Book Analysis & Comments
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The book is one of six books authored by Dr. Atef Meshreky between 2014-16. Most of those books deliver a doctrine for the current time/generation. The last of those books “The Bride & The End Times” presents a more complete doctrine rather than parts of it or ideas in development. The doctrine has no new components, rather a combination of the typically re-emerging movements within various religions and sects over the known human history. Dr. Meshreky offers different flavors based on the audience background. His justifications include his experiences as a self-consecrated young man in an oriental orthodox church in the late 20th century.
The uniqueness of this book is that it presents a prayer to be ritually practiced. The prayer is declaration statements of ‘The power of the blood of Jesus” and assertions of that power’s cover of members of the body.
Although there are close similarities to books and prayers in protestant circles within the last couple of centuries, Dr. Meshreky explains how he, with God coming near to him, composed the prayer during his seclusion. And he touts the importance of handing it down as a form of warship. The prayer is used by the author’s “disciples” in their closed setting rituals.
Dr. Meshreky shares the “specific experience” in his “spiritual journey” [P6]. In “The Story of Part One”: in the early years of his “calling as a consecrated celibate” with an “intense desire to practically experience the grace of the New Testament”. In order to overcome hindrances and experience more, he went into “a prolonged piritual seclusion in one of the monasteries” by permission of his “spiritual father” [P7]. (No mention of who was his spiritual father, which monastery, and for how long). There, the Lord led him “in a very special way” to the “need to benefit from ‘the work of the blood of Jesus’” [P7-8]. Reading, he found “12 verses, each of them talks about a different work and effect of the blood of Jesus”. So he decided to put them together and pray them daily. [P7]
In “The Story of Part Two”: In the seventies and eighties, again suffering from spiritual deficiencies and frustration, the Lord allowed him “to come across distinguished men of God” who helped. Him. Comes the idea of the “’new man’” (the author has lectured and wrote about building the inner man on several occasions and at least one book), which is “’a real inner spiritual being’” [P10-11]. “Therefore, as the outer man has different members (the head, the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the hands, and the feet) and each has its function and role; the inner man also has the same members and they also have the same specific functions.” [P11] (an essential concept in his other book "The Inner Man and the Formation of Christ")
Then in “What is ‘prophesying’ and how can it be done?” explains that it is an “aid to the spiritual life”. Giving example from the Old Testament (Ezekiel). Then logically concludes that “I say that it is indeed true that in order to prophesy to a people, a nation, a land, a church, or any other goal; one needs a special calling and anointing”. [P16]
“Comments and clarifications for using those prayers”
Speaking to various opinions from the repetitions, “Prophets versus prophesying”, and the reasoning for the “order of the prayers” like why start with the heart, then the soul, …. All the way to the “joins and ligaments” [P20-23].
The recommended ways and dos and don’ts of the daily “ritual”. Emphasizing that the “statements of the blood of Jesus before prophesying”. But “you may choose only one member and repeat the verses related to it daily” for a period of time. And reference to the suggested repetitions and number of prostrations mentioned in the sequence in the following parts. [P23-26]
Lastly, can “seek the guidance of a spiritual mentor” experienced with the effect, “because ‘handing down’” “means to learn both the form and spirit of worship”. [P26-27]
“Part 1. Statements of the blood of Jesus”
Enumerated 12 prayers, each starting with #“- The blood of Jesus has” redeemed/sealed/granted/… “can be repeated 3 times for proclamation”. [P30-33]
“Part 2. The cover of the blood of Jesus & prophesying to different members of the body”
In 4 sections A-E, each containing several proclamations each with a start like “· The power of the blood of Jesus on” my heart/joints/head/eyes/…./feet/garments/… each with a recommended repetition “(R)”, and markers for “* 3 Prostrations”. [P36-83]
Then a small “Conclusion” with some sentences each to be repeated “(R)” and followed by a “* Prostration”.
“Endnotes: Comments on some of the references”
In what seems like going back continuation of the “Introduction”, again explaining some of the reasoning for some details. Then applying some “early fathers” stories and teachings to physical members of the body, sometimes in anatomical fashion. For instance, “Repentance changes the features of the face because it changes the heart of man.”; “The jaw joint has a role in speaking.”; “The shoulder joint: there are biblical references to pride.”; and “From the anatomical perspective, the abdomenis divided into various compartments.” [P87-89]
Similar to other author’s ideas and doctrine, prayers and rituals around blood is not new:
- There’s a slew of books with title and contents around the “power of the blood of Jesus”, and pleading the power of the blood.
- Contemporarily, the subject, prayers, and pleading exist within Pentecostal and Charismatic circles.
- In Judaism blood is a necessary component in rituals of atonement.
- In numerous religions blood has unique powers, and used in rituals.
- Christianity refers to the blood of sacrifices in the Old Testament as a symbol of the divine sacrifice for the remission of sins.
The books and prayers around ‘pleading the power of the blood of Jesus’ seem to have been preached in the 2nd half of the 19th century (See Andrew Murray) century, and somewhat blossomed in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles in the early 20th century. With the subject widely published in such communities, it seems difficult to digest that the author got this inspiration from God in the deserts of Egypt in the eighties/nineties while his teachings never included such prayer until he migrated to the US many years later and ‘served’ with many non-Orthodox preachers and groups!
However claiming a new prayer or ritual around the blood of Jesus is problematic in Orthodox and most traditional Churches. In the New Testament and the traditional Churches, there’s no separation in prayers between Jesus blood, body, soul, etc. Symbolism stops at Jesus Christ as He is the true sacrifice. Prayers, Liturgies, and communication are directed to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, never to a sub-component or a single aspect of one of the persons of the Trinity. On the contrary the book's prayers are centered around the worshipper's body members and organs, and the blood of Jesus, exclusively.
In the traditional churches, the body and blood of Jesus Christ are taken through communion. Never the blood alone. Liturgical prayers address God and persons of the Trinity. For the sacrifice, the mention is always consistently is of the body and the blood. Additionally the priest proclaims openly and loudly that His divinity never parted from His humanity even for a brief moment. Solidifying and declaring the faith that Jesus as a whole is the sacrifice with no partitioning of any kind.
In Orthodoxy there are no new prayers nor rituals. Actually in Orthodoxy there’s no new anything! As the saying “in Orthodoxy when we renew, we go back to doing the old thing”. Authoring a new prayer even conflicts with the author’s pillar of own doctrine that he has been called upon to return the church to its early centuries’ state! Additionally practicing a prayer with associated prostrations only in closed group settings contradicts with the openness of prayers of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
That makes the reason for the prayers of this book ambiguous. Why pray and ritualize around the blood of Jesus? Don’t we pray to Jesus as a whole person? Should there be a prayer for each member and organ of the body of Jesus as well? Did Jesus soul, body, and blood serve different purposes or have different powers? Why in the Bible and traditional Churches there’s no prayer to the blood of Jesus?
Notable to see the conceptual similarities of this book with the author’s other book “THE INNER MAN & THE FORMATION OF CHRIST”, which links the ‘inner man’s’ ‘anatomy’ to the physical body, and contains some tables and quasi-anatomical diagrams to emphasize.
But while the motivations for the book are unclear, it is clear that it is unacceptable and can potentially be prohibited and considered a heretical practice in Orthodox Churches.
Contradictions to the Bible and the Church
- Cover “pray and proclaim the blood of Jesus”: We pray to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There’s never been a prayer to the “blood of Jesus”, nor any aspect nor sub-component of one of the persons of the Trinity. None taught by Jesus, in the Bible, nor in the Church prayer books.
- We receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in communion, not by praying to each or any of them.
- We receive them together. No separation, and no separation between His Divinity and Humanity.
- P8: “I proclaim the power of the blood of Jesus”: where’s the reference for this in Bible, Orthodoxy? Was that a teaching by the author’s spiritual father (who)? This is only practiced in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles.
- P8: “However, the Lord revealed to me that this is not sufficient and that I should search the Bible to learn more about the work of this precious blood.”: How? How the author discerned that this is the Lord’s revelation, since this is not common? Is this to say the Lord saw the Church prayers as not sufficient?
- P8: “To my surprise, I found that there are 12 verses, each of them talks about a different work and effect of the blood of Jesus, all of which are so essential for sanctifying one’s life and transforming it into Christ’s image. This in turn leads to the full manifestation of salvation –for which the Son of god emptied Himself and came to our world!”: Where these concepts come from? ‘verses essential for sanctifying one’s life’, and ‘leads to the full manifestation of salvation’, and ‘for which the Son of God emptied Himself and came to our world’. Salvation is by Christ, not by verses we use for transformation. The Son of God came because He loved us.
- P8-9: Praying it daily and handing it down to others: We received prayers from Jesus and the very early fathers. In Orthodox Churches, there’s no intent to add or subtract from what we received from our grand parents, which we’ll hand down to our grand children. Are we supposed to add these new prayer to the Agpeya? Should this be cleared by the Synod? Did the revelation indicate insufficiency of our prayers, and were they sufficient before?
- P11: “Though the priest anoints the visible organs of our body, this anointing indeed extends to the members of the inner man, which are the ones intended in this anointing (Ephesians 1:13).: How the author deduced from the verse the previous sentences? Why the author is trying to separate the human physical body from the “inner man”? The Church refuses separation between the spirit, the soul, and the body in living human being and for Jesus. The anointed members (not organs) include sexual ones. What’s the “equivalent” to these in the “inner man”’s shape?
- P11: “Romans 7:22; 2Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16; 4:22-23; Colossians 3:9-10”. Some conflict with the author’s statements, like Ephesians 4:22-23 “to be strengthened with might through His Spirit” and Colossians 3:9-10 “according to the image of Him”. It is a custom of the author in his books and lectures to pick Bible verses and use them in his ways to justify his points, rather than to understand and live the Bible! In some other instances he inundates with reference to plenty of verses as if to create trust in his teachings, even if unrelated, or contradicting.
- P26-27: Praying them first with a mentor experienced in them for “handing down”: The generation in the Church hands down what was handed down to them. Not author a prayer, or import it from protestant circles and then hand It down to coming generations!
Some references and links
- Books about the power of the blood of Jesus https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=blood+of+Jesus