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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Power of a new Perspective

On Tuesdays,  I usually meet with my prayer triplet. A couple of weeks back, it was an unusual meeting; not much prayer and quite a lot of talking, but it turned out that it was God Who was doing the talking! Bear with me as I outline an amazing set of co(God)incidences.

Normally, one would not include the prophet Malachi, Erasmus, Selwyn Hughes, Thomas Kinkade and the Madeleine McCann investigation (BBC Crimewatch - see below), blaspheming the Holy Spirit and Greek Interlinear Bibles as linked topics. But you would be surprised, as we were.

We start by discussing matters for prayer and other things that concern us which may be prayer material. One of us raised the topic of re-branding a well-known sin. The deliberate calling of evil good and good evil is something that we see happening all around us. What was once classed as virtuous behaviour is now called bigotry and what was once unspeakable sin is now celebrated as admirable. That some of the politicians and judges who have allowed this to happen know what they are doing is highly likely. That the clergy who have blessed this behaviour know what they are doing is almost certain. They are perilously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit. They may already have done so.

It is not the sin which is being celebrated  that is unforgivable. It is the deliberate celebration of that sin as admirable by those who know better and the conscious and deliberate rejection of what God calls sin that constitutes the blasphemy.

We then moved on to the subject of my title. How do we see things and people as God sees them? One of the triplet had been praying about this and had had a dream which seemed significant. 

She had dreamed of a walk along a beach with a dog called Erasmus. She has no pets. The next day she decided to dip into a book of scripture devotions by Selwyn Hughes and illustrated by Thomas Kinkade (Everyday Light). Opening the book at random, she happened upon a picture that was virtually the same as her dream, including the dog (without the name Erasmus). The text associated with the picture was Malachi 3:16 - 18 .

What of Erasmus? His translation of the the New Testament from the Greek helped to prepare they way for the Reformation. It showed up errors in previous translation and helped to clarify understanding of doctrine, even changing it in the light of a more accurate translation.

I then recalled the BBC 'Crimewatch' programme which had featured the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Apart from the new hope it has given of solving the case, what was of interest was the process. The UK police had gone back to the original statements and re-interviewed people. The end result was what one officer called a 'revelatory' moment when they realised that the evidence had been misunderstood. People who had been suspects were now witnesses or innocent bystanders and people who had been dismissed as not relevant were now suspects or fresh witnesses. The result has been a of helpful phone calls and emails.

The process was similar, to return to the basics and do the groundwork instead of relying on other people's work that may not be right.

We gain our new perspective by repentance, belief in the Lord Jesus,being baptised and receiving the Holy Spirit, and maintain it by returning to the scriptures, by prayer, by fellowship and by breaking of bread together (Holy Communion). In other words, reworking the basics in our current situation. See also here  (God's conditions for Revival).

This conversation had taken up quite some time and we had not prayed, but the Malachi text was very revealing. It appears that God hears and remembers righteous conversation, and that a time would come when the distinction between the righteous and the wicked would once again be clear.

What of a Greek/English Interlinear Bible? If you buy a good one, it is a way of studying the Greek text for those of us who are not proficient at languages. Like Erasmus, we can go back to the Greek Text and gain fresh understanding.

If you study the life of Erasmus, you will find that he had an encounter with the "well-known sin that has be re-branded"; which is where the dog comes in. Erasmus later wrote against that sin. He repented. 

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