Promises from God for the abused, oppressed

 justice[1A]

Isaiah 35:1  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.
5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
 

 

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Reasons Miracles are sometimes Scarce

  bvf6

 
To Help with many person’s medical symptoms of their diseases often we may still  have to deal with the root causes of their sicknesses too.. including their stress, anxieties, their wrong doings too. Hypertension is another  main, leading personal cause of heart attacks, strokes and other major medical problems. For most North Americans even if you don’t have high blood pressure now, you need to make a serious lifestyle, food  adjustments now to avoid personal health problems, especially Cancer and Heart diseases next in one’s future. A person is considered hypertensive with a blood-pressure reading of 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) or higher. Healthy adults should have a blood pressure in the range of 120/80 mmHg, although that target varies with age and other health conditions. There are many DIFFERENT factors that contribute to high blood pressure, including first the type of one’s food consumption, too much read meat, not enough fruit and vegetables,  being overweight, a lack of physical activity, excessive sodium consumption and aging. Hypertension, while it has few obvious symptoms, is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease
 
 
It is true ” So many modern Charismatic churches long to see miracles occur on a scale described in the Book of Acts. I have been in places where people seriously ill would go up front to be prayed for by ministers eager to pray for them.  All around me I would hear intercessors pleading earnestly with the Lord to do some wonderful work of healing for His honor and glory.  Whenever people left the service unhealed I would be left with this thought: Why don’t perfect miracles of healing occur each and every time the saints petition the Lord for them?  Wouldn’t it be in God’s best interest if getting the sick healed weren’t such a long, drawn-out struggle?  Any lost people in the vicinity who heard about paralytics or blind people instantly receiving their healing would surely rush to the altar to surrender to such a mighty, powerful Jesus!”
  
When I pray for a sick person I do it first under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I ask God what I am allowed to pray..
 
Too many People do try to take a gospel short cut all the time, and many people want instant spirituality as well, a quick faith..
  
Firstly healing is only the Christian children’s bread.. and thus you can claim it by faith if you live right.. God said to me I have let you live after a serious heart attack, cause you had served me. God said I will do for you what the doctors cannot do too.  But some of you are still sick and nigh unto death cause you have approached the Lord’s table unworthily, in unrepentant sin..
     
(3 John 1:2 KJV)  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
 
Physical prosperity, prosperity of body, also depends on your degree of sprit, soul prosperity secondly
 
Now I have a long history in praying for healing… the prayer of faith may  heal the sick.. 
 
(Acts 3:6 KJV)  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  8   And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
 
 
A man  got cancer and I prayed for him and he was healed, years later the cancer had returned and I said to myself I will just pray for him, but God next replied I will not hear your prayer cause he is an evil man. He next died a miserable death.
 
I prayed for 30 people to be healed at different times, and God healed half of them, but the other half he refused to heal them and he told me what unrepentant sins they had in their life still too.
 
I was asked to pray for a dying man in a hospital who had a serious heart attack, God said to me you can pray that he will be healed, he can go and return home and get his affairs in order, and after six months he will die.
 
I was asked to pray for an other man in a hospital who had a serious heart attack, a stroke, and was paralyzed on one side and now in the Hospital. I visited him and prayed for his healing and nothing happened. When I asked God as to why, he replied to me and said who told you to stop praying for him, I returned next week prayed for him and the following week he was sent home to fully recuperate..
 
I was asked to pray for an elderly east Indian woman admitted to the Hospital because she seemed to have lost her memory. When I prayed about it. God told me her immoral daughter in law prayed against her and sent demons upon her to get her out of her home. I prayed for the sick women and she was healed, sent home shortly after that too. ( She was a relative of my doctor who himself was unable to help me with my medical problem, Jesus told me to go to another city and another hospital to get my help)
 
Unchristian Hindus often ask me to pray for their loved ones, saying to me even that in their religion they can curse someone, but only Jesus now can lift the curse..
 
(Acts 10:38 KJV)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
 
(Mat 13:58 KJV)  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
 
(Acts 6:5 KJV)  And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
 
(Acts 6:8 KJV)  And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
 
(Acts 11:24 KJV)  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
 
(Mat 8:10 KJV)  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
 
(Mat 9:2 KJV)  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
 
(Mat 9:22 KJV)  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
 
(Mat 14:31 KJV)  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
 
(Mat 15:28 KJV)  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
 
(Mat 16:8 KJV)  Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
 
(Mat 17:20 KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
 
(Mat 21:21 KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
 
(Mark 2:5 KJV)  When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
 
(Mark 10:52 KJV)  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
 
(Mark 11:22 KJV)  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 
(Luke 7:9 KJV)  When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
 
(Luke 18:42 KJV)  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
 
(Acts 20:21 KJV)  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
(Rom 1:8 KJV)  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
 
(Rom 3:22 KJV)  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
 
(2 Cor 13:5 KJV)  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
 
(Gal 2:16 KJV)  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
 
(Gal 3:14 KJV)  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
 
(Gal 3:22 KJV)  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
 
(Gal 3:26 KJV)  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
 
(Gal 5:6 KJV)  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
 
(Eph 1:15 KJV)  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
 
(Eph 6:23 KJV)  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
(Col 1:4 KJV)  Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
 
(Gal 3:5 KJV)  He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  
  
I HAVE ALSO LEARNED THE HARD WAY THAT EVEN IF MANY PERSONS DO SEE A MIRACLE THERE WILL BE NO SIGNIFICANT SPIRITUAL CHANGE IN THEIR LIFE.
 
(John 12:37 KJV)  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
 
God is a God of love and he really does not want us to suffer needlessly so he is willing to help us if we meet his conditions as defined also  in the Bible.
 
More on healing and health
 
(John 5:13 KJV)  And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
 
(1 Cor 10:21 KJV)  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
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POWER THROUGH PRAYER

EDWARD M. BOUNDS

 


1 Men of Prayer Needed

Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two; your life preaches all the week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God. Luther spent his best three hours in prayer.

— Robert Murray McCheyne

WE are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” The dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for Christ was bound up in that man John. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” The world’s salvation comes out of that cradled Son. When Paul appeals to the personal character of the men who rooted the gospel in the world, he solves the mystery of their success. The glory and efficiency of the gospel is staked on the men who proclaim it. When God declares that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” he declares the necessity of men and his dependence on them as a channel through which to exert his power upon the world. This vital, urgent truth is one that this age of machinery is apt to forget. The forgetting of it is as baneful on the work of God as would be the striking of the sun from his sphere. Darkness, confusion, and death would ensue.

What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.

An eminent historian has said that the accidents of personal character have more to do with the revolutions of nations than either philosophic historians or democratic politicians will allow. This truth has its application in full to the gospel of Christ, the character and conduct of the followers of Christ — Christianize the world, transfigure nations and individuals. Of the preachers of the gospel it is eminently true.

The character as well as the fortunes of the gospel is committed to the preacher. He makes or mars the message from God to man. The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and flawless, that the oil may have a full, unhindered, unwasted flow.

The man makes the preacher. God must make the man. The messenger is, if possible, more than the message. The preacher is more than the sermon. The preacher makes the sermon. As the life-giving milk from the mother’s bosom is but the mother’s life, so all the preacher says is tinctured, impregnated by what the preacher is. The treasure is in earthen vessels, and the taste of the vessel impregnates and may discolor. The man, the whole man, lies behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life. It takes twenty years to make a sermon, because it takes twenty years to make the man. The true sermon is a thing of life. The sermon grows because the man grows. The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful. The sermon is holy because the man is holy. The sermon is full of the divine unction because the man is full of the divine unction.

Paul termed it “My gospel;” not that he had degraded it by his personal eccentricities or diverted it by selfish appropriation, but the gospel was put into the heart and lifeblood of the man Paul, as a personal trust to be executed by his Pauline traits, to be set aflame and empowered by the fiery energy of his fiery soul. Paul’s sermons — what were they? Where are they? Skeletons, scattered fragments, afloat on the sea of inspiration! But the man Paul, greater than his sermons, lives forever, in full form, feature and stature, with his molding hand on the Church. The preaching is but a voice. The voice in silence dies, the text is forgotten, the sermon fades from memory; the preacher lives.

The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher. Under the Jewish dispensation the high priest had inscribed in jeweled letters on a golden frontlet: “Holiness to the Lord.” So every preacher in Christ’s ministry must be molded into and mastered by this same holy motto. It is a crying shame for the Christian ministry to fall lower in holiness of character and holiness of aim than the Jewish priesthood. Jonathan Edwards said: “I went on with my eager pursuit after more holiness and conformity to Christ. The heaven I desired was a heaven of holiness.” The gospel of Christ does not move by popular waves. It has no self-propagating power. It moves as the men who have charge of it move. The preacher must impersonate the gospel. Its divine, most distinctive features must be embodied in him. The constraining power of love must be in the preacher as a projecting, eccentric, an all-commanding, self-oblivious force. The energy of self-denial must be his being, his heart and blood and bones. He must go forth as a man among men, clothed with humility, abiding in meekness, wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove; the bonds of a servant with the spirit of a king, a king in high, royal, in dependent bearing, with the simplicity and sweetness of a child. The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God.

The preacher’s sharpest and strongest preaching should be to himself. His most difficult, delicate, laborious, and thorough work must be with himself. The training of the twelve was the great, difficult, and enduring work of Christ. Preachers are not sermon makers, but men makers and saint makers, and he only is well-trained for this business who has made himself a man and a saint. It is not great talents nor great learning nor great preachers that God needs, but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fidelity, great for God — men always preaching by holy sermons in the pulpit, by holy lives out of it. These can mold a generation for God.

After this order, the early Christians were formed. Men they were of solid mold, preachers after the heavenly type — heroic, stalwart, soldierly, saintly. Preaching with them meant self-denying, self-crucifying, serious, toilsome, martyr business. They applied themselves to it in a way that told on their generation, and formed in its womb a generation yet unborn for God. The preaching man is to be the praying man. Prayer is the preacher’s mightiest weapon. An almighty force in itself, it gives life and force to all.

The real sermon is made in the closet. The man — God’s man — is made in the closet. His life and his profoundest convictions were born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages were got when alone with God. Prayer makes the man; prayer makes the preacher; prayer makes the pastor.

The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the pulpit too often only official — a performance for the routine of service. Prayer is not to the modern pulpit the mighty force it was in Paul’s life or Paul’s ministry. Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.


2 Our Sufficiency Is of God

But above all he excelled in prayer. The inwardness and weight of his spirit, the reverence and solemnity of his address and behavior, and the fewness and fullness of his words have often struck even strangers with admiration as they used to reach others with consolation. The most awful, living, reverend frame I ever felt or beheld, I must say, was his prayer. And truly it was a testimony. He knew and lived nearer to the Lord than other men, for they that know him most will see most reason to approach him with reverence and fear.

— William Penn of George Fox

THE sweetest graces by a slight perversion may bear the bitterest fruit. The sun gives life, but sunstrokes are death. Preaching is to give life; it may kill. The preacher holds the keys; he may lock as well as unlock. Preaching is God’s great institution for the planting and maturing of spiritual life. When properly executed, its benefits are untold; when wrongly executed, no evil can exceed its damaging results. It is an easy matter to destroy the flock if the shepherd be unwary or the pasture be destroyed, easy to capture the citadel if the watchmen be asleep or the food and water be poisoned. Invested with such gracious prerogatives, exposed to so great evils, involving so many grave responsibilities, it would be a parody on the shrewdness of the devil and a libel on his character and reputation if he did not bring his master influences to adulterate the preacher and the preaching. In face of all this, the exclamatory interrogatory of Paul, “Who is sufficient for these things?” is never out of order.

Paul says: “Our sufficiency is of God, who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” The true ministry is God-touched, God-enabled, and God-made. The Spirit of God is on the preacher in anointing power, the fruit of the Spirit is in his heart, the Spirit of God has vitalized the man and the word; his preaching gives life, gives life as the spring gives life; gives life as the resurrection gives life; gives ardent life as the summer gives ardent life; gives fruitful life as the autumn gives fruitful life. The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving river.

The preaching that kills is non-spiritual preaching. The ability of the preaching is not from God. Lower sources than God have given to it energy and stimulant. The Spirit is not evident in the preacher nor his preaching. Many kinds of forces may be projected and stimulated by preaching that kills, but they are not spiritual forces. They may resemble spiritual forces, but are only the shadow, the counterfeit; life they may seem to have, but the life is magnetized. The preaching that kills is the letter; shapely and orderly it may be, but it is the letter still, the dry, husky letter, the empty, bald shell. The letter may have the germ of life in it, but it has no breath of spring to evoke it; winter seeds they are, as hard as the winter’s soil, as icy as the winter’s air, no thawing nor germinating by them. This letter-preaching has the truth. But even divine truth has no life-giving energy alone; it must be energized by the Spirit, with all God’s forces at its back. Truth unquickened by God’s Spirit deadens as much as, or more than, error. It may be the truth without admixture; but without the Spirit its shade and touch are deadly, its truth error, its light darkness. The letter-preaching is unctionless, neither mellowed nor oiled by the Spirit. There may be tears, but tears cannot run God’s machinery; tears may be but summer’s breath on a snow-covered iceberg, nothing but surface slush. Feelings and earnestness there may be, but it is the emotion of the actor and the earnestness of the attorney. The preacher may feel from the kindling of his own sparks, be eloquent over his own exegesis, earnest in delivering the product of his own brain; the professor may usurp the place and imitate the fire of the apostle; brains and nerves may serve the place and feign the work of God’s Spirit, and by these forces the letter may glow and sparkle like an illumined text, but the glow and sparkle will be as barren of life as the field sown with pearls. The death-dealing element lies back of the words, back of the sermon, back of the occasion, back of the manner, back of the action. The great hindrance is in the preacher himself. He has not in himself the mighty life-creating forces. There may be no discount on his orthodoxy, honesty, cleanness, or earnestness; but somehow the man, the inner man, in its secret places has never broken down and surrendered to God, his inner life is not a great highway for the transmission of God’s message, God’s power. Somehow self and not God rules in the holy of holiest. Somewhere, all unconscious to himself, some spiritual nonconductor has touched his inner being, and the divine current has been arrested. His inner being has never felt its thorough spiritual bankruptcy, its utter powerlessness; he has never learned to cry out with an ineffable cry of self-despair and self-helplessness till God’s power and God’s fire comes in and fills, purifies, empowers. Self-esteem, self-ability in some pernicious shape has defamed and violated the temple which should be held sacred for God. Life-giving preaching costs the preacher much — death to self, crucifixion to the world, the travail of his own soul. Crucified preaching only can give life. Crucified preaching can come only from a crucified man.


3 The Letter Killeth

During this affliction I was brought to examine my life in relation to eternity closer than I had done when in the enjoyment of health. In this examination relative to the discharge of my duties toward my fellow creatures as a man, a Christian minister, and an officer of the Church, I stood approved by my own conscience; but in relation to my Redeemer and Saviour the result was different. My returns of gratitude and loving obedience bear no proportion to my obligations for redeeming, preserving, and supporting me through the vicissitudes of life from infancy to old age. The coldness of my love to Him who first loved me and has done so much for me overwhelmed and confused me; and to complete my unworthy character, I had not only neglected to improve the grace given to the extent of my duty and privilege, but for want of improvement had, while abounding in perplexing care and labor, declined from first zeal and love. I was confounded, humbled myself, implored mercy, and renewed my covenant to strive and devote myself unreservedly to the Lord.

— Bishop McKendree

THE preaching that kills may be, and often is, orthodox — dogmatically, inviolably orthodox. We love orthodoxy. It is good. It is the best. It is the clean, clear-cut teaching of God’s Word, the trophies won by truth in its conflict with error, the levees which faith has raised against the desolating floods of honest or reckless misbelief or unbelief; but orthodoxy, clear and hard as crystal, suspicious and militant, may be but the letter well-shaped, well-named, and well-learned, the letter which kills. Nothing is so dead as a dead orthodoxy, too dead to speculate, too dead to think, to study, or to pray.

The preaching that kills may have insight and grasp of principles, may be scholarly and critical in taste, may have every minutia of the derivation and grammar of the letter, may be able to trim the letter into its perfect pattern, and illume it as Plato and Cicero may be illumined, may study it as a lawyer studies his text-books to form his brief or to defend his case, and yet be like a frost, a killing frost. Letter-preaching may be eloquent, enameled with poetry and rhetoric, sprinkled with prayer spiced with sensation, illumined by genius and yet these be but the massive or chaste, costly mountings, the rare and beautiful flowers which coffin the corpse. The preaching which kills may be without scholarship, unmarked by any freshness of thought or feeling, clothed in tasteless generalities or vapid specialties, with style irregular, slovenly, savoring neither of closet nor of study, graced neither by thought, expression, or prayer. Under such preaching how wide and utter the desolation! how profound the spiritual death!

This letter-preaching deals with the surface and shadow of things, and not the things themselves. It does not penetrate the inner part. It has no deep insight into, no strong grasp of, the hidden life of God’s Word. It is true to the outside, but the outside is the hull which must be broken and penetrated for the kernel. The letter may be dressed so as to attract and be fashionable, but the attraction is not toward God nor is the fashion for heaven. The failure is in the preacher. God has not made him. He has never been in the hands of God like clay in the hands of the potter. He has been busy about the sermon, its thought and finish, its drawing and impressive forces; but the deep things of God have never been sought, studied, fathomed, experienced by him. He has never stood before “the throne high and lifted up,” never heard the seraphim song, never seen the vision nor felt the rush of that awful holiness, and cried out in utter abandon and despair under the sense of weakness and guilt, and had his life renewed, his heart touched, purged, inflamed by the live coal from God’s altar. His ministry may draw people to him, to the Church, to the form and ceremony; but no true drawings to God, no sweet, holy, divine communion induced. The Church has been frescoed but not edified, pleased but not sanctified. Life is suppressed; a chill is on the summer air; the soil is baked. The city of our God becomes the city of the dead; the Church a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is dead. The preacher and the preaching have helped sin, not holiness; peopled hell, not heaven.

Preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer the preacher creates death, and not life. The preacher who is feeble in prayer is feeble in life-giving forces. The preacher who has retired prayer as a conspicuous and largely prevailing element in his own character has shorn his preaching of its distinctive life-giving power. Professional praying there is and will be, but professional praying helps the preaching to its deadly work. Professional praying chills and kills both preaching and praying. Much of the lax devotion and lazy, irreverent attitudes in congregational praying are attributable to professional praying in the pulpit. Long, discursive, dry, and inane are the prayers in many pulpits. Without unction or heart, they fall like a killing frost on all the graces of worship. Death-dealing prayers they are. Every vestige of devotion has perished under their breath. The deader they are the longer they grow. A plea for short praying, live praying, real heart praying, praying by the Holy Spirit — direct, specific, ardent, simple, unctuous in the pulpit — is in order. A school to teach preachers how to pray, as God counts praying, would be more beneficial to true piety, true worship, and true preaching than all theological schools.

Stop! Pause! Consider! Where are we? What are we doing? Preaching to kill? Praying to kill? Praying to God! the great God, the Maker of all worlds, the Judge of all men! What reverence! what simplicity! what sincerity! what truth in the inward parts is demanded! How real we must be! How hearty! Prayer to God the noblest exercise, the loftiest effort of man, the most real thing! Shall we not discard forever accursed preaching that kills and prayer that kills, and do the real thing, the mightiest thing — prayerful praying, life-creating preaching, bring the mightiest force to bear on heaven and earth and draw on God’s exhaustless and open treasure for the need and beggary of man?


4 Tendencies to Be Avoided

Let us often look at Brainerd in the woods of America pouring out his very soul before God for the perishing heathen without whose salvation nothing could make him happy. Prayer — secret fervent believing prayer — lies at the root of all personal godliness. A competent knowledge of the language where a missionary lives, a mild and winning temper, a heart given up to God in closet religion — these, these are the attainments which, more than all knowledge, or all other gifts, will fit us to become the instruments of God in the great work of human redemption.

— Carrey’s Brotherhood, Serampore

THERE are two extreme tendencies in the ministry. The one is to shut itself out from intercourse with the people. The monk, the hermit were illustrations of this; they shut themselves out from men to be more with God. They failed, of course. Our being with God is of use only as we expend its priceless benefits on men. This age, neither with preacher nor with people, is much intent on God. Our hankering is not that way. We shut ourselves to our study, we become students, bookworms, Bible worms, sermon makers, noted for literature, thought, and sermons; but the people and God, where are they? Out of heart, out of mind. Preachers who are great thinkers, great students must be the greatest of prayers, or else they will be the greatest of backsliders, heartless professionals, rationalistic, less than the least of preachers in God’s estimate.

The other tendency is to thoroughly popularize the ministry. He is no longer God’s man, but a man of affairs, of the people. He prays not, because his mission is to the people. If he can move the people, create an interest, a sensation in favor of religion, an interest in Church work — he is satisfied. His personal relation to God is no factor in his work. Prayer has little or no place in his plans. The disaster and ruin of such a ministry cannot be computed by earthly arithmetic. What the preacher is in prayer to God, for himself, for his people, so is his power for real good to men, so is his true fruitfulness, his true fidelity to God, to man, for time, for eternity.

It is impossible for the preacher to keep his spirit in harmony with the divine nature of his high calling without much prayer. That the preacher by dint of duty and laborious fidelity to the work and routine of the ministry can keep himself in trim and fitness is a serious mistake. Even sermon-making, incessant and taxing as an art, as a duty, as a work, or as a pleasure, will engross and harden, will estrange the heart, by neglect of prayer, from God. The scientist loses God in nature. The preacher may lose God in his sermon.

Prayer freshens the heart of the preacher, keeps it in tune with God and in sympathy with the people, lifts his ministry out of the chilly air of a profession, fructifies routine and moves every wheel with the facility and power of a divine unction.

Mr. Spurgeon says: “Of course the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer. He prays as an ordinary Christian, else he were a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians, else he were disqualified for the office he has undertaken. If you as ministers are not very prayerful, you are to be pitied. If you become lax in sacred devotion, not only will you need to be pitied but your people also, and the day cometh in which you shall be ashamed and confounded. All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with our closets. Our seasons of fasting and prayer at the Tabernacle have been high days indeed; never has heaven’s gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the central Glory.”

The praying which makes a prayerful ministry is not a little praying put in as we put flavor to give it a pleasant smack, but the praying must be in the body, and form the blood and bones. Prayer is no petty duty, put into a corner; no piecemeal performance made out of the fragments of time which have been snatched from business and other engagements of life; but it means that the best of our time, the heart of our time and strength must be given. It does not mean the closet absorbed in the study or swallowed up in the activities of ministerial duties; but it means the closet first, the study and activities second, both study and activities freshened and made efficient by the closet. Prayer that affects one’s ministry must give tone to one’s life. The praying which gives color and bent to character is no pleasant, hurried pastime. It must enter as strongly into the heart and life as Christ’s “strong crying and tears” did; must draw out the soul into an agony of desire as Paul’s did; must be an inwrought fire and force like the “effectual, fervent prayer” of James; must be of that quality which, when put into the golden censer and incensed before God, works mighty spiritual throes and revolutions.

Prayer is not a little habit pinned on to us while we were tied to our mother’s apron strings; neither is it a little decent quarter of a minute’s grace said over an hour’s dinner, but it is a most serious work of our most serious years. It engages more of time and appetite than our longest dinings or richest feasts. The prayer that makes much of our preaching must be made much of. The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong, gives it unction, and makes it stick. In every ministry weighty for good, prayer has always been a serious business.

The preacher must be preeminently a man of prayer. His heart must graduate in the school of prayer. In the school of prayer only can the heart learn to preach. No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack.

Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men. More than this, prayerless words in the pulpit and out of it are deadening words.


5 Prayer, the Great Essential

You know the value of prayer: it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it — Sir Thomas Buxton Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then, my dear brother: pray, pray, pray — Edward Payson

 

PRAYER, in the preacher’s life, in the preacher’s study, in the preacher’s pulpit, must be a conspicuous and an all-impregnating force and an all-coloring ingredient. It must play no secondary part, be no mere coating. To him it is given to be with his Lord “all night in prayer.” The preacher, to train himself in self-denying prayer, is charged to look to his Master, who, “rising up a great while before day, went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” The preacher’s study ought to be a closet, a Bethel, an altar, a vision, and a ladder, that every thought might ascend heavenward ere it went manward; that every part of the sermon might be scented by the air of heaven and made serious, because God was in the study.

As the engine never moves until the fire is kindled, so preaching, with all its machinery, perfection, and polish, is at a dead standstill, as far as spiritual results are concerned, till prayer has kindled and created the steam. The texture, fineness, and strength of the sermon is as so much rubbish unless the mighty impulse of prayer is in it, through it, and behind it. The preacher must, by prayer, put God in the sermon. The preacher must, by prayer, move God toward the people before he can move the people to God by his words. The preacher must have had audience and ready access to God before he can have access to the people. An open way to God for the preacher is the surest pledge of an open way to the people.

It is necessary to iterate and reiterate that prayer, as a mere habit, as a performance gone through by routine or in a professional way, is a dead and rotten thing. Such praying has no connection with the praying for which we plead. We are stressing true praying, which engages and sets on fire every high element of the preacher’s being — prayer which is born of vital oneness with Christ and the fullness of the Holy Ghost, which springs from the deep, overflowing fountains of tender compassion, deathless solicitude for man’s eternal good; a consuming zeal for the glory of God; a thorough conviction of the preacher’s difficult and delicate work and of the imperative need of God’s mightiest help. Praying grounded on these solemn and profound convictions is the only true praying. Preaching backed by such praying is the only preaching which sows the seeds of eternal life in human hearts and builds men up for heaven.

It is true that there may be popular preaching, pleasant preaching, taking preaching, preaching of much intellectual, literary, and brainy force, with its measure and form of good, with little or no praying; but the preaching which secures God’s end in preaching must be born of prayer from text to exordium, delivered with the energy and spirit of prayer, followed and made to germinate, and kept in vital force in the hearts of the hearers by the preacher’s prayers, long after the occasion has past.

We may excuse the spiritual poverty of our preaching in many ways, but the true secret will be found in the lack of urgent prayer for God’s presence in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are preachers innumerable who can deliver masterful sermons after their order; but the effects are short-lived and do not enter as a factor at all into the regions of the spirit where the fearful war between God and Satan, heaven and hell, is being waged because they are not made powerfully militant and spiritually victorious by prayer.

The preachers who gain mighty results for God are the men who have prevailed in their pleadings with God ere venturing to plead with men. The preachers who are the mightiest in their closets with God are the mightiest in their pulpits with men.

Preachers are human folks, and are exposed to and often caught by the strong driftings of human currents. Praying is spiritual work; and human nature does not like taxing, spiritual work. Human nature wants to sail to heaven under a favoring breeze, a full, smooth sea. Prayer is humbling work. It abases intellect and pride, crucifies vainglory, and signs our spiritual bankruptcy, and all these are hard for flesh and blood to bear. It is easier not to pray than to bear them. So we come to one of the crying evils of these times, maybe of all times — little or no praying. Of these two evils, perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salvo for the conscience, a farce and a delusion.

The little estimate we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it. The time given to prayer by the average preacher scarcely counts in the sum of the daily aggregate. Not infrequently the preacher’s only praying is by his bedside in his nightdress, ready for bed and soon in it, with, perchance the addition of a few hasty snatches of prayer ere he is dressed in the morning. How feeble, vain, and little is such praying compared with the time and energy devoted to praying by holy men in and out of the Bible! How poor and mean our petty, childish praying is beside the habits of the true men of God in all ages! To men who think praying their main business and devote time to it according to this high estimate of its importance does God commit the keys of his kingdom, and by them does he work his spiritual wonders in this world. Great praying is the sign and seal of God’s great leaders and the earnest of the conquering forces with which God will crown their labors.

The preacher is commissioned to pray as well as to preach. His mission is incomplete if he does not do both well. The preacher may speak with all the eloquence of men and of angels; but unless he can pray with a faith which draws all heaven to his aid, his preaching will be “as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” for permanent God-honoring, soul-saving uses.


6 A Praying Ministry Successful

The principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray. I can write or read or converse or hear with a ready heart; but prayer is more spiritual and inward than any of these, and the more spiritual any duty is the more my carnal heart is apt to start from it. Prayer and patience and faith are never disappointed. I have long since learned that if ever I was to be a minister faith and prayer must make me one. When I can find my heart in frame and liberty for prayer, everything else is comparatively easy.

— Richard Newton

IT may be put down as a spiritual axiom that in every truly successful ministry prayer is an evident and controlling force — evident and controlling in the life of the preacher, evident and controlling in the deep spirituality of his work. A ministry may be a very thoughtful ministry without prayer; the preacher may secure fame and popularity without prayer; the whole machinery of the preacher’s life and work may be run without the oil of prayer or with scarcely enough to grease one cog; but no ministry can be a spiritual one, securing holiness in the preacher and in his people, without prayer being made an evident and controlling force.

The preacher that prays indeed puts God into the work. God does not come into the preacher’s work as a matter of course or on general principles, but he comes by prayer and special urgency. That God will be found of us in the day that we seek him with the whole heart is as true of the preacher as of the penitent. A prayerful ministry is the only ministry that brings the preacher into sympathy with the people. Prayer as essentially unites to the human as it does to the divine. A prayerful ministry is the only ministry qualified for the high offices and responsibilities of the preacher. Colleges, learning, books, theology, preaching cannot make a preacher, but praying does. The apostles’ commission to preach was a blank till filled up by the Pentecost which praying brought. A prayerful minister has passed beyond the regions of the popular, beyond the man of mere affairs, of secularities, of pulpit attractiveness; passed beyond the ecclesiastical organizer or general into a sublimer and mightier region, the region of the spiritual. Holiness is the product of his work; transfigured hearts and lives emblazon the reality of his work, its trueness and substantial nature. God is with him. His ministry is not projected on worldly or surface principles. He is deeply stored with and deeply schooled in the things of God. His long, deep communings with God about his people and the agony of his wrestling spirit have crowned him as a prince in the things of God. The iciness of the mere professional has long since melted under the intensity of his praying.

The superficial results of many a ministry, the deadness of others, are to be found in the lack of praying. No ministry can succeed without much praying, and this praying must be fundamental, ever-abiding, ever-increasing. The text, the sermon, should be the result of prayer. The study should be bathed in prayer, all its duties so impregnated with prayer, its whole spirit the spirit of prayer. “I am sorry that I have prayed so little,” was the deathbed regret of one of God’s chosen ones, a sad and remorseful regret for a preacher. “I want a life of greater, deeper, truer prayer,” said the late Archbishop Tait. So may we all say, and this may we all secure.

God’s true preachers have been distinguished by one great feature: they were men of prayer. Differing often in many things, they have always had a common center. They may have started from different points, and traveled by different roads, but they converged to one point: they were one in prayer. God to there was the center of attraction, and prayer was the path that led to God. These men prayed not occasionally, not a little at regular or at odd times; but they so prayed that their prayers entered into and shaped their characters; they so prayed as to affect their own lives and the lives of others; they so prayed as to make the history of the Church and influence the current of the times. They spent much time in prayer, not because they marked the shadow on the dial or the hands on the clock, but because it was to them so momentous and engaging a business that they could scarcely give over.

Prayer was to them what it was to Paul, a striving with earnest effort of soul; what it was to Jacob, a wrestling and prevailing; what it was to Christ, “strong crying and tears.” They “prayed always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance.” “The effectual, fervent prayer” has been the mightiest weapon of God’s mightiest soldiers. The statement in regard to Elijah — that he “was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” — comprehends all prophets and preachers who have moved their generation for God, and shows the instrument by which they worked their wonders.


7 Much Time Should Be Given to Prayer

The great masters and teachers in Christian doctrine have always found in prayer their highest source of illumination. Not to go beyond the limits of the English Church, it is recorded of Bishop Andrews that he spent five hours daily on his knees. The greatest practical resolves that have enriched and beautified human life in Christian times have been arrived at in prayer.

— Canon Liddon

WHILE many private prayers, in the nature of things, must be short; while public prayers, as a rule, ought to be short and condensed; while there is ample room for and value put on ejaculatory prayer — yet in our private communions with God time is a feature essential to its value. Much time spent with God is the secret of all successful praying. Prayer which is felt as a mighty force is the mediate or immediate product of much time spent with God. Our short prayers owe their point and efficiency to the long ones that have preceded them. The short prevailing prayer cannot be prayed by one who has not prevailed with God in a mightier struggle of long continuance. Jacob’s victory of faith could not have been gained without that all-night wrestling. God’s acquaintance is not made by pop calls. God does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comers and goers. Much with God alone is the secret of knowing him and of influence with him. He yields to the persistency of a faith that knows him. He bestows his richest gifts upon those who declare their desire for and appreciation of those gifts by the constancy as well as earnestness of their importunity. Christ, who in this as well as other things is our Example, spent many whole nights in prayer. His custom was to pray much. He had his habitual place to pray. Many long seasons of praying make up his history and character. Paul prayed day and night. It took time from very important interests for Daniel to pray three times a day. David’s morning, noon, and night praying were doubtless on many occasions very protracted. While we have no specific account of the time these Bible saints spent in prayer, yet the indications are that they consumed much time in prayer, and on some occasions long seasons of praying was their custom.

We would not have any think that the value of their prayers is to be measured by the clock, but our purpose is to impress on our minds the necessity of being much alone with God; and that if this feature has not been produced by our faith, then our faith is of a feeble and surface type.

The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully affected the world for him, have been men who spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature of their lives. Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in the morning. Of him, one who knew him well wrote: “He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else, and I have seen him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining.” John Fletcher stained the walls of his room by the breath of his prayers. Sometimes he would pray all night; always, frequently, and with great earnestness. His whole life was a life of prayer. “I would not rise from my seat,” he said, “without lifting my heart to God.” His greeting to a friend was always: “Do I meet you praying?” Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” He had a motto: “He that has prayed well has studied well.”

Archbishop Leighton was so much alone with God that he seemed to be in a perpetual meditation. “Prayer and praise were his business and his pleasure,” says his biographer. Bishop Ken was so much with God that his soul was said to be God-enamored. He was with God before the clock struck three every morning. Bishop Asbury said: “I propose to rise at four o’clock as often as I can and spend two hours in prayer and meditation.” Samuel Rutherford, the fragrance of whose piety is still rich, rose at three in the morning to meet God in prayer. Joseph Alleine arose at four o’clock for his business of praying till eight. If he heard other tradesmen plying their business before he was up, he would exclaim: “O how this shames me! Doth not my Master deserve more than theirs?” He who has learned this trade well draws at will, on sight, and with acceptance of heaven’s unfailing bank.

One of the holiest and among the most gifted of Scotch preachers says: “I ought to spend the best hours in communion with God. It is my noblest and most fruitful employment, and is not to be thrust into a corner. The morning hours, from six to eight, are the most uninterrupted and should be thus employed. After tea is my best hour, and that should be solemnly dedicated to God. I ought not to give up the good old habit of prayer before going to bed; but guard must be kept against sleep. When I awake in the night, I ought to rise and pray. A little time after breakfast might be given to intercession.” This was the praying plan of Robert McCheyne. The memorable Methodist band in their praying shame us. “From four to five in the morning, private prayer; from five to six in the evening, private prayer.”

John Welch, the holy and wonderful Scotch preacher, thought the day ill spent if he did not spend eight or ten hours in prayer. He kept a plaid that he might wrap himself when he arose to pray at night. His wife would complain when she found him lying on the ground weeping. He would reply: “O woman, I have the souls of three thousand to answer for, and I know not how it is with many of them!”


8 Examples of Praying Men

The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human mind is capable; praying, that is, with the total concentration of the faculties. The great mass of worldly men and of learned men are absolutely incapable of prayer.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

BISHOP WILSON says: In H. Martyn’s journal the spirit of prayer, the time he devoted to the duty, and his fervor in it are the first things which strike me.”

Payson wore the hard-wood boards into grooves where his knees pressed so often and so long. His biographer says: “His continuing instant in prayer, be his circumstances what they might, is the most noticeable fact in his history, and points out the duty of all who would rival his eminency. To his ardent and persevering prayers must no doubt be ascribed in a great measure his distinguished and almost uninterrupted success.”

The Marquis DeRenty, to whom Christ was most precious, ordered his servant to call him from his devotions at the end of half an hour. The servant at the time saw his face through an aperture. It was marked with such holiness that he hated to arouse him. His lips were moving, but he was perfectly silent. He waited until three half hours had passed; then he called to him, when he arose from his knees, saying that the half hour was so short when he was communing with Christ.

Brainerd said: “I love to be alone in my cottage, where I can spend much time in prayer.”

William Bramwell is famous in Methodist annals for personal holiness and for his wonderful success in preaching and for the marvelous answers to his prayers. For hours at a time he would pray. He almost lived on his knees. He went over his circuits like a flame of fire. The fire was kindled by the time he spent in prayer. He often spent as much as four hours in a single season of prayer in retirement.

Bishop Andrewes spent the greatest part of five hours every day in prayer and devotion.

Sir Henry Havelock always spent the first two hours of each day alone with God. If the encampment was struck at 6 A.M., he would rise at four.

Earl Cairns rose daily at six o’clock to secure an hour and a half for the study of the Bible and for prayer, before conducting family worship at a quarter to eight.

Dr. Judson’s success in prayer is attributable to the fact that he gave much time to prayer. He says on this point: “Arrange thy affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three hours every day not merely to devotional exercises but to the very act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor seven times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after midnight and devoting some time amid the silence and darkness of the night to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find thee at the same work. Let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six, and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in his cause. Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy time is short, and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God.” Impossible, say we, fanatical directions! Dr. Judson impressed an empire for Christ and laid the foundations of God’s kingdom with imperishable granite in the heart of Burmah. He was successful, one of the few men who mightily impressed the world for Christ. Many men of greater gifts and genius and learning than he have made no such impression; their religious work is like footsteps in the sands, but he has engraven his work on the adamant. The secret of its profundity and endurance is found in the fact that he gave time to prayer. He kept the iron red-hot with prayer, and God’s skill fashioned it with enduring power. No man can do a great and enduring work for God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of prayer who does not give much time to praying.

Is it true that prayer is simply the compliance with habit, dull and mechanical? A petty performance into which we are trained till tameness, shortness, superficiality are its chief elements? “Is it true that prayer is, as is assumed, little else than the half-passive play of sentiment which flows languidly on through the minutes or hours of easy reverie?” Canon Liddon continues: “Let those who have really prayed give the answer. They sometimes describe prayer with the patriarch Jacob as a wrestling together with an Unseen Power which may last, not unfrequently in an earnest life, late into the night hours, or even to the break of day. Sometimes they refer to common intercession with St. Paul as a concerted struggle. They have, when praying, their eyes fixed on the Great Intercessor in Gethsemane, upon the drops of blood which fall to the ground in that agony of resignation and sacrifice. Importunity is of the essence of successful prayer. Importunity means not dreaminess but sustained work. It is through prayer especially that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force. It was a saying of the late Bishop Hamilton that “No man is likely to do much good in prayer who does not begin by looking upon it in the light of a work to be prepared for and persevered in with all the earnestness which we bring to bear upon subjects which are in our opinion at once most interesting and most necessary.”


9 Begin the Day with Prayer

I ought to pray before seeing any one. Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, it is eleven or twelve o’clock before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system. It is unscriptural. Christ arose before day and went into a solitary place. David says: “Early will I seek thee”; “Thou shalt early hear my voice.” Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness, and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me. The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. Then when in secret prayer the soul is often out of tune, I feel it is far better to begin with God — to see his face first, to get my soul near him before it is near another.

— Robert Murray McCheyne

THE men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, he will be in the last place the remainder of the day.

Behind this early rising and early praying is the ardent desire which presses us into this pursuit after God. Morning listlessness is the index to a listless heart. The heart which is behindhand in seeking God in the morning has lost its relish for God. David’s heart was ardent after God. He hungered and thirsted after God, and so he sought God early, before daylight. The bed and sleep could not chain his soul in its eagerness after God. Christ longed for communion with God; and so, rising a great while before day, he would go out into the mountain to pray. The disciples, when fully awake and ashamed of their indulgence, would know where to find him. We might go through the list of men who have mightily impressed the world for God, and we would find them early after God.

A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully. The desire for God that keeps so far behind the devil and the world at the beginning of the day will never catch up.

It is not simply the getting up that puts men to the front and makes them captain generals in God’s hosts, but it is the ardent desire which stirs and breaks all self-indulgent chains. But the getting up gives vent, increase, and strength to the desire. If they had lain in bed and indulged themselves, the desire would have been quenched. The desire aroused them and put them on the stretch for God, and this heeding and acting on the call gave their faith its grasp on God and gave to their hearts the sweetest and fullest revelation of God, and this strength of faith and fullness of revelation made them saints by eminence, and the halo of their sainthood has come down to us, and we have entered on the enjoyment of their conquests. But we take our fill in enjoyment, and not in productions. We build their tombs and write their epitaphs, but are careful not to follow their examples.

We need a generation of preachers who seek God and seek him early, who give the freshness and dew of effort to God, and secure in return the freshness and fullness of his power that he may be as the dew to them, full of gladness and strength, through all the heat and labor of the day. Our laziness after God is our crying sin. The children of this world are far wiser than we. They are at it early and late. We do not seek God with ardor and diligence. No man gets God who does not follow hard after him, and no soul follows hard after God who is not after him in early morn.


10 Prayer and Devotion United

There is a manifest want of spiritual influence on the ministry of the present day. I feel it in my own case and I see it in that of others. I am afraid there is too much of a low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper of mind among us. We are laying ourselves out more than is expedient to meet one man’s taste and another man’s prejudices. The ministry is a grand and holy affair, and it should find in us a simple habit of spirit and a holy but humble indifference to all consequences. The leading defect in Christian ministers is want of a devotional habit.

— Richard Cecil

NEVER was there greater need for saintly men and women; more imperative still is the call for saintly, God-devoted preachers. The world moves with gigantic strides. Satan has his hold and rule on the world, and labors to make all its movements subserve his ends. Religion must do its best work, present its most attractive and perfect models. By every means, modern sainthood must be inspired by the loftiest ideals and by the largest possibilities through the Spirit. Paul lived on his knees, that the Ephesian Church might measure the heights, breadths, and depths of an unmeasurable saintliness, and “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Epaphras laid himself out with the exhaustive toil and strenuous conflict of fervent prayer, that the Colossian Church might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Everywhere, everything in apostolic times was on the stretch that the people of God might each and “all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” No premium was given to dwarfs; no encouragement to an old babyhood. The babies were to grow; the old, instead of feebleness and infirmities, were to bear fruit in old age, and be fat and flourishing. The divinest thing in religion is holy men and holy women.

No amount of money, genius, or culture can move things for God. Holiness energizing the soul, the whole man aflame with love, with desire for more faith, more prayer, more zeal, more consecration — this is the secret of power. These we need and must have, and men must be the incarnation of this God-inflamed devotedness. God’s advance has been stayed, his cause crippled: his name dishonored for their lack. Genius (though the loftiest and most gifted), education (though the most learned and refined), position, dignity, place, honored names, high ecclesiastics cannot move this chariot of our God. It is a fiery one, and fiery forces only can move it. The genius of a Milton fails. The imperial strength of a Leo fails. Brainerd’s spirit can move it. Brainerd’s spirit was on fire for God, on fire for souls. Nothing earthly, worldly, selfish came in to abate in the least the intensity of this all-impelling and all-consuming force and flame.

Prayer is the creator as well as the channel of devotion. The spirit of devotion is the spirit of prayer. Prayer and devotion are united as soul and body are united, as life and the heart are united. There is no real prayer without devotion, no devotion without prayer. The preacher must be surrendered to God in the holiest devotion. He is not a professional man, his ministry is not a profession; it is a divine institution, a divine devotion. He is devoted to God. His aim, aspirations, ambition are for God and to God, and to such prayer is as essential as food is to life.

The preacher, above everything else, must be devoted to God. The preacher’s relations to God are the insignia and credentials of his ministry. These must be clear, conclusive, unmistakable. No common, surface type of piety must be his. If he does not excel in grace, he does not excel at all. If he does not preach by life, character, conduct, he does not preach at all. If his piety be light, his preaching may be as soft and as sweet as music, as gifted as Apollo, yet its weight will be a feather’s weight, visionary, fleeting as the morning cloud or the early dew. Devotion to God — there is no substitute for this in the preacher’s character and conduct. Devotion to a Church, to opinions, to an organization, to orthodoxy — these are paltry, misleading, and vain when they become the source of inspiration, the animus of a call. God must be the mainspring of the preacher’s effort, the fountain and crown of all his toil. The name and honor of Jesus Christ, the advance of his cause, must be all in all. The preacher must have no inspiration but the name of Jesus Christ, no ambition but to have him glorified, no toil but for him. Then prayer will be a source of his illuminations, the means of perpetual advance, the gauge of his success. The perpetual aim, the only ambition, the preacher can cherish is to have God with him.

Never did the cause of God need perfect illustrations of the possibilities of prayer more than in this age. No age, no person, will be ensamples of the gospel power except the ages or persons of deep and earnest prayer. A prayerless age will have but scant models of divine power. Prayerless hearts will never rise to these Alpine heights. The age may be a better age than the past, but there is an infinite distance between the betterment of an age by the force of an advancing civilization and its betterment by the increase of holiness and Christlikeness by the energy of prayer. The Jews were much better when Christ came than in the ages before. It was the golden age of their Pharisaic religion. Their golden religious age crucified Christ. Never more praying, never less praying; never more sacrifices, never less sacrifice; never less idolatry, never more idolatry; never more of temple worship, never less of God worship; never more of lip service, never less of heart service (God worshiped by lips whose hearts and hands crucified God’s Son!); never more of churchgoers, never less of saints.

It is prayer-force which makes saints. Holy characters are formed by the power of real praying. The more of true saints, the more of praying; the more of praying, the more of true saints.


11 An Example of Devotion

I urge upon you communion with Christ a growing communion. There are curtains to be drawn aside in Christ that we never saw, and new foldings of love in him. I despair that I shall ever win to the far end of that love, there are so many plies in it. Therefore dig deep, and sweat and labor and take pains for him, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can. We will be won in the labor.

— Samuel Rutherford

God has now, and has had, many of these devoted, prayerful preachers — men in whose lives prayer has been a mighty, controlling, conspicuous force. The world has felt their power, God has felt and honored their power, God’s cause has moved mightily and swiftly by their prayers, holiness has shone out in their characters with a divine effulgence.

God found one of the men he was looking for in David Brainerd, whose work and name have gone into history. He was no ordinary man, but was capable of shining in any company, the peer of the wise and gifted ones, eminently suited to fill the most attractive pulpits and to labor among the most refined and the cultured, who were so anxious to secure him for their pastor. President Edwards bears testimony that he was “a young man of distingushed talents, had extraordinary knowledge of men and things, had rare conversational powers, excelled in his knowledge of theology, and was truly, for one so young, an extraordinary divine, and especially in all matters relating to experimental religion. I never knew his equal of his age and standing for clear and accurate notions of the nature and essence of true religion. His manner in prayer was almost inimitable, such as I have very rarely known equaled. His learning was very considerable, and he had extraordinary gifts for the pulpit.”

No sublimer story has been recorded in earthly annals than that of David Brainerd; no miracle attests with diviner force the truth of Christianity than the life and work of such a man. Alone in the savage wilds of America, struggling day and night with a mortal disease, unschooled in the care of souls, having access to the Indians for a large portion of time only through the bungling medium of a pagan interpreter, with the Word of God in his heart and in his hand, his soul fired with the divine flame, a place and time to pour out his soul to God in prayer, he fully established the worship of God and secured all its gracious results. The Indians were changed with a great change from the lowest besotments of an ignorant and debased heathenism to pure, devout, intelligent Christians; all vice reformed, the external duties of Christianity at once embraced and acted on; family prayer set up; the Sabbath instituted and religiously observed; the internal graces of religion exhibited with growing sweetness and strength. The solution of these results is found in David Brainerd himself, not in the conditions or accidents but in the man Brainerd. He was God’s man, for God first and last and all the time. God could flow unhindered through him. The omnipotence of grace was neither arrested nor straightened by the conditions of his heart; the whole channel was broadened and cleaned out for God’s fullest and most powerful passage, so that God with all his mighty forces could come down on the hopeless, savage wilderness, and transform it into his blooming and fruitful garden; for nothing is too hard for God to do if he can get the right kind of a man to do it with.

Brainerd lived the life of holiness and prayer. His diary is full and monotonous with the record of his seasons of fasting, meditation, and retirement. The time he spent in private prayer amounted to many hours daily. “When I return home,” he said, “and give myself to meditation, prayer, and fasting, my soul longs for mortification, self-denial, humility, and divorcement from all things of the world.” “I have nothing to do,” he said, “with earth but only to labor in it honestly for God. I do not desire to live one minute for anything which earth can afford.” After this high order did he pray: “Feeling somewhat of the sweetness of communion with God and the constraining force of his love, and how admirably it captivates the soul and makes all the desires and affections to center in God, I set apart this day for secret fasting and prayer, to entreat God to direct and bless me with regard to the great work which I have in view of preaching the gospel, and that the Lord would return to me and show me the light of his countenance. I had little life and power in the forenoon. Near the middle of the afternoon God enabled me to wrestle ardently in intercession for my absent friends, but just at night the Lord visited me marvelously in prayer. I think my soul was never in such agony before. I felt no restraint, for the treasures of divine grace were opened to me. I wrestled for absent friends, for the ingathering of souls, for multitudes of poor souls, and for many that I thought were the children of God, personally, in many distant places. I was in such agony from sun half an hour high till near dark that I was all over wet with sweat, but yet it seemed to me I had done nothing. O, my dear Saviour did sweat blood for poor souls! I longed for more compassion toward them. I felt still in a sweet frame, under a sense of divine love and grace, and went to bed in such a frame, with my heart set on God.” It was prayer which gave to his life and ministry their marvelous power.

The men of mighty prayer are men of spiritual might. Prayers never die. Brainerd’s whole life was a life of prayer. By day and by night he prayed. Before preaching and after preaching he prayed. Riding through the interminable solitudes of the forests he prayed. On his bed of straw he prayed. Retiring to the dense and lonely forests, he prayed. Hour by hour, day after day, early morn and late at night, he was praying and fasting, pouring out his soul, interceding, communing with God. He was with God mightily in prayer, and God was with him mightily, and by it he being dead yet speaketh and worketh, and will speak and work till the end comes, and among the to glorious ones of that glorious day he will be with the first.

Jonathan Edwards says of him: “His life shows the right way to success in the works of the ministry. He sought it as the soldier seeks victory in a siege or battle; or as a man that runs a race for a great prize. Animated with love to Christ and souls, how did he labor? Always fervently. Not only in word and doctrine, in public and in private, but in prayers by day and night, wrestling with God in secret and travailing in birth with unutterable groans and agonies, until Christ was formed in the hearts of the people to whom he was sent. Like a true son of Jacob, he persevered in wrestling through all the darkness of the night, until the breaking of the day!”


12 Heart Preparation Necessary

For nothing reaches the heart but what is from the heart or pierces the conscience but what comes from a living conscience.

— William Penn In the morning was more engaged in preparing the head than the heart. This has been frequently my error, and I have always felt the evil of it especially in prayer. Reform it then, O Lord! Enlarge my heart and I shall preach. — Robert Murray McCheyne A sermon that has more head infused into it than heart will not borne home with efficacy to the hearers. — Richard Cecil

PRAYER, with its manifold and many-sided forces, helps the mouth to utter the truth in its fullness and freedom. The preacher is to be prayed for, the preacher is made by prayer. The preacher’s mouth is to be prayed for; his mouth is to be opened and filled by prayer. A holy mouth is made by praying, by much praying; a brave mouth is made by praying, by much praying. The Church and the world, God and heaven, owe much to Paul’s mouth; Paul’s mouth owed its power to prayer.

How manifold, illimitable, valuable, and helpful prayer is to the preacher in so many ways, at so many points, in every way! One great value is, it helps his heart.

Praying makes the preacher a heart preacher. Prayer puts the preacher’s heart into the preacher’s sermon; prayer puts the preacher’s sermon into the preacher’s heart.

The heart makes the preacher. Men of great hearts are great preachers. Men of bad hearts may do a measure of good, but this is rare. The hireling and the stranger may help the sheep at some points, but it is the good shepherd with the good shepherd’s heart who will bless the sheep and answer the full measure of the shepherd’s place.

We have emphasized sermon-preparation until we have lost sight of the important thing to be prepared — the heart. A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon.

Volumes have been written laying down the mechanics and taste of sermon-making, until we have become possessed with the idea that this scaffolding is the building. The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, taste, and beauty of his sermon as a mechanical and intellectual product. We have thereby cultivated a vicious taste among the people and raised the clamor for talent instead of grace, eloquence instead of piety, rhetoric instead of revelation, reputation and brilliancy instead of holiness. By it we have lost the true idea of preaching, lost preaching power, lost pungent conviction for sin, lost the rich experience and elevated Christian character, lost the authority over consciences and lives which always results from genuine preaching.

It would not do to say that preachers study too much. Some of them do not study at all; others do not study enough. Numbers do not study the right way to show themselves workmen approved of God. But our great lack is not in head culture, but in heart culture; not lack of knowledge but lack of holiness is our sad and telling defect — not that we know too much, but that we do not meditate on God and his word and watch and fast and pray enough. The heart is the great hindrance to our preaching. Words pregnant with divine truth find in our hearts nonconductors; arrested, they fall shorn and powerless.

Can ambition, that lusts after praise and place, preach the gospel of Him who made himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant? Can the proud, the vain, the egotistical preach the gospel of him who was meek and lowly? Can the bad-tempered, passionate, selfish, hard, worldly man preach the system which teems with long-suffering, self-denial, tenderness, which imperatively demands separation from enmity and crucifixion to the world? Can the hireling official, heartless, perfunctory, preach the gospel which demands the shepherd to give his life for the sheep? Can the covetous man, who counts salary and money, preach the gospel till he has gleaned his heart and can say in the spirit of Christ and Paul in the words of Wesley: “I count it dung and dross; I trample it under my feet; I (yet not I, but the grace of God in me) esteem it just as the mire of the streets, I desire it not, I seek it not?” God’s revelation does not need the light of human genius, the polish and strength of human culture, the brilliancy of human thought, the force of human brains to adorn or enforce it; but it does demand the simplicity, the docility, humility, and faith of a child’s heart.

It was this surrender and subordination of intellect and genius to the divine and spiritual forces which made Paul peerless among the apostles. It was this which gave Wesley his power and radicated his labors in the history of humanity. This gave to Loyola the strength to arrest the retreating forces of Catholicism.

Our great need is heart-preparation. Luther held it as an axiom: “He who has prayed well has studied well.” We do not say that men are not to think and use their intellects; but he will use his intellect best who cultivates his heart most. We do not say that preachers should not be students; but we do say that their great study should be the Bible, and he studies the Bible best who has kept his heart with diligence. We do not say that the preacher should not know men, but he will be the greater adept in human nature who has fathomed the depths and intricacies of his own heart. We do say that while the channel of preaching is the mind, its fountain is the heart; you may broaden and deepen the channel, but if you do not look well to the purity and depth of the fountain, you will have a dry or polluted channel. We do say that almost any man of common intelligence has sense enough to preach the gospel, but very few have grace enough to do so. We do say that he who has struggled with his own heart and conquered it; who has taught it humility, faith, love, truth, mercy, sympathy, courage; who can pour the rich treasures of the heart thus trained, through a manly intellect, all surcharged with the power of the gospel on the consciences of his hearers — such a one will be the truest, most successful preacher in the esteem of his Lord.


13 Grace from the Heart Rather than the Head

Study not to be a fine preacher. Jerichos are blown down with rams’ horns. Look simply unto Jesus for preaching food; and what is wanted will be given, and what is given will be blessed, whether it be a barley grain or a wheaten loaf, a crust or a crumb. Your mouth will be a flowing stream or a fountain sealed, according as your heart is. Avoid all controversy in preaching, talking, or writing; preach nothing down but the devil, and nothing up but Jesus Christ.

— Berridge

THE heart is the Saviour of the world. Heads do not save. Genius, brains, brilliancy, strength, natural gifts do not save. The gospel flows through hearts. All the mightiest forces are heart forces. All the sweetest and loveliest graces are heart graces. Great hearts make great characters; great hearts make divine characters. God is love. There is nothing greater than love, nothing greater than God. Hearts make heaven; heaven is love. There is nothing higher, nothing sweeter, than heaven. It is the heart and not the head which makes God’s great preachers. The heart counts much every way in religion. The heart must speak from the pulpit. The heart must hear in the pew. In fact, we serve God with our hearts. Head homage does not pass current in heaven.

We believe that one of the serious and most popular errors of the modern pulpit is the putting of more thought than prayer, of more head than of heart in its sermons. Big hearts make big preachers; good hearts make good preachers. A theological school to enlarge and cultivate the heart is the golden desideratum of the gospel. The pastor binds his people to him and rules his people by his heart. They may admire his gifts, they may be proud of his ability, they may be affected for the time by his sermons; but the stronghold of his power is his heart. His scepter is love. The throne of his power is his heart.

The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Heads never make martyrs. It is the heart which surrenders the life to love and fidelity. It takes great courage to be a faithful pastor, but the heart alone can supply this courage. Gifts and genius may be brave, but it is the gifts and genius of the heart and not of the head.

It is easier to fill the head than it is to prepare the heart. It is easier to make a brain sermon than a heart sermon. It was heart that drew the Son of God from heaven. It is heart that will draw men to heaven. Men of heart is what the world needs to sympathize with its woe, to kiss away its sorrows, to compassionate its misery, and to alleviate its pain. Christ was eminently the man of sorrows, because he was preeminently the man of heart.

“Give me thy heart,” is God’s requisition of men. “Give me thy heart!” is man’s demand of man.

A professional ministry is a heartless ministry. When salary plays a great part in the ministry, the heart plays little part. We may make preaching our business, and not put our hearts in the business. He who puts self to the front in his preaching puts heart to the rear. He who does not sow with his heart in his study will never reap a harvest for God. The closet is the heart’s study. We will learn more about how to preach and what to preach there than we can learn in our libraries. “Jesus wept” is the shortest and biggest verse in the Bible. It is he who goes forth weeping (not preaching great sermons), bearing precious seed, who shall come again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Praying gives sense, brings wisdom, broadens and strengthens the mind. The closet is a perfect school-teacher and schoolhouse for the preacher. Thought is not only brightened and clarified in prayer, but thought is born in prayer. We can learn more in an hour praying, when praying indeed, than from many hours in the study. Books are in the closet which can be found and read nowhere else. Revelations are made in the closet which are made nowhere else.


14 Unction a Necessity

One bright benison which private prayer brings down upon the ministry is an indescribable and inimitable something — an unction from the Holy One . . . . If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts, we are deceivers, since only in prayer can we obtain it. Let us continue instant constant fervent in supplication. Let your fleece lie on the thrashing floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven.

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

ALEXANDER KNOX, a Christian philosopher of the days of Wesley, not an adherent but a strong personal friend of Wesley, and with much spiritual sympathy with the Wesleyan movement, writes: “It is strange and lamentable, but I verily believe the fact to be that except among Methodists and Methodistical clergyman, there is not much interesting preaching in England. The clergy, too generally have absolutely lost the art. There is, I conceive, in the great laws of the moral world a kind of secret understanding like the affinities in chemistry, between rightly promulgated religious truth and the deepest feelings of the human mind. Where the one is duly exhibited, the other will respond. Did not our hearts burn within us? — but to this devout feeling is indispensable in the speaker. Now, I am obliged to state from my own observation that this onction, as the French not unfitly term it, is beyond all comparison more likely to be found in England in a Methodist conventicle than in a parish Church. This, and this alone, seems really to be that which fills the Methodist houses and thins the Churches. I am, I verily think, no enthusiast; I am a most sincere and cordial churchman, a humble disciple of the School of Hale and Boyle, of Burnet and Leighton. Now I must aver that when I was in this country, two years ago, I did not hear a single preacher who taught me like my own great masters but such as are deemed Methodistical. And I now despair of getting an atom of heart instruction from any other quarter. The Methodist preachers (however I may not always approve of all their expressions) do most assuredly diffuse this true religion and undefiled. I felt real pleasure last Sunday. I can bear witness that the preacher did at once speak the words of truth and soberness. There was no eloquence — the honest man never dreamed of such a thing — but there was far better: a cordial communication of vitalized truth. I say vitalized because what he declared to others it was impossible not to feel he lived on himself.”

This unction is the art of preaching. The preacher who never had this unction never had the art of preaching. The preacher who has lost this unction has lost the art of preaching. Whatever other arts he may have and retain — the art of sermon-making, the art of eloquence, the art of great, clear thinking, the art of pleasing an audience — he has lost the divine art of preaching. This unction makes God’s truth powerful and interesting, draws and attracts, edifies, convicts, saves.

This unction vitalizes God’s revealed truth, makes it living and life-giving. Even God’s truth spoken without this unction is light, dead, and deadening. Though abounding in truth, though weighty with thought, though sparkling with rhetoric, though pointed by logic, though powerful by earnestness, without this divine unction it issues in death and not in life. Mr. Spurgeon says: “I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into word what is meant by preaching with unction. Yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence. Samaria, in famine, typifies a discourse without it. Jerusalem, with her feast of fat things, full of marrow, may represent a sermon enriched with it. Every one knows what the freshness of the morning is when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass, but who can describe it, much less produce it of itself? Such is the mystery of spiritual anointing. We know, but we cannot tell to others what it is. It is as easy as it is foolish, to counterfeit it. Unction is a thing which you cannot manufacture, and its counterfeits are worse than worthless. Yet it is, in itself, priceless, and beyond measure needful if you would edify believers and bring sinners to Christ.”


15 Unction, the Mark of True Gospel Preaching

Speak for eternity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear and your heart full of God’s Spirit is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin. Remember that God, and not man, must have the glory. If the veil of the world’s machinery were lifted off, how much we would find is done in answer to the prayers of God’s children.

— Robert Murray McCheyne

UNCTION is that indefinable, indescribable something which an old, renowned Scotch preacher describes thus: “There is sometimes somewhat in preaching that cannot be ascribed either to matter or expression, and cannot be described what it is, or from whence it cometh, but with a sweet violence it pierceth into the heart and affections and comes immediately from the Word; but if there be any way to obtain such a thing, it is by the heavenly disposition of the speaker.”

We call it unction. It is this unction which makes the word of God “quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It is this unction which gives the words of the preacher such point, sharpness, and power, and which creates such friction and stir in many a dead congregation. The same truths have been told in the strictness of the letter, smooth as human oil could make them; but no signs of life, not a pulse throb; all as peaceful as the grave and as dead. The same preacher in the meanwhile receives a baptism of this unction, the divine inflatus is on him, the letter of the Word has been embellished and fired by this mysterious power, and the throbbings of life begin — life which receives or life which resists. The unction pervades and convicts the conscience and breaks the heart.

This divine unction is the feature which separates and distinguishes true gospel preaching from all other methods of presenting the truth, and which creates a wide spiritual chasm between the preacher who has it and the one who has it not. It backs and impregns revealed truth with all the energy of God. Unction is simply putting God in his own word and on his own preachers. By mighty and great prayerfulness and by continual prayerfulness, it is all potential and personal to the preacher; it inspires and clarifies his intellect, gives insight and grasp and projecting power; it gives to the preacher heart power, which is greater than head power; and tenderness, purity, force flow from the heart by it. Enlargement, freedom, fullness of thought, directness and simplicity of utterance are the fruits of this unction.

Often earnestness is mistaken for this unction. He who has the divine unction will be earnest in the very spiritual nature of things, but there may be a vast deal of earnestness without the least mixture of unction.

Earnestness and unction look alike from some points of view. Earnestness may be readily and without detection substituted or mistaken for unction. It requires a spiritual eye and a spiritual taste to discriminate.

Earnestness may be sincere, serious, ardent, and persevering. It goes at a thing with good will, pursues it with perseverance, and urges it with ardor; puts force in it. But all these forces do not rise higher than the mere human. The man is in it — the whole man, with all that he has of will and heart, of brain and genius, of planning and working and talking. He has set himself to some purpose which has mastered him, and he pursues to master it. There may be none of God in it. There may be little of God in it, because there is so much of the man in it. He may present pleas in advocacy of his earnest purpose which please or touch and move or overwhelm with conviction of their importance; and in all this earnestness may move along earthly ways, being propelled by human forces only, its altar made by earthly hands and its fire kindled by earthly flames. It is said of a rather famous preacher of gifts, whose construction of Scripture was to his fancy or purpose, that he “grew very eloquent over his own exegesis.” So men grow exceeding earnest over their own plans or movements. Earnestness may be selfishness simulated.

What of unction? It is the indefinable in preaching which makes it preaching. It is that which distinguishes and separates preaching from all mere human addresses. It is the divine in preaching. It makes the preaching sharp to those who need sharpness. It distills as the dew to those who need to he refreshed. It is well described as:

“a two-edged sword

Of heavenly temper keen,

And double were the wounds it made

Wherever it glanced between.

‘Twas death to silt; ’twas life

To all who mourned for sin.

It kindled and it silenced strife,

Made war and peace within.”

This unction comes to the preacher not in the study but in the closet. It is heaven’s distillation in answer to prayer. It is the sweetest exhalation of the Holy Spirit. It impregnates, suffuses, softens, percolates, cuts, and soothes. It carries the Word like dynamite, like salt, like sugar; makes the Word a soother, an arranger, a revealer, a searcher; makes the hearer a culprit or a saint, makes him weep like a child and live like a giant; opens his heart and his purse as gently, yet as strongly as the spring opens the leaves. This unction is not the gift of genius. It is not found in the halls of learning. No eloquence can woo it. No industry can win it. No prelatical hands can confer it. It is the gift of God — the signet set to his own messengers. It is heaven’s knighthood given to the chosen true and brave ones who have sought this anointed honor through many an hour of tearful, wrestling prayer.

Earnestness is good and impressive: genius is gifted and great. Thought kindles and inspires, but it takes a diviner endowment, a more powerful energy than earnestness or genius or thought to break the chains of sin, to win estranged and depraved hearts to God, to repair the breaches and restore the Church to her old ways of purity and power. Nothing but this holy unction can do this.


16 Much Prayer the Price of Unction

All the minister’s efforts will be vanity or worse than vanity if he have not unction. Unction must come down from heaven and spread a savor and feeling and relish over his ministry; and among the other means of qualifying himself for his office, the Bible must hold the first place, and the last also must be given to the Word of God and prayer.

— Richard Cecil

IN the Christian system unction is the anointing of the Holy Ghost, separating unto God’s work and qualifying for it. This unction is the one divine enablement by which the preacher accomplishes the peculiar and saving ends of preaching. Without this unction there are no true spiritual results accomplished; the results and forces in preaching do not rise above the results of unsanctified speech. Without unction the former is as potent as the pulpit.

This divine unction on the preacher generates through the Word of God the spiritual results that flow from the gospel; and without this unction, these results are not secured. Many pleasant impressions may be made, but these all fall far below the ends of gospel preaching. This unction may be simulated. There are many things that look like it, there are many results that resemble its effects; but they are foreign to its results and to its nature. The fervor or softness excited by a pathetic or emotional sermon may look like the movements of the divine unction, but they have no pungent, perpetrating heart-breaking force. No heart-healing balm is there in these surface, sympathetic, emotional movements; they are not radical, neither sin-searching nor sin-curing.

This divine unction is the one distinguishing feature that separates true gospel preaching from all other methods of presenting truth. It backs and interpenetrates the revealed truth with all the force of God. It illumines the Word and broadens and enrichens the intellect and empowers it to grasp and apprehend the Word. It qualifies the preacher’s heart, and brings it to that condition of tenderness, of purity, of force and light that are necessary to secure the highest results. This unction gives to the preacher liberty and enlargement of thought and soul — a freedom, fullness, and directness of utterance that can be secured by no other process.

Without this unction on the preacher the gospel has no more power to propagate itself than any other system of truth. This is the seal of its divinity. Unction in the preacher puts God in the gospel. Without the unction, God is absent, and the gospel is left to the low and unsatisfactory forces that the ingenuity, interest, or talents of men can devise to enforce and project its doctrines.

It is in this element that the pulpit oftener fails than in any other element. Just at this all-important point it lapses. Learning it may have, brilliancy and eloquence may delight and charm, sensation or less offensive methods may bring the populace in crowds, mental power may impress and enforce truth with all its resources; but without this unction, each and all these will be but as the fretful assault of the waters on a Gibraltar. Spray and foam may cover and spangle; but the rocks are there still, unimpressed and unimpressible. The human heart can no more be swept of its hardness and sin by these human forces than these rocks can be swept away by the ocean’s ceaseless flow.

This unction is the consecration force, and its presence the continuous test of that consecration. It is this divine anointing on the preacher that secures his consecration to God and his work. Other forces and motives may call him to the work, but this only is consecration. A separation to God’s work by the power of the Holy Spirit is the only consecration recognized by God as legitimate.

The unction, the divine unction, this heavenly anointing, is what the pulpit needs and must have. This divine and heavenly oil put on it by the imposition of God’s hand must soften and lubricate the whole man — heart, head, spirit — until it separates him with a mighty separation from all earthly, secular, worldly, selfish motives and aims, separating him to everything that is pure and Godlike.

It is the presence of this unction on the preacher that creates the stir and friction in many a congregation. The same truths have been told in the strictness of the letter, but no ruffle has been seen, no pain or pulsation felt. All is quiet as a graveyard. Another preacher comes, and this mysterious influence is on him; the letter of the Word has been fired by the Spirit, the throes of a mighty movement are felt, it is the unction that pervades and stirs the conscience and breaks the heart. Unctionless preaching makes everything hard, dry, acrid, dead.

This unction is not a memory or an era of the past only; it is a present, realized, conscious fact. It belongs to the experience of the man as well as to his preaching. It is that which transforms him into the image of his divine Master, as well as that by which he declares the truths of Christ with power. It is so much the power in the ministry as to make all else seem feeble and vain without it, and by its presence to atone for the absence of all other and feebler forces.

This unction is not an inalienable gift. It is a conditional gift, and its presence is perpetuated and increased by the same process by which it was at first secured; by unceasing prayer to God, by impassioned desires after God, by estimating it, by seeking it with tireless ardor, by deeming all else loss and failure without it.

How and whence comes this unction? Direct from God in answer to prayer. Praying hearts only are the hearts filled with this holy oil; praying lips only are anointed with this divine unction.

Prayer, much prayer, is the price of preaching unction; prayer, much prayer, is the one, sole condition of keeping this unction. Without unceasing prayer the unction never comes to the preacher. Without perseverance in prayer, the unction, like the manna overkept, breeds worms.


17 Prayer Marks Spiritual Leadership

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.

— John Wesley

THE apostles knew the necessity and worth of prayer to their ministry. They knew that their high commission as apostles, instead of relieving them from the necessity of prayer, committed them to it by a more urgent need; so that they were exceedingly jealous else some other important work should exhaust their time and prevent their praying as they ought; so they appointed laymen to look after the delicate and engrossing duties of ministering to the poor, that they (the apostles) might, unhindered, “give themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Prayer is put first, and their relation to prayer is put most strongly — “give themselves to it,” making a business of it, surrendering themselves to praying, putting fervor, urgency, perseverance, and time in it.

How holy, apostolic men devoted themselves to this divine work of prayer! “Night and day praying exceedingly,” says Paul. “We will give ourselves continually to prayer” is the consensus of apostolic devotement. How these New Testament preachers laid themselves out in prayer for God’s people! How they put God in full force into their Churches by their praying! These holy apostles did not vainly fancy that they had met their high and solemn duties by delivering faithfully God’s word, but their preaching was made to stick and tell by the ardor and insistence of their praying. Apostolic praying was as taxing, toilsome, and imperative as apostolic preaching. They prayed mightily day and night to bring their people to the highest regions of faith and holiness. They prayed mightier still to hold them to this high spiritual altitude. The preacher who has never learned in the school of Christ the high and divine art of intercession for his people will never learn the art of preaching, though homiletics be poured into him by the ton, and though he be the most gifted genius in sermon-making and sermon-delivery.

The prayers of apostolic, saintly leaders do much in making saints of those who are not apostles. If the Church leaders in after years had been as particular and fervent in praying for their people as the apostles were, the sad, dark times of worldliness and apostasy had not marred the history and eclipsed the glory and arrested the advance of the Church. Apostolic praying makes apostolic saints and keeps apostolic times of purity and power in the Church.

What loftiness of soul, what purity and elevation of motive, what unselfishness, what self-sacrifice, what exhaustive toil, what ardor of spirit, what divine tact are requisite to be an intercessor for men!

The preacher is to lay himself out in prayer for his people; not that they might be saved, simply, but that they be mightily saved. The apostles laid themselves out in prayer that their saints might be perfect; not that they should have a little relish for the things of God, but that they “might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul did not rely on his apostolic preaching to secure this end, but “for this cause he bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul’s praying carried Paul’s converts farther along the highway of sainthood than Paul’s preaching did. Epaphras did as much or more by prayer for the Colossian saints than by his preaching. He labored fervently always in prayer for them that “they might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

Preachers are preeminently God’s leaders. They are primarily responsible for the condition of the Church. They shape its character, give tone and direction to its life.

Much every way depends on these leaders. They shape the times and the institutions. The Church is divine, the treasure it incases is heavenly, but it bears the imprint of the human. The treasure is in earthen vessels, and it smacks of the vessel. The Church of God makes, or is made by, its leaders. Whether it makes them or is made by them, it will be what its leaders are; spiritual if they are so, secular if they are, conglomerate if its leaders are. Israel’s kings gave character to Israel’s piety. A Church rarely revolts against or rises above the religion of its leaders. Strongly spiritual leaders; men of holy might, at the lead, are tokens of God’s favor; disaster and weakness follow the wake of feeble or worldly leaders. Israel had fallen low when God gave children to be their princes and babes to rule over them. No happy state is predicted by the prophets when children oppress God’s Israel and women rule over them. Times of spiritual leadership are times of great spiritual prosperity to the Church.

Prayer is one of the eminent characteristics of strong spiritual leadership. Men of mighty prayer are men of might and mold things. Their power with God has the conquering tread.

How can a man preach who does not get his message fresh from God in the closet? How can he preach without having his faith quickened, his vision cleared, and his heart warmed by his closeting with God? Alas, for the pulpit lips which are untouched by this closet flame. Dry and unctionless they will ever be, and truths divine will never come with power from such lips. As far as the real interests of religion are concerned, a pulpit without a closet will always be a barren thing.

A preacher may preach in an official, entertaining, or learned way without prayer, but between this kind of preaching and sowing God’s precious seed with holy hands and prayerful, weeping hearts there is an immeasurable distance.

A prayerless ministry is the undertaker for all God’s truth and for God’s Church. He may have the most costly casket and the most beautiful flowers, but it is a funeral, notwithstanding the charmful array. A prayerless Christian will never learn God’s truth; a prayerless ministry will never be able to teach God’s truth. Ages of millennial glory have been lost by a prayerless Church. The coming of our Lord has been postponed indefinitely by a prayerless Church. Hell has enlarged herself and filled her dire caves in the presence of the dead service of a prayerless Church.

The best, the greatest offering is an offering of prayer. If the preachers of the twentieth century will learn well the lesson of prayer, and use fully the power of prayer, the millennium will come to its noon ere the century closes. “Pray without ceasing” is the trumpet call to the preachers of the twentieth century. If the twentieth century will get their texts, their thoughts, their words, their sermons in their closets, the next century will find a new heaven and a new earth. The old sin-stained and sin-eclipsed heaven and earth will pass away under the power of a praying ministry.


18 Preachers Need the Prayers of the People

If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers — had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent and incessant prayers for them — they would have been much more in the way of success.

— Jonathan Edwards

SOMEHOW the practice of praying in particular for the preacher has fallen into disuse or become discounted. Occasionally have we heard the practice arraigned as a disparagement of the ministry, being a public declaration by those who do it of the inefficiency of the ministry. It offends the pride of learning and self-sufficiency, perhaps, and these ought to be offended and rebuked in a ministry that is so derelict as to allow them to exist.

Prayer, to the preacher, is not simply the duty of his profession, a privilege, but it is a necessity. Air is not more necessary to the lungs than prayer is to the preacher. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to pray. It is an absolute necessity that the preacher be prayed for. These two propositions are wedded into a union which ought never to know any divorce: the preacher must pray; the preacher must be prayed for. It will take all the praying he can do, and all the praying he can get done, to meet the fearful responsibilities and gain the largest, truest success in his great work. The true preacher, next to the cultivation of the spirit and fact of prayer in himself, in their intensest form, covets with a great covetousness the prayers of God’s people.

The holier a man is, the more does he estimate prayer; the clearer does he see that God gives himself to the praying ones, and that the measure of God’s revelation to the soul is the measure of the soul’s longing, importunate prayer for God. Salvation never finds its way to a prayerless heart. The Holy Spirit never abides in a prayerless spirit. Preaching never edifies a prayerless soul. Christ knows nothing of prayerless Christians. The gospel cannot be projected by a prayerless preacher. Gifts, talents, education, eloquence, God’s call, cannot abate the demand of prayer, but only intensify the necessity for the preacher to pray and to be prayed for. The more the preacher’s eyes are opened to the nature, responsibility, and difficulties in his work, the more will he see, and if he be a true preacher the more will he feel, the necessity of prayer; not only the increasing demand to pray himself, but to call on others to help him by their prayers.

Paul is an illustration of this. If any man could project the gospel by dint of personal force, by brain power, by culture, by personal grace, by God’s apostolic commission, God’s extraordinary call, that man was Paul. That the preacher must be a man given to prayer, Paul is an eminent example. That the true apostolic preacher must have the prayers of other good people to give to his ministry its full quota of success, Paul is a preeminent example. He asks, he covets, he pleads in an impassioned way for the help of all God’s saints. He knew that in the spiritual realm, as elsewhere, in union there is strength; that the concentration and aggregation of faith, desire, and prayer increased the volume of spiritual force until it became overwhelming and irresistible in its power. Units of prayer combined, like drops of water, make an ocean which defies resistance. So Paul, with his clear and full apprehension of spiritual dynamics, determined to make his ministry as impressive, as eternal, as irresistible as the ocean, by gathering all the scattered units of prayer and precipitating them on his ministry. May not the solution of Paul’s preeminence in labors and results, and impress on the Church and the world, be found in this fact that he was able to center on himself and his ministry more of prayer than others? To his brethren at Rome he wrote: “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in prayers to God for me.” To the Ephesians he says: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” To the Colossians he emphasizes: “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.” To the Thessalonians he says sharply, strongly: “Brethren, pray for us.” Paul calls on the Corinthian Church to help him: “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.” This was to be part of their work. They were to lay to the helping hand of prayer. He in an additional and closing charge to the Thessalonian Church about the importance and necessity of their prayers says: “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.” He impresses the Philippians that all his trials and opposition can be made subservient to the spread of the gospel by the efficiency of their prayers for him. Philemon was to prepare a lodging for him, for through Philemon’s prayer Paul was to be his guest.

Paul’s attitude on this question illustrates his humility and his deep insight into the spiritual forces which project the gospel. More than this, it teaches a lesson for all times, that if Paul was so dependent on the prayers of God’s saints to give his ministry success, how much greater the necessity that the prayers of God’s saints be centered on the ministry of to-day!

Paul did not feel that this urgent plea for prayer was to lower his dignity, lessen his influence, or depreciate his piety. What if it did? Let dignity go, let influence be destroyed, let his reputation be marred — he must have their prayers. Called, commissioned, chief of the Apostles as he was, all his equipment was imperfect without the prayers of his people. He wrote letters everywhere, urging them to pray for him. Do you pray for your preacher? Do you pray for him in secret? Public prayers are of little worth unless they are founded on or followed up by private praying. The praying ones are to the preacher as Aaron and Hur were to Moses. They hold up his hands and decide the issue that is so fiercely raging around them.

The plea and purpose of the apostles were to put the Church to praying. They did not ignore the grace of cheerful giving. They were not ignorant of the place which religious activity and work occupied an the spiritual life; but not one nor all of these, in apostolic estimate or urgency, could at all compare in necessity and importance with prayer. The most sacred and urgent pleas were used, the most fervid exhortations, the most comprehensive and arousing words were uttered to enforce the all-important obligation and necessity of prayer.

“Put the saints everywhere to praying” is the burden of the apostolic effort and the keynote of apostolic success. Jesus Christ had striven to do this in the days of his personal ministry. As he was moved by infinite compassion at the ripened fields of earth perishing for lack of laborers and pausing in his own praying — he tries to awaken the stupid sensibilities of his disciples to the duty of prayer as he charges them, “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.”


19 Deliberation Necessary to Largest Results from Prayer

This perpetual hurry of business and company ruins me in soul if not in body. More solitude and earlier hours! I suspect I have been allotting habitually too little time to religious exercises, as private devotion and religious meditation, Scripture-reading, etc. Hence I am lean and cold and hard. I had better allot two hours or an hour and a half daily. I have been keeping too late hours, and hence have had but a hurried half hour in a morning to myself. Surely the experience of all good men confirms the proposition that without a due measure of private devotions the soul will grow lean. But all may be done through prayer — almighty prayer, I am ready to say — and why not? For that it is almighty is only through the gracious ordination of the God of love and truth. O then, pray, pray, pray! — William Wilberforce

 

OUR devotions are not measured by the clock, but time is of their essence. The ability to wait and stay and press belongs essentially to our intercourse with God. Hurry, everywhere unseeming and damaging, is so to an alarming extent in the great business of communion with God. Short devotions are the bane of deep piety. Calmness, grasp, strength, are never the companions of hurry. Short devotions deplete spiritual vigor, arrest spiritual progress, sap spiritual foundations, blight the root and bloom of spiritual life. They are the prolific source of backsliding, the sure indication of a superficial piety; they deceive, blight, rot the seed, and impoverish the soil.

It is true that Bible prayers in word and print are short, but the praying men of the Bible were with God through many a sweet and holy wrestling hour. They won by few words but long waiting. The prayers Moses records may be short, but Moses prayed to God with fastings and mighty cryings forty days and nights.

The statement of Elijah’s praying may be condensed to a few brief paragraphs, but doubtless Elijah, who when “praying he prayed,” spent many hours of fiery struggle and lofty intercourse with God before he could, with assured boldness, say to Ahab, “There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” The verbal brief of Paul’s prayers is short, but Paul “prayed night and day exceedingly.” The “Lord’s Prayer” is a divine epitome for infant lips, but the man Christ Jesus prayed many an all-night ere his work was done; and his all-night and long-sustained devotions gave to his work its finish and perfection, and to his character the fullness and glory of its divinity.

Spiritual work is taxing work, and men are loath to do it. Praying, true praying, costs an outlay of serious attention and of time, which flesh and blood do not relish. Few persons are made of such strong fiber that they will make a costly outlay when surface work will pass as well in the market. We can habituate ourselves to our beggarly praying until it looks well to us, at least it keeps up a decent form and quiets conscience — the deadliest of opiates! We can slight our praying, and not realize the peril till the foundations are gone. Hurried devotions make weak faith, feeble convictions, questionable piety. To be little with God is to be little for God. To cut short the praying makes the whole religious character short, scrimp, niggardly, and slovenly.

It takes good time for the full flow of God into the spirit. Short devotions cut the pipe of God’s full flow. It takes time in the secret places to get the full revelation of God. Little time and hurry mar the picture.

Henry Martyn laments that “want of private devotional reading and shortness of prayer through incessant sermon-making had produced much strangeness between God and his soul.” He judged that he had dedicated too much time to public ministrations and too little to private communion with God. He was much impressed to set apart times for fasting and to devote times for solemn prayer. Resulting from this he records: “Was assisted this morning to pray for two hours.” Said William Wilberforce, the peer of kings: “I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of private devotions starves the soul; it grows lean and faint. I have been keeping too late hours.” Of a failure in Parliament he says: “Let me record my grief and shame, and all, probably, from private devotions having been contracted, and so God let me stumble.” More solitude and earlier hours was his remedy.

More time and early hours for prayer would act like magic to revive and invigorate many a decayed spiritual life. More time and early hours for prayer would be manifest in holy living. A holy life would not be so rare or so difficult a thing if our devotions were not so short and hurried. A Christly temper in its sweet and passionless fragrance would not be so alien and hopeless a heritage if our closet stay were lengthened and intensified. We live shabbily because we pray meanly. Plenty of time to feast in our closets will bring marrow and fatness to our lives. Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet. Hasty closet visits are deceptive, defaulting. We are not only deluded by them, but we are losers by them in many ways and in many rich legacies. Tarrying in the closet instructs and wins. We are taught by it, and the greatest victories are often the results of great waiting — waiting till words and plans are exhausted, and silent and patient waiting gains the crown. Jesus Christ asks with an affronted emphasis, “Shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him?”

To pray is the greatest thing we can do: and to do it well there must be calmness, time, and deliberation; otherwise it is degraded into the littlest and meanest of things. True praying has the largest results for good; and poor praying, the least. We cannot do too much of real praying; we cannot do too little of the sham. We must learn anew the worth of prayer, enter anew the school of prayer. There is nothing which it takes more time to learn. And if we would learn the wondrous art, we must not give a fragment here and there — “A little talk with Jesus,” as the tiny saintlets sing — but we must demand and hold with iron grasp the best hours of the day for God and prayer, or there will be no praying worth the name.

This, however, is not a day of prayer. Few men there are who pray. Prayer is defamed by preacher and priest. In these days of hurry and bustle, of electricity and steam, men will not take time to pray. Preachers there are who “say prayers” as a part of their programme, on regular or state occasions; but who “stirs himself up to take hold upon God?” Who prays as Jacob prayed — till he is crowned as a prevailing, princely intercessor? Who prays as Elijah prayed — till all the locked-up forces of nature were unsealed and a famine-stricken land bloomed as the garden of God? Who prayed as Jesus Christ prayed as out upon the mountain he “continued all night in prayer to God?” The apostles “gave themselves to prayer” — the most difficult thing to get men or even the preachers to do. Laymen there are who will give their money — some of them in rich abundance — but they will not “give themselves” to prayer, without which their money is but a curse. There are plenty of preachers who will preach and deliver great and eloquent addresses on the need of revival and the spread of the kingdom of God, but not many there are who will do that without which all preaching and organizing are worse than vain — pray. It is out of date, almost a lost art, and the greatest benefactor this age could have is the man who will bring the preachers and the Church back to prayer.


20 A Praying Pulpit Begets a Praying Pew

I judge that my prayer is more than the devil himself; if it were otherwise, Luther would have fared differently long before this. Yet men will not see and acknowledge the great wonders or miracles God works in my behalf. If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.

— Martin Luther

ONLY glimpses of the great importance of prayer could the apostles get before Pentecost. But the Spirit coming and filling on Pentecost elevated prayer to its vital and all-commanding position in the gospel of Christ. The call now of prayer to every saint is the Spirit’s loudest and most exigent call. Sainthood’s piety is made, refined, perfected, by prayer. The gospel moves with slow and timid pace when the saints are not at their prayers early and late and long.

Where are the Christly leaders who can teach the modern saints how to pray and put them at it? Do we know we are raising up a prayerless set of saints? Where are the apostolic leaders who can put God’s people to praying? Let them come to the front and do the work, and it will be the greatest work which can be done. An increase of educational facilities and a great increase of money force will be the direst curse to religion if they are not sanctified by more and better praying than we are doing. More praying will not come as a matter of course. The campaign for the twentieth or thirtieth century fund will not help our praying but hinder if we are not careful. Nothing but a specific effort from a praying leadership will avail. The chief ones must lead in the apostolic effort to radicate the vital importance and fact of prayer in the heart and life of the Church. None but praying leaders can have praying followers. Praying apostles will beget praying saints. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews. We do greatly need some body who can set the saints to this business of praying. We are not a generation of praying saints. Non-praying saints are a beggarly gang of saints who have neither the ardor nor the beauty nor the power of saints. Who will restore this breach? The greatest will he be of reformers and apostles, who can set the Church to praying.

We put it as our most sober judgment that the great need of the Church in this and all ages is men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that their prayers, faith, lives, and ministry will be of such a radical and aggressive form as to work spiritual revolutions which will form eras in individual and Church life.

We do not mean men who get up sensational stirs by novel devices, nor those who attract by a pleasing entertainment; but men who can stir things, and work revolutions by the preaching of God’s Word and by the power of the Holy Ghost, revolutions which change the whole current of things.

Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter; but capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory, and an ever-present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God — men who can set the Church ablaze for God; not in a noisy, showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God.

God can work wonders if he can get a suitable man. Men can work wonders if they can get God to lead them. The full endowment of the spirit that turned the world upside down would be eminently useful in these latter days. Men who can stir things mightily for God, whose spiritual revolutions change the whole aspect of things, are the universal need of the Church.

The Church has never been without these men; they adorn its history; they are the standing miracles of the divinity of the Church; their example and history are an unfailing inspiration and blessing. An increase in their number and power should be our prayer.

That which has been done in spiritual matters can be done again, and be better done. This was Christ’s view. He said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” The past has not exhausted the possibilities nor the demands for doing great things for God. The Church that is dependent on its past history for its miracles of power and grace is a fallen Church.

God wants elect men — men out of whom self and the world have gone by a severe crucifixion, by a bankruptcy which has so totally ruined self and the world that there is neither hope nor desire of recovery; men who by this insolvency and crucifixion have turned toward God perfect hearts.

Let us pray ardently that God’s promise to prayer may be more than realized.


Kathryn Kuhlman

Give me the direct verse that says women are called only to be evangelists The word missionary has the same root in Greek as apostle; both mean one sent forth. Today’s missionary is only a true apostle if he has been sent specifically by God, and if this apostolic authority is operating in his ministry. “The word apostle in the Greek is apostollos or “one sent forth” as an ambassador of the Gospel. An apostle is a minister sent directly by God to do a specific work. A number of the saints of God and even Jesus himself were called apostles in the New Testament. The Apostle is defined as a messenger, and yet the same description is almost given to the Evangelist too, the difference is the word special is added to the Apostle.. Even the office of elders is mis-defined today, and is limited to being pastors, and spiritual guides, when we all can know that in the new testament, the apostles, and prophets, were also called elders now.,.. not just the pastors or evangelists, teachers.. In the he New testament Evangelists, plural term too, they were also healers, not just preachers, traveling missionaries. Read the Bible for yourself and see this fact, truth. (Rom 16:7 KJV) Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Imagine that Junia is a woman, and is proclaimed to be an additional apostle as well…  https://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/too-often-women-have-been-put-down-my-men/

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And there were more than 12 apostles as well ..Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. . .Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. (1 Thessalonians 2:6, KJV). Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers [Greek – apostelos] of the churches, and the glory of Christ. (2 Corinthians 8:23, KJV). 2 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. (2 Corinthians 12:12, KJV). Don’t let anyone tell you apostles and prophets died off with the twelve of the early Church. Because apostles and prophets are ministers who do not draw attention to themselves, they often don’t protest this teaching, but the Bible does.

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Has God called pastors to be CEOs of religious organizations, or has he called men to be spiritual leaders over the churches of Christ? Neither… the elders run the church, and pastors are just one of the many church elders.. Even if she is a woman,, BASED ON ISOLATED, DISTORTED VERSES SOME PERSONS WOULD HAVE US MAKE a false Positive Confession of our faith. God still Is Not A Respecter of Persons is a truth we need to always remember too

https://postedat.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/sharing-the-love-of-jesus-by-all/

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Kathryn Kuhlman  (1906-1976)
“KATHRYN KUHLMAN WAS A WOMAN OF GREAT FAITH WHO LOVED GOD MORE THAN ANYTHING!
 
 

I attended quite a few Kathryn Kuhlman services myself.. read her books too.. 

(Mat 21:42 KJV)  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

(Mark 12:10 KJV)  And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

(Luke 20:17 KJV)  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

(Acts 4:11 KJV)  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

 
>>unsure about some (women in leadership). 
 
I had specifically prayed about that and God said I should note the term unlawfully usurp authority.. not delegated to them. but if God has given the women the authority, office, it is ok.
 
(1 Tim 2:12 KJV)  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
 
(Rom 16:7 KJV)  Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
 
 Junia was a women and an Apostle so it disproves the myth that women cannot be in leadership.. there were women prophets in the new testament church, and still are.. Women Missionaries (or women  Apostles) lead over men all the time now for now centuries as well…  In fact the best Pastor I have experienced in my whole life was a women, Rev Katherine Khulman.
 
Ironically it was her own divorce that humbled her, broker her and made her a great vessel for God. The idea of celibacy may be hard for some of you, but even Kathryn Kuhlman realized she had to come out of the marriage she was in. The man divorced his wife and children to marry Kathryn. It must be done the way she did it. (Note: I respect her for having done that ) The adultery madness has to stop somewhere. You are not happy in that state with the new mate. When you deal treacherously (unfaithfully) with your original mate, you are not happy. If you say you are happy, you’re telling a lie, for God will not allow you to be happy after you have broken your marriage vows http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/divorce-and-remarriage-in-the-christian-church/
The baptism of the Holy spirit, the gifts of the Holy spirit, the Anointing , tongues, Prophets, Apostles, miracle workers, women in the ministry have become unarguably the most overused, overworked, misunderstood, misinterpreted, contentious terms in the non Pentecostal and in the Non Charismatic arenas, mainly in the fundamental religious circles even because many of these people are mostly still serving self, doing their own thing, looking up to mere man and not God.. Beyond the show of a doubt the devil firstly really hates any references to the Holy sprit, the anointed ones, the idea that Christians do have now empowering to overcome the devil too… and so the devil uses any of his followers, those in the fundamental religious circles too now, to now lie, twist, distort the truths…
 
 I still prefer to follow God and his word over what any mere man says too
 
For a decade I read no books, magazine, heard no sermons, I let God teach me from his word.. I rewrote my own beliefs as a result
 
(Rom 8:29 KJV)  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
 
(Rom 12:2 KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

“Katherine Kuhlman, “Faith Healer” Supreme

Katherine Kuhlman was one of the giants of the ‘Faith Healers’. In her time she was one of a kind. Many flocked to her meetings, even non-Christians. Secular newspapers covered her meetings. And in her meetings there were so many miracles. But as much healing that took place in her crusades, the fact was that there were still some that left unhealed. Katherine, however, was of the opinion that one day there would be meetings where every single person would get healed. Of course, for this to occur the faith level of the believers and the ministers would have to abound and abound.

We are entering into that time zone now. God wants to display His power to this extent: every single person getting a miracle as in the days of Jesus. But He is waiting for our faith to grow to this threshold level. So the question is: how do we build up our faith to such a great level ?

Romans 10:17 : says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

The foundation for building your faith is the Word of God. So read the Bible.
As we read all about God in the Bible and all of the miracles that He has done our faith will start to grow. What God has done for others He can do for me.

The Bible is the bread of life. As with our natural food, to stay alive we need to eat every day. One meal a week will not keep us alive. As so, picking up the Bible once a week is not enough. For many people, Sundays at church is the only time they open the Bible. But this is not the way to become strong in faith. We need food everyday to live physically; and we need to read the Bible everyday to stay alive, healthy and strong spiritually.

But reading the Bible and then putting it on the bookshelf is not enough to build strong faith, the kind of faith that Katherine Kuhlman had. The Word of God should be constantly before our eyes. Put the Word of God on little cards, or on little notebooks that fit in your pocket, listen to tapes or CD’s of Bible teachers, carry a pocket New Testament, etc. In other words, keep the Word of God going on throughout the day. This indeed, is the way to strong faith.

 

EVANGELIST KATHERINE KUHLMAN

I once heard a noted Evangelist tell a story about some people who conducted an investigation on a particular ministry. I don’t know if it is true or not, but it proves a point. She wasn’t speaking of Kathryn Kuhlman but this will help with the point that I am making. Well, it seems that this ministry was experiencing miracles and or healings and the investigators decided to look in the basement for the power source. They felt surely there was some kind of an electrical connection or something that would cause all of this to be happening. They thought that if they could just get to the basement so they persevered and go there. In the basement, they found many praying grandmas. See the world doesn’t understand the power of prayer.

Okay, back to Kathryn Kuhlman; she was born in 1907 and lived until 1976. Her ministry began at the age of 16 yrs. Now think about it, that’s pretty young. By 1933 at least she had her began the Kuhlman Revival Tabernacle . It sat 2,000 and she was only 27 years of age. Now, I hope that you understand how different the times were back in those days. A lot different and a lot the same. For instance, when she later married an Evangelist said to be her true love; (who divorced his wife to marry her) it destroyed her reputation as well as her ministry. She eventually left him and started over again with her ministry. It was almost ten years and a couple of moves later before she began to see significant growth in her ministry. It was nearly thirty years later before she rose to the fame that many of you may know her by. She is often compared to Benny Hinn because of the power of God that is present during services.

People just seem to be fascinated with Kathryn Kuhlman. My research shows that the one thing that is on their minds singularly is: “Was she for real?” I can answer that right now: “YES, SHE WAS!” I’ll explain:

The first thing that people don’t seem to understand is that those in the ministry are not perfect people but they are called by God. Kathryn Kuhlman was a woman of God before her time. She was born before women even had the legal right to vote. In fact, it had only happened one year before she began her ministry! She lived through World War One and Two, The Korean War and part of Vietnam as well as The Great Depression. These were tough times in America and I’m sure this impacted her ministry. Many of the people that read this article have not lived through a Great World War. There was the Civil Rights Movement and THe Kennedy Assassination. I submit that in fact, there may be higher expectations on the part of believers from a spiritual perspective and higher faith levels as well as more prayer.

FROM A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE…

This is more important than anything. Kathryn Kuhlman had an anointing from God to heal people. Such an anointing is given by God and very few people have it. The main reason that most people question it is because they don’t know anybody like that so that cannot believe that someone could have such a real gift. Many were fascinated with her ability to sleigh people in the spirit just by standing in front of them. They just think it can’t possibly be true. Such an anointing doesn’t come lightly and it doesn’t come to just anyone. She knew what her gift was and she used it. Such a gift is maintained by spending so much time in the Presence of God in prayer. The average person would not be willing to make such a sacrifice. Kathryn often intimated this by saying: “you must be willing to pay the price”.

Be mindful of that when you assess Kathryn Kuhlman.”  http://peacefulone.wordpress.com/2009/06/

Another thing is hearing the Word. “Faith comes by hearing.” So in addition to reading the Word get into the habit of reciting the Word and hearing the Word. The more you speak the Word, the more you hear the Word, the more your faith will grow. Over the years I have put scriptures onto cassette tapes and listen to these tapes whenever I have a chance.

Another way I have taught my church to pray is like this: I would take a scripture, recite it several times (or recite the main portion of that scripture, or paraphrase that scripture), then praise God like saying ‘Hallelujah!’ and then doing it all over again. We would do a scripture like this for 20 minutes or more. For example, we took Psalms 30.5 and spoke out, “Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” We would repeat this over and over again.

The result of this was that when trouble came, we had grown in faith so much that we felt in our spirit, “This trouble is not going to last forever. There is nothing to worry about. We just give it to God and trust Him to handle it. And joy will come very quickly.” So trouble would not bring us down.

Another ingredient to increasing faith is found in:

Jude 20: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.

Praying in Tongues is the primary way of praying in the Holy Spirit. And according to this verse, when we pray in Tongues we are building up our faith. The more we pray in Tongues the more our faith can grow. In my prayer life I have found a most effective way to increase your faith: Quoting a scriptures, praising God for that scripture, and then going into praying in Tongues.

The Word of God and the Holy Spirit working together that will really cause your faith to grow by leaps and bounds.

After completing the tenth grade–all that was offered–Kathryn Kuhlman began her ministry at age sixteen, assisting her sister and brother-in-law.  She was soon on her own, itinerating in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado, finally settling down in Denver in 1933 in the Kuhlman Revival Tabernacle.  By 1935 she had built the 2,000 seat Denver Revival Tabernacle.  She effectively used the media and established an influential radio ministry.  Her marriage to an evangelist, who divorced his wife to marry Kuhlman, destroyed her Denver ministry.  They continued to evangelize, but apparently after about six years–she was silent on the subject–she left him and started over again on her own.

In 1946 in Franklin, Pennsylvania, a woman was suddenly healed of a tumor during one of Kuhlman’s services.  This was to develop as a characteristic phenomenon of the “Miracle Services.” Kuhlman would call out the specific disorder that was being cured in a certain area of the auditorium, and would be received by the appropriate individual.  She again developed a daily radio ministry in 1948 she moved to Pittsburgh, which remained her headquarters as she had regular services in Carnegie Hall and the First Presbyterian Church.  She was catapulted toward national fame by a seven-page laudatory article in Redbook magazine.

From California in 1965 came the insistent invitation of Ralph Wilkerson of Anaheim Christian Center (later Melodyland).  She began services at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which seated 2,500, but later moved to the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, where she regularly filled the 7,000 seats for ten years.  She also continued the Pittsburgh meetings while expanding into television, producing more than five hundred telecasts for the BAS network.  In 1972 she received the first honorary doctorate awarded by Oral Roberts University.

It was not until the mid-1960’s that Kuhlman became particularly identified with the charismatic movement.  the older Pentecostals out of the holiness tradition found her twice suspect.  She was a divorcee, and she did not satisfy them by giving testimony in her ministry to any personal experience of speaking in tongues.  She did not permit tongues in the regular course of the miracle services.

Kuhlman objected to the appellation “faith healer .” The only gift she claimed, if any at all was that of “faith” or “the word of knowledge” (1 Cor 12:8-9).  She always referred to herself as an evangelist.

Apart from the well-documented healings, the most sensational phenomena associated with Kuhlman was “going under the power” (sometimes referred to as being “slain in the Spirit”) as people fell when she prayed for them.  This sometimes happened to dozens as a time and occasionally hundreds.

Kuhlman was an incessant worker and gave meticulous attention to every detail of her services; everything had to be first-class.  conducting them herself, she was on her feet for four to five hours at a time.  She was very dramatic in gesture and consciously deliberate in speech.  She was a strikingly tall redhead and dressed elegantly.  Her friend and biographer Jamie Buckingham admits: “She loved her expensive clothes, precious jewels, luxury hotels, and first class travel.” She was s star, even until her death short of her seventieth birthday. ”

Is there in simplicity now a Biblical new testament church structure of eldership, leadership patterns and why is it generally not being followed today in Christian Churches..
 
Clearly firstly it is due to the lack of holy spirit filled men and women even  in most churches now too.
 
God still seeks spirit filled persons but many cannot handle the Holy Spirit fire..
 
and we do these days too need another Apostle Paul, Apostle Peter, and Apostle John these days too.
 
 
Visit all of my sites at wordpress.com now too

For certainty also because of the demonic opposition the devil will try to discourage you from finding out reading about the Holy spirit, Charismatics, Pentecostals and the Bible. I know I have experienced this myself the last  40 years. So my sites will reflect, show you what I have learned, found out on these subjects for a start.

Free videos

Katthryn Kuhlman
Kathryn Kuhlman, the amazing woman teacher of the word (59 min).

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To Hell and Back
Dr. Maurice Rawlings explores our life after death (88 min).
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Why God Used D. L. Moody by R. A. Torrey- 1923
Rueben Archer Torrey
1856-1928
Dwight Lyman Moody
1837-1899
Introduction

D. L. Moody —New Window died in the last days of the 19th century. Dr. R. A. Torrey was probably his closest associate and friend. Dr. Torrey was the first superintendent of the Moody Bible Institute and set up a curriculum for that Bible Institute which has been a pattern for others like it. When Moody died, Torrey soon took worldwide lead in great citywide campaigns in Australia, England and America. In 1923 Dr. Torrey was asked to speak at a great memorial service on “Why God Used D. L. Moody,” and this is that remarkable address about that amazing man, probably the greatest man of his generation, as Dr. Torrey says.

The reader will notice that R. A. Torrey and D. L. Moody both used the term, “baptized with the Holy Ghost” just as it is used in Acts 1:5 about Pentecost. Later, because of some wildfire and theological differences of people who used the term, “the baptism of the Holy Ghost,” Plymouth Brethren said that that term should refer only to Pentecost and the origin of the church. Thus in retreating from other movements, they took out of the Moody Bible Institute and other Bible institutes the teaching of D. L. Moody and R.A. Torrey, and took out the emphasis which those great men of God had put on the fullness of the Spirit, or baptism with the Spirit. And so Dr. C. I. Scofield, in the note to the Scofield Bible, took the Plymouth Brethren position and forsook the position of Moody and Torrey which he originally held.

But Dr. Will H. Houghton, president of Moody Bible Institute, in an edition of this little book, Why God Used D. L. Moody, said, “But let no one quibble about an experience as important as the filling with the Spirit. In this little book Dr. Torrey quotes Mr. Moody as saying, in a discussion of this very matter, ‘Oh, why will they split hairs? Why don’t they see that this is just the one thing that they themselves need? They are good teachers, they are wonderful teachers, and I am so glad to have them here, but why will they not see that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is just the one touch that they themselves need?’ ” And Dr. Houghton further said, “The tragedy is that so many are technically correct and spiritually powerless.”

God is looking for men whom He can mightily use in winning souls. We pray that many a reader of this booklet will earnestly decide to follow the pattern of D. L. Moody in the qualities which made him so God could use him with mighty power to win multitudes!
–John R. Rice

WHY GOD USED D. L. MOODY
by R. A. TORREY

Eighty-six years ago (February 5, 1837), there was born of poor parents in a humble farmhouse in Northfield, Massachusetts, a little baby who was to become the greatest man, as I believe, of his generation or of his century — Dwight L. Moody. After our great generals, great statesmen, great scientists and great men of letters have passed away and been forgotten, and their work and its helpful influence has come to an end, the work of D. L. Moody will go on and its saving influence continue and increase, bringing blessing not only to every state in the Union but to every nation on earth. Yes, it will continue throughout the ages of eternity.

My subject is “Why God Used D. L. Moody,” and I can think of no subject upon which I would rather speak. For I shall not seek to glorify Mr. Moody, but the God who by His grace, His entirely unmerited favor, used him so mightily, and the Christ who saved him by His atoning death and resurrection life, and the Holy Spirit who lived in him and wrought through him and who alone made him the mighty power that he was to this world. Furthermore: I hope to make it clear that the God who used D. L. Moody in his day is just as ready to use you and me, in this day, if we, on our part, do what D. L. Moody did, which was what made it possible for God to so abundantly use him.

The whole secret of why D. L. Moody was such a mightily used man you will find in Psalm 62:11: “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that POWER BELONGETH UNTO GOD.” I am glad it does. I am glad that power did not belong to D. L. Moody; I am glad that it did not belong to Charles G. Finney; I am glad that it did not belong to Martin Luther; I am glad that it did not belong to any other Christian man whom God has greatly used in this world’s history. Power belongs to God. If D. L. Moody had any power, and he had great power, he got it from God.

But God does not give His power arbitrarily. It is true that He gives it to whomsoever He will, but He wills to give it on certain conditions, which are clearly revealed in His Word; and D. L. Moody met those conditions and God made him the most wonderful preacher of his generation; yes, I think the most wonderful man of his generation.

But how was it that D. L. Moody had that power of God so wonderfully manifested in his life? Pondering this question it seemed to me that there were seven things in the life of D. L. Moody that accounted for God’s using him so largely as He did.

(1) A Fully Surrendered Man

The first thing that accounts for God’s using D. L. Moody so mightily was that he was a fully surrendered man. Every ounce of that two-hundred-and-eighty -pound body of his belonged to God; everything he was and everything he had, belonged wholly to God. Now, I am not saying that Mr. Moody was perfect; he was not. If I attempted to, I presume I could point out some defects in his character. It does not occur to me at this moment what they were; but I am confident that I could think of some, if I tried real hard. I have never yet met a perfect man, not one. I have known perfect men in the sense in which the Bible commands us to be perfect, i.e., men who are wholly God’s, out and out for God, fully surrendered to God, with no will but God’s will; but I have never known a man in whom I could not see some defects, some places where he might have been improved.

No, Mr. Moody was not a faultless man. If he had any flaws in his character, and he had, I presume I was in a position to know them better than almost any other man, because of my very close association with him in the later years of his life; and furthermore, I suppose that in his latter days he opened his heart to me more fully than to anyone else in the world. I think He told me some things that he told no one else. I presume I knew whatever defects there were in his character as well as anybody. But while I recognized such flaws, nevertheless, I know that he was a man who belonged wholly to God.

The first month I was in Chicago, we were having a talk about something upon which we very widely differed, and Mr. Moody turned to me very frankly and very kindly and said in defense of his own position: “Torrey, if I believed that God wanted me to jump out of that window, I would jump.” I believe he would. If he thought God wanted him to do anything, he would do it. He belonged wholly, unreservedly, unqualifiedly, entirely, to God.

Henry Varley, a very intimate friend of Mr. Moody in the earlier days of his work, loved to tell how he once said to him: “It remains to be seen what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him.” I am told that when Mr. Henry Varley said that, Mr. Moody said to himself: “Well, I will be that man.” And I, for my part, do not think “it remains to be seen” what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him. I think it has been seen already in D. L. Moody.

If you and I are to be used in our sphere as D. L. Moody was used in his, we must put all that we have and all that we are in the hands of God, for Him to use as He will, to send us where He will, for God to do with us what He will, and we, on our part, to do everything God bids us do.

There are thousands and tens of thousands of men and women in Christian work, brilliant men and women, rarely gifted men and women, men and women who are making great sacrifices, men and women who have put all conscious sin out of their lives, yet who, nevertheless, have stopped short of absolute surrender to God, and therefore have stopped short of fullness of power. But Mr. Moody did not stop short of absolute surrender to God; he was a wholly surrendered man, and if you and I are to be used, you and I must be wholly surrendered men and women.

(2) A Man of Prayer

The second secret of the great power exhibited in Mr. Moody’s life was that Mr. Moody was in the deepest and most meaningful sense a man of prayer. People oftentimes say to me: “Well, I went many miles to see and to hear D. L. Moody and he certainly was a wonderful preacher.” Yes, D. L. Moody certainly was a wonderful preacher; taking it all in all, the most wonderful preacher I have ever heard, and it was a great privilege to hear him preach as he alone could preach; but out of a very intimate acquaintance with him I wish to testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was preacher.

Time and time again, he was confronted by obstacles that seemed insurmountable, but he always knew the way to surmount and to overcome all difficulties. He knew the way to bring to pass anything that needed to be brought to pass. He knew and believed in the deepest depths of his soul that “nothing was too hard for the Lord” and that prayer could do anything that God could do.

Often times Mr. Moody would write me when he was about to undertake some new work, saying: “I am beginning work in such and such a place on such and such a day; I wish you would get the students together for a day of fasting and prayer” And often I have taken those letters and read them to the students in the lecture room and said: “Mr. Moody wants us to have a day of fasting and prayer, first for God’s blessing on our own souls and work, and then for God’s blessing on him and his work.”

Often we were gathered in the lecture room far into the night — sometimes till one, two, three, four or even five o’clock in the morning, crying to God, just because Mr. Moody urged us to wait upon God until we received His blessing. How many men and women I have known whose lives and characters have been transformed by those nights of prayer and who have wrought mighty things in many lands because of those nights of prayer!

One day Mr. Moody drove up to my house at Northfield and said: “Torrey, I want you to take a ride with me.” I got into the carriage and we drove out toward Lover’s Lane, talking about some great and unexpected difficulties that had arisen in regard to the work in Northfield and Chicago, and in connection with other work that was very dear to him.

As we drove along, some black storm clouds lay ahead of us, and then suddenly, as we were talking, it began to rain. He drove the horse into a shed near the entrance to Lover’s Lane to shelter the horse, and then laid the reins upon the dashboard and said: “Torrey, pray”; and then, as best I could, I prayed, while he in his heart joined me in prayer. And when my voice was silent he began to pray. Oh, I wish you could have heard that prayer! I shall never forget it, so simple, so trustful, so definite and so direct and so mighty. When the storm was over and we drove back to town, the obstacles had been surmounted, and the work of the schools, and other work that was threatened, went on as it had never gone on before, and it has gone on until this day.

As we drove back, Mr. Moody said to me: “Torrey, we will let the other men do the talking and the criticizing, and we will stick to the work that God has given us to do, and let Him take care of the difficulties and answer the criticisms.”

On one occasion Mr. Moody said to me in Chicago: “I have just found, to my surprise, that we are twenty thousand dollars behind in our finances for the work here and in Northfield, and we must have that twenty thousand dollars, and I am going to get it by prayer.” He did not tell a soul who had the ability to give a penny of the twenty thousand dollars’ deficit, but looked right to God and said: “I need twenty thousand dollars for my work; send me that money in such a way that I will know it comes straight from Thee.” And God heard that prayer. The money came in such a way that it was clear that it came from God in direct answer to prayer.

Yes, D. L. Moody was a man who believed in the God who answers prayer, and not only believed in Him in a theoretical way but believed in Him in a practical way. He was a man who met every difficulty that stood in his way — by prayer. Everything he undertook was backed up by prayer, and in everything, his ultimate dependence was upon God.

(3) A Deep and Practical Student of the Bible

The third secret of Mr. Moody’s power, or the third reason why God used D. L. Moody, was because he was a deep and practical student of the Word of God. Nowadays it is often said of D. L. Moody that he was not a student. I wish to say that he was a student; most emphatically he was a student. He was not a student of psychology; he was not a student of anthropology — I am very sure he would not have known what that word meant; he was not a student of biology; he was not a student of philosophy; he was not even a student of theology, in the technical sense of the term; but he was a student, a profound and practical student of the one Book that is more worth studying than all other books in the world put together; he was a student of the Bible.

Every day of his life, I have reason for believing, he arose very early in the morning to study the Word of God, way down to the close of his life. Mr. Moody used to rise about four o’clock in the morning to study the Bible. He would say to me: “If I am going to get in any study, I have got to get up before the other folks get up”; and he would shut himself up in a remote room in his house, alone with his God and his Bible.

I shall never forget the first night I spent in his home. He had invited me to take the superintendency of the Bible Institute and I had already begun my work; I was on my way to some city in the East to preside at the International Christian Workers’ Convention. He wrote me saying: “Just as soon as the Convention is over, come up to Northfield.” He learned when I was likely to arrive and drove over to South Vernon to meet me. That night he had all the teachers from the Mount Hermon School and from the Northfield Seminary come together at the house to meet me, and to talk over the problems of the two schools. We talked together far on into the night, and then, after the principals and teachers of the schools had gone home, Mr. Moody and I talked together about the problems a while longer.

It was very late when I got to bed that night, but very early the next morning, about five o’clock, I heard a gentle tap on my door. Then I heard Mr. Moody’s voice whispering: “Torrey, are you up?” I happened to be; I do not always get up at that early hour but I happened to be up that particular morning. He said: “I want you to go somewhere with me,” and I went down with him. Then I found out that he had already been up an hour or two in his room studying the Word of God.

Oh, you may talk about power; but, if you neglect the one Book that God has given you as the one instrument through which He imparts and exercises His power, you will not have it. You may read many books and go to many conventions and you may have your all-night prayer meetings to pray for the power of the Holy Ghost; but unless you keep in constant and close association with the one Book, the Bible, you will not have power. And if you ever had power, you will not maintain it except by the daily, earnest, intense study of that Book.

Ninety-nine Christians in every hundred are merely playing at Bible study; and therefore ninety-nine Christians in every hundred are mere weaklings, when they might be giants, both in their Christian life and in their service.

It was largely because of his thorough knowledge of the Bible, and his practical knowledge of the Bible, that Mr. Moody drew such immense crowds. On “Chicago Day,” in October, 1893, none of the theaters of Chicago dared to open because it was expected that everybody in Chicago would go on that day to the World’s Fair; and, in point of fact, something like four hundred thousand people did pass through the gates of the Fair that day. Everybody in Chicago was expected to be at that end of the city on that day. But Mr. Moody said to me: “Torrey, engage the Central Music Hall and announce meetings from nine o’clock in the morning till six o’clock at night.” “Why,” I replied, “Mr. Moody, nobody will be at this end of Chicago on that day; not even the theaters dare to open; everybody is going down to Jackson Park to the Fair; we cannot get anybody out on this day.”

Mr. Moody replied: “You do as you are told”; and I did as I was told and engaged the Central Music Hall for continuous meetings from nine o’clock in the morning till six o’clock at night. But I did it with a heavy heart; I thought there would be poor audiences. I was on the program at noon that day. Being very busy in my office about the details of the campaign, I did not reach the Central Music Hall till almost noon. I thought I would have no trouble in getting in. But when I got almost to the Hall I found to my amazement that not only was it packed but the vestibule was packed and the steps were packed, and there was no getting anywhere near the door; and if I had not gone round and climbed in a back window they would have lost their speaker for that hour. But that would not have been of much importance, for the crowds had not gathered to hear me; it was the magic of Mr. Moody’s name that had drawn them. And why did they long to hear Mr. Moody? Because they knew that while he was not versed in many of the philosophies and fads and fancies of the day, he did know the one Book that this old world most longs to know — the Bible.

I shall never forget Moody’s last visit to Chicago. The ministers of Chicago had sent me to Cincinnati to invite him to come to Chicago and hold a meeting. In response to the invitation, Mr. Moody said to me: “If you will hire the Auditorium for weekday mornings and afternoons and have meetings at ten in the morning and three in the afternoon, I will go. ” I replied: “Mr. Moody, you know what a busy city Chicago is, and how impossible it is for businessmen to get out at ten o’clock in the morning and three in the afternoon on working days. Will you not hold evening meetings and meetings on Sunday?” “No,” he replied, “I am afraid if I did, I would interfere with the regular work of the churches.”

I went back to Chicago and engaged the Auditorium, which at that time was the building having the largest seating capacity of any building in the city, seating in those days about seven thousand people; I announced weekday meetings, with Mr. Moody as the speaker, at ten o’clock in the mornings and three o’clock in the afternoons.

At once protests began to pour in upon me. One of them came from Marshall Field, at that time the business king of Chicago. “Mr. Torrey,” Mr. Field wrote, “we businessmen of Chicago wish to hear Mr. Moody, and you know perfectly well how impossible it is for us to get out at ten o’clock in the morning and three o’clock in the afternoon; have evening meetings.” I received many letters of a similar purport and wrote to Mr. Moody urging him to give us evening meetings. But Mr. Moody simply replied: “You do as you are told,” and I did as I was told; that is the way I kept my job.

On the first morning of the meetings I went down to the Auditorium about half an hour before the appointed time, but I went with much fear and apprehension; I thought the Auditorium would be nowhere nearly full. When I reached there, to my amazement I found a queue of people four abreast extending from the Congress Street entrance to Wabash Avenue, then a block north on Wabash Avenue, then a break to let traffic through, and then another block, and so on. I went in through the back door, and there were many clamoring for entrance there. When the doors were opened at the appointed time, we had a cordon of twenty policemen to keep back the crowd; but the crowd was so great that it swept the cordon of policemen off their feet and packed eight thousand people into the building before we could get the doors shut. And I think there were as many left on the outside as there were in the building. I do not think that anyone else in the world could have drawn such a crowd at such a time.

Why? Because though Mr. Moody knew little about science or philosophy or literature in general, he did know the one Book that this old world is perishing to know and longing to know; and this old world will flock to hear men who know the Bible and preach the Bible as they will flock to hear nothing else on earth.

During all the months of the World’s Fair in Chicago, no one could draw such crowds as Mr. Moody. Judging by the papers, one would have thought that the great religious event in Chicago at that time was the World’s Congress of Religions. One very gifted man of letters in the East was invited to speak at this Congress. He saw in this invitation the opportunity of his life and prepared his paper, the exact title of which I do not now recall, but it was something along the line of “New Light on the Old Doctrines.” He prepared the paper with great care, and then sent it around to his most trusted and gifted friends for criticisms. These men sent it back to him with such emendations as they had to suggest. Then he rewrote the paper, incorporating as many of the suggestions and criticisms as seemed wise. Then he sent it around for further criticisms. Then he wrote the paper a third time, and had it, as he trusted, perfect. He went on to Chicago to meet this coveted opportunity of speaking at the World’s Congress of Religions.

It was at eleven o’clock on a Saturday morning (if I remember correctly) that he was to speak. He stood outside the door of the platform waiting for the great moment to arrive, and as the clock struck eleven he walked on to the platform to face a magnificent audience of eleven women and two men! But there was not a building anywhere in Chicago that would accommodate the very same day the crowds that would flock to hear Mr. Moody at any hour of the day or night.

Oh, men and women, if you wish to get an audience and wish to do that audience some good after you get them, study, study, STUDY the one Book, and preach, preach, PREACH the one Book, and teach, teach, TEACH the one Book, the Bible, the only Book that is God’s Word, and the only Book that has power to gather and hold and bless the crowds for any great length of time.

(4) A Humble Man

The fourth reason why God continuously, through so many years, used D.L. Moody was because he was a humble man. I think D. L. Moody was the humblest man I ever knew in all my life. He loved to quote the words of another; “Faith gets the most; love works the most; but humility keeps the most. ”

He himself had the humility that keeps everything it gets. As I have already said, he was the most humble man I ever knew, i.e., the most humble man when we bear in mind the great things that he did, and the praise that was lavished upon him. Oh, how he loved to put himself in the background and put other men in the foreground. How often he would stand on a platform with some of us little fellows seated behind him and as he spoke he would say: “There are better men coming after me.” As he said it, he would point back over his shoulder with his thumb to the “little fellows. ” I do not know how he could believe it, but he really did believe that the others that were coming after him were really better than he was. He made no pretense to a humility he did not possess. In his heart of hearts he constantly underestimated himself, and overestimated others.

He really believed that God would use other men in a larger measure than he had been used. Mr. Moody loved to keep himself in the background. At his conventions at Northfield, or anywhere else, he would push the other men to the front and, if he could, have them do all the preaching — McGregor, Campbell Morgan, Andrew Murray, and the rest of them. The only way we could get him to take any part in the program was to get up in the convention and move that we hear D. L. Moody at the next meeting. He continually put himself out of sight.

Oh, how many a man has been full of promise and God has used him, and then the man thought that he was the whole thing and God was compelled to set him aside! I believe more promising workers have gone on the rocks through self-sufficiency and self-esteem than through any other cause. I can look back for forty years, or more, and think of many men who are now wrecks or derelicts who at one time the world thought were going to be something great. But they have disappeared entirely from the public view. Why? Because of overestimation of self. Oh, the men and women who have been put aside because they began to think that they were somebody, that they were “IT,” and therefore God was compelled to set them aside.

I remember a man with whom I was closely associated in a great movement in this country. We were having a most successful convention in Buffalo, and he was greatly elated. As we walked down the street together to one of the meetings one day, he said to me: “Torrey, you and I are the most important men in Christian work in this country,” or words to that effect. I replied: “John, I am sorry to hear you say that; for as I read my Bible I find man after man who had accomplished great things whom God had to set aside because of his sense of his own importance.” And God set that man aside also from that time. I think he is still living, but no one ever hears of him, or has heard of him for years.

God used D. L. Moody, I think, beyond any man of his day; but it made no difference how much God used him, he never was puffed up. One day, speaking to me of a great New York preacher, now dead, Mr. Moody said: “He once did a very foolish thing, the most foolish thing that I ever knew a man, ordinarily so wise as he was, to do. He came up to me at the close of a little talk I had given and said: ‘Young man, you have made a great address tonight.'” Then Mr. Moody continued: “How foolish of him to have said that! It almost turned my head.” But, thank God, it did not turn his head, and even when pretty much all the ministers in England, Scotland and Ireland, and many of the English bishops were ready to follow D. L. Moody wherever he led, even then it never turned his head one bit. He would get down on his face before God, knowing he was human, and ask God to empty him of all self-sufficiency. And God did.

Oh, men and women! especially young men and young women, perhaps God is beginning to use you; very likely people are saying: “What a wonderful gift he has as a Bible teacher, what power he has as a preacher, for such a young man!” Listen: get down upon your face before God. I believe here lies one of the most dangerous snares of the Devil. When the Devil cannot discourage a man, he approaches him on another tack, which he knows is far worse in its results; he puffs him up by whispering in his ear: “You are the leading evangelist of the day. You are the man who will sweep everything before you. You are the coming man. You are the D. L. Moody of the day”; and if you listen to him, he will ruin you. The entire shore of the history of Christian workers is strewn with the wrecks of gallant vessels that were full of promise a few years ago, but these men became puffed up and were driven on the rocks by the wild winds of their own raging self-esteem.

(5) His Entire Freedom from the Love of Money

The fifth secret of D. L. Moody’s continual power and usefulness was his entire freedom from the love of money. Mr. Moody might have been a wealthy man, but money had no charms for him. He loved to gather money for God’s work; he refused to accumulate money for himself. He told me during the World’s Fair that if he had taken, for himself, the royalties on the hymnbooks which he had published, they would have amounted, at that time, to a million dollars. But Mr. Moody refused to touch the money. He had a perfect right to take it, for he was responsible for the publication of the books and it was his money that went into the publication of the first of them.

Mr. Sankey had some hymns that he had taken with him to England and he wished to have them published. He went to a publisher (I think Morgan & Scott) and they declined to publish them, because, as they said, Philip Phillips had recently been over and published a hymnbook and it had not done well. However, Mr. Moody had a little money and he said that he would put it into the publication of these hymns in cheap form; and he did. The hymns had a most remarkable and unexpected sale; they were then published in book form and large profits accrued. The financial results were offered to Mr. Moody, but he refused to touch them. “But,” it was urged on him, “the money belongs to you”; but he would not touch it.

Mr. Fleming H. Revell was at the time treasurer of the Chicago Avenue Church, commonly known as the Moody Tabernacle. Only the basement of this new church building had been completed, funds having been exhausted. Hearing of the hymnbook situation Mr. Revell suggested, in a letter to friends in London, that the money be given for completion of this building, and it was. Afterwards, so much money came in that it was given, by the committee into whose hands Mr. Moody put the matter, to various Christian enterprises.

In a certain city to which Mr. Moody went in the latter years of his life, and where I went with him, it was publicly announced that Mr. Moody would accept no money whatever for his services. Now, in point of fact, Mr. Moody was dependent, in a measure, upon what was given him at various services; but when this announcement was made, Mr. Moody said nothing, and left that city without a penny’s compensation for the hard work he did there; and, I think, he paid his own hotel bill. And yet a minister in that very city came out with an article in a paper, which I read, in which he told a fairy tale of the financial demands that Mr. Moody made upon them, which story I knew personally to be absolutely untrue. Millions of dollars passed into Mr. Moody hands, but they passed through; they did not stick to his fingers.

This is the point at which many an evangelist makes shipwreck, and his great work comes to an untimely end. The love of money on the part of some evangelists has done more to discredit evangelistic work in our day, and to lay many an evangelist on the shelf, than almost any other cause.

While I was away on my recent tour I was told by one of the most reliable ministers in one of our eastern cities of a campaign conducted by one who has been greatly used in the past. (Do not imagine, for a moment, that I am speaking of Billy Sunday, for I am not; this same minister spoke in the highest terms of Mr. Sunday and of a campaign which he conducted in a city where this minister was a pastor.) This evangelist of whom I now speak came to a city for a united evangelistic campaign and was supported by fifty-three churches. The minister who told me about the matter was himself chairman of the Finance Committee.

The evangelist showed such a longing for money and so deliberately violated the agreement he had made before coming to the city and so insisted upon money being gathered for him in other ways than he had himself prescribed in the original contract, that this minister threatened to resign from the Finance Committee. He was, however, persuaded to remain to avoid a scandal. “As the total result of the three weeks’ campaign there were only twenty-four clear decisions,” said my friend; “and after it was over the ministers got together and by a vote with but one dissenting voice, they agreed to send a letter to this evangelist telling him frankly that they were done with him and with his methods of evangelism forever, and that they felt it their duty to warn other cities against him and his methods and the results of his work.” Let us lay the lesson to our hearts and take warning in time.

(6) His Consuming Passion for the Salvation of the Lost

The sixth reason why God used D. L. Moody was because of his consuming passion for the salvation of the lost. Mr. Moody made the resolution, shortly after he himself was saved, that he would never let twenty-four hours pass over his head without speaking to at least one person about his soul. His was a very busy life, and sometimes he would forget his resolution until the last hour, and sometimes he would get out of bed, dress, go out and talk to someone about his soul in order that he might not let one day pass without having definitely told at least one of his fellow-mortals about his need and the Savior who could meet it.

One night Mr. Moody was going home from his place of business. It was very late, and it suddenly occurred to him that he had not spoken to one single person that day about accepting Christ. He said to himself: “Here’s a day lost. I have not spoken to anyone today and I shall not see anybody at this late hour.” But as he walked up the street he saw a man standing under a lamppost. The man was a perfect stranger to him, though it turned out afterwards the man knew who Mr. Moody was. He stepped up to this stranger and said: “Are you a Christian?” The man replied: “That is none of your business, whether I am a Christian or not. If you were not a sort of a preacher I would knock you into the gutter for your impertinence.” Mr. Moody said a few earnest words and passed on.

The next day that man called upon one of Mr. Moody’s prominent business friends and said to him: “That man Moody of yours over on the North Side is doing more harm than he is good. He has got zeal without knowledge. He stepped up to me last night, a perfect stranger, and insulted me. He asked me if I were a Christian, and I told him it was none of his business and if he were not a sort of a preacher I would knock him into the gutter for his impertinence. He is doing more harm than he is good. He has got zeal without knowledge.” Mr. Moody’s friend sent for him and said: “Moody, you are doing more harm than you are good; you’ve got zeal without knowledge: you insulted a friend of mine on the street last night. You went up to him, a perfect stranger, and asked him if he were a Christian, and he tells me if you had not been a sort of a preacher he would have knocked you into the gutter for your impertinence. You are doing more harm than you are good; you have got zeal without knowledge.”

Mr. Moody went out of that man’s office somewhat crestfallen. He wondered if he were not doing more harm than he was good, if he really had zeal without knowledge. (Let me say, in passing, it is far better to have zeal without knowledge than it is to have knowledge without zeal. Some men and women are as full of knowledge as an egg is of meat; they are so deeply versed in Bible truth that they can sit in criticism on the preachers and give the preachers pointers, but they have so little zeal that they do not lead one soul to Christ in a whole year.)

Weeks passed by. One night Mr. Moody was in bed when he heard a tremendous pounding at his front door. He jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. He thought the house was on fire. He thought the man would break down the door. He opened the door and there stood this man. He said: “Mr. Moody, I have not had a good night’s sleep since that night you spoke to me under the lamppost, and I have come around at this unearthly hour of the night for you to tell me what I have to do to be saved.” Mr. Moody took him in and told him what to do to be saved. Then he accepted Christ, and when the Civil War broke out, he went to the front and laid down his life fighting for his country.

Another night, Mr. Moody got home and had gone to bed before it occurred to him that he had not spoken to a soul that day about accepting Christ. “Well,” he said to himself, “it is no good getting up now; there will be nobody on the street at this hour of the night.” But he got up, dressed and went to the front door. It was pouring rain. “Oh,” he said, “there will be no one out in this pouring rain. Just then he heard the patter of a man’s feet as he came down the street, holding an umbrella over his head. Then Mr. Moody darted out and rushed up to the man and said: “May I share the shelter of your umbrella?” “Certainly,” the man replied. Then Mr. Moody said: “Have you any shelter in the time of storm?” and preached Jesus to him. Oh, men and women, if we were as full of zeal for the salvation of souls as that, how long would it be before the whole country would be shaken by the power of a mighty, God-sent revival?

One day in Chicago — the day after the elder Carter Harrison was shot, when his body was lying in state in the City Hall — Mr. Moody and I were riding up Randolph Street together in a streetcar right alongside of the City Hall. The car could scarcely get through because of the enormous crowds waiting to get in and view the body of Mayor Harrison. As the car tried to push its way through the crowd, Mr. Moody turned to me and said: “Torrey, what does this mean?” “Why,” I said, “Carter Harrison’s body lies there in the City Hall and these crowds are waiting to see it.”

Then he said: “This will never do, to let these crowds get away from us without preaching to them; we must talk to them. You go and hire Hooley’s Opera House (which was just opposite the City Hall) for the whole day.” I did so. The meetings began at nine o’clock in the morning, and we had one continuous service from that hour until six in the evening, to reach those crowds.

Mr. Moody was a man on fire for God. Not only was he always “on the job” himself but he was always getting others to work as well. He once invited me down to Northfield to spend a month there with the schools, speaking first to one school and then crossing the river to the other. I was obliged to use the ferry a great deal; it was before the present bridge was built at that point.

One day he said to me: “Torrey, did you know that that ferryman that ferries you across every day was unconverted?” He did not tell me to speak to him, but I knew what he meant. When some days later it was told him that the ferryman was saved, he was exceedingly happy.

Once, when walking down a certain street in Chicago, Mr. Moody stepped up to a man, a perfect stranger to him, and said: “Sir, are you a Christian?” “You mind your own business,” was the reply. Mr. Moody replied: “This is my business.” The man said, “Well, then, you must be Moody.” Out in Chicago they used to call him in those early days “Crazy Moody,” because day and night he was speaking to everybody he got a chance to speak to about being saved.

One time he was going to Milwaukee, and in the seat that he had chosen sat a traveling man. Mr. Moody sat down beside him and immediately began to talk with him. ” Where are you going?” Mr. Moody asked. When told the name of the town he said: “We will soon be there; we’ll have to get down to business at once. Are you saved?” The man said that he was not, and Mr. Moody took out his Bible and there on the train showed him the way of salvation. Then he said: “Now, you must take Christ.” The man did; he was converted right there on the train.

Most of you have heard, I presume, the story President Wilson used to tell about D. L. Moody. Ex-President Wilson said that he once went into a barber shop and took a chair next to the one in which D. L. Moody was sitting, though he did not know that Mr. Moody was there. He had not been in the chair very long before, as ex-President Wilson phrased it, he “knew there was a personality in the other chair,” and he began to listen to the conversation going on; he heard Mr. Moody tell the barber about the Way of Life, and President Wilson said, “I have never forgotten that scene to this day.” When Mr. Moody was gone, he asked the barber who he was; when he was told that it was D. L. Moody, President Wilson said: “It made an impression upon me I have not yet forgotten.”

On one occasion in Chicago Mr. Moody saw a little girl standing on the street with a pail in her hand. He went up to her and invited her to his Sunday school, telling her what a pleasant place it was. She promised to go the following Sunday, but she did not do so. Mr. Moody watched for her for weeks, and then one day he saw her on the street again, at some distance from him. He started toward her, but she saw him too and started to run away. Mr. Moody followed her. Down she went one street, Mr. Moody after her; up she went another street, Mr. Moody after her, through an alley, Mr. Moody still following; out on another street, Mr. Moody after her; then she dashed into a saloon and Mr. Moody dashed after her. She ran out the back door and up a flight of stairs, Mr. Moody still following; she dashed into a room, Mr. Moody following; she threw herself under the bed and Mr. Moody reached under the bed and pulled her out by the foot, and led her to Christ.

He found that her mother was a widow who had once seen better circumstances, but had gone down until now she was living over this saloon. She had several children. Mr. Moody led the mother and all the family to Christ. Several of the children were prominent members of the Moody Church until they moved away, and afterwards became prominent in churches elsewhere. This particular child, whom he pulled from underneath the bed, was, when I was the pastor of the Moody Church, the wife of one of the most prominent officers in the church.

Only two or three years ago, as I came out of a ticket office in Memphis, Tennessee, a fine-looking young man followed me. He said: “Are you not Dr. Torrey?” I said, “Yes.” He said: “I am so and so.” He was the son of this woman. He was then a traveling man, and an officer in the church where he lived. When Mr. Moody pulled that little child out from under the bed by the foot he was pulling a whole family into the Kingdom of God, and eternity alone will reveal how many succeeding generations he was pulling into the Kingdom of God.

D. L. Moody’s consuming passion for souls was not for the souls of those who would be helpful to him in building up his work here or elsewhere; his love for souls knew no class limitations. He was no respecter of persons; it might be an earl or a duke or it might be an ignorant colored boy on the street; it was all the same to him; there was a soul to save and he did what lay in his power to save that soul.

A friend once told me that the first time he ever heard of Mr. Moody was when Mr. Reynolds of Peoria told him that he once found Mr. Moody sitting in one of the squatters’ shanties that used to be in that part of the city toward the lake, which was then called, “The Sands,” with a colored boy on his knee, a tallow candle in one hand and a Bible in the other, and Mr. Moody was spelling out the words (for at that time the boy could not read very well) of certain verses of Scripture, in an attempt to lead that ignorant colored boy to Christ.

Oh, young men and women and all Christian workers, if you and I were on fire for souls like that, how long would it be before we had a revival? Suppose that tonight the fire of God falls and fills our hearts, a burning fire that will send us out all over the country, and across the water to China, Japan, India and Africa, to tell lost souls the way of salvation!

(7) Definitely Endued with Power from on High

The seventh thing that was the secret of why God used D. L. Moody was that he had a very definite enduement with power from on High, a very clear and definite baptism with the Holy Ghost. Moody knew he had “the baptism with the Holy Ghost”; he had no doubt about it. In his early days he was a great hustler; he had a tremendous desire to do something, but he had no real power. He worked very largely in the energy of the flesh.

But there were two humble Free Methodist women who used to come over to his meetings in the Y.M.C.A. One was “Auntie Cook” and the other, Mrs. Snow. (I think her name was not Snow at that time.) These two women would come to Mr. Moody at the close of his meetings and say: “We are praying for you.” Finally, Mr. Moody became somewhat nettled and said to them one night: “Why are you praying for me? Why don’t you pray for the unsaved?” They replied: “We are praying that you may get the power.” Mr. Moody did not know what that meant, but he got to thinking about it, and then went to these women and said: “I wish you would tell me what you mean”; and they told him about the definite baptism with the Holy Ghost. Then he asked that he might pray with them and not they merely pray for him.

Auntie Cook once told me of the intense fervor with which Mr. Moody prayed on that occasion. She told me in words that I scarcely dare repeat, though I have never forgotten them. And he not only prayed with them, but he also prayed alone.

Not long after, one day on his way to England, he was walking up Wall Street in New York; (Mr. Moody very seldom told this and I almost hesitate to tell it) and in the midst of the bustle and hurry of that city his prayer was answered; the power of God fell upon him as he walked up the street and he had to hurry off to the house of a friend and ask that he might have a room by himself, and in that room he stayed alone for hours; and the Holy Ghost came upon him, filling his soul with such joy that at last he had to ask God to withhold His hand, lest he die on the spot from very joy. He went out from that place with the power of the Holy Ghost upon him, and when he got to London (partly through the prayers of a bedridden saint in Mr. Lessey’s church), the power of God wrought through him mightily in North London, and hundreds were added to the churches; and that was what led to his being invited over to the wonderful campaign that followed in later years.

Time and again Mr. Moody would come to me and say: “Torrey, I want you to preach on the baptism with the Holy Ghost.” I do not know how many times he asked me to speak on that subject. Once, when I had been invited to preach in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York (invited at Mr. Moody’s suggestion; had it not been for his suggestion the invitation would never have been extended to me), just before I started for New York, Mr. Moody drove up to my house and said: “Torrey, they want you to preach at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York. It is a great big church, cost a million dollars to build it.” Then he continued: “Torrey, I just want to ask one thing of you. I want to tell you what to preach about. You will preach that sermon of yours on ‘Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God’ and your sermon on ‘The Baptism With the Holy Ghost.'”

Time and again, when a call came to me to go off to some church, he would come up to me and say: “Now, Torrey, be sure and preach on the baptism with the Holy Ghost.” I do not know how many times he said that to me. Once I asked him: “Mr. Moody, don’t you think I have any sermons but those two: ‘Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God’ and ‘The Baptism With the Holy Ghost’?” “Never mind that,” he replied, “you give them those two sermons.

Once he had some teachers at Northfield — fine men, all of them, but they did not believe in a definite baptism with the Holy Ghost for the individual. They believed that every child of God was baptized with the Holy Ghost, and they did not believe in any special baptism with the Holy Ghost for the individual. Mr. Moody came to me and said: “Torrey, will you come up to my house after the meeting tonight and I will get those men to come, and I want you to talk this thing out with them.”

Of course, I very readily consented, and Mr. Moody and I talked for a long time, but they did not altogether see eye to eye with us. And when they went, Mr. Moody signaled me to remain for a few moments. Mr. Moody sat there with his chin on his breast, as he so often sat when he was in deep thought; then he looked up and said: “Oh, why will they split hairs? Why don’t they see that this is just the one thing that they themselves need? They are good teachers, they are wonderful teachers, and I am so glad to have them here; but why will they not see that the baptism with the Holy Ghost is just the one touch that they themselves need?”

I shall never forget the eighth of July, 1894, to my dying day. It was the closing day of the Northfield Students’ Conference — the gathering of the students from the eastern colleges. Mr. Moody had asked me to preach on Saturday night and Sunday morning on the baptism with the Holy Ghost. On Saturday night I had spoken about, “The Baptism With the Holy Ghost: What It Is; What It Does; the Need of It and the Possibility of It.” On Sunday morning I spoke on “The Baptism With the Holy Spirit: How to Get It.” It was just exactly twelve o’clock when I finished my morning sermon, and I took out my watch and said: “Mr. Moody has invited us all to go up to the mountain at three o’clock this afternoon to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit. It is three hours to three o’clock. Some of you cannot wait three hours. You do not need to wait. Go to your rooms; go out into the woods; go to your tent; go anywhere where you can get alone with God and have this matter out with Him.”

At three o’clock we all gathered in front of Mr. Moody’s mother’s house (she was then still living), and then began to pass down the lane, through the gate, up on the mountainside. There were four hundred and fifty-six of us in all; I know the number because Paul Moody counted us as we passed through the gate.

After a while Mr. Moody said: “I don’t think we need to go any further; let us sit down here.” We sat down on stumps and logs and on the ground. Mr. Moody said: “Have any of you students anything to say?” I think about seventy-five of them arose, one after the other, and said: “Mr. Moody, I could not wait till three o’clock; I have been alone with God since the morning service, and I believe I have a right to say that I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When these testimonies were over, Mr. Moody said: “Young men, I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t kneel down here right now and ask God that the Holy Ghost may fall upon us just as definitely as He fell upon the apostles on the Day of Pentecost. Let us pray.” And we did pray, there on the mountainside. As we had gone up the mountainside heavy clouds had been gathering, and just as we began to pray those clouds broke and the raindrops began to fall through the overhanging pines. But there was another cloud that had been gathering over Northfield for ten days, a cloud big with the mercy and grace and power of God; and as we began to pray our prayers seemed to pierce that cloud and the Holy Ghost fell upon us. Men and women, that is what we all need the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.

Sermon by R.A. Torrey

Sword of the Lord Publishers
P.O. Box 1099
Murfreesboro, TN 37133
USA

Good links

I too have learned that most people, even so called church ministers,  will not go on with God unless

a: they have seen the need to die to self and live for God
b: they have learned to talk with God and do hear him
c: they apply what they have learned, for more will not be next given to them till they do
d: they have learned not to have the fear of man, or care about the need of pleasing men, listening to the others for we ought to fear, hear, obey God rather than men
e: they have full faith that God and not self or men will provide for all of their needs.

Now  the Holy Spirit was given to make us Holy so that we can overcome temptation.. that is just the beginning,

(Acts 10:38 KJV)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

(John 5:20 KJV)  For the Father loved the Son, and showed him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

(John 14:12 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Some professing Christians tend to want still to exalt self, to promote themselves, for clearly and wrongfully they have not died to sinful self yet.

Me I do prefer to exalt God, the Bible, Jesus, the Holy Spirit  and not rather sinful men or sinful women.

Unfortunately I too have found out firsthand that too many people have the same problems in life and too many person still don’t know where to go for the good, valid help now. Well here is some help in writing hopefully.   Let me be clear too I firstly rightfully do prefer to define any of  the problems but also to mention God’s input, help directly on the subject now as well.. especially if I want to HELP anyone and to see any real positive changes in their life next too.

No man still has all of the right answers except Jesus Christ and his words, the Bible has plenty of help for us. 

 

 

Dealing with temptations, even in marriage
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/trendy.htm

My marriage failed..
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/failed.htm

Is divorce an option?
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/divorce.htm

A Soul mate or a spiritutal mate?
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/mate.htm

The need of a servant’s role in the ministry as well
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/ministry.htm

How to live for  God
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/glory.html

What does God say about..?
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/sin.html

Why is stealing a so common sin?
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/thieves.html

What about white lies too?
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/lying.htm

The Holy Spirit
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/hs.htm

http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/hs2.htm

Seek the LORD Now, Seek His Face and LIVE!
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/seek.htm

Earthly or Heavenly judgments.
http://my.homewithgod.com/jtrendy/judgements.htm

 
THE MAGNA CHARTA OF WOMAN by Jessie Penn-Lewis

A Traveller’s Guide To Heaven…..

 

     Arrangements for first-class accommodation have been made in advance.
    ”In My Father’s house are many rooms …… I am going there to
prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2).

     2.  PASSPORTS

Persons seeking entry will not be permitted past the gates without
having proper papers/credentials and having their names registered
with the ruling Authority.
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is
shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the
Lamb’s book of life”. (Revelation 21:27)..

3.  DEPARTURE TIMES

The exact date of departure has not been announced. Travellers are
advised to be prepared to leave at short notice.
 ”It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by
His own authority. ” (Acts 1:7).

    4.  TICKETS

Your ticket is a written pledge that guarantees your journey. It
should be claimed and its promises kept firmly in hand.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who
sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed
over from death to life.” (John 5:24).

    5.  CUSTOMS

Only one declaration is required while going through customs.
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe
in your heart that God raised  Him from the dead, you will be
saved.” (Romans 10:9).

     6.  IMMIGRATION

All passengers are classified as immigrants, since they are taking
up permanent residence in a new country.  The quota is unlimited.
 ”…… they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one
…….. He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:16).

     7.  LUGGAGE

No luggage whatsoever is necessary.
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out
of it.” (1 Timothy 6:7).

    8.  AIR PASSAGE     Travellers’ going directly by air are advised to watch daily for
indications of imminent departure.
 ”After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up
together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so
we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

     9.  VACCINATION AND INOCULATION

 

Injections are not needed, as diseases are unknown at the
destination.

    “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more
death or mourning or crying or pain….” (Revelation 21:4).

    10.  CURRENCY     Supplies of currency may be forwarded ahead to await the passenger’s
arrival.  Deposit your heart, mind, soul and life.
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and
rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
(Matthew 6:20).

     11.  CLOTHING

 

A complete and appropriate new wardrobe is provided for each
traveller.
    ”…For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me
in a robe of righteousness….” (Isaiah 61:10).

     12.  TIME CHANGES

Resetting of watches will not be necessary to adjust to the
day/night schedule.
   ”The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp…….. for
there will be no night there.” (Revelations 21:23,25).

13.  RESERVATIONS

Booking is now open.  Apply at once.
  ”……. now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of
salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

14.  CORONATION CEREMONY

The highlight of the journey is the welcoming reception and
coronation which await the arrival.
 ”Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the
Lord, the Righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not
only to me, but also to all who have longed for  His appearing.” (2
Timothy 4:8).

     The Blessings of the Lord be upon You

Lamentations 3:21-23,25 “But this I call to mind, and therefore I
have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies
never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your
faithfulness…the LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the
soul who seeks Him.”

 

 http://godsapage.wordpress.com/2008/08/28/a-travellers-guide-to-heaven/

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

christmas-045

 

(Isa 9:6 KJV)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.

Why do some people

  heaven0

Why do some  people still do want to insist that God is dead today, he does not intervene directly into this world, he does not speak to us, he does not heal, he does no miracles, he does not supply any of our personal needs, or look after our own good welfare? When clearly the Bible today still says otherwise!
 
(Acts 10:38 KJV)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
 
(Acts 10:39 KJV)  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
 
(Acts 10:40 KJV)  Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;
 
(Acts 10:41 KJV)  Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
 
(Acts 10:42 KJV)  And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
 
(Acts 10:43 KJV)  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
 
By defining God as non existant some they falsely try to justify their living their own lives, their own right of doing their own thing, but they are still big sinners, rebels against God.
 
(Heb 9:27 KJV)  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
 
(1 Sam 15:23 KJV)  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
 
 Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance… (WIKIPEDIA) SOZO – the Greek word which means to heal, cure, to make well; to rescue from danger, to save; to cause something to change to an earlier, correct or appropriate state; to renew. The Greek word SOZO was translated in the New Testament as the English word Saved. Salvation, known as the Greek word “Soteria”, is merely the noun form. SOZO simply defined is the verb which means rescued, pulled from danger, or lifted above trouble.  http://faithcenter.wordpress.com/
 
 >>The doctrine of salvation the greek word Sozo is described in Scripture in three different tenses: past, present and future. We have been saved; we are being saved, and we will be saved.
Sozo means saved, healed, delivered as well .. but  some people cannot get past the saved part even..
 
It’s the frequent and methodical strategy of those people not Holy sprit filled, those people walking in the flesh that they do bash, recite against anyone who has evidenced the Holy Spirit anointing still too, we all can see these false professors own false, unscriptural doctrine and practice. It’s now a charge of their “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” and their disobedience of “touch not the Lord’s anointed.”
 
The anointing is sacred, the anointing is the Holy Spirit, and all believers in Christ have the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We must be careful what we say about our brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
(Matthew 12:31 NKJV) “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
 
(1 Chronicles 16:22-24 NKJV) Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” {23} Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. {24} Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

“Fundamentalists worship every word and letter in the Bible. Actually, they worship their own private interpretation of scripture (compare 2 Peter 1:20). This is the same error that the Pharisees fell into. They ended up worshiping Torah more than God, and, even more than Torah, they worshiped their own interpretations (and the interpretations of the elders) of Torah. (They still do so today, only now they have codified those traditions into the Talmud.) Likewise, so do Fundamentalists worship their own interpretation of Scripture. In both cases, “they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” (Romans 1:25).

Similarly, Liberals worship their own reasonings, the products of their own minds, their own denial of Scripture. In doing so, like the Fundamentalists and the Pharisees, they worship their own interpretations, the products of their own minds, therefore they, too, worship the creature instead of the Creator.

One problem that both Fundamentalists and Liberals have in common is that they both would rather have someone else spoon feed them rather than learn for themselves. Liberals are eager to hear what Tillich, Bultmann, Kierkegaard or even their own pastor than to dig into the truth of the faith for themselves. Likewise, Fundamentalists would rather hear what C. I. Schofield, Hal Lindsey, Walter Martin or even their own pastor than to dig into the truth of the faith for themselves. Both sides are equally intellectually lazy. Both sides are equally wrong.

Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23). It is time for both Fundamentalists and Liberals to stop worshipping the products of their own mind and “worship the Father in spirit and truth,” only this will please the Father above.

Fundamentalists need to learn the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” They need to seek God in SPIRIT and in Truth. Liberals need to learn the truth of John 4:23 (quoted above) and ofJohn 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit[1] and they are life.” They need to seek God in Spirit and in TRUTH.”  http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/12941.htm

Jesus himself walked in the  power of the Holy Spirit and he also manifested the gifts of the Holy Spirit by the same Holy Spirit anointing we can now have as well
 
(Luke 4:1 KJV)  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,
 
(Luke 4:14 KJV)  And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

(Mat 9:6 KJV)  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
 
I had once asked my Baptist Pastor once if there was Power to live a Christian life.. he waited for a minute while he thought about it and replied no! shortly after that he was removed from the church and he was the founding pastor as well. 
 
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. . . . As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.  1 John 2:20, 27
 
“The Greek word for anointing is chrisma, from which we have the word chrism. Chrisma appears several times in 1 John 2:20 and 27. It comes from the root word, chriô, which means to rub something or someone lightly with a substance like oil or lotion. The word christos means a person so anointed and the word chrisma refers to that by which a person is anointed. John uses chrisma in these two verses, not speaking of the object being anointed but of the instrument of anointing. Additionally, we find a word christianos in Acts 11:26, which means “one belonging to the Anointed One,” just as Herodianos would mean “one who belongs to Herod.””

(Acts 1:8 KJV)  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
 
(Acts 3:12 KJV)  And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
 
(Acts 4:7 KJV)  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
 
(Acts 4:33 KJV)  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
 
(Acts 6:8 KJV)  And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
 
(Acts 10:38 KJV)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
 
(Acts 26:18 KJV)  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
 
Most people have never even firstly had studied, read what the Bible actually says firstly, not even many preachers.
 
Beyond the show of a doubt the devil himself firstly really hates any references to the Holy Spirit, the anointed ones, the idea that Christians do have now empowering to overcome the devil too…
 
The baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy spirit, the Anointing , Tongues, Prophets, Apostles, Miracle workers, tithing now too, the promised land, the prosperity gospel have become unarguably the most overused, overworked, misunderstood, misinterpreted, contentious terms in the news media, in the non Pentecostal and in the Non Charismatic arenas, in the fundamental religious circles all even because many of these people are mostly still serving self, doing their own thing, looking up to mere man and not God.

“As the ultimate Prophet, King and Priest, Jesus Christ was anointed when he began his earthly ministry. This anointing was predicted by Isaiah in Isaiah 61:1 when he said that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon the Messiah. In God’s time, when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, we are told the Holy Spirit came upon him when he came up out of the water. In other words, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and that without measure. When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1,2 in the synagogue of Nazareth, saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,” he was announcing to the people that he was the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah long ago and that the anointing of the Holy Spirit was now resting upon him.

Not only is Jesus Christ anointed, but the Bible tells us that every believer in Jesus Christ is also anointed. We are kings, priests, and prophets under the Priest, Prophet and King, the Lord Jesus Christ. We find references to this in many places. John the Baptist said there was another person coming after him, mightier than himself, who would baptize people in the Holy Spirit and fire. In Acts 1:5 the Lord Jesus Christ himself speaks of this, saying, “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, as we read in Acts 2:4: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Thus, when John writes in 1 John 2:20, “But you have a chrisma, an anointing,” he was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit upon every believer.

http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/gvcc/sermon_trans/2001/Holy_Anointing.html

The anointing that the devil and his false followers wrongfully do hate and oppose, lie about is this..

(Mark 16:17 KJV) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The Lord wants to infuse you with an anointing, by the Holy Spirit, which will propel you through every line of Satan’s defense. This is how you can overcome every situation as you receive “power from on high!” Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself was full of this power as He withstood the onslaught of the devil while fasting in the wilderness. The Bible records that John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Lord of Glory, in the river Jordan prior to Him praying and fasting 40 days and 40 nights. At the end of this fast Satan came to Him and tempted Him in His spirit, soul and body to sin against God. But Jesus resisted Satan’s offense with the statement, “It is written!” After this, Luke 4: 14 states, And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. If Jesus, walking as a man, needed the power of the Holy Spirit to stand against the assault of the devil, I ask you, “How much more do we need the power of the Holy Spirit?” There’s a Holy Spirit revival coming, and it’s can also be coming even through your words, through your hands and through your life!

Would you like to have God’s Holy Ghost Power in your life?

If so please pray this prayer humbly. “Dear Heavenly Father. As per your promises in your word, the Bible do next baptize me with your Holy sprit, power. I accept the promise of Acts 2: 38 & 39 and the anointing power of the Holy Ghost. I ask to have the power that Apostles had received even in my life. I also do want the power to overcome Satan everyday, in all areas of life! Jesus you are my lord so by your Holy Spirit, please fill me now and take full control of my life, my body and even my tongue. Let my tongue now also give praises to God the Father and His Holy Son, Jesus in a Heavenly language. I put myself, my all under your full control. Amen!”

John 10:37-38 ” If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. “

(2 John 1:5 KJV) And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

(Luke 4:18 KJV) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

(Titus 3:5 KJV)  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

http://comeholyspirit.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/the-holy-spirits-anointing/

Not wanted

  
Definitely money hungry, despises the poor persons, a JUNGLE FIGHTER, a BULLY, a control freak, negative behavior, irrational, Unrepentant , dictatorial, INDULGING IN ALCOHOL..   Now don’t tell me you have not seen  alcoholics with that type of SIMILAR, common negative behaviors as well?
 
Why Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper keeps his religion secret ?”,  because The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s negative  behavior is undeniable
 
The Bible says we are first to talk to the elder directly  and personally to ask him to repent.
If he refuses..
We next are to have 2 witnesses that we had again asked him to repent.
then if he does not repent we merely fully ask to have him removed from the assembly, till he admits his sins and repents..
 
next God also  will drastically deal with him too
 
and it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God
that is the Biblical way…
Now I have already removed a lot of unrepentant elders.. they mostly had next really regretted eventually they had not initially repented too
I use the same approach in dealing with all others too, bad politicians included..

McThoughts – “Script writers probably couldn’t create a more improbable (embarrassing?) plot than the one being played out in Ottawa of late about Stephen Harper”.. .
 
The ironic thing is that Evangelical Stephen Harper should have already read thus historical Biblical script.. and should have been pre-warned, not  rather acted foolishly  instead, plus Harper he made an false idol of the Conservative Party too and was pulled down for this too..
 
King Rehoboam Acts Foolishly  1 Kings 12 New American Standard Bible 

1 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon). 3 Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 Then he said to them, “Depart for three days, then return to me.” So the people departed.
6 King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7 Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”
8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9 So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 ‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’” 12 Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him, 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the LORD, that He might establish His word, which the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
The Kingdom Divided; Jeroboam Rules Israel
16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,
“What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
To your tents, O Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!”

So Israel departed to their tents. 17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.
19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
20 It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.  21 Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying, 24 ‘Thus says the LORD, “You must not go up and fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me.”’” So they listened to the word of the LORD, and returned and went their way according to the word of the LORD.

Jeroboam’s Idolatry
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 “If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.
 
 Economic crisis is no time for political games  What is wrong with Stephen Harper? Days after talking about the need to put partisanship aside to deal with the economic crisis, the prime minister unleashes an undemocratic — even thuggish — attack on the opposition parties. His actions come at the expense of Canadians, introducing more uncertainty, including the threat of an election, at the most damaging time. And it is oddly self-destructive. At a point when many moderate voters were prepared to give the Conservatives a chance to demonstrate their ability to govern in the interests of all Canadians, Harper acted as a partisan bully, reinforcing concerns about his judgment. The classic way for a government to stimulate a flagging economy is to pump money into infrastructure. Road-building and government-funded construction can create jobs through one-time projects that increase spending on local materials and provide the country with something it actually needs, without creating a long-term spending problem. That’s the way Ottawa should go, economists say. In its Throne Speech a few weeks ago, the government promised infrastructure spending to pump money into the economy. It would appear that Minister Flaherty has forgotten that promise.  What planet do Canada’s Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Harper live on?
 
I had already written immediately after the last federal lection too that “And all persons are merely dreaming that the new Parliament will next usher in an era of co-operation between both the governing party and its opponents as long as Stephen Harper is around. That is not his style for he clearly and wrongfully loves to be a bully, to body check others.  And Harper now will clearly have to endure the successes and failures of minority government again by his own poor contributions to it .” “Just weeks ago Harper spoke of the need for a more nonpartisan approach to governing in the financial crisis. This week’s events prove that was mere lip service. Harper is more concerned about crippling political opponents and is willing to do so on the backs of Canadians frightened for their very future. It’s shameful.  ” He clearly  is a demon obsessed with getting more power.
 
 The misplaced values,  lack of decency, lack of morality, lack of street sense ,lack of common sense,  out-of-touch, revengeful Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has Cleary degenerated in the eyes of many. His   having a government that is sensitive to the needs of Canadians rather than the lusts of big corporations is also a necessity still. 
 
Public confidence of Stephen Harper  and his leadership  has been badly shaken by the events of the past few days. As the Conservatives continue their pattern of negative behavior, setting aside the country’s interests in pursuit of their own, “Mr. Harper has poisoned the well for this Parliament, and has contributed to the political destabilization of Canada during a great economic crisis.” 
 

As Canadians face the most difficult economic times in 80 years this was, is Not a time to play politics. It was, is Bad time to play political games  So the  Chess-loving PM was  body checked by opponents. Opposition parties threaten to bring down minority government altogether or replace it.   

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper called an election to secure a majority, and failed to get one. Continues with his one step forward two step backyards leadership approach too. Mr. Harper now and all of us should reflect on where his cynical, bullying, combative, unChristlike approach has gotten him, the Conservative government’s apparent death wish , and how it has further destabilized our country during uncertain times. ”   Stephen Harper has to wear this political mess himself now too. He had thought he had set a deadly trap for his opponents but he himself undeniably fell into it now. That is what a Bully, ego manic deserves. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s clearly SELF CENTERED, SELFISH, crude political brinksmanship has taken an now finally admitted Canadian economic crisis and made it into a political crisis. 

The new Conservative party was elected cause they said they were going to be better than the other political parties, more honest, decent, etc, and in this regard they became the biggest liars themselves,  they next became the bullies, thugs, oppressors, promise breakers and much more, showing to us all that they were really wolves in sheep clothing,  their clearly apparent bad acts do  not deny who they really are still too… bad people.

No one in his right mind  can ever think, believe thse are the acts of a genuine professing Christian , more likely  acts typical of the Christian Missionary Alliance church, but not those of Jesus Christ. Jesus would have shown consideration for the poor people firstly, humbly too,  now too and not be self centered, boastful, proud like the Conservatives.
 
You cannot hide for long what you really are, Stephen Harper and his thugs included..

Merely let is think back to the final days of the election campaign, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared that the government had already done what was needed, that Canada was better off than the United States and that deficit financing was out of the question. And after the lection the same government   uses words such as “recession,” and will run a deficit. Mr. Harper even warns about remembering the lessons of the Great Depression. How the  same liar sings a different tune before and after the election, but that has been so common of him. And  much more…

Quebeckers support a coalition with Bloc ministers  Globe and Mail, Canada –   76 per cent of Quebeckers support a coalition if the Conservatives are defeated, while only 9 per cent want another election. 
 
2 TIMES STEPHEN HARPER NOW HAS NOT LEARNED THAT HE CANNOT OBTAIN A MAJORITY GOVERNMENT BY TRYING TO BUY IT, OR BY HAVING RE-ELECTION AND THE THIRD TIME ALSO WILL BE NO DIFFERENT.. ANOTHER ELECTION WILL JUST MORE WASTE OF TAX PAPYER’S MONEY THAT STEPHEN HARPER falsely really does not care about too..
  
“Half of Canadians think Stephen Harper should step down if the Conservatives are defeated in the House of Commons.
But that seemingly bleak number in a new Leger Marketing poll doesn’t tell the entire story.
About 37 per cent of those asked said Harper should stay, and this mirrors the approximate support Canadians gave the Tories and their leader in the Oct. 14 election, says Leger vice-president Dave Scholz.
In other words, support or condemnation of Harper breaks down along party lines, with Tory supporters generally content while those who don’t normally vote for him say he should get his pink slip if the Tories lose power.
In fact, among identified Conservative voters, only 16 per cent feel he should step down in the event of his party’s defeat, the poll shows.
Seventy-six per cent of Tory supporters would prefer Harper to stay, with eight per cent undecided.
The fact that all three coalition leaders were born in Quebec may factor into the West’s disenchantment with Ottawa.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe was born and raised in Montreal, while Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was born and raised in Quebec City. NDP Leader Jack Layton, the sole Anglophone of the three, was born and raised in Hudson, Quebec, although he is currently the MP for the riding of Toronto-Danforth.
POLL RESULTS
– An exclusive Sun Media-Leger Marketing poll finds that if the Tories are toppled in a non-confidence vote, 43% would prefer to return to the polls while 40% would opt for a coalition.
Other results:
– In B.C., 54% prefer to go to an election while 29% support a coalition.
– 71% of Albertans oppose coalition, preferring election.
– Those in the east and central Canada are more open to a coalition, especially in Quebec where 58% want it.
– Ontarians are the most deeply divided in the land, with 43% picking an election and 39% preferring a coalition.”
http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/2008/12/04/7624606-sun.html
 
CP MONTREAL – Quebec doesn’t need anti-sovereigntist rhetoric from the federal government while it copes with the global economic crisis, Premier Jean Charest said late Wednesday after hearing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s televised address to the nation.  Charest’s reaction followed an earlier warning to federal politicians against attacking the Bloc Quebecois and engaging in Quebec bashing as they verbally slug it out in the political clash on Parliament Hill  “We must respect the choice that was made democratically by all citizens and all Quebecers,” Charest said as he left a rally in Ste-Marie. “And there are, economically, things to settle. We should focus on that. It is the No. 1 priority. Quebec does not need political instability and rhetoric that divides people.”  Charest,  appealed for calm late Wednesday afternoon and condemned the attacks against the Bloc.  “I live in a society where people can be federalist or sovereigntist but they respect each other,” Charest said in Quebec City. “The same should be true in the federal Parliament.”  Charest pointed out that 1.4 million Quebec voters had cast ballots for the Bloc in the Oct. 14 federal election and it has the political legitimacy to allow it to sit in Parliament.  Without identifying anyone, Charest said he found it regrettable that the opponents of the coalition had engaged in an argument tainted by “Quebec bashing.”
 
 (Prov 22:1 KJV)  A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Eccl 7:1 KJV)  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
 

 IT IS NOW MORE  RARE BUT I DO ALSO NOW STILL GET BULLIED BY RELIGIOUS BULLIES, ABUSERS TOO..  not just by the past bad cops
 
The WRONGFULLY STILL Unrepentant  bully’s problem is that he or she is one of those bad persons  who only feels truly alive when voicing hostility and contempt for his “enemies.” Without that, he or she starts gasping for air. It’s his nature.. self-destructive” ..  clearly these immoral  Bully, Basher of others, Abusers of others has a disappointed, deflated ego, negative self worth,  most likely related to past unresolved guilt, as a result  of  that   the bully, he or she, tries falsely to   build  their ego up by bashing, hating others, by being an antagonists against  his proclaimed enemies, which too often also  is most people , for  he or she no longer trust anyone, and Abusers this is a common very typical approach, fact in the character build up of Bullies, Bashers, but their approach is futile, the subsequent feeling of self worth dissipates too quickly, are actually replaced by guilt,  and his ego, self worth likely needs to be recharged with new hate.. and is replaced with more and larger hatred of the others.  I have seen this type of wrong behavior not just in bad managers, bad politicians, bad persons, but  in alcoholics, and most often in Albertan rednecks ,but also  in religious   fundamentals evangelicals who promote hated towards Pentecostal Christians as well, and  now as well as the crooked pastor wrongfully  fighting for control over others. Public exposure and prosecution of these bad persons here too services everyone’s best interest.

 

Are you a real Christian, or a pretender, imposter still?

(Rom 1:16 KJV)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
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Firstly unless you  admit you are an unholy person, a sinner before God and you  see your personal need of Salvation by Jesus Christ, but  next also give  all you own, have, and are, to the Lord Jesus Christ you will not become next a real Christian.. and that includes you giving up your  own plans, goals, ambitions, agendas, desires, aims..  One is a fool anyway who tries to keep what he cannot..   One also cannot become a Christian by having a negative attitude toward life, other religions, being an abstainer, refraining from drinking, smoking, swearing, adultery, idolatry, or kindred sins. Any sinner who stops sinning on his own is a sinner still. What he or she still needs is to become inside a new person, with a changed, cleansed heart, and a godly nature but the Holy Sprit of Jesus Christ alone does this if you meet his perquisites, requirements, conditions.
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A FULL HONEST SALVATION GOSPEL INCLUDES BOTH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND ALSO JESUS CHRIST AS THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTIZER.

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But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. . . . As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.  1 John 2:20, 27  http://comeholyspirit.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/the-holy-spirits-anointing/

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The word christos means a person   HOLY SPIRIT  anointed  . The Greek name for an individual “Christos” rendered “Christ” in Scripture, the basic of the term Christian now as well, comes from the Greek word “chrio” means to anoint with oil, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, one can tell if any person is a Christian cause they also can see the evidence of the holy spirit’s anointing.. so now we all can be anointed one inspectors of all Christians now too.

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Luke 4:18-19 (Wey) [Jesus:] “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor; He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners of war and recovery of sight to the blind: to send away free those whom tyranny has crushed, to proclaim the year of acceptance with the Lord.”

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But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. . . . As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2:20, 27

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Additionally, we find a word christianos in Acts 11:26, which means “one belonging to the Anointed One,”

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Disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because evidentially their behavior, activity, and speech were anointed, Christ like. (Acts 10:38 KJV) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

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Sadly too Fundamentalist ,Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and other Protestants tend now to define “Christians”in nclude only those persons who have been “born again”  negelcting them filled with the  Holy Spirit as well.

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The definition of a real Christian sadly now even varies depending on who you talk to, and what type of church they attend as well..   
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 I have to say I  am continually amazed as to how so many supposedly Christian persons now  claim to be Holy Spirit led and claim that they are NOW BORN AGAIN TO,    filled with the Holy Spirit, when it is not evident in their own lives, for  they still do act like non Christians, and are clearly  are still Bible ignorant and do also make really ungodly remarks.. too many persons are deceived that they are Christians cause their own false Christian Standard does not match God’s standard.. http://mccainvrsobama.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/go-and-sin-no-more/

Are you a real Christian, or a pretender, imposter still? The definition of a real Christian varies depending on who you talk to, and what type of church they attend as well.. but what did Jesus, the Apostles say a real Christian was, is? The devil even believes Jesus, God exists so what!! Being a Christian is more than your present personal head Knowledge, or beliefs, it is still a real, initial and personal experience with Jesus Christ like Apostle Paul had on the road to Damascus.

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Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: :4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? :5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. :6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

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Fundamentalist Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and other Protestants tend now to define “Christians” very  more narrowly to include only those persons who have been “born again” regardless of their present denomination. About 35% of the North American adult population identify themselves in this valid way. By some definitions, 75% of Americans are nominal Christians; but now by the other more valid definitions it is only about 30 percent are the real Christians. As simple as that too. 

Now no one can even make himself to be a  real Christian. No, not by quantities of their good works or trying to live a moral life of the highest quality, not by  their church attendance, water baptisms, good citizenship, higher education, charitable giving, burning candles, reciting prayers, amount of prayers, or even their studying the Bible, their Knowledge of the Bible now too,  or  thousands   and one things of similar nature. Do you understand also this?  

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“Seventy five years ago, if a church going Baptist knew somebody else was a Catholic, or something else, he would have doubts over whether that person was a serious Christian,”  

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“Today, if the churchgoing Baptist knew a supporter of abortion rights, or was an adulterer, alcoholic, gay, drug user, wife beater, abuser, today you would not bother even to ask if the person was Catholic or Protestant Christian , for the others would next say, ‘Well, I have serious doubts he is any kind of a Christian in reality.’ ” Even a serious Mormon and professed social conservative such as Romney is rightfully now classified as a non Christian.

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Catholics and most Lutherans and Episcopalians and some others today who still seem to like to play the big numbers games over quality now would falsely say that anyone who has been baptized is a Christian, but most real Christians now also would not agree. They see baptism as an initiation ceremony that may or may not indicate the presence of a true Christian faith.

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One next has to still practice the whole Christian faith as set forth in the Bible , in the New Testament specially. But to do that you would have to read it, since statistics shows that 95 percent of professing Christians actually do not read their Bible more than 5 minutes a day, that would likely now mean there would even be much less,  very few real Christians to even start of with.

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“So really What is a Christian, anyway? Someone of American or European descent? A persecutor of Jews? A person who is anti Muslim, anti Hindu? Someone who votes for only the most conservative party?

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 Many liberal Christian denominations, secularists, public opinion pollsters, non Christians even define “Christian” very broadly as any person or group who sincerely believes themselves to be Christian? But can they rather be sincerely wrong in their beliefs. The answer is mostly yes still too!

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In recent decades, however, the real Christians have begun discerning the other true Christians from mere professing believers less by denomination and more by actual beliefs, not just by their personal religious commitment. “It’s a question of the heart: Has someone turned away from his own good works attemopts to make it to heaven and rather has put his trust in Jesus Christ to attain this and does he believe in the Full Gospel of Jesus that the Bible portrays?”

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For you don’t become a Christian by joining a church, adopting a creed, or by believing in God. There are lots of false churches, false creeds, and even the devil believes in God. So sadly now there are masses that have been in church all their lives and they are no more Christian then a cow is!! Reality

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Again True Christians even these days Are Holy Ghost Baptized and they know they have received such a personal experience.. even as evidenced by speaking in tongues

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Jesus died for sinners on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4). His death was a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God (1 John 2:2). This is the only way to be saved.

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Jesus is the one who died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). He is the only way to the God the Father (John 14;6). He alone reveals God (Matt. 11:27). He has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). It is only through Him that you can be saved from God’s wrath (Eph. 2:3). He can forgive you of your sin (Luke 5:20; Matt. 9:2). He can remove the guilt that is upon your soul. Jesus can set you free from the bondage of sin that blinds your eyes, weakens your soul, and brings you to despair. He can do this because He bore sin in His body on the cross (1 Peter. 2:24) that those who trust in Him would be saved. Jesus Christ now is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9), physically risen from the dead, Lord (Luke 24:34; John 2:19-21) and Savior (Acts 5:30-32). He came to die for sinners (Rom. 5:8) to deliver people from the righteous wrath of God upon us. But you still have to do your part.

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If you are not a Christian, and want to be delivered from the righteous judgment of God upon you due to your sin against Him, then come to the One who died for the sins of the world. Come to the One who died for sinners (Matt. 11:28). Admit, confess, Turn from all of your sins. Believe and trust in Jesus. Receive Jesus, who is God in flesh, who died and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4) as your personal Lord and Savior. Ask Jesus to forgive you now of all of your sins. Receive Christ (John 1:12). Only He can wash you clean from your sins and only Jesus can deliver you from the righteous judgment of a holy and infinite God. Pray to Jesus. Seek Him. Ask Him to save you. He will if you come to him humbly, sincerely and repentantly.

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When I got my first Job the first thing I too was told was what I was going to do, what my job description was, what my pay was going to be and when, and who was going to be my direct boss, as well as the name of the firm I was working for.

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I rightfully believe that if we all had done that with terms Christian, Pastor , Church Elders too we now next would not have so many different cults, sects, definitions of what a Christian now is as well. It was amazing when I did a search on what is a Christian, I got consuming, contradicting, varying definitions and yet there is still only one valid New Testament Bible.. So what is the valid true Biblical definition of Christian, Pastor , Church Elders or do you merely think you know the right answer still?

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In fact, the question of what makes a Christian has set the true present Christian movement apart from other Christian traditions movements from its inception in the 18th century. Early theologians such as John Wesley and George Whitefield introduced notions of “true religion” to distinguish their followers from “traditional” or “routine” religion.

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Using the Dictionary, or listening the views of others to define these clearly Biblical terms is also now absurd to do this..

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The word Christian is used three times in New Testament

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(Acts 11:26 KJV) And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

(Acts 26:28 KJV) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

(1 Pet 4:16 KJV) Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

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Disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because evidentially their behavior, activity, and speech were anointed, Christ like. (Acts 10:38 KJV) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

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Unfortunately over time, in the often dead, corrupted churches, the real definition of word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its real, original significance and is more often used of someone who is a religious Christian and supposedly has high moral values instead of being a true born again, anointed disciple of Jesus Christ.

John 1:12 tells us: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

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Those who personally now had received Him as Savior, King, Lord, Baptizer of the Holy Spirit, Healer, Deliverer and much more too.. do first see the  links below too.

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and what is your own definition of a real Christian..

. a mere sincere follower of Christ or a person evidentially anointed by the Holy Spirit now!

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The Greek name for an individual “Christos” rendered “Christ” in Scripture, the basic of the term Christian now as well, comes from the Greek word “chrio” means to anoint with oil, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, one can tell if any person is a Christian cause they also can see the evidence of the holy spirit’s anointing.. so now we all can be anointed one inspectors of all Christians now too.

Jn 4:25-26 (v. 25) The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah [Greek = “Messias”] called Christ [Greek =”Christos”] is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I Who speak to you am He.’ ”

1 John 2:27 “And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you, but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (NASB).

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“We have here the noun form of chiro, which is chrisma, and is translated ‘anointing.’ In the case of our Lord, the Holy Spirit rested upon Him, for that was the order in the dispensation of law (Num 11:29). In the case of the believer during this Age of Grace, the Holy Spirit is placed within him (John 14:17). His ministry in the believer today is not only for service as was the case in Old Testament times, but also for sanctification. But His indwelling is only potential so so far as His ministry is concerned. His indwelling does not at all mean that His ministry is performed in its fullest manifestation and in an automatic way. The believer must avail himself of that ministry through the avenue of trust, just as he availed himself of the ministry of the Saviour through trusting Him. Two of the Spirit’s ministries are given here, His work of teaching the believer the Word, and His work of giving the believer an innate ability to know in an intuitive way, things spiritual. The Greek word for ‘know’ in this passage gives us this latter truth. A slight correction is offered in the words ‘ye all know,’ not ‘ye know all things.’ Thus the anointing with the Spirit in the case of the believer refers to the act of God the Father sending the Spirit to take up His abode in his heart, and this in answer to the prayer of God the Son (John 14:16).”

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Luke 4:18-19 (Wey) [Jesus:] “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor; He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners of war and recovery of sight to the blind: to send away free those whom tyranny has crushed, to proclaim the year of acceptance with the Lord.”

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1: A true Christian: Is ALSO one who Believes that Jesus is Lord: For even the devil jimself still believes that  Jesus Christ exists and that he is God, but the devil will not MAKE  Jesus Christ the LORD OF HIS LIFE. SO HAVE YOU EVEN NEXT DIED TO SELF AND Now personally MADE Jesus Christ THE LORD OF YOUR LIFE YET TOO? Why Not?

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2. A true Christian: Accepts that the Bible is the full and final counsel of God: The true Christian acknowledges that the Bible is the means used by God to reveal his character and counsel for faith and life. The Bible is used to test everything, including experience, emotions, thoughts, prophecy and teaching. The Bible is accepted as infallible and accurate. 

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3 . A true Christian: Is distressed by sin in the Church: In Hebrews 1:9, referring to Jesus Christ our Lord it is said that he ‘loved righteousness and hated wickedness’. The true Christian actively avoids sin in his own life and opposes it in the Church because it undermines our Christian witness before the unsaved (1 Peter 2:12). Marked by: A deep concern about unrighteousness in the World (2 Peter 2:8). An active interest in opposing sin in the World (Proverbs 25:26; Ezekiel 9:4; Psalm 119:158). A willingness to confront sin in the Church (Matthew 18:15-17). Personal honesty and reflection followed by the open confession of any known personal sin (1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

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4. A true Christian: Always tests what they hear and do, against the Word of God: The Lord requires the Christian to test both themselves and what they see and hear against the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Corinthians 8:8). True Christians measure their own thoughts words and actions against Scripture (Romans 12:2; Proverbs 3:21). They do the same in relation to others. Marked by: Regularly appraises their own behaviour against the character traits known as the ‘fruit of the spirit’ (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9; 2 Corinthians 13:5).\

. Does not automatically accept any teaching or prophecy just because it comes from a pastor or well known Christian (Isaiah 8:20; Matthew 7:15; Philippians 1:9-11).

. Applies the ‘Berean principle’ to any teaching they hear (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).

. Tests the actions of others against God’s commands and judges the person accordingly (1 Corinthians 5:12; Revelation 2:2).

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5.A true Christian: Consciously models agape love: Love is the most important characteristic of any Christian (1 John 4:8) because the exercise of love as defined in 1 Corinthians 13 mirrors the character of God. Without love a Christian is no more than a ‘clanging cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13:1; 1 John 3:14). Love is not an emotion. It is an act of will made more possible by the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the true Christian (John 14:21). Marked by: A love of God reflected in a sanctified life free of immorality, complacency and deceit. The love of God is reflected in the willingness to obey his commands for holy living (Matthew 22:37; 1 John 5:2-3). Love and forgiveness for those who hate and abuse the Christian (Matthew 5:44). A love of the truth and active opposition to what is evil (Romans 12:9; 1 John 3:18). A willingness to be patient, kind, forgiving, unselfish, persevering, trusting [in God], protective [of others and the truth] and hopeful [in our eventual glorification] (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). An acceptance of Gods correction (Revelation 3:19). The conscious separation of the holy from the secular (Luke 16:33; 1 John 2:15). A loving concern for brothers and sisters in Christ, family and others [our ‘neighbours’] (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; 1 John 3:17). A reduced fear of what might happen in this world and no fear about the certainty of salvation (1 John 4:18).

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6 .A true Christian:  Fears God, holding Him in reverential awe: Unlike worldly fear, the fear of God is not a destructive emotion but a life giving, strengthening knowledge based on holding a perfect, holy God in reverential awe. The true Christian knows that God will hold us to account for everything we do, judging our actions, thoughts and motives. Scripture teaches us that fearing God is essential if we are to gain the wisdom and knowledge we need to live according to God’s principles and mirror His character (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7). Marked by: Actively searching the word of God for the Lord’s commands because to love God is to obey His commands (1 John 5:2-3). The living of an increasingly sanctified life [free of sin – Proverbs 14:27], through the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:3; Titus 1:1). Freedom from anxiety, living at peace and seeing church growth (Proverbs 1:33, Acts 9:31). Is willing to examine and change habits (Psalm 55:19). Knows the protection and provision of God (Proverbs 2:1-8). Accepts any testing times as godly growing and learning experiences (Exodus 20:20).

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a Christian thus also is someone who …

·A true Christian: Believes that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to God. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12)

· A true Christian: Believes that Jesus took the punishment for their sin by dying on the cross. (Romans 5:8). They have repented (turned away) from their sin and turned to Christ in faith, knowing that by His death and resurrection He has made them right with God. (Romans 10:9,10,13). They have invited Christ into their lives, in the person of the Holy Spirit. This is referred to as being born again. (John 3:3, John 1:12,13). They now have peace with God (Romans 5:1) and the promise of eternal life. (John 3:16).

· A true Christian: Acknowledges that they are a sinner and fall far short of God’s standards. (Romans 3:23). Sin is not doing what humans say is wrong – but what God says is wrong. It is the breaking of God’s law. (1 John 3 :4), This is summed up in the 10 commandments. (Exodus 20:1-17)

· A true Christian: Believes that because of their sin they were separated from God and were under His condemnation, deserving of death and eternal punishment. (Romans 6:23a) but now through Jesus Christ and the holy spirit they have been reconciled with God

·A true Christian: No longer is fooled into thinking that they can clean up their own lives and earn favour and forgiveness with God, through good works or religious acts. This comes through what Jesus Christ alone has done for them. His underserved favour (Grace). (Ephesians 2: 8-9, Romans 6:23b). They now do even rather rely on the power of the Holy spirit to live the Christian life. The walk and live by the per of the Holy spirtt.

· A true Christian: Knows that no matter how hard they try, they could never be good enough. (Romans 3:10). But keeps on trying to be a good Christian

· A true Christian: Has a desire to please God and not themselves, recognizing that they still fail, but knowing that God is willing to forgive them because of what Christ has done. (2 Corinthians 5:17,

. 1 John 1:9). There is a love for God’s word, and His people, and a longing to share their faith.

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These are SOME OF THE marks of  A true Christian:(there are many others), which demonstrate that a person has truly been ‘born again’. A true Christian will love God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, and will love his neighbor as he loves himself (Mark 12:30-31). Please DO take the time to examine the Marks mentioned here, and make sure of your faith… (2 Corinthians 13:5)

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(Luke 12:57 KJV) Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

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Proverbs 28:14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
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Numbers  15:31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him
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Psalms 12:3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
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Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
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It seems that many people, professing Christians included now, tend to personally only seek God only when they have serious needs, problems or they do want something really bad and next when the problem is solved, or they got what they wanted, they next often tend to, do seem to forget about God again? But even all Christians now still do have major problems in life.. for there is a real devil who troubles us personally all of our life and we we are to resist him in the faith.. Life and True happiness cannot be in reality achieved without having a continual, personal relationship with God here on earth and us continually knowing and following solely his will of our life too, instead of Idols. Why is God jealous of idols before us? well it means he is envious for our own good.. he strives for all things to be our good… What idols? what ever replaces God is an idol.. what ever you falsely worship as substitute for God. And it can be drugs, booze, sex, or your wife, son , daughter, a persons, car, self, even your church, your pastor, your denomination, your own doctrines, beliefs, your culture, nationality … for we all had or have a god shaped vacuum in our life.. but filling it with extremes or false substitutes, junk will never be acceptable to God. Never. If you still do have a God shaped vacuum that is unfilled, then no other things, no relationships or careers, goals, next will satisfy you, not even any personal, social, community relationships, acts.
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Too many carnal minded persons make a mistake of living only in the present time time, living for themselves not considering eternity with God even.. Over the last month God has many times repeated to me that he will deal with, punish the unrepented wicked persons now, not in the future but now.. I had even written and warned about it.. the sudden actions of God.. Do not be self centered.. Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Too many people go about their life neglecting, ignoring God but what will they do next when some severe tragedy will strike their  life, as it does to us all sooner or later, when the tragedy is so arranged that no one can help us but God, how will they call upon God for help when she had hardened her heart against him, when he will not even hear them..
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Things can change so quickly for you too, even overnight..
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Proverbs 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
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Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?…
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48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
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Zephaniah 1:13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof….. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
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Are you a real Christian, or a pretender, imposter still?  Secondly if you do so little sowing, so little praying  too  so what can you expect to reap next? nothing good of course. You sowed nothing, you reap nothing.
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I recently encountered many  such a scenario, even a person  who openly told me she was not as religious as me, she serves God in her own way.. she next fell sick, was told she had a tumor in her forehead. and next it was cancerous too.. doctors can go only so far to help her. 
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I have seen often the shocking surprise on many people’s faces here on earth when they had refused to repent and they are now even facing an earthly judgement from God.
. and they knew that they were lied to when they were told there is no personal accountability here on earth.. . they knew they were reaping the bad things they had sowed now.. not all accountability is in heaven,, .
. Judges 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation
. Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
. Proverbs 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you
. Proverbs 10:25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation
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1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
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Philippians 3:.18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

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Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength… (Isaiah 40:30-31)
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This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of[a] the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24 (NKJV)
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TOO MANY PEOPLE FALSELY LIE AND SAY, CLAIM THEY HAVE FAITH IN GOD, BUT THE REALITY OF THAT CLAIM LIES IN THE ACTUAL DEGREE OF PERSONAL FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE NOW..
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As Jesus himself had said.. John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
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Ecclesiastes 7: 5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
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JESUS CHRIST ALONE is savior, healer, redeemer, deliverer, friend, leader, Seer Prophet, builder, counselor, wonderful, mighty GOD, eternal Abba Father, prince of peace, agape love, maker of all good things, the All in All and much more. NOT THE ANTI CHRIST
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Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
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2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
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Romans 8:1 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
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One if the biggest mistake many people make is that they   falsely think or they believe  that because some time has passed God has overlooked their past sins, when this is not so.. if we confess ours sins he will forgive us..
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Eternity is a term used to express the concept of something that has no end and/or no beginning. God has no beginning or end. He is outside the realm of time,   so next many people face negative consequences from God because of their sins even Adam and Eve,  Eli the Priest,  King Saul, King David, Samson, and the  account of the sudden deaths of Ananias (Hebrew, “the Lord is gracious”) and Sapphira (Aramaic, “beautiful”) makes us face the fact that God often deals with unrepentant   sins of even Christians how and when he chooses too.
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This narrative Ananias  and Sapphira is really bad news,   for any who would take a casual approach to entering the kingdom of God and continues in sins .
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“ Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold real estate ( ), brought and placed money at the apostles’ feet. This action paralleled Barnabas’s (4:37), with one significant difference. In collusion with his wife, Ananias kept back part of the money for himself. Literally, he embezzled from the sale price. Apostle Peter exposes the fraud. He knows the truth,  . By asking Ananias why Satan has filled his heart for the purpose of lying to the Holy Spirit and embezzlement, Peter exposes the spiritual battle that is raging (compare Lk 4:1-13). Satan now attacks Christ’s mission from within as he had done through Judas and Peter (Lk 22:3, 31). The “father of lies” (Jn 8:44) starts in the heart, the source of all decisions concerning possessions and their relation to God (Lk 12:34; 16:14-15; Acts 8:21-22; contrast 2:46; 4:32). Ananias shows not simply a lack of honesty in bringing only a part of the sale price but also a lack of integrity–bringing only a part while pretending to bring the whole .Apostle Peter now exposes Ananias’s full responsibility: he had full control over the property before it was sold, and over the sale price before he contributed any portion to the common fund (5:4). This statement can help us understand the arrangements of having all things in common (2:44; 4:32) and the practice of selling property and bringing the proceeds to the apostles as a contribution to a fund for the poor (4:34-37; compare 2:45), for it shows the voluntary, even periodic nature of the process. Peter again asks the piercing question “Why?” This sin, like all sin, is finally not against human beings but against God.But sin blinds us to the true nature of the offense: that our sin is against God. Sin also blinds us so that we choose short-term gains in this life, heedless of the long-term loss in the next (Lk 9:24-25). For Ananias it was the possibility of being praised for his generosity while keeping his secure nest egg . As Ananias listens to the  expose  suddenly he falls down and dies (exepsyxen, used primarily in accounts of death as a result of divine judgment–Acts 5:10; 12:23; Judg 4:21). God, the knower of all hearts, has assessed Ananias’s unrepentant heart and immediately judged him for his sin. The punishments for partaking of the priestly tithe while ritually unclean and the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu are the closest parallels (Lev 10:1-7; 22:9;  ). No wonder great fear comes upon the Jewish Christian bystanders (compare Acts 5:11; 19:17).  hree hours later Sapphira arrives. Luke, given his mention of her ignorance, probably intends us to understand Peter’s question to be about the agreed-upon false price, not the true price. Either way, his inquiry gives her an opportunity to confess or persist in her sin (compare Lk 22:48). In response, Peter again uses the penetrating “why” question.   He reveals his knowledge of the crime and points out its implications for their covenant relationship with God. In the wilderness the Israelites through their unbelief and murmuring against God were actually putting him to the test to see if he would indeed punish sin. At Kadesh Barnea they discovered that he does (Num 14:20-23; Ps 95:7-11; compare Deut 6:16). So Ananias and Sapphira learn that in this life God can, and when he chooses will, punish sinners either by immediate death or by some other means. This can happen to those who claim to be, and may truly be, a part of his covenant people, enjoy his salvation blessings and yet deliberately sin and remain unrepentant (1 Cor 5:5; 1 Jn 5:16-17). For Christians today this is still a temptation: to so luxuriate in the love and grace of God that we do not take seriously the consequences of our deliberate sinning. But God will not be mocked (Gal 6:7-8). Peter declares that the young men who buried Sapphira’s husband (the feet of points to their function as transporters of the dead) are at the door and will soon carry out another corpse. Thus Sapphira too experiences divine judgment by immediate death, and the believers again respond with dishonorable burial.  
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The message of this for Christian and non-Christian alike is self-evident. Christians must realize that the selfless, transparent fellowship of the church must never be violated by selfish hypocrisy. Further, it is proper to employ discipline to guard the church’s integrity, unity and purity. For the non-Christian, this account is a warning: Think twice before joining this holy fellowship. Are you willing to pay the price–fully renouncing wicked ways and full-heartedly embracing Christ and other believers in his body, the church? ”
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Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
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2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
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I have been pastoring for decades too , I been to many churches now too, I even have helped to fire many bad pastors too.. as a  true Christian:

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and what abou you? what have you done for Jesus Christ now? Are you really a true Christian:

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Have you been called by God directly to Minister to his people?

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and have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit as well?

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“When any Christian accepts the responsibility of now being a born again Christian , he should also next be anointed by the Holy Spirit for that task. When a pastor is called to a new church or when a Christian is chosen to be a Sunday school teacher, a choir member, a choir director, a departmental superintendent or an usher, he should be anointed by the Holy Spirit. Any new task to which a child of God is chosen and any new responsibility that God has given to him is so important that the Holy Spirit should anoint him upon the assumption of his new responsibility. This anointing was appropriation; it equipped one for a task. When God calls, He qualifies, He equips and He prepares. When a Christian is called to a new responsibility, he needs to be equipped. Hence, he needs to be anointed by the Holy Spirit as God appropriates to him what he needs to fulfill his new calling and equips him for that calling. The Christian simply yields himself to the Spirit for this anointing. He may, upon being given a new ministry, go along with God and yield himself and surrender his will and present himself for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Have you been called to a new task? Is there a new charge given you? Then choose several hours. Get alone with God. Plead with Him to equip you or anoint you for the task to which God has called you. This should be done by a new parent, a new bride, a new groom, a new pastor, a new song director, a new choir director, a new Sunday school teacher, a new bus captain,, a new usher, a new choir member, a new deacon a new evangelist.” Title, education, political position, even looks are all meaningless. Oh, but what if he’s got a Doctor of Divinity degree? Meaningless! It isn’t that we should disrespect someone’s worldly accomplishments. It’s just that these have nothing to do with Spiritual leadership.

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“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (2 Cor. 11:13-15)

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If we’re to be followers of the one true God, a true Christian, we must be willing to hear Him when it comes to who He chooses as leaders. We must be discerning enough to use God’s Spirit in us to rule out the pretenders. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit is the life-blood of any Minister. Without the Anointing, the Minister is incapable of ministering to the children of God. Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the words of the Minister are powerless against the mountains in this life. We run into problems in the Christian Church when those who have not been called and anointed and sent by God attempt to minister, and when those who were once anointed have lost the anointing. You are not anointed by association, you are anointed by proclamation. The Lord first calls you, he then anoints you, and only then does he send you. When God calls you, anoints you, then sends you, only then can you minister life to others

http://postedat.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/god-speaks/

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“HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE WILL OF GOD as a   true Christian:

. 1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the LORD’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

3. I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.” George Mueller 1805-1898 –from the classic biography of George Mueller, http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Voice/George.Mueller.of.Bristol/George.Mueller.of.Bristol.html http://www.whatsaiththescripture.com/Voice/George.Mueller.of.Bristol/George.Mueller.Bristol.N.html#FAITH%20PRAYER%20WORD

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God still even speaks directly to his own, Jesus said my sheep hear my voice, Are you as a  true Christian:  able to hear and recognized personally God’s voice now too?

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   (Mat 19:29 KJV)  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 
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I also personaly do know that one cannot  have the power of the Holy Ghost in ONE’S LIFE without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and now there is no such thing as BEING a true New Testament Christian without one  having also experienced personally the baptism of the Holy Spirit AS EVIDENCED BY SPEAKING IN TOUNGUES.. AND IF DO  YOU SAY OTHERWISE YOU ARE A LIAR, A DECIEVER. YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF AND TO OTHERS.

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see also
http://pbulow.tripod.com/voice.html   http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/christians-cannot-marry-any-non-christians-or-get-divorced/ http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/abstainers/ http://thefocusonthefamily.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/favorite-christian-based-reading-resources/ http://thefocusonthefamily.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/unfaithful/ http://thefocusonthefamily.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/the-false-divorce-incentives/ http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/on-how-i-see-the-too-often-pretentious-christians/ http://wittnessed.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/wells-still-without-water/ https://witnessed.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/as-many-as-are-led-by-the-spirit-of-god/ http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/as-to-why-some-have-left-their-church/ http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/anointed/ http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/the-holy-spirit/ http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/the-consistent-ongoing-symbols-of-the-holy-spirit-in-the-bible/ http://pbulow.tripod.com/healing.html http://groups.msn.com/HolySpiritCome http://pbulow.tripod.com/
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and now what about the true Church? and where is it now too? Dopes the Christian Church allow divorce? Should it? 
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Generally these days it is the wife who wrongfully files for divorce, and  before that it used to be the men.  These days the too often dirty lawyers who make blood money from divorce, are wolves in sheep clothing now picturing themselves and  the spouse to the courts, as good persons, decent, honest, reliable, falsely claiming her now to be a totally good , honest person, and not another typical  liar too.
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The lawyers who tend to be too often liars themselves they like to present the female spouse before the Queen’s courts, before the supposedly reputable judge, who in my witness, experiences actual too often is also now a liar, pretender himself, a person  who does not get off the bench cause he is too lazy to ascertain the truth of the facts being presented to him or her.
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The lawyers like to present the wife as a decent, respected, good, moral person who now has provided faithfully  for her husband, she did not, does not abuse any them not even her bad  husband, she does not cheat, lie or steal now as well.
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The still mostly  liars like to present her as an a good person, whereas more likely in reality  she also is another demon. In fact men and women tend to be equal sinners, before God and man. In fact the same spouse she likely has slandered, lied, committed adultery, even stole from her spouse and now she will keep on lying, perjuring herself hoping next to get a good alimony support from her spouse.
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Many a person  when they see these people divorcing they really tend next not to recognize them and their behavior, for it clearly is different from what they had known before, were used too in fact. 
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All of a sudden clearly new now  openly monsters here have arisen.  In reality  the wife is not the mostly   innocent, the sole injured party and the husband is not the sole bad guy, villain too.
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All of these mostly immoral,  lying now people, bad pastors, bad spouses, bad lawyers, bad judges tend to first need decent, real, pastoral counseling themselves.
Christian Lies, Divorce And/or  Christian Divorce  Remarriage, (as well as adultery, fornication , Alcoholism, drugs, smoking, gays)  In the Christian Church are ALL still unacceptable. 
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