I AM HERE. John, the apostle of Jesus.
God answers the prayers for material things by the work and operation of His angels and spirits; and, in that work, they are subject to the limitations of success, as I have mentioned before. God does not exercise any arbitrary power to answer such prayers. But, when they are sincerely offered to Him, He works through His angels in answering them; and He does not do so by His mere Fiat. His angels are always watching and working. And, when the opportunity comes, they use their influences in the best possible way to bring about the desired ends.
As you know, man has a free will, and that determines very largely the action of men. And such actions are never arbitrarily controlled by any Divine Power. If the prayers of men as to material things can be responded to by the workings of the angels and spirits, they are; but if such response depends upon the will of men, then the material things are not received by mortals, except as the spirits may be able to influence that will and cause men to act in compliance with that influence, which is always used for the purpose of bringing about responses to the prayers that are proper in their nature and worthy to be answered.
(Padgett asked a question regarding the prophets of the Old Testament.)
Well, I doubt if any of those petitions were ever answered in the arbitrary way that is related in the Old Testament. God never answers prayer in that manner. And the petitions of the old prophets had no more influence to bring about the answers to the same, in the manner indicated, than have the prayers of the sincere and earnest men of these days. God was the same then as He is now, and worked through the spirits then as He does now, except that He now has angels of the soul development in the Divine Love that He did not have then; and these angels are now doing His Bidding, in addition to the spirits. But He does not answer prayers for material things, except in a manner in consonance with laws controlling the free will and actions of men as they may be operated upon and influenced by the work of spirits.
Sometime, I will come and write you a message on this subject of prayer and answer. But this I want to say: that we can understand at times what will happen in the near future; and, having such knowledge, we can tell mortals what may be expected or, rather, what will occur, and this we sometimes do.
In your case, all of us of the higher spheres, as well as many from the spirit spheres, know what your petitions have been in reference to these material matters, and we have been working to bring about a realization of the same on your part-not only because of your petitions but also because these material matters are so necessary for the doing and completion of our work. And we have been using our influence to the utmost to accomplish this end. But, as I say, we are all limited, and we do not have the power to cause the happening of any event by our mere willing the same, even though we are doing the Work of the Father.
This may seem surprising as well as disappointing to you, but it is a fact. And it is a great Truth that God helps those who help themselves.
Of course, you must not lose sight of the fact that, while men themselves must do those things that bring about happenings or phenomena or changes in material things, yet, we can influence, but not absolutely control, their desires and intentions and their will that puts these intentions into operation or effect. No, as to their immediate manifestations, these things are subject to the wills of men.
Never by a mere act of the moment, or of a physical character, does God place riches or prosperity into the hands of any man. These things must be wrought and brought about immediately by man. But, in doing this, man can and is wonderfully influenced by the workings of the spirits.
(Padgett asked John about Jesus feeding the multitude.)
Well, that is a question that has caused men to doubt and consider, and explain in various ways, the so-called “miracle” of the leaves and fishes. As I was a disciple of the Master at that time, it is quite natural that I should be expected to state whether or not such a miracle ever occurred. And, of course, I can state what the fact is in relation thereto. And notwithstanding that this alleged miracle has been used by preachers and teachers for many centuries to show the wonderful power possessed by Jesus, thereby causing the people to believe in and accept him as God (or at least having Godlike powers), and has been used to work much good among those who were seeking for the true religion, yet, I am compelled and sorry to say that no such miracle ever took place. While Jesus had wonderful powers, and understood the workings of the spiritual laws to a far greater extent than any mortal who ever lived, yet, he had not the power to increase the leaves and fishes as is set forth in the account of the miracle. To be able to do so would be against the Laws of God governing the material things of His Creation, and also beyond and outside of the powers conferred on any man or angel by any spiritual laws.
There are certain laws by which we, who are acquainted with and use them, may cause a dematerialization of physical substances, and also may cause a materialization of spiritual substances to a limited degree. But I am not acquainted with any law that would have operated, under the control of Jesus, to increase the leaves and fishes to the great number mentioned in the story referred to. As a fact, I know that no such miracle took place, and Jesus will tell you the same.
There are other alleged miracles in the Bible that never had any existence as facts.
Well, I have written a long letter to you tonight, and I must stop. But I am pleased that you asked me about the response to prayers, and the miracle of the leaves and fishes, for your questions gave me the opportunity to explain these matters to some extent. But, as to prayer, you must wait until I deal with it more at large, or in detail, before you conclude that you understand the subject fully.
And I say to you: pray not only for the spiritual things which God bestows through His Holy Spirit but also for the material things which He bestows through His angels and spirits. The proper prayer will be answered sooner or later. And your prayer for that which I have written about will be answered, even though, to you, the response may seem to be delayed a long time. With my Love and blessings, I will say good night.
Your brother in Christ,
(Volume II of True Gospel Revealed Anew by Jesus contains additional messages written by John on the subject of prayer.)