Make America GODLY Again! Ps. 33:12-22 Rev. Dr. Henry Vernon Our text begins: “Blessed is the nation whose…” And how does it continue? “…whose president is Trump”? “Whose stocks are on the rise?” “Whose healthcare law is repealed?” “Whose factories move back from Mexico?” “Whose border wall is built?” “Whose friend is Putin?” [see Ezek. 38-39 for the end times role of Russia, AKA Gog and Magog] No. “…whose God is the Lord”! v. 22 ends “we hope in thee” It is vain to trust in kings [Psalm 146:3] God’s Word ‘trumps’ all … including the new President! Yes, it is vain to trust in men…especially prideful ones with no record of righteousness and with personal morals only rivaled by Donald Trump. Now, I am not too thankful for the election…in the sense of who won. No good is going to come from a Trump administration. But I am not at all ready to go out on a limb and say that the nation lost. I mean, what is this guy – a consolation prize? I like where he currently stands on many issues … but I say ‘currently’ since he hasn’t stood there long, and I’m not sure how resolutely he stands at all. If we truly want to stay a great nation, we must seek to be Godly again! I truly hope that the nation wins. I hope the unborn truly win. I hope for prosperity. I am attempting to be optimistic…but I must be realistic. And as I see conservative America begin to ‘hero worship’ a ‘king-like’ man and put their trust in him I shudder [tremble] in fear. I am one of those who voted for Hillary. I believe in voting for principles, for morality, and righteousness which exalts a nation. We should vote for principle over pocketbook. Is it wrong to want to be prosperous, and to strive to expand and upgrade business? No, but the Scriptures are very clear that it is God who brings the increase, not politicians. During the Clinton years all America cared about was Dow Jones, when we should have cared about ‘Paula Jones’. Have we come full circle? Will you really rejoice as long as you prosper, even if your leaders have the morals of alley cats? I am hopeful for America to stay a great nation…and it will only happen if America becomes Godly again. Let’s begin with the positive…and there’s much to be positive about: With all her faults, America is still the greatest place on Earth to live! 1. Her Greatness  Great for her beauty But that’s not what makes her great. Beauty can be deceitful, and ugly can go all the way to the bone. Outwardly the new world hosts the prettiest places on the planet. But what is true greatness?  Great for her freedoms The United States of America is over 240 years old. That’s young in a historical perspective, but it’s a long time for a nation to remain free. Really, when you look at our history in the context of world history America is just a CHILD among the nations. Egypt, China, Japan, Rome, Greece all make America’s history seem so short. Consider what a brief time we’ve really been here as a nation: When Thomas Jefferson died, Abraham Lincoln was a young man of 17. When Lincoln was assassinated, Woodrow Wilson was a boy of 8. By the time he died Ronald Reagan was a boy of 12. And when Reagan was in office, our most recent President was still living in Hawaii! There you have it. The lives of four men can take you all the way back to the beginning of our country. We are so young. And yet we stand tall among the nations because of the principles on which we were established. There’s a real trend today in America for anti-Americanism, anti-patriotism…the UN is doing much to strip us of our sovereignty. They revise history to undermine the character and integrity of our founding fathers, saying they weren’t who we know they were. They say they weren’t motivated by principle but by property, were motivated by greed and desire for wealth. But that’s not true…the men who signed the Declaration of Independence had far more to lose than to gain! Most were very wealthy already. 24 were lawyers and such, 9 were landowners or rich farmers, 11 were merchants, the others were physicians, ministers, politicians, etc. All but 2 who signed had families. They were educated men of standing in their communities…they knew security and prosperity, but felt there was something more important than security: freedom! They knew that the penalty for treason was death by hanging, yet they signed! John Hancock—[signed twice as large as all others] “Now his Majesty can read my name without his spectacles!” Stephen Hopkins—[old when he signed] His hand shook as he signed…looked up and said, “Gentlemen, my hand trembles, but my heart does not!” 4 delegates from NY were particularly wealthy/British ships were nearing just a few miles off the coast when they signed, most of NY had already evacuated…they and others were pursued, some were captured and tortured, and of course, many died! Young people, you need to know when you look at this American Flag that these red stripes are bars of blood, a price paid for you to be free! And when people today burn that flag in ignorant demonstrations, it’s not freedom of speech, it’s high treason against the land of the free and the home of the brave, and should be prosecuted as such! That’s the greatness of America—great for her freedoms! If we truly want to stay a great nation, we must seek to be Godly again! 2. Her God Just as the revisionists want to rewrite history in order to undermine the character and integrity of our founding fathers, they also want to undermine our Godly heritage. They try to tell us this nation wasn’t really founded upon God. Why can’t some Americans accept their roots? Even a South American president years ago said, “People came to my continent looking for gold, but those who came to America were looking for God!” 1620—1st pilgrims arrived. A little band of people crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat 26 X 113 feet…they landed on the Atlantic coast in the bitter cold of winter. As they stepped off the Mayflower they signed a compact, the 2nd paragraph of which begins: “For the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith.” That first winter was rough…at times the daily ration of food was 5 grains of corn per person, per day! 44 died in the first 5 months and 58 survived. In the fall of 1621 they reaped their first harvest: 21 acres of corn. Their immediate response was to thank God…they marched thru the corn fields singing, “The earth is the Lord’s and fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein!” Dec. 13th: those 58 gathered w/ 80 friendly Indians and celebrated 3 days of thanksgiving which the encyclopedia records as 3 days of preaching, praying, singing, and eating. Check your kid’s textbooks, many of which now say the pilgrims and Indians met to thank each other! [Thanks for not killing me? NO!! To thank God!] 1863—A. Lincoln proclaimed a national thanksgiving day. In his proclamation, he made an important and accurate theological point. “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” The Puritans: they gave their reasons for coming to America as well. In the opening sequence of the New England Confederation it says: “Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in liberty and peace.” Benjamin Franklin, when once challenged about having a political session opened with prayer said, “I’ve lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth —That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that except the Lord build the House they labor in vain who build it.” Some Christians have been intimidated…and they’ve heard the ACLU talk soooo much about the separation of church and state—that they’ve actually started to believe in it. In case you don’t know, that phrase never appears in the Constitution! (however it is found in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto!) It was coined in the U.S. from a letter the principle framer of the Constitution and Third President Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association assuring them that he would keep the Government out of the Church (NOT the Church out of the Government). He was saying, never again will there be a government sponsored church like you had back in England, where everyone is forced to attend and support! Check it out for yourself, the first amendment actually says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… There IS such a thing as separation of church and state, and it is intended as a one-way street! Some say, no, they wanted to keep both separate! Well, let’s think about that. 1. First colonies – Jamestown, Va. First community bldg was a church. It’s the only bldg there with wall still standing today. 2. Puritans first act at Plymouth Rock = kneel, praise God, and dedicate the new colony. 3. Roger Williams (Bapt. Minister) est. Rhode Island. 4. Lord Baltimore held church service in establishing Maryland. 5. William Penn (Quaker) est. Penn, NY, DEL, Conn, NC, SC, Georgia. Ill. — When you read their writings you see no doubt that God birthed America. 6. William Penn in writing gov’t policies for PA made sure “all treasurers, judges, and all elected officials professed faith in Christ.” Our Founding Fathers consistently spoke of the need for utilizing the Bible and Judeo-Christian values in defining and preserving this nation: * Twelve of the original 13 colonies incorporated the entire Ten Commandments into their civil and criminal codes. Our first president, George Washington, took the oath of office and put his hand on what? (the Bible) What was his first official act as President?(kissed the Bible, then held a 2 hr. praise/worship session in Congress) How did they determine to open sessions of Congress? (in prayer) Who would lead in those prayers?(chaplains) How would they be paid? (tax dollars) Does all of that sound like they wanted to keep God out of government? By the way, opening in prayer is a mystery to investigate…why is it that the little boys and girls cannot in school, but the big Congressmen can? Who decided to put “In God We Trust” on our coins? It was adopted by Congress in 1956! *In 1776, 11 of the 13 colonies required that one had to be a Christian to be eligible to run for political office. [what if today?!] *In 1777, the Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles for distribution in the nation. * President John Adams stated, “The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. *94% OF THE WRITINGS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE U.S. CONTAINED QUOTATIONS FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. *THE STATE CONSTITUTIONS OF ALL 50 STATES MENTION GOD. *The famous “Liberty Bell” has part of Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” *Proverbs 14:34 is inscribed above the L.A. city hall door: “RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A NATION: BUT SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE.” *An image of Moses carrying the tablets of God’s Law faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives. *The entering President takes his OATH OF OFFICE with his right hand on the Holy Bible, and concludes his vow “So help me God.” * The Supreme Court [bldg. entrance features Moses at the center of several lawgivers…the justices MUST enter from the back or something!] itself begins each of its sessions with the phrase ‘God save the United States and this honorable court,’ *First Vice President and Second President, John Adams wrote in 1798: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” *His son and our sixth President, John Quincy Adams said: “No book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied, and so profoundly meditated upon as the Bible.” – * President Thomas Jefferson: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” – 1781 *Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 26th President, wrote: “In this actual world, a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at, or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid down-grade.” – 1917 *Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President and Governor of New Jersey, said this: “America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of the Holy Scripture.” – 1911 *Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, said this about our founding fathers: “They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance with the principle of self-government. They were an inspired body of men. It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness… Who can fail to see it in the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence.” – 1923 *Franklin Roosevelt prayed this prayer on a national radio hookup on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as our troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France: “Almighty God… with Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to the saving of our country. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.” *Harry Truman, our 33rd President, not known to be a committed believer, understood the spiritual heritage of this nation: “If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear” *Gerald Ford, our 38th President, quoted a 1955 speech by Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 5, 1974: “Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be.” *President Ronald Reagan: “If we ever forget that we are ‘One nation, under God’, then we will be one nation gone under.” *George W. Bush was asked to name the philosopher that had the greatest influence on his life, this was his answer: “Christ, because he changed my heart” It’s time for modern-day Americans to wake up and smell themselves, and realize their warped attitude stinks, and is inaccurate as to the facts! The greatness of America is her freedoms, The God of America is the one and only true and living God, Jehovah, the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! If we truly want to stay being great, we must seek to be Godly again! 3. Her Guilt The guilt of America lies in the indifference and complacency of God’s people. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke Read the book of Judges…clearly, our God would rather forgive and restore than judge! Over and over, Israel would turn their back on their Godly heritage. Then, they would repent, and God would forgive them and restore them…but it was always conditional! (If) II Chron. 7:14 “14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” The solution is not in the white house, state house, or court house, but in God’s house, and your house and my house! So long as there are homes where fires burn; and there is bread; So long as there are homes where lamps are lit; and prayers are said; Although people falter through the dark; and nations grope; With God himself behind these homes we still have hope. Jessie Alberta Silvernail Card 5 things every Christian must do for their government if they’re going to obey the Word of God (most painful first): 1. We must participate in paying for the government Jesus said to: Yet some Christians, even preachers, say, our gov’t is a pagan gov’t, therefore, we do not owe them taxes, they are not of God! Well, what gov’t was in charge when this was written? The Roman Empire…not exactly a Godly gov’t! When Jesus was here on earth, He paid His taxes, and so should we! “But, they’re unfair” I agree! “And, it’s wasted and used unwisely” I agree! Certainly we need tax reform… …but do YOU agree w/ Romans 13? Then pay your taxes! Try to justify doing things under the table if you wish, but you will be held accountable, if not by the laws of our nation, then certainly by the law of God! (pay for gov’t) 2. We must pray for gov’t I Tim. 2:1-2 “1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Pray for revival/leaders/war on terror/elections/God to use our leaders and defeat our enemies! “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wants” We need to pay for gov’t/pray/… 3. Praise our nation Despite all our problems, the USA is still the greatest nation on earth. We need a revival of good old-fashioned patriotism! (pay for gov’t/pray/praise/…) 4. Participate in government It is inconceivable that God would ordain gov’t such as He has, and then tell His people to stay out of it! It is our Christian duty to get informed, and do something! Shame on the Christian who pledges their allegiance to that flag, and then doesn’t take action. And, shame on the Christian who pledges their allegiance to a political party, instead of to principles…the Biblical principles upon which this nation was founded! 5. Persuade our government How can I really make a difference? We are a republic…that means that, for the most part, public policy is shaped by public opinion. And there’s only 1 way to affect public opinion: and it’s not billboards, radio, or TV…it’s to get the Word of God into the hearts of people. I’ve spoken on political freedom, but more important is spiritual freedom! John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We’re all born bound by sin, but Jesus holds the keys to set you free… …from the penalty of sin [Rom. 6:23] …from the pollution/power of sin—like an outlet to plug in to in order to find the power to live for Him! Don’t get the cart before horse…just come w/ faith and a willing heart! [rom. 10:13] …and someday from the presence of sin! Enjoy the freedoms you have which come at a high price to others, but free to us! You’ve heard the truth, what will you do w/ it? If we truly want to stay a great nation, we must seek to be Godly again!

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“I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4).

By “the work” is meant obedience to the will of God; the destruction of all spiritual enemies, as sin, Satan, the world, death, the redemption, and salvation of His people, which was “given” Him to do.   He did not take it upon Himself, but being called to it He readily accepted of it.   It was appointed and cut out for Him in the council and covenant of grace.   He was thoroughly acquainted with it and though it was difficult, it was pleasant and delightful to Him; nor did He leave it till He could say “it is finished” as it was by Himself alone, without the help of man and is so complete that nothing can be added to it and so firmly done, that it cannot be unraveled by men and devils.   He speaks of it as done, because the time was come to finish it, and He was sure of the accomplishment of it. —Dr. “V”

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour [of His suffering unto death] was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end [finishing of that work of redemption]. (John 13:1)

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Begin With The End In Mind

There is a fundamental difference in aim between a lecturer and a biblical preacher…A lecturer explains the subject…A biblical preacher seeks character change in the hearts and lives of the listener…A lecturer explains botany…A preacher raises flowers…The minister is called to present the gospel in such a manner that lives are forever changed.

The goal of a message is to persuade people…The basic components are: interpretation, application, and then invitation…The main purpose of the message is not simply to exegete a text correctly but also to produce godly character in people’s lives…We must begin with the correct end in mind…As a result of the message, the congregation should live out the principles that were proposed in the message.

The purpose of our public preaching is fueled by our private philosophies of ministry…Contemplate the following questions…They are designed to challenge you to evaluate what forces have shaped you and determined how your life has turned out up to now…Have you ever stopped to think about the kind of life you are living–and more importantly, why?…For example, why do you live where you live?…Why are you involved in your present kind of ministry?…Why do you preach the way you preach?…Why are you a pastor, missionary, or evangelist?…What about your family and friends?…What are they like?

It is important to look at the “whys” of life…When we are able to answer the “whys,” we are able to determine the starting point of a more productive and fruitful future…To begin a journey to a new location, we must know the starting point…We have to know where we are in order to know how to get where we want to go…It starts inside the minister’s heart…The principle is: You have to answer “Why” before you can get to “Wow!”

The philosopher George Santayana observed, “The loftiest edifices need the deepest foundations.”…This metaphor applies to our lives and our ministries…The problem today is that a lot of people are all house and no foundation…The stronger our foundation, the easier it is to build an enduring ministry.

We cannot teach what we do not know, cannot give what we do not have and cannot lead others where we have not been…Once we have a rock-solid biblical philosophy regarding life and ministry, we will be able to live out “the changed life.”

What constitutes the foundation of our life and ministry?…What single concept influence our overall life?…The word is “philosophy.”…Our philosophy of life and ministry is the foundation of who we are…It is the cornerstone of our behavior, our daily habits, our relationships with others, and our future…Our philosophy of ministry ultimately determines what we will achieve in the harvest field.

The dictionary defines philosophy as “a system of values by which one lives.”…It is our belief system…It is a paradigm or filter that is used to view our outside world…Our philosophy is the “master operation system” that guides our lives…What is your philosophy about God and eternity?…Does the way you live reflect this philosophy, or are your habits in life really portraying a different philosophy?

Have you ever thought through your philosophy of ministry?…If so, what is it?…What are your core beliefs in your preaching ministry and life?…Are you preaching your core beliefs?…Are you living according to your philosophy of ministry and life?

Think about all of these ideas for a moment.

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Happy (In) Dependence Day for a Soulless Nation

Loving the Word with the MudPreacher

LAND OF THE FREE HOME OF THE BRAVE_2532The fourth of July is our national holiday, a day set aside to celebrate our independence from British rule over 230 years ago. Our nation has come a long way. We have surpassed Great Britain in every way. Our founding Fathers prayed before a God whom they referred to as “Sovereign.” Their allegiance was to this Sovereign God, not to the sovereign King of Great Britain. They refused his laws and the Revolutionary War began. America became a great and mighty Nation, yet this morning as I think about celebrating the 4th, I am troubled at what my America has become.

We have always been known as the land of the Free, home of the Brave! We have those words in our National Anthem. Are we really free? Are we really brave? All the revelations of spying and malfeasance by government organizations sends shivers down my back. How can we…

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THERE ARE ONLY A FEW human beings who seek to understand, to become aware of what they actually want when they say the “Lord’s Prayer”.   There is still fewer who really know what is the meaning of the sentences which they rattle off.   Rattle off is probably the only accurate designation or right expression for the process which in this instance man calls praying.

He who examines himself unsparingly (generously, mercilessly) in this respect must admit this, otherwise he proves that he spends his whole life in the same way…superficially, and that he is not, nor ever has been, capable of any deep thought.   There are enough of us on this earth who certainly take ourselves seriously, but with the best will in the world cannot be taken seriously by others.

Especially the beginning of this Prayer has always been taken in the wrong sense, even though in different ways.   Those who try to undertake this Prayer earnestly, who set about it with a certain good volition, experience a certain feeling of safety, of psychic calm arising within them after or during these first words!   And this feeling prevails with them for several seconds after praying.

This explains two things: First, that the one who prays can maintain his earnestness (sincerity, seriousness)  only for the first words, whereby they release this feeling in him; and second, that just the release of this feeling proves how far removed he is from grasping what he is saying with them!

In this he plainly shows either his inability to maintain any deeper thinking, or else his superficiality; for otherwise with the succeeding words there should again immediately arise a different feeling, corresponding to the changed content of the words, as soon as these really come to life in him.

Thus there persists in him only what the first words awaken.   But if he were to grasp the right sense and the true meaning of the words, then these would have to release in him quite a different intuitive (spiritual) sensing from that of being comfortably safe.

More arrogant people again see in the word “Father” the confirmation that they are directly descended from God, and that thereby with the right development they will ultimately themselves become Divine; but that even now they definitely bear something of the Divine within them.   And so there are many more errors among men with regard to this sentence.

Most people, however, consider it simply as the form of address in the Prayer, the invocation!   This requires them to think at the least.   And accordingly it is also uttered without thought, despite the fact that just in the invocation to God should lie the whole fervor of which a man’s soul can ever become capable.

But this first sentence is not meant either to say or to be any of this; instead the Son of God at the same time put into the choice of words the explanation or indication of the way in which a human soul is to set about prayer, how it may and must step before its God if its prayer is to find a hearing.   He says exactly what quality it must possess at that moment, how its condition of pure intuitive (spiritual) perception has to be, if it would lay its petition at the Steps of God’s Throne.

Therefore the whole Prayer is divided into three parts.  The first part is the complete dedication, the surrendering of the soul to its God.   Figuratively speaking, the soul bares itself before Him before it comes with a request, testifying first to its own pure volition (will).

Here the Son of God wants to make clear which intuitive (spiritual) perception alone may form the basis for an approach to God!   Therefore the words at the beginning: “OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN!”, comes as a great sacred vow.

Consider that prayer is not the same as petition (request)!   Otherwise there would certainly be no prayer of thanksgiving, which contains no petition (request).   To pray is not to beg.   Even in this respect the “Lord’s Prayer” has so far always been misunderstood, because of man’s evil habit of never approaching God without at the same time expecting or even demanding something from Him; for in the expecting lies the demanding.   And actually man always expects something when he prays; this he cannot deny!   Be it even, broadly speaking, only the vague feeling of one day receiving a place in Heaven.

Man does not know what it is to give Jubilant thanksgiving in happy enjoyment of the conscious existence granted to him in the co-operation willed by God, or justly expected by God, in the great Creation, for the welfare of his surroundings!   He does not even suspect that just in this, and only this, lies his real welfare as well as his progress and his ascent.

It is on such a basis, according to God’s Will, does the “Lord’s Prayer” in truth stand!   The Son of God, Who desired only man’s welfare, which lies solely in the right observance and fulfillment of God’s Will, could not possibly have given it in any other way!

The Prayer given by Him (Jesus) is consequently anything but a prayer of petition (request); rather is it a great, all-embracing vow of man, who in it lays himself at the Feet of his God!   Jesus gave it to His disciples, who at that time, were ready to live in the pure worship of God, to serve God through their life in Creation, and by this service to honor His Holy Will!

Man should consider carefully whether he may dare to make use of and utter this Prayer at all, and should examine himself earnestly as to whether, in using it, he is not perhaps trying to lie to his God!

The introductory sentences admonish plainly enough that each one should examine himself as to whether he really is what he profess to be in this prayer!   Whether he dares to go with it before God’s Throne without guile (craftiness)!

But if you experience the first three sentences of the Prayer within you, then they will lead you to the Steps of God’s Throne.   They are the way to It, if they become a living experience in your spirit and soul!   No other way but this way leads to the throne of God.   Where these sentences are not experienced, however, none of your petitions can reach there.

It shall be a devout yet joyful outcry when you dare to say: “Our Father, Who art in Heaven!”

In this cry lies your sincere affirmation: “To Thee, O God, I give all a father’s rights over me, to which I wish to submit humbly like a child!   In doing so I also acknowledge Thine Omniscience, O God, in all that Thou hast ordained, and I beg Thee to treat me as a father has to treat his children!   I am, Lord, to listen to Thee, and to obey Thee like a child!”

The second sentence: “HALLOWED BE THY NAME!”

This is the assurance of the worshipping spirit and soul as to how serious it is in everything it ventures to say to God. That the full intuitive perception (spirit) controls every word and thought, and does not misuse the Name of God through superficiality, because it regards the Name of God as being much too holy for that!

Consider, you who pray, what you are vowing with this!   If you want to be absolutely honest with yourselves, you must confess that so far it is precisely in this that you have lied in the Face of God; for you were never so earnest in your prayer as the Son of God and in expectation, laid down in these words as a condition!

The third sentence: “THY KINGDOM COME!” is again no petition (request), but only another vow!   A vow in which the human soul declares it is prepared to make life here on earth such as it is in the Kingdom of God!

Hence the word: “Thy Kingdom come!”  This means: we desire also to develop ( to grow) so far here on earth that Thy perfect Kingdom may be established all the way down here!   The soil shall be prepared by us so that everything lives only in Thy Holy Will, thus completely fulfilling Thy Laws of Creation, so that it will be such as is done in Thy Kingdom, the Revelatory Realm (third heaven), where dwell the matured spirits who have become free from all guilt and burdens, who live only to serve God’s Will.   Because Thy Will is perfect good can only come from unconditional obedience to it.   Thus it is man’s  assurance that he desires to develop in such a way that the earth will also through the human spirit and soul become a kingdom where God’s Will is fulfilled!

This affirmation is further strengthened to an even greater extent through the next sentence: “THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!”

This is not only the declaration of willingness to confirm entirely to the Divine Will, but also the inherent promise to trouble oneself about this Will, to strive with all one’s zeal for the recognition of this Will.   Indeed this striving must precede the effort to confirm to God’s Will; for as long as man does not really know this will he is not able to adjust himself to It  in his intuitive (spiritual) perception, his thoughts, words and deeds!

What appalling, punishable carelessness is it then for every human being ever again to give these assurances to his God, while in reality he does not trouble himself at all to find out what is the Will of God, which lies firmly anchored in Creation.   Man simply lies with every word of the Prayer when he dares to utter it!   He thereby stands before God as a hypocrite!   He heaps onto old sins ever again new ones, and finally even feels he is to be pitied when he must break down ethereally under this burden in the beyond.

Only when these sentences are really fulfilled by the spirit and soul as a pre-condition can it then go on to say: “GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD!”

This means to say: “When I have fulfilled what I promised to be, then let Thy Blessing rest upon my earthly work, so that in attending to my gross material (physical) needs I may always have the time to be able to live according to Thy Will!”


In this sentence lies the knowledge of the incorruptible and just reciprocal action of spiritual Laws ordained by the Will of God.   At the same time it expresses the assurance of complete confidence in It; for the plea for forgiveness or redemption from guilt is conditional upon the petitioner having previously forgiven all the wrongs inflicted upon him by his fellowmen.

He who is capable of that, however, who has already forgiven his fellow-men everything, is also so inwardly purified that he himself will never intentionally do wrong!

Therewith he is also free of all guilt before God, for with God only that is considered wrong which is done with evil desire and intention.  It is only that (evil desire and intention) which makes it wrong.   This is very different from all the human laws and earthly opinions existing in the world today.

Hence the basis of this sentence again contains a promise to its God by each spirit and soul striving for the Light.   It proclaims the true volition from which the spirit and soul hopes to receive strength to fulfill deep concentration and self-clarification in the Prayer.  With the right attitude this strength (power) will be given to the spirit and soul in accordance to the Law of Reciprocal Action.


It is a wrong conception when man wants to read (interpret) into the words that he would be tempted by God.   God tempts no one!   In this case it is only the question of a doubtful tradition, which unfortunately chose this word “temptation.”   In its right meaning it is to be classed with such concepts as erring, going astray, becoming lost, therefore going wrong, seeking the Light on the wrong path.

It means much the same as: “Let us not take wrong paths (roads), nor seek in the wrong direction!   Let us not lose, waste nor fritter away time in such seeking!   But if necessary restrain us forcibly from doing so, even if such a necessity must strike us with sorrow, suffering and pain.”

Man should have grasp this meaning from the words in the following sentence, which according to its content indeed

directly belongs to it: “BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL!”

The “but” shows clearly enough that the sentences are connected.   The meaning is synonymous with: “Let us recognize evil at all costs, even at the cost of suffering, pain and sorrow!   Let every error we commit help us to do so through Thy reciprocal actions.”   For in the recognition of evil lies the redemption for those who show goodwill!

With this ends the second part, man’s discourse with God.   The third part forms or completes the ending: “FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER AND EVER! AMEN!”

When the spirit and soul has laid all it pledged in the prayer at the feet of its God, these last words come as a jubilant avowal of feeling protected by His Omnipotence.

This Prayer given by the Son of God consequently has two parts: (1)  The introduction or approach to God and (2) the discourse (conversation) with God.   Through Luther there was finally added the jubilant confession of the realization of the help available for everything in the second part of the prayer, and of the strength received to fulfill what the spirit and soul vowed to God.   And this fulfillment must then bear the spirit and soul upwards into the Kingdom of God, the Land (region) of Eternal Joy and Light!

Therewith understanding the Lord’s Prayer, if it is really experienced, will become the support and the staff for ascent into the Spiritual Realm!

Man must not forget that when praying he only has to obtain the strength to enable him to bring into being himself what he is praying for!   That is how he (we) should pray!   And so too is worded the Prayer which the Son of God gave to the disciples!

Keep Believing,

Live Inspired!

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Spiritual Breathing!

New Ebenezer Christian Church   

The Fellowship of Family & Encouragement Ministry

Henry Vernon Senior Servant

Spiritual Breathing!

Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting It?                             


Breathe in…breathe out…You do it 12-14 times a minute without thinking.

At rest, your lungs take in six liters of air per minute.   When you’re working hard, you can take in more than 100.

Breathing is a miracle we don’t stop to think about very much.   It’s involuntary; we just do it.

In the same amazing way God created us with the capacity to breathe to sustain our natural lives, He has given us as Christians a way to “breathe spiritually” for our spiritual well-being.

“Spiritual breathing, like physical breathing,” said Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, “is a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure, an exercise in faith that enables you to experience God’s love and forgiveness and walk in the Spirit as a way of life.”

“But the average Christian does not understand this concept of spiritual breathing as an exercise of faith and, as a result, lives on a spiritual roller coaster.   He/she goes from one emotional experience to another living most of his/her life as a worldly Christian, controlling his/her own life—frustrate and fruitless.”1

Betty Lau, now a campus ministry leader, once felt that way.   “I’d get a fresh start in my Christian life, then something would happen, and boom, I’d lose it.”   She recalls coming home from college for a break, feeling good spiritually, only to have a blowout with her sister.   “There were words, slamming doors, and my sister walked out.   Afterwards, I felt like though being filled with the Holy Spirit sounded good in theory, it just didn’t work.”   Later she would discover the active daily discipline of spiritual breathing—and the freedom that discipline would bring.

Spiritual Breathing Defined

Physical breathing provides the body with a constant supply of oxygen, which is necessary for energy production.   It also releases the byproduct of the process—carbon dioxide, a gas that is lethal in large quantities.

Spiritual breathing is like physical breathing in that:

  1. You “exhale” by confessing your sins immediately to God and claiming His forgiveness.
  2. You “inhale” by asking the Holy Spirit to control and empower you and to keep you from returning to sin.

Usually, we don’t think about our physical breathing.   But spiritual breathing is something that requires conscious action—a readiness to “exhale” or confess our sin and to “inhale” or trust God to fill us with His Holy Spirit.

Amy Aker, mother of three boys under age six, has found that spiritual breathing makes a difference in her parenting.   “If I’m not disciplining my children correctly—if I yell or use manipulation—once I realize that I’ve done it, I will calmly tell them, ‘Why don’t you go to your room for a little while.   I’ll be right there.’   Then, I’ll go to my room for a few quiet minutes and God will reveal to me the heart of my sin, whether it’s impatience or just wanting to impose my will on others.   I’ll confess it to Him, and then I ask the Holy Spirit to give me the power to change, because without His help, I can’t do it. Then I’m ready to confess my wrong actions to my kids and have a fresh start.”

Don’t Wait to Exhale

It’s been said that one measure of Christian maturity is the shortness of time between when we sin to the time we confess it.   If we keep short accounts with God, our “old sin nature” can be kept on a short leash.   We can confess our sin as soon as we entertain a sinful thought and before we speak an ugly word or act on evil desires.

“Spiritual exhaling” is agreeing with God about our sin, whether in thought or deed, and thanking Him for His forgiveness and expressing a willingness to change our attitude and actions.

“The more immediately sin is confessed and forsaken, the more sensitive and tender the heart remains,” says a pamphlet on the subject by Life Action Ministries.   “Spiritual breathing is an integral part of maintaining personal purity… The practice of breathing spiritually aids in developing a God-consciousness, which in turn serves to keep the revived heart spiritually focused and less susceptible to continual iniquity.”2

This has been Amy Aker’s experience.   “Confessing my sin is the key to a peaceful life.   If I don’t readily confess, it pulls me down and eats me up.   As a mom, I don’t always have time for an extended quiet time or Bible reading.   Spiritual breathing helps me to stick close to God, to get right with Him moment by moment.”

“Breathing in” the Holy Spirit

To inhale spiritually is to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith.   How do you do that?

When you receive Jesus Christ as your leader and forgiver, the Holy Spirit immediately enters your life and He never leaves (John 1:12; Colossians 2:9,10; John 14:16,17).

The Holy Spirit lives in you so that you can:

  • Demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and become more like Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18)
  • Experience a meaningful prayer life and study of God’s Word
  • Experience power in witnessing (Acts 1:8)
  • Be prepared for spiritual battle against the world, the flesh and the devil (1 John 2:15-17; Galatians 5:16,17; 1 Peter 5:7-9; Ephesians 6:10-13).
  • Experience power to resist temptation and sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19-23; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 6:1-16).3

Though all born-again Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all are filled with the Holy Spirit. Not all are experiencing what He has to offer.

To be filled (empowered and controlled) by the Holy Spirit, we must, in faith, acknowledge our dependence on Him and “hand Him the reins” of our life.

We are commanded in Ephesians 5:18 to “Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Betty Lau has been learning what that means since she started practicing spiritual breathing 10 years ago.   “It is a continuous, conscious choice I make to walk in the Holy Spirit’s power.   Repentance isn’t a onetime thing; it’s giving my life over to God and asking Him to direct my decisions on a moment-by-moment basis.”

The result?   “My Christian life is no longer about self-effort and defeat,” says Betty.   “It’s about allowing the Holy Spirit to permeate every area of my life.   Though spiritual breathing is a conscious thing, the more I choose to do it, the more it becomes second nature.”

Are you ready to ask the Holy Spirit to direct your life?   Why not pray this simple prayer right now and by faith invite God to fill you with His Spirit:

Dear Father, I need you.   I acknowledge that I have sinned against you by directing my own life.   I thank you that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me.   I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life.   Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith.   I pray this in the name of Jesus.   As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

 Yes, I just prayed this prayer!

Send us an email to let us know and we will add you to our prayer list and continue to keep you in prayer for success in life, family, and ministry.

Until the last person has heard,

Pastor Henry Vernon

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