Consigned to the Back of the Closet

The Acts and Preaching of Peter,
as recorded for James by Flavius Clemens

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Ted Dornan

This Work is a Complete Apostolic Discipleship Program from the Apostles Themselves

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The Wounded Healer

One of our deputies had a new partner in his squad car: a brown This is a Brown Relcuse Spider.  Dangerous!recluse spider.  It got into his pants and bit him so severely that surgery was required.  Weeks later, the deputy received a second bite.  A nest of these dangerous pests was discovered under the dashboard.  The spider family was trying to communicate with the deputy – “This car is our home; you’ll have to get out!”  Spiders are all business.  The only language they know is that of pain and suffering.  When the sheriff’s department finally understood what these spiders were trying to say, they called in the SWAT (swat) team, utilizing deadly force.

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

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The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

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The Nazarene Acts
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Also known as
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Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

Snyder Bible Home   
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Prayer for Healing and Deliverance   

To Joan Spain
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Matthew 16:21-27

   Recently, one of our deputies had a new partner in his squad car: a brown recluse spider.  It got into his pants and bit him so severely that surgery was required.  Weeks later, the deputy received a second bite.  A nest of these dangerous pests was discovered under the dashboard.  The spider family was trying to communicate with the deputy – “This car is our home; you’ll have to get out!”  Spiders are all business.  The only language they know is that of pain and suffering.  When the sheriff’s department finally understood what these spiders were trying to say, they called in the SWAT (swat) team, utilizing deadly force.  Fortunately, our deputy is doing well again.  But the incident goes to show how ungrateful recluse spiders are even when provided with fancy digs at taxpayer expense.

 

Would They Have Changed Their Minds?

   This event came to mind as I was considering the monolog of Jeremiah 15.  We think of prophets as superhuman men and women of valor with miracle-working faith.  I remember as a boy looking up to Evangelist A. A. Allen* as though he were a Elohim; he could heal anybody who walked or crawled or was pushed up the prayer ramp, I thought.  I wanted to be in touch with Elohim like he was.  But A. A. Allen turned out to be just a man after all.  The manner in which he died led his followers to believe that he was neither great nor holy, but that he was flawed, very flawed.  In the retrospection of thirty-plus years, there’s no doubt that Yahweh used him to heal and deliver thousands of (primarily) poor people, but there was no deliverance for him; he died young and ungraciously.

   Many of the great men and women of extraordinary faith in the 20th century were brought down to ignobility or disrespect in the end.  I can name a half dozen.  I’ll mention one that you know.  After a lifetime of extraordinary service, Myrtle Bailey, the missionary to Hong Kong that I wrote to you about, was discovered at age of 80 in a deplorable “rest home,” blind and abandoned.  She’d spent many years there before her ‘rescue.’  Why?

   Even some of Yahweh’s elect cursed him and died, and maybe they had a perfect right to do so.  Who can say?  After all, hadn’t they put the best years of their lives on the line to heal or deliver others for the sake of Yahweh?  Yet as for their healing or deliverance, none materialized.  Where was Elohim for them when they were in the jaws of deadly spiders, sawn in half or in the final painful throws of some disease?  Why were certain ones held to such a high standard, higher than the rest of us, then abandoned?  Why didn’t Elohim take care of his own as he promised?  Why?

   Some set the course for their entire lives before they are old enough or have sense enough to plan the next two or three days.  How many look back and say, “if I hadn’t done this or that 40 years ago, of if that hadn’t been done to me, I would’ve had a better life with less pain.”  It seems that life planning shouldn’t be left to the young and inexperienced.  Unfortunately, that’s the human way.  But just because you turned out all right doesn’t mean you couldn’t have turned out better or nobler if you had done differently.  I wonder if time would repeat, would the prophets have changed their minds about becoming prophets?  Maybe.  They suffered so.
   A couple weeks ago a lady who lived across the street from our family in the 1960s found my website and emailed me.  I didn’t remember her at all; but she was curious and wanted to know if I’d done anything that I would change.  I thought, “There are many things I’d change, many decisions I’d alter, many people I’d avoid, many things I’d go back and do or undo.”  How about you?  Are there mistakes you’d rectify?  Are there alternatives you would explore?  Have one or two decisions in your youth affected your whole life?  The lady wrote me a final note that said, “I can’t think of a single thing I would change if I had the chance.”  I wondered, what kind of person is this?  Everything in her life is just swell.  Had I asked her if she was dedicated to the Master, I believe she would have said no.

 

Jeremiah’s Complaints

   Jeremiah was a young boy when he saw a vision and offered his life to Yahweh.  Why was he chosen?  Why did he say yes?  Was he unthinking?  Too young to realize what the life of a prophet entailed?  Did he think it would be exciting to be a career cult leader?  Was he overwhelmed by the supernatural experience of angels?  Unlike some modern-day prophets, Jeremiah had a relatively good life (though he spent some time in jail), and he lived into old age, retiring in Ireland.  Wouldn’t you like to retire in Ireland?  But in reading his writings, it’s obvious that Jeremiah the man was quite dissatisfied with the work he’d chosen as a boy, disdaining his lack of results, his poverty and imprisonment, and the fact that he was sick and in pain much of the time, and that he had malicious enemies.

   Jeremiah weeps a lot; they call him the weeping prophet.  Like some of us, he cries because he’s sick and can’t figure out why Yahweh won’t heal him.  He’s extremely wroth in today’s passage because nobody listens to him; they slander him, abandon him and deride him instead.  Even when his prophecies come to pass, he gets no respect as a preacher, only further abuse.  Like Little Jack Horner, Jeremiah justifies himself a lot.  “O Yahweh, what a good boy am I!”  And he complains a lot.  His secretary, Baruch, recorded his complaints.  He was often like a recluse spider up Yahweh’s pant leg.  He means to take a bite.  Listen to today’s complaint again.  I’ve modernized it for you.  He says,

Yahweh Tsavaot, you remember that you called me in the first place and I’ve heeded your Word.  No, I didn’t go to wild parties with my friends.  I don’t even have any friends.  All my life I’ve had to ‘live in your car’ and that’s really ticked me off, especially when I’m so sick and my pain’s so bad.  If I’m yours, why don’t you heal me?  Truly, you, Yahweh, are like a deceitful river that’s waters dry up.

   Some complaint?  Calling Yahweh a deceitful river?  You can read it for yourself.  How does he get away with it?  Like that tiny spider; his days are numbered.  Maybe Jeremiah thinks if had it to do over, he’d choose a more lucrative, popular or less dangerous career, like that of a TV host, a night club entertainer, a financial expert or a computer programmer.  Maybe he’d have taken a course to become a veterinarian assistant, a private investigator, a medical transcriptionist.  Nobody berates a medical transcriptionist.  But he’s become a very bitter preacher on the edge of blasphemy.  He’s Yahweh’s man all right, for what that’s worth.  But all see how afflicted he is.  They spit at him through the bars of his cell.

 

Making Deals

   The righteous folks of the Bible complain and justify themselves as much as they pray it seems.  In today’s psalm (26), the writer petitions Yahweh to judge somebody who’s done him wrong.  First the psalmist tries to convince Yahweh of what a good boy he is; he says, “Search me, I haven’t spent time with the town trash or hoods.  I’ve always played it on the level!”   Then the psalmist begs Yahweh not to sweep him away, as though he can’t really trust Elohim’s charity toward him, even though he’s a famous Bible author!  In the end, he makes a deal, “If you take my side, I’ll live for you and bless your name in church.”  Does that kind of arrangement sound familiar?  I would guess that some people in this room have tried to make the same kind of deal.  I have.

   I recalled my first deal with Elohim this week during a TV news discussion of the baseball strike.  I was ten years old, listening to a double-header between the Tigers and Yankees on WJR radio Detroit.  It was the last of the ninth of the first game and the dang Yankees were up by three runs with two out.  Then the Yankee relief pitcher walked three Tigers  in a row to load the bases.  Tiger catcher Bill Freehan stepped up to the plate, having struck out his last two at bats.  I prayed, “Elohim, if you give Freehan a homer, I’ll do what you want for the rest of my life.”  The count went to three and two and Bill fouled off a couple.  When the final pitch of the game came blazing over the plate, Freehan lunged at it, and he knocked the ball clean over the head of Roger Maris and into the stands, a grand slam.  The Stroh’s Beer crowd roared.  Like young Jeremiah’s visitation of angels – this ten-year-old thought he’d made Elohim perform a great miracle, and maybe it was so.  But Elohim isn’t always in the game-fixing business.  I tried the same tactic in the second game of the double header; this time it didn’t work -- the Tigers lost.  I thought someone was praying for the Yanks but no, they didn’t need Elohim as long as they had Mickey Mantle on the roster.

 

An Answer After All

   It seems that unless we receive immediate results to our big deals, our prayers aren’t moving Yahweh much.  Jeremiah wasn’t healed, at least not immediately.  Skipping to the Gospel, Yahshua tells his disciples that they must go out to heal the sick and cast out demons, but he also says that his enemies will kill him and that the disciples themselves will be killed.  That’s what “taking up the cross” means.  Many popular preachers deal entirely with healing the sick and casting out demons but disregard the unpopular cross, while others preach only doom and gloom.  But the full gospel we like to talk about deals with both victory and suffering.  Sometimes the victory doesn’t arrive at all in this life; it’s death that’s swallowed up in victory after all: death then victory.

   We all do a lot of praying for people.  There can never be too much prayer.  We see some people touched, primarily spiritually.  We try hard to coax Yahweh to heal those in desperate pain in our congregation.  We make deals.  We pray and we pray; yet we’re not healed.  We have visited some pathetic, suffering souls whose only hope seems to be Yahshua’s healing power.  But they don’t realize that fact and we’re having a hard time being convincing about it since the face of the real healer is hidden. 

    After Jeremiah’s strong rebuke against Yahweh, he does get an answer.  Yahweh tells him, “If you repent I’ll take you back and the people who need your ministry will begin to turn to you again.  Some will still fight you, but in the end they won’t prevail.”  These are encouraging words, but probably not what Jeremiah wanted to hear.  There’s still no answer in regards to his pain – not even a mention of it.  Nothing is more discouraging than to preach, preach, preach, about the power of Yahweh then see nothing happen.  You can’t even get your own healing.  The burden to heal others is heavy, but even heavier when the healer is himself wounded.

 

I Don’t Know

   Mignon has been ill for weeks.  She’s a wounded healer.  I know you’ve been praying for her.  We thank you for all the gracious sentiments.  There’s been a breakthrough.  We got mad at the devil and began shouting out the illness; that is, we called out unclean spirits and there were quick results.  That was ten days ago and she’s still doing well in her recovery.  Prayer works slowly but deliverance ministry works quickly.

   But it’s not seemly to go over to someone’s house and cast out demons, even if that’s what’s needed (and, in fact, it probably is needed in many cases).  Why must we shout to get results?  Why should that be necessary?  Why won’t Yahweh just heal when we, his servants, we, who have made a deal for our lives, ask it of him?  Why can’t we, when we ask for a fish, get a fish?  That’s a hard question, but I have an answer.  Do you want to know it?  The answer is “I don’t know why.”  But Joan does.

 

But Joan Does

   Joan was exposed to a dental fluoroscope when she was a girl.  That one experience was to radically affect her adulthood.  She’s been suffering face and mouth cancer for years as a result, becoming disfigured by multiple cancer surgeries.  In comparison with what Joan has suffered, Jeremiah’s complaint is a flea on the camel’s back. We’ve been praying for her on and off for ten years, asking Yahweh for a creative miracle.  There have been times when we dared think she’d be better off just going home.  Maybe she felt that way, too.  Some good news has been received over the years, but it would seem by appearances that the cancer has come out the winner. 

   Joan, herself a wounded healer, heard about Mignon being sick.  Joan wrote Mignon an email to try to help her back to health.  I want to end this message with a excerpt from that email in which Joan answers the question “Why?’ far better than I could.  Better than Jeremiah could, evidently, even if he was a big prophet.  Joan writes:

“What I want to tell you from my own five-year faith walk is that persistent fervent prayers are heard and Yahweh answers all prayer but our FAITH must be set in bedrock – shout at the devil that he take his hands off you – build up your faith to know that you will eventually be delivered, for only faith can help you hang on through this dreadful experience.  I had to accept my condition before I could rebuke the forces that put it upon me.  I have faith now that I will be delivered through it; and if my face stays awful, Elohim has a greater work than if it was normal.” 

That’s as good an answer as we’re going to get, friend.  We need to recover our faith.  We need to build an impenetrable edifice of faith.  Faith heals.  Isn’t that what Yahshua said?

   Now I want to pray the prayer that Joan wrote with you and for you and for the members of our parish who are suffering.  It’s so powerful and it answers the question “why?” so well, that it was surely meant not just for one, but for everyone we know who is sick or suffering or waiting for an answer.

   “Now Father, We pray with all our being that ______’s faith will be strengthened beyond all understanding, her body will be at rest in spite of sick episodes and that Yahweh will raise her up to even greater heights than she has already attained in your service. 

   “The devil may be attempting to sway ______’s belief and destroy her will to persevere, but she can and will prevail against these forces of darkness and will allow her deliverance to arrive in a miraculous way that will cause all people to say, ‘Surely this has to be of Yahweh for the medical profession has failed her.’ 

   “We pray for ______ to claim her deliverance and submit herself to the mighty hand of Elohim, knowing that he will ease her pain and suffering and bring her through this entire ordeal.  Let her call upon Yahweh now with absolute faith and her deliverance will surely manifest.  Hallelujah!  Amen.”

   My friends, this is certainly a super human prayer of faith.  Let’s receive it as the answer to our query.  As Yahweh responded to Jeremiah’s plea, “If you will turn back to me, I will turn back to you,” let us now with humble hearts turn back in repentance.  Let us give up our hopelessness and recover our faith.  Yahweh will not fail us.  His mercies are new every day.

 

Joan B. Spain

  • BORN: March 6, 1930

  • DIED: November 18, 2008

  • LOCATION: Franklin, GA

 

   {This is the time for the prayer of confession in the Communion.}

 

* Allen was a tent revivalist and healing minister in the 1950s – 1970, the year he died.  He founded Miracle Valley, Arizona.

Jackson Snyder    

August 29, 2002