Truth in Conflict      A study of the scriptures is required to obtain a functional understanding of God's will and teaching (cp. 2 Tim. 2: 15). On some level - either simple or technical - any worthwhile hermeneutic system requires that certain axiomatic rules be followed. Such simple rules, for instance, as paying attention to who is speaking, to whom it is being spoken, and both the immediate and remote contexts. Another equally basic and important rule is not allowing one truth to conflict with or blur another relevant truth. While this is a simple common sense rule, I submit that it is often ignored.      The matter of prayer. The scriptures are replete with wonderful teaching regarding prayer. The writers of the New Testament often stressed the certainty of answered prayer and God's ability to deliver. Hear the apostle Paul:      "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Eph. 3: 20).      Any Bible teaching regarding prayer will stress the fact of God's ability and promise pertaining to answering prayer. However, there are other verses that contain relevant teaching about prayer that are sometimes not appreciated. In fact, on occasion such verses as Ephesians 3: 20 are accented so strongly that they blur other important teaching and make it unimportant.      Consider a couple of these other equally important verses containing qualifying and fundamental truths:      "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" and "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us" (I Jn. 3: 22, 5: 14).      Answered prayer, then, is contingent on man "keeping his commandments" and conforming to God's will. Such truth must not be blurred or de-emphasized by such positive and powerful statements as the one found in Ephesians 3: 20.      The security of the believer. There is absolutely no doubt regarding God's power, ability, and sovereignty in the matter of sustaining the believer. "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy," wrote Jude (vs. 24). Jesus made the emphatic following statement:      "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (Jn. 10: 28, 29).      Such verses as the foregoing should be stressed and their assurance fully stated. However, these truths must not be allowed to blur other germane truths. Three verses before the statement in Jude 24, the writer stated, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Affixed to Jesus' words in John 10: 28, 29 we read, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (Jn. 10: 27). Some verses declare God's part in the matter of the preservation of the saints; and other verses contains truths pertaining to how God's children must remain faithful (cp. 2 Chroni. 15: 1, 2). One truth must not be presented in such a way as to blur another. Yes, God is able, but man can fall and be lost (Gal. 5: 4, Heb. 6: 4ff.).      The church and the individual. Some verses stress the church, both universally and locally (Eph. 3: 10, I Tim. 3: 15). It is true that the church consists of people or individuals (I Cor. 12). The local church has benevolent duties in certain areas. One involves believing widows (I Tim. 5: 3, 16). The Holy Spirit provided an example of the church taking care of indigent widows (Acts 6: 1-4). However, the scriptures also address the duties of certain individuals over and before the local church. In so doing, a clear distinction is made between church action (the trea