Prayer, the Key to Open Heaven’s Door (part 2)

YAHSHUA cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit; and at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:50-51). Before the death of the Son of God no one, with the exception of the High Priest and once a year, could enter the Holy of Holies of the temple. The sanctuary of the temple was designated for the presence of the holiness of God alone. The High priest performed the duty of burning incense to atone his and the sins of the people by sprinkling the blood of a sacrificial animal on the mercy seat of the ark (Lev. 16:2). The Holy of Holies was separated by a veil to provide a barrier between God and man; between His holiness and the sinfulness of man. The tear of the veil or curtain is of great significance for all who profess to be a believer in YAHSHUA, for it provided access to all men to enter the presence of God, as the writer of Hebrews said, We have full confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of YAHSHUA…Let us all come forward and draw near with true  hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith, having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty  conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water (Heb. 10:19-20, 22). When we pray, the Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning too deep for utterance (Rom. 8: 26). When we enter the presence of God, we do so with the help of the Holy Spirit. We enter heaven in the name of YAHSHUA by the power of His blood. We must be reminded every time we enter the presence of God, that that privilege cost His son’s life. When we pray in His name we are acknowledging His sacrifice for us and that it is only by His name that we can come to the presence of God. When we pray in YAHSHUA’S name, we are presenting all that He is. YAHSHUA said that the Father will grant whatever we ask in YAHSHUA’S name (John 15:16b; 16:23 b).  But the believer must dwell in YAHSHUA and His words must remain and continue to live in his hearts for whatever he/she asks to be  done or given them (John 15:7).

Prayer, the Key to Open Heaven’s Door (part 1)

David experienced the presence of God when he prayed. He, more than anyone we read about often sought the Lord, for his life was a life of trouble. Persecuted by King Saul until Saul died, he was a fugitive without means and position that entitled his deliverance from the king, the most powerful man in the country. But David was a king in God’s eyes waiting for the right time to be crowned so. He was also a fugitive from his son Absalom, who tried to take his throne. But David sought the Lord and called on His name. When we read his prayers in the book of Psalms it confirms that he had a relationship with God. When he committed sins of adultery and homicide he returned to God in repentance and grief of soul. He prayed, Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin, for I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in You judgment… create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51).  And again, I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide… then You forgave me the guilt and the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32); I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry…He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear and put their trust in the Lord (Psalm 40: 1, 3); my sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, such O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51: 17). When we admit our sins to Him, heaven acknowledges and forgiveness flows to us; when we praise Him angels join us in worship to God. David acknowledged the answers to his prayers, and it encouraged and helped others to know that God is faithful and He is a loving God.

Going to the Courts of Heaven

(Job 23: 2-7; Esther 5; Zachariah 3)

“Divine justice is available to every believer”

The high priest, Joshua was found before the Lord in the courts of heaven with Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary and to accuse him. Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, a representation of his sins. Satan well knew about Joshua and readily stood by his side to bring accusation against him. But the Lord rebuked Satan and forgave Joshua’s sins. He said, “Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel. If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts and I will give you access [to My presence] and places to walk among these who stand here” (Zachariah 3). Satan had legal issues against the high priest Joshua, due to his life of sin. He never rests until he fulfills his evil desire to kill and destroy God’s people.  YAHSHUA said that the devil had come to kill and destroy, but He had come to give life abundantly. After forgiving Joshua, the Lord dressed Him in the robe of righteousness and warned him to walk in obedience in order to continue in his position of serving Him. The high priest was set free from the devil’s accusations after the Lord forgave him. This experience is not unique only to Joshua; through our life’s journey on earth we too have walked in disobedience to the Lord, causing an open door for Satan to have his way against us. But John, in his first epistle, assured us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive and purify us. And as He did for Joshua He will do for us too.

You Who Seek God

(Psalms 69:30-33)

Man, without God is lost in his corrupted mind and heart, without direction as one blind in the midst of chaos. Created in God’s image, he chose to give it up to go his own way, or the way of the serpent- the devil, to the point of discrediting the very existence of God. When Adam heard the news through his wife, he didn’t seek God for answers. He decided to eat the forbidden fruit with her. Man then lost the image of God. They hid themselves, instead. Feeling ugly and guilty for the decision they had made, then in the awareness of their nakedness, they were ashamed. Hiding from God was their solution to their problem of committing the first sin. Sin that separated them from the Creator, Who often came to the garden to talk to them. Their action of disobedience broke their relationship with God; they no longer had Him to visit them. Separated from the glory of God, Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, never to enter it again. They suffered two separations: from God and from the beautiful place, the Garden of Eden, where they lived. It must have been a place like heaven, free from sin and misery it causes. Free from weeds, bugs that destroy; a soil that was perfect and easy to manage, where Adam and Eve benefitted from for their sustenance. Who would like to change it? Satan did. The enemy of humankind had one goal in mind: to destroy men’s relationship with God and take them under his control. As a result, we all became a fallen race from that time on and needing to return to God for our spiritual, physical and mental restorations, through a relationship with Him. You see, God longs to have fellowship with us; He longs to bless us; He longs for us to call on Him in times of trouble. The Psalmist said, Test and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who hopes in Him (Ps. 34:8).

The Upstairs Room

It was close to YAHSHUA’S last Passover, when He sent two of His disciples to a definite place to prepare it for His last Passover Super with them. He said, to them, go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him. And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples? And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready; there prepare for us (Mark 14:13-15). He had come to the end of His earthly ministry and needed a time alone with those called apostles to warn and to teach them and to prepare them for the ministry He was leaving behind for them to continue. That was the time and place when YAHSHUA, alone with His disciples, ministered to them by washing their feet; the time when He constituted the new covenant of His blood; the time when He gave a new commandment- to love one another as He loved them; that was the time and the place where He uttered His priestly prayer for them and for us. There were many disciples who followed Him, but He chose only twelve to be His messengers. These were the ones He explained the meaning of the parables to, who experienced a deep relationship with Him as His friends, who experienced the mount of transfiguration, and who witnessed His anguish at the Gethsemane Garden in the crucial moment of His decision. The last words from YAHSHUA to His disciples were printed in their hearts to change yesterdays and today’s world. Peter’s life was changed from a coward to a courageous outspoken man for the sake of the message he was given to tell; The doubtful Thomas died as a martyr in India for obedience to go and preach to all the world the message of salvation. John died on the Patmos Island, after they tried to kill him by putting him a caldron with boiling water. All died as martyrs for their Messiah. Nothing would stop these disciples from taking a stand for their Master, after the upper room experience.

Hezekiah Prayed

Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, I beseech You, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before You in faithfulness and truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly (II Kings 20:2-3).

The Bible registers King Hezekiah as a good king. He walked in the way of the Lord. He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his [forefather] had done. He removed the high places, broke the images, but down the Asherim, and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until them the Israelites had burned incense to it; but he called it Nehushtan [a bronze trifle]. He trusted in the Lord and was confident in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that neither after him nor before him was any one of all the kings of Judah like him. For he clung and held fast to the Lord and ceased not to follow Him, but kept His commandments, as the Lord commanded Moses; and the Lord was with Hezekiah; he prospered wherever he went…( II Kings 18:3-7a).

Prayer, a Salve for Every Hurt

Prayer, empowered by faith, is the vehicle that takes our needs to the courts of heaven. YAHSHUA’S sacrifice for mankind was complete when He, at the time of expiring, caused the curtain of the temple to be torn in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51a). With that, YAHSHUA was reconciliating mankind to God. No more sacrifice of an animal was necessary by a high priest on behalf of the people. YAHSHUA fulfilled the Law and its demands on the altar of the cross. And how much more surely shall the blood of Messiah, who by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the living God?  (Heb. 9:14). Because of Him, heaven will be open and God’s courts will be always ready to receive those who come to Him in sincerity of heart, presenting their needs.

YAHSHUA, as our High Priest acts on our behalf in time of our needs. The Bible tells us that The Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearning and groaning too deep for utterance…The Holy Spirit intercedes and pleads in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God (Rom. 8:26, 27b). In a beautiful harmony of agreement, the trinity performs the act of mercy and grace toward mankind. YAHSHUA’S sacrifice of love extends to us His people, for He understands the pains and hurts we suffer in our life-time on earth.  Prayer is the bridge that connects us to the heavenly Father. If only we could perceive what is happening in heaven when we pray, we would spend more time in communion with our heavenly Father. Lives are touched, lives are changed and many times we do not even know the results of our many prayers. Before His ordeal, YAHSHUA prayed for us. A priestly prayer that salve flows from it every time we read it. It brings us comfort and a sense of His love towards us even after so many years.

The Writing on the Wall – God Warns the World

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHASIN- NUMBERED, NUMBERED, WEIGHED, DIVISIONS (Daniel 5:25).  The interpretation of the matter:  MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingship and brought them to an end; TEKEL, You are weighed in the balance and are found wanting; PERES, Your kingdom and your kingship are divided (Dan. 5:26-28).

God, in His mercy will always warn before His judgment falls on people. Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, although having witnessed the ordeal his father went through for not honoring God, did not take to heart to have a change of heart toward Him. So, he was found wanting and deserving of judgment, which took place that same night. That same night, he was killed, and Babylon was conquered by the Persians and the Medes; his kingdom was divided as the message was interpreted by Daniel (Dan. 5:28,30).

The writing on the wall is an indication that God had had enough of men’s evil behavior. Here, the judgment is directed to King Belshazzar, although, the country felt the impact of being taken by Persia and the Medes. In other times, judgments were directed to the nations, not specifically to a person. The only specific persons were individuals who were saved from the judgments.  Take for examples the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, when fire and brimstone showered the cities and only Lot and his family were saved, and in the days of Noah, only Noah and his family were saved from the universal flood, when the entire world went under water, after being warned for 120 years. We are at the time when confusion has taken over; when truth is thrown down on the streets, when evil is good and good is evil. A delusion of errors has taken the minds of many to believe a lie, even those who profess faith in YAHSHUA has been taken with them.

YAHSHUA warned us in Luke 21:34-36 the following: take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; for it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man. These are the days we are living in now. These are the days YAHSHUA warned us then. That’s where we are prophetically. He instructed us to take heed, to be on our guard, and to keep watching and praying at all times. The specific prayer is that we will be worthy to escape all that will happen and be worthy to be found in His presence (rapture).  These are times of great distresses and uncertainties, worldwide. We have been warned, but have not taken to heart to understand the signs of the time. Like Belshazzar, we will be found wanting, if we do not amend our ways, not to be suffering the consequence.

Stay Here, Keep Awake and Keep Watch With Me

(Matthews 26:38-41)

My soul is very sad and deeply grieved so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me… all of you must keep awake and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthews 26:38,41b).

YAHSHUA, in His anguish at the Garden before He was arrested, took with Him Peter, James and John saying, Stay here, keep wake and watch with Me. Suffering as a man, YAHSHUA needed support in His darkest hour on earth. That was, without a doubt, His most difficult hour, as He expressed to His disciples: “My soul is very sad and deeply grieved so that I am almost dying of sorrow.”  That was His hour of decision. The tempter arrived at the garden at his “opportune time” when YAHSHUA was physically and emotionally weak. His betrayal was at hand by one of His disciples. His nation was going to hand Him to the Romans to be punished, the merciless Roman way. His nation, as a whole, had rejected Him; even one of His disciples was going to deny knowing Him. The ultimate rejection He experienced was on the cross. The hour had arrived when He had to face His enemies face to face- Jews and Gentiles, who would decide on the way He was to die. That was His dark hour. Although an angel came to comfort Him in the garden, nothing else was going to happen to free Him from His ordeal. It was that time!

Fear, The Harmful Way To One’s Doubt

Fear, is a thing that eats the emotion, destroys the body and mind, and ultimately controls the lives of those who feed on it. A spirit, the Bible calls it by name, is not given by God, but by the enemy of the soul. Through the spirit of fear, doubt takes over the mind and leads us to a hardening of the heart toward truth. A dangerous place to be, for it is there that we will lose the chance to repent, if we keep hardening our heart toward God. A dangerous wall made of lies, keeping truth unacceptable, blinding the eyes and hardening the heart.

The spirit of fear does not work alone; it has many other spirits working along with it. It is by the hearing that doubt penetrates the soul; it is seeing and not believing that the heart closes itself to truth. In the days of Noah before the flood, God gave that world 120 years to repent through the warning of judgement, for He is a compassionate God, not willing that men should perish. But the message Noah passed on to the people was to them as if a tale told children. Wherever there is truth, doubt is sure to hide in the heart and in the mind. The danger of doubt is the hardening of the heart. In Romans, Paul warns us concerning that. When God gives the doubter up in their doubt, for refusing to hear the truth, nothing will change that, but the repentant heart.

Fear, working its way to bring doubt in the heart of men, has led many to eternal destruction, because when our forefathers chose to accept the message from the serpent, doubt entered not only their hearts, but the entire world suffered the consequence. In choosing to believe Satan’s message, they forfeited God’s message and the world became Satan’s kingdom. We see the evidence of it all around us. Antagonism, hate, jealousy, envy and many more spirits permeating human as well as in the lives of the animals. For fear of the truth, doubt found an opened door to control the mind; for not wanting to believe truth, men rejected it. The spirit of unbelief attaches itself onto the spirit of doubt. Whenever we doubt God’s words, we manifest the spirit of unbelief residing in our mind. The disciple Thomas was rebuked by YAHSHUA when he doubted His resurrection. Because he saw he believed, he was not praised for that, but rebuked by our Lord YAHSHUA saying, reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but believe (John 20:27).