Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pre-PASSOVER Preparation....

Sweep the House.... Remove the Old Leaven  of Malice and Wickedness... Replace it with the Unleavened Bread of Purity and Truth.. Prepare Ye the Way of the LORD.


Exhortations from the Pre-Nicene Christian writer Cyprian, Ante-Nicene Fathers , Vol. 5, Epistle 7, Sections 5 and 6, p. 286-287. 

5. Let us urgently pray and groan with continual petitions. For know, beloved brethren, that I was not long ago reproached with this also in a vision, that we were sleepy in our prayers, and did not pray with watchfulness;
and undoubtedly GOD, Who “rebukes whom HE loves,” when HE rebukes, rebukes that HE may amend, amends that HE may preserve. Let us therefore strike off and break away from the bonds of sleep, and pray with urgency and watchfulness, as the Apostle Paul bids us, saying,

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same.”

For the Apostles also ceased not to pray day and night; and the LORD also Himself+, the Teacher+ of our discipline, and the Way+ of our example, frequently and watchfully prayed, as we read in the Gospel:

“HE+ went out into a mountain to pray,
and continued all night in prayer to GOD.”

And assuredly what HE+ prayed for, HE+ prayed for on our behalf, since HE+ was not a sinner, but bore the sins of others.

But HE+ so prayed for us, that in another place we read, “And the LORD said to Peter,

Behold, satan has desired
to sift you as wheat:
but I+ have prayed for thee,
that thy faith fail not.”

But if for us and for our sins HE+ both labored and watched and prayed, how much more ought we to be instant in prayers; and, first of all, to pray and to entreat the LORD Himself+, and then through Him+, to make satisfaction to GOD The FATHER!

We have an Advocate+ and an Intercessor+ for our sins, JESUS CHRIST the LORD and our GOD, if only we repent of our sins past, and confess and acknowledge our sins, whereby we now offend the LORD, and for the time to come engage to walk in His+ ways, and to fear His+ commandments.

The FATHER corrects and protects us, if we still stand fast in the faith both in afflictions and perplexities, that is to say, cling closely to HIS CHRIST; as it is written,

“Who shall separate us from the love of CHRIST?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

None of these things can separate believers, nothing can tear away those who are clinging to His+ Body and Blood.

Persecution of that kind is an examination and searching out of the heart.

GOD wills us to be sifted and proved, as HE has always proved His people; and yet in His trials help has never at any time been wanting to believers.

6. Finally, to the very least of His servants although placed among very many sins, and unworthy of His condescension, yet HE has condescended of His goodness towards us to command: “Tell him,” said HE, “to be safe, because peace is coming; but that, in the meantime, there is a little delay, that some who still remain may be proved.”

But we are admonished by these divine condescensions both concerning a spare diet and a temperate use of drink;

to wit, lest worldly enticement should enervate the breast now elevated with celestial vigor, or lest the mind, weighed down by too abundant feasting, should be less watchful unto prayers and supplication.

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