Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for February, 2012

A Lesson in Sacred Scripture…Part II

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 13, 2012

Let us pray...

Monday Evening Payer, Week I: Psalm 15
Antiphon:
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

Lord, who shall be admitted to Your tent and dwell on Your holy mountain?  He who walks without fault; he who acts with justice and speaks the truth from his heart; he who does not slander with his tongue, he who does no wrong to his brother, who casts no slur on his neighbor, who holds the godless in disdain, but honors those who fear the Lord; he who keeps his pledge, comes what may; who takes no interest on a loan and accepts no bribes against the innocent.  Such a man will stand firm forever.

Glory be to the Father…

Antiphon: Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

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Recap...

A RECAP FROM LAST WEEK…

Peter and his predecessors and the predecessors of the Apostles hold the prophetic message of Jesus Christ…

The Apostles of Christ

“We possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable. ~2Peter 1:19

[Jesus said to them]  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” ~Mt. 28: 19-20

[Jesus said to Peter]  “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” ~Mt 16: 17-19

[And also…]  “Feed My lambs”, “Tend My Sheep”, Feed My Sheep” ~Jn 21: 15-17

Scripture is “inspired by God” and therefore…

…profitable for teaching, for reproof,  for corrections, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (emphasis added) ~2Tim 3:16

The word of the Lord...

LESSON IN SCRIPTURE… PART II

“…there is NO PROPHECY contained in Scripture which is a PERSONAL INTERPRETATION...” ~2Peter 1:20

Which means that if any decides he/she can interpret scripture for themselves and teach others their interpretation based on their own (and limited) understanding they could (and most likely will) …

“…create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words, they deceive the hearts of the simple minded.”   (emphasis added) ~Rom 16: 17b-18

And a small list followed of those in history who did exactly that. This leads us in nicely to the Scriptures regarding the Latter Days, and more specifically with the coming days of tribulation, which could very well be upon us as I type, and the false hope of a Rapture before these days begin…

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BOTH Tradition AND Sacred Scripture ~ Good Theology!

The most common and probably the most widely misinterpreted  scripture passage on the above subject comes from St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 24.  Jam packed with prophecy from the very mouth of Jesus, there is much contained within that transcends all time and place, but gives the learned reader…

Learned Reader: A person who studies Sacred Scripture within the structure of Christ’s Holy Church, in communion with the teaching magisterium in whom Christ, Himself, gave the full deposit of faith and understanding.

The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone.

Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. (emphasis added) ~ CCC§85

Here is where Martin Luther and those who followed after him lost sight of the TRUTH when they thought they could do better…

“Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, BUT IS ITS SERVANT. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.” (emphasis added) ~ CCC§86

Take special NOTE…

Mindful of Christ’s words to His apostles: “He who hears you, hears me,” (cf. Lk 10:16), the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.(emphasis added) ~ CCC§87

“If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” ~Jn 15:20b

CONCLUSION: Apart from Rome…you’re on your own!

GIVES THE LEARNED READER insight and understanding in the “days” leading up to Christ’s final return.  I say, “days” because…

“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Why?

“The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” ~2Peter 3: 8-9

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...there will not be left here one stone upon another...

SO LET US BEGIN… Matthew, Chapter 24, Verse 1

Setting: We are told that Jesus has just left the Temple, vs 1, and His disciples are chasing after Him because in the previous chapter Jesus really laid into the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy.  So when Jesus says,

“You see all these,” [referring to the stones used to build the temple], “…do you not?  Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.” ~Mt 24:2

History now tells us that Jesus spoke immediately about the coming destruction of the temple by the Romans that would happen in 70AD – we only know the date because that’s recorded history. 

The disciples, however, heard this and figured that meant He was about to establish His kingdom (Mt. 24:3).  Remember, the Jews of this day believed the Messiah would be a warrior King (cf. Acts 1:6).  Jesus of course is very patient with them and politely ignores their question and responds instead with…

“Take heed that no one leads you astray.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray…” ~Mt 24: 4-5

Or as in our case of the Christian churches today, many have come in His name with the notion that they knew the mind of God better than God Himself and have presented a gospel different from what the Apostles preached…  But I digress…

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rumors...earthquakes...plagues...nation against nation...

If the learned reader continues, they will notice that Jesus speaks in succession with the events concerning the “Last Days”…

Signs and Events: Verses 6-8 : Wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, famines and earthquakes in various places…  nothing we have not witnessed over the last 2000 years, and certainly in the last several years.

Tribulation will follow: Verses 9-12: Those who hold to the Christian message will be turned over to the authorities – some put to death – all hated by the nations for the message they witness to…

“If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.” ~Jn 15:18

“If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you…But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” ~Jn 15:21, 22

Verses 9-12 cont… : Many will fall away and betray one another; False prophets will arise and lead others astray; Wickedness will be multiplied (gay marriage, explicit sex education for K-2nd grade, loss of religious freedom…etc, etc, etc…). Because of this wickedness, man’s love will grow cold. 

And of the days of tribulation Christ says…

“For there will be great tribulation such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (emphasis added) ~Mt. 24: 21-22

This is the important verse that corresponds DIRECTLY with the underlined verse above…

“But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (emphasis added) ~Mt. 24: 13

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believersThe persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth(emphasis added) ~CCC§675

This is the first indication that the Rapture is a creation of man’s imagination and wishful thinking.  As a quick aside – I will address verses 15-20 and 23-26 in PART III.  Click here for more information about the founder of the Rapture idea.

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And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call ~Mt 24:31a

The second indication begins with verse 27… Talking about Christ’s RETURN…

For as the lightening comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. ~Mt. 24:27

WHEN will it happen and WHAT will happen when it does?…

[WHEN] Immediately after the tribulation of those days [WHAT] the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken(emphasis added) ~Mt 24:29

Oh how terrible is that day!  Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath.  The angels tremble before it. (emphasis added) ~Faustina Diary, No. 635, Divine Mercy

Now, let us read and see what follows this…

Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will morn and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and glory. (emphasis added) ~Mt. 24:30

Which agrees with Acts 1:11…

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

But that’s NOT ALL!  As the song goes, “Oh when the Saints, go marching in…I want to be in that number…”  For we read…

And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (emphasis added) ~Mt. 24:31

Two groups of believers here:  One from the “end of heaven to the other”, AND ANOTHER GROUP “from the four winds”.  One is LIVING and one has DIED in CHRIST.  Can you guess which one is which?  If not, here is St. Paul to help you out. =-)

St. Paul writes about Christ’s declaration…

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. [aka – Died]

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep[The dead rise first. That is, those who were in heaven with our Lord… see below…]

Book of Revelation confirms this…

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ~Rev 7: 9-10, 13-14,  See the post on Martyrdom

St. Paul finishes…

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, (cf. Mt 24:30; Acts 1:11), with a cry of command with the archangel’s call and with the sound of the trumpet of God (cf. Mt 24:31).

And the dead in Christ will rise first; THEN we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. (emphasis added)  ~ 1Thes 4: 14-17

NOT… ‘we will be raptured up, escaping all the tribulations that will befall earth because of our sins’.  No such luck.  Instead we are called at the MOMENT OF CHRIST’S RETURN to JOIN HIM in the air as He comes to establish what St. John witnessed…

I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. ~ Rev 21:1

THE FINAL ARGUMENT… Well what about verses 40 and 41?

Taken out of context, these verses could mean anything.  But if you read them in context to what they follow after, they are completely compatible with verse 31 a-b, when Christ’s angels will go out to gather His elect from the four winds.

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Jesus, WE TRUST IN YOU!

It won’t be just the elect who survive the days of tribulation.  What about those who persecute God’s chosen ones, who make the days of tribulation so terrible?  What about them?…

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against Him who sits upon the horse and against His army.

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image.

These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur.  And the rest were slain by the sword of Him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from His mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (emphasis added) ~Rev 19: 19-21

God’s VICTORY will be the end!  Which is why we in Christ have NOTHING to FEAR… but those who OPPOSE God and His chosen ones will fear greatly!

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From the fig tree learn its lesson... Mt.24:32a

So when is all this going to happen?  I’ll let Jesus answer that…

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, at the very gates.

Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away… Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming

Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  ~ Mt 24: 32-35, 42, 44

At least now the readers understands (I hope) that we will not be caught up in the air to meet Christ UNTIL that GLORIOUS DAY when HE RETURNS!  My other hope is that none in Christ will “fall away” because of their disappointment of not being raptured.

Next Post… FALSE PROPHETS and FALSE CHRISTS…

Recommended Reading:

 Lesson…Part I
Lesson…Part III

Charismatic, Part V

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A Lesson in Sacred Scripture…Part I

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 5, 2012

What we await are new heavens and a new earth where, according to His promise, the justice of God will reside.  So, beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in His sight.  Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation. ~2Peter 3: 13-15a, Week IV, Saturday Morning prayer.

Directed toward OUR salvation, specifically!

The Prayer of the Church

Last Sunday, I sat and reflected on the reading from Week IV, Sunday Evening Prayer II, and as I read a topical insight with more scriptural cross reference presented itself.  On the topic of prophecy…

Week IV, Sunday Evening Prayer II:  READING: 2Peter 1: 19-21 (emphasis added)

We possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable.  Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place until the first streaks of dawn appear and the morning star rises in your hearts.  First you must understand this: there is NO PROPHECY contained in Scripture which is a PERSONAL INTERPRETATION. Prophecy HAS NEVER been put forward BY MAN’S WILLING IT.  It is rather that man impelled by the Holy Spirit have spoken under God’s influence.

ONE SECTION AT A TIME:

The Apostles of Christ

“WE POSSESS THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE…”

Who are “WE” ?

The Apostle Peter wrote the letter… therefore it stands to reason he is referring to himself and his fellow Apostles.

After all, they were instructed by JESUS CHRIST, HIMSELF while He was on the earth, and they were commissioned to:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” ~Mt. 28: 19-20

Peter, specifically, was commissioned by Christ to be the HEAD of His Church…

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” ~Mt 16: 17-19

To take care of His people, those called to preach and teach, and of his fellow Apostles…

“Feed My lambs”, “Tend My Sheep”, Feed My Sheep” ~Jn 21: 15-17

The Apostolic Succession from Peter and the Apostles to the present day remains unbroken over 2000 years – just a few noted scriptural passages…

Election of Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1: 15-26); Conversion of Saul to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9: 1-31), though he did try to preach to his own people in the beginning; First Council – Council of Jerusalem – called to settle the matter whether converts to Christ must be circumcised or not. The Apostle James was the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 15:13) and he agreed with Peter (Acts 15: 14-21), but it was Peter who made the final proclamation (Acts 15: 6-11), on the matter and ordered a letter to the churches be sent out (Acts 15: 22-29);  Two successors to Peter are mentioned: St. Clement (4th Pope, elected 88, died in 97) mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Philippians 4:3c; and St Linus (1st Pope, elected in 67 the year Peter was martyred in Rome, cf. John 21: 18-19) mentioned in the second letter to Timothy 4:21.

And so the prophetic message of Jesus Christ also continues with Faith and Tradition surrounded in Sacred Scripture.  For the Church is not an EITHER / OR … it’s a BOTH /AND –> GOOD THEOLOGY!

The word of God...

“AS SOMETHING ALTOGETHER RELIABLE”

St Paul tells us in his second letter to St. Timothy:

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,  for corrections, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (emphasis added) ~2Tim 3:16

And St. Peter echoes that:

“…there is NO PROPHECY contained in Scripture which is a PERSONAL INTERPRETATION. Prophecy HAS NEVER been put forward BY MAN’S WILLING IT.  It is rather that man impelled by the Holy Spirit have spoken under God’s influence.” (emphasis added) ~2 Peter 1:21

Conclusion?  The WORD OF GOD is RELIABLE!

Let God be the center of your life!

“KEEP YOUR ATTENTION CLOSELY FIXED ON IT, AS YOU WOULD
A LAMP SHINING IN A DARK PLACE.”

The FOCUS must be on GOD!

On His WORD

“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and WORD was God…” (emphasis added) ~Jn 1:1

On His Commands…

“And He said to them, ‘You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself.” (emphasis added) ~Mt 22: 37, 39

In His WAY…

“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me.” (emphasis added) ~Jn 14:6

“The Son of man also came not be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” ~Mk 10:45

“…but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God;

With the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (emphasis added) ~2Cor 6: 4-1

"Jesus is the light of the world..."

He IS the TRUE LIGHT shining in the darkness of this present age of disobedience…

“In Him was life, and the life was the LIGHT of men.  The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (emphasis added) ~Jn 1: 4-5

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus‘ sake.  For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.(emphasis added) ~2Cor 4: 5-11

Without the LIGHT of Christ, there will be NO rising of the Morning Star in the hearts of mankind…

“I Jesus have sent My angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.” (emphasis added) ~Rev 22:16 (see also Isaiah 14)

Sacred Scripture

“YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THIS: THERE IS NO PROPHECY CONTAINED IN SCRIPTURE
WHICH IS A PERSONAL INTERPRETATION…”

There are many in the mainline churches that believe one can just open the bible, read a passage, and interpret for themselves the full meaning of the text…

THIS IS A GRAVE ERROR… and one that denotes misguidance on the part of the reader; especially when they begin to teach their misinterpretation to others…

ST. PAUL WARNS AGAINST THIS…

“…take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words, they deceive the hearts of the simple minded.”   (emphasis added) ~Rom 16: 17b-18

Here are a few in our modern times who have done just that:

Luther, 1521 – Established the Lutheran Church 

Broke from the Catholic Church; added TO scripture that line “by faith alone”… (“Do not add to the words of God” ~Proverbs 30: 5-6); and REMOVED 5 books from the OT Cannon – talk about arrogance…  His dissent led to the following dissenters who thought they could do a better job than Luther…

Carlstadt, Munzer, Storch, and Pfeiffer, 1523 – established the Anabaptist Church;

Ulric Zwingli, 1523 – established the Puritan Church

King Henry VIII, 1535 – established the Anglican Church

Remember this one?  He wanted to establish divorce as legitimate without anyone questioning his authority…Why?  Because none of his wives could produce a male heir.  Yeah, that’s a good reason to go against God and His Holy Church… maybe not…

Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’  Hear me now, O house of Israel: Is My way not just?  Is it not your ways that are not just?  When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it”  (emphasis added) ~Ezekiel 18: 25-26a

An interesting note: Just prior to King Henry VIII’s dreadful decision, he had received the title, Defender of the Faith, for his publication that spoke on the Seven Sacraments.  After his break with Rome, his kingdom continued a decline, no male heir was produced that lived long enough to assume the throne – Edward the IV only lived a few short years (1547-53), leaving Henry’s one daughter, Mary, and her half sister Elizabeth, to assume the throne; King Henry died a painful death due to Syphilis in 1547.

John Calvin, 1536 – established the Calvinist Church

John Knox, 1560 – established the Presbyterian Church; etc, etc, etc…

And the splits continue on to this day… each with a “new interpretation”, a “new understanding” of Sacred Scripture… Each thinking they can do a better job then those who came before them –  including, I’m sorry to say, Christ who established His Church under Peter… Who should think they can do better than God?

Which leads into PART II…the greatest most popular deception of all!  The False Teaching on the idea of The Rapture… This I will address on my next posting, continuing with 2Peter 1: 19-21…

HINT: John Nelson Darby, 1830, established this notion based on what he believed came from God.  Although he didn’t sight scripture, others that followed him have.  That’s where we’ll begin next time…

Recommend Reading:

Lesson Part II
Lesson Part III

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
The Storm at Hand
The Great Apostasy

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