Retired Fire fighter. Teach and Outreach to homeless. All teachings free to download from my sites. take no money Ever.
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    Colossians 2

    Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

    Links to my sites here and the bottom of every post- Most updated at bottom.


    Colossians 2 videos!Aocp2PkNEAGMgX5I8fGfOn55PP68

    Update- Colossians 2 conclusion [I tried to cover the part that I missed on the 1st video- it’s on the last 3 or 4 minutes of this video]

    ON VIDEO [Note- as I was making the video I accidentally turned the camera off about 31 minutes in- I covered most of what I wanted already- so I’ll simply post it as is]

    .Father God
    .The great mystery
    .Death row case
    .The offering went up!
    .The great conflict
    .Philosophy- Science- etc.- OK to learn-
    .But the answer is in Christ
    .How was Paul with them ‘in the spirit’ ?
    .Christian unity
    .Protestant Reformation
    .Luther- Calvin- Zwingli
    .Christ cast the shadow
    .The sin debt paid


    Paul speaks about his ‘great conflict’ for the believers-
    What was this struggle he was speaking of?
    Colossians 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
    Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
    He wanted unity among the believers- being ‘knit together in love’.
    I find it interesting the way we- as the people of God- down thru the ages- have been a divided people.
    Yes- there have been many good christian movements- and indeed good christian churches that have sprung out of these movements.
    But over time- many of these believers began to see the ‘other’ churches thru the lens of ‘what is wrong’.
    And often view the other churches as either a cult- or as demon possessed!
    Paul dealt with many heresies in his letters to the churches- yet- he viewed them as believers- who were going off track.
    In his Corinthian letter he begins by addressing them as believers- and saints- then goes on to reprove gross sin- heretical teaching that Jesus was not actually risen from the dead.
    He rebukes them on their abuse of the gifts of the Spirit- [Tongues]- but yet- in the end- he speaks to them as the church- the people of God.
    So Paul talks about his struggle- that God’s people would be unified as much as possible- because it is in this unity that we all can comprehend the mystery of Christ.
    Now- Paul mentioned another mystery here-
    the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
    Some bible commentators simply pass over these verses.
    Recently I have talked about the mysteries we read about in the New Testament, in our Ephesians study it was both Jew and Gentile being joined together in One Body.
    We have also seen the mystery of ‘Christ in you’.
    But what about the mystery spoken about here?
    It is the mystery of God- as Father- being revealed to us thru Christ.
    A few years back I read a book from Pope Benedict- and it talked about this revealing of God as Father- as a new thing that Jesus himself introduced to us.
    Yes- in the Lord’s prayer he teaches us this- all thru the New Testament we see ourselves as Sons and Daughters of God- the Father.
    So yes- this is an important Mystery- something we did not fully comprehend before Christ.
    Now Paul begins to correct the church-
    Colossians 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
    Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
    Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
    There were various heresies that began to spring forth in the 1st century church.
    Early Gnosticism was a mix of human philosophy- along with the teachings of the church.
    I have written on philosophy before- and have taught how the early philosophers were seeking the the answer to things
    Aristotle even spoke about God.
    Yet at the time of the 1st century- there was a dangerous mix of Gnostic philosophy with the teachings of Christ.
    The word philosophy in itself- is fine- it means to be a ‘lover of wisdom’-
    The book of proverbs speaks about the benefit of loving wisdom.
    But if you think human wisdom is the answer- then you have gone astray-
    Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
    Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
    Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
    Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
    Our completeness is found in a Person- the person of Christ.
    The hidden wisdom of God is in Christ.
    The works of the flesh can never produce this type of wisdom.
    James- the brother of Jesus himself will speak about 2 types of wisdom-
    14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
    15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
    16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
    17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy- James 3
    Godly wisdom comes when we are grounded in Christ- and walk in the fear of the Lord.
    Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
    Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
    Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
    Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
    In Christ- there is no natural rite- or legalistic system that changes us- but their is a ‘circumcision of the heart’.
    The work of the New Birth is a spiritual reality- we have been joined with Christ in death- and have been raised again.
    The ‘blotting out of ordinances’ speaks of a debt ledger- a creditor would keep an account of the debt the borrower owes.
    The ledger in this case is the law itself.
    All people have sinned- and the law was simply a ledger of the debt that no man could pay.
    The debt was death- both spiritual and physical.
    Jesus- as the sinless sacrifice- died for the sins of man.
    And in so doing- he took that debt ledger- and nailed it to his Cross.
    We are now free from the condemnation of the law- and walk in newness of the Spirit- not the oldness of the letter-
    Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
    Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
    Colossians 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
    Jesus triumphed over the forces of darkness- delivered us from the legalism of the law mind set- which was only a shadow-
    But the thing [person] that ‘cast the shadow’ if you will- was Christ.
    The law was simply our tutor- to bring us to Christ- but when the reality is come- we have no more need of a tutor-
    Galatians 3:24-25 [Full Chapter]
    Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
    Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
    Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
    Colossians 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
    Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
    Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
    If we grasp the reality of Christ as the Head of the church- and his finished work for us- then we will not be lead astray seeking to please God thru an extreme form of self denial-
    Or thru a system of wisdom that is truncated from the wisdom of Christ.
    If we understand that the kingdom is not about ‘meat and drink but righteousness joy and peace in the Spirit’-
    Romans 14:17
    For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
    Then we won’t be sidetracked into the legalistic restraints of the law- or the commandments of men.
    The New Testament clearly declares that we have been brought to a new table- the table of the Body and Blood of Christ.
    We have life- we have relationship with God as our Father- because of Jesus reconciling us back to God thru the Cross.
    It was his resurrection that ‘sealed the deal’ if you will-
    Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
    Jesus did what none of us could do- he lived a perfect sinless life- and died on the Cross for the sins of man.
    All the wisdom in the world- all the works of the law- all the philosophies of men could never accomplish what Jesus did.
    He redeemed us back to God-
    Our Father
    Matthew 6:9
    After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. {some sites see here ]

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    Colossians 1

    21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
    22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Col. 1

    Links to my sites here and the bottom of every post- Most updated at bottom.


    Colossians 1 videos-!Aocp2PkNEAGMhSmqhD0320axIBaD

    .Introduction to Colossians
    .Brief history of Colosse
    .Jesus- the Firstborn- what does this mean?
    .A radio message on cassette ‘Legalism spoils rotten’- probably the first message I preached at the Old Hospital in Kingsville
    .The prison epistles
    .The Logos and the act of creation
    .Christology in the first 3 centuries of Christianity
    .Arius- Athanasius
    .Constantine in the 4th century
    .The official split between east and west [Catholic and eastern orthodox] was in 1054 ad- but the division started long before
    .Trinity- eternal fellowship in the God head itself [Himself]
    .What is the renewing of the mind- how is this accomplished?

    Intro- This letter is one of the prison Epistles of Paul [the other 3 are Ephesians- Philippians- Philemon].
    He probably wrote it while in prison at Rome- between ad 60-62. I covered this in my Acts study [Chapter 28- ].

    Its too easy to label what exact heresy Paul was fighting in his various letters.
    We do know that the rise of Gnosticism was a real threat to the early church [1st John] as well as Legalism [Galatians]- so I think its better to say that Paul was basically doing the same thing in all of his letters.

    Exalting Christ- showing how our relationship with Christ by faith unites us with him.
    Teaching that the law [and ceremony] were only shadows of the real thing to come- which is Christ.
    Yes- he follows this basic theme in most of his letters.

    But we usually say that the apostle was fighting asceticism in this letter [true as far as it goes].
    Asceticism was the belief that extreme self denial produces holiness.
    In my view this is simply another form of legalism- attempting to make ourselves right in the sight of God thru self effort.

    Whether that be thru the works of the law- or any other religious practice.
    Paul also warns against the worship of angels and teaches the preeminence of Christ.

    Colossae [or Colosse] Like some of the other cities I covered in my Acts study – was an area not at its ‘best’ at the time Paul wrote to the church there.
    A few hundred years before Paul the city was a leading city in Asia Minor [Turkey] but in the 1st century it was more of a market town and other regions had greater influence- economically speaking.

    In Acts 19 we read that during Paul’s stay at Ephesus- the converts to Christ spread the word of the Lord to Asia-
    Acts 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
    In this letter Paul seems to identify the person who brought the gospel to Colosse- Epaphras-
    Colossians 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
    Ok- that’s a brief introduction before we get into the letter itself.

    Chapter 1-

    Paul first of all thanks God for those who believed the message of Christ-
    Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
    Leaders- ‘apostles’- those who are striving to do the work of God- we often read the bible looking for keys to effective ministry-
    We just saw one of them.
    praying always for you,
    Prayer- pray for the people you preach to- pray for the work of God- the work of grace- to continue in the churches you hope to build- pray.

    Pray this-
    Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
    Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
    It is thru the people that the work of the ministry is carried out-
    Leaders- preach- teach- and when the word is planted in the people- you will have times to keep silent-

    1 Thessalonians 1:8
    For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    It is by the power of the gospel- yes- the death of Jesus- bodily- and his Blood being shed- that brings us into the kingdom now-
    Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
    Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
    Now- we see exactly who this Jesus is- for the first 3 centuries of the church- the debates were primarily about ‘Christology’- trying to define the person of Christ-
    This passage below has been seen by some to say that Jesus had a beginning point-
    Lets look it at-
    Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
    How is Jesus the firstborn?
    I have taught on the relationship of the Logos [Word] and God [The Father]-
    When God created all things- He Spoke.
    The Word of God brought all things into existence.
    This Word- the Logos- was always with the Father- yet we did not see the activity of creation until God chose to speak it into existence.
    The early church settled this question of the deity of Christ- and one of the key passages they used was from John’s gospel-
    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    Jesus is the firstborn- has the preeminence because everything else came forth from Him-
    He is not the ‘firstborn’ meaning he too was born- or created- but the first in God’s creative act.
    Truly this Logos became flesh- and that’s why we identify him as the only begotten Son of God.
    When the word was made flesh- the Logos [Word] took on a human Body.
    But he was with the Father from all eternity- as the passage from John states.
    The New Testament also states that Jesus was the first to rise from the dead- to die no more-
    Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    All the fullness of God dwelt [dwells] in him-
    Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
    Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
    And because of this- his death for us brings peace-

    The process of all things being brought back to God has now begun.

    Ok- look at the next verse-
    Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
    Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
    Much has been written and spoken about the need for the Christian to have a renewed mind.
    Paul himself speaks about the importance of this-
    Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    Yet look at this passage-
    ‘alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled- In the body of his flesh through death’
    It is actually the work of Christ- the gospel- that accomplishes this renewed mind.
    In this letter Paul will refute ‘self holiness’- he will argue against extreme self denial.
    Yet many teach that we are ‘saved by grace’ true- then will sort of say ‘but the renewing of the mind is hard work’.
    I realize these men mean well- but I think this view is a legalistic way to look it it.
    The renewal of the mind is primarily being focused on the work of the Cross itself- seeing how the death and resurrection of Christ has actually ‘reconciled’ our minds- not simply a work that saved our souls.

    The apostle gives us another key to effective ministry-
    Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
    Not just to suffer- but to embrace it as a gift from God.
    When we as Christians speak about bearing our Cross- I don’t think we fully grasp what this means.
    The Cross was indeed the redemptive purpose of God.
    We have already seen this in the first chapter of this short letter.
    And Paul saw his sufferings as a key part of his ministry.
    He is penning this letter from prison- his body is ‘captive’ but the Word of the Lord has free course.
    In our Ephesians study- we talked about the mystery that God revealed- it was the mystery [hidden until the time God revealed it] of both Jew and Gentile being one body.
    Here we see another mystery-
    Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    What is the mystery?
    That Christ himself- by the Spirit- actually lives inside the believer-
    Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
    Yes- he is speaking of the Gentiles here- and this of course fits with the mystery seen in Ephesians-
    But yet- this was still unknown until the time of Christ.
    That thru the Spirit of God dwelling in us- we have the power to overcome the world.
    1 John 4:4
    Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

    We end the chapter with the apostle once again giving us a key-
    Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
    Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
    Paul was carrying out his mission-
    The declaration of the Word of God-
    to fulfil the word of God; Verse 25.
    He had many struggles in the journey- we saw in our Acts study how he was beaten at times- some think he was actually killed at one point- and God raised him up.

    Yet thru all of this- he saw it was God himself doing the work- it was ‘his working’ which was working in him in a mighty way.

    He was not ‘working the Word’ for material gain- but the Word- even the word of the Cross was working in him.

    The apostle of Grace understood that all that was happening- all the great churches that Paul planted-
    all the suffering he went thru- was simply God working in and thru him-
    Amen [Some sites see here ]

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    Sunday Sermon

    John 21:12
    Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

    Links to my sites here and the bottom of every post- Most updated at bottom.


    Made yesterday- The Christ!Aocp2PkNEAGMkVQmYrtNyfoN7D24?e=pC1ygl

    Sunday sermon videos-!Aocp2PkNEAGMh3Ls90y-8Bd7KFTq

    ON VIDEO [Teaching below]
    .The penny with no face
    .Einstein- Aristotle
    .The Wisdom of God
    .John the Baptist
    .Church history
    .Arius- Athanasius and the 4th century debate
    .His flesh is the bread- how?
    .Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century
    .Calvin- Luther and Zwingli- the 16th century Protestant Reformation
    .The philosophers of ancient Greece were looking for the Logos
    .John- in his writings said ‘we have found Him’
    .The 2 creations were made by the Wisdom of God

    Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    Teaching [Past posts below]

    This Sunday I spoke on the verses from the Mass and a few from Church Unlimited.
    I taught mostly from Proverbs 8 and 9 and spoke about Christ as the wisdom of God-
    1 Corinthians 1:24
    But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    In proverbs 8 we see an account of the creation- and how wisdom was with God before the worlds were made.
    And after the creation- wisdom continued to rejoice in the ‘habitable part of the earth’ –
    Proverbs 8:31
    Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    Proverbs 8 is simply a personification of wisdom- and it is not speaking directly of Jesus- though it most certainly would apply.
    God made all things thru Jesus- the eternal Logos [word- wisdom].
    After God made the 1st creation by his Word- Then the Word [Logos] became flesh- we call this the incarnation, and because Jesus- the Word became man- and died and rose again-
    This enabled the new creation- the church- the people of God- to come into being.
    Which I think was the 1 verse I quoted from pastor Bil on the video-
    2 Corinthians 5:17
    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    This Wisdom- Christ himself- is our righteousness- our redemption- he is made unto us wisdom-
    1 Corinthians 1:30
    But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    I taught some church history and will add my past teachings below that apply.
    But the main theme was the wisdom of God-
    When we walk in wisdom- are rooted in Christ- then the things that God is doing thru us are established- a theme I spoke about last week.
    God wants to do things in and thru us- these works are supposed to be long lasting- to impact generations to come, after we are gone.
    We don’t want to have lived a busy life- just being preoccupied with the things that daily fight for our attention- the whole social media- or media in general mindset.
    Being driven by the most popular thing of the moment- and then jumping on to the next most popular thing- and on and on.
    No- that’s not the way wisdom builds- the things that are built by wisdom are things that last- they might take more time to build- yet in the end- if it was built by Wisdom- on the Rock- it will stand- even when the storm hits-
    24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
    25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
    Matt. 7

    Hebrews 4:15
    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. [Some sites see here ]

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    Links to my sites here and the bottom of every post- Most updated at bottom.


    Today let’s finish up the study on the Protestant Reformation. We left off on Luther disputing with the church over the doctrine of how a person becomes just in the sight of God- is it by works or faith?

    Now- to the surprise of many Protestants [and Catholics!] both sides agreed that a person cannot be justified by works.

    Yes- the Catholic Church rejected what was known as Pelagianism. In the early centuries of the church there was a Catholic priest- named Pelagius- who taught that people had the ability within themselves to obey Gods law and become saved that way.

    He rejected the doctrine of original sin and another famous bishop- Saint Augustine- would refute Pelagius and teach salvation comes by the Grace of God. The official Catholic position was to reject Pelagius and accept Augustine.

    Okay- then where’s the difference?

    The church council that spells it out is the Council of Trent [named after the Italian city where the council took place in the 1500’s- Trento].

    This council is often referred to as the Counter Reformation. The church rejected the Protestant line- but also acknowledged the need for reform and made some changes.

    This is the council where the church rejects Pelagianism- and also says the position of Luther [Justification by Faith ALONE] was flawed.

    The church appealed to the New Testament letter of Saint James- where James uses an example from the life of Abraham [found in Genesis 22] where Abraham obeys God and is willing to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar.

    Of course this never happens- God was simply testing Abraham- but James says this act of obedience justified him in Gods sight.

    James says ‘see how a man is justified by works- and not by faith ALONE’.

    The argument from Rome was Faith played THE major role in justification- but was not sufficient by itself- there had to be righteous works eventually associated with it in order for God to say ‘you are just’ [saved].

    Luther disagreed and said God justified Abraham before he had good works- we find this in Genesis 15. God says to Abraham ‘look- count all the stars- so shall your offspring be’ and Walla- the bible also says Abraham was justified in God’s eyes the moment he believed the promise.

    Who’s right?

    Actually they both are.

    I have taught this a few times over the years- and it would take too much time to re-do right now.

    But I believe James and Paul [the 2 who debate this in the bible] are simply looking at different aspects of salvation/justification.

    Paul emphasized faith- and James showed us how true faith always has works with it.

    When you read the statements that came out from the council of Trent- some of them do seem to indicate that both sides might have been talking past each other at some points.

    In the heat of the day they were too quick to condemn the other side- without really trying hard to achieve unity [like politics!].

    The 6th session of Trent was the one where the church dealt with justification [how we become saved in Gods sight].

    Rome made a distinction between mortal and Venial sin in the council- the church said that Baptism is the INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE of justification. Yet faith is the Root- Foundation and Initial act that justifies.

    Rome also taught that Mortal sin kills the grace in the soul that brings justification- and when a person commits a mortal sin- they need the ‘2nd plank of justification’ in order to be brought back into a state of Grace.

    This 2nd Plank is the Sacrament of Penance [confession]. Catholic Moral Theologians use an example to show the difference between Mortal and Venial sin.

    Drinking- if you take a drink [alcohol] not a sin. If you get tipsy- Venial- and if you get flat drunk- mortal.

    This is a true teaching by the way- not making this up.

    Catholic scholars are not in total agreement on all the Mortal/Venial sins.

    Some teach that missing Mass on Sunday is a Mortal sin.

    I just threw this in to show you the debates that take place.

    The teachings from Trent are referred to as Tridentine.

    The Protestants [early on] rejected the belief that a person can lose Gods grace once he has it- later on the Protestants would divide- severely- over this teaching- Predestination and the Perseverance of the Saints.

    But early on all the major Reformers did indeed teach this.

    Luther believed in the doctrine of Predestination just as much- if not more- than John Calvin.

    But sometimes in these history shows they get this wrong and say Luther and Calvin disagreed on it- that’s a common mistake that you hear every so often.

    Luther actually wrote a book dedicated to the subject [The Bondage of the Will] Calvin never wrote a book solely on the subject.

    Okay- as we end this brief study of the Protestant Reformation- you could also call it a primer on Catholic doctrine [short one].

    Why is it important that we study this?

    In John chapter 17 Jesus said that he desired unity for all of Gods people- and many of these divisions- which date back 500 years- are commonly misunderstood on both sides.

    It is common in our day to run across an ex Catholic who might say ‘you know- I left the church because I don’t believe I need to confess to a priest’ or ‘the Catholic church teaches you are saved by works’.

    The original Reformers did not have a problem with confession- the Lutherans carried the practice over into their communion.

    And like I just showed you- the Catholic church rejected the doctrine of being saved ‘by works’ [Pelagianism] and simply emphasized the teaching found in the bible- the book of James- and focused more on James than Paul [who the protestants focus on].

    So yes- there are still differences- but if we are not informed- then it makes it harder to strive for unity- and at the end of the day God does desire unity for all his people.

    The other day I quoted the great Civil rights leader- MLK. In one of his famous speeches that’s played when we celebrate his life- you hear Martin say that not only was he seeking unity among the races- but also in the church.

    He said he wanted to see Catholics and Protestants- as well as Blacks and Whites- sit down together- he referred to us all as Gods kids.

    I think we should strive to achieve the desire of Martin- and Jesus.

    Amen. [Some sites see here ]

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    Let’s do another post on the Protestant Reformation. I’ll probably only do a few more before I transition into another study.

    By the way- all the studies I do thru out the year are posted in the February posts of the following year.

    Okay- last we left off Luther was just beginning to butt heads with the church [Tetzel] over the abuse of the sale of indulgences that was going on in Germany.

    In a previous post I mentioned how the priest- Tetzel- was selling these ‘get out of Purgatory’ type coupons in the area where Luther operated out- Saxony.

    Actually- Tetzel never entered Saxony itself- but was selling these out of a bordering city- and many of Luther’s students/parishioners were being hoodwinked into spending their money to rescue a loved one out of Purgatory.

    Tetzel is known for a jingle he started in connection with the sale of the indulgence- it goes ‘as soon as a coin in the coffer rings- a soul in Purgatory springs’- ouch!

    Like I said before- the church never taught this- they did teach the Treasury of Merit [previous post] but the way Tetzel used it was a real abuse of the teaching of the church at the time.

    Now- Luther responds to the abuse by writing the famous 95 thesis. This is the act that is often associated with the launching of the Reformation- the act that got the ball rolling.

    The 95 thesis were simply 95 questions challenging the whole practice of the sale of indulgences- there was no mention of the doctrine of Justification by Faith- which will become the trumpet sound that springs out of the Protestant Reformation.

    Luther takes these questions- written in Latin- and nails them to the university church door at Wittenberg. Sometimes while reading church history this ‘nailing to the door’ is seen as a sort of vandalism – you know- ‘he nailed them to the door!’

    In actuality Luther was simply using the system of the day that one scholar would use in order to bring up an official point of contention with the church- Luther wrote the Thesis in Latin- which was the scholars language- not the language of the common man.

    But Luther’s students quickly translated the Thesis into the vernacular [German] and it was said that in 2 weeks the paper made it into every village of Germany.

    The challenge was a spark in the lives of many Christians who also believed the church was off track and that someone needed to rebuke her- and they picked Luther as the man for the job.

    Now- the Catholic church wanted Luther to go to Rome and discuss the situation there- Luther’s friends warned him not to go- so they agreed to meet- a few times- in Germany.

    The first meeting was in 1518 at Heidelberg- Luther actually gave a great defense of his argument and convinced some other top Catholic scholars that he was right [as a side note- the church had already scheduled this meeting because of a controversy that rose up between the Augustinian order of monks and the Dominicans. They were debating over which philosophy was more consistent with church teaching- Nominalism or Realism- for those of you who have read the posts this past year- I taught this when doing our posts on philosophy].

    One man- Martin Bucer- wrote a stirring account of Luther- Bucer would later influence another young Swiss priest with Reformation teachings- his name is John Calvin.

    As a side not Calvin will become one of the 3 big heavy hitters of the 16th century Reformation [Ulrich Zwingli is the 3rd].

    Luther will meet again in Augsburg- and debate the leading Catholic scholar of the day- Cardinal Cajetan.

    Then he goes to the city of Leipzig- and debates the leading German scholar- Johann Eck.

    And his last meeting with the church will be at the famous Diet of Worms [pronounced- Vurmtz] and it will be here that Luther makes his last stand and officially will break with the church and launch the Protestant Reformation.

    It should be noted that Luther held what we call a High Church position for most of this time- he still saw the church at Rome- and the Pope- as a legitimate expression of true Christianity- his beef was what he saw as an abuse of the system- by the priest Tetzel.

    As time progressed- the other beliefs of Luther- founded upon the bible- did come into contention with Rome.

    The main disagreement eventually became the teaching in the bible called Justification by faith. I have written a study on the topic on the blog- I have also written a bible study on the book of Romans and Galatians.

    For those of you who can- try and read Romans chapters 2-4 and Galatians 2-3- these are the key chapters that cover the teaching.

    Down the road I will cover the official teaching of both the Protestants and the Catholics on the doctrine of justification- the Catholic Council of Trent- referred to as the Counter Reformation- spells out the official teaching of Rome- and there are a few papers put out by the Reformers that explain their belief.

    Since the 16th century Reformation there have been efforts made by Protestants and Catholics to bridge the gap as much as possible- to try to come to some common language since the historic split.

    I like some of the efforts that have been made- and recently both groups put out a statement that jointly said we all believe that we are saved by Gods grace thru Christ- that’s good.

    But as we get into some of the actual discussion- you will see the points at which the 2 sides disagreed- and the main one was on the act- the actual thing that happens- when a person is declared just- the Reformers said it takes place when a person has faith- believes- the Catholic church said it takes place at baptism- water baptism.

    This- as well as a few other things- will be a defining distinction between the 2. [Some sites see here ]

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    Sunday sermon

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

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    Sunday sermon videos-!Aocp2PkNEAGMhxVQKACiWtVQVbaV

    ON VIDEO [Links to all my sites at the bottom of this post]
    .Motorcycle story
    .The discipline of order
    .Don’t be driven by the immediate
    .The story of Elijah- Kings 18
    .The showdown
    .The Troubler
    .Ahab and Jezebel
    .A cloud the size of a mans hand
    .Jonah too!
    .Then came the angel
    .Divine provision
    .The True Bread
    .Predestination in John’s gospel
    .Taste and see the table of the Lord
    .Let this mind be in you

    Psalm 40:2
    He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    Teaching [Past posts below]
    I taught mostly from Kings 18- and then covered the verses from the Mass as well as Rock City Corpus and a few from Church Unlimited.
    Being I taught an entire study on Kings- I will simply add those teachings below.
    The theme was in keeping with the last Sunday Sermon post-
    And the verses showed God’s provisions- for his people- and how in the case of Elijah an angel actually provided Bread and water for the discouraged prophet-
    1Kings 19:5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
    1Kings 19:6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
    1Kings 19:7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
    The passage from John [6] and the psalms spoke of he heavenly Bread- and the provision- as well as angelic intervention.
    From the Psalms we read-
    Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
    Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
    We see both the angel of the Lord- and the table that God provides.
    In Elijah’s case- he was at the end of his rope- and was ready to die.
    Yet the angel fed him- twice.
    To me this is also a type of the second meal- or New testament.
    The first meal had a purpose- it was to supply us in a way- until the 2nd table would be set.
    The meal of ‘the law’ had a purpose, but until you find the 2nd meal- the 2nd covenant in His Blood- you will never be empowered for the long journey ahead.
    It is the table of Grace that sustains us- it is this table that the Psalmist spoke about in the reading for this day.
    God calls us to come- to taste- and to see- the goodness of the Lord.
    And when we partake of that heavenly bread- we will be empowered to go the 2nd mile-
    Matthew 5:38-48 New King James Version (NKJV)
    Go the Second Mile
    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

    2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
    Is. 54 [Some sites see here ]

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    Let’s pick up where we left off 2 posts back. We were talking about Martin Luther and the events that led up to the Protestant Reformation.

    In order to understand the key act that caused the protest- we will have to teach some Catholic history/doctrine.

    In the 16th century Pope Julius began the effort to build St. Peters basilica in Rome. He got as far as laying the foundation and died. Pope Leo the 10th would pick up after him.

    The church needed to raise money for the project- and the German prince- Albert- would play a major role.

    It should be noted that both Catholic and Protestant scholars agree that the Popes of the day were pretty corrupt. They came from what we call the Medici line of Popes.

    If you remember last month I wrote a post on the Renaissance- I talked about the Medici family and how they played a major role in supporting the Renaissance that took place in the 13th century in Florence Italy that would spread to the region.

    Well this very influential family also played a big role in who would get top positions in the church.

    At the time of Luther and prince Albert- if you had the right connections and the money- you could literally buy a position in the church.

    Albert already held 2 Bishop seats- and there was an opening for an Archbishops seat in Mainz [Germany] and he wanted that one too.

    It should be noted that official Canon law [church law] said you could only hold one seat at a time- Albert was bidding on his 3rd one! And he was too young for all of them.

    So even the Pope and the officials held little respect for what the church actually taught at the time.

    So Albert opens up negotiations with Leo- and the bidding starts AT 12,000 Duckets [money] Albert counters with 7,000- and they agree on 10,000. How did they justify the numbers? 12- The number of Apostles. 7- The 7 deadly sins. 10- The 10 commandments.

    Yes- the church was pretty corrupt at the time.

    So Albert works out a plan with Leo- he will borrow the money from the German banks- and pay the banks off by the Pope giving Albert the right to sell Indulgences.

    What’s an Indulgence?

    Okay- this is where it gets tricky.

    The ancient church taught a system called The Treasury of Merit. This was a sort of spiritual bank account that ‘stored up’ the good deeds of others over the years.

    You had the good deeds of Jesus at the top- but you also had Mary and Joseph- the 12 Apostles- and other various saints thru out time.

    The way the ‘bank’ worked was you could tap into the account by getting a Papal indulgence- a sort of I.O.U. that had the Popes guarantee that it would get so much time out of Purgatory for a loved one.

    The actual sacrament that accesses the account is called Penance [confession].

    When a penitent does penance- he confesses his sin to the priest- and he is absolved by the authority of the church that the priest has. The priest usually tells the person ‘say so many Hail Mary’s- Our Father’s’ and that’s a form of penance.

    One of the other things the church practiced was called Alms Deeds. This term is found in the bible and it means giving your money to the poor- it is a noble act that Jesus himself taught.

    In theory- part of the sacrament of penance was tied into Alms Deeds- you can access the account thru the practice of giving to the poor- which also meant giving to the church that helps the poor- and in the hands of the Medici line of Popes- meant outright giving money to the Pope.

    So now you see how the abuse worked its way into the pockets of the faithful.

    Albert now had the permission from Leo to sell these indulgences in Germany- and he would pick a certain corrupt priest to sell them in a place called Saxony- the region where Luther operated out of.

    It should be noted that the Catholic Church never taught the crass act of ‘buying your way out of Purgatory’. The practice of including giving money as a part of the sacrament of penance was tied into the biblical principle of giving to the poor- a good thing.

    But Tetzel and others abused the official meaning of the indulgence- and did make it sound like you could by your way out of Purgatory [in theory- a loved one might be in Purgatory for so many years- and through the indulgence you are actually getting time off for them- because the good deeds of others are now applied to the account].

    The money Albert would raise- half would go to Rome for the building of St. peters- and half would go to pay off the banks in Germany- it was a sad system- and a sad time for the church as a whole.

    It would be wrong to judge the entire church at the time as being corrupt- you did have many sincere Priests and Catholic men and women who saw the abuses and did not take part in them.

    But there was corruption at the top- and this would eventually lead to the breakup of the church- and the launching of what we now call the Protestant Movement.

    As a side note- it should be said that many Catholics and Protestants are not aware of the whole treasury of merit system- and the church never officially changed her position on the doctrine.

    There were 3 Church councils since the time [Trent- 1500’s, Vatican 1- 1800’s and Vatican 2- 1962-65]. The Treasury of Merit never came up for change.

    Obviously Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory- and it’s not my purpose in these posts to change Catholics into Protestants or vice versa- but to give all sides a clear view of the issues that divided us- and to try and be honest- and respectful during the process.

    Does the bible teach anything like a Treasury of Merit? Well actually it does. The bible teaches that the righteousness of Christ is the treasury that people can access- by faith- and become righteous in the sight if God.

    The idea- applied to Christ- is good.

    But in the hands of the Medici Popes- and the ambitious prince of Germany- it would lead to disaster.

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    Let’s start with some church history. In the last post I covered the early years of Martin Luther- probably the most significant figure of the Protestant Reformation.

    Luther studied for the priesthood in Erfurt, Germany. He would eventually wind up in Wittenberg- one of the major university cities of the Reformation. Wittenberg was actually a small insignificant town- but the political leader over the region- Frederick the Wise- sought to put it on the map.

    He wanted to turn Wittenberg into a German ‘Rome’. He wanted it to become a major Pilgrimage city where Christians would see Wittenberg as a destination- just like they saw Rome.

    So Frederick embarked on this plan and he searched thru all the Catholic learning centers of the time and finally recruited 3 top scholars to teach out of the university at Wittenberg- Luther was one of the 3.

    Just as a side note- Frederick would succeed at making Wittenberg a major catholic center. He would eventually obtain over 19,000 Relics for the Cathedral church there [Relics were used in the ancient system of buying indulgences and making special pilgrimage trips to important Churches. If the church/city that your making the Pilgrimage to has a lot of Relics- bones or other famous material objects from church history- then the value of the Pilgrimage was high. In theory Frederick collected so many that if you added up all the ‘time off’ from Purgatory- you would get 1 million, 900 thousand years off! Some of the famous relics at Wittenberg were a hair from the beard of Jesus- straw from the manger Jesus was born in- and even a branch from the famous burning bush of Moses! As you can see- there was a lot of commercializing going on- even back then].

    When Luther arrived in Wittenberg- he made a name for himself as a top scholar. Many protestants- who revere Luther- usually are not aware that he was a master Linguist [sort of like Rick Perry!]

    Yes Luther mastered language- and he showed it in his teaching on the book of Psalms.

    In 1515 he began his famous study on the book of Romans and as he went thru the very first chapter- something shook him. He came across the passage that says the Just shall live by faith. This verse first appears in the O.T. book of Habakkuk- and is quoted 3 more times in the N.T.

    Luther was very aware of the concept of the righteousness of God- he struggled for many years trying to reconcile his own sinful nature with Gods holiness- but he never really ‘saw’ the biblical concept of righteousness as a free gift that God ‘imputes’ to the sinner.

    Yes- for the 1st time in Luther’s life- after his years training for the priesthood- the pilgrimage he made to Rome- the thousands of hours he spent confessing his sins while a monk in Erfurt- he never really understood that the righteousness of God was a free gift given to those who have faith.

    It was a giant weight lifted from his shoulders- Luther did not need to try any more to live up to the standards of God- in a way that would earn for him forgiveness- but he would simply believe- and the righteousness of God would be counted to him as a gift.

    Luther would go on to call this an Alien Righteousness- that is it is not found within the person who tries to do all the church works he can- or buying all the indulgences- or any other of the many religious actions he was practicing- but this free gift of being right with God- it came to those who had faith- the Just shall live by Faith- this was indeed good news for the scholar.

    As time went on- Germany would get embroiled in the political machinations of the day- Luther’s top political cover was Frederick the Wise- hardly a Protestant Reformer! He spent lots of time trying to make Wittenberg the major Catholic center in Germany.

    But at the time there was a political fight raging between Rome and some of the other nation/states. There was a figure head office called the Holy Roman Emperor. This office was really in name only- but it rose up during the first Millennium of Christian history and sought to replace the influence that Rome was losing.

    So you had France, Spain and England all vying for the title. Eventually it would go to King Charles of Spain- but the Pope- who played a major role in nominating the person- he did not want any of these top 3 to get the position. Henry the Eighth was the king of England at the time- and these ‘3 kings’ were sort of in competition with Rome- so the Pope tried to get Fredrick the Wise to throw his hat into the ring.

    Frederick just happened to be one of the Electors of this position.

    His actual title was The Elector of Saxony.

    So Fredrick had lots of influence- and as Rome would eventually but heads with the stubborn bull of Wittenberg [Luther] Frederick would become the major protector of Luther.

    Okay- I think we’ll stop here for today. The experience that Luther had- the enlightenment that came to him while teaching the book of Romans- this is often called The Tower experience of Luther- it took place in the year 1515. [Some sites see here ]

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    Sunday sermon

    Matthew 16:4
    A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

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    Made yesterday 1-7-23 The Great fisher of men!Aocp2PkNEAGMkVPQu7CD3KuQq9Z-?e=kP2HPq

    Sunday sermon videos-!Aocp2PkNEAGMhzS6qH-bn3yPF40C

    ON VIDEO [Links to all my sites at the bottom of this post]
    .See the angel?
    .Victory songs of scripture are for a remembrance of the mighty acts of God
    .These are an ‘established testimony’
    .Remember the miracles- don’t seek signs- but when God does great acts- they are a testimony of his character
    .The most important sign
    .Jesus is the true Bread from heaven
    .Be thankful
    .How does the temptation of Jesus by satan fit all the verses for this day?
    .God has established a testimony- his Son is risen indeed

    John 6:63
    It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    This Sunday I spoke on the verses from the Catholic mass.
    I’ll copy all the verses below in the ‘verses’ section.

    The passage from exodus is the famous ‘Manna’ from heaven account.
    Right after God delivered the people from Egypt- with a great wonder- the parting of the Red Sea- they immediately began to doubt his provisions for them- in the wilderness-
    Exodus 16:2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
    Exodus 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
    Exodus 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

    Though the bible teaches us to not seek signs- or miracles- yet when God’s people seek him- and he intervenes in a miraculous way- these are events that were to be remembered for generations.

    When the people grumbled about provisions- food- natural bread- it was a reaction of them not remembering what God just did- the parting of the Red sea.

    We see the same in the passage from John’s gospel- last week I covered the first part of John 6- where Jesus multiplied the bread and fish.

    The passage for this week began with the people who saw that great miracle- following Jesus- not because they saw [remembered] the miracle- but because they were filled with natural food.

    Jesus himself rebukes them for following him for the natural provisions- and not because of the miracle-
    John 6:24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.
    John 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
    John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
    The miracles of both the Manna and of Jesus feeding the multitudes- were indeed great acts of God.
    These events were to be remembered- yes- though we do not seek signs- yet when we seek God- and he gives us a sign- then yes- these are great stories to recount and even pass on to the generations to come.

    Which just happened to be another reading from the Mass-
    Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
    Psalm 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
    Psalm 78:6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
    Psalm 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
    If you read a few verses below- these acts are indeed the miracles God did-
    Psalm 78:10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
    Psalm 78:11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.
    Psalm 78:12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
    Psalm 78:13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.
    Psalm 78:14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
    Psalm 78:15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.
    Psalm 78:16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers
    Psalm 78:23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
    Psalm 78:24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
    Psalm 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.
    Psalm 78:26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
    Psalm 78:27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:
    I’ll copy this entire psalm below- it fits the context of this teaching.
    I also mentioned a verse that is not in the actual reading- but a part of the Mass where the people sing-
    AlleluiaMT 4:4B
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    One does not live on bread alone,
    but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    On the video I did teach from it- because it tied all the passages together.
    The tempter ‘tempted’ Jesus to multiply natural provision to turn the stones into bread.

    Jesus just fasted for 40 days and nights- and was indeed hungry.
    Yet Jesus response was the answer to all the passages for this Sunday.
    Man does not live by natural bread alone- but by every Word of God.

    Jesus is that Word of God- he is that Bread from heaven- if we seek first the kingdom of God- then all the natural needs will be taken care of.

    It is ok- even commanded- to remember the miracles that God has done.

    These are testimonies to the greatness of our God.

    The lesson we learn is to trust in God- that if he is able to part the red sea- then surely he can provide food in the wilderness.

    Yet- we don’t seek him for that-
    We seek him for who he is- when our hearts pant for the living God- then yes- the natural bread will come.

    But if we are simply seeing God thru the lens of him meeting our natural needs-
    Then we are in danger of missing out on the true Bread-
    The Bread that a man may eat from- and never die-
    John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
    John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
    John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

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    Okay- let’s start a brief overview of some church history. Over the next few weeks I want to hit on the 16th century Protestant reformation and try and cover some of the key figures of the movement.

    Martin Luther- the German reformer who had the most influence in the movement was born and raised in Germany.

    As a boy his parents were peasant farmers and eventually his dad became a miner and became a very successful businessman- he would go on and eventually own 6 foundries.

    He sent his son to law school- and young Luther excelled. At the age of 21 he accomplished more than many of his peers. One day on his way home from the university a thunderstorm broke out and Luther was almost struck by a bolt of lightning.

    In fear he cried out to Saint Ann [the mother of Mary] and said ‘Saint Ann- if you save me I will become a monk’ [Ann was the patron Saint for miners- thus Luther was familiar with her].

    He was spared and off to the monastery he went. Luther eventually became an ordained priest and even though his dad initially was upset that his son became a priest- yet he was proud of his boy later on.

    Luther would eventually make a Pilgrimage to Rome- on foot [a few month walk from Germany to Rome!] and what he saw devastated him. Rome- and the Vatican- were in bad shape. Many of the priests lived in open sin- and the city that he saw as his headquarters for the faith- well it was a mess.

    Luther made the famous penitent walk/crawl up the stairs of the Lateran church [this church was the most famous church before the construction of St. Peters. The actual stairs of the church are the same stairs that Christ walked up during his trial under Pontius Pilate. Yes- you hear many ‘stories’ while studying church history- things like the relics or left over pieces of the Cross- well these stories are usually fake. But the stairs of the Lateran church are indeed the same stairs that Christ walked on- the early ‘church’ builders dismantled the stairs at Pilate’s court in Jerusalem and installed them at this church building in Rome].

    When Luther got to the top of the stairs- it is reported that he questioned the faith- he had a crisis of faith and thought that maybe the whole thing was a sham.

    Okay- as we do a few more posts over the coming weeks- I want you guys to see that the main players of the Reformation were sincere Catholic men who had many questions about what they saw as corrupt in their own church. These men did not want to start a breakaway church- they simply wanted to reform the church they loved.

    Keep in mind that Luther excelled during his legal studies- he had a keen legal mind- this will be important later on when we see the debates he has with Rome over the doctrine of Justification by faith- the letters of the apostle Paul [Romans- Galatians] use lots of legal language- and his early education will help him in these debates.

    Okay- that’s it for today. Maybe do a Google search on Luther and familiarize yourself a little with the history.

    The ‘readings’ for this week are 2nd Samuel 6-7 and Psalms 89. See what they have in common.

    [Some sites see here ]

    MY SITES- [I say ‘MY’ because sites I post on think I’m simply promoting other sites, which they don’t

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