~John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Are you struggling with the gospel messages you have read thus far? You struggle dear friend because you are in darkness. Your sin has created a spiritual “film” – a darkness over your eyes. Your heart cannot see the blessed light which is shed on the Gospel because you have long lived in this darkness. Ask God to lighten your way and help you with your unbelief. As was previously written, you are not alone in your unbelief.

~Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

There is no sin that has been sinned since creation of man that God cannot forgive. Jesus’ blood cleanses from ALL sin.

~1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There is only one sin which will not be forgiven mankind and that is rejecting Christ as Saviour. The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide and direct us to the work of Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross.

~John 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

If we deny the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do not accept Christ as our Saviour, this sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit) will not be forgiven and we bring upon ourselves condemnation and eternal life in the lake of fire.

~Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Do not delay your decision. Today is the day you should get saved. God has led you to a point where you understand. Take heed before it is eternally too late.

~2 Corinthians 6:2b …behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Dear God…
Let not my head be darkened
With ideas and logic from friends
But let my heart seek truth and love
In Your Son’s precious nail-scarred hands.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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I love this photo of twins in the military! You just can’t tell them apart!

~John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Let’s say your twin daughters both run away from home to sow their wild oats. You discover where they are living and send your son, their brother, to talk some sense into them. Here you’ve created a beautiful home for them, complete with love and care. But now they have chosen to go against your wishes to live a life their lives the way they want. If they knew you would have approved of their lifestyle, they would not have run away. But they knew how you felt and that is why they went out on their own so they could continue in their sin without you knowing about it.

Your daughters no longer live in the comfort of your home nor are they protected by you. They are on their own. Your son begs the twins to turn from their wicked ways and to come home with him. He is able to reach one sister but the other is adamant. There’s nothing her brother can say – she does not want to return.

You rejoice greatly because one of your daughters has come home. However, you are heartbroken because the other daughter has chosen to stay away and continue to live in her sin. You do not love her any less but you are grieved beyond what words can say. She has chosen to sever the fellowship between the two of you. She has chosen to stay away. However, just because she has chosen not to have fellowship with you, it does not mean that she is no longer your daughter. In fact, your emotions are probably more “stirred” because of her choice.

Can you now imagine how God feels? His creation, Adam and Eve, chose to sin. They did not realize that their sin would bring the consequences of a broken relationship. Because God knows the future, He realizes that they will never be able to keep the whole Law. It grieves God that fellowship is broken so He makes a plan to send His Son to restore that fellowship. The Law requires that blood be shed for the remission of sins.

~Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Because God is Holy and cannot break the Law He created, He sends His Son (the Perfect Lamb) to shed His own blood for all man kind’s sin. What a beautiful picture of how much God loves us! God’s initial design was not to condemn the world. But because of the world’s sin, He sent His Son so that the world could be saved and that intimate fellowship could be restored.

Dear God…
Please help thou my unbelief.
Increase my mustard seed faith.
Open my eyes that I may see
The Gift Thou has sent my way!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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Dating … what a wonderful experience! You meet someone that you want to get to know better. At first, you know nothing about this person but after a few dates, you learn that he likes to ski – he went to college – his family lives in Maine, etc. You now know a little about this person. After a few months, you learn the more personal things about him – he loves children – he is good with finances, etc.

Once you are married, you can now say that you know this person intimately. You now know him the way you could not possibly have known him before. You now not only know about his dreams but you are sharing in those dreams. His goals in life have become your goals. You think alike – you finish each other’s sentences. When he is not available and an issue comes up, you are able to answer for him because you know his mind. The two of you have now become one.

It is no different with Christianity. Many say that they are a “Christian” but nothing could be further from the truth. These people know about God but they do not know God intimately. What do I mean by this? When one is truly born again, he is now a child of God.

~Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Once we are born again and are His children, we are able to go to Him as we did our earthly father. The fact that He is the perfect Almighty God makes Him the perfect Father. He knows our needs even before we ask Him. He knows our heart and the trials that we face.

Three times the words Abba, Father appear in the Word of God. They were put together like this for a reason. Why? Any time you read something for the first time in the Bible, the verse or those following usually describe what that word(s) means. These words were first spoken by Jesus Christ when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane and He needed comforting from His Father. Therefore, this shows an intimate relationship. One where a child runs to his father for comfort. The other two times, Paul teaches us that we, too, can come to the Heavenly Father in this intimate way and call God our Abba, Father!

~Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

~Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

~Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Do you have that intimate relationship with God as you do with your own earthly father? Be honest. The catholic church teaches one is born again at baptism as a baby. However, a baby cannot experience true repentance from sin because he is not at the point where he knows the difference between right and wrong. When one understands he is a sinner deserving of hell’s punishment, then one can be born again. Once we are truly born again, we now have a different relationship with God. He now becomes our Heavenly Father and His love and care go beyond our earthly father’s abilities.

Can you say that God is your Abba, Father? You know in the pit of your heart that you are deceiving yourself. This relationship cannot be “mustered” up. You cannot conjure up a relationship. The Bible says that the one who is not truly born again cannot receive or understand the Bible or the things of God because they sound “foreign” or are foolish to him.

~1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But God’s Word says that the born-again believer has the mind of Christ now and the Holy Spirit will instruct us in what God wishes for us to learn.

~1 Corinthians 2:15-16 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (15) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (16)

You cannot lie to yourself. You absolutely know if you have this type of relationship with God or not. Before I was born again, I knew about God. I tried to reach Him by doing what I was taught were the right things to do in order to reach Him. However, I only knew about God. I didn’t know Him intimately.

Do you really know God or do you just know of God? There is a big difference. Don’t you want to be able to turn to God as your Abba, Father? If you realize that you do not have this type of relationship with God, please go here and read how you can become a child of God!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

If you think yourself too good for hell, you are dearly mistaken. After we die, we must all stand before Christ.

~Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

The judgment of the unsaved is hell.

~Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Those who are born again are no longer under condemnation according to John 3:18. We have been set free from the punishment of hell because Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross of Calvary. Those who believe in the work of the cross must repent from their sins and believe it is so. JESUS said we must repent, not some man.

~Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Repentance AND Faith – the two sides of the coin of salvation; both must be together. Without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (trusting in His shed blood and finished work on the cross of Calvary), grief for sin is just human reformation, trying to clean yourself up, trying to lift yourself up to Heaven by your own good works – by your own bootstraps – and it will never work! BUT without repentance for your sin – a desire to turn from it in the heart – without seeing your lost condition in the eyes of God – turning to Christ is just being religious, just saying a prayer, just getting your “fire insurance”, with no saving value! Both must be together: you must see your sin in the light of the Word of God and turn from it in your heart to the Saviour to save you from them and from the punishment due you because of those same sins – believing in your heart that Jesus can and will save you. THEN the Holy Spirit gives you eternal life, makes you a new creature in Christ Jesus, and begins to change you from the inside out.

~2 Corinthians Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Won’t you set aside any theology you have been taught up to now? Won’t you turn to the Bible where the truth is simply laid out for you? Allow the Holy Spirit of God to reveal the simplicity of the gospel to you. There is no other way to heaven. Neither Buddha nor Allah will get you there.

~Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Dear God…
Show me the way that leads to You
Let my path not be darkened with lies
Of those who choose to deceive and distract
But clearly guide me to eternal life!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shoul not perish, but have everlasting life.

This verse is probably the most popular Bible verse of mankind. The entire Gospel message of Jesus Christ is wrapped up in this one verse.

God’s love is so great that He gave up His Son for us. For those of you who have children, you can appreciate the love of a parent. You can also appreciate the extent of that love – even more so for you parents who have lost a son or daughter in the line of duty for their country. You gave up your child on behalf of your country. How clear is God the Father’s love to you now?

If war haters were to smear your son’s name or criticize the war, you would take it personally. You would be upset that these objectors could not look passed the war to see the fact that your son gave up his life for them.

Our Father in Heaven has given us an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as punishment for our sins. If we do not accept His payment for our penalty, we reject God. It is the same with your son. If the anti-war demonstrators curse your son and his efforts, they do not accept the wonderful freedom he fought so hard to keep for his country.

Our Father knew that we could not work our way to heaven by keeping the commandments. The Jews had not been able to keep the commandments and the Law because man is a sinner from birth. If we were able work our way to heaven on our own, why would God have to send His Son Jesus to die on the cross? What would have been the need? If there were no wars to be fought, why would your son have had to give his life for his country? Do you not see the wonderful comparison here?

The most relevant point in all this is that Jesus died for our sins while we were yet sinners. He knew that we could not “clean up our act” before accepting Him as Saviour.

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Dear God…
Please help me to believe by faith
The work of the Cross that day.
Your Only Son gave up His life
For our sin debt He died to pay!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Jesus can see what is in Nicodemus’ heart at this point. He knows that if Nicodemus cannot believe those things which he can see with his own eyes, how can he possibly believe heavenly things which he cannot see! It appears that Nicodemus is lacking faith. That is why Jesus spoke of receiving salvation like a little child.

~Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

I think we can all agree that there’s no better description of faith than that which is displayed by a child.

Jesus does not allow Nicodemus any excuses. Nor will we have any excuse when we stand before the Throne to see if our name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

~Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Only those who have been born again will be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Once we are born again, we are sealed by the Father and we will be given everlasting life. The Word of God in the Bible is the “meat” that draws us to salvation.

~John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Dear God…
Please help Thou my unbelief!
Remove this veil from my eyes.
Show me the way that leads to Thee.
Only Thou art truthful and wise.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Jesus continues to reach Nicodemus in the heart of his religious beliefs. Nicodemus is not only a good Jew; he is a teacher; he is a leader; he is the ultimate Jew, a Pharisee. Yet Jesus does not allow Nicodemus’ prestige to gain him entrance to heaven. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Jesus emphatically tells Nicodemus that despite all his knowledge, Nicodemus still does not believe their witness and testimony!

Nicodemus suffered from what all very “religious” people suffer. He knows so much and has lived so long that he believes he can no longer be taught any truth. He relies on his religious knowledge to be enough to get him to heaven. Jesus reprimanded many Pharisees in the Book of Matthew and called them all hypocrites. Nicodemus was recognized as a leader by Jesus in our earlier reading. But Jesus goes further in this next verse by telling the Pharisees that not only were they not going to enter heaven but they were preventing their congregation from going to heaven as well! Oh my!!

~Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

WE are responsible for our OWN salvation, not a religious leader.

~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Dear God…
Please help me to see
Your truth and testimony.
Help me to receive by faith
Your salvation so full and free!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Jesus doesn’t let Nicodemus off the hook here. He holds him to task. In fact, Jesus questions Nicodemus and asks him why he doesn’t know these things being that he is a “master of Israel”! Religious leaders have so much more responsibility in God’s eyes. They are supposed to lead the spiritually blinded to the truth. This isn’t just with the Jewish religion but it is true with every religion on the face of this earth. Each has a leader of some kind, whether it is a Rabbi, a priest, a minister, etc.

Why do we need someone else to read, interpret and digest the Bible for us when God tells us that we are responsible for doing this ourselves? Do you allow someone to eat, chew and swallow your food for you? Of course not! Then why do you allow someone else to read the Bible, understand it and glean from it for you?

~John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Each one of us must eat for ourselves to keep our bodies alive. The same goes for our spiritual bodies. We must feed our own spiritual bodies with spiritual bread. No one else will stand before God and give an account for your life but you!

~John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Dear God…
Oh Jesus, Thou art the bread of life.
I seek the Truth, I’m sincere.
Guide me where I can find this bread
And draw You ever so near!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

Even after hearing what Jesus had to say, Nicodemus still returned to the logic of the mind. He was so religious and knew so much, yet he could not grasp even this simplest of truths.

Have you ever said “How can this be?” All of us have said this at one time or another. I always wondered how rockets could possibly launch a ship so it could reach the moon and back. But just because I don’t understand rockets does not make me believe they don’t exist.

You must commend Nicodemus for his tenacity. At least he kept asking. Some people just give up if they don’t understand something the first time around. Nicodemus kept right on asking questions as if to say, “Help me to understand!”

Won’t you ask God to help your unbelief today? Don’t let what you have been taught all these years to blind you. Don’t let the religion of your fathers stand in the way of seeking the truth.

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Dear God…
It’s not easy to change my ways.
I’m filled with much doubt and fear.
Cause my uncertainty and unbelief
To depart after so many years!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

What a wonderful example given by Jesus to explain what the Spirit is like. You can’t see the wind but you surely can hear it. You can see its movement in the trees but you cannot see the wind itself. The Spirit is the same. You cannot see the Spirit but you see the Spirit’s movement in the believer. He changes the damned soul into a life-everlasting soul. The Spirit lives within every born-again believer. The unsaved does not understand because he does not possess the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth.

If you were to buy a used car, you would want to know the truth about this car’s history … has it been involved in an accident? Does it have any hidden mechanical issues, etc. Don’t you want to know the truth about eternal life as well? Why would we want to know the truth about everything else in life but not about where we will spend eternity?  Do you really want to trust something as important as your eternity in the hands of a religious leader?

Don’t you want to have the Spirit of truth living within you? Don’t you want to have answers to questions you’ve been too afraid to ask? Don’t you want your soul to have life everlasting?

~John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Dear God…
Oh God, help me to understand
The truths within Your Word.
May Your Holy Spirit open my heart
And lead me continuously forward!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus told Nicodemus “Don’t wonder that I’m saying, you have to be born again.” In other words, don’t try to put logic into it when it takes faith. Jesus was giving him the key here. Don’t try to put reason and logic into the plan of salvation. Why would Jesus say to receive the simple plan of salvation like a child?

~Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Have you ever noticed how a child looks to his father and mother for answers? A father could give any answer at all and the child would believe him. The child trusts his father explicitly and believes with all his heart that his father will bring him no harm.

Do you believe like a child? Or do you allow deeply embedded doctrine from your past to cloud the simplicity of the Gospel? Ask God to remove any obstacles and to give you that child-like faith that is needed to be saved.

Dear God…
Oh Lord, I struggle to believe
What the Bible says I must do.
Help me to accept its words as
Final authority and truth!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

What a simple sentence spoken by Jesus here. Yet, here Jesus was speaking to a Jewish religious leader, a Pharisee. It shows that even those who appear to have all the truth and answers must be given a simple message. The message was so simple that even a child could understand it.

~Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Jesus knew that it would take child-like faith for Nicodemus to be saved. Nicodemus would have to let go of all the religious knowledge he had crammed in his brain. He would have to let go of everything he had been taught and rely on this simple message to speak to his heart. All the laws and rules Nicodemus had learned would have to be set aside and he would have to rely on the Word of God to speak to his heart.

It is not rocket science … flesh begets flesh … dogs have puppies, cats have kittens, and humans have babies. But, if we accept the simple plan of salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit and are now born of the Spirit. It really is not difficult at all when God reveals the truth to your heart.

~John 1:14 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.

Dear God…
I pray that I will never be
So heavenly minded yet blind.
Open my eyes with Your Truth.
Remove those chains that bind!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Again, Jesus doubles up on the word “verily”! It’s as if He is saying, “Nicodemus, I double emphatically say”! This was the custom of the day when someone wanted to drive a point home.

Jesus again says Nicodemus had to be born again. This time, Jesus uses a different term. He says that Nicodemus had to be born of water and of the Spirit. Many believe that this water is the water at baptism.  However, every baby that is born comes after a woman’s water has broken, therefor “born of water.”

When one is born again, one receives the Holy Spirit of God.

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Also,

~John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

This was such a simple directive from Jesus to this religious leader. It was not a complicated matter at all. Have you been convinced that the way to Heaven is a complicated one? It’s not complicated at all. There is only one way … Jesus is the way.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Dear God…

Oh how I searched to find the truth.
My quest was indeed sincere.
I asked the religiously learned ones,
But the Bible I failed to read!

I failed to turn to the one place
Where all truth is clearly penned.
Where sin is not made beautiful
Nor its pleasures does it defend!

This Bible led me to Your bleeding side
At the cross where my burden was laid.
You paid the price required for sin.
Your shed blood now the debt has paid!

© Kate Plourde 2009

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~John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Poor Nicodemus! Despite all the Scripture this Pharisee has committed to memory, he turns to logic to make sense of the statement Jesus made. This proves that even the religious leaders of today can misinterpret what God means in His Word. Here is the ultimate religious leader for the Jews and yet he resorted to what “made sense to him.” This Pharisee must have thought to himself, “Surely God doesn’t mean this!

Are you trying to make sense of everything you have been taught through the years as the “right way to Heaven”? Listen to what Jesus says in the Word and not to what someone else says. The Bible is never wrong! Jesus confirmed this when He was praying for His disciples to His Father in Heaven,

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” ~John 17:17

Ask God to reveal the truth to you in His Word. He promises to do so.

~John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Dear God…
Where do we turn to learn about
The One Who died for us?
The Bible is our only source
And reading is a must!

Kate Plourde

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As we read our Bibles, we see that the Old Testament points forward to the Messiah and the New Testament reveals who the Messiah is. Why is Passover given to us as a name for Jesus?

~1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Although the chapter and verse numbers were not in the original text, I find it interesting that this particular verse is found in Chapter 5, verse 7. Five symbolizes grace in the Bible and the number seven symbolizes perfection. God’s perfect grace was given to us through the Passover, Jesus Christ! Things like this always excite my spirit!

So what is Passover? You can read about how the Passover began in Exodus 12:1-14. It is such a beautiful account of salvation. The Jews were given this blessed event to point to the coming of their Messiah. The Bible says:

~Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

God shed the blood of an innocent animal (~Genesis 3:21) to cover Adam and Eve after they had sinned. Notice that Adam and Eve knew they had sinned and tried to make their own coverings. What a wonderful depiction of man trying to come to God in his own way – through the works of his own hands. However, their coverings were not sufficient. God had to make the covering that was acceptable to Him. This was the first mention of the shedding of blood for a covering. We see another type of “offering” in ~Genesis 4 when Abel brought a lamb for a sacrifice and Cain tried to bring the fruit of his garden, the work of his own hands – thus his own efforts at salvation.

The Passover is a depiction of this future covering of sin. A spotless lamb had to be killed and its blood had to be painted on the three sides of the doorpost so the Angel of Death would pass over the house and not inflict death to th first born. What a beautiful depiction of Christ’s blood, a complete sacrifice from the God to mankind. The blood of a spotless lamb (Jesus’ sinless life) was painted on the three sides of the doorpost (three symbolizing the Godhead/Trinity).

When we accept Jesus Christ’s shed blood as payment for sins, repent and are born again, God sees Christ’s blood over us and we do not get what we deserve, which is eternal death in Hell. Does this not bless you? Our Passover, Jesus Christ, has removed all condemnation and replaced it with eternal life in Heaven!

~John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

~John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Whatever God does is perfect. He provided the perfect Lamb because the Jews’ passover lamb was just a foreshadow of what was to come. Their lamb could not take away their sins. Our Perfect Passover Lamb can take away our sins! Praise the Lord! It is not a church that takes away sin. It is not a priest that takes away sin. Only the Perfect Lamb of God has the authority to take away sins because HE paid the price with His own blood. It is God’s responsibility, not sinful man. How can one sinner have the right to forgive another sinner’s sin? Sin is sin in God’s eyes (see James 2:10) – all sin is bad according to God and deserves Hell and judgment.

~Joshua 24:18-20 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

~Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

~Luke 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

Only God can forgive sins because He is the One who provided the sacrifice of shed blood, the covering and the forgiveness fulfilled through Jesus Christ, our Passover! Won’t you accept Jesus Christ as your only Passover? Salvation and forgiveness of sins can only be obtained through Christ. Five times (symbolic in the Bible for God’s grace) the phrase, “forgiveness of sins” is found in Scriptures:

~Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

~Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

~Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

~Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

~Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

False religion will corrupt this beautiful message of the Passover. Rather than a remembrance, they sacrifice Christ anew daily and go against the Scriptures where we are told that Christ had to die only once for all sin. His death was sufficient – it was complete – once for all! Yes, we can remember His death as a memorial whenver we receive communion. But we cannot sacrifice Christ anew as the catholic church does.

~Hebrews 10:10-14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

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This name for Jesus, Messiah, appears twice in the Old Testament (Messiah) and twice in the New Testament (Messias).

~Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

~Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

~John 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

~John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

The Old Testament refers to the Messiah as a Prince and the New Testament refers to the Messiah as the Christ. According to Noah Webster’s Dictionary, Messiah means:

Messiah
MESSI’AH, a. [Heb. anointed.] Christ, the anointed; the Savior of the world.

I know that when Messiah cometh, who is called Christ, he will tell us all things. Jesus answered her, I that speak to thee am he. John 4.

I find it interesting that the Jews were looking for a Messiah that would be a Prince (a Conqueror) but did not see Him as a Saviour from their sin. The New Testament, however, does not concentrate on Jesus’ position as Prince (mentioned as such only three times) as much as a Saviour (mentioned 24 times).

Jesus was anointed of God for His mission as Messiah – to save the lost. He came to guide us to the Truth and to show us the only path to Heaven. He submitted to His Father to the point of death. This could not have been an easy task when you meditate on it. Would you have gone to your crucifixion death if you knew ahead of time the pain and agony it would cause? If you are interested, read about Jesus’ crucifixion as viewed by medical professionals. We can understand how submission to the Father’s will must have been priority with Jesus.

~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

~Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

~John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Yet, despite His knowing what was to come, He died for us! Christ was anointed for the sole purpose of coming to earth to die for our sins!

~John 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

Just what will the Messiah save the world from?

2 Peter 2:9-15 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

I also found it interesting that Peter refers to those who have gone astray following the way of Balaam. Balaam is a type of antichrist – one who distorts the truth and leads people astray. The Bible refers to him in Numbers 23 and 24. Jesus refers to Balaam in:

~Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Balaam enticed the Israelites to idolatry and sin. He became a stumbling block to the Jews and caused error to set in. Peter stated in 2 Peter 2:9-15 that they have forsaken the right way and are gone astray, following after Balaam. What does the Bible say is the right way?

~Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

~Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: ~Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

~Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

~Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

The catholic church uses verse 16 as proof of works for salvation. This is a teaching from Balaam. This is far from what Christ was teaching. Christ was teaching that grapes do not grow thorns nor figs thistles. It’s not rocket science. In other words, after salvation I will be producing righteous fruit. Before salvation, however, I will be producing those thorns and thistles because I am a child of the devil.

We will be able to recognize the teachings of Balaam by the fruit it produces. What kind of fruits do they produce? The fruits of these people will be the opposite of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

~Ephesians 5:8-10 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Therefore, the fruits of Balaam are: they walk not in the light – they do not seek after righteousness and truth and the do not prove what is acceptable to God.

Not only does our Messiah save us from sin but He teaches us. He even provides us with His Word so that we may prove what is acceptable to God!

~John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

~John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

~John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

~Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

~1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

~2 Corinthians 4:2-4 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

~1Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

~2 Timothy 3:15-16 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Jesus will not contradict Himself! The truth can be found by reading your Bible. You will find exactly what you need to find the Messiah and His salvation. You will also find how to identify the teachings of Balaam. The teachings of Balaam will try to lead you away from finding salvation through Jesus Christ. Balaam’s teachings will steer away from Christ and focus on something or someone else. The catholic church is famous for this. Their dogmas, magisterium and catholic sacred tradition point to Mary, the pope’s infallibility, purgatory, works, penance, sacraments, and salvation through the catholic church – these are just some of the things they teach. They have left the simple truth of the Word of God. The Messiah did not come with complex theories but He came with a simple mission.

Do not follow after someone without proving his words with the Scriptures. The Bible is your light given to you by the Messiah! The teachings of Balaam will corrupt God’s Word and cause the people to follow a lie. The only way to expose a lie is to know the Truth!

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~Matthew 19:16-22 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (16) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (17) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, ( 18 ) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (19) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (20) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (21) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (22)

Master was used in Jesus’ day to describe an instructor, teacher or doctor. The word was also used for the master of a household. How interesting it is that Jesus could fulfill these! Today’s Scripture passage is a well-known one and it cuts to the very heart of man.

Here is a young man who comes to Jesus and recognizes that Jesus is special. He not only called him Master, but Good Master. Then he asks Jesus what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? Jesus’ response is one that every good person should take heed to. Jesus wanted to cut to the core of this young man. He knew that this young man was a “good” Jewish man and that he was trying to work his way to Heaven. Jesus also knew that this man kept the Law and lived by it. Like any good teacher, the Good Master even outlined the areas “of good” this man was striving to do so that he could inherit eternal life: he kept all of the commandments, the Law, and Jesus named them. The man responded to Jesus, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”

What a great question! If you are trying to work your way to Heaven by following the teachings of your religion, you are like this young man. The Good Master knew the young man’s heart and knew that there was something that was really important to him – it had a “clutch” on him. Jesus told him to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and come and follow Him. Had riches not had a grip on the young man, it would have been nothing for him to give up. The fact that he was sorrowful and went away shows that his riches meant more to him than following Christ.

Does Jesus require all men to give up everything and live like a pauper? No! But He does want you to be willing to give everything up. Do you hear Jesus’ message The Good Master is trying to teach you in His Word. What do you place ahead of salvation? Is it money? Is it your spouse or your family? Is it fear of leaving the teachings you’ve had all your life – that familiarity? Do you think that all those good deeds you are doing will get you to Heaven? Do you think that following the traditions of your church will get you to Heaven? Notice that this young man did all the things required of him yet Jesus told him it was not enough.

Jesus knows your heart just as He knew the heart of this rich young man. You can be entrenched in catholicism, Judaism or whatever religion. But what does God’s Word say? Jesus may not require you to give up your wealth, but he will definitely require you to give up working your way to Heaven, just as He did with this young man.

~Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

There is nothing you can do that will get you any closer to Heaven. The only work that can successfully get you to Heaven is the work of Jesus Christ – His death on the cross, the shedding of His own blood, and His resurrection! Christ did all the work – all we need to do is to accept the fact that there is nothing more we can add to it. This rich young man did everything he was taught to get to Heaven but it was not enough.

~Romans 3:24-25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

So where do you stand today? Does your religion mean more to you than following Christ? Does your family mean more to you than following Jesus? Jesus had nothing against riches. But Jesus knew that riches meant more to this young man than salvation. How very sad, indeed! Let the Master teach you instead of man!

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The catholic church teaches in its catechism that one cannot be so presumptuous as to say that he is going to Heaven when he dies:

There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.” Pg. 507, #2092

This teaching makes my blood boil! Specifically, “he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.” There are so many Bible verses that contradict this catholic teaching alone, it amazes me that the average catholic has not picked up on it! The average catholic has not picked up on it because the average catholic (and I was one of them) never reads his Bible!

So what does the Bible teach? The Bible says that we cannot be saved on our own but only through Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. It is because of God’s precious mercy that we are not all killed right now and thrown into Hell!

~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The catechism teaching has truth mixed with false teaching. The truth is that man cannot save himself (the first part of #2092). The truth is that man cannot obtain forgiveness without conversion (second part of #2092). However, the false teaching lies in the latter part of #2092 “Man cannot obtain forgiveness without merit.” This false teaching is a subtle one indeed. The catholic church teaches that as long as a catholic keeps the sacraments and does good works, he will die and go to purgatory and then be allowed into Heaven.

This is quite contrary to what the Bible teaches. There is nothing man can do in his own merit that can bring salvation. The devotional for August 22, 2008, goes into great depth about how God views our own personal works. Only Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient for God! Christ is the only way. It is only by God’s mercy that we are saved! He did not wait for us to be good enough but sent His Son while we were yet sinners!

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

What better proof of God’s mercy than sending His Son to die for us while we were yet sinners? Does this say that He sent His Son to die for us while we did our good works?

~1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (3) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (4) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (5)

Secondly, the Bible teaches that we can know that we are saved, right here – right now! It is not presumptuous at all. Paul absolutely knew he was going to Heaven when he left this earth! In fact, he was torn between staying here on earth to continue his ministry and going to be with Christ!

~Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

~2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

What proof do you need? Paul told the Corinthians that the Christians are confident that once they leave their earthly bodies they will be present with Christ!

So why can the rest of the repentant, born-again Christians know they are going to Heaven? What verses teach this?

~2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

~ 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

~John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but thewrath of God abideth on him.
~John 5:24 He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Read your Bible, dear catholic! It’s all in there! We can know for sure that we are going to Heaven when we die because we do not depend upon our own works but upon Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.

~Romans 9:31-33 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (31) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (32) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (33)

Paul told the Jews that they were following after the works of the law, just as the catholic is doing today. Paul told the Jews that because they didn’t seek God by faith, but by their works, they stumbled at the stumblingstone! You, dear catholic, are stumbling as well. You have chosen to follow the works of the catholic church instead of pursuing your faith in the work of Jesus Christ. The catholic church does not want you to read your Bible because they know that within its pages are the words of life!

~Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As long as the catholic church leaders can keep you out of the Bible, they can keep your faith from growing. But God’s Word promises that your faith will grow IF you read your Bible. In its pages are truth, my friend! Won’t you take the challenge today? You have lack of faith because you do not read the Word of God which builds your faith!

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The catholic church teaches that there are seven sacraments, according to their catechism. They go so far as to say that these sacraments are necessary for salvation:

“There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.” Pg. 289, #1113

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” Pg. 292, #1129

These are not my words, dear catholic, but those of your catechism.

The Bible gives us a clear outline on what we must do to be saved. All the sacraments reflect man’s works – man’s ability to achieve salvation through doing something rather than solely trusting on the Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for complete remission of sins. Nothing we do to achieve salvation will ever benefit us or save us. The sacraments, or any works, are man’s attempt to justify himself before God.

~Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Cain tried to justify himself before God by the works of his own hands and God did not accept his offering (~Genesis 4:3-5). Abel offered a firstling of his flock as God commanded of him – of which our Lord Jesus Christ is a symbol (the Lamb of God). But the fruit of Cain’s garden was not pleasing to God – this is a symbol of man’s works – this was Cain’s idea of how he could come to God. Things have not changed in these thousands of years. It did not work with Cain and it will not work for us today either. God will look upon your works with the same disgust as He did on Cain’s.

God views our own works as filthy and putrid, my friend!

~Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Nothing we can do is clean enough of God’s eyes. Can’t you see that? Notice how Isaiah says that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags? This means that anything good that we try to do for God appears like a filthy rag to God. This means that praying a thousand rosaries, attending mass every day, or even working at a nursing home to help the elderly will be of no benefit to you.
The Hebrew word for filthy is:

H5708

עד

‛êd
ayd
From an unused root meaning to set a period (compare H5710 and H5749); the menstrual flux (as periodical); by implication (in plural) soiling: – filthy.

Just reading this description is disgusting to me. When we look at the difference between this disgusting type of blood and the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we can see a vast difference. If you read in Leviticus 15:19-33 and 20:18, you will see what was required when dealing with this type of blood – the cleaning ceremonies were intense. The leper was also linked with this type of uncleanness (Leviticus 13:45) and his rags were considered just as filthy. I once heard a sermon about lepers. The preacher said that before the leper could enter a city, he had to take a rag from the top of a post (that other lepers had used) and rub hard over his leperous sores. He would then return the filthy rag back to the top of the post for the next leper to use. Is this not disgusting to you? Isaiah says that God views our good works in the same manner He views this filthy rag!

God compares our own works to this putrid type of filthy rag! There is nothing that we can do that will even come close to the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Everything you do in order to get closer to God will fall short of what God requires of us. This includes the sacraments required by the catholic church. Here is what the Bible has to say on this subject:

~Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Notice that this verse uses the words just man. This Hebrew word for just is:

H6662

צדּיק
tsaddîyq
tsad-deek’
From H6663; just: – just, lawful, righteous (man).

This includes anyone who thinks he is “just,” “lawful,” or “religious.” That even includes the good religious catholic, Jew or anyone who thinks himself a “good” person. God views every act of a “good” person as unrighteous because of our fallen sinful nature. He sees the pridefulness behind our good works.

We are sinners because we have the fallen nature of Adam. The good person does not have genuine repentance. The catholic’s penance lacks true sincerity and it is reflected in his prayers to God. Furthermore, his prayer life is routine – it is repetitious. He thinks God will hear him because he has prayed a hundred prayers in chapel that morning (~Matthew 6:7).

Because of his pride, he secretly desires that others see his public prayer and his good deeds. He secretly desires to be known for his good works rather than letting God receive the glory for them. A good man’s holiness can only be viewed as putrid sin when compared to that of the holiness of God. In fact, the good person’s religious worship and acts contain enough sin in them all to condemn him to a million hells.

How then can the catholic say that obeying the sacraments assures salvation? The Bible says:

~Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

If the sacraments are to be obeyed, and if the sacraments are of God, then they would be found in the Bible. They are not found there but instead, they are recorded in the traditions of men, the catholic church’s sacred tradition and magisterium – attempting to reach God through religion. But God cannot be reached in this manner. There is nothing we can do in this flesh that will ever please God. We can only reach God through salvation in Jesus Christ and after doing so, we receive the Holy Spirit of God and can now say that we can truly worship God with the same obedience that Abel worshipped God with his sacrifice – because we are covered by the Perfect Sacrifice, Jesus Christ and His blood!

~John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

~John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

~Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Jesus is the only way to God, my dear catholic.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This does not say that you can reach the Father through the sacraments or even just one of the sacraments, like baptism for example. You can only come to God when you acknowledge that you can do nothing yourself (like Cain) to earn salvation. All God will see is your filthy rags. You must acknowledge that Christ’s shed blood is the only righteousness there is to cover your filthy rags of good works. Once you have repented of your filthy sin and accept Christ’s perfect righteous blood as the only worthy sacrifice, you can be seen by the Father as righteous – not because of your own righteousness but because of Christ’s righteousness! Christ’s blood is the only thing that the Father wishes to see and Jesus’ blood is the only thing that the Father will accept, just as He did with Cain.

No amount of keeping the sacraments, praying a thousand rosaries, going to confession daily, doing daily penance, repeated flaggellations, climbing the stairs of a cathedral on your knees, wearing rough clothing against your skin, working in the soup kitchen, – NOTHING can cause God to view your good works in any other way than as that putrid dirty bloody rag mentioned in Isaiah 64:6. The Father sees only His Son’s righteous blood. Won’t you finally acknowledge that it is only the blood of Jesus that can set you free?

~John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

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To whom or what is your faith anchored? The function of an anchor is to keep a ship still in the midst of storm so it does not wander away. The anchor also stops a ship from moving when a mission at sea is necessary. Either way you look at it, the anchor holds a ship securely. What a wonderful depiction of our Saviour and a moving description of Christ.

~Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

The word anchor occurs only once in the Bible. How interesting this is to me. The number one is symbolized in the Bible to mean beginning/one. There is but one God – He was there in the beginning and throughout time. It blessed me that this word anchor appeared only once. In other words, there is only one anchor to keep our soul and provide our salvation and that is God!

Hebrews 6:19 says that the Anchor of our soul is both sure and steadfast. Strong’s definition of both of these words are:

G804
ἀσφαλής
asphalēs
as-fal-ace’
From G1 (as a negative particle) and σφάλλω sphallō (to “fail”); secure (literally or figuratively): – certain (-ty), safe, sure.

G949
βέβαιος
bebaios
beb’-ah-yos
From the base of G939 (through the idea of basality); stable (literally or figuratively): – firm, of force, stedfast, sure.

Applying these definitions to the Saviour speaks to our hearts and gives us a glimpse into His characteristics. Our Lord, our Anchor, is both sure and steadfast. It reminded me of another one of the devotionals on Jesus’ names, Foundation! Christ’s nature is revealed in all of the names. I love that Jesus and His Gospel are sure and stedfast. That means they never change. They hold fast – they are secure and certain. We are safe in Christ and our faith is stable – just as our faith is stable in the foundation Christ provided.

Any time the repentant, born-again believer is weak, He can rest assured that his salvation was purchased by Christ and, therefore, is secure in Him because our Anchor holds it. You may wonder why I use the term “repentant, born-again believer” rather than just the born-again believer. I do so because there are many who claim to be born again but their lives have never changed. They have not repented from their sins but have merely prayed a little prayerette to be saved and they think that this gets them saved. Alas, the Word states that you must repent. We must look at our sin as God looks at our sin. Our sin is putrid and disgusting, unholy and we deserve hell because of it. The repentant sinner acknowledges this and is just as revolted at his sin as God is. The repentant sinner desires to live a righteous life and moves onward striving to do so. He does not continue in his sin but his life changes. If he was a thief, he steals no more. If he was a liar, he lies no more. If he was an adulterer, he does this no more. There is a change in the true repentant, born-again believer’s life, just as Paul stated in 2 Corinthinas 5:17!

So, my friend. Is your salvation securely held by the Saviour? Does your faith grip to the Solid Rock or is it gripping onto the traditions of men and religion? This will collapse like a house built on sand. Are you depending on good works through sacraments, penance, baptism and purgatory to get you to heaven? This, again, is building your faith on sand. Christ is the Anchor – His salvation/Gospel is built on the Solid Rock – it is unshakeable – immoveable – impenetrable – and everlasting!

In Times Like These
by Ruth Caye Jones

In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Chorus
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

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