Article Based On A Sermon given 19 December 2009

Renewing God's Power Daily

by Jon Bowles


Last week I talked about the 'Miracle of Growth'. I was mentioning about the birth of our grandson, but babies, in the womb generally; if you look at the actual rate of growth of a child in the womb, it is a phenomenal rate of growth. If it continues after it actually is born at the same rate as it has grown from conception all the way through until it has actually been born; in the nine months that would follow birth, you would have a child weighing three thousand million tons! This gives us some kind of handle - I translated it into half hundred weight bags of coal; and you stretch them end to end, it would go two thousand seven hundred times around the world. It would give you that kind of figure. It gives an ideal of what the phenomenal rate of growth is inside the womb.

One of my points in the sermon was to make sure we do understand that we need the power to grow. That power to grow cannot come from ourselves. It's not just the case of us being very good people. It is a case of being begotten, being impregnated by the very Spirit of God. That Spirit is the power that we need in order to grow, in order to develop as a child of God.

It was interesting that a little later on last week, I happened to come across an article and the actual subject matter was of interest based on what I was talking about earlier on. It's called; 'Christians Have Lost Their power'. It was printed twice, first of all in the 'Plain Truth' in September 1979; and also in the 'Good News' in February 1983 and you can find it on the web site. 'Christians Have Lost Their power'

In this particular article, when you first start reading it, it sounds as if, Oh, he is just talking about these Christians 'out there' - what was being talked about in the sermonette - these people are keeping Christmas, Easter and all these other days and so on. But as it goes through you understand that; No, that's not what he's talking about at all. Just listen to what he (Mr Armstrong) actually has to say:

"Of course many of you professing Christians [so that's who he's addressing, professing Christians] see that you must accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior, to be saved."

"You may even see that you must repent of transgressing God’s law - His spiritual law, as summarized in the Ten Commandments - because sin is the transgression of the law."

So is he just talking about people outside?

"Perhaps you’ve gone far enough to realize WHY you were born - you’ve learned God’s great PURPOSE being worked out here below."

What professing Christians is he talking about?

"You may see that today ALL NATIONS are spiritually drunk on the false pagan doctrines of the modern spiritual 'Babylon' - that all nations are deceived - that the TRUTH has been turned upside down."

"You may see that even the churches are deceived, and have turned away from the truth and embraced fables."

"You may realize that grace has been turned into license!"

Again, who is he addressing? You professing Christians.

"You may even have progressed so far as to comprehend that God is molding our lives until we shall be literally BORN of Him - His character created within us - this mortal becoming immortal - this human becoming divine in the very Kingdom of God." '

Who is he talking to? Professing Christians.

"You may have come to see how evil and paganized this world has become, and to be disgusted with its ways."

"You may recognize that you must forsake YOUR WAY, and turn to and live GOD’S WAY! Yes, you may fully understand that Isaiah said: 'Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake HIS WAY, and the unrighteous man HIS THOUGHTS' (Isa. 55:6-7)."

Again, who is he addressing it to? Professing Christians. He's not addressing it to professing christians outside at all. The people that understand this are people within the Church. People within the Church - professing Christians. He goes on to say:

"But have you overlooked, or neglected, verse 1 [let's turn to Isaiah 55:1 and read it]: 'Ho! everyone who thirsts, come to the WATERS'? Thirsty for what? WHAT 'waters'? Why, the very 'waters' Jesus spoke of:"

Referring to John 7:37 let's turn there, because I talked about the power to grow:

"In the last day, that great day of the feast [the Last Great Day pictures all mankind having access to God, having the blinkers taken off and be able to actually see for the first time], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink [so what waters are we talking about?]. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" (John 7:37-39)

So here he is, mentioning here about these professing Christians, you professing Christians - that's who he is addressing this section to. He points out, he says; "Look, there's a real problem with people who are professing Christians, because Christians have lost their power." If we don't have the power to grow, how are we going to grow? What are we going to do? How do we actually do that?

One thing being mentioned in here as far as the actual power to grow is concerned, here in John 7; there's another part of the same article that talks about Christians having lost their power. Under a heading that says: 'God's power In Action.' There is a principal that we need to understand. How do we get hold of this power? What is this power? How do we make use of it? It says:


We do not receive it all at once to last forever! When we went down into the waters of baptism we received that impregnation of the Spirit of God. That's all it was, it was a down payment. It was an impregnation, but it is something that has to continue. It has to continue day, by day, by day, if we are going to grow. We need the power to grow, but the power to grow doesn't come from that impregnation that happened at baptism, that was the start. That was the down payment. He said:

"Remember, Jesus said this power of God SHALL FLOW OUT from our innermost being (John 7:38) [we just read that; "...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38), So it's a flow that is involved]! This POWER of God is active - dynamic! It is not static. You cannot get a supply of God’s Spirit and then bottle it up within you [it doesn't work like that, that's not what happens]. This power comes into you from God daily![daily!] It circulates from God into YOU and then on out from you in love, in faith, in joy, in patience - even in performing miracles."

We wonder sometimes, why do we not have healings within the Church? Why have the healings lessened within the Church? Here is part of the reason - well, this is the major reason. If the power of God was here the way it was in the New Testament times, and this is what Mr Armstrong is bringing out, Christians have lost their power. We don't have the same kind of power that Peter had when he walked along the road and his shadow healed people. That is not happening today. Why? Because we have lost the power. We don't have the same contact with God. We don't have the same input from the very Spirit of God.

"...It circulates from God into YOU and then on out from you in love, in faith, in joy, in patience - even in performing miracles."

"You might have been imbued with this power yesterday and depleted of it today!" 'Christians Have Lost Their power'

That's the problem, that's the problem. I thought, reading that particular article, and please be reading these articles. There are some absolute gems of information in there and if we don't make use of it, what is the point? We are not getting back on track, we're putting forward our own ideas based on what we have had in our own lives. You know, the Church has lost its power to a large degree; because as I say, I mentioned the shadow of Peter, the shadow of Peter used to heal.

What I want to do today is I want to talk about renewing God's power daily; 'Renewing God's Power Daily', that's the title of the sermon; because it's not static. The way it's renewed daily is through prayer. But it's not just any old prayer; the one who prayed to God and said; "...I thank thee, that I am not as other men...or even as this publican. (Luke 18:11) which we will read about. That kind of prayer is not going to do the job. That's not going to go ahead and renew God's power daily within us.

But there are certain areas that we can see within scripture that give us the areas that we need to look at; the areas that we need to focus on. The five areas I put down, and again I divided it into five, because it's easier for me to make a sermon up, jamming about three scriptures to each point. That helps me to actually do that. It doesn't mean to say that there is only five. But these five are crucial:

1) Yielded Prayer - Prayer that yields to God; that puts God in the right position. That's why we fast with prayer, because we get that out of kilter. If we get that out of kilter, there is nothing we can do. We can't get through, because God will not go ahead and play second fiddle to us. He will not allow us to be elevated above Him. It just doesn't work that way. It is not good for us for a start.

2) Aligned Prayer - If we are not aligned with the ways of God, the mind of God, the way God thinks, and the way God is going, then how can we actually communicate effectively with Him? We will see those areas as well as far as aligning ourselves with God in our prayers.

3) Persistent Prayer - Like a father. A child comes up and says, "Dad I want a bike." "Yes, that's very interesting, very interesting to know you want a bike." That's the end of the conversation. But if every single day he comes up and says, "Dad I need a bike." He keeps on going about the type of bike he wants, and he starts buying bits for a bike and so on. Eventually, his father says, "Okay, enough's enough; we'll get you a bike - someway." Persistent prayer is also very clearly indicated within scripture.

4) Fervent Prayer - In other words, if we are Laodecian in our prayers, we are lukewarm. If we kind of go through the motions, and it's not fervent, then again, we've got problems.

5) Faith-Filled Prayer - Because we ask in faith. As far as any old prayer is concerned, I always remember my wife talking to a lady who was a Catholic, about the Monks on Caldey Island. Caldey Island is down here just off the Coast here, just a few miles away. The Monastery has been there from the year dot, recorded history goes back over 1500 years. {1} Apparently, they for the last 800 years uninterrupted - for 800 years now, have been offering the same prayer every single morning at that monastery. Talk about vain repetition! Well, that's exactly what it is. 800 years, every single morning, the same prayer. As I say, it is not just any old prayer that gets through. It's not just any old prayer that allows us to make sure that we renew God's power daily. It's got to be a certain type of prayer which is yielded, aligned, persistent, fervent and faith-filled.

Yielded Prayer (PLAY FROM 13:13)

So let's have a look at that first category that of being yielded. Let's have a look at that scripture that I alluded to in Luke 18:9:

"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:" (Luke 18:9)

Now where was the focus of attention? It's on them. The entire centre is revolving around them. They are self righteous. They are righteous for their own reasons, for whatever reasons it may be. They are not putting themselves under God, and putting themselves under God's righteousness. They may use points of God's righteousness, but the reason for their doing it, is purely selfish. Luke 18:10:

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself [he didn't actually get through at all], God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican [he is totally blind to his own shortcomings, he could not see anything wrong with himself, whatsoever]. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess [then he goes down his list of points, he's ticking them off one by one, all these list of points, he's ticking off]. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:10-14)

Exalts himself, putting himself above God; that's effectively what's happening. Putting the self in a position, which is totally out of kilter for prayer. The very word 'pray' - you know; I pray something, I'm asking in a certain position. The position is on our knees, beneath God. If we are not on our knees beneath God - we can pray without being on our knees all the time, as we pray throughout the day, sitting, walking, riding, whatever. But we've got to make sure that when we do approach God, we approach Him as the God that He is, the Eternal, the One Supreme God. Yes, He's our Father, but the difference is from a child that is in the womb, to the Father outside that is the King, the Great Ruler of the entire earth, the Ruler of all things The difference is huge, absolutely huge.

If we turn back to Isaiah 66:1, again we see here a scripture which I've quoted over and over again, but it's still just so true when we are looking at this subject of yielded prayer:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: [so] where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?" (Isaiah 66:1)

Where is this power, My power going to go? That's what He's asking really. Where is the place of my rest? Where am I going to go? Where is My power going to be exhibited? We are looking at renewing God's power daily. So how do we do it? Isaiah 66:2:

"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal: look at all the creation, look out the windows, the snow falling, the trees and hills; they are all made by God, God actually through His power made that] but to this man [or this house, this place of My power] will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)

We'll come onto that when we look at aligned. It's aligned to the Word of God. The way we ask for, the way we are discussing things with God, what we are actually saying, will be aligned and that 'trembles at my word'. But it's also from somebody that's of a poor and contrite spirit. Somebody who recognizes their position beneath God fully. Can we really recognize it fully? As fully as a human being can, let's put it that way. Then in Isaiah 66:5:

"Hear the word of the [Eternal], ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." (Isaiah 66:5)

The power that is actually going to be in this particular group that is of the right frame of mind. We can see another scripture in the Old Testament, over in Micah 6:6 it says:

"Wherewith shall I come before the [Eternal, how am I going to go and get on my knees and pray? What am I going to do? What approach do I use? How do I actually get through to this Being, who is so high over me?] and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old [the price of a calf of a year old is a good few hundred pounds]? Will the [Eternal] be pleased with thousands of rams [a thousand rams, you're looking at a good tens of thousands of pounds], or with ten thousands of rivers of oil [an incalculable millions and billions of pounds]? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression [there, there is no price, it goes off the scale, there is nothing that we would take for that], the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the [Eternal] require of thee [yielded prayer], but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:6-8)

My margin says, "Humble yourself, in order to walk with God." You put yourself underneath God in order to walk with Him. In order to get down on our knees and pray, yielded prayer, placing ourselves in the right position. If we have a problem with that, that's the time that we have got to fast. Why do we fast? Because when we've got no food in there, we suddenly start to see what we're really like. We start to see how frail and how physical we are, and that is why we fast. It gets the relationship right. It gets the point that we yield to the One who is so far and so high above us.

The other question is also, who is first in our lives? If we turn over to Matthew 10:27, in this point of being yielded to God, it doesn't have to be just the fact that we ourselves recognize our position between ourselves and God. Do we put something else before God? Do we put somebody else, or something else before God? Here it says:

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: [theres not anything more they can do] but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered [even the hairs of our head are numbered, He knows every single sparrow; go around the hedgerows during the winter time, and the chances are that the elderly sparrows will probably be dying because of the cold weather]. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:27-31)

God understands and knows that. On His database, He can go in and see how many sparrows we've got today. He can say at any specific time; how many hairs are on such and such's head? Oh; there's not as many as there was before - whatever it might be, He can see exactly. Matthew 10:32:

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law [notice, within the family now, yielded prayer involves also making sure that God comes first]. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:32-39)

There's the relationship. God will never play second fiddle to anybody, anything, including us, including us. We cannot go before God in an un-yielded way, with anything which is before Him, including ourselves. God comes first, with heart, with soul, with might. So when we need to come before God, and renew God's power daily, we've got to approach Him in the right way. If that's a problem for us, if we're having difficulty with that, we need to fast about it. We need to fast about it to understand the frailty of human kind. To understand the vast gulf there is between God and man, and to make sure that we do get our priorities right. To make sure those priorities are in place.

Aligned Prayer (PLAY FROM 23:20)

The other aspect that we might put down is aligned prayer. Because if we want to get through, and that's really what we want to do; we want to ask God for His power to as Mr Armstrong was saying:

"...It circulates – from God, into YOU – and then on out from you in love, in faith, in joy, in patience – even in performing miracles."

When we get on our knees and we ask for somebody else to be healed, when we ask for healing for ourselves; the miracle can be performed. That's the kind of power we're talking about. I mean it quite literally, quite literally. All God has to do is to give His Word, saying; "Yes, be healed" and it is instantly done. Why? Because His Word upholds reality. If His Word upholds reality, what He says, is. That's all He has to do, is just give His Word.

So aligned prayer, if we want to make sure and we are looking for miracles - and I'm not saying miracles going out there doing all these mighty works and getting all kinds of attention, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about praying for your friend, your neighbour, for somebody who needs healing for example. That power has got to flow out from us; remember, it doesn't just flow in, it flows out. It has got to flow out in the right way. It's got to be going out from us in the Way of God. That therefore, has got to be aligned. In I John 3:22 it says:

"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight [so the Spirit is coming into us, and it is flowing out in His Way, that's what it's talking about]. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name [the authority, the sovereignty, the position] of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (I John 3:22-23)

How did He give us this commandment? He said; "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world..." (I John 2:15). But, loving the brethren, because we are all of one mind. As it says; "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is [begotten] of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." (I John 5:1). They are all of one brethren, one mind. I John 3:23:

" one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him..." I John 3:23-24

Again, where's this coming from? It's God's power, the very Spirit of God expressing itself in the same way as it expressed itself in the Christ, the Anointed One that had Spirit without measure. I John 3:24:

"...and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (I John 3:24)

So it is all tied up with keeping commandments, being aligned. I John 4:1

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world [this is how you know the Spirit of God; remember, the word 'spirit' can be translated as 'breath']. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit [breath] that confesseth [expresses the same word] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:" (I John 4:1-2)

It's present, progressive. It's badly translated in The King James, but that's what it's talking about. It says; every breath, every spirit, that has the same word as Jesus Christ, as if He was coming in the flesh. That's the one of God. I John 4:3:

"And every [breath] spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh [is acting in a way, expressing himself in a way that is against the kind of thing that Christ, who was subject to the Law of God, and the Ways of God and would have expressed Himself] is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he [or that/it] that is in you, than [it] that is in the world." (I John 4:3-4)

In other words; the spirit of antichrist or the Spirit of God. What is in us is greater. How does that power then flow out of us? It flows out of us in God's Way, in an aligned way. As it says in I John 5:14:

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him [so we can ask and pray for others]. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life..." (I John 5:14-16)

He can actually pray for the struggle that he sees someone else having, and have a miracle actually occur and save that man from sin. We can pray for somebody who is sick. There is no end to the things that will happen, but it's a case of renewing God's power daily. That power has got to be aligned. When it flows out, it's got to be aligned. It's got to be checked and made sure. If it's not aligned, if it flows out in an unaligned way, if our actions do not reflect the commandments and the Ways of God, then we better make sure we get on our knees and repent about it; and repent remember is not just to be sorry. It is to turn, to have the full intent to turn and then get back on track again. If we turn back to John 14:12 we see:

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

Do you believe that? Do you believe that "...He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12)? That's what it says; miracle working power. Not for a selfish end, because that's not the way Christ did it at all. John 14:13:

"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13)

It is absolutely true that the Church has lost its power. The Church has lost its power. You look at what happened immediately after Christ died, and the power that was there and what happened within the Church subsequently, and in the Church today. John 14:14:

"If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments [notice the context, it is keeping the commandments]. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter [Parakletos], that [it] may abide with you for ever;" (John 14:14-16)

Then He goes into the very Spirit of truth. Notice in John 14:24:

"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." (John 14:24)

The Spiritual Law of God, in both the New Testament and Old Testament all given initially by the Father through Jesus Christ, who actually gave the Word in both Old and New. If we don't keep those sayings, then it is; "He that loveth me not..." (John 14:24). John 14:25:

"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the [Parakletos, the one that is called to your side], which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:25-26)

That's the purpose of this power. One of the main purposes, and thrust of this power. The reason we need to have it renewed daily, is that, that Spirit teaches us and brings all things to our remembrance. As we come across a certain situation, the remembrance of something that we have read, the remembrance of the way in which to conduct ourselves, that should come to our mind. That is the very power of God within us, keeping God's Ways, keeping God's Commandments, keeping God's Laws. It's not done like a list of boxes that you go down, tick down. It's active. It flows in and flows out. One day as Mr Armstrong was saying:

"You might have been imbued with this power yesterday and depleted of it today!"

It is not static; it has got to be renewed. In John 15:1

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he [prunes] it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean [it's the same basis as the word prune, this word clean] through the word which I have spoken unto you [again, it's aligned prayer, it's through that Word of God spoken to us]. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John 15:1-4)

You are living a life in the same kind of flesh that was Jesus Christ when He was on this earth. It is the flesh of a Son of God. A son or daughter of God, it's of the God kind in human form yet; waiting eventually for the resurrection. John 15:5:

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

You can keep all the laws you like. You can keep all the ways you like. You can keep all the Commandments. You can keep everything you want. "...I thank thee, that I am not as other men... [Why? Because] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." (Luke 11-12), I keep all the Holy Days. I do all this. What did Mr Armstrong call them? 'Professing Christians'; and he was not talking just to people outside. John 15:5:

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide [live] in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you [there's the power, remember the context of this is the Holy Spirit being given, that's what it is, it's renewing God's power that is going to be placed within us]. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my [students]." (John 15:5-8)

That's what it's all about. Let's have a look at another scripture in the Old Testament this time, Isaiah 59:1. The fact that we have got to be aligned to what God has to say:

"Behold, the [Eternal's] hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear [when we get on our knees and we ask for something, it's not the fact that God's got a problem, it's us that's got the problem]:But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)

He will not hear. So, very clearly, we've got to be aligned. It's not just a case of being yielded to God. It's a case that we have got to be aligned with what is being said, with what is being given and left to us. It's interesting, that particular verse, notice the context in the preceding chapter, Isaiah 58:1:

"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God [who is he talking to? Who is he talking about? Professing Christians, yet those Christians are missing something]: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted [so they are fasting as well], say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. [All that you want to do] Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness..." (Isaiah 58:1-4)

You are looking at the things we have got to put right ourselves, a different frame of mind. It's interesting; I've mentioned someone that I had a discussion with at one time, that had his only particular standard of doing things. His particular standard on the Day of Atonement said that if you went ahead and didn't fast on the Day of Atonement, people should go ahead and fast and die if necessary. That is not the approach from Mr Armstrong and that is not the approach from the Spirit of God which led Mr Armstrong at that time. He couldn't see that. He disagreed with me on that, he said; "If it's not in this Word, that is what it's all about. That's entirely what it's all about."

Another area which he was most vehement about was the fact of Sabbath keeping and eating out on the Sabbath. Again, Mr Armstrong - I made a copy of part of the transcript where Mr Armstrong mentioned about the Sabbath not being a yoke of bondage. This is from the 'The Sabbath Question' October 23, 1981. That was a sermon that he gave, he says:

"Now the thing I want to say is this: On the one hand, we don’t want to be so straight-laced that we make the Sabbath a yoke of bondage: God did not intend that. On the other hand, we don’t want to go to the other extreme and get liberal and say, 'Oh well, it’s all right. We can do anything on the Sabbath!' You can’t do that!..."

Again, some of us do need to tighten up on the Sabbath Day. What do we allow on the Sabbath Day? Is it indeed as it says here; "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the [Eternal], honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words [is that the way we keep the Sabbath, are we aligned in that area with the way of God?] Then shalt thou delight thyself..." (Isaiah 58:13-14). It talks about here; "Why do we fast in that you don't take any knowledge? ..." (Isaiah 58:3 paraphrased). That's the context of this section. Mr Armstrong said:

"'Oh well, it’s all right. We can do anything on the Sabbath!' You can’t do that! You’ve got to be careful to keep that day HOLY. Now maybe if you only go a short distance [this was a question that was asked of him; if it was alright to go to a restaurant on the Sabbath?] on a Sabbath, and you eat in a restaurant, and it saves you the work at home... Well, I understand some of you were condemning one couple for doing that. And I say that you can’t sit in judgment, and I don’t condemn them."

A little later in this same sermon he was talking about the fact that; he played cards just alleviate the tiredness while he was on the plane, and one of the ministers criticized him for that. He said,. "Look, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get any exercise, I needed something to occupy my mind. I'd probably do the same thing again."

When we sit down and watch television, we say; "Oh, I'm just going to sit down and relax and watch television." Yeah, but what do you watch? That's the problem. What do we watch? If it's a nature program or a documentary that's one thing, but if it's not uplifting, that's another matter altogether. Aligned prayer, this is also the case. He says:

"You have to be honest in yourself. The Holy Spirit in you is an attitude in your mind, and it’s an attitude of where you want to please God more than yourself."

As I say, this individual, that I mentioned before, he not only felt that people should fast on Atonement, even if it killed them, but he also reckoned that nobody should ever go out and eat on the Sabbath in a restaurant. You could quote this kind of scripture; "...from doing thy pleasure on my [Sabbath] day..." (Isaiah 58:13). But read what it says in Isaiah 58:7:

"Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" (Isaiah 58:7)

That is not talking primarily physically, although physically would apply; it is talking spiritually. What we've got on the Get Back on Track website [] and the work that we are doing on that, is to what? To feed the hungry, to cover the naked and to hide not ourselves from our own flesh, from our own brethren. Give them something that we can actually help them to get back on track. In Isaiah 58:9 it says:

"Then shalt thou call, and the [Eternal] shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee [thee, singular; so it's from the inside of us, pointing the finger] the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;" (Isaiah 58:9)

So here's more to it than just having a list of points and ticking off the various points. It is the case that we have got to make sure that we are applying all of this section. Aligned prayer is absolutely vital. Keeping the Commandments of God is absolutely vital, but it's aligned with the entirety of God's Word. It's more than that. It's also aligned with the Way that has come down to us and has been given to us, by the apostle that was sent to us at this time, and making sure that we are as aligned as we can be with that. Making sure that we are thinking along the same way in which Mr Armstrong was thinking, because it's the power that is actually given to us, and then flows out of us. It has got to be flowing out in an aligned way. So if we are looking at renewing God's power daily, being aligned in prayer is a vital aspect that we need to keep in mind.

Persistent Prayer (PLAY FROM 42:52)

There's also the aspect of being persistent. Turn over to Luke 18:1; this context of this particular parable is given straight after the section that talks about remembering Lot's wife. The inference of the preceding verses - remember there is no chapter break in the original, it's talking about the end time. It's talking about the fleeing; it's talking about the time in which the Church has got to flee:

"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint [not give up, it's persistent, be persistent in prayer]; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary." (Luke 18:1-3)

And boy do we have an adversary! He is an adversary and a half, and we see in the newspapers, and we see the problems, and we sigh and cry daily, and we get angry and we sin. At least I do sometimes by my reaction to what is going on in this particular world that we find ourselves in. What do we have to do? We've got to go to God persistently, as it says; " ought always to pray, and not to faint;" (Luke 18:1), not give up. Luke 18:4:

"And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me." (Luke 18:4-5)

Now it's a parable, but it's giving a principle of prayer at the end time; and what we need at this end time. At this end time we need God's power. We are not going to be kept in a Place of Safety just by ticking a few boxes; we are not going to be taken to a Place of Safety. If we get our minds on the Place of Safety the chances are, we won't be there. It is for God to do that, but we do need God's power. Because it is God's power that will help us to be converted, to change, to grow; "And they shall be mine...when I make up my jewels..." (Malachi 3:17). "...that...spake often often one to another..." (Malachi 3:16), and meditate on the very name, the power of God. Luke 18:6:

"And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect [look 'elect' up, 'eklektos', Strong's 1588 chosen, select; to do with 'hagios' Strong's 40 holy ones, the ones in which we got the Holy Spirit, the clean spirit, or the cleaning spirit. These holy ones that have the cleaning spirit within them or the clean spirit within them]...his own elect which cry day and night unto him [notice, crying day and night, it doesn't stop, it's continual, it's persistent], though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:6-8)

Is He going to find the kind of faith that is necessary, that comes from that Spirit, that power. Is that power going to be renewed daily within His people? It had better be, because in order to be the elect, to be the holy ones, it requires the Holy Spirit within them. That's the only way that is possible. Turn back a few pages to Luke 11:1:

"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray [the outline prayer, not that you go through it like a mantra, chanting these words, which is done by the churches of the world and there are very clear instructions against that in Matthew 6:7], say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come...[Each point you go into. I'm not going to go through the various areas in this particular sermon, Luke 11:4] And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation..." (Luke 11:1-4)

Luke 11:5: "And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight..."

So here He is answering also how to pray. He gives the outline and then He gives; "Now here's another area that you need to understand, here's something about being persistent." Luke 11:5:

"...and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because [keeps on throwing stones at the window] he will rise and give him as many as he needeth." (Luke 11:5-8)

That is basically what he is saying - his importunity. He goes and gets not bricks, but stones to throw at the window; until finally he says; "Alright, alright, I'll do it." That is persistence. Luke 11:9:

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find [the tenses are not clear in the King James, but it's a present progressive tense as I understand it, being used; it's ask, and keep asking]; knock [and keep knocking], and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh [and keeps asking] receiveth; and he that seeketh [and keeps seeking] findeth; and to him that knocketh [and keeps knocking] it shall be opened [progressively, persistent]. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone [if you are asking for something that is good, are you going to get slated for it]? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 18:9-13)

You think, I didn't want the Holy Spirit, I wanted a house, I wanted a car, I wanted a wife. The power, remember is not just to change you and convert you. The power is also to perform miracles if necessary.

Any of us that are parents know exactly what it's like. A child comes once, and you think; "Yeah right, obviously it's the latest fad." He comes again and you think; "Ah well, we'll see; see whether this fad continues." And again, and again, until eventually you do go ahead and say; "Okay, we'll go ahead and get whatever is necessary."

II Corinthians 3:17, this power, this renewal of God's power daily is what causes us to grow. It causes us to change. It transforms us from what we were as an ovum, into what we are to be; which is a perfect child of God, ready to be born. Here it mentions in another analogy this same kind of process, it says:

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:17-18)

That doesn't happen all at once. It takes time, and it is a persistent, continual thing. It's something that happens continually. There's another article here I've got, which is; 'One Great Goal in Life' This is from page one of 'The Plain Truth' in April 1978. He says:

"Still, without regular and constant prayer, you cannot maintain contact with God."

So without regular and constant prayer, it's constant. But let me read this article first, this is; 'An Open Letter to Our Newly Begotten Brethren Recently Baptized':

"But you must also talk to Him! You must go to a private place, alone with God, and have long talks with Him – yes, EVERY DAY! Unburden your heart to Him. Take all your problems, your interests, your plans, your troubles to Him. Talk over everything with Him, continually. Then, even when going about your work – when walking down the street – when driving your car, or wherever you are or whatever you do, talk with God as you work, or as you drive or walk along. Go to a private place, and kneel in prayer (on both knees) as often as you can, and at least once every day. But talk with God often in between. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!"

"Keep close to Him. You can’t afford to be without the SECURITY of His constant guidance and protection."

It is renewing that power, God's power daily, and it is a continual thing. It is persistent prayer. It is not just a one off thing. It's not just; I get up in the morning, I get on my knees, I have prayed for the day and you don't think about God the rest of that day. It doesn't work that way. That is not the way we were taught. That is not getting back on track. Is that the way you approach things? Is that the way we approach things? If it is, there's a problem. It is persistent prayer that is necessary. If we just say; "Oh, well I'm not going to pray in the morning, I'll just go wandering around praying as I'm going." That's not true either. That's not what we were instructed to do.

In this article; 'One Great Goal in Life' it says:

"Still, without regular and constant prayer, you cannot maintain contact with God. And when that contact is broken, you are cut off from Him – and His spiritual life, love, and very nature cease flowing into you [if we are not praying, if we do not get on our knees, if we do not pray through the day and make this constant contact with God - as I read before; "You might have been imbued with this power yesterday and depleted of it today!" it changes, it fluctuates]. For, understand, these divine attributes of His Spirit do flow! They are in motion. They do not stagnate. You either grow spiritually – in knowledge, in grace, in God’s character – or you deteriorate back toward becoming a mere physical animal, to die in eternal punishment in the lake of fire!"

Those are sobering words! But that's the reality of the situation. Either we maintain this constant contact; we're persistent in prayer or we start going backwards. If we go backwards; backwards ends up eventually, if we continue, in the lake of fire. Mr Armstrong continues:

"But if God, and the things of God - His revealed knowledge, His law, His love, His way for you to live – are constantly foremost in your mind, your thoughts, your interest, then you are PRAYING ALWAYS."

In other words you are discussing things, you are taking what we know and what we understand and what we believe, and we are applying it in our life. Therefore, the Word of God lives. That's what it talks about - living in the flesh of Christ. That's what it talks about here in II Corinthians 3:18:

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:18)

That is the way it works. That's what happens in a constant Spirit of prayer, a constant mental attitude of prayer. The contact with God must be perpetual. Is that the way we are, or do we get it in, tick it off our list and then we've got the prayer for the day? Well yes, we do need to pray in the morning or the evening or whenever you find it most advantageous, but there is more to it than that. Mr Armstrong continues:

"This kind of Christian life – the only kind that truly is Christian [remember what we read before about 'professing Christians'] - requires, as the Bible emphasizes repeatedly, zealous DILIGENCE [there's your emphasis, there's your works, that's where you work, you work to make sure that the contact with God is maintained, continually, persistent in prayer]. You must concentrate on it. You must be dedicated to it. It requires utter consecration. It requires total earnestness."

Again, go back and read that article. 'One Great Goal in Life' It was from 'The Plain Truth' April 1978.

Here in II Corinthians 4:5 it says: "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." (II Corinthians 4:5)

Now this is the ministry speaking. We don't preach ourselves. This is not coming from me. It's not even coming from Mr Herbert Armstrong. This is coming from Jesus Christ who got it from the Father. It flows down into the Church. We don't preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ the Lord, the Sovereign, the Ruler; and ourselves your slaves for Jesus' sake. Because they are the ministers, servants of God. Interestingly, remember where this is coming from. It's coming after; "...ministers of the new [covenant]; not of the letter, but of the spirit..." (II Corinthians 3:6). II Corinthians 4:6:

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (II Corinthians 4:6)

Now what have we just been reading in the previous chapter? It was talking about as if in a glass, we are looking at that face. Our face is changing into the face that is Christ's, the Son of God. The Living Son of God in human flesh - that is what we are to change into. That's conversion. That is what conversion is all about. II Corinthians 4:7:

"But we have this treasure [this ministry that he's talking about] in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (II Corinthians 4:7)

So where does the power come from? It's renewed daily through prayer. It's a dynamic thing. It's got to be persistently renewed. "...the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (II Corinthians 4:7). It does not come from us. The power is not only just to change us, it is to conduct and perform miracles through our prayers. So that when we get on our knees and we pray for somebody, they are healed or something happens that is necessary. Aligned, submissive to God, and yielded in prayer; and also persistent as well. II Corinthians 4:8:

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed [this is the mentality]; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus [that's the blood of Christ, covering our sins, and allowing us to get access to the Father], that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." (II Corinthians 4:8-10)

So that we are what? Troubled and not distressed. Perplexed, but not in despair. We act in the way that the Son of God, in the flesh, is acting. Why? Because we're looking in a mirror of God's Law and can see the transformation taking place. It is something that is persistent. It has got to continually be the case, every day. It's not just once a day when we get on our knees, it's through the day as well as Mr Armstrong brings out. II Corinthians 4:11:

"For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you [they even expend themselves as ministers for the sake of the brethren]. We having the same spirit of faith, ['as he who wrote', as the RSV says] I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak [that was David, a man after God's own heart incidentally]; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes [the very Church of the Living God he's talking about, the ones composed of individuals led by the Spirit of God, that have got this power of God working in them], that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many [abound] to the glory of God [because it will be the family of God]. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish [just physical, carnal, fleshly human being], yet the inward is renewed day by day." (II Corinthians 4:11-16)

Notice the word 'man' is not there, it is in italics. Yet, it is inferred because of the ellipses where it says the outward man perish; but the inward - everything to do with what is within, is renewed day by day. Day by day, persistent prayer. Persistent prayer, the way we were taught through the articles, such as this article; 'One Great Goal in Life' and such as this article 'An Open Letter to Our Newly Begotten Brethren Recently Baptized'

Fervent Prayer (PLAY FROM 1:01:54)

Another aspect we need to keep in mind is that we are fervent in prayer. I can give you one scripture to put down in your notes, Luke 22:39-46, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane where He sweated blood, literally, He sweated blood.

Yet, when we get on our knees and we pray, and I'm not talking about the short prayers that we give as we go around our daily life, but even there, you still need to be fervent; you have still got to mean what you say. But I'm talking about when we get on our knees, do we allow our minds to wander? If you are anything like me, sometimes you do. It depends on what time of day. This is why it is probably best to get up and pray, or later at night and pray. But do we allow that mind to wander, to wander onto whatever we've got to do for that particular day?

Turn over to Jeremiah 29:10. There's a scripture here in Jeremiah about the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. They were going to go into Babylon and they were going to then stay in Babylon until they finally returned. When they prayed, they had to pray in a certain way. It says here:

"For thus saith the [Eternal], That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place [so here was the prophecy given to them prior to their captivity]. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the [Eternal, [And just think about the thoughts that He thinks towards us, as His children] thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will [listen] unto you [at this time, when it comes to the end of the seventy years, people will pray and God will listen]. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:10-13)

It wasn't just any old prayer. It wasn't an eight hundred year old prayer that's been bounced off the walls at some kind of old monastery every day for centuries. It was at a specific time that they would search for God with "...all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13). Then God would actually listen. Jeremiah 29:14:

"And I will be found of you, saith the [Eternal]: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the [Eternal]; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive." (Jeremiah 29:14)

So there is the promise, seventy years. We see this actually taking place over in Daniel 9:1. You find here a certain kind of prayer; and when we're looking at fervent prayers, if you want an example, go and read this:

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." (Daniel 9:1-2)

So he was the librarian, as far as we know. He actually got out the scroll. He was reading it one day, and he suddenly came across the passage that we've just read. Daniel 9:3:

"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes [so he set himself to go ahead and seek God]: And I prayed unto the [Eternal] my God, and made my confession [thanksgiving], and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments [notice, we've got to be aligned]; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments [he was yielded]: Neither have we [listened] unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the [Eternal] our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." (Daniel 9:3-11)

Again, look at us as a Church, this minuscule little tiny group, as far as we are concerned, compared to what it was. Do we not feel that there is perhaps something that we need to say as well? Take a look at the chaos that's in the churches today. Daniel 9:12:

"And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the [Eternal] our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the [Eternal] watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the [Eternal] our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, [listen] and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." (Daniel 12-19)

He was fervently, fervently, praying based on what he was reading in Jeremiah, based on the time he found himself in. Daniel 9:20:

"And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the [Eternal] my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening [sacrifice]." (Daniel 9:20-21)

So we see that what is needed is fervent prayer. The kind of prayer that Daniel issued there. The kind of prayer that Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane gave.

Yet, the problem is, in the age that we find ourselves in today, in this technological age that we use and all take for granted. If Mr Armstrong were to come back and come into my office; I have just put two new screens up there, and can see from the laptop to the one screen to the other screen and what is available to us, how I can split the entire screen. I have five screens now altogether, it's overkill isn't it! If he could just look at it. We have these marvels and wonders, these things that actually happening today, even compared with just a few years ago.

But that makes no difference at all. Laodecia takes that all for granted. They just kind of shrug their shoulders and say; "Oh, I'll look at Star Trek." Have you ever seen the laptops that they have in Star Trek? Have you ever seen that? I mean, they've got laptops in Star Trek that look like they came out of the Ark. Why? Because we've progressed so far on. We are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. Yet we don't realize how poor, blind, or spiritually naked we are. We are neither hot nor are we cold, we are materialistic; spiritually, neither hot, nor cold.

Yet, we have got to be fervently empowered, we've got to fervently pray the way that Daniel prayed and the way that Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We need to go to God and ask Him for the help to stir up a spirit of fervency, because in today's society it isn't there. You've got to be lukewarm, you've got to be placid, and dull; because if you're not, then the authorities get hold of you. So, you have to worm your way through this placid, dull existence we have today, this materialistic existence.

Faith-Filled Prayer (PLAY FROM 1:11:53)

So fervent, and finally faith-filled prayer; Hebrews 11:6 says:

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

Notice, diligently seek Him. The problem with Israel and Israel's relationship with God, ancient Israel I'm talking about, one of the major problems was the lack of faith, the lack of belief, a lack of trust in God. Now obviously they didn't have the very Spirit of God; but if we are going to renew God's power daily, we've got to go to God and ask Him in faith, asking Him for that Spirit so that we have the power in order to accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished. Here in Hebrews 3:12 notice:

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God [listen and make sure there is not a heart of unbelief]. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast [all the way through to] the end;" (Hebrews 3:12-14)

So we are going to have to be praying in faith, we are going to have to be praying a prayer of faith, confident, steadfast right the way through to the end. Hebrews 3:15:

"While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? [That believed not, that was the problem, one of the major problems] So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." (Hebrews 3:15-19)

Hebrews 4:1:

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them [why? because it was], not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." (Hebrews 4:1-2)

It has got to be mixed with faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We have got to believe He is. You have got to believe also that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. When we get on our knees, we have got to believe that He is there and also that He listens if we present our supplication before Him in a yielded, aligned, persistent, fervent manner; and we believe these things very clearly. Hebrews 4:11 says:

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4:11)

We have got to make sure that our belief is firm, and the faith within our prayers is essential. Let's just read what it says over in Matthew 17:20 notice:

"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief [His disciples had said; 'Why couldn't we cast him out?' He said; 'Because of your unbelief']: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20)

Now, pure Bowles' speculation: but I do wonder whether the reality that we see is held there by faith, which it seems to indicate in Hebrews 11. Whether the grain of mustard seed actually has faith holding it in position? If we just had the amount of faith necessary for that, we could say to a mountain, remove and nothing shall be impossible to you. Matthew 17:21:

"Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matthew 17:21)

Through prayer and fasting you go ahead and renew God's power daily. God's power is actually given to God's people. Turn over to Matthew 21:21 it says:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:21-22)

Do you believe that? Or, do we live in a materialistic world where we kind of say; "Oh well, yeah, but He doesn't really mean that." Yes He did, He means that exactly.

Now there are other areas involved as well. In fact let's just have a look at one of those other areas - Luke 17:5 regarding faith, which I have brought out in previous sermons, but here it says:

"And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5)

He was talking about; "...if [your brother] trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith." (Luke 17:4-5). He then starts commenting about faith, and about increasing faith, and making sure that we do have sufficient faith. Yet on the surface you wonder why, you wonder how this is the case. Luke 17:6:

"And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But [here is the part that is off set against it] which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle..." (Luke 17:6-7)

We are the servants of God, and we need to go ahead and get on our knees and ask for a miracle to be done. Okay, but what's first? Remember what I said, yielded prayer, aligned prayer. We yield to God, we put God first. We align with God's will and make sure that God's will comes first. Persistent; yes we keep praying about the situation. Fervent, yes, we keep fervently asking Him for whatever it is we're asking Him. Luke 17:7:

"But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat [talking about a slave]? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken [we don't have slavery today, but in this particular instance that is exactly what would happen, someone would come in from working outside and they would then have to go ahead and wait on the master; not the other way around, it doesn't work the other way around]; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?" (Luke 17:7-8)

After you have done the will of God, then you can go ahead and tell sycamore trees to be plucked up by their root and be thrown into the sea or wherever it happens to be. But the first thing we have got to do, is make sure the faith that we use, has got to be used for God's purpose. Because we have got to be yielded, we have got to be aligned, as well as persistent and fervent. Luke 17:9:

"Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? [I don't think so]. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done [merely] that which was our duty to do." (Luke 17:9-10)

The context of that, is in faith, the context is within faith. To make sure that we put first things, first. That we are indeed yielded to God and that we place ourselves in the right position. That we are aligned with God in what His will is. That's what we really need to be aiming for, not for what we want. I'd like the back of my house cleaned out. If I pray about it hard enough, I can just kind of lift this soil out and take it across the road and drop it in the other side of the road. That would be so much easier than me getting the digger out. Well yes; but he might learn certain things from the digger.

James 5:14, here we find one that we do need from God. We pray about brethren who are sick, and it says here:

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:" (James 5:14)

Again, it's a 'Bowles-ism', not coming from Mr Armstrong, but I just wonder whether in fact, when it says; "...anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:" (James 5:14), is actually referring to them praying over him? You anoint as a symbol of prayer. Prayer is coming out of your mouth. It's more for the minister's benefit to understand, that no, it's got to be the Spirit of God that comes out of the mouth in a yielded, aligned, persistent and fervent manner. James 5:15:

"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick [that's what saves the sick], and the Lord shall raise him up [no if's, but's, may-be's, shall raise him up]; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him [again, no if's, but's, may-be's, that's what will happen]. Confess your faults one to another [confess your illnesses, which is why we have the Fellowship Forum {2} and we let other people know to pray], and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:15-16)

If you go back a few pages to the beginning of James, here in James 1:1 it says:

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into [different types of trials]; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, [lacking] nothing." (James 1:1-4)

That's what the trials are there for. That's why God allows the trials to remain. That's why He allows them to come and allows them to remain. He works with us through them. James 1:5:

"If any of you lack wisdom [if you look at the trial that you are going through and you cannot see the reason, and you cannot understand], let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5)

Go and ask God about it. Get on your knees and ask Him about the problem. You don't just ask once. You ask first of all in a yielded way, you ask in an aligned way, you ask in a persistent way. You keep on asking, you ask in a fervent way, and you ask with faith. James 1:6:

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering [you keep going, and doing what is right all the time, constantly trusting God through the difficulty, through the trial]. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:6-8)

You can't be like that. You go to God, trusting Him. You go to God, not changing your direction in life. Your direction in life is going to go in the same way regardless through whatever comes of that trial. You are yielded, you are aligned, you are persistent, you are fervent, and you are faith-filled. That's the way we approach God. Turn to I John 5:11, one that we read briefly before, it says:

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life [that's what He's looking for, a child of God, an impregnation in the very human mind by the Spirit of God, and renewing the power of God daily], and this life is in his Son." (I John 5:11)

We do, we live our life in human flesh, but not just human flesh. It's human flesh that is the son of God. That's what it is. If we are a son of God, it's human flesh which is the son of God. It's obedient to the Word of God, which is precisely the same kind of flesh that Christ lived His life in. I John 5:12:

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life [because it's real life, abundant eternal life that we are talking about]. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God..." (I John 5:12-13)

The name, the authority, the power; we are talking about renewing God's power daily. The name of the Son of God; we are able to approach God's throne by that sacrifice through the authority of Jesus Christ. We pray through the authority of Jesus Christ. I John 5:13:

"...that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name [on the authority] of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" (I John 5:13-14)

If we ask anything that is yielded, that is aligned, that is persistent, that is fervent and that is faith-filled, if we ask in the right way, according to His will, He hears. He's not just kind of off somewhere, on an errand somewhere. That's not the way it works. He hears. I John 5:15:

"And if we know that he hear us [and we do, because it says it here, very clearly], whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (I John 5:15)

So we actually have it. Providing; as I say, we're yielded and pray aligned, persistent and fervent and faith-filled.


{1} Reference from .

{2} There is now a current prayer request section on the Fellowship Forum.