God Is For Us

I'M A CHRISTIAN...NOW WHAT?

Chapter 16 Part 1: The Prayer God Always Answers Yes...God Is Non-Denominational...Prayer Tool For Unity

Chapter 16: The Prayer God Always Answers Yes. Also in this chapter: God Is Non-Denominational, And A Prayer Tool For Unity Part 1

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For Part 2 of this chapter click: http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/chapter-16-part-2-the-prayer

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For the Audio version of this chapter click: http://godisforus.sermon.net/da/2484786/play

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For the index to the book (both written and audio version to date) click: http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/live-link-index-for-the-book

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We will continue with Pastor Tobe Johnson’s series on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit soon.

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There is one prayer that God always answers yes …more on that in a while.

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Right now there is a message of encouragement that needs to be put out there.

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The enemy loves to cause divisions in families…especially our Christian family, the Body of Christ. We have many examples, both modern day examples and Biblical examples of how God accomplishes His Work in spite of the enemy…and everything that happens is part of God’s Master Plan.

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Here is just one Biblical example of how God turns evil into good and how His Master plan works over time:

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Abraham’s grandson, Jacob’s son, Joseph, knew all about this subject, first hand. Imagine all that Joseph went through: At age 17 he had been given a dream by God that all of his brothers would some day bow down to him (keep in mind that Jacob’s sons later became the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel, God’s Chosen People at the time).

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Joseph’s brothers didn’t like him any way because he was the favorite son of his father Jacob (Israel). Israel had made Joseph a tunic or coat of many colors to show his affection for Joseph. Die was very expensive and this gesture irritated his brothers to no end. After all, the first born son (Reuben), by tradition, was to be the favored son…and Joseph was at the end of that line…he was the youngest son. Israel favored Joseph because he was the son born when Israel was of advanced years.

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After telling his brothers about the dream in which they bowed before him, they really despised him…even his father was more than mildly irritated by the insolence of the young man and kept the dream in mind.

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At some point after this, Joseph went to help his brothers tend their flock. They beat Joseph, stripped him of his colorful tunic, soaked it in animal blood and told their father that Joseph had been killed and eaten by an animal. They sold him into slavery to a group of traders on their way to Egypt where he was sold to Pot-i-far, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard (Genesis 37:1-36).

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Can we see how the enemy had slithered into the minds of Joseph’s brothers, as he did in the beginning with Eve and Adam and Cain? There are dozens of Scriptural examples of this tactic. Even one of the original Apostles (Judas of Iscariot) was subject to the enemy’s tactics and chose to be evil (Matt. 26:47-56, Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:43-50, John 18:2-11).

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Imagine the fear and confusion Joseph must have been experiencing during all of this…after all, he was human…but he remained faithful to God, just as Job had.

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We aspire to be like Christ, but Job is who we are. Christ was a perfect man; we are imperfect so we can only aspire to be like Him, to be “Christ-like”. But Job, the very first message God sent us, the very first Book of the Bible that was written (around 859 B.C.) is who we are. Job was an imperfect man who, despite the enemy’s attacks, remained faithful to God. We can also be like Joseph. The Bible is full of examples of who to be like and who to not be like (chapter 2 of this book).

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At some point, after Joseph had been sold to Pot-i-fer and was basically a trustee in the prison, God gave the Egyptian Pharaoh a dream and the Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret the dream.

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Joseph warned the Pharaoh that after 7 years of plenty, a seven year famine would occur. The Pharaoh made Joseph Governor over all the food supplies. So Joseph, being faithful to God, followed God’s instructions and prepared the entire known world for the famine…the grain was so plentiful that Joseph gave up trying to weigh it.

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True to the prophecy, the dream God gave Joseph at age 17, his brothers ended up bowing to Joseph in their time of need.

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What a loving, forgiving, faithful to God man Joseph proved to be. His brothers were afraid that he would remember their vile acts and seek retribution…on the contrary, in an act of Godly Mercy Joseph basically told them that they were forgiven because what they had intended for evil, God had intended for good…he wept with joy and set the entire family of Israel up in the choicest land in Egypt…a place named Goshen (Genesis 41:1-56, Genesis 42:1-38, Genesis 43:1-32, Genesis 44:1-34, Genesis 45:1-28, Genesis 46:1-46, Genesis 47:1-12) .

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Again, keep in mind that Jacob’s sons were the seeds of the 12 tribes of Israel; God’s chosen people under the old Mosaic Covenant. This attack by the enemy to split that family and divide God’s People is just one example, a profound example, of how the enemy tries to divide families.

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Now let’s fast forward a thousand years.

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In (1Kings 3:5-15) beginning in verse 5 we find King Solomon, Joseph’s relative a thousand years later, and now king over all 12 tribes of Israel (God’s chosen people) talking to God, praising God in regard to his position of being King and the responsibility that Office holds. Solomon’s father, King David, had recently passed away and Solomon was his successor. In chapter 3, verse 5, God appeared to Solomon in a dream…testing Solomon’s heart condition God said: “Ask! What shall I give you?”

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Solomon continues to praise God, recounting all the blessings and prosperity God had bestowed upon His people because, in spite of his many terrible misdeeds, King Solomon’s father David had come to contrition…he begged God to not let the Holy Spirit leave him…he begged that God give him a pure heart. David, King Solomon’s father, had been Solomon’s mentor…his example (1 Kings 11:4). We don’t know exactly how old Solomon was when he became king, but he was at least 60 years of age so he had vast experience, growing up, knowing about God and their family history for about a thousand years.

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What Solomon asked for was not life or wealth…he asked for “an understanding heart to judge (rule over) Your people, that I may discern between good and evil”.

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God was pleased that Solomon asked for nothing for himself…not riches…not even for life itself…but for God’s Wisdom in doing the work God had called him to do…and because of this, God not only gave Solomon the wisdom that he hungered for in order to do God’s Work…but as a side benefit…God also gave Solomon wealth and power, promising Solomon that if Solomon obeyed God (which included no idolatry)…God would lengthen his days…notice that His covenant with Solomon had a stipulation…God said ‘if he remained faithful in his work’…and unlike the New Covenant that we live under through Christ…Solomon was not promised ‘everlasting life’…he was promised that his days would be lengthened.

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Sure enough, silver became as common in Jerusalem as stones (1 Kings 10:27, 2 Chronicles 9:27) and Solomon, early on in his administration was extremely blessed. For example, God chose Solomon to build God’s Temple in Jerusalem…what an awesome blessing that was ( 1 Kings 6:1)!

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The very fact that Solomon ignored the obvious…wealth and power…was enough to touch God to give Solomon the tools to gain both wealth and power, because God’s plan for Solomon was mutually inclusive with Solomon’s desires…to do God’s Work the best that he could.

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Then, as with all human governments, King Solomon’s government became corrupt. He chose to worship the false god’s of his many foreign wives…from areas of the world our God had specifically told Solomon not to marry (1 Kings 11:1-8).

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Solomon was not faithful to God’s Covenant with him. It is obvious that Solomon’s performance as king would have been much different if he had found contentment with the love of his life, the Shulamite girl whom he wrote about in the Song of Solomon.

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Solomon had a choice and could have ignored the enemy’s suggestions to marry the foreign women God had warned Solomon specifically not to marry. These foreign women worshipped false gods and they influenced Solomon to do the same (1 Kings 11:1-8). Please refer to chapter 15 of this book.

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Go figure…God spoke to Solomon twice in the 40 years Solomon was King over Israel (1 Kings 11:9-13, 1 Kings 9:1-2). God gave him clear instructions on what not to do…one would think one conversation with God should have been enough for any man. But even for the wisest man who ever lived…in the end, because of his disobedience (his free will choices), and after his death. God allowed the kingdom of Israel to be ripped and torn into 12 pieces.

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From the very beginning, mankind was never intended to be self-ruled. Theocracy, not democracy, kings, judges or any other form of human government will ever know what is best for itself.

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Solomon married the daughter of the King of Egypt because he thought the alliance would protect the Israelites from attack…Imagine that lack of faith! How foolish and lacking in faith Solomon had become! If he had remained faithful to God and not married foreign women and brought their false gods into God’s Land…our Father certainly would have protected Israel (1 Kings 11:1-8)!

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Imagine his justification for marrying the very women God told him not to marry. Imagine him talking to the Egyptian Pharaoh and negotiating the marriage to the Pharaoh’s daughter…instead of having faith that God would continue to protect the tribes of Israel as he had done under David’s rule, Solomon chose idolatry out a lack of faith.

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Solomon made a deal with the devil! The negotiations might have sounded something like this: “O.K. Pharaoh, let me get this straight…if I marry your daughter and worship your gods, you won’t attack me…is that the bottom line Dad? May I call you Dad”?

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What a faithless weakling Solomon had become!

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All along, King Solomon’s real Father was with him in full force but Solomon allowed the enemy to slither into his mind and suggest thoughts that Solomon knew were not godly thoughts but he acted on those thoughts any way.

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Imagine that! He didn’t think that God would protect the very land and people that God had protected all along! And God had made this family flourish! Solomon himself had been blessed to build that Temple! He knew God’s Power first hand! He made a deal with the devil instead of saying “God I know You will protect us”! He bowed to the enemy and said something like “Pharaoh I’ll be a good boy and please you…now where is that daughter of yours and her false god’s…please don’t hurt me…please”?! Faithless weakling!

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If he had not brought foreign gods into our God’s Land…God certainly would have protected Israel

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Why did this happen? Spiritual Warfare! The battlefield that is the human mind. Just as it has been since Adam and Eve! Solomon became corrupt because he allowed himself to be corrupted! Of course God would have protected the nation, the tribes of Israel. Solomon had decades of proof of this through his own father’s examples and also decades of God moving in his own life…not to mention about a thousand years of family history beginning with Abraham, then Joseph, then Moses then on into the promised land!

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The family of Israel had been out of captivity from Egypt 480 years at the time Solomon began to build God’s Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:1) It took 7 years to build the Temple (1 Kings 6:38) but he had started building his own house at the same time and took 4 years longer to build it (1 Kings 7:1-51).

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Solomon started out on a bad foot by worshipping false God’s (1 Kings 3:3-4) then temporarily came to contrition before God (1 Kings 3:5-34) but even while building his own house he once again loved his own pleasures more than he loved God. Loving anything or anyone more than loving God is idolatry...and loving one’s self more than loving God is self-idolatry…self worship.

So once again God had to make a point that this is what happens when we worship false gods. Some things bear repeating: Loving anything or anyone more than loving God is idolatry...and loving one’s self more than loving God is self-idolatry…self worship.

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Just as it says in (2 Timothy 3:1-9). This is our modern day lesson to learn under the New Covenant.

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Out of love for Solomon’s father, King David, God waited until Solomon passed away to ‘join his fathers’ before He allowed the 12 tribes of Israel to be divided (1Kings 9:1-7).

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God spared one tribe from falling into the hands of their enemies (the tribe of Judah) for the sake of David…and Jerusalem was spared because it was the city chosen out of all the tribes of Israel (1 Kings 11) to be the place of God’s Temple, then and in the future…the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-27).

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It took the enemy about a thousand years from the time Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers until Solomon blew it. The enemy is persistent. The enemy finally managed to split this family because they chose to follow him.

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And so, the stage was set for the New Covenant…Salvation through Christ.

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Over and over again, from the time of Adam and Eve, all that God has asked of us boils down to recognizing that He is the One and only true God. He really asks very little of us. During this New Covenant Period He has made salvation a very simple matter (Chapter 3 of this book).

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Again…think about how much God hates idolatry…then look around at how self-idolatrous this generation is. Loving anything or anyone more than we love God is idol worship (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

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The conclusion of this will occur when Christ returns to claim the New Jerusalem. All of these things will come full circle (Isaiah 29:1-24 and Ezekiel 22:1-31) when the New Jerusalem is finally established. There will be deeper studies regarding these things as this book progresses.

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Today the Body of Christ, our Christian family…is under attack, and the enemy is using the same tactics to divide God’s modern day chosen people as he used on the 12 tribes of Israel. God’s chosen people prior to the New Covenant through Christ.

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Sometimes the enemy divides individual families through divorce…sometimes he tries to divide larger parts of the Body through the tactic of inter-denominational squabbling. The enemy’s tactics are the same now as they have been for thousands of years…and the solution is the same the enemy looses every time he is ignored.

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Fear and confusion…a couple of the enemy’s most potent tools against us to distract us. There are always blessings on the horizon if we ignore the enemy…and simply stay in the race, obey the rules of the race (2 Timothy 2:5) and stay out of God’s Way letting Him do His Work. We thwart the enemy by ignoring his suggestions and replacing them with Godly thoughts found in the Scriptures. The classic struggle between positive and negative…good and evil.

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Pastor Chuck Stierstorfer recently gave me a bit of encouragement to pass on in this regard…”When the enemy throws a storm at us, don’t tell God how big the storm is…tell the storm how big God is”. I love Chuck’s one liners…another one is: “We read ahead, our team wins”.

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Regarding fear: We are not talking about ‘Godly fear’ in regard to the enemy’s tactics…Godly fear is the fear of disappointing Father…like any right minded child who naturally wants to please his parents…a true Christian’s heart will want to figure out what makes God Smile…and then do those things…Please refer to all previous chapters of this book for Scriptural References.

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The kind of fear and confusion the enemy uses is the same type of fear and confusion the enemy used against Peter in the fishing boat…the storm he through up to distract Peter when he was walking on water…the fact is, folks, (some things bear repeating) the enemy looses every time he is ignored.When the enemy throws a storm at us, don’t tell God how big the storm is…tell the storm how big God is.

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We humans cannot even begin to understand the vastness of God’s Intellect…but what we can do is get inside His Head and figure out what makes Him Smile…and then act and live accordingly…as well as any human can.

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He wants us to do that…to be curious about Him like little children…because, compared to Him…we are all like little children…in all ways…including intellectually…so He has made it simple for us to make Him smile at least enough to gain everlasting life with Him…and if we are really paying attention, we learn how to evoke His Miracles…His Truly Magic Ways (Chapters 3 and 5).

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Adam and Eve, from the beginning had free will choice and they blew it…because they loved the thought of being as great as God…self-idolatry, self-worship).

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Think about how rebellious we humans are from childhood: Take a group of twenty 5 year old children. Have a room full of all of their favorite candy ready for them. In that room there is a table with a bowl of an assortment of the same candies in it.

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Before you turn them loose in the room, explain clearly to them that they can eat to their hearts content anything they want to in that room…anything, that is, except that bowl of candies. Show them the other candies in the room and explain to them the bowl of candies on the table are the same candies as in other parts of the room (the ones they are welcome to) but this bowl is off limits and not to be touched. If they touch the candy they won’t have desert later.

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Then leave the room and give them plenty of time to think about it…about five minutes.

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Then see what happens! I guarantee you that there will be some of those children not only eating out of that bowl but they will be fighting over it! They will be biting each other and pulling hair to get to that bowl of candy!

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And when you enter the room and catch them red handed, many with chocolate all over their mouths will deny having anything to do with the candy that was off limits! Some will admit to it but blame someone else who ate the candy first! Some will blame you for not explaining clearly enough! It was all someone else’s’ fault.

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Can’t you just see little Adam smearing chocolate all over his face trying to get rid of the evidence?! Then he wipes his hands in Eve’s hair and says something like “It wasn’t my fault, Evee told me to, I didn’t know what you meant…do I still get desert”?

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On the other hand, some will not touch the bowl at all. Some will trust and obey you, others will not. Some will even try to warn the others not to touch the candy…free will at work. Eventually, over time…given enough practice…the numbers of those who trust and obey will grow…but they will loose out on many deserts first.

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Today we have the opportunity because of God’s period of Grace and His Mercy through Christ to learn from Adam’s and Eve’s mistakes…one last time.

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The simple message being that mankind was never intended to be self-governed. Theocracy (God Ruled)…not democracy, kings, judges or any other form of human government will ever know what is good for itself…loving anything or anyone more than we love God is idolatry…and in this ‘me generation’ people love their selves more than they love God.

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So we, as Christians, live surrounded by the world (satan bombarding us constantly with his suggestions, Spiritual Warfare) as manifested by the lack of values, morals and ethics in the world.

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We do not live according to the enemy’s lack of standards but we live out of Godly standards the best any human can…and gauge with a clear conscious in what areas we need to grow.

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I seldom write (in this book) about God’s Miracles in my own life…because this book is not about me…it is all about God…besides I am busy writing about much more dynamic and dramatic miracles that occur in the lives of others…we have witnessed so many, in total, that I could write for several lifetimes and still not scratch the surface.

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Next Friday, September the 10th at 8:45am Georgia, USA time, will mark the second year of this full time ministry. I would not trade one moment of it for anything the world has to offer. Nor would I trade one moment of the previous 55 years God used in preparing me for this ministry. Some of us require more time than others. Only weeds sprout up over night.

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God’s Miracles, these signs and wonders, occur in the lives of both Born again Christians and in other Christian sects…God even creates miracles in the lives of non-believer’s sometimes…as a witness to His Name and to get folk’s attention…as He did in the lives of the Egyptian people when God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt after 430 years of slavery in Egypt…this was 480 years before Solomon built God’s Temple at Jerusalem.

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Because of the 10 supernatural plagues that God delivered to the Egyptians, the Egyptian people finally came to know He is God…the only TRUE God among all those man-made false god’s that everyone…even His chosen people, had been worshipping…how sad for God for idolatry to occur…it grieves Him…He cries deeply at times, then and now, that is what to grieve means (Chapter 2 of this book).

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I feel His tears often in this ministry and in writing this book…sometimes the tears that I have caused Him to shed…sometimes the tears others have caused Him to shed. We are all works in progress. Please refer to chapter 3 of this book for Scriptural references, ‘Salvation, Jesus Final Words’.

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So here we are, thousands of years later…we humans are still exhibiting the same grievous, selfish…sometimes self-idolatrous (self-worshipping) behavior…and He STILL loves us and has made provisions for ETERNAL LFE with Him…in Paradise…go figure…how Patient is He?

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Prosperity, for example: Remember folks, it is the love of money that leads to sin…God wants us to be prosperous…but loving anything more than loving God is idolatry…idol worship…think about it…in this ‘Me Generation’ guess who people in the world…and even many Christians love more than God or anyone else?

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God provides His Miracles…His Supernatural Occurrences (healings and signs and wonders)…every day…all around us…in sheer quantity and quality…Jesus’ Prophetic Words are being fulfilled and witnessed by us today…if we have eyes to see and ears to hear…in other words, if we are paying attention to God doing His Work…if we are curious enough about Him to study Him…to get inside His Head and figure out what makes Him Smile and Frown and all of the rest of it…and then choose to make Him Smile…that’s what loving children do…free will at work (chapter 5).

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God recognizes that we humans pay close attention to what we call supernatural…to Him miracles, signs and wonders, are all in a day’s work. In the 48th verse of John chapter 4, Jesus heals a nobleman’s son and plainly states the obvious “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe”. This simple fact is as true today as it was then…but we have to be paying attention…at our local churches in the lives of flesh and blood people…witnessing His Miracles with all of our senses…just as Thomas did (Chapter 5 of this book).

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For our brothers and sisters in areas where the Bible is illegal, God makes provisions…sometimes through the miracle of the internet…for them to study and worship and fellowship. Please remember these brothers and sisters in your prayers that God will pour out an extra measure of His Wisdom upon them to comfort and guide and to encourage them.

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As with all Covenants, this one has stipulations that we are expected to live up to…part of being obedient to God means studying Him through His Word for direction and guidance…His Wisdom…His Will…as Solomon prayed…to get inside God’s Head enough to learn what pleases Him…and then do those things…with all our hearts…minds…and strength…the best any imperfect human can.

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There is one prayer that we have discovered which God always answers YES:

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God never says no to those who ask Him for a job to do…and God never denies anyone the tools needed to perform the task at hand…that is the prayer God always says yes to.

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His way of answering this prayer might not be the way we want Him to answer it…but the bottom line is that He knows what is best…He is the Ultimate, Wise, Loving Parent. My own testimony is a good example of this.

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One of the tools God prepares us with is ‘discernment’…knowing God’s Will…being able to distinguish between good and evil…just as Solomon prayed for…and then, He expects us to be obedient to His will.

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This cannot be overstated: There are only two powers, God and satan. If it isn’t coming from God it is coming from the enemy…and the enemy is always the one who plants ungodly thoughts in our minds (chapter 7).

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It is our responsibility, as individuals to take the time and effort to learn about Who God really is (chapter 4).

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Keep in mind that what I am about to write or say is red letter Council…a prophetic Word from Jesus Himself…it is the delivery of the message about a Covenant that Jesus alone could make from God’s Authority…only the Messiah could make this covenant with all Christian individuals (notice we did not say Christian denominations) willing to be obedient to God through our example The Christ.

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Jesus Speaking in John 14:12-15:

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12. “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also: and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

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13. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

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14. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it”.

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That is all very plain and clear…amazing, to say the least…no interpretation needed…now here comes the special stipulations in that Covenant:

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15. “If you love me, keep my commandments…”then He goes on and tells about the Helper, the Comforter…the Holy Spirit which He sent to carry on the next phase in preparing for His return (Chapter 9).

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Notice that He makes some astonishing statements in those few words: He promises, He makes a covenant…that if we keep His commandments, then whatever we ask for will be done…again…if we keep His commandments...so what are His commandments? What are His special stipulations to this Prayer Covenant?

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To Be Continued In Part 2

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