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  1. The first readers were encouraged for they knew what was waiting for them if there was no intervention by God. They were filled with the hope that only a loving God could give, a God who indeed is faithful and keeps his promises. A new beginning a new land flowing with abundance of peace, freedom, liberty, joy, happiness, dignity, and milk and honey besides, a place and time not unlike paradise. These promises were and are more than merely physical happiness, they were spiritual happiness. The use of figurative language allows and encourages the use of imagination which when applied correctly and properly instill hope for a real future. This highway might well be physical, but the language is figurative, and it leads the imagination to perceive that God will be victorious and only those souls who have trusted in the Lord will have the privilege of access to this highway which leads to the new Jerusalem and to the very throne of God. We are indeed ransomed and redeemed, i.e. purchased and this at the highest possible price. We not only are rescued from slavery to this world and the prince of the air, but we are rescued from our selves as well. We have become God's very own we are his personal possession, and if we let him he will teach us all things and we will become friends with God not merely servants or slaves.
  2. Doing good for the sake of others and expecting nothing in return, going the extra mile, turning the cheek, being kind even in the face of anger and hatred, and always being ready to express why we have such peace and joy in Christ alone. Love of power, personal edification and pleasure at the expense of others and at the expense of natural and divine law makes a mockery of truth and justice. We are called to pray for our government's even if our government leaders are abusive and evil and no respecter's of God or man. We are to pray for our nation and its citizenry and our neighbors and this so that we might live in peace. We must do our part in bringing about peace and our part is sincere prayer to our Lord and God who is able to bring peace into our land and into our homes and into our lives.
  3. Momentary forgetfulness. Momentary fears. Momentary pride. We must always be aware of our weaknesses and God's ability to rescue us from these. We must faithfully place our trust and hope and love in God alone. We must do our part actively participating in God's salvation plan for us, by living for God in all that we do. There is nothing too small or too big that we cannot hand over to God. In fact God will bless those who trust him alone especially in the little things, for when we learn to surrender the little things in our lives over to God we in time will learn to surrender not only the big things but everything over to God. We will learn to work, play, rest and sleep for God alone, offering every moment unto him. In this we will be greatly blessed and in his blessing he will be greatly glorified. Being content in want and in rich's is dependent upon our love for God. We must learn daily how to be content, and we do this by faithfully carrying our cross and laying our burdens at his feet. We achieve these attitudes and obedience not by our own strength, but rather by prayerfully in all area's of our life offering to Him everything especially our own wills and allow Him to do with us as he wills.
  4. Our God is a just God, he is beauty, good, truth, meek, kind, patient, just, compassion, gentle, peace, authority, power, glory and holy. The worst enemy of God's grace is inordinate pride, ****, covetous, gluttony, sloth, avarice, anger, for these build up a wall of rebellion against goodness and God's grace. These create ever greater shades of darkness and fear of divine light. Yes, many times and this with great consistency for our God is a God of forgiveness, kindness, patience and love. I have experienced these things and goods of God not because of my own goodness, but because of God's benevolence towards all those who desire Him and have laid open their hearts and minds for Him to renew at His pleasure. Humility, acknowledging our need for God acknowledging our dependence upon God. I would suggest for a more perfect insight into these matters to read and listen to the beatitudes of our Lord.
  5. Without rules, codes, laws and discipline's there would be not sustainable society in existence. These are indeed important. Where the narrow minded and the spiritually stifled encounter problems is that they attach themselves to these rules, codes, disciplines of all sorts, including the reading of the Bible. They believe that these practices are indeed the whole of the method by which a person enters into a state of righteousness in the presence of the Lord. Not so. Everything must be taken into proper and correct context, intent and proportion. If a person is practicing disciplines as if these can save, then they are sorely in error. If a person reads the Bible diligently but without correct instruction, knowledge or understanding, it will be their undoing. Rules are important and useful. Codes are useful and important. Disciplines are useful and important. Laws are useful and important. Without these there would be no nation, state or Church. Rather, we are to love the Lord with our entire mind, heart, body and soul love our neighbor as our selves and not neglect the laws, rules, codes and disciplines. God has given His people rules, laws, codes, and disciplines for the express purpose of teaching and building up of His kingdom of priests, prophets and kings. To declare any of these as useless or worse is to declare God a liar. God's kingdom on earth is like His kingdom in heaven, it is ordered with rules, laws, codes and disciplines, if we do not learn how to be obedient here in this existence we will not know how to participate obediently in the next existence. Therefore no one with the correct and ordered mind or spirit will ever rail against rules, codes, laws or disciplines. Everything must be in "correct" context, intent and proportion.
  6. Humans justify and deceive themselves due to Adam's fall, whereby all of humanity is born into the state of his original sin. Thereby all of humanity suffers from a darkening of the intellect known as concupiscence, which strongly tends toward sin. Sin is any willful thought, word, deed or omission contrary to the law of God. Thus, on the natural all of mankind's inclinations are tainted and thereby tends toward sin. Due to our darkened intellect we tend to hold on to things which are appealing and comfortable to our natural and sinful inclinations. Mankind stumbles over Jesus Christ because He is Light itself. The Light is frightening because it demands a change within our natural intellectual thinking and perceptions of what is actual reality. Prior to Christ we were moved about by our darkened intellect and the darkened intellect of the world. We were comfortable with a dead faith, a faith based solely upon our own imaginations. With the Light of Christ we see things we never seen before and they are not pretty and this challenges us to change and change is not easy nor desirable for the old wine of our lives was mild and full of our own desires and wishful thinking. Even if our personal lives were burdensome we had grown comfortable with these heavy loads/yokes that never truly satisfied, but neither did we truly have to think and if something undesirable happened we easily could and did blame it on something or someone else, such as karma, bad luck, politics, religion, the weather, etc.. Those who have come to know, love and serve our Lord are duty bound to share this same divine charity with those around us. We might well be the only Christ another person will ever meet, therefore we must be living this divine life of forgiveness and charity at all times. Love and kindness can cover over a multitudes of sins and heart breaks thereby healing the wounded spirit and thereby shedding rays of faith, hope and love into the soul of another. We are to share the Word of God in the way we live our lives and when necessary use words. It is by our example that our neighbor will respond to, whether this example is good or bad. Thus, we must be prepared to share the faith, hope and love of God at all times, whether convenient or inconvenient. If we do not share the Word of God through our evangelizations, and ministering to the needy in mind, body and spirit, God our heavenly Father will not hold us guiltless. If we do not warn our neighbors of the imminent danger and they remain unknowing of God and die in their sin, they will not enter into heaven and we will be held liable for their loss. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian but does not live it by assisting to the physical and spiritual needs of their neighbors and to the alien and to the stranger and the family member, though he call upon the name of the Lord daily, he will not be saved, and this because in truth he never knew the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to love God first and foremost with our entire being and essence daily and love our neighbor as we love ourselves, to do anything less is to not be a Christian. We must carry our crosses daily. If our Lord finds us dragging our crosses reluctantly or if he finds us casting our crosses aside he will not be pleased. We must eagerly carry our crosses daily, just as our Lord carried his to Calvary. Keep in mind, that even our Lord received help in carrying His cross, therefore let us call upon the Church and her faithful to assist us in faithfully carrying our crosses daily.
  7. All believers are those who through faith choose to learn and come to know God more perfectly in their lives. The virtue spoken by the prophet Isaiah is the theological virtue of hope. The faithful indeed have hope in God for they through faith choose obedience to Him and to His law, His commandments and to His testimony, they in essence become the offspring of God, for they chose to listen, learn and imitate those faithful whom taught them these truths virtuously in faith, hope and charity. A few examples follow: St. Matthew 9:2, St. Luke 23:39-43, 1Corinthians 4:14-16, St. James 5:13-20, 1 St. John 5:10-21, Apocalypse 12:17.
  8. The prophet is speaking of the final judgment as proclaimed in the various ancient Catholic Christian Creeds. The two which follow are the "Apostles Creed" & "The Nicene Creed." I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall 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 life everlasting. Amen. I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
  9. St. Matthew's Gospel chapter 24 is speaking to the believers in the present tense, meaning the time of tribulation and the end times will be witnessed by the Church. No escapism here, no Darbyistic rapture seen here. Further, the Gospel of St. Matthew and in chapter 25 gives us two perfect and graphic descriptions of the final judgment individually and collectively. The two parables are "the ten virgins" and "the sheep & the goats." St. Mark's Gospel chapter 13 reveals the same, the faithful believer will endure the times and witness the signs, and being persecuted, being betrayed, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, put to death, etc., just like our Lord Jesus Christ. For no servant is greater than their master, and no student greater than their teacher, and no believer greater than their Lord. Rather, the faithful and obedient must endure just as their Creator and Lover Jesus Christ had to endure. The Revelation of St. John chapter 13:9-10 tells us that many faithful believers will be taken into captivity and many will be put to the sword. And in Revelation 20:3-5 we witness multitudes of the faithful and obedient who never worshiped the beast had been beheaded for their faith in God. Again no escapism here.
  10. The language of the prophet speaks and foretells of the holy Eucharistic feast which all the world has been invited but only many will accept. With the advent of Jesus Christ he heralded in the last days and we have been living these last days for 2,000 years. The faithfully obedient have continuously partaken of the heavenly banquet since our Lord Jesus Christ instituted his holy Eucharist in the upper-room and completed his "aqdah" upon Mt. Calvary and drinking the fourth cup of the Passover while upon His holy cross as he said I thirst and was given gall / vinegar wine and then declared it is finished (complete). This divine and heavenly banquet "on earth as it is in heaven" is the consumption of the "actual and true flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ." Those who eat His flesh have his life within them and those who drink his blood are entered into the New and ever lasting Covenant of God. Christ's Bride will suffer all of the identical suffering that her Creator endured and overcame through His resurrection 3 days later, and so too His Bride will suffer the same fate and 3 1/2 days later overcome through her resurrection holy and unblemished, and this accomplished through her divine Grooms authority and power alone.
  11. God comes to destroy the destroyers, whether these be part of the Covenant of God or apart from it, for the knowledge of right and wrong is present within all people. Every people and nation knows that it owes its existence to God and that every person and nation ought to offer truth and worship to God alone. However, the spirit of the world has taken a firm hold of the mind and heart of the peoples and nations and these have willingly abandoned not only the natural law but the divine law as well. Thus God comes to chastise the entire world for its mortal sins which have been committed after giving over of itself with "full consent, due to its actual rejection of the actual knowledge of truth and the Truth himself. The world feels threatened for it knows its sin and knows that it deserves retribution of the most severe form, it knows there is a God and it knows it has willfully committed grievous and serious transgressions against Him and His law and His Church. When sudden events occur, whether pleasant or unpleasant, the joy or the fear can open peoples spiritual eyes to see perhaps for the first time that they indeed must change and must repent and embrace God the Truth. Sudden events often times can open people to the reality that there indeed are greater realties than what mere human senses and intellect can perceive on the natural order. When this happens the first steps of conversion can begin and true repentance and true life can enter into the heart, mind and life of the person and their souls. The result of Adam's fall is that all mankind is born not only with original sin but worse with an inclination and desire to commit sin this being known as concupiscence. Because of these inheritances within our nature we suffer from a darkening of the intellect. Because of this darkened intellect mankind is uncomfortable when divine light is shed upon his heart and mind thereby revealing to man that he is in need of God and his life, light and truth. This necessity of change is repugnant to the world, thus the world of mankind does everything possible to bury himself in darkness so that he can if it were possible to avoid change. Mans resistance and rejection of divine light and truth typically expresses itself in harm and destruction of self and neighbor.
  12. An important note: Egypt can be and is understood as a symbol of the world. As Moses faithfully obeyed God and led the Hebrews out of Egypt (the world) into a new beginning and life, the Egyptians gladly and desirously gave the Hebrews plunder just so that they would leave them, thereby the Hebrews through the power and authority of God plundered the super-power of their world. Further, as Egypt is a symbol of the world, believers of the one true God are never to place their trust or confidence in the world. Later, as the Hebrews wander in the deserts of Sinai and sin they yearn to return to the world even to the point of murmuring against God and His chosen leaders Moses and Aaron. God isn't pleased with this and desires to destroy them and would have if their leader and even their father in the faith Moses did not intercede on their behalf. In like manner we witness many believers today desirous of returning to the world and participating in worldly affairs. God never changes and today God isn't pleased with secularized Christians. We as Christians must always remain obedient to God and His chosen leader, father, papa and church, to do anything less is disobedience and therefore will not benefit us nor please God.
  13. We have a bumper crop of such lackeys today. Such people are only interested in what they can get out of the deal / situation. They have no interest in how their actions or lack there of affect others. Thus, the lackey's of Jerusalem and during Isaiah's time cared nothing for the people, Jerusalem or God. Everything they did was only for personal interests nor for the glory of God or the safety of the people. Anyone operating strictly on the natural order will never recognize the need to repent, thus they will continue attempting to accomplish whatever they are doing by their own efforts and intellect or even fears. However, those who have received grace from God, through the exercise of discernment they would have seen and recognized what they must do, repent and trust in the Lord. Anyone who is so filled with inordinate pride and self interest are digging their own grave, for their efforts are entirely repugnant not only to men but even more so towards God. Anyone who declares themselves sinless or guiltless is a liar, for none can stand before the Lord innocent. The faithful indeed have been redeemed, but our salvation demands continued conversion throughout our pilgrimage in this existence. We must always strive for holiness and obedience, less we fall into a worse state than when we first came to know the Lord. It is for this reason St. Paul declares that he 'beats his body straining to control his natural passions and appetites so that he will may run the race of righteousness before God and not forfeit his salvation (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
  14. Oh, I found my own error. I apologize to you all for my own mistake and lack of thoroughness. Sincerely in Christ.
  15. In the various readings and studies I have made of Neolithic man / societies, I have never found any that sought out Satan or any resemblance thereof. The practice of pantheism, animism, totemisms, paganism, et., of course, but this entirely out of ignorance. Yet even within these most ancient societies and religious rituals and beliefs there was a desire to be one with the cosmic powers that be. Where things go from ignorance to bad is when a man or society desires supremacy above these cosmic powers. Even in such times these men / people who exalted themselves were either feared or hated for they attempted to trample upon what was known at the time to be truth and exalt themselves over the deities and the peoples.
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