Christianity, Current events, faith

Eucharistic Miracles…The True Presence of Christ

“And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.” (John 26:26-28)

 ”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.” (John 6:51-55)

The Holy Eucharist is the main focus for Catholics and Orthodox. These are the two groups of the Christian faith that fully believe in the actual presence of the body/blood/soul/divinity of Jesus Christ in the communion bread and wine. Most of Christendom believes that Communion is only a representative rite and not a literal one. But if you read the words of Christ in John 6, you will see that Christ did not present it as only bread. And for those that say they believe Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) then they lie if they don’t believe the words of Christ himself.

In a 2019 Pew Research Poll (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/05/transubstantiation-eucharist-u-s-catholics/) an amazing 69% of modern Catholics in the US believe more as Protestants, that the Eucharist is only a representation of Christ. The poll goes on to show that a huge percentage either do not believe the church’s teaching or do not even know what the church teaches. This issue is because of the cultural shift within the Catholic church. A loss of belief in the teachings of the church (despite biblical backing) in seminary, CCD, and RCIA.

Some would argue that the Real Presence is a concoction of the Catholic Church. However, those people would be in error. This teaching continued with the original Apostles since they taught the teachings of Christ. We can see within the earliest followers of Christianity (or known as The Way back in their time).

Ignatius of Antioch (a Syrian) was the third Bishop of Antioch around the year 110 AD (CE). He was a father and writer of the early church. He wrote “I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible. (Letter to the Romans7:3)

Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: FOR THERE IS ONE FLESH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and one cup IN THE UNION OF HIS BLOOD; one ALTAR, as there is one bishop with the presbytery… (Letter to the  Philadelphians 4:1)

They [i.e. the Gnostics] abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)

This was agreed with by others of his era in the faith. So it can be seen that belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist dates back to the earliest periods of the Christian church.

In the 13th session of the Council of Trent in 1551 (https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/thirteenth-session-of-the-council-of-trent-1479), the Council fully recognized the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Chapter 1 states in part “First of all, the holy council teaches and openly and plainly professes that after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, e God and true man, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the august sacrament of the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of those sensible things”.

This brings us to the nature of this article. Eucharistic miracles that aid in the faith of the believer. To start this, I would like to point out that one of the Evangelical movements most prominent pastors Benny Hinn has spoken on the Eucharist and its miracle ability. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vyfWeVAbyw) In a message to his followers, he stated that study had shown that more people are cured in the Catholic Church than in Pentecostal churches. He attributes this to the Catholic faith of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. He even goes on to admit that Christ did not say the bread and wine were symbols, but body and blood. He speaks of the healing, end of demon possession, etc. And believes himself of the True Presence in the Eucharist. Which actually makes one wonder why he is not Catholic.

The first Eucharistic miracle that is mentioned here is the most recent. In the town of Zapotlanejo, Mexico at the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, a Eucharistic miracle took place. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeVx6NT2FFw) On July 22, 2022 the Host was being viewed during service. At some point during the service, the Host appeared to be beating. This was eventually captured on a cell phone. When discovered, a doctor that was attending service investigated and stated that the rhythm of the beat was that of a human heart. It was notice by many including a visiting priest, Fr. Carlos Spahn who had opened the adoration service after Mass. As of this article, the Archdiocese of Guadalahara has not made a statement.

Father Spahn also stated that just before this event took place, a photograph of the first millennial born person on his way to sainthood, Blessed Carlos Acutis, was leaking an oil. Blessed Acutis is a young computer wizard from England (Italian by blood) that fell in love with the Eucharist and spread the message of it’s power in the faith.

Another Eucharistic miracle is elated to Blessed Acutis. In 2006 in the town of Tixtla in Mexico, a Eucharistic Host started to appear to bleed. After a few years of research, it was determined that blood was real and the same type of a former Eucharistic miralce in Italy and blood remnants from the Shroud of Turin. ( https://thecatholictravelguide.com/destinations/mexico/tixtla-mexico-eurcharistic-miracle-of-tixtla/)

Two miracles of the same type took place in a church in Guatemala. In both 2021 and 2022, immediately after the Host had been consecrated, the Host started to glow. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2lQWS4HvOM)

There are multiple verified accounts of Eucharistic miracles. From the aforementioned to others where there were healings and the Host becoming human flesh. One could write this things off if it were a few number of people or only a few times. But it has occurred in multiple time periods, multiple geographical locations and witnessed by small crowds and large.

Even if one is a skeptic, logic would dictate that the unexplainable is happening. For others, it is proof that Christ is truly and physically present in the consecrated Host. Yes, there have been miracles of all types proven false. But it is those that can not be debunked through any logical means of investigation that one must ponder the reality of the Real Presence.

The greatest miracles of these events is not the miracles of the Host, but the personal changes in witnesses. Whether it is bringing the faithful to a better walk with Christ, bringing those that left back, or bringing the lost to a point of accepting Christ’s invitation to Salvation through Him. The real miracle is that these events touch the human heart.

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

Didache: Hymns and Praises

EARLY HYMNS & PRAYERS
T o sup p leM eNT the ancient Christian teachings in the Didache, we have included below a selection
of early Christian hymns and prayers, dating to the frst few generations of the Church. Timeless in
their beauty, many of these are still used and still inspire Christians today.
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST
1st – 3rd century
glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.
We praise you, we bless you, we worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your
great glory.
O Lord, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty, O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and
the Holy Spirit.
O Lord God, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
You who take away the sins of the world, accept our prayer.
You who sit at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are holy, you alone are the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
MORNING HYMN
1st – 3rd century
e ve ry day I will bless you; I will praise your name forever; yes, forever and ever.
In your goodness, O Lord, keep me from sin today.
You are blessed, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
Your name is praised and glorifed forever. Amen.
EVENING HYMN
1st – 2nd century
ojoy ful Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father,
the heavenly, the holy, the blessed Jesus Christ,
now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and see the light of evening,
we praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: God.
It is right at all times to worship you with joyful voices,
O Son of God and Giver of life: For which the whole world glorifes you.
DIDACHE 16
EASTER HYMN
2nd – 3rd century
c hrisT is risen: Hades is in ruins.
Christ is risen: the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen: the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen: the tombs are empty.
Christ is risen from the dead indeed,
the frst among those who have fallen asleep.
Glory and power are his forever and ever. Amen.
ANAPHORA HYMN
2nd – 3rd century
holy, holy, holy Lord of Hosts,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
COMMUNION HYMN
4th century
T his is his blood, who took fesh of the holy Virgin: Jesus Christ.
This is his blood, who was born of the God-bearing holy one: Jesus Christ.
This is God’s blood, who was seen by men and from whom demons fed: Jesus Christ.
This is his blood, who ofered himself a sacrifce for our sins: Jesus Christ.
A PRAYER OF THE
NEWLY–BAPTIZED
4th century
alM ighTy God, Father of Christ your Son, give me a clean body, a pure heart, a watchful mind, and
knowledge free from error. May your Holy Spirit come to me and bring me truth—yes, to the fullness of truth—through your Christ. The glory is yours, through him, in the Holy Spirit, forever and ever
and ever. Amen.
PRAYER OF ST. IGNATIUS
AT HIS MARTYRDOM
ad 107
I aM the wheat of God. May I be ground up by the teeth of the wild beasts until I become the fne bread
of Christ. My sinful passions are crucifed, there is no burning in my fesh. A stream murmurs and
fows deep down inside me. It says: Come to the Father.
DIDACHE 17
DOXOLOGY
y ou are due praise,
You are due hymns,
You are due glory:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Forever and ever and ever.
Amen.
glory To god for all ThiNgs
aM e

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Christianity, faith, Uncategorized

Católico es Cristiano parte 2: Paradoja cristiana

Este será un artículo doble. En primer lugar, corregirá algunos malentendidos sobre la fe católica. También mostrará que no todos los católicos son iguales. Así que agárrate para un viaje en montaña rusa.

Mi último artículo sobre la fe católica fue un razonamiento sobre el Rosario. En él definí por qué los cristianos católicos lo hacen, la comprensión bíblica detrás de él, y la forma en que se hace. Este post analizará las devociones, como el Rosario, en forma amplia.

Las devociones, como el Rosario, las coronillas, el Oficio Divino, la Adoración, etc. son todas formas en que los de la denominación católica se permiten entrar en comunión con Dios. Para los católicos, son lo mismo que el estudio de las escrituras, las devociones diarias, etc.

Este es el principal malentendido. La Iglesia no los exige ni los obliga. Son un tipo de cosa que se toma o se deja. No hay ningún castigo por no hacerlas. Yo personalmente hago muy pocas devociones. Hago el Rosario, aunque estoy empezando a hacer las cuentas de la oración de Jesús más a menudo. Hago el Oficio Divino diariamente, porque el Oficio Divino no es más que múltiples salmos y lecturas diarias (leer la Biblia y un buen libro).

Otro malentendido es creer que tomamos la palabra del Papa como ley. Sólo hay un momento en el que eso es necesario. Esto es cuando el Papa habla Ex Cathedra (desde la Cátedra de Pedro) lo cual es sólo sobre Doctrina y Dogma y no se ha hecho desde el Papa Pío X en los años 50. Sí, el Papa puede escribir encíclicas, pero como cualquier otro escrito, se pueden tomar o no tomar.

La primera afirmación de esta pieza enumeraba dos objetivos. Corregir los malentendidos, y eso se ha hecho, aunque no en la medida. Entonces, ¿a qué se debe la parte de la declaración que no es igual? Aquí está la montaña rusa.

No me adhiero a toda la doctrina de la Iglesia Católica. Tampoco me adhiero a toda la doctrina y dogma de las denominaciones protestantes. Permítame explicarle antes de que usted, el lector, diga que esa declaración “escoge y elige”. No, no lo hago. No me adhiero a la doctrina y al dogma que no está apoyado por la Sagrada Escritura.

Todas las denominaciones doblan un poco su punto de vista sobre diversas doctrinas de la fe. Aquí hay una protestante principal para aquellos de creencias pentecostales y carismáticas. El hablar en lenguas. El hablar en lenguas dentro de estas denominaciones y movimientos creen que la señal del bautismo en el Espíritu Santo es hablar en lenguas. Esto viene de los versos que hablan de los Discipulos en el dia de Pentecostes. Sin embargo, viendo que cada persona que escuchaba entendía a los Discípulos en su propia lengua, hay que asumir que sólo significa que los Discípulos hablaban una lengua extranjera y conocida que no sabían hablar. No una “lengua angélica”.

Ahora bien, la biblia habla de una lengua angélica, pero viene con reglas. Tiene que haber un intérprete o el hablante tiene que abstenerse o ir a otra área hasta que se termine de hablar. La “lengua angélica” es estrictamente para enseñar y edificar a la iglesia. De ahí la necesidad de un intérprete.

Mientras que la diversidad de lenguas es uno de los nueve dones del espíritu, esta es una referencia del cambio inmediato de la lengua a través del poder del Espíritu para que alguien de una lengua desconocida pueda entender. Este es también el trabajo de otro don, la interpretación de lenguas. Mientras que, la lengua angelical es real, no es de lo que habla la mayoría de los versos. Escribiré más adelante sobre la “lengua angélica” como prueba del espíritu santo y sus orígenes como los entendemos ahora.

Igualmente, en la fe católica, hay dogmas y doctrina que no tienen base bíblica (y que se determinan en diferentes momentos de los últimos dos mil años más. Como el Purgatorio. La Iglesia utiliza versos como “oraciones de los muertos” para justificar esta doctrina. Sin embargo, el Antiguo Testamento nos dice que los muertos no saben nada. Esta doctrina se relaciona con el limbo para aquellos que mueren sin llegar a una edad de entendimiento y sin el bautismo.

Este concepto fue invertido por los protestantes. En lugar de un lugar para terminar de limpiar el pecado, los “muertos” inmortales van inmediatamente al Cielo o al Infierno al morir, dependiendo del estado de su alma. Con esto también tengo un problema. Si existiera el transporte inmediato a uno u otro en el momento de la muerte, ¿por qué tendría que haber una resurrección de los MUERTOS?

La primera resurrección ocurrió realmente. ¿No me creen? Lee los diferentes textos de la Crucifixión. Cuando Cristo fue crucificado, algunos de los muertos salieron de sus tumbas. Dejando eso de lado, si estoy muerto y soy trasladado inmediatamente al Cielo, volver a la tumba para ser resucitado en la venida del Señor sería una enorme pérdida de tiempo. A su vez, si los malos están en el infierno en el momento de la muerte, ¿por qué la necesidad del Juicio del Trono Blanco? El infierno es el lugar de castigo después de que ese juicio tenga lugar. ¿Ves lo ilógico que sería? ¿Por qué Cristo los obligaría a ser removidos de la felicidad eterna con Él sólo para que regresen a la tumba y sean resucitados de nuevo?

Ni el purgatorio (lugar de eliminación de todo pecado porque aparentemente la Cruz no hizo lo suficiente’ ni el cielo/infierno inmediato (lugar de recompensa o castigo) tienen sentido. Y no digas que Dios es misterioso en sus caminos. Sí, lo es. Pero también dio su palabra (la Sagrada Escritura), la capacidad de discernir a través del poder del Espíritu Santo, y un cerebro para pensar las cosas.

Otra cosa a la que no me adhiero es al concepto de que se necesita un sacerdote para el perdón. ¿Voy a un sacerdote en el confesionario? Sí, un par de veces al año.  PERO, después de haberme arrepentido y haber sido perdonado por Dios a través de la Cruz de Cristo. Voy al sacerdote porque todo el mundo necesita oír que está perdonado de vez en cuando.

Si haces algo a un ser querido o a un amigo, o incluso a alguien que no conoces, y te arrepientes, escuchar esas palabras te quita una presión del corazón. Puedes sentir el alivio. Si es alguien que sabes que te ha perdonado, pero no lo escuchas, puede jugar en tu mente hasta que escuches las palabras. Para mí (y no sé lo que piensan muchos otros católicos al respecto) es por lo que voy. Sé que Dios me ha perdonado, a veces, pero es bueno tener esa seguridad hablada.

Otra es que María, Madre de Jesús (DIOS), nació sin pecado original. Esto no lo creo. La Biblia contradice esa teoría. Las Escrituras nos dicen que a través de Adán vino el pecado. Todos los que nacieron después de ese punto (cuando AMBOS) Adán y Eva se equivocaron, ese pecado era ahora perpetuo en el hombre hasta el día de su nacimiento de nuevo. Yo creo, que al aceptar la voluntad de Dios de ser la madre del Cristo, ella fue hecha santa y sin pecado en ese momento. Pero que nació sin él, no.

No soy un católico típico porque no soy nada típico. Fui salvado y bautizado en la Iglesia del Séptimo Día de Adviento. Y antes de que digas algo, ellos también son cristianos. Puede que escriba sobre eso en algún momento en el futuro. Me confirmé en la Iglesia Católica en 1999, tres años después de haberme salvado.

Entre 1996 y 1999, he sentido la presencia del Espíritu Santo. He sido testigo de curaciones instantáneas milagrosas, incluso después de convertirme en católico. Creo que todavía hay profetas y soñadores. Todavía mantengo conmigo, ciertas partes de mi cristianismo no católico. ¿Por qué? Porque conozco su poder. Conozco los signos que siguen y creo en ellos. También creo en el Cuerpo, la Sangre, el Alma y la Divinidad en la Santa Eucaristía (Comunión).  He sentido la presencia tanto comulgando como con la imposición de manos.

Ninguna denominación tiene toda la verdad. Se ha vuelto un poco sesgada debido a los edictos y pensamientos del hombre. Nosotros, como cristianos, debemos recordar que todos somos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, cubiertos y lavados por la sangre derramada en la Cruz. Sí, tendremos diferencias de opinión. Pero lo que hay que recordar es que Cristo mismo dijo que había seguidores y creyentes aparte de los Apóstoles.

La Biblia tiene algunas personas que creyeron pero no andaban con el pueblo de Dios. Melquisedec era sacerdote y rey de Dios cuando conoció a Abram. El Centurión en la Cruz no era un seguidor de Jesús pero creía.

El caminar de una persona con Dios es personal. La Iglesia a la que asiste es pública. Los frutos que muestra son de la primera, no de esta última. Que no sea católico no significa que no sea salvo. Así como no hablar en lenguas no significa que no haya sido tocado por el Espíritu Santo.

Nosotros como cuerpo de Cristo estamos muy ocupados perdiendo una de las enseñanzas más importantes de la Sagrada Escritura. Dios corrigió al profeta Samuel como ahora nos corrige a nosotros. “Pero el Señor dijo a Samuel: No mires su aspecto, ni la altura de su estatura, porque lo he rechazado; porque el Señor no ve como el hombre; pues el hombre mira la apariencia exterior, pero el Señor mira el corazón. (1Samuel 16:7)Así que seguiré siendo una mezcla de protestante y católico. Seguiré leyendo la RSV-Edición Católica y la KJ. Seguiré cantando liturgia e himnos. Seguiré hablando del amor y la recompensa, así como del pecado y el castigo de Dios. Seguiré dando mi testimonio. Porque para mí, se trata de salvar un alma, no el letrero frente al edificio.

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Catholic is Christian part 2: Paradox Christian

This is going to be a two-fold piece. First it will correct some misunderstandings of the Catholic faith. It was also show not all Catholics are alike. So hang on for a roller coaster ride.

My last post on Catholic faith was a reasoning on the Rosary. In it I defined why the Catholic Christians do it, the biblical understanding behind it, and the way it is done. This posting will look at devotions, such as the Rosary, in a broad form.

Devotions, such as the Rosary, chaplets, the Divine Office, Adoration, etc are all ways that those of the Catholic denomination allow themselves to enter into communion with God. To Catholics, these are the same as study of the scriptures, daily devotionals,etc.

Here is the main misunderstanding. They are not required or forced by the Church. They are a take it or leave it type of thing. There is no punishment attached for not doing them. I personally do very few devotions. I will do the Rosary, although I am starting to do the Jesus prayer beads more often. I do the Divine office daily, because the Divine office is just multiple daily psalms and readings (reading your bible and a good book).

Another misunderstanding is believing that we take the word of the Pope as law. There is only one point in time when that is required. This is when the Pope speaks Ex Cathedra (from the Seat of Peter) which is only about Doctrine and Dogma and has not  been done since Pope Pius X in the 1950’s. Yes, the Pope may write encyclicals, but like any other writings, they can be taken or not taken.

The first statement of this piece listed two objectives. Correcting misunderstandings, and that has been done, although no to extent. So what is the not alike part of the statement about? Here’s the roller coaster.

I do not adhere to every doctrine of the Catholic Church. Nor did I adhere to the whole doctrine and dogma of Protestant denominations. Let me explain before you, the reader, says that statement ‘he picks and chooses’. No, I don’t. I do not adhere to doctrine and dogma that is not supported by the Holy Scripture.

All denominations bend their view a bit on varying doctrine’s of the faith. Here’s a main Protestant one for those of Pentecostal and Charismatic beliefs. The speaking in tongues. The speaking in tongues within these denominations and movements believe that the sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. This comes from the verses that speak of the Disciples on the day of Pentecost. However, seeing that each person that heard understood the Disciples in their own language, it has to be assumed that only means that the Disciples spoke a foreign and known language that they did not know how to speak. Not some ‘Angelic tongue’.

Now the bible does speak of an angelic tongue, but it does come with rules. There either must be an interpreter or the speaker needs to refrain or go to another area until the utterance is done. The ‘angelic tongue’ is strictly for teaching and edifying the church. Hence the need for an interpreter.

While diverse tongues is one of the nine gifts of the spirit, this is a reference of the immediate change of language through the power of the Spirit so that someone of an unknown language may understand. This is also the job of another gift, interpretation of tongues. While, angelic tongue is real, that is not what the majority of verses speaks of. I’ll write later about ‘angelic tongue’ being the proof of the holy spirit and its origins as we now understand them.

Likewise, in the Catholic faith, there are dogmas and doctrine that are not biblical based (and determined at varying points of the last two thousand plus years. Such as Purgatory. The Church uses verses such as ‘prayers of the dead’ to justify this doctrine. However, the Old Testament tells us that the dead know nothing. This doctrine ties into limbo for those who die without reaching an age of understanding and without baptism.

This concept was reversed by the Protestants. Instead of a place to finish cleaning away sin, the immortal ‘dead’ immediately go to Heaven or Hell upon death depending on the state of their soul. This I also have a problem with. If there was the immediate transport to one or the other at time of death, why would there need to be a resurrection of the DEAD?

The first resurrection actually happened. Don’t believe me? Read the varying texts of the Crucifixion. When Christ was Crucified, some of the dead came out of their graves. That aside, If I’m dead and immediately transferred to Heaven, going back to the grave to be resurrected at the coming of the Lord would be a huge waste of time. In turn, if the evil are in hell at time of death, why the need for the White Throne Judgment? Hell is the place of punishment after that judgment takes place. See how illogical that would be? Why would Christ force you to be removed from eternal happiness with Him just to have you return to the grave and be resurrected again?

Neither purgatory (place of removing all sin because apparently the Cross did not do enough’ nor immediate heaven/hell (place of reward or punishment) make any sense. And do not say God is mysterious in His ways. Yes, He is. But He also gave His word (Holy Scripture), the ability to discern through the power of the Holy Spirit, and a brain to think things through.

Another thing I do not adhere to is the concept that a priest is needed for forgiveness. Do I go to a priest in the confessional? Yes, a couple items a year.  BUT, after having repented and having been forgiven by God through the Cross of Christ. I go to the priest because everyone needs to hear they are forgiven from time to time.

If you do something to a loved one or friend, or even someone you don’t know, and you repent, hearing those words lifts a pressure from you heart. You can feel the relief. If it is someone who you know has forgiven you, but you you do not hear it, it can play on your mind until you hear the words. To me (and I don’t know the thoughts of many other Catholics on it) that’s why I go. I know God has forgiven me, sometimes, its just nice to have that spoken assurance.

Another is that Mary, Mother of Jesus (GOD), was born without original sin. This I do not believe. Bible contradicts that theory. The Scriptures tell us through Adam came sin. Everyone born beyond that point (when BOTH) Adam and Eve messed up, that sin was now perpetual in man until the day of his being born again. I do believe, the by accepting the will of God to be the mother of the Christ, she was made holy and without sin at that point. But born without it, nope.

I am not a typical Catholic because I am not a typical anything. I was saved and baptized in the Seventh Day Advent Church. And before you say anything, they are Christian too. I may write about that sometime in the future. I was Confirmed into the Catholic Church in 1999, three years after I was saved.

In between 1996 and 1999, I have felt the presence of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). I have witnessed miracle instant healings, even after becoming Catholic. I believe there are still prophets and dreamers. I still keep with me, certain parts of my non-Catholic Christianity. Why? Because I know the power thereof. I know the signs following and believe them. I also believe in the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist (Communion).  I have felt the presence just as much taking communion as I have with the laying on off hands.

No one denomination has the whole truth. It has become a bit skewed because of the edicts and thoughts of man. We, as Christians, must remember that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, covered and washed by the blood shed at the Cross. Yes, we will have difference of opinion. But the one thing to remember is that Christ Himself said that there were followers and believers other than the Apostles.

The Bible has a few people that believed but were not walking with the people of God. Melchizedek was a priest and king of God when he met Abram. The Centurion at the Cross was not a follower of Jesus but believed.

A person’s walk with God is personal. The Church he attends is public. The fruits he shows are from the first, not that latter. Just because you are not Catholic does not mean you are not saved. Just as not speaking in tongues does not mean you have not been touched by the Holy Ghost.

We as  the body of Christ are too busy missing one of the most important teachings of Holy Scripture. God corrected Samuel the Prophet as He now corrects us. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)So, I’ll remain a mixture of Protestant and Catholic. I’ll still read the RSV-Catholic Edition and the KJ. I’ll still sing liturgical and hymn. I’ll still tell about the love and reward as well as sin and punishment of God. I’ll still give my testimony. Because for me, it’s about saving a soul, not the sign in front of the building.

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Catholic is Christian, a series on the misunderstandings of non-Catholics. Part 1, the Rosary.

At what point does one start correcting another on how faith in Christ is defined. For Protestant, this assault on faith of Catholics has become ridiculous. In this day and age, when Christians of all denominations are under attack and being martyred for their faith, Holy churches are being attacked and defaced, and Judeo-Christian morality and ethics are being called hateful and bigoted, it would seem as if the followers of Christ would look toward their commonalities and Christ.

For Christians that feel and vehemently oppose those that call themselves Catholic (as opposed to Baptist, Nazarene, etc), here is a quick study of the things you misunderstand about MY faith in Christ.

First, you have no ability to question my walk with God. You can determine whether I follow the edicts and commands of God through the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. But you have no right nor ability to determine the state of my relationship with Christ Jesus or the Father. Just as I don’t have that ability about you. So lets get started. This will be the first post of many to clear up the misunderstands and show biblical principles of the faith.

Catholicism and Orthodoxy (prior to the schism) both trace their faith directly to the Apostolic Age. You know, the age of the first church The Church of the Apostles. Now for the reality of certain aspects of our devotion.

The Rosary (chain of roses). This is a huge one for Protestants. So lets break it down by biblical view.

The crucifix. We use the cross with Christ to remind us of his sacrifice for our sins. (Isaiah 53:4-5, Deuteronomy 21:23, John 3:15-16, 1Corinthians 5:7, 1 Peter 1:19)

The use of the Apostole’s Creed is used.

“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
       creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
       who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
       and born of the virgin Mary.
       He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
       was crucified, died, and was buried;
       he descended to hell.
       The third day he rose again from the dead.
       He ascended to heaven
       and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
       From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
       the holy catholic* church,
       the communion of saints,
       the forgiveness of sins,
       the resurrection of the body,
       and the life everlasting. Amen.

*catholic means universal

The Our Father is used 6 times. (Luke 11:1-4)

The Hail Mary is used 53 times. The first section is the greeting of Mary by the angel and the words of Elizabeth to Mary. (Luke 1:26-28; Luke 1:41-42) The second part is asking (not worshiping) Mary to bring us closer to her son Jesus. In the same way you would ask your earthly mother something.

The Glory Be is used 6 times and reminds us of the Trinity and that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6)

The Fatima prayer (not used by everyone who does the Rosary) is a simple prayer for forgiveness of sin and the promise of redemption. “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.

There are 20 decades broken into 4 groups of 5. Each decade reminds us of the life of Jesus by making us center our thoughts on that point of His life and the meaning we can take from it.

Group 1: The Joyous Mysteries

The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38).

The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56)

The Nativity (Luke 2:4-14)

The Presentation of Jesus (Luke 2:22-39)

The Finding in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)

Group 2: The Luminous Mysteries

The Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3: 21-22)

The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12)

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 1:15)

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)

The Eucharist or Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20; John 6:53-57)

Group 3: The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)

The Scourging at the Pillar (John 19:1-6)

The Crown of Thorns (John 19:1-6)

The Carrying of the Cross (Luke 23:26-32)

The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:32-56)

Group 4: The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection (Luke 24:1-49)

The Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)

The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-11)

The Assumption of Mary and then The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven needs to be understood through the ideology of the Jewish faith of the time. For this, the book “Jewish Roots of Mary” is a good start.

Like all devotions of the Catholic Christian faith, they are not commanded by the church. They are there as an aid to furthering our walk with God in Christ Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The reason we uses prayers and devotions is because it leads us to better understand our faith and draw us closer to the author of our salvation.

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Didache repost part 2

This is part two of my Didache series. The Didache is the teachings of the original Apostles of Christ. It is also the second oldest Christian writings, only second behind Holy Scripture. Original printing issues are not replaced. All Scriptural references have been moved to bottom of article.

DIDACHE 8 — II — INSTRUCTION FOR CATECHUMENS

CONCERNING FOOD N ow concerning eating, observe the traditions as best you can. But do not eat meat sacrificed to idols,  for it is the worship of dead gods.

CONCERNING BAPTISM concerning baptism, baptize in this way. Having instructed him in all of these teachings, baptize the  catechumen in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water.v  But  if you do not have running water, then baptize in other water. And if you cannot in cold water, use warm.  But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times, in the name of the Father, and of the Son,  and of the Holy Spirit. And before the baptism, let both the baptizer and the catechumen fast, and also any  others who are able. And be sure that the catechumen fasts a day or two before.

CONCERNING FASTING d o NoT let not your fasts fall on the same days as the hypocrites,w for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. Keep your fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.

CONCERNING PRAYER d o NoT pray as the hypocrites either,x  but pray as the Lord commanded in His Gospel:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on  earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those  who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one; for thine is the  power and the glory unto ages of ages.y Pray this way three times each day.

CONCERNING THE EUCHARIST N ow concerning the eucharistic thanksgiving,z  give thanks in this way. First, as concerning the cup: We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of your son David,a  which you made known  to us through your Son Jesus.b  Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Then as regards the broken bread: We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge  which you made known to us through your  Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one,  u . so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours is the  glory and the power through Jesus Christ unto ages of ages. Do not let anyone eat or drink of this Eucharist who has not been baptized into the name of the Lord,  for concerning this the Lord has said, “Do not give the holy things to the dogs.”d And after you have been flled, give thanks as follows:  We give you thanks, holy Father, for your holy name, which you have made to dwell in our hearts,e and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which you have made known unto us through your Son  Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. You, Almighty Master, created all thingsf  for your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to men for  their enjoyment, that they might give you thanks. And you have given us spiritual food and drink and  eternal life through your Son.g Most of all, we give you thanks that you are powerful. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Remember, Lord, your Church,h  and deliver it from all evili  and to perfect it in Thy love. Gather it— the sanctifed one—together from the four windsj  into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For  yours is the power and the glory unto ages of ages. May grace come and may this world pass away.k  Hosanna to the God of David.l  If any man is holy, let  him come; if any man is not, let him repent. Mar‘anatha. m Amen. But permit the prophets to ofer thanksgiving as much as they desire.

CONCERNING THE OINTMENT aNd concerning the ointment, give thanks as follows: We give you thanks, our Father, for the fragrant ointment which you have made known to us  through your Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Amen.

THE APPROVED TEACHER whoever comes and teaches you all these things that have been taught before, receive him. But if  the teacher himself turns aside and teaches a diferent doctrine that subverts what has been taught  before, do not listen to him.n  If his teaching fosters righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive  him as the Lord.o .

Scriptural references:

U Acts 15:29. v Mat. 28:19. w Mat. 6:16. x Mat. 6:5f. y Mat. 6:9f. z 1 Cor. 11:23-25. a John 15:1. b Acts 3:13, 26. c John 3:15, 5:26, 6:68f

d Mat. 7:6. e John 1:14, 6:56-57. f Rev. 4:11. g John 6:27. h Mat. 16:18. i John 17:15. j Mat. 24:31. k Rev. 22:20. l Mat. 21:9, 15. m Hebrew: “Our Lord has come.” 1 Cor. 16:22. n Gal. 1:6-9. o Mat. 10:40; John 13:20

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Commandment 4: The Sabbath

Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Sabbath to Hashem, your God; you shall not do any work-you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animal, and your convert within your gates- for in six days Hashem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, Hashem blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it. (Exodus 20:8-11 from the Tanach, Stone Edition).

This commandment is the only one of the ten, given on Sinai and expounded on by Jesus, that the majority of the Christian world does not follow. This article will have three sections. The first will be examples from the Old Testament (Tanach) that show where it originated and why it is important.

The second section will be from the New Testament and show how important the commandments are. It will use the Gospels, Letters, and Revelation to show the importance of keeping all the commandments by those professing faith in Christ.

The third will be historical looks on the changing from Sabbath worship to Sunday worship. It will use writings of main denominations of Christianity. And it will look at how the Roman Catholic church looks at the ability and reason for the change and their views on the biblical Sabbath.

This debate of Sabbath v Sunday will probably be debated through Christendom until the second coming of Christ. But this article will show the biblical (not man’s interpretation) of God’s Holy determination of the day of worship.

Old Testament Views

The heaven and the earth were finished, and all their array. On the seventh day God finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done (Genesis 2:1-3). The first book of Moses shows us why the day is sacred, and the day of holy rest. It was the only day sanctified by God himself. Six days God worked creating everything. He took the seventh day and sanctified it as a rest day. When God brought the Israelites from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, he made it clear in his commandments that because he sanctified it at creation, they were to keep it sanctified in their faith. It was retold to them in Deuteronomy 5:12-14 & Leviticus 23:3.

We learn in Numbers that the Sabbath rest also was extended to gentiles and had penalties for breaking its observance. But the person, be he citizen or stranger, who acts defiantly reviles the LORD; that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has spurned the word of the LORD and violated His commandment, that person shall be cut off—he bears his guilt. Once, when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they came upon a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. Those who found him as he was gathering wood brought him before Moses, Aaron, and the whole community. He was placed in custody, for it had not been specified what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death: the whole community shall pelt him with stones outside the camp (Numbers 15:32-36).

New Testament Views

The Gospels tell us of the important parts of Christ’s life and ministry. Such things as his birth, miracles, baptism, death, and most important of all, his resurrection. Being brought up in the Jewish faith, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath.He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom (Luke 4:16). At a few points, the Pharisees asked why he would profane the Sabbath by doing healings and getting food to eat from the fields. He gave them a couple different answers like reminding them of God’s compassion (healings) and of David eating food meant for the priests (gathering food).

But he also expounded on the Sabbath as a hallowed day. Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28).There are theologians who will say that this proves that Jesus, while reverencing the day hallowed by God, that because he is the Lord of the Sabbath, he changed its meaning and importance. Two issues arise from this perspective. The first being, he never said it was open to interpretation or that it didn’t need to still be followed. The second issue comes from the understand that he was God in the flesh “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:1-4,14)” and that God never changes Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Matthew 13:8).So saying Jesus was indicating that the validity of the sanctity of the Sabbath was no longer important, is saying that Matthew 13:8 is a lie. Since the scriptures tell us AllScripture isGod-breathedandis usefulforinstruction,forconviction,forcorrection,and fortraininginrighteousness,so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17), that would be the same as calling God himself a liar.

We find in Acts and in various letters by the apostles that they followed the Sabbath as the holy day.And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures (Acts 17:2). And Paul said Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). We also see that those gentiles seeking to hear of Jesus observed the Sabbath because it is when Paul and other disciples preached to them. So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them,persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God (Acts 13:42-44).

In many places of the New Testament, Jesus tells his followers what it takes to be saved and earn eternal life.If yekeepmy commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love (John 15:1). If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, andkeepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:15, 21).

In Revelation we are told through John’s writing are those that will see eternal life with God. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, whichkeepthe commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17). Here is the patience of the saints: here are they thatkeepthe commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12).These few verses, as well as others, should make it important to understand that the commandments and faith in Christ are needed to make it to a heavenly reward of eternal life.

History of Change

The bible prophesied the change of times and laws. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (Daniel 7:25). There is only one commandment that is also a time. The fourth commandment (law) is the command for Sabbath (time) holiness. Let look to see where that change came from.

The Catholic Catechism states in Part 3 Section 2 Chapter 1 Article 3 Subsection 2 Line 2174Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.” Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead”. What is interesting is that they use the pagan vernacular “the day of the sun”. They also say they celebrate for two reasons. Christ rising from the dead on the first day AND God’s “separation of light and dark” on the first day of creation.

Since the Bible writers didn’t say that God the father or God the Son (Jesus) changed the rules of the fourth commandment, it has to be understood that the Catholic Church got that ability from somewhere. The church tells us where that power came from. “ “All power is given Me in heaven and on earth; as the Father sent Me so I also send you,” said our Divine Lord in giving His tremendous commission to His Apostles. “He that heareth you heareth Me.” We have in the authoritative voice of the Church the voice of Christ Himself.The Church is above the Bible; and this transference of Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday is proof positive of that fact.Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third – Protestant Fourth – Commandment of God. As the Rev. Mr. Smith rightly points out: “The Jewish Sabbath is not Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Christians are all wrong in speaking of the Sabbath as Sunday.” The Christians who so speak are “Bible Christians,” those who make the Bible the sole rule of Faith; and the Bible is silent on Sunday observance, it speaks only of Sabbath observance. The Lord’s Day – Dies Dominica – is the term used always in the Missal and the Breviary. It occurs in the Bible once (Apoc. 1.10;) in Acts xx. 7 and 1 Cor. xvi., 2 there is a reference to “the first day of the week;” but in none of these is there the remotest intimation that henceforth the first day is to take the place of the seventh. That is the crux of the whole question, what authority does the Bible give for the change? And that difficulty Mr. Smith and his critics, though pious and effusive and vaguely eloquent about many things, have each and all sedulously evaded.

    If affects very materially and very intimately the question of the proper observance of the Lord’s Day.

    In the first centuries the obligation of rest from work remained somewhat indefinite. The Council of Laodicea, held at the end of the fourth century, was content to prescribe that on the Lord’s Day the faithful were to abstain from work as far as possible. At the beginning of the sixth century St. Cesarius and others showed an inclination – very familiar to us – to apply the law of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday. But the Council of Orleans in 538 reprobated this tendency as Jewish and non-Christian.

    Thus by the same Divine authority, in virtue of which she did away with the Jewish Sabbath and substituted therefor the Christian Sunday, the Catholic Church legislated as to how the Lord’s Day should be observed.

    Due to the exaggerated importance given the Bible after the Reformation and to the influence of Puritanism, the Lord’s Day in England and still more in Scotland began to take on all the rigorism of the Jewish Sabbath. That heritage, though somewhat softened, we still have with us. A game of ball where participants and spectators enjoy health-giving rest and recreation in the open air is “desecration of the Sabbath.” The swimming pool controversy is another good example.

   We would not be misunderstood. With much of the activity of the Sabbatarians we are in sympathy. Their insistence on a day of rest being given all workers is admirable. But their muddle-headed confusion of the Lord’s Day with the Jewish Sabbath – against which the Rev. Mr. Smith so vigorously protests – finds no sympathy amongst the Catholics who receive the Lord’s Day itself as well as its mode of observance from the Church and not from the Bible(Saturday, September 1st, 1923 edition of The Catholic Record of London, Ontario, Canada, Volume XLV, #2342 and appeared on page 4http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/c-record.htm).

The Bible does not say that God or Christ (or the Apostles through leading of the Holy Spirit) changed the day of worship or said that the commandment was void. The Catholic Church admits that they changed it and call those that worship on the day set aside by God are ‘B ible Christians’. So do you follow traditions set by man or are you a “Bible Christian”?

Jesus called out the Pharisees of his day. But he is also talking to the Pharisees of our day.

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition (Mark 7:6-9)

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Commandment 2: No Graven Images

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6 (NIV)

While most know the first part of this commandment but don’t go on to read the second part. This has led to various concepts of the verses and the commandment. The Amish have no images (pictures, faced dolls, statuary, etc) because they believe that these can lead to false worship and ego. But then you have the Catholic Church which allow it in certain ways.

The Catholic Church has combined the 1st and 2nd commandments and split the 10th commandment into two commandments. This allows them the use of statuary in private and parish worship. So in this concept, we will look at how not every man made image is an idol or god and how some are within Christendom.

The first part of the commandment leads directly into the second part. What makes a man made image a sin is the person’s giving it adoration given only to God. So the pictures of your kids, a concert poster, an star’s autographed picture, the garden gnome are NOT what the commandment is referring to. These are just images UNLESS you bow down to them and give them the adoration and praise allowed only to God.

The Catholic Church has statuary, prints, reliefs, etc that correspond to those they deem saints, the blessed mother of Christ, the walk to the cross, etc. What makes them sin is the prayers and adoration given them. The catechism states that worship is given only to God (which is true). The part that is in defiance of the 2nd commandment is giving prayers to the saints that these statues and prints that represent them. No where in the Holy Scriptures does it say to pray to the dead (which the saints and mother of Christ are).

It actually says not to pray to them because they can’t hear prayer. For the living know that they will die,but the dead know nothing;they have no further reward,and even their name is forgotten.Their love, their hateand their jealousy have long since vanished;never again will they have a partin anything that happens under the sun. Eccl 9:5-6 (NIV)

Now, they will bring up Moses and the making of the image of a serpent. But as you will see, that image was ordered by God and not worshiped, but only looked upon.  They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. Numbers 21:4-9 (NIV). Jesus later told what this action actually was.Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. John 3:14 (NIV).Prayer is a form of worship (https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com/blog/prayer-is-an-act-of-worship/). Worship is to God alone. So not matter what you pray to or worship, if it is NOT God alone it is a violation of the commandment of God. This would include pagan gods and deities. As well as the saints, the mother of Jesus, and any image of them.

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The Commandments: No Other Gods

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3

This verse starts what are known as the 10 commandments of God. Given to Moses on Mt. Sinai after being brought out  of Egyptian captivity and going across the Red Sea. But what is the meaning of this verse? Many believe it says that only God Jehovah is the only god. But as you go down through history, there are three types of gods that can be seen in this quote.

The definition of a god is simply something a person worships. There are three classifications to this: spiritual gods, men who are seen as gods, and inanimate objects. All three will be discussed and to show why the GOD of the Abrahamic faiths is the one that is the one true God.

Spiritual Gods

Spiritual gods in this article are referring to the multitude of pantheon gods of bygone cultures and civilizations. I will not say that this entities had no abilities. The bible proves they did at some point. After all, the bible tells us in Exodus that the priests (magicians) of the the Pharaoh could perform certain things like Moses and Aaron. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.” (Exodus 7:8-13)

The actions of Aaron’s ‘serpent’ show that God Jehovah was superior. Later, when it was time for the Israelites to leave God used some of the Egyptian gods to plague the Egyptians and proved He alone was almighty. (http://www.stat.rice.edu/~dobelman/Dinotech/10_Eqyptian_gods_10_Plagues.pdf) Look through Exodus 7:1-12:36 and study the hyperlinked pdf.

Then we move to areas like Babylon. Where there gods were put to the test. So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel.And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it.And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.”And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made.And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down.Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,”and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed.And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.”And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time.And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.” (1 Kings 18:20-40)

As we move through the points of history, the gods and goddesses of every pantheon have fallen. From Medo-Persian and Roman of the ancient world to Celtic, Viking/German, African, and Meso-American. In the end, all of these pantheons fell to the Judeo-Christian God. And were left buried in antiquity until modern times. Now these pantheons are making a comeback. But like then, they will again fall.

Here’s where these false gods came from. They created nothing. They can’t save the soul of their believer. And they must bow down and forfeit to the one true God because they came from him. They are nothing more than the fallen that sided with Lucifer against the Creator himself. Because of lust of self and power, Lucifer and one third of the angels were cast from heaven. Where did they go? Here. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15). Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Men who place themselves as gods

Throughout man’s history, there are men who have placed themselves as god on earth. Pharaoh was believed to be the sun god Ra walking on earth. In more modern times, people like Jim Jones and David Koresh have led followers to their deaths with these claims. Most of these are demigods of man’s making. Take how people flocked and followed to Donald Trump over the last few years. They have been blinded by his words and emotional influence. Much like men throughout history: Julius Caesar, Adolph Hitler, and quite a few television evangelists/prosperity preachers (such as Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland). But one seems to be set above all others. The Pope of Roman Catholicism. Over his reign, the pope has commanded countries who bowed, armies who fought (inquisitions and crusades), and placed himself as god on earth.

The Catholic church believes they have the ability to forgive sin, According to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” confession involves either “venial” (minor sins) which are confessed to God and “mortal” (major sins) which must be confessed through a priest. This means the priest (or above) acts as mediator between man and God. But we are told in Scripture that not understanding that Jesus was God in flesh (John 1:1-14) they made the statement Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” (Luke 5:21). The Catholic also tends to forget that there is only one mediator between man and God, and the priest is not it.For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

In Pope Leo XIII’s 1885 Encyclical ‘The Reunion of Christendom’ he states, “the pope holds upon this earth the place of Almighty God”. His title is, besides Pope and Bishop of Rome, is Vicarious Filii Dei ‘Vicar (replacement or agent) of God on Earth’. So, by the Church’s own admission, the seat of the papacy is the thrown of a man that is seen as a god. The power and influence of the papacy have grown majorly, especially since the Francis became Pope. We see the spiritual and political influence this man has throughout the world.

Inanimate objects

Everything else that can be worshiped falls within this category. Money, power, and position are the main points of this category. This are tangibles that man seeks for. Now, these things may be needed (try buying groceries without financial ability or having a business operate without a person in the lead). BUT when the desire for these become the main component of one’s life and ambition, that is when they become a god to that person. For these things when they reach that level of importance, mankind has killed, cheated, lied, warred, and stolen to get them. They have taken precedents over his soul and his compassion for his fellowman.

Conclusion

There is one reason that the first commandment is what it is. With all of these categories of false gods, we need reminded that there is only one God over all. He is the Creator of all things. He is the spoken word that became flesh in Jesus the Christ. HE IS GOD ALONE. Because we fell for the great satan, the liar and deceiver, the once great Lucifer, we need to be reminded who our Father really is.

Take a moment and ask the Father, the one true God to help you always remember who He is and to have the strength through him to turn away from these false gods. We all need that repentance and forgiveness. As an earthly parent may chastise his children, he will also have their back when they need him. How much greater will the Father that created all protect His children. As time draws near to the end of all things and the return of Christ the King, please remember who the true God is, and seek His protection and salvation.

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