Initially, I emailed to my email group:
"Oh that My people would hearken unto Me. . . . I should soon subdue their enemies, and turn My Hand against their adversaries (Ps. 81:13-14).... I will go and return to My Place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek My Face." (Hos. 5:15) .... 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." (II Chronicles 7:14)
One reader emailed:
If God's people would truly repent, Christ would return and have the angels do just that; but 99% of God's people [the majority of whom probably think of Christ's return and the angels taking vengeance is but a myth... a fairy tale] think they have done nothing that they need to repent of... (most are self-deluded thinking that because they are not murderers or rapists that they have done nothing to offend God, and they think so because they do not understand God's Holiness and because they don't understand what that Holiness requires, which is what His Law establishes; without realizing it, they daily do many things He forbade, and daily ignore doing many things He commanded)... most are in complete blindness and if we don't fast and pray that God shakes them from that blindness, then they will be the chaff that is winnowed away (or they will be part of that crowd the angels cull upon Christ's Return). Until the Prodigal is stripped of everything and face down in the pig stye, realizes the depths of his shame, only then will his heart be brought to the point that he will arise and return to his father and say, I have sinned before Heaven and you and am no more worthy to be thy son, make me one of thy servants... and then he will find he is fully restored—and a feast thrown for him; the father having been watching the horizon daily for his return, ever since he departed from the truth path; but today most have never even known the true path (and most don't even desire to know it), their fathers and father's fathers having never even known it... (all they know are the traditions of their fathers, rituals they follow, not realizing they are but mere rituals)... but each can repent now. We all need to repent, each and every one of us. All should read the first chapter of Nehemiah and see, despite his being such a godly man, he confessed that he and his family had contributed to the national sins, and he confessed his own sins and confessed the sins of the nation, interceding for all of his people before God.
Arthur Pink, in his The Holy Spirit, in the chapter, "The Spirit Transforming" under the sub-heading, "Marks of Transformation," wrote:
"First, where the Spirit has begun to transform a soul the Divine Law is cordially received as a Rule of Life, and the heart begins to echo to the language of Psalm 119 in its commendation [cognition with assent]. Nothing more plainly distinguishes a true conversion from a counterfeit than this: that one who used to be an enemy to God's Law is brought understandably and heartily to love it, and seek to walk according to its requirements.. 'Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments' (I John 2:3). He who has been born again has a new palate, so that he now relishes what he formerly disliked. He now begins to prove that it is not only the fittest, but the happiest thing in the world, to aspire to be holy as God is holy; to live Him supremely and live to Him entirely." [brackets mine.]
However, the average Christian thinks that the Law was done away with, all except maybe the 10 commandments, not even keeping all of them; and that is the problem; God will not hear our prayers if we are in sin and if we don't think we are in sin then how can we even realize there is a problem...? the way we can realize it is by seeing the world crumble around us and then having a light come on inside ones head to the point that he realizes, "hmm... I wonder why this is happening, could I be part of the problem that civilization is on the brink of extinction and God is not hearing our prayers...?" ... but if any even ever have that thought spark in a neuron in his brain, most will then reassure himself, "no, that can't be... oh, great, look, the superbowl is about to start." The problem is not even that the average Christian does not realize the reality of his own offenses before God, but that he does not even care whether or not it may be a possibility (and even if confronted with it as an undeniable reality, he would not be interested in doing whatever was required to remedy the situation).
"9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth,* and thy want as an armed man."** (Proverbs 6) [God deemed this so important He repeated vv.10,11 in 24:33,34]
[* one who travels continually and never works, runs out of money and has nowhere to even live.** that is, impoverishment will come upon you with the irresistible fury of an armed assailant upon an unarmed victim.]
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (I Thessalonians 5:3)
"38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. " (Matthew 24)
"3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (II Peter 3)
“[The average Christian possesses] ... blind believism which imagines faith to consist of a mere idea rightly affirmed with the lips, but knows nothing of a real faith that possesses within the heart. So men imagine that to believe in Jesus Christ is something that can be done apart from obeying Him, because they do not know Him as the Lord who reigns and lives within. As well imagine that a command is only to be believed but not obeyed, or that a tree is not known by its fruit. ‘I will show you my faith by my works,’ said the apostle; and if this is the only way faith can be shown, then any faith which is not thus one with its works is no faith at all.
“James said, ‘As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.’ Most pointedly this Scripture makes clear that devoutness and piety do not consist in a mere right understanding of these things that a man may profess without the fruits thereof, for works cannot be separated from its faith, or James could show his faith alone without its works. He only is the devout man who lives no longer to his own will or the way and spirit of the world, but to the will of God alone. He who considers God in everything, serves God in everything, who makes every moment of his daily life a real part of God’s will on earth by doing everything in the name of Christ; he alone can be called the pious man. For if a man say he has faith, but does not evidence a life that produces the works of God, James tells us most emphatically that ‘faith alone’ cannot save him.* (pp. 180-181.)
[* ie. such a fruitless man’s faith is dead; not real. R.A.B.]
“....So it is that for lack of this basic intention to surrender all to Christ, the church today is an open fraud of mere lip profession to that faith and divine love that once burned as a fire from heaven in those who ‘turned the world upside down.’
“If you will but stop to ask yourself why your brand of Christianity is hardly recognizable as related to that which primitive Christians knew, your own heart will tell you that it is primarily because you never thoroughly intended to live as they lived and to die as they died. You sing of your devotion to the same Lord, and profess to believe the same New Testament doctrines as the early disciples. You have the same promises from the Lord of the fulness of the Spirit, the divine nature, and all that pertains to life and godliness. You would never hope to get to heaven through a faith any different than theirs, but you have believed Satan’s lie that it is possible to have the same faith as the first Christians without manifesting the same works as they. And if you are honest you will admit that this lie has been gladly received because you have not really had the heart intention to walk as Jesus walked.* Did you but have this intention to please God in all your actions, as being the happiest and best choice for life in this world, you would then find yourself as unwilling to deny Christ with your life as you are now unwilling to deny Him with your lips. And would you but add to this intention a simple faith in the promises of God in Christ, you would find yourself living in the same denial of self and as contrary to the world as fishermen apostles did in their day.” (pp.,182-183.)
[* Wow. Amen! So many professed believers today are like the rich young ruler who went away sad, not wanting to sacrifice what he deemed more important in life, in order to truly follow Christ. R.A.B.]
“....the question is not whether gospel perfection can be fully attained, but whether you come as near it as a sincere intention and careful diligence can carry you through faith in Christ. .... Can you really call yourself a follower of Christ without at least intending to follow Him all the way? .... Can a man who has this saving faith then fail to manifest those works which the Scripture so plainly tells us are the direct consequence of the new creation? .... that man who does not so much as intend to manifest in all his ways these works which God has ordained for him has denied the very faith which he otherwise professes. .... Works without faith is the dead and unacceptable offering of the sinful flesh; and faith without works is a fraud, a false profession of that which is dead because it does not have the life of God in it; and this is proven by the lack of fruit of the Spirit. God holds out to our faith the blessing and power of the Holy Spirit as our all in all, filling us with the life of Christ, causing us to overflow with rivers of living water.” (pp.186,188,189)
Here would be a good place to re-iterate what I sent in a previous email:
With moving contrition of heart, the Book of Common Prayer (1599 edition) instructs A generall confession, to be saide of the whole congregacion after the minister, knelyng:
“ALMIGHTIE and most merciful father, we have erred and straied from thy waies, lyke lost shepee we have folowed to much the devises and desires of our owne hartes. We have offended against thy holy lawes: We have left undone those thinges whiche we ought to have done, and we have done those thinges which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us, but thou, O Lorde, have mercy upon us miserable offendours. Spare thou them O God, whiche confesse their faultes. Restore thou them that be penitent, accordyng to thy promises declared unto mankynde, in Christe Jesu our Lorde. And graunt, O most merciful father, for his sake, that we may hereafter lyve a godly, ryghtuous, and sobre life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.”
[Above quotes taken from my yet-unpublished book, Teach Us To Pray — Help Thou My Unbelief — Lord Save Me!: The Disciples Handbook for Prayer, Faith, and Deliverance, 6x9, 550pp., which I am now reading/rewriting for the 19th time (which I continue to refine again and again, awaiting deliverance myself, after which it will be published). Robert]
... is anyone listening...?