of your promise when he has not fulfilled his part of the bargain?
"Dad, don't forget that you have promised to take me to Disneyland!" "Well, son have you obtained 5As in your Std. 6 Exam (6th grade) yet?" "Dad, the Exam is still 7 months away." "Then why do you keep reminding me all the time as though I cannot be trusted? Wait till you get your 5As and then I will take you to Disneyland." "Dad, please keep your promise and don't forget."

Brethren, our Father in heaven is not the unjust or merciless judge. He will always come to our rescue when we are wronged, persecuted or in danger, before we can call out to Him for help.

Mat 5:44-45a  "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;...."
However, God many a time will use this type of situations to refine us (by not rushing to rescue us), until slowly we are transformed to be like Him, so that when the Son of man comes, He will find real faith in us.

Brethren, this is heresy when we reduce our righteous and loving Father the Almighty God to be like the unjust and merciless judge, by constantly reminding Him in our prayers 'to keep His promises'.

Let us examine ourselves and see whether we have fulfilled our part of the agreement by loving Him with all our heart, our strength, our might and our soul, and to love one another as Jesus had loved us. Have we also abode in His will and kept His commandments, word, sayings and teachings?
Well, if we have not kept our part of the bargain, then it is only out of His mercy and grace to reward us with His love, peace, joy, healings, encouragements, meeting our needs, comforts, consolations, riches and many other great gifts. We must always be grateful and thankful for whatever our loving Father is constantly giving us, for these are in fact the best gifts meant for each one of us at that moment.

Mat 7:11  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"

Why Prayers Not Answered? 7 (HP07)

Mark 11:25  “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

Unforgiveness if not checked will develop into hatred, whereby the victim filled with bitterness will eventually be obsessed to destroy his enemy by even using lies, false witness, deceptions, etc. thus leading him to damnation. (Also, without Him forgiving our sins, we are not saved). Unforgiveness is also the sign of merciless and without love.

1 Cor 13:1-3  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Without love or unforgiveness, all our charitable works, sacrifices, prayers, are not acceptable to God.

Mat 5:23-24  "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

In fact many of our problems are caused by misunderstandings resulting to bitterness and pains.

Luke 23:34a  Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

At the cross our Lord forgave all of us, who had caused Him to suffer such great pains, so why can't we forgive our brethren who have not even crucified us. Please follow the Lord's example and accept that all those who have hurt us are  ignorant or unaware of their wickedness, then we will be able to forgive everyone.

The Bible is filled with parables and teachings concerning the need to forgive one another. Unforgiveness is the greatest obstacle to prayers reaching the mercy seat.

Resurrected Life - Charity (HP08)

Mat 6:1-4  “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."
This is a fantastic promise of God that He will see our charitable deeds if they are done in secret and that God Himself will rewards us openly. What a privilege and blessing for our Almighty God Himself to hear, see and reward us His creation openly.

Rev 8:4  And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
It is not easy for our prayers to reach God for the angels will only bring the prayers of the saints to the throne of God.

Acts 10:30-31  So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.'"
Because of the charitable deeds of Cornelius, a God fearing heathen, God sees and remembers his alms, so how much more when we, His beloved children, give alms in secret. Brethren ensure that your charitable deeds using your own of money are done in secret. But all money of churches or Christian organisations must have proper and transparent accountability to prevent the destruction of the faith of fellow brethren by their suspicions of thief or misappropriation of funds.

Psalm 41:1-2  Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
Brethren, do you have problems that you want God to see and help you? If so, then give, give and give alms in secret until He rewards you openly. To God be the glory.

Resurrected Life - Prayer (HP09)

Mat 6:5-6  “And when you pray, you shall  be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
When we intercede (note that we must not remind our Father of our needs otherwise we have no faith in Him) in secret, God will see and hear us and He will reward us openly. Prayers in secret of godly brethren are always sincere and truthful. Unfortunately, many Christians always come forward (after healings or blessings) and say, "You know, I prayed for you".

Phi 2:3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Wherever we are (driving, walking, working, relaxing, etc.), if we see something sinful or remember that a brother is in sorrow, suffering, pains, sickness, etc. we must Immediately pray for him. If we can obediently accept him as better than ourselves then it is so easy to intercede for him esp. when we remember only his good side such as good deeds, mercies, kindness, concerns, etc.

Phi 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Whenever we see or hear anything, and we immediately thank God for their blessings or intercede for their sufferings (esp. for those who always persecute, revile and hate us), then we are His new creations, with our minds renewed and born again through His word in us.

Phi 2:4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
When we can always rejoice with our happy brethren and suffer with their miseries, then we are truly living the abundant life of our Lord.

Brethren, prayers in secret, which please our Father, will bring us plentiful rewards including the desires of our hearts, if only these desires are beneficial to us.

Resurrected Life - Fasting (HP10)

Mat 6:16-18  “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Our Lord knows that all our prayers, charitable works, and fastings done in secret are sincere, needy, truthful, important, etc.

Isaiah 58:6-8  “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard."
Before we fast we must ensure that we are free from wickedness, evil and the flesh but are merciful and righteous, then His healings will quickly be upon us.

Isaiah 58:3-4  ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high."
God will not accept the sufferings (afflicting the souls during the long complete fast) of the wicked and sinful, for He told them not to fast at all. Brethren, as often as possible, let us be ready for the complete fast initially of up to 3 days.

"In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure" - Is God referring to the dieting on fruit juices, etc. for beauty or health reasons of the heathen as the 'pleasurable fasts'?

Philippians 1:29-30  For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only t believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Brethren, we are called to suffer for it is by suffering (in purifications or corrections) that will help us to bear fruits of the righteousness.

1 Peter 2:20b-21  But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
Our Lord suffered for us, so why not offer ourselves willing to suffer (3-7days of complete fast in secret) for the sick, oppressed, fearful, addicted, poor, needy, pitiful, sorrowful and suffering, then God Himself will reward us openly.
1 Pet 5:10  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Resurrected Life - In Secret (HP11)

When we perform any charity, prayer or fasting in secret, God sees us for we have put ourselves in His secret place. This is easy to obey for we are in full control of the situation. From this simple act of obedience, God is able to slowly transform us from our carnal mindset of earthly glory to that of heavenly glory. Matthew 6 is the basic foundation of discipleship whereby the first most important lesson after salvation is the renewing of our mind so that by crucifying our flesh we are truly born again through the word of God.

Rom 7:22-25  For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
As Christians, we do not want to sin anymore but serve Him faithfully, yet if our mind have not been renewed by the Spirit (Word) of Christ, our flesh (old man or sinful habits) will always make us serve the law of sin.

Rom 8:1-2  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

John 6:63  "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."

  • Mat 6:1-5  is doing charitable works in secret,
  • Mat 6:6-13  is prayer in secret and how to pray,
  • Mat 6:16-18  is fasting in secret, but between these are verses 14-15.

Mat 6:14-15  “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Forgive everyone including all those who had destroyed our jobs, marriages, families, businesses, health, happiness, friendship, etc. and also those who hate, persecute, and revile us with lies, false witness, deceptions, etc. So when we (willing and secretly) help, pray and fast for them, then all our charitable deeds, prayers and fastings in secret delight the Lord for we have truly forgiven all God's children

Resurrected Life- Secret Place (HP12)

When you do charitable deeds, pray or fast 'to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly', then you have come into the secret place of God.
So enjoy the blessings, protections, deliverance, healings, long life, joy, peace, honours, gifts, born again, etc. in Psalm 91 when you are found worthy to dwell in His secret place.

Psalm 91  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

Brethren, what else do we desire from the Lord since 'He is our everything' (when we dwell in His secret place).

John 16:23-24  “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Similarly, when the disciples were with our Lord up to His crucifixion, they were always filled with joy and had no need of anything for 'He was their everything'.

Prayer - Our Father In Heaven (HP13)

Mat 6:9  In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

In this manner pray - Our Lord had taught us the manner how to pray and we must follow it closely.

Our Father in heaven - God is our Father and not only my Father. So when we come before Him we must realize He is also the Father of all Christians. The more we read the news, the more we will see that in many countries Christians are facing horrifying atrocities. Can you feel His pains and sorrows? Seeing His children tortured, humiliated, murdered, decapitated and His daughters abused, raped and killed by the Islamic terrorists in Nigeria and the Arab nations. Christians are also tortured and killed in Pakistan, India and some Muslim countries. Christians in the so-called Christian nations of US and EU are persecuted for being faithful to His word by rejecting same sex marriage. Brethren, when our Lord are affected by all these sufferings and atrocities on His children, and yet we are impervious to His feelings, how can we call Him Father when we don't even understand Him and His feelings? We should be praying for our suffering brethren and also thankful that we are still alive, enjoying our peaceful surroundings and are spared from those insane, cruel and demonic terrorists. But instead we come before the Lord and pray for our selfish blessings, prosperities and pleasures. Where is our love for one another?

Rev 2:13   “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells."
   God is in control of every situation concerning us, His children. When we hear of persecutions, atrocities and killing of our brethren, we must always pray for them, for God's mercy, for their faith and endurance during these testing times. We must also thank God for His love and patience in perfecting His children who were martyred and that there will be great joy in heaven for the many saints who have just completed their races in glory.

Rev 2:9-10   “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Prayer - Hallowed Be Thy Name (HP14)

Mat 6:9  In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Hallow comes from the root word translated as holy. So hallowed can mean 'holiness' for God is holy.

1 Pet 1:15-16  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  

What is holy conduct or holiness?

Rom 6:16,19b  Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?... For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
From the above, when we obey God by keeping His word this will lead us to righteousness. And when we are servants of righteousness (righteous deeds), this will lead us into holiness.
Holiness = Righteousness + Righteous Deeds.

Psalm 89:14  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.
The above attributes belong to our holy God, so possibly,

Holiness = Righteousness + Justice + Mercy + Truth.

Psalm 96:7-9  Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.
As Christians we carry His Name 'Jesus' with us, and we are His representatives (children) on earth. So let us glorify His name and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. [ Do not blaspheme His holy name by our evil and wicked deeds.]

Brethren, our worships are beautiful to God when we walk in holiness (holy in all our conduct, acts, deeds, works, etc.) with righteousness, justice, mercy and truth, for we have truly hallowed His Name.

Prayer - Your Kingdom Come (HP15)

Mat 6:10  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Why do we need to pray for God to establish His kingdom now?

John 14:15-17  “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, our sins are cleansed by His blood and the Holy Spirit then dwells in us as the seal of redemption. When we keep His commandments, He will give us another Helper, so that the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is also the Spirit of truth.

John 18:37  Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
For our Lord Jesus to be King, He has to ensure that His disciples know the truth so that they are set free from the snares of this world.

John 8:31-32,36  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”...." Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
Once we abide in His word, our minds will be transformed or renewed and thus we are set free from worldly lusts and pursues. We are then truly born again through the word of God (1 Pet  1:23).

(Note: Speaking in tongue is only one of the spiritual gifts and has nothing to do with born again experience.)

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
When we obey and abide in His word, then He is King of our lives. God the Father and our Lord Jesus will come and dwell within us alongside the Holy Spirit, thus setting up the kingdom of God.

Luke 17:20-21  Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say,

‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Brethren, whenever we pray 'Your kingdom come', we are requesting God to transform us so that His will, word, commandments, teachings, etc. are our Royal decrees. Then God is truly the King of our lives and can establish His kingdom within us.

Prayer - Your Will Be Done (HP16)

Mat 6:10    Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What is this Will of God?

Rom 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

What is the good Will of God?

Mat 28:19-20  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
God's good Will is for all men to be saved and to be taught the word of God, and so before our Lord went back to heaven He commissioned His disciples to make disciples of all mankind.

1 Tim 2:3-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Eph 5:8-11  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
While doing His good Will we should gird ourselves to do His acceptable Will.

What is the acceptable Will of God?

1 Peter 2:1-5  Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
God's acceptable Will is that we must crucify our old man and be born again through the word of God.

1 Pet 1:22-23  Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
Having been born again, we are now ready to embark on the journey to perfection.

What is the perfect Will of God?

Mat 5:44,45a,48  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;... Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
God's perfect Will is that we be perfect (and also help brethren to be perfect) just as our Father in heaven is perfect.

Mat 19:21  Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

God's will is that everyone should be saved and also be perfect.

Col 1:27-28  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Prayer - Give Us Our Daily Bread (HP17)

When we come before God, we must try to understand His feelings for His church or flock. In this last days, our Lord had warned us of many false christs and false prophets misleading His sheep resulting in great falling away from the faith. It is also the time where the congregations heaped up false teachers to satisfy their itching ears with distorted truth and heresies.

He is indeed sad to see that many of His children are destined to damnation. We too should also be sadden with their failures to overcome the old man,  deceptions, sins, false teachings and heresies. We must pray for God's mercy, wisdom and empowering to help us bring them back into His light. Having pleased the Father with our concerns, anguishes and love for fellow brethren, and if our needs are still burdensome, we can then bring them before the Lord.

Mat 6:11   Give us this day our daily bread.
We come before the Lord to pray only for our daily basic needs (not for wealth, greed, riches, pleasures, etc. which He will give to us if only they are beneficial to us).

Mat 6:31-34    “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
Our Father comforted us that He knows of all our needs. He is more concerned with our salvation. He will meet all our needs all the time, once He is convinced that we are on the right path of establishing the Kingdom of God within us by making Him the King of our lives.

Philippians 4:11-14   Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.
We must be contented with whatever we have for these are His gifts to us. This will please the Father because this is the sign of our obedience and faith in Him.

1 Tim 6:6-9   Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Prayer - Forgive Us Our Debts (HP18)

Matt 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Luke 11:4  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Before we come before the Lord we have to search ourselves whether we have forgiven all our brethren including those causing us much pain and sufferings. If not He will not forgive us our debts or sins

Mat 18:32-35  Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Read Mat18:21-35)
From this parable, our Lord is adamant that we must not have any bitterness or unforgiveness towards any brethren otherwise we will be cast to the torturers (in Hades?). Does this mean that our saving grace is also taken back?
Brethren, I will rather spend time searching myself for it is imperative that we are completely free from unforgiveness.

1. Mat 5:11-12  “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
All those who sin against us are actually blessing us. Will you hate a brother who has given you a lovely house, a beautiful car, peace, security, comfort? We should be grateful and thank this benefactor.

2. 2 Thess 2:12  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Though this benefactor has indirectly helped God in purifying us, yet because of his evil deeds, he will be condemned to hell. We should be sorrowful that because of helping us, he is condemned to such great pains in the eternal fire.

3. Mat 5:44  "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,"
When we can love and do good to our enemies (benefactors) and can sincerely pray for them by asking God to be merciful and also help them to see and obey His truth, then there is forgiveness.

Mat 6:14-15   “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

2 Cor 5:7  For we walk by faith and not by sight.
When we walk by faith in obeying His word we will be transformed by the renewing of our mind, and we will know truth and then able to forgive and bless all our enemies.

Prayer - Lead Us Not Into Temptation (HP19)

Mat 6:13a  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
Since we are in the world and not of this world, we are surrounded by temptations, so how are we to escape from them?

Mark 14:36  And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Before our Lord faced His final sufferings, tortures and crucifixion He was tempted to opt out. However, He threw out (overcame) the temptation by putting His fate completely in God's hands by doing His will.

Heb 2:18  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Since then, many of our brethren with their wives and children were abused, raped, tortured, burnt, crucified and killed for their faith. Today, ISIS and others are committing similar atrocities against our brethren unless they apostate and deny our Lord Jesus.
How did our Lord help them to overcome these temptations?

They believed His word and promises

Mat 16:28  “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Luke 21:16-18  "You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost."

Mat 10:19-20  "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."

John 14:21  "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

John 8:52  Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’"

From these scriptures, we can clearly see that Christians who love the Lord by obeying His word and commandments will not taste death. For anyone destined to be martyred, our Lord will manifest to him (John 14:21) by appearing to him (Mat 16:18). [ e.g. Stephen in Acts 7:55-56 ]

Then the Spirit of the Father who dwell in him (John 14:23) will take complete control over his physical body (Mat 10:28-20). Our Father will Himself preach His everlasting gospel to convict mankind and His love and free salvation through our Lord Jesus because He loves all of us.

The brethren will not suffer any pain afflicted on his physical body (Luke 21:16-18 not a hair of your head shall be lost). Even when the body dies, our brethren will not feel any pain because our Lord has bored the taste of death for him (Heb 2:9 and possibly John 8:52).

In fact, I tend to believe that when the Father takes control of his body, God will send his spirit to heaven to watch from there how his physical body glorifies His name at death. No wonder they were so many reports of martyrs singing and rejoicing during their death.

With this faith in them, these godly martyrs, had already made up their mind to be a living sacrifice to God and will not find an escape from fulfilling His will. Though they faced martyrdom, they were not tempted at all (having overcome temptations), for they had set their  minds on things above which will be pleasing to Him.

Similarly, let us not be led into temptation (even though they are all around us) by setting our minds on things above (thus renewing or crucifying the carnal mind).

Col 3:2-4  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

James 1:12  Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Prayer - Deliver Us From Evil (HP20)

P20  Prayer - Deliver Us from Evil

Mat 6:13a   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;

Rom 7:19,21,24   For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice... I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good... O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Mark 7:21-23   "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
1 Tim 6:10   For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
   From the above scriptures we need to be delivered from the evil (thoughts, deeds, desires, etc.) that is within us (sinful old man). The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Rom 8:5-6   For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
   Brethren, we have to crucify our flesh (old man) in order to deliver us from the evil that is within us.

   But it is so sad to see that almost all the modern bibles have wrongly translated this verse into 'But deliver us from the evil one', leading to many types of heresies

1 Cor 6:19-20   Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
   Jesus had already delivered us from the devil by purchasing us with His own life and now we belong to God as His children and the devil no longer has any power over us.
  This wrong interpretation has lead Christians to fear and glorify the devil.
   At every bad news (sicknesses, accidents, losses, etc.) misled Christians will glorify the devil that he can harm God's children at will and our Father God cannot even protect us. What an abomination?

Rev 2:21-22   And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
    What happens, if the Holy Spirit is chastising or refining us by using pains or sicknesses, and we attribute this to the work of Satan, or cast out the Holy Spirit dwelling within us as the devil, isn't this blaspheming the Holy Spirit?
   Brethren, beware and repent of the heresies being taught today.

Heb 2:14-15   Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
   Our Lord Jesus not only delivered us from the devil but also set us free from the fear of death by destroying the devil who had the power of death.

Prayer - Yours Is The Kingdom (HP21)

Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Is your physical body (or life) the kingdom of God, where you have surrendered to Him to allow His power to transform you, so that in you He is glorified

Kingdom of God in us

Luke 22:28-30  “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

When we obey God and carry our own crosses, we make Him King thereby establishing His kingdom within us. Then, just as He would give the kingdoms to His disciples, He may give us our kingdoms by making us kings

Power of God in us

2 Cor 4:7-10  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
When the excellent power of God works in us, it will help us to endure all pains, persecutions, sufferings, sorrows, sicknesses, afflictions, etc. with peace and joy, so that we may manifest the life of Jesus in our bodies (glorifying Him)

Glory of God in us

1 Cor 6:20  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Peter 4:12-13,16  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy... Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Brethren, often it is not what we ask or say when we pray that matters, but the expression of our faith in Him. He is the Creator of heaven and earth, the Almighty God, holy and righteous and to Him 'nothing is impossible'. The Centurion believed Him (Mat 8), the Canaanite woman believed Him (Mat 15), the woman with blood flow believed Him (Mat 9), and all received healings. This is the faith in Him (the Almighty God, holy.....etc.) that our God is looking for (and not just a physician).

Pray - Amen (HP22)

Mat 6:13b  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Amen - means let it be so.

Our Lord Jesus wanted us to know that He is the loving Father of all Christians worldwide and to pray for the poor, persecuted, suffering, etc. (esp. in war torn areas). He gives us the freedom to decide our futures. He hopes that we will have complete faith and sincere love for Him by obeying Him and His word thereby making Him King within us. Having known truth, we are born again and are set free from the old man and the things of this world. Then slowly we will become living sacrifices to Him.   Amen.

Mal 1:14b  For I am a great King,” says the Lord of hosts, “and My name is to be feared among the nations."
Brethren, how do you behave when you are before the king?

We will humble ourselves before Him, softly and gently thank Him for His mercies, love, concern, comfort, peace, healings, provisions, etc. We will also assure Him that we will serve Him faithfully and His words will always be our royal decrees. We will humbly and willingly accept His wills and appointments. We will always be grateful to Him for being in His Majesty's service. This must be the attitude to present ourselves before the King of kings.  Amen.

Mal 3:13-15  “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the Lord, “yet you say, ‘what have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘it is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free.’”

Brethren, the book of Malachi (read it carefully) was the last book of the OT, and the situations then are similar to today (last days). The Jews then did not fear nor honour God for they were sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, exploit wage earners, widows and orphans, and turn away aliens.

They offered Him stolen, sick and blemished sacrifices. They robbed Him by withholding tithes. They mocked Him and blasphemed His name as unjust by blessing the proud and exalting the wicked, etc. and also useless to serve Him for His servants mourned like beggars.

   Similarly, today, many pastors and Christians are sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, etc. They blaspheme His name by demanding and rebelling against Him. These are abusive and offensive words used in prayers admonishing and mocking Him. 'You promised', 'Why', 'Can't you see', 'I demand You to...', 'I am Your child', 'You must bless me', 'I speak the word', etc. and raising their voices at Him with anger and contempt.

Is there no fear or reverence for the King of kings, the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth and heavenly Father. During prayers (in front of the family's altar) when our children hear us pray in this abusive manner to our heavenly Father, they too will follow our examples.

They will no longer fear nor honour us nor give us reverence. They will rebel and challenge us using similar abusive words. No wonder, they are so many rebellious children in Christian homes nowadays.

Brethren, repent and God will help us lead our children to His light