Valleus’s Notes.–‘Acta Pilati’
To Tiberias Caesar, Emperor of Rome.
“. . . Among the various rumors that came to my ears there was one in particular that attracted my attention. A young man, it was said, had appeared in Galilee preaching with a noble unction a new law in the name of the God that had sent him. At first I was apprehensive that his design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day in passing by the place of Siloe, where there was a great concourse of people, I observed in the midst of the group a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected, so great was the difference between him and those listening to him. His golden-colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial appearance. He appeared to be about thirty years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between him and his hearers, with their black beards and tawny complexions!”
“It was on account of the wisdom of his sayings that I granted so much liberty to the Nazarene; for it was in my power to have had him arrested, and exiled to Pontus; but that would have been contrary to the justice which has always characterized the Roman government in all its dealings with men; this man was neither seditious nor rebellious; I extended to him my protection, unknown perhaps to himself. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and address the people, and to choose disciples, unrestrained by any praetorian mandate.”
“This unlimited freedom granted to Jesus provoked the Jews–not the poor, but the rich and powerful. It is true, Jesus was severe on the latter, and this was a political reason, in my opinion, for not restraining the liberty of the Nazarene. ‘Scribes and pharisees,’ he would say to them, ‘you are a race of vipers; you resemble painted sepulchres; you appear well unto men, but you have death within you.’ At other times he would sneer at the alms of the rich and proud, telling them that the mite of the poor was more precious in the sight of God. Complaints were daily made at the praetorium against the insolence of Jesus.”
“I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with him at the praetorium. He came. You know that in my veins flows the Spanish mixed with Roman blood–as incapable of fear as it is of weak emotion. When the Nazarene made his appearance, I was walking in my basilic, and my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement, and I trembled in every limb as does a guilty culprit, though the Nazarene was as calm as innocence itself. When he came up to me he stopped, and by a signal sign he seemed to say to me, ‘I am here,’ though he spoke not a word. For some time I contemplated with admiration and awe this extraordinary type of man–a type of man unknown to our numerous painters, who have given form and figure to all the gods and the heroes. There was nothing about him that was repelling in its character, yet I felt too awed and tremulous to approach him.”
“The Nazarene calmly replied: ‘Prince of the earth, your words proceed not from true wisdom. Say to the torrent to stop in the midst of the mountain-gorge: it will uproot the trees of the valley. The torrent will answer you that it obeys the laws of nature and the creator. God alone knows whither flow the waters of the torrent. Verily I say unto you, before the rose of Sharon blossoms the blood of the just shall be spilt.”
“Your blood shall not be spilt,’ said I, with deep emotion; ‘you are more precious in my estimation on account of your wisdom than all the turbulent and proud Pharisees who abuse the freedom granted them by the Romans. They conspire against Caesar, and convert his bounty into fear, impressing the unlearned that Caesar is a tyrant and seeks their ruin. Insolent wretches! they are not aware that the wolf of the Tiber sometimes clothes himself with the skin of the sheep to accomplish his wicked designs. I will protect you against them. My praetorium shall be an asylum, sacred both day and night.’
“Jesus carelessly shook his head, and said with a grave and divine smile: ‘When the day shall have come there will be no asylums for the son of man neither in the earth nor under the earth. The asylum of the just is there,’ pointing to the heavens. ‘That which is written in the books of the prophets must be accomplished.'”
“Three powerful parties had combined together at that time against Jesus: First, the Herodians and the Sadducees, whose seditious conduct seemed to have proceeded from double motives: they hated the Nazarene and were impatient of the Roman yoke. . . The Pharisees were the avowed enemies of Jesus. They cared not for the government. They bore with bitterness the severe reprimands which the Nazarene for three years had been continually giving them wherever he went. Timid and too weak to act by themselves, they had embraced the quarrels of the Herodians and the Sadducees. Besides these three parties, I had to contend against the reckless and profligate populace, always ready to join a sedition, and to profit by the disorder and confusion that resulted therefrom.”
“I had taken a wife from among the Gauls, who pretended to see into futurity. Weeping and throwing herself at my feet she said to me: ‘Beware, beware, and touch not that man; for he is holy. Last night I saw him in a vision. He was walking on the waters; he was flying on the wings of the wind. He spoke to the tempest and to the fishes of the lake; all were obedient to him. Behold, the torrent in Mount Kedron flows with blood, the statues of Caesar are filled with gemonide; the columns of the interium have given away, and the sun is veiled in mourning like a vestal in the tomb. Ah! Pilate, evil awaits thee. If thou wilt not listen to the vows of thy wife, dread the curse of a Roman Senate; dread the frowns of Caesar.'”
“I then ordered Jesus to be scourged, hoping this might satisfy them; but it only increased their fury. I then called for a basin, and washed my hands in the presence of the clamorous multitude, thus testifying that in my judgment Jesus of Nazareth had done nothing deserving of death; but in vain. It was his life these wretches thirsted for.
“Often in our civil commotions have I witnessed the furious anger of the multitude, but nothing could be compared to what I witnessed on this occasion. It might have been truly said that all the phantoms of the infernal regions had assembled at Jerusalem. The crowd appeared not to walk, but to be borne off and whirled as a vortex, rolling along in living waves from the portals of the praetorium even unto Mount Zion, with howling scream, shrieks, and vociferations such as were never heard in the seditions of the Pannonia, or in the tumults of the forum.
“By degrees the day darkened like a winter’s twilight, such as had been at the death of the great Julius Caesar. It was likewise the Ides of March. I, the continued governor of a rebellious province, was leaning against a column of my basilic, contemplating athwart the deary gloom these fiends of Tartarus dragging to execution the innocent Nazarene. All around me was deserted. Jerusalem had vomited forth her indwellers through the funeral gate that leads to Gemonica. An air of desolation and sadness enveloped me. My guards had joined the cavalry, and the centurion, with a display of power, was endeavoring to keep order. I was left alone, and my breaking heart admonished me that what was passing at that moment appertained rather to the history of the gods than that of men. A loud clamor was heard proceeding from Golgotha, which, borne on the winds, seemed to announce an agony such as was never heard by mortal ears. Dark clouds lowered over the pinnacle of the temple, and setting over the city covered it as with a veil. So dreadful were the signs that men saw both in the heavens and on the earth that Dionysius the Aeropagite is reported to have exclaimed, ‘Either the author of nature is suffering or the universe is falling apart.’
“Whilst these appalling scenes of nature were transpiring, there was a dreadful earthquake in lower Egypt, which filled everybody with fear, and scared the superstitious Jews almost to death. It is said Balthasar, an aged and learned Jew to Antioch, was found dead after the excitement was over. Whether he died from alarm or grief is not known. He was a strong friend of the Nazarene.”
“A few days after the sepulchre was found empty. His disciples proclaimed all over the county that Jesus had risen from the dead, as he had foretold. This created more excitement even than the crucifixion. As to its truth I cannot say for certain, but I have made some investigation of the matter; so you can examine for yourself, and see if I am in fault, as Herod represents.”
“When the great excitement arose about the sepulchre being found empty, I felt a deeper solicitude than ever. I sent for Malcus, who told me he had placed his lieutenant, Ben Isham, with one hundred soldiers around the sepulchre. He told me that Isham and the soldiers were very much alarmed at what had occurred there that morning. I sent for this man Isham, who related to me, as near as I can recollect, the following circumstances: He said that at about the beginning of the fourth watch they saw a soft and beautiful light over the sepulchre. He at first thought that the women had come to embalm the body of Jesus, as was their custom, but he could not see how they had gotten through the guards. While these thoughts were passing through his mind, behold, the whole place was lighted up, and there seemed to be crowds of the dead in their graveclothes. All seemed to be shouting and filled with ecstasy, while all around and above was the most beautiful music he had ever heard; and the whole air seemed to be full of voices praising God. At this time there seemed to be a reeling and swimming of the earth, so that he turned so sick and faint that he could not stand on his feet. He said the earth seemed to swim from under him, and his senses left him, so that he knew not what did occur. I asked him in what condition he was when he came to himself. He said he was lying on the ground with his face down. I asked him if he could not have been mistaken as to the light. Was it not day that was coming in the East? He said at first he thought of that, but at a stone’s cast it was exceedingly dark; and then he remembered it was too early for day. I asked him if his dizzyness might not have come from being wakened up and getting up too suddenly, as it sometimes had that effect. He said he was not, and had not been asleep all night, as the penalty was death for him to sleep on duty. He said he had let some of the soldiers sleep at a time. Some were asleep then. I asked him how long the scene lasted. He said he did not know, but he thought nearly an hour.”
“It seems to me that, if the Jewish theory be true, these conclusions are correct, for they are in accord with this man’s life, as is known and testified by both friends and foes, for the elements were no more in his hands than the clay in the hands of the potter. He could convert water into wine; he could change death into life, disease into health; he could calm the seas, still the storms, call up fish with a silver coin in its mouth. Now, I say, if he could do all these things, which he did, and many more, as the Jews all testify, and it was doing these things that created this enmity against him–he was not charged with criminal offenses, nor was he charged with violating any law, nor of wronging any individual in person, and all these facts are known to thousands, as well as by his foes and by his friends–I am almost ready to say, as did Manlius at the cross, ‘Truly this was the Son of God.’
“Now, noble Sovereign, this is as near the facts in the case as I can arrive at, and I have taken pains to make the statement very full, so that you may judge of my conduct upon the whole, as I hear that Antipater has said many hard things of me in this matter. With the promise of faithfulness and good wishes to my noble Sovereign,
I am your most obedient servant,
—THE ARCHKO VOLUME or The Archeological Writings of the Sanhedrim & Talmuds of the Jews
Translated by Drs. McIntosh & Twyman of the Antiquarian Lodge, Genoa, Italy.
The Archko Volume—Historical Evidence of Jesus Christ
The Three Hermits
By Leo Tolstoy
“And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” (Matthew 6: 7-8)
A BISHOP was sailing from Archangel to the Solovétsk Monastery; and on the same vessel were a number of pilgrims on their way to visit the shrines at that place. The voyage was a smooth one. The wind favourable, and the weather fair. The pilgrims lay on deck, eating, or sat in groups talking to one another. The Bishop, too, came on deck, and as he was pacing up and down, he noticed a group of men standing near the prow and listening to a fisherman who was pointing to the sea and telling them something. The Bishop stopped, and looked in the direction in which the man was pointing. He could see nothing however, but the sea glistening in the sunshine. He drew nearer to listen, but when the man saw him, he took off his cap and was silent. The rest of the people also took off their caps, and bowed.
‘Do not let me disturb you, friends,’ said the Bishop. ‘I came to hear what this good man was saying.’
‘The fisherman was telling us about the hermits,’ replied one, a tradesman, rather bolder than the rest.
‘What hermits?’ asked the Bishop, going to the side of the vessel and seating himself on a box. ‘Tell me about them. I should like to hear. What were you pointing at?’
‘Why, that little island you can just see over there,’ answered the man, pointing to a spot ahead and a little to the right. ‘That is the island where the hermits live for the salvation of their souls.’
‘Where is the island?’ asked the Bishop. ‘I see nothing.’
‘There, in the distance, if you will please look along my hand. Do you see that little cloud? Below it and a bit to the left, there is just a faint streak. That is the island.’
The Bishop looked carefully, but his unaccustomed eyes could make out nothing but the water shimmering in the sun.
‘I cannot see it,’ he said. ‘But who are the hermits that live there?’
‘They are holy men,’ answered the fisherman. ‘I had long heard tell of them, but never chanced to see them myself till the year before last.’
And the fisherman related how once, when he was out fishing, he had been stranded at night upon that island, not knowing where he was. In the morning, as he wandered about the island, he came across an earth hut, and met an old man standing near it. Presently two others came out, and after having fed him, and dried his things, they helped him mend his boat.
‘And what are they like?’ asked the Bishop.
‘One is a small man and his back is bent. He wears a priest’s cassock and is very old; he must be more than a hundred, I should say. He is so old that the white of his beard is taking a greenish tinge, but he is always smiling, and his face is as bright as an angel’s from heaven. The second is taller, but he also is very old. He wears tattered, peasant coat. His beard is broad, and of a yellowish grey colour. He is a strong man. Before I had time to help him, he turned my boat over as if it were only a pail. He too, is kindly and cheerful. The third is tall, and has a beard as white as snow and reaching to his knees. He is stern, with over-hanging eyebrows; and he wears nothing but a mat tied round his waist.’
‘And did they speak to you?’ asked the Bishop.
‘For the most part they did everything in silence and spoke but little even to one another. One of them would just give a glance, and the others would understand him. I asked the tallest whether they had lived there long. He frowned, and muttered something as if he were angry; but the oldest one took his hand and smiled, and then the tall one was quiet. The oldest one only said: “Have mercy upon us,” and smiled.’
While the fisherman was talking, the ship had drawn nearer to the island.
‘There, now you can see it plainly, if your Grace will please to look,’ said the tradesman, pointing with his hand.
The Bishop looked, and now he really saw a dark streak—which was the island. Having looked at it a while, he left the prow of the vessel, and going to the stern, asked the helmsman:
‘What island is that?’
‘That one,’ replied the man, ‘has no name. There are many such in this sea.’
‘Is it true that there are hermits who live there for the salvation of their souls?’
‘So it is said, your Grace, but I don’t know if it’s true. Fishermen say they have seen them; but of course they may only be spinning yarns.’
‘I should like to land on the island and see these men,’ said the Bishop. ‘How could I manage it?’
‘The ship cannot get close to the island,’ replied the helmsman, ‘but you might be rowed there in a boat. You had better speak to the captain.’
The captain was sent for and came.
‘I should like to see these hermits,’ said the Bishop. ‘Could I not be rowed ashore?’
The captain tried to dissuade him.
‘Of course it could be done,’ said he, ‘but we should lose much time. And if I might venture to say so to your Grace, the old men are not worth your pains. I have heard say that they are foolish old fellows, who understand nothing, and never speak a word, any more than the fish in the sea.’
‘I wish to see them,’ said the Bishop, ‘and I will pay you for your trouble and loss of time. Please let me have a boat.’
There was no help for it; so the order was given. The sailors trimmed the sails, the steersman put up the helm, and the ship’s course was set for the island. A chair was placed at the prow for the Bishop, and he sat there, looking ahead. The passengers all collected at the prow, and gazed at the island. Those who had the sharpest eyes could presently make out the rocks on it, and then a mud hut was seen. At last one man saw the hermits themselves. The captain brought a telescope and, after looking through it, handed it to the Bishop.
‘It’s right enough. There are three men standing on the shore. There, a little to the right of that big rock.’
The Bishop took the telescope, got it into position, and he saw the three men: a tall one, a shorter one, and one very small and bent, standing on the shore and holding each other by the hand.
The captain turned to the Bishop.
‘The vessel can get no nearer in than this, your Grace. If you wish to go ashore, we must ask you to go in the boat, while we anchor here.’
The cable was quickly let out, the anchor cast, and the sails furled. There was a jerk, and the vessel shook. Then a boat having been lowered, the oarsmen jumped in, and the Bishop descended the ladder and took his seat. The men pulled at their oars, and the boat moved rapidly towards the island. When they came within a stone’s throw they saw three old men: a tall one with only a mat tied round his waist: a shorter one in a tattered peasant coat, and a very old one bent with age and wearing an old cassock—all three standing hand in hand.
The oarsmen pulled in to the shore, and held on with the boathook while the Bishop got out.
The old men bowed to him, and he gave them his benediction, at which they bowed still lower. Then the Bishop began to speak to them.
‘I have heard,’ he said, ‘that you, godly men, live here saving your own souls, and praying to our Lord Christ for your fellow men. I, an unworthy servant of Christ, am called, by God’s mercy, to keep and teach His flock. I wished to see you, servants of God, and to do what I can to teach you, also.’
The old men looked at each other smiling, but remained silent.
‘Tell me,’ said the Bishop, ‘what you are doing to save your souls, and how you serve God on this island.’
The second hermit sighed, and looked at the oldest, the very ancient one. The latter smiled, and said:
‘We do not know how to serve God. We only serve and support ourselves, servant of God.’
‘But how do you pray to God?’ asked the Bishop.
‘We pray in this way,’ replied the hermit. ‘Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us.’
And when the old man said this, all three raised their eyes to heaven, and repeated:
‘Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us!’
The Bishop smiled.
‘You have evidently heard something about the Holy Trinity,’ said he. ‘But you do not pray aright. You have won my affection, godly men. I see you wish to please the Lord, but you do not know how to serve Him. That is not the way to pray; but listen to me, and I will teach you. I will teach you, not a way of my own, but the way in which God in the Holy Scriptures has commanded all men to pray to Him.’
And the Bishop began explaining to the hermits how God had revealed Himself to men; telling them of God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
‘God the Son came down on earth,’ said he, ‘to save men, and this is how He taught us all to pray. Listen and repeat after me: “Our Father.”‘
And the first old man repeated after him, ‘Our Father,’ and the second said, ‘Our Father,’ and the third said, ‘Our Father.’
‘Which art in heaven,’ continued the Bishop.
The first hermit repeated, ‘Which art in heaven,’ but the second blundered over the words, and the tall hermit could not say them properly. His hair had grown over his mouth so that he could not speak plainly. The very old hermit, having no teeth, also mumbled indistinctly.
The Bishop repeated the words again, and the old men repeated them after him. The Bishop sat down on a stone, and the old men stood before him, watching his mouth, and repeating the words as he uttered them. And all day long the Bishop laboured, saying a word twenty, thirty, a hundred times over, and the old men repeated it after him. They blundered, and he corrected them, and made them begin again.
The Bishop did not leave off till he had taught them the whole of the Lord’s prayer so that they could not only repeat it after him, but could say it by themselves. The middle one was the first to know it, and to repeat the whole of it alone. The Bishop made him say it again and again, and at last the others could say it too.
It was getting dark, and the moon was appearing over the water, before the Bishop rose to return to the vessel. When he took leave of the old men, they all bowed down to the ground before him. He raised them, and kissed each of them, telling them to pray as he had taught them. Then he got into the boat and returned to the ship.
And as he sat in the boat and was rowed to the ship he could hear the three voices of the hermits loudly repeating the Lord’s prayer. As the boat drew near the vessel their voices could no longer be heard, but they could still be seen in the moonlight, standing as he had left them on the shore, the shortest in the middle, the tallest on the right, the middle one on the left. As soon as the Bishop had reached the vessel and got on board, the anchor was weighed and the sails unfurled. The wind filled them, and the ship sailed away, and the Bishop took a seat in the stern and watched the island they had left. For a time he could still see the hermits, but presently they disappeared from sight, though the island was still visible. At last it too vanished, and only the sea was to be seen, rippling in the moonlight.
The pilgrims lay down to sleep, and all was quiet on deck. The Bishop did not wish to sleep, but sat alone at the stern, gazing at the sea where the island was no longer visible, and thinking of the good old men. He thought how pleased they had been to learn the Lord’s prayer; and he thanked God for having sent him to teach and help such godly men.
So the Bishop sat, thinking, and gazing at the sea where the island had disappeared. And the moonlight flickered before his eyes, sparkling, now here, now there, upon the waves. Suddenly he saw something white and shining, on the bright path which the moon cast across the sea. Was it a seagull, or the little gleaming sail of some small boat? The Bishop fixed his eyes on it, wondering.
‘It must be a boat sailing after us,’ thought he ‘but it is overtaking us very rapidly. It was far, far away a minute ago, but now it is much nearer. It cannot be a boat, for I can see no sail; but whatever it may be, it is following us, and catching us up.’
And he could not make out what it was. Not a boat, nor a bird, nor a fish! It was too large for a man, and besides a man could not be out there in the midst of the sea. The Bishop rose, and said to the helmsman:
‘Look there, what is that, my friend? What is it?’ the Bishop repeated, though he could now see plainly what it was—the three hermits running upon the water, all gleaming white, their grey beards shining, and approaching the ship as quickly as though it were not morning.
The steersman looked and let go the helm in terror.
‘Oh Lord! The hermits are running after us on the water as though it were dry land!’
The passengers hearing him, jumped up, and crowded to the stern. They saw the hermits coming along hand in hand, and the two outer ones beckoning the ship to stop. All three were gliding along upon the water without moving their feet. Before the ship could be stopped, the hermits had reached it, and raising their heads, all three as with one voice, began to say:
‘We have forgotten your teaching, servant of God. As long as we kept repeating it we remembered, but when we stopped saying it for a time, a word dropped out, and now it has all gone to pieces. We can remember nothing of it. Teach us again.’
The Bishop crossed himself, and leaning over the ship’s side, said:
‘Your own prayer will reach the Lord, men of God. It is not for me to teach you. Pray for us sinners.
And the Bishop bowed low before the old men; and they turned and went back across the sea. And a light shone until daybreak on the spot where they were lost to sight.
Tolstoy’s Three Hermits
Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky
Vintage Footage of Leo Tostoy
Tolstoy on the road from Moscow to Yasnaya Polyana
This is from A Wilderness Voice Blog:
There is so much more to what it means to be intimate with our Father and Jesus than what seeps to the surface in today’s churches. Even the Bible translators seem to have gone out of their way to strip intimacy out of what the original languages were written in. For instance, what it means to be “born again.” We hear this phrase all over Christendom, but how hollow it is! Being “born again” is the very beginning of our relationship with the Spirit Being who has called us to Himself. The translators really missed it on this one! Take the word, “born”
1) of men who fathered children
1a) to be born
1b) to be begotten
1b1) of women giving birth to children
This word can be used for both being born and for insemination by the father. But in this case our heavenly Father is the progenitor. He is not our biological mother, but who is? Father is the one who moves and “broods over” us and inseminates us with spiritual life! That is what it means to be “born of the Spirit.” With us it is just as it was with Mary, the mother of Jesus and how she became pregnant.
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know [ginosko – intimate knowing] not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born [gennao] of you shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35 KJ2000 – emphasis added)
Then our intimacy continues on for we are inseminated INTO Christ and abide there in Him from then on. Jesus said, “That whosoever believes in [Greek – eis INTO not “in”] him [the Son] should not perish, but have eternal life.”(John 3:15 KJ2000) Salvation is all about in whom we abide. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in [Greek – eis INTO] him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJ2000)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe INTO [Grk – eis] his name [character or personage]: Who were born [gennao – inseminated], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 KJ2000)
The initial act by the Father is one that makes us spirit beings and then through faith places us INTO the Son. Jesus is the Father’s womb where we live! From then on we are IN Him. Jesus said,
He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. (John 6:56 KJ2000 – Emphasis added)
We are eating and drinking from Him just as a fetus does eat and drink of its mother. Paul nailed it when He said,
‘In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ (Acts 17:28 RSVA – emphasis added)
Jesus’ final prayers are very instructive,
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on [eis – into] me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in [eis – into] one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23 KJ2000 – emphasis added)
As I hope you can see, everything about what it means for us to become a NEW creation IN Christ is about intimacy. We who are His body and Bride have our singular being (not beings) IN the Father and the Son. This is not mere religious activities that is spoken of here. God is after intimacy with all who are His.
Another thought on intimacy. Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, enter into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6 KJ2000). Prayer is our time of intimacy in secret with the Father, not a public performance. We enter into our room with Him and shut the door. What room? The room that Jesus has prepared for us for our intimate communion with the Father and the Son. Jesus said,
“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe [INTO – Grk. eis) God, believe also [INTO – Grk. eis] me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 RSVA)
We are the BRIDE of Christ, not His platonic girlfriend. There is so much more to becoming the Bride of Christ than attending endless church meetings. Jesus first prepares the bridal chamber for us and then invites us into it with Him. We can have that intimacy now in this life as we learn to go into our heavenly room in our Father’s house and shut the door with Him. Oh, what intimacy is ours if we will just open our eyes and follow our Bridegroom.
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. (Matthew 25:10 RSVA)