Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

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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Continuing on Purgatory…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 1, 2009

Those who die in the state of grace, that is in the friendship of Christ, are the ones who have called out to God for His mercy but realize that they are not yet ready for heaven. They desire a more perfect state, a more holy state.  Can’t enter a home with white carpet wearing muddy shoes…

And even though the previously mentioned allegory uses a nice soothing hot shower to cleanse the soul, Sacred Scripture AND Sacred Tradition tell us that Purgatory is not that nice.  Why?  Because those who are there know the state of their souls and how much purification they require, but they also know there is not a whole lot they can do about it other than to work it out in a very long, and often painful (when you’re really embarrassed about something, is it painful?) acknowledgment of one’s sins and the just punishment for those sins.

If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. ~ 1Cor 3:15

While attending an RCIA class, as I was a stand-by sponsor, when we came to the subject of Purgatory and the speaker read an account from a book written by a 19th century saint who would often receive visits from those in Purgatory pleading for her prayers.  She related the experience of one such soul:

A man lay dying in a hospital bed, and while he was there he cried out to God for mercy because the pain of his illness was too great for him to bear.  God heard his cry and sent St. Michael to him to offer him a choice.  St. Michael said, ‘I have permission to relieve your suffering on earth and take you now to Purgatory, or you can suffer one more year and return immediately home, to heaven.’  The man thought about it for a moment, keenly aware of the physical pain he was in, and decided he’d ask a special favor.

‘Sir, I was wondering if you might give me a moment’s opportunity to visit Purgatory for just a little while so that I might make an good decision.’  St. Michael waited and then responded, ‘I can leave you there for one hour, but that is all the time I am allowed.’  The man agreed, believing that nothing could be worse than the current pain he was in.

A short while later, St. Michael decided to return to the man to see how he was doing.  Upon seeing the heavenly visitor, the man cried out in great agony, ‘I thought you were only going to leave me for one hour?!  How could you leave me here so long?’  St. Michael responded, ‘I have only been away from you for a short time.’  The man’s face contorted with spiritual discomfort at the realization of the gift he had received and pleaded with St. Michael to let him return immediately to the hospital room where he would suffer with great joy and gladness for the next year; for the suffering he endured in Purgatory could not be compared with the small amount of suffering he had on earth.

He was returned immediately and held true to his word.  The man suffered keenly for another year, but always with great joy and love of God, for he knew, without a doubt, that his final destination was indeed heaven.

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
~ Job 23:10

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