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Posts Tagged ‘Prophecy’

Reclaiming our Spiritual Legacy in Christ

 

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

 

“In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:11-14)

Dear Fellow Pilgrims in Christ Jesus,

By now most of you have read my previous articles on the Sanctifying Gifts and Empowerment Gifts (cf. Resource Links, below) and have been sufficiently stirred up by the Word of God and the inspiration of the Spirit referenced in those articles so that you now want to know how you may personally receive the “Promise of the Father” and activate the Spiritual Gifts in your lives.

As Christians “The Promise of the Father” and the Nine Empowerment Gifts are part of the Legacy we have in Christ Jesus.  When we are converted, repent of our sins, and are baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit (cf., Gal. 3:27), not only are our sins forgiven and given new Life in Christ but we also receive the Seven Sanctifying Gifts of the Spirit through which the Holy Spirit conforms us to His image (cf., Rom. 8:29) and covers us with the cloak of His Righteousness (cf., Rom. 4:5).

We are Heirs to the KingdomBut as if that were not enough, the Holy Spirit, through the immeasurable grace of redemption also makes us new creations in Christ (cf., 2 Cor. 5:17) and provides entrance into the Kingdom where, by the unmerited grace and Love of the Father, we are seated at His right hand of Christ to share in His reign forever (cf., Eph. 2:6). By this grace granted us through His sacrifice on the cross and His victory over death, we are, upon acting on our faith, made heirs of the Kingdom and the adopted children of the Father. Praised be His Holy Name!

“But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (Eph. 2:4-10)

The “..good works” spoken of here are those works through which Jesus continues His ministry in us and through us for the Glory of the Father and the benefit of the community (cf., Acts 10:38). As His adopted children, then, we form the Body of Christ and, thus, are also the Father’s representatives or envoys in world to continue the ministry of His Son so that the Glory of the Father’s love may be manifested through us to all humanity.

However, in order to fulfill this calling on our lives it is necessary that we also share in the empowerment that was on Christ when he was in the world. This is the mantle that He passed on to us at Pentecost (cf., “The Double portion Anointing”), this is what the “Promise of the Father” is all about. And, it is in accepting and receiving the Promise of the Father through the baptism of the Spirit that we reclaim the fullness of our spiritual inheritance in Christ (cf., Eph. 1: 16-18).

At Pentecost, “The Promise of the Father” was purposely given to the body of Christ, a body composed of all who believe in Him and are called according to His purpose, specifically to empower us to carry on His ministry in this world. The Spirit endows all believers with this empowerment from generation to generation until Jesus comes again to judge and to reign over His Kingdom (cf., Acts 2:38-39).

Because He gave us a free will, He does not impose these latter gifts upon us, but instead, they are offered to us free of any obligation or condemnation. Our salvation is not contingent on our acceptance of the Promise of the Father – it must be by our own choice – our choice of becoming His partners in the work He continues to do in this world to bring more of humankind to Himself. There is only one pre-condition, you must be a child of God through repentance and baptism (cf., Acts 2:38) in order to be considered an inheritor of the Kingdom and the empowerment that comes with it (cf., “The Kingdom of God Our Spiritual Inheritance”).

Now, normally, we receive this “empowerment” or “strengthening” when we receive the sacrament of confirmation. However, as with all things of faith, if you receive without faith, the manifestation of the sacrament remains latent in you (cf., Heb. 4:2). For instance, in my case, I am a cultural cradle catholic and have been baptized and confirmed, but I never manifested the empowerment gifts on the receipt of the sacrament because I was never taught to expect these gifts at confirmation, so my faith was not awakened. If I had been taught from the Word, and my faith had been awakened appropriately, I would have received them, then and there. It was not until later in my adult life that the Holy Spirit worked in my life through His Word and circumstances to bring me to conversion, accept Jesus as my personal Lord and savior, and baptize me in the Holy Spirit. It was not until then that I began to manifest the special supernatural gifts the Spirit had destined for me.

As the empowerment gifts were realized in me, the Spirit opened up the Word of God in a deeper more intimate way so that I began to understand the gifts I had just received (cf., “The Key to the Kingdom”). This understanding clearly led me to the knowledge that these gifts a were part of my legacy in Christ Jesus and that they were there, not for my benefit but so that Jesus Himself could minister to the community through my person (along with others who have been likewise blessed).

In responding to the prayer for renewal of Pope John XXIII (ca.1962), the Lord has, in His own sovereign power, initiated a work of spiritual renewal in His Church that permits us to reclaim the fullness of our legacy in Christ (cf., “The Charismatic Renewal”). By His Grace, I am a participant in this movement of His Grace and I am here to proclaim to you the Good News that the grace of God is here for you also – the Kingdom of God is here for you to enter into the fullness of His blessings and receive the Empowerment Gifts of the Spirit through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, just as was prophesied by the Apostle Peter at Pentecost (cf., Acts 2:38-39).  As the Apostle Paul once said, “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation!” (2 Cor. 6:1-2)

If your faith has stirred you to action then the next step for you is prayer. Faith without action is “dead faith”(cf., James 2:26) so by asking we are taking action and thus activating the faith that the Holy Spirit has placed in us. This is in accord with what the Lord told his disciples,

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)

In order to facilitate your asking, I present to you in the sections below, two prayers that encompass re-dedication to Christ and Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Normally this type of prayer(s) are presented at the conclusion of what is called a “Life in the Spirit Seminar” conducted within a Charismatic Prayer Group or a Charismatic Parish. This seminar is the usual venue where one is prayed for to receive the “Baptism in the Spirit”. The community setting is appropriate because it is within such a community that the spiritual gifts are, fostered, nurtured and practiced.  However, in the global outreach of these articles there are many who do not have direct access to a charismatic community, thus these prayers are provided so that you may, in private or in your own small group pray for the Baptism In the Holy Spirit.  You do not need to wait to find a prayer group – activate your faith as soon as possible, while the fire of your faith is strong. Later when you do encounter a Charismatic community you can revitalize your commitment at their services (see Community Links below). And, I might add, if the Spirit leads you, begin your own prayer group!

Prayer of Dedication

Lord Jesus, I believe that you, the Son of the Living God came down from heaven to reveal the Father’s Love to me by suffering and dying for my sins. I believe that through your death and resurrection you have brought redemption and life not only to me but also all else who believe in you. I further believe that it is only through knowing you in a loving personal relationship that I can know the Father.

It is because I have a burning desire to know you and abide in you that I now yield myself completely to you and your love. I open the door to my heart so you can come in and sup with me and thus begin the special relationship with you for which you died and for which I hunger. At this moment I yield myself to your love. Enter in and activate my spirit with your Holy Spirit so that I can go beyond just mere intellectual belief in you to a personal spiritual knowledge of you and the Father.

Lord, cleanse me from my sins and make me a fit vessel for your presence. Permeate my entire being with your life and your love so that I can truly be your instrument in this world. Be my Lord, Be My God, Be my King to rule and to reign in me. In faith and by your grace I receive You and I receive Your word. Abide in me just as you abide in the Father and the Father in You! Thank You for giving Yourself for me. Amen!

Prayer for Empowerment in the Holy Spirit

Father, as your child in Jesus I desire to be totally an instrument for Your Kingdom to manifest through my life. I desire to receive your Promise of the Holy Spirit to those who believe. Jesus, my Savior and King, baptize me in the Holy Spirit so that the power of your resurrection will work in me and transform me according to your will. Holy Spirit, empower me and fill me to overflowing. I hold nothing back from you. Work your gifts in me and through me so that the Father’s Kingdom may be manifested in and through my life. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!

Now, begin praising and worshipping God with all your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you, renew you, and praise God through you. Release yourself from all the inhibitions you have and raise your voice in songs and psalms. Express those longings you have held in your heart for so long but were unable to let loose because of your inhibitions. As you sing and worship release yourself to the Holy Spirit so that He can pray and worship through you.

As you enter this time of praise and worship you will begin to experience a sense of the presence of the Lord. You will begin to lose your self-consciousness and you will sense that the flow of your prayers and song is coming as if from out of nowhere. In fact, as your praise increases you sense that you are uttering words that are no longer in your mother tongue. But you know in your spirit that these words are honoring God so your flow in these phrases increases. You have just received your prayer language. You are feeling so blessed, you find that you don’t want to stop. Don’t stop. Pray and sing your heart out, glorifying God!

Praised be His Holy Name! You have now ”Entered the Kingdom” of the Father! Walk in the leading of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His call! May the Lord Bless you and anoint you with the Holy Spirit in all that you do!

Your Brother In Christ,

Bartimaeus

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2010])

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Resource Links In Preparing for the Baptism In the Spirit

# Catholic Charismatic History

§ Releasing the Spirit

§ The Double Portion Anointing

§ Jesus, the Source of Living Water, and Us

§ Pentecost and the Promise of the Father

§ The sanctifying Gifts (Part 1)

§ The Sanctifying Gifts (Part 2)

§ Praying in The Spirit

§ The Empowerment Gifts (Part 1)

§ The Empowerment Gifts (Part 2)

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Links to Charismatic Communities

In order to assist you in locating a prayer group or in organizing your own prayer group, I list the following links as contact points to obtain further information and materials:

> United States

http://www.nsc-chariscenter.org/AboutCCR/other.asp

http://www.catholiccharismatic.us/

http://www.ccrno.org/Links.php

> Canada

http://www.catholiccharismatic.ca/

> Australia

http://www.ccr.org.au/

http://www.flameministries.org/

> United Kingdom

http://www.ccr.org.uk/

> Europe

http://www.isidor.se/ccreurope/Nations/tabid/348/language/en-GB/Default.aspx

> Scandinavia

http://www.isidor.se/karismatiskfornyelse/Aktuellt/Nordiskkarismatiskkonferens/NordicCharismaticConferenceStockholm/tabid/510/language/sv-SE/Default.aspx

> International

http://www.catholiccharismatic.us/index.php?name=Web_Links

http://www.swordofthespirit.net/communities.html

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Dear fellow Pilgrims,

As we walk along the Narrow Path with Jesus we must always keep ourselves spiritually aware of the purposes and judgments of  God, the Father. In  these, the last days, it is of particular importance so that we may respond quickly to His Call because events and circumstances are changing ever so rapidly.

To this end I present for your discernment the following Prophecy that I found in my archives  and which may be of relevance to us as we continue our walk with Him who is the Alpha and the Omega.

Your Brother in Christ …. Bartimaeus

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ARE YOU READY? (A 1976 Prophecy –  Is it meant for Today?)

Prophecy given By the Lord
through Fr. Michael Scanlan  at the January 1976  Leaders Meeting
(of the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal)

Are you ready for this?

“Son of man, do you see that city going bankrupt? Are you willing to see all your cities going bankrupt? Are you willing to see the bankruptcy of the whole economic system you rely on now so that all money is worthless and cannot support you?

Son of man, do you see the crime and lawlessness in your city streets, and towns and institutions? Are you willing to see no law, no order, no protection for you except that which I will give you?

Son of man, do you see the country which you love and which you are now celebrating – a country’s history that you look back on with nostalgia? Are you willing to see no country – no country to call your own except those that I give you as my body? Will you let me bring you life in My Body and only there?

Son of man, do you see those churches which you can go to so easily now? –Are you ready to see them with bars across their doors, with doors nailed shut? Are you ready to base you life only on me and not on any particular structure? Are you ready to depend only on me and not on all the institutions of schools and parishes that you are working so hard to foster?

Son of man, I call you to be ready for that. That is what I am telling you about. The structures are falling and changing – it is not for you to know the details now – but do not rely on them as you have been.

I want you to make a deeper commitment to one another. I want you to trust one another, to build an interdependence that is based on My Spirit. It is an interdependence that is no luxury. It is absolute necessity for those that will base their lives on Me and not the structures from a pagan world.

I have spoken and it will take place! My Word will go forth to my people. They may hear and they may not – and I will respond accordingly – but this IS My Word.

Look about you son of man! When you see it all shut down, when you see everything removed which has been taken for granted, and when you are prepared to live without these things, then you will know what I am making ready!”
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The Signs of the Times

The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away. (Matt16:1-)

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Signs of the Times

Jesus chided the Pharisees because they and the culture they lived in claimed to be able to discern changes in the weather through observation of signs of changes in the sky but yet were unable to understand from the “signs of the times” that the time of the Messiah was at hand

We humans today are now being posed with the same question: “How is it that we have instruments and computers to help us to predict weather, storms, and “Global Warming” and yet we cannot interpret the signs of the eschatological times that are in plain view”

The evidential eschatological signs are all around us, and increasing in occurrence:  Earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, plagues, wars, volcanoes, meteor showers, rampant immorality, and persecution of Christians. The

Iceland Volcano

Iceland Volcano

judgments of God are not only evident in our physical environment but are evident in the world’s moral environment as well. For instance, all the human institutions that we have idealized are being shaken right before our eyes and hearing: governments, legislatures, the courts, the military, the medical establishments, lawyers, bankers, and even our religious establishments are being shaken to their roots by revelations of corruption, dishonesty, immorality, especially in sexual aberrations and child abuse. All of these things that were being done in secret are now being brought into the light of God’s judgment

Just as Jesus told us: “Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed”. All of these institutional idols in which we have placed our trust are being broken before our eyes so that humanity may be made aware of the wretchedness of our fleshly nature and our dire need to turn to God for salvation. The signs point us to turn to the Lord in repentance by turning from these idols and placing our trust in Him and Him alone for the salvation and reform that He alone can bring. Praised be the Glory of His Name!

The world, however is blind to the significance of these signs, as if these are merely severe but random happenings. But for us, brethren, who have had our eyes opened, it must be clear that these signs are being given to us as a warning that we are at the end of age when the time of separation has been ordained. A time when the wheat is separated from the chaff (Matt. 3:12) and, thus, a time when we must prepare ourselves for the tests trials that will surely come as the separation process proceeds.  It is a time when all our works will be held to the light of God’s judgment and when we will be called to stand before governors and councils (Matt.10: 18) to give witness to our faith. It will be just as the Lord has told us…

“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 13:49-50)

And for the religious establishment it will be even as St. Peter warned us,

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1Ptr. 4:17)

We see Christian churches everywhere being shaken and divided so that the five faithful virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) may be set apart from the five unfaithful virgins who let their lamps go out, these latter virgins, representing those churches who keep a pretense of the gospel but deny its power. But we, brethren, who are blessed to be open to this awareness of the signs of the times have a great responsibility to be ready to heed the Lord’s call to be His witnesses to the unbelieving world so that we may be His partners in announcing His Mercy to the world.  Yes, it will be a time of darkness but also a time of glory for His Bride, His people, who He will purify and empower to carry forth Good News of His Mercy in the days that are coming on the whole world.

You may be sure of this brothers and sisters, that all of us who believe will be called to be the Father’s partners in evangelization. In these last days there will be no distinction between the ordained and un-ordained when it comes to proclaiming the Good News of Salvation! So, when each of us discerns his/her call it is incumbent on us to respond by proclaiming the Gospel in whatever situation we find ourselves and to whoever is within our reach. So that all may know that Jesus, the Son of God died for the sins of the whole world regardless of their religion or ethnicity and that only by believing in Him and accepting Him is mankind’s only hope for salvation!

It is the Father’s desire that this final outreach of His Mercy reach to the furthest outposts of the world so that every person on earth will have heard the message and will have been given a choice before the “Wrath of The Lamb” (Rev. 6:12-17) falls on the whole world. Will you be ready to respond?  Pray my brethren, that we all will be ready when we hear His call!

But,  “how”, you ask, “may I make myself ready?”

You make yourself ready by being open to the Holy Spirit and His empowerment. For this is HIS work and not ours. All He wants of us is to be totally surrendered to Him and put aside those human traditions and religious limitations that quench the Spirit and hinder His ability to work in us and through us. You must be ready to stand up against the challenges that will be posed to what He is calling you to do. For, I guarantee that you will be challenged, not only by the world, but by the very religious systems that have denied His power for so long. But we must be steadfast and faithful to what He is calling us to do in the Name of Jesus!

This I what I mean when I say that you must be ready! For even “getting ready” is His work all you have to do is say, “YES LORD!” and stand willing to act on what He tells you to do!  Yes, you must proclaim the Gospel but you must be EMPOWERED by the Holy Spirit as at Pentecost so that your proclamation of the Good News may be confirmed  with Signs following!

But you must be wary, …

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Mark 23:22-31)

May the Lord open our eyes to see and our ears to hear that we may obey His Call to carry His Message of Love and Mercy to the whole world!

Your Brother in Christ,

Bartimaeus

Recommended Links to help you follow through on your commitment!

<> Prayer of dedication

<> Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit!

<> Jesus, The Source of Living Water and Us!

Recent Prophetic Warning Regarding Day of the Lord

<>“Beloved, do not fear when you see these things happening but rejoice, for the day of the Lord is near. You, my child,must put on sackcloth and sit in ashes* […]

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].

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Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes (Matt.5:3-11)

“Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn,  for they will be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have now come to my reflections on the final three Beatitudes – the conclusion of the Beatitudes of Expression – the Manifest Favor of God in us whereby the Lord expresses Himself both inwardly and outwardly in our lives so that we truly are become the “Sons” or “Children” of God – that is, we become expressions of His nature.

Again this is an awesome phase and one for which I am still praying that I will, by God’s Grace be permitted to enter. It is the phase in our spiritual lives where we have so yielded to the Spirit of Love in us that we, like St. Paul, are able to say, “… it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

I will begin my discussion with the Beatitudes Seven and Eight.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

These two beatitudes may only be properly understood when placed in juxtaposition to each other – the Seventh Beatitude indicates as “Blessed” those who bring or make peace, while the Eighth Beatitude indicates that in bringing peace through the righteousness of God expressed through you will cause such division that you will be persecuted. We thus are confronted with the need to discern just what kind of peace is this that brings persecution.

In order to resolve this seeming paradox, we must remember that these “Blessings” are the work of the Holy Spirit in us, bringing us into conformity with the image of the Son, Jesus, the anointed of God, the Prince of Peace (Rom.8:29). This is the same Jesus who in one instance told his disciples that, “ I have not come to bring peace but a sword ..” (Matt. 10:34), and in another place, that. ”Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give…” (John 14:27), These sayings thus indicate to us that  the term “peace” may be understood in at least two distinct ways.

In the first, instance the word “peace” as used by Jesus is the antithesis of division or conflict between human individuals or groups. In the second instance He uses the term “My Peace” to mean the spiritual peace derived from His relationship to the Father. It is this “peace” that He promises his disciples and believers today. “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33).

It is an inner peace that comes from the work of the Cross, where Jesus completed the work for which He was sent, namely, to reconcile mankind to the Father through the shedding of His blood. As St. Paul clearly states, “therefore there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.8:1), and “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;” (2 Cor. 5:18). Clearly, then, we are called to be messengers of the “Good News” of this reconciliation – this is the “peace” of which the beatitude speaks, the peace of reconciliation with the Father.

Christ will, of course, ultimately also bring a relational peace to the whole human race at His Second coming. For now, however, His Peace is propagated through His indwelling presence in us, His people who are designated by His grace as channels of His Love and therefore, His Peace as we love one another as He loved us!

On occasion, as we follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit, He will lead us to minister in situations where we can act on His behalf as mediators in human affairs where He gives us the anointing to bring His peace into a situation involving Human conflict. But we must be sure we are following the leadings of the Holy Spirit and not just our human desire to try to bring peace under our own efforts. Although we may have a good intent, it is still a human work and the results will not be lasting because the problem that lies in the human hearts cannot not remedied through human means. I speak by experience, because I have tried to be a peacemaker based on my own efforts and naive desires without having the anointing that comes from a pure heart and the express presence of the Lord in my life. It does not work, because, as He said, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Thus, my brothers and sisters, entering this phase of the beatitudes involves great responsibility because in order to be true “peacemakers” we must be totally yielded to the Prince of Peace and walk as He walked: in His righteousness, not ours. If we try to be peacemakers and ourselves are not at peace with God, we will not only fail but we bring disrepute to our faith and ourselves. That is also why the Eighth Beatitude is so essential to being a peacemaker, for our lives must be the expression of His righteousness so that we can truly make peace in His Name!

Jesus also tells us that the unconverted world cannot receive His kind of peace or His righteousness (John 14:17). In fact, when, through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, our lives are a living expression of His righteousness and His Love, the world will hate us and resist us just as the world resisted Him (John 15:19). This, then, is the confirmation that we have reached this stage in our spiritual growth: when you experience persecution for the sake of His Righteousness as expressed in and through your lives in words and actions.

The unconverted world, is still in rebellion against God and it wants to control us and conform us to itself. The peace the world gives is not really peace at all – since it cannot change the hearts of mankind, it merely creates a subterfuge for peace to control us and place us in bondage to its own humanistic and godless rule. That is why Jesus warns His disciples, “in the world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) and, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also” (John 5;20).

When such is evident in your lives then, as the beatitude states, you know that you have entered the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, you have entered into a full sharing in the Ministry of Christ Himself because you are now also sharing in His sufferings.

The Ninth Beatitude: The Forgotten Beatitude

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

I call this beatitude the “Forgotten Beatitude” because it is left out of most lists of the Beatitudes, which only list the first eight.

As I began reflecting on this beatitude I began to comprehend why it might not be mentioned in most commentaries. First of all it appears that the First eight address the general crowd that is before Jesus (eg., “Blessed are they …” , “Blessed are those …”, etc.) while the ninth beatitude appears to be addressed to the disciples themselves (ie., “Blessed are you …”).  Secondly, the Ninth indicates that the persecution and sufferings are not only more intense but they are inflicted “because of Me” or “because of My Name”. This is an implication that the ones who are indicated by this work of the Holy Spirit are His disciples, but especially those who bear the special anointing of apostles. That is, those who have been “sent” by Jesus in His authority to preach the Gospel at the risk of their very lives. This is borne out by the manner in which the beatitude concludes: …  for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Thus implying that they have been sent to proclaim God’s word – or, in essence, to prophesy.

I have some disagreement with this limited understanding, in that the gift of prophecy is not limited to ordained persons –indeed St. Paul exhorted the community to seek the gift of prophecy. Here is what St. Paul says about this, Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy” (1Cor.14:1). The exercise of the prophetic gifts was only limited much later in the early church period to the ordained, when it was also redefined as “preaching” because actual “prophecy” came into disfavor in church practice.

Now, while most of us lay persons are not “officially” ordained to preach, historically, there have been many cases of lay persons who have proclaimed the Gospel in Jesus’ Name without “official” ordination and have been persecuted (and some even martyred), as for example, St. Francis of Assisi and St, Ignatius of Loyola. Admittedly, the officials of the Church later recognized their calling and obliged them to be ordained, Francis, as a deacon, and Ignatius as a priest.

If you reach this stage in your spiritual walk, I therefore urge you, my Brothers and Sisters, not to ignore your calling if you are led to preach or to prophesy. Remember what our first Pope said,

“As every person has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any person speak, let that person speak as the oracles of God; if any person minister, let that person do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 peter 4:10-11).

Yes, this beatitude and the gift of prophecy is for all Christians, both lay and ordained. I guarantee that you will be persecuted and insulted for His Name when you are blessed by this beatitude, but you will be rewarded in heaven. So, if you are genuinely called, seek and find where and how the Lord would have you exercise His gift to the church.  The time of the Lord’s coming is near and we need to hear what the Lord is saying to His Church because the time is near and we need to be ready!. Here is a sample from one of us who is used of God in this Fashion (Re: Mark Mallett, Prophecy Site#3):

THIS word came to me while my spiritual director and I were together. Understand… the dawn of Hope is upon us…

Little ones, do not think that because you, the remnant, are small in number means that you are special. Rather, you are chosen. You are chosen to bring the Good News to the world at the appointed hour. This is the Triumph for which my Heart awaits with great anticipation. All is set now. All is in motion. The hand of my Son is ready to move in the most sovereign way. Pay careful attention to my voice. I am preparing you, my little ones, for this Great Hour of Mercy. Jesus is coming, coming as Light, to awaken souls steeped in darkness. For the darkness is great, but the Light is far greater. When Jesus comes, much will come to light, and the darkness will be scattered. It is then that you will be sent, like the Apostles of old, to gather souls into my Motherly garments. Wait. All is ready. Watch and pray. Never lose hope, for God loves everyone.

In conclusion I leave you with a prayer by one who we all agree reached this level of Beatitude in His Spiritual walk, namely, St. Francis of Assisi.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon:

where there is doubt, faith ;

where there is despair, hope

where there is darkness, light

where there is sadness, joy

O divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

This concludes my reflections on the Beatitudes. I pray that this sharing will help you in the coming to the discernment you seek to accomplish the work the Spirit of the Living God is doing in you, to the Praise and Glory of His Name! Amen and Amen!

Your Brother in Christ Jesus … Bartimaeus

P.S.: If you have missed the other parts of this series (see below for links), I recommend that you read through all of them so that you may discern the context in which these reflections were composed.

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, 2010, all rights reserved

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Related Links:

Make Me a Channel / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwGOYEIK5eo&feature=fvw

St. Francis (Biography) / http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/francis.htm

Prophesy in the Church Today  (sample sites) :

Prophecy Site #1 / http://pelianito.stblogs.com/

Prophecy Site #2 / http://www.presentationministries.com/general/prophecies.asp

Prophecy Site # 3 / http://www.markmallett.com/blog/

The other parts of this Series:

§ Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 1)

§ Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 2)

§ Reflections on the Beatitudes (Part 3)

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