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Prayer for others

Query for the Month

of

February 2019

Next up-date: March 1st 2019 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

 

This article is available as a PDF file here.    Or as a WORD doc.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query:     

I heard recently that praying for others gives God more right to interfere in others’ lives than He normally has!   Is God limited?   Does He need us to give Him power that He does not possess?   Where does it say that in the Bible?

 

Response:

The short answer to the query is “No”, God is not limited. 

   And such an idea is not in the Bible.

As an additional warning, we often find that the teachings of well-meaning “wise” men are slanted the wrong way!!  And it is so in this case.  It is not God who is limited, but us, so my comments may be quite contrary to the ones you might expect. 

But it is true that in matters of religion [manmade systems], God has limited Himself to work by the Rules of Engagement for the benefit of His creatures, which means that His public acts must be seen to be just and legal and these can, therefore, sometimes appear to be limited.  So the idea has been devised that if He gets our support in prayer then it is not only OK for Him to do extra things, but that that can be extended so that prayer for others also supplies Him with an ability (power) which He did not have before!  Which is saying that He is not able to (cannot) do all that He could without our support! This is a very high degree of presumption, which surely cannot be intended?     

But in the matter of Redemption, the unseen work of God in salvation, there are no limits!  For that is what happens inside the heart and mind of a redeemed one and this cannot be judged or even seen by another creature. 

What often happens is that two aspects of “truth” regularly become entangled in people’s minds and I think that is what has occurred here.  Our obsession with “finishing the work” (as if we could!) and God’s need of us (His desire to make us happy).

The Saviour is more willing and anxious to do things for those who will allow Him access to their lives than we are, so He has asked us to pray for others to get us to concentrate our attention on them, so we do need to pray for them.  They also NEED the knowledge that someone is praying to help them, so let them know what you are doing, which presupposes that you know them and that you are not praying for strangers.   

If they ask for prayer, how should we respond?  The best prayer includes action.  We are told of one such action.

      James 5:

14 Is any sick among you?  Let him [or her] call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him [after checking with the LORD], anointing him with oil in the name of the LORD: 15 and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the LORD shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.   

16 Confess your [sins to God and your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] avails much.   

    {Acts of the Apostles 478.2} 

In his efforts to reach God's ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing.  Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all.  Jesus is the source of power, the fountain of life.  He brings us to His word, and from the tree of life [the word of God] presents to us leaves [His promises] for the healing of sin-sick souls.  He leads us to the throne of God, and puts into our mouth a prayer through which we are brought into close contact with Himself.  In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven.  At every step we touch His living power.   

But it is also written:

    {Medical Ministry, pp.  13, 14.}

Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so.  But God did not regard their prayers, because their faith was not made perfect by works.  [James 2:22.]  God will not [cannot, in righteousness] work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. 

When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health.  He will then answer our prayer, if His name [character] can be glorified thereby.  But let all understand that they have a work to do.  God will not work in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who are taking a sure course to make themselves sick, by their careless inattention to the laws of health [for their prayers are totally selfish].   {CME 35.2} 

Those who will gratify their appetite, and then suffer because of their intemperance, and take drugs to relieve them, may be assured that God will not interpose to save health and life which are so recklessly periled.  The cause has produced the effect.  Many, as their last resort, follow the directions in the Word of God, and request the prayers of the elders of the church [people of experience] for their restoration to health.  The Saviour God does not see fit to answer prayers offered in behalf of such, for He knows that if they should be restored to health, they would again sacrifice it upon the altar of unhealthy appetite.  -- Medical Ministry, pp.  13, 14.   {CME 35.3}

    {Volume 2 Testimonies for the Church  349.2} 

My husband and I once attended a meeting where our sympathies were enlisted for a brother who was a great sufferer with the phthisic.[1]  

He was pale and emaciated.  He requested the prayers of the people of God.  He said that his family were sick and that he had lost a child. 

He spoke with feeling of his bereavement.  He said that he had been waiting for some time to see Brother and Sister White.  He had believed that if they would pray for him he would be healed.  [His faith was in them!] 

After the meeting closed, the brethren called our attention to the case.  They said that the church was assisting them; that his wife was sick, and his child had died.  The brethren had met at his house, and united in praying for the afflicted family [without getting any result].  We were much worn, and had the burden of labor upon us during the meeting, and wished to be excused.   {2T 349.2} 

I had resolved not to engage in prayer for anyone unless the Spirit of the LORD should dictate in the matter.  I had been shown that there was so much iniquity abounding, even among professed Sabbathkeepers, that I did not wish to unite in prayer for those of whose history I had no knowledge.  I stated my reason.  I was assured by the brethren that, as far as they knew, he was a worthy brother. 

I conversed a few words with the one who had solicited our prayers that he might be healed, but I could not feel free.  He wept, and said that he had waited for us to come, and he felt assured that if we would pray for him he would be restored to health. [Do you see the wrong slant?]  We told him that we were unacquainted with his life, that we would rather those who knew him would pray for him.  He importuned [begged] us so earnestly that we decided to consider his case and present it before the LORD that night; and if the way seemed clear, we would comply with his request.   {2T 349.3} 

That night we bowed in prayer and presented his case before the LORD. 

We entreated that we might know the will of God concerning him. 

All we desired was that God might be glorified.  Would the LORD have us pray for this afflicted man? We left the burden with the LORD and retired to rest.  In a dream the case of that man was clearly presented.  His course from his childhood up was shown, and that if we should pray the LORD would not hear us; for he regarded iniquity in his heart.  The next morning the man came for us to pray for him.  We took him aside and told him we were sorry to be compelled to refuse his request [he must go to God on his own for confession and forgiveness.]            

What then should be our attitude in prayer?  On this, or any other matter.

Only that we are offering to be of help to Him, for it must be voluntary, as it is with a burnt offering.  Isaiah 6:8; Leviticus 1:3. 

Why then are we asked to pray for others when they are sick?  Because often they think they are incapable of praying for themselves (for a multitude of reasons), and it should help them to focus their faith on Him that cares for them when they cannot think rationally. 

But we should not be asking Him to do any more, such as help (or cure) “Mary or Jim” from his/her sicknesses or trouble, for we should believe that He is already doing all that He can, legally and morally and to suggest anything less would be to blame Him.  We should be saying that if He can use us in any way in someone else’s life then please do so.  And then leave it entirely with Him to decide if we can, how we can and when we could do so.  Then we are praying correctly and being useful, if we do as we are told!  (Remember that prayer requires action.) 

That’s what our Example did, and it led Him to a cross!

    Matthew 26:39

And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will.   

Job also did it when he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain my own ways before Him [I won’t be a robot, I’ll think about what He is asking me to do!  But then I will do it.]”  Job 13:15. 

So we can, and should, approach God by ourselves.

That automatically takes care of the “prayer army” or “prayer warriors” [are they fighting with God?] which some churches have devised.  Unless we are a part of a spontaneous group, such as the one which was praying for Peter’s release when he was in jail (Acts 12:5, 12-16), then we do not NEED such an assembly.  All prayer requests to the former kind of group are useless for they tend to blame God for not doing all He can.

In fact, that is close to retrograding to the old way of asking someone else to stand between us and God, a principle which was roundly condemned at the Protest of the Princes in 1529 at the start of Protestantism, a meeting Martin Luther could not attend.  See  

                     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestation_at_Speyer

Our “Protest” against the church should be that we can come to God just as we are, and alone, if need be.  Ashamed we may be, and feel unworthy, but that does not count in God’s mind when we genuinely want to help some one else.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing sinful in praying together, so long as we are not trying to get God to do something by force of numbers, or by using someone else’s “superior” connection with Him.  It is called “wrestling with God” (Genesis 32:24-25) because it is on behalf of others and we will not give up until He emphatically forbids us to continue, not because He needs to be persuaded.  He says, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone”.  Hosea 4:17.  Do you remember the woman of Canaan?  Matthew 15:21-28. 

It is not by force of numbers, but by NEED that we can approach God, for presenting the need of another is the greatest gift that we can give them – it shows our love for them.  John 15:30.  But if they only want it on their terms, then we must leave them alone.

Consider, and learn a lesson from, the case of Abraham and his firstborn son – the one who was NOT in the holy line of God’s selection, for it is NOT by physical choice or timing of birth that God appoints His messengers, but by character.  Romans 2:28-29.  However, He does not neglect the ones who do not respond, for He loves everyone.  John 3:16.

    Genesis 16:

1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian [considered to be a Pagan and therefore an unbeliever although she had joined his family. Genesis 12:5], whose name was Hagar.  2 And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing [it’s His fault]: I pray you, go in to my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.  And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai [he agreed with her]

3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan [he left the city of UR when he was 75 years old and came to Haran], and gave her to her husband Abram to be his [secondary] wife [which was legal in that land at that time]

4 And he went in to [young] Hagar, and she conceived: and [a few months later] when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes [for it was very important to have a son in those days]5 And Sarai said to Abram, My wrong be upon you: I have given my maid into your bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and you [as to who is really at fault, for you should have advised me against it and refused to co-operate].

[There were unexpected consequences from their action.]

6 But Abram said to Sarai, Behold, your maid is in your hand; do to her as it pleases you.  And when Sarai dealt hardly [harshly] with her, she fled from her face.  [It was more than just a reprimand.] 7 And the Angel of the LORD [Michael, in Person] found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.  8 And He said, Hagar, Sarai's maid [that position came first, that of wife or concubine came second in His mind – see note 1], whence came you? and whither will you go?  

And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai9 And the Angel of the LORD said to her, Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands [have no more feelings of superiority over her, for all are equal in My sight, and servants must not rebel – see Hebrews 13:5.  Also consider the whole letter to Philemon.]  10 And the Angel of the LORD said to her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude [her great desire].

11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her, Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has heard your affliction.  12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and [yet] he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren [till the end]

[The Saviour has a harder time with some people because of their circumstances.]

 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke to her, You God see [or look after] me: for she said, Have I also here looked after [up to] Him that sees me? .  .  . 

                Genesis 16:13 The Message (MSG)

13 She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “You’re the God who sees [and listens to] me!  “Yes! He saw me; and then I saw him [i.e.  His character]!” 

                      Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H.  Peterson

 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael [“God who hears”]16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old [86], when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. 

Genesis 21:

9 And [many years later when Abram was 99 years old] Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian [Ishmael], which she had born to Abraham, mocking [her son as the second born]10 Wherefore she said to Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac[I won’t share with him or Hagar.] 

                [Galatians 4:

21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear [what is written in] the law [the books of Moses]? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh [by a man’s own actions]; but he of the freewoman was by promise [from God, followed by a man’s action]

24 Which things are an allegory: for these are [a picture of] the two covenants [the old and the new agreements].  The one from the mount Sinai, which genders [leads] to bondage [slavery], which is Agar [Hagar, a woman of the world]25 For this Agar is [like] mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to [earthly] Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children [i.e.  all that is earth-bound, and relies on self]

26 But [New] Jerusalem [which relies on Him] which is above is [spiritually] free, which is the mother of us all.  27 For it is [also] written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not [in childbirth]: for the desolate [without earthly support] has many more children than she which has a [physical] husband.

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now [so you should expect it]30 Nevertheless what says the scripture?  Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.]

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his [first-born] son. 12 And God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the lad [he was 13-14 years old], and because of your bondwoman; in all that Sarah has said to you, hearken to her voice [for in this she is right]; for in Isaac shall your seed be called.  13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is your seed [this was Abraham’s great desire also]

                {Review and Herald, July 27, 1886 par.7} 

Those who are desirous to follow a course which pleases their fancy, are in danger of being left to follow their own inclinations, supposing them to be the leadings of God's Spirit.  Some have their duty indicated by circumstances and facts sufficiently clear, but have, through the solicitations of [spouses, children or] friends, in harmony with their own inclinations, been swerved from the path of duty, and passed over the clear evidences in the case; and, with apparent conscientiousness, they have prayed long and earnestly for light [when it is already in the word]

They have had earnest feeling in the matter, and they interpret this to be the Spirit of God.  But they have been deceived.  This course has grieved the Spirit of God.  They had light, and in the very reason of things, should have understood their duty; but a few pleasing inducements balance their minds in the wrong direction, and they urge these before the LORD, and press their case, and the LORD allows them to have their own way.  They have so strong an inclination to follow their own course that God permits them to do so, and to suffer the results.  These imagine they have a wonderful experience.

[The world is, after all, a demonstration of the results of sin,

of choosing our own way.]

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water [meagre provisions], and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.  15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child [who was a teenager but had fainted] under one of the shrubs. 16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot [over 100 metres]: for she said, Let me not see the death [agonies] of the child.  And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice [in prayer], and wept.  [She was a human in need, alone and abandoned.]

17 And God heard the voice of the lad [as well as his mother]; and the Angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, What ails you, Hagar? fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is [and your entreaty is also heard]18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in your hand [in your arms]; for I will make him a great nation.  [God the Redeemer tries with everyone and He was sure to be able to receive some of their descendants, for He always makes the best of all situations.  John 3:16.] 

19 And God [the apparent Angel] opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer [a fighter and hunter, of his own choice]

21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.  [So he started another family group.] 

Unfortunately, his family became a scourge to mankind, showing that although God tries hard to change us, He is also willing to give us what we want if He can, (which is not necessarily what we need), so we should be careful what we pray for because it can lead to unforeseen circumstances!!  

But this story shows us that He is just as interested in “the lost” as he is in the already saved.  In this God does not contradict Himself, but is a sensible Person. 

For example, He says to His helpers:

    Leviticus 10:

9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tabernacle of the Congregation, lest you die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations .  .  .   

Then modifies that with:

     Proverbs 31:

6 Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts [if he needs it]7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.  [Even the Romans offered Jesus a drug on the cross.  Matthew 27:48.]

So when should we pray for others?

Here is an example of the need of God-inspired prayers:

    Revelation 8:

1 And when He had opened the seventh seal [of the Book of Future History], there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour [a pregnant pause, all activity stopped while they waited for something to occur]

2 And [then] I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets [instruments of warning]3 And another Angel [Michael, acting as a high priest] came and stood at the altar [of incense – of prayer], having a golden censer [the portable one]; and there was given to Him much incense [representing His righteousness], that He should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the [permanent] golden altar [of incense] which was before the throne [in the 1st apartment in heaven]

[This is a classic case of prayers for others – from Christ to us. 

We are not to “finish the work”, but to go in mercy to those who need informing

– prayer in action.]

4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God [over the veil into the second apartment] out of the Angel's hand.  5 And the Angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar [representing very urgent prayers], and cast [sent] it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.  [Strong prayers and some action for others were soon to be needed because of forth-coming events on earth.]

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared them-selves to sound.  7 The first angel sounded .  .  .  8 And the second angel sounded .  .  .  10 And the third angel sounded .  .  .  12 And the fourth angel sounded .  .  .  [warnings of terrible disasters to come were given – and so they came.]

[They were various political events which enabled the bishop of Rome to take over the leadership of the Holy Roman Empire [the second leg of the statue in Daniel 2].  Then Satan turned another group of people into another new religion as an alternative to the Roman Catholic system which was a counterfeit Christian one.  This new one, with entirely different ideas, which was based on Ishmael’s family, was to play a great part in world politics during the next few centuries.]

13 And [then it was that] I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven [there was need of a great spirit of prayer and missionary work for the world], saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!  [The first four were finished, but there was much worse to come!  There were now two religious adversaries to meet.]

    Revelation 9:

1 And the fifth angel sounded [his trumpet], and I [John] saw a star fall from heaven to the earth [Lucifer, verse 11, in a review of his original fall]: and to him  was given the key of the bottomless pit [by Adam when he chose to disobey God]. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit [which gave him nearly unlimited control over Europe while the other religion spread throughout the rest of the world]; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air [the light of truth and power] were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit [the Dark Ages of Europe began, while God the Saviour was trying to warn the victims of Satan’s intentions, and to do this He used the only human power available at this time, which was some individuals of a Satanic religion!  Search to find out what happened to His true people!!]

3 And there came out of the smoke [men in the form of] locusts upon the earth [there were so many of them ]: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And it was commanded them [by God the Saviour] that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree [the physical sustainers of life, but applied here in a spiritual way]; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 

[So both God and Satan were working on these “locust” people!  One limiting and the other egging them on, both at the same time.  But both sides, the destroyers and the destroyed, also known as the king of the south and the king of the north, were rebels against Him!  However, the “locusts” kept human knowledge safe and increasing while it was lost to Europe.] 

5 And to them it was given that they [the locust-like people] should not kill [or totally destroy] them [the rejecters of the seal of God, which is intelligent obedient submission], but that they should be tormented five months [which in prophetic language is 150 years]: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. 6 And in those days shall men seek [a quiet] death, and shall not find it; and shall [even] desire to die [during torture and slavery], and death shall flee from them .  .  .  11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit [which is a kingdom with no Foundation,  Isaiah 28:16], whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue has his name Apollyon [both mean “destroyer”].

12 One woe is past [for us today]; and, behold, there come two woes [very bad experiences] more hereafter [beginning with the Middle Ages in which the conflict would become world-wide from both sides]

13 And the sixth angel sounded [his trumpet because the adversaries had physically changed, but not religiously], and I heard a voice [Michael’s] from the four horns of the golden altar [of incense] which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates [of Babylon to do their work of destruction in the world as the Protestant Reformation began] .  .  .  [These are NOT the angels of Revelation 7:1, but their opposites.]

Here is God’s view of the situation at the time:

            Revelation 3:

1 And to the angel [leader] of the church in Sardis [representing the professed church of God in Europe during 1517-1843] write; These things says He that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name [among men] that you live, and [yet in My eyes you] are dead [for you will not come out of Babylon.  Revelation 14:8]. 

2 Be watchful, and strengthen the [few] things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard [in 1517 etc.], and hold fast, and repent.  If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you. [It was to be October 22, 1844.]

4 You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. 

15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year [391 years and 15 days], for to slay the third part of men. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand [200,000,000 (200 million)]: and I heard the number of them [so it was a literal number].

17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision [they were famed for their horses], and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth[2], and brimstone [brightly coloured]: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and [also] in their tails: for their tails were like to serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. [It was like speaking with two tongues.] 

20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these [six] plagues [which have lasted about 2,000 years so far] yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.  [Not many have willingly wanted to change their behaviour and respond to God in the era of Christianity, despite the enormous number of professors.] 

So the desire of the Son of man and His followers appears to have failed – just as it seemed at the cross. 

What is “just” and what is “legal”?  Both of those terms mean that an action must meet the double approval of the spectators, the “watchers and the holy ones”.  (Daniel 4:17; Psalm 19:9; Revelation 16:7.) 

It must be seen to be right in the eyes of the people of the universe, and generally according to the civil laws that humans have devised or accepted.  (e.g.  we have seen that God the Redeemer honoured the intention of Abram and Sarai when they made their terrible mistake).  Sadly, as we have just read, their action has unleashed upon the world a terrible scourge [through the fifth and the 6th plagues] such as has not happened since Adam and Eve’s choice, and this has added  to [not diminished] the Saviour’s burden (as do all our selfish works)!  Matthew 24:21.

But in answer to your query we have these words:

    {Volume 8 Testimonies for the Church 10.2}     [1904]

Every obstacle to the redemption of God’s people is to be removed by the opening of His word and the presentation of a plain “Thus says the LORD.” [i.e.  His promises.  If we do this constantly, we can NEVER fail or make a mistake.  2 Peter 1:10-11.]  

The true light is to shine forth; for [spiritual] darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people.  The truth of the living God is to appear in contrast with error [it must be seen]Proclaim [and live] the glad tidings.  We have a Saviour who has given His life that those who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life [and He is praying and working for them.  Luke 22:31-31.]    

The “wise men” have made another error of judgment when they tell us that physical healing will lead to spiritual healing.  In the advice on prayer for the sick it is those who are already “believers” who ask for it, although healing has been used to focus a rebel sufferer’s mind on spiritual things.   Can you see the difference? 

But where is the record of the 7th angel with his trumpet [it is the last of these trumpets], with whom God needs even greater and more anxious prayers and actions by the Son of man and His people?  Not for some chapters do we have the answer (all of 10 and part of 11), but then we have these words:

    Revelation 11:

14 The second woe [the 6th trumpet] is past [is finished]; and, behold, the third woe [the sounding of the 7th trumpet] comes quickly [on its heels]

15 And the seventh angel sounded [his warning for us today]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.  [The close of probation for the world will have occurred at the end of the 6th trumpet and the angelic host will be aware of this.]

16 And the twenty-four elders, which sat before God on their seats [and have been since His resurrection, Revelation 4:1-4], fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 saying,

We give You thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come [i.e.  Your eternal Godhead]; because You have taken to You your great power, and have reigned [on earth again]

18 And the nations were angry [past tense, Matthew 24:6-8], and Your wrath [the seven last plagues, Revelation 16:1-21] is come [present tense], and the time of the dead [a period], that they should be judged, and that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great [the first resurrection]; and should [in the future] destroy them which destroy the earth.  [Consider the whole of Revelation chapter 20.]

19 And the [sacred private part of the] temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple [in the second apartment] the ark of His testament [the box containing the Ten Commandments]: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail [for God was moving and the second veil had been removed]

Therefore we are still living in the period of the warning of the 6th trumpet (although we are nearing its end now) and the sounding of the 7th trumpet, and the LORD is asking us to pray with Him for those who must suffer under them.  “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them [teach us how to ease their pain if You can]; for they know not what they do [but they are determined to do it].  Luke 3:34.

We should read all of chapter 10 and be prepared for chapter 11.

 Conclusion:

We cannot give extra power to an already Almighty God!  Our mission is to educate each other.  God is doing all He can, all the time, even for those whom we might consider lost.  What more can He do?  Isaiah 5:1-4.  What more can we do?  Ask, and see!

 ***************

 Note 1:

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/concubine        [My emphasis and additions.]

Throughout history, there have been instances when it was considered acceptable for an important man to keep a woman, not his wife, as a mistress.  These women were called concubines, and they often were treated better than the man’s wife. 

 

The word concubine comes from the Latin verb, cubare, which means “to lie down.” The word developed in Middle English in the 13th Century, and is another name for a woman taken as a mistress.  The practice was common throughout history: the Bible includes many references to concubines, and in ancient China, a ruler might have had thousands of concubines [mainly for political purposes], some treated well, some like prostitutes.   [See 1 Kings 11:2-4.]   Sad to say, the practice is still going on, acceptable in some countries today.  BACK

 

 

Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts?  I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject. 

 

Next query.  To be discussed from 1st March 2019

 

Why is there so much in the Old Testament about the animal sacrifices made in the temple?  I find them blood chilling and am even tempted to believe that it could not have been God who instructed His people to practise them for about 1,500 years.   [His people asked for them, based on Egyptian ideas.]

 

 For contact:

mail to:  nonconformist@mail.com  (Copy and paste if necessary)

 

To see the list of some of the past queries, click here.

 To see the past queries and my responses, click here.


 

[1]   (pathology) A wasting illness of the lungs, such as asthma or tuberculosis; phthisis.

  (pathology, formerly) Any wasting disease.

[2] Jacinth is an orange-red transparent variety of zircon used as a gemstone. Jacinth is also a flower of a reddish blue or deep purple.


 

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