Purify Your Prayer Life

Numbers 16 – This is a story about intercession and insurrection. They do not mix. The LORD requires the holiness and honesty of humble hearts to carry His priesthood. A powerful and productive prayer life begins with submission and surrender. The LORD will not trust His anointing or prayers with those casually and recklessly handle the incense. We need purity for prayer. Read this scene and prepare to lead a purified prayer life.

The Conspiracy of Korah

One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the LORD, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the LORD’s people?”

The Ministry of Moses

When Moses heard what they were saying, he fell face down on the ground. Then he said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The LORD will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence. Korah, you and all your followers must prepare your incense burners. Light fires in them tomorrow, and burn incense before the LORD. Then we will see whom the LORD chooses as his holy one. You Levites are the ones who have gone too far!”

The Leadership of Levites

Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the LORD’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them? Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? The LORD is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”

The Root of Rebellion

Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied, “We refuse to come before you! Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men?b We will not come.”

The Integrity of Incense

Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not accept their grain offerings! I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, and I have never hurt a single one of them.” And Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers must come here tomorrow and present yourselves before the LORD. Aaron will also be here. You and each of your 250 followers must prepare an incense burner and put incense on it, so you can all present them before the LORD. Aaron will also bring his incense burner.”

The Pretense of Prayer

So each of these men prepared an incense burner, lit the fire, and placed incense on it. Then they all stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle with Moses and Aaron. Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all gathered at the Tabernacle entrance. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to the whole community, and the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Get away from all these people so that I may instantly destroy them!”

The Face of Forgiveness

But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. “O God,” they pleaded, “you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Must you be angry with all the people when only one man sins?”

The Start of The Separation 

And the LORD said to Moses, “Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”

The Warning of The Wrath

So Moses got up and rushed over to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, followed by the elders of Israel. “Quick!” he told the people. “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them. If you do, you will be destroyed for their sins.” So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents, together with their wives and children and little ones.

The Sign of The Supernatural

And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the LORD.”

The Power of The Prophetic

He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. “The earth will swallow us, too!” they cried. Then fire blazed forth from the LORD and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.

The Purity of The Prayers

And the LORD said to Moses,“Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pull all the incense burners from the fire, for they are holy. Also tell him to scatter the burning coals. Take the incense burners of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and hammer the metal into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. Since these burners were used in the LORD’s presence, they have become holy. Let them serve as a warning to the people of Israel.”

The Involvement of The Intercessors

So Eleazar the priest collected the 250 bronze incense burners that had been used by the men who died in the fire, and the bronze was hammered into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. This would warn the Israelites that no unauthorized person—no one who was not a descendant of Aaron—should ever enter the LORD’s presence to burn incense. If anyone did, the same thing would happen to him as happened to Korah and his followers. So the LORD’s instructions to Moses were carried out.

The Purpose of The Protest

But the very next morning the whole community of Israel began muttering again against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the LORD’s people!” As the community gathered to protest against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the Tabernacle and saw that the cloud had covered it, and the glorious presence of the LORD appeared.

The Intervention of The Intercession

Moses and Aaron came and stood in front of the Tabernacle, and the LORD said to Moses, “Get away from all these people so that I can instantly destroy them!” But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground.

The Priority of The Prayers

And Moses said to Aaron, “Quick, take an incense burner and place burning coals on it from the altar. Lay incense on it, and carry it out among the people to purify them and make them right with the LORD. The LORD’s anger is blazing against them—the plague has already begun.”

The Place of The Priesthood

Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague had already begun to strike down the people, but Aaron burned the incense and purified the people. He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died in that plague, in addition to those who had died in the affair involving Korah. Then because the plague had stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tabernacle

Seven (more) Ministries of The Holy Spirit

“A very large portion of the church knows and claims for itself a very small part of that which God has made possible for them in Christ, because they know so very little of what the Holy Spirit can do for us, and longs to do for us. Let us study the Word, then, to find out what the Holy Spirit has power to do in men” – R.A. Torrey, The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

The Spirit empowers (Luke 4:14; 24:49; Romans 15:19; Acts 1:8).

The Spirit fills the believer (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17).

The Spirit enables and energizes prayer (Romans 8:26-27; Jude 1:20).

The Spirit bears witness in us that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

The Spirit produces in us the evidence of His work and presence (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts, signs and manifestations (1 Corinthians 12:4, 8-10; Hebrews 2:4).

The Spirit anoints for ministry (Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38).


Seven Ministries of The Holy Spirit (Pt. 1)

The first week of “50 Days of Power” with Prayer Everywhere International and Bishop Sean Teal, Visionary.

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1. The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8).

2. The Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13).

3. The Spirit regenerates us (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5).

4. The Spirit glorifies and testifies of Christ (John 15:26; 16:14).

5. The Spirit reveals and releases the power of Jesus (John 16:14-15).

6. The Spirit leads (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18; Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1).

7. The Spirit sanctifies (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 5:16).

Faith For Washing Feet

“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me”

 In The Gospel of John chapter 13:1-17, Peter said this, the Lord said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me” (v. 8). The Lord said “Unless I wash you”; He did not say, “Unless I wash your feet.” Everyone who has a part with the Lord has been washed in His blood. Of course, the washing in this verse also includes the washing of the feet, because it was the Lord’s answer to Peter’s question.

This word of the Lord means two things: on the one hand, it means that those who have not been washed by His blood have no part with Him. On the other hand, it means that those whose feet have not been washed by Him cannot maintain a fellowship with Him. When a light bulb does not shine, it can either mean that something is wrong with the bulb or something is wrong with the light switch. One must first examine the bulb to see if it has burned out. If there is nothing wrong with the bulb, he must examine the switch. He may find that grease and dirt have gathered around the metal connectors and have prevented electricity from passing through which, in turn, causes the bulb to not shine.

This is a picture of our relationship with the Lord. We think that if we are separated from the Lord, it means that we have committed some gross sins. Actually, a little separation is enough to separate us from God. Do we have a part in the Lord today? I am not asking if we are saved; I am asking if we have maintained our fellowship with the Lord. We might have said to the Lord in the past that Christ is ours. But can we say the same thing today? For example, last year we had a glorious time praying, praising, and thanking the Lord at the Lord’s table. But last week at the Lord’s table meeting, was our prayer, praise, and thanksgiving as glorious as before? I believe many people would say that the taste was gone. If we cannot maintain a constant, fresh fellowship with the Lord, it proves that we need His foot-washing. Foot-washing is not for outward appearance, morality, or godliness; it is for maintaining the sweetness and freshness of our fellowship with God and each other.

– Watchman Nee

The Lamb Slain and The Love Shown

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8).

The Franciscan School, led by such teachers as Duns Scotus, refused to see the Incarnation and its finale on the cross as a mere reaction to human failure. God was much more than a problem solver. Instead, Franciscans claimed that the cross was a freely chosen revelation of Love on God’s part. In so doing, they reversed the engines of almost all world religion up to that point, which assumed humans had to spill blood to get to a distant and demanding God. On the cross, Franciscans believed, God was “spilling blood” to reach out to us! [2] This is a sea change in consciousness. Instead of being a theological transaction, the crucifixion was a dramatic demonstration of God’s outpouring love, meant to utterly shock the heart and mind and turn it back toward trust and love of the Creator.

In the Franciscan view, God did not need to be paid in order to love and forgive God’s own creation. Love cannot be bought by some “necessary sacrifice”; if it could, it would not and could not work its transformative effects. Duns Scotus and his followers were committed to protecting the absolute freedom to love in GodIf forgiveness needs to be bought or paid for, then it is not authentic forgiveness at all. Love and forgiveness must be freely given or they do not accomplish their deeply transformative healing. Self-serving love does not change the heart. It must be free and undeserved love or transformation does not happen.(Think about that and you will know it is true!)

I’m not sure many Christians recognize the dangers of a penal substitutionary atonement theory. Perhaps the underlying assumptions were never made clear, even though thinking people throughout the ages were often repelled by such a crass notion of God. This theory has become a nail in the coffin of belief for many sincere, thoughtful individuals today. Some Christians just repress their misgiving because they think it implies a complete loss of faith. But I would wager that for every person who voices doubt, many more quietly walk away from a religion that has come to seem irrational, mythological, and deeply unsatisfying to the heart and soul. And these are usually not “bad” people!

Christianity can do so much better, and doing so will not diminish Jesus in the least. In fact, it will allow Jesus to take on a universal and humanly appealing dimension. The cross cannot be an arbitrary and bloody sacrifice triggered by a sin that was once committed by one man and one woman under a tree between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Frankly, that idea reduces any notion of a universal or truly “catholic” revelation to one planet, at the edge of one solar system, in a universe comprised of billions of galaxies with trillions of solar systems. A religion based on required sacrifices is just not glorious or hopeful enough or even befitting the marvelous creation. To those who cling to Anselm’s understanding, I would say, as J. B. Phillips wrote many years ago, “Your God is too small.”

What Did You Say?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” – Ephesians 4:29-30

Disapproval can be costly and has the potential to seep undetected and infect our relationships. From simple things such as how someone completes a task that doesn’t meet our expectations, to looks and attitudes of general displeasure with those around us, over time, disapproval can cause irreparable harm to our relationships. If we are not careful, over time, disapproval can completely destroy them.

Deep sighs, rolling our eyes, shaking our heads, and withdrawing warmth in our own attitudes all convey annoyance when our expectations have not been met in the way we desire. No one is perfect. There will be times when issues are important to discuss – but at the right time and in the right way. It’s the issues that aren’t so important that stem from our need to control are the ones that often cause the biggest blowups.

Friends, may we allow God’s wisdom to guide us in being aware of when we are projecting disapproval. Left unchecked, it can have unintended consequences. We must listen to our words as we interact with others. Paying attention to what our non-verbal cues are portraying. We should practice asking God to help us understand the needs of the other person and then consider those before our own. This is not easy, yet when disapproval has become a cycle in our relationships, it needs to be broken. It is up to us to take the first step and choose to be a builder.

Heavenly Father, Please forgive me for grieving You with the negativity I can too easily portray. Help me to hold my tongue when I want to be accusing or defensive. Help me to choose communication, both verbal and through my actions, that build up the relationships I want to cultivate. Help my own defenses to come down as I allow You to work in me to dissolve disapproval in my responses. Thank You that Your power is available to me to choose to be a builder. When issues do need to be addressed, please help me to do it in a wise and loving way that is pleasing to You. Thank You for Your wisdom. In Jesus’ precious and holy name, I pray, Amen.

The Challenge…

Listen to your words today. Pay attention to the non-verbal cues you are giving. Be honest with yourself and choose to derail disapproval before it derails you. If disapproval has become an issue in your relationships, ask a trusted Christian friend to pray with and walk with you through this with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Sent by tonydegruy@comcast.net