This Easter Weekend

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Isaiah lived between 740 and 680 B.C., 700 years before the Son came to earth to suffer and die for our sins, it was accurately prophesied of what He would endure…

David wrote Psalm 22 which begins, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”  David reigned around 1000 B.C.  Approximately 1000 years before the birth of Jesus, His words and His manner of death would be prophesied…

We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.  But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.                     -Saint Peter

Isaiah 53

  The Suffering Servant

    Who has believed our message?
         And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
         And like a root out of parched ground;
         He has no stately form or majesty
         That we should look upon Him,
         Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
    He was despised and forsaken of men,
         A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
         And like one from whom men hide their face
         He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
         And our sorrows He carried;
         Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
         Smitten of God, and afflicted.
    But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
         He was crushed for our iniquities;
         The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
         And by His scourging we are healed.
    All of us like sheep have gone astray,
         Each of us has turned to his own way;
         But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
         To fall on Him.
    He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
         Yet He did not open His mouth;
         Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
         And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
         So He did not open His mouth.
    By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
         And as for His generation, who considered
         That He was cut off out of the land of the living
         For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
    His grave was assigned with wicked men,
         Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
         Because He had done no violence,
         Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
    But the LORD was pleased
         To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
         If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
         He will see His offspring,
         He will prolong His days,
         And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
    As a result of the anguish of His soul,
         He will see it and be satisfied;
         By His knowledge the Righteous One,
         My Servant, will justify the many,
         As He will bear their iniquities.
    Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
         And He will divide the booty with the strong;
         Because He poured out Himself to death,
         And was numbered with the transgressors;
         Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
         And interceded for the transgressors.

We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 

Just some thoughts for this Easter weekend…

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31 responses »

  1. Hi Michelle! This is my first time here. I’ve been thinking about you a lot since the discussion over on Loves blog about miracles and healing. I’m remembering you in prayer as I often pray for healing but more so His will, not our own.

    Happy Easter!

  2. Thank you, Tam. It seems we have quite a bit in common. I’ve checked out your blog – you’re having way too much fun over there. 😉 Raising teenagers is not easy – I have three.

    Thank you for the prayers, IMHO it’s the only way to deal with life without going crazy! I’ve heard it said the only prayer that is always answered yes – Not my will, but Thine, O Lord.

    Blessings to you!

  3. In case there was ever any doubt that scripture has human interpretations that can throw many ‘off-track’ I offer this quote from Wikipedia:

    “Lucifer is a Latin word meaning “light bearer” (from lux, lucis, “light”, and ferre, “to bear, bring”), a Roman astrological term for the “Morning Star” the planet Venus.[1] The word Lucifer was the translation of the Septuagint Greek heosphoros, (“dawn-bearer”; cf. Greek phosphoros, “light-bearer”; itself the translation of the Hebrew Helel ben Shahar,[2] Son of Dawn), used by Jerome in the Vulgate, having mythologically the same meaning as Prometheus who brought fire to humanity.

    Now i KNOW you were not implying we should let Lucifer into our Hearts – and I don’t think St Peter Truly meant for us to do it either, but the Son of Dawn and The Morning Star are terms attributed to The Fallen One, previously the Brightest of God’s Angels in Heaven. Whom God allows power of over our Earth.

    I find it interesting/confusing also that the Morning Star is also the Planet Venus – The Roman Goddess of Love! (Some attribute this as being the star that led the three wise men to Bethlehem -mistakenly perhaps, but it is one thought) ( Venus moves ‘rapidly’ from both the East and the Western Horizons but never rises High into our Night Sky – it never reaches the Zenith (Highest point – Heaven?)

    What this shows to me is the need to be VERY careful of the interpretations we choose to place on The Word of (the Living) God as recorded in Holy Books. Clearly there are many who use scripture to justify their OWN beliefs and not God’s Will for us. Peter, as quoted above, says that the written scripture is NOT a matter of our own interpretation – and yet that is exactly what so many of us do WITH it – interpret it the way we WANT to – not necessarily the way He Intends it for us – our own ego’s continually attempt to deceive us on this to turn us away from the Truth and towards Lucifer.

    Lucifer attempts to supplant Jesus within us by trying to appear to us as Him – The bringer of Light! – The Son of Dawn

    Be wary, careful in your understandings.

    love <B

  4. Oh Yes – after Our Sun and our closest satelite – the Moon, Venus is the Brightest object we can see in the sky on any kind of regular basis.

    (Brightest object in the heavens… Hmmmm sounds familiar…)

    Much of ‘myth’ology is soundly based in fact. – Just has different ‘interpretations’ by some supposedly ‘educated and civilsed’ humans is all – Now why does that sound ‘familiar’…?

    love <B

  5. Lots to ponder, Love. I found these notes to help in understanding the phrase used by Peter…

    From netBible:
    The reference to the morning star constitutes a double entendre. First, the term was normally used to refer to Venus. But the author of course has a metaphorical meaning in mind, as is obvious from the place where the morning star is to rise – “in your hearts.” Most commentators see an allusion to Num 24:17 (“a star shall rise out of Jacob”) in Peter’s words. Early Christian exegesis saw in that passage a prophecy about Christ’s coming. Hence, in this verse Peter tells his audience to heed the OT scriptures which predict the return of Christ, then alludes to one of the passages that does this very thing, all the while running the theme of light on a parallel track. In addition, it may be significant that Peter’s choice of terms here is not the same as is found in the LXX. He has used a Hellenistic word that was sometimes used of emperors and deities, perhaps as a further polemic against the paganism of his day.

    The phrase has been used of Jesus:
    Revelation 22:16
    ” I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

    From Vines:
    Star is used metaphorically of Christ as “the morning star,” figurative of the approach of the day when He will appear as the “sun of righteousness,” to govern the earth in peace,…

    Gotta run…some things to think about. 😉

  6. Good comments.. the problem i see here though is that all of us interpret what is written in scripture according to our own, or those others with whom we can agree with, belief.

    Scripture speaks to us according to our level of understanding.

    According to my level of understanding it is interesting to see the ways in which Lucifer attempts to ‘appear’ as being like Jesus to the point where some of us can and do get ‘confused’ and are happy to remain in our delusions and become astranged from the True Divinely inspired Word.

    Here is just one (minor) example of what i ‘see’….

    J E S U S – count the numbers of the positions of each letter in our English Alphabet J = 10 E = 5 etc… add them up and they come to 74

    L U C I F E R do the same.. L = 12, U = 21 etc…

    add them up and they come to…. 74!!

    Coincidence would you say?

    One is the Prince of Light and One the Prince of darkness – but Lucifer means bringer of light…

    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God – what was the first thing God did in the creation story on Day 1? He created Light and separated the Darkness from the Light and saw that it was good.

    Lucifer wants to take Christ’s place. Both in the realm of the Spirit and in our Hearts.

    We need to be very wary of his deceptions.

    love <B

  7. Love, I have to stick with the biblical interpretations. As hard as it is, I would rather dig into the word to get the meaning by cross-referencing and looking into the original languages. When the numbers start to come out, I don’t always follow.

    We have been told to meditate on the word day and night, to rightly divide it, that it is profitable for teaching, it is the lamp that will light our path, if I hide it in my heart I will not sin against God – but I have yet to see that I am to use my English alphabet to add up the numbers to find some esoteric meaning. 😉 If any numbers can be added up to come to some secret knowledge, it should at least be based upon the Hebrew or Greek (not that I am endorsing such a practice).

    I agree, we need to be very wary of Satan’s deceptions. The only way we can firmly stand against the schemes of the devil is to put on the full armor of God and to keep our sword sharp. Ephesians 6:10-17

  8. I’m not suggesting we all start following ‘mystical’ numerology (but those who do can give some people a deeper insight into what they have ‘read’ so far, i believe).

    What i was attempting to make clear is the ways we can be deceived or not see what is ‘clear’ when seen in other terms.

    Biblical scripture can be VERY hard for modern man to ‘follow’ – if there is a way we can make MORE sense out of it see more clearly through the arcane language and translations/different cultures/times – so long as it does not alter the intent of the Spirit, that has to be a good thing.

    I use the english language and numbering systems because they are the ones i am MOST proficient in and can understand the BEST/easiest. we use what makes the most sense to us to figure things out – I would not use French alphabet to understand French History eg.

    If i was an ancient Christian Hebrew or Greek or Latin scholar ( the languages most commonly used to write the bible) i am certain there would be similar ( if not exactly ‘the same’) relationships in the language numbering systems.

    ‘Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.’ Rev 13:18

    Clearly the bible associated numbers and names.

    Jesus and Lucifer are in some ways able to be seen as ‘equal’ yet also most definitely ‘opposite’ in sign: light/dark; positive/negative.

    Why is our Bible so ‘religiously’ numbered – it was not written that way yet someone ( they are known – look them up!) ‘added’ to a book which is supposed NOT to be ‘added’ to, nor taken away from ( last verse of book of Rev)

    The Qu’ran is also ‘numbered’ in similar fashion to the Bible – i wonder which one started it first?? (verse numbers were ‘added’ to Bible around 15th cent, i believe?)

    love <B

  9. I would suggest that in the plain reading of scripture, by the average Christian, there is more than enough to help one grow in holiness, Christlikeness and righteousness without even approaching the subject of numerology. The plain meaning from the plain reading is sufficient. Bible dictionaries, concordances and commentaries are useful for deeper study, I have never seen (in over 30 years), the subject of numerology come up as a necessary topic for evangelism or discipleship I think the enemy uses such things to keep us from the primary reason we are still down here – to share the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sin and in our place.

    I remember when it was a Christian ‘fad’ of sorts quite a few years back, but it didn’t last.

  10. Just some background for those who are not sure what the discussion is about. I copied the introduction from Wikipedia under the topic “Numerology.”

    Numerology is any of many systems, traditions or beliefs in a mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things.

    Numerology and numerological divination were popular among early mathematicians, such as Pythagoras, but are no longer considered part of mathematics and are regarded as pseudomathematics by most modern scientists. This is similar to the historical development of astronomy out of astrology, and chemistry from alchemy.

    Today, numerology is often associated with the occult, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts. The term can also be used for those who, in the view of some observers, place excess faith in numerical patterns, even if those people don’t practice traditional numerology. For example, in his 1997 book Numerology: Or What Pythagoras Wrought, mathematician Underwood Dudley uses the term to discuss practitioners of the Elliott wave principle of stock market analysis.

    Here is a link to understand the Jewish perspective:
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=366&letter=N

    My understanding is as Dan put it, “the plain reading of scripture…is more than enough to help us grow…the plain reading is sufficient. Bible dictionaries, concordances and commentaries are useful for deeper study,…”

    I see the use of numbers as symbols throughout scripture. I will stick to the numbers given for insight and not conjure up any other meaning. We have enough to study without placing a whole other meaning to the obvious.

    Love, I appreciate your input, however, I am against any attempt to “divine” meaning outside of what is sufficiently given in the text. I am not saying you are knowingly into “occult” methods of interpretation, but I do believe it is a form of divination and we have strong instructions against such practices. I hold this position for the Kabbalah as well. IMHO, it is the Jewish version of occult practices. See Elie Weisel’s autobiography (All Rivers Run to the Sea) for further discussion on the Kabbalah.

  11. Muskrat Love –

    “Biblical scripture can be VERY hard for modern man to ‘follow’ ”

    The Bible is not a hard book to understand. People make it hard when they try to morph the scriptures to fit their beliefs. Allowing the Bible to speak for itself, using the original language helps to root out man made mistakes, and using the Bible to cross reference areas we may be confused assists in maintaining the integrity of Scripture. Anyone can mess up biblical interpretation, but that does not make the Bible wrong, hard, incoherent any more than if someone messes up a mathmatical equation makes postulates of math wrong, hard or incoherent.

    If one is serious about the Scriptures, then one seeks to study it properly, looking for the Truth rather than promoting a preconceived notion.

    As an example:

    The use of Lucifer is not from the original Hebrew language – “The scholars authorized by … King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated … largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, “Day star, son of the Dawn,” as “Lucifer.” This was a mistake by a man, not God to call Satan the light bearer. This concept is illogical since Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Light. Satan is the father of lies and the Prince of Darkness. He has the opposite characteristics of Jesus, but no where in scripture can that be postulated to make Satan equal to Jesus; mainly because through Jesus all things were made (1 Corinthians 8:6 & 1 Peter 4:11) and Satan was a created being.

    Also the idea that you put forth that Jesus and Satan are on the same level is not a Biblical concept but a Mormon concept.

    You may understand English better than the original Biblical languages, but just like the above example, that does not make the outcome correct or True. If one seeks Truth (Jesus) then one must seek to understand the basis on which the Truth was given.

    Numerology and Kabbalic methodologies is another way to superimpose something on the scriptures that was not intended in them. This just distracts from the True meaning of the Scriptures, which is always to point to Jesus.

    Also adding Chapters and verse numberings was just to assist in reading and studying the Bible and cannot be considered adding or taking away the meaning of Scripture. It is a study methodology just like a commentary or a concordance.

    Stick to the Scriptures, flee the confusing kabbalic stuff, mythology, etc. and you will see the True Light.

    Stick to the basics

    Remember confusion comes from Satan the father of lies, Prince of Darkness.

  12. Thank you all for proving the very point i was attempting to make.. ‘simple’ subjects ( words/conversations) get TOTALLY misread and misunderstoof by our HUMAN natures (something no matter how hard we ( you ) try you never manage to fully escape from.)

    To try to be VERY Clear (not that any of you will hear what i Truly intend by reason of your own choice of bias inside your heads – don’t worry – i am subject to the same but at least i acknowledge the point – most can’t see it for the wood in their eyes)

    I AM NOT professing mythical or mystical numerology – uhn uhhh!

    Sorry that you chose to ‘divert’ people onto that Michelle – i did say it above but you ‘insisted’.

    I Have shown ONE – very specific ‘connection’ i have seen between the two ways we communicate today (numbers AND language/Alphabet ) that is a FAR cry from espousing numerology in my view.

    I have also DEMONSTRATED that THE BIBLE makes such a connection – in Revelation especially – there may be others i am not familiar with yet?

    So can we drop the “be wary of false prophets/mysticism crap” and stay on track here?

    BOTH Jesus and Lucifer came to earth – via different situations – BOTH have power on earth that we may ‘follow’ them – one wants to bring us to the Father and one to himself – MY version of the Bible KJV has ‘Lucifer’ whether it be a human misinterpretation or no – so what Comicphat seems to be saying is that the Bible as i read it is not the Divinely Inspired word of God but contains ‘error’ – Hmmmmm interesting!

    I do NOT believe that Satan (which adds up to 55! not 74) in any way equals Jesus, merely that both english names (Jesus Lucifer) add to the same total and so their NAMES (by which we refer to and differentiate them) ‘equate’ while, as i have pointed out there are considerable differences (and more than a few ‘similarities’) between the two beings. Jesus is the one i choose to pay attention to in my heart while Lucifer constantly seeks power over my mind ( as for all humans)

    Neither did i state Jesus and Lucifer are on the same level – (if you can stuff up the simple words i used to explain what i understood how can you possibly claim to be able to make ‘sense’ out of the Bible given it’s massive and complex nature? Divine inspiration? fails you miserably in understanding your fellow man it seems – ah well – so long as you are happy in your own understandings – right?)

    About the only place we seem to agree so far is in the last sentence written above this post:

    Remember confusion comes from Satan the father of lies, Prince of Darkness.

    Make no mistake – he resides in your very minds. God repels him when you give total obedience over to Him but none on Earth today does that every waking moment.

    Jesus, the man, (most assuredly a ‘creation’ – as Adam) made the attempt. Jesus the Spirit had no need to. The Spirit within Him Was God.

    If we followed Him Truly we would be able to recognise Satan, no matter what his guise – or where he lives. And repel him always. This was the point of my original comment – lost as it seems to gave been upon the commenters to date?

    Just to re-iterate: “Lucifer attempts to supplant Jesus within us by trying to appear to us as Him – The bringer of Light! – The Son of Dawn

    Be wary, careful in your understandings.”

    Attempts… appear to us as…. i did NOT say Lucifer was ever equal to Jesus but that he attempts to be – to us! (our understandings/perceptions of what is ‘True’ and real) Make NO mistake – we might want to believe we are following Jesus and only looking at God (scripture) for guidance… many have been badly mistaken. It CAN happen to any of us.

    He ( Lucifer) seeks to make fools of us in our pride and intelligence, one moment’s inattention is all he needs to succeed.

    We should ALL be ware.

    love <B

  13. B,

    “He ( Lucifer) seeks to make fools of us in our pride and intelligence, one moment’s inattention is all he needs to succeed.”

    I wonder who’s on the hook here? We humans can be deceived, that’s for sure. However, I would take issue with the statement that the Devil ‘resides’ in our minds. Perhaps a better way to say it would be that the unregenerate sinner is in ‘bondage’ to sin and the enemy, while the regenerate believer still lives in a human body “trained by the old sinful nature” but is no longer bound.

    There is a an aspect of ‘numbers’ in the bible, but those commenters who do not share your ‘depth’ of knowledge are really only saying that it’s not as big a deal as you seem to be making, whether it’s because of the occult connections (of which there are some pretty heavy duty ones), or because it’s not a subject addressed in the simple message of salvation by grace through faith in Christ.

    Maybe we need only to agree on where ‘confusion’ comes from, and not everything you propose (I take that to be the importance of numbers of the bible?) The inference that you ‘seemed to be’ making a case for numerology is a valid one, considering your use of numbers to make a point (still confusing – what exactly is it?) I rather thought you might have been going there myself, but did not elaborate. Michelle merely elaborated her thoughts making the referense to false prophets a valid one and not ‘crap’, as you so eloquently espressed. I don’t think you were being accused. The understaiding of the listener AND the effectiveness of the speaker both contribute to less that perfect communication. Your comments seem to indicate the issue of misunderstanding resides totally with the listener.

    Your cute little parenthetical expressions concerning those who have not grasped/understood/agreed with you are disparaging at best, sir, and ought not to be in your comment if you are interested in honest dialogue.

    Personally, I think you give the devil too much credit in his ability to influence the mind of a believer in Christ (‘resides’ in our minds?). Opposed to that, you give the indwelling Holy Spirit (and his power to totally transform our minds for God’s glory) far too little.

    Good day, sir.

  14. Love,

    I can tell I have completely offended you which was not at all my intent. Please forgive my inability at communication. I am a stickler for a pure Word and some have taken to calling me a “fundamentalist.” I understand that is a dirty word, nowadays, but I must admit, I do feel most comfortable with the plain Word being spoken.

    Once again, please forgive my inadequate attempt to clarify my position – I was not at all meaning to call you a “false teacher.” I am sorry you saw it that way…if reconciliation is possible, please accept this olive branch.

    Blessings to you ~Michelle.

  15. Born 4 Batttle,

    As Christians it would be wrong for us to do battle with one another – u hope not to do so.

    Your comments were valid on more than a few occasions and where my understanding differs to yours i will happily discuss in the hope that one or both of us learns from the experience.

    I do state that i was in no way ‘proposing’ that we all take up numerology ( such as it has been defined in this conversation and to which i concur there is a lack of scriptural support and even the odd warning to avoid.

    Given said warnings and the ‘antipathy’ on the comments to anything to do with numbers indicating patterns and symmetry from a biblical standpoint as i was foolish enough to attempt to reveal, someone PLEASE tell me what Rev 13 18 is all about then – the number/name thingy?? or is that not within anyone’s ken – only He that hath Wisdom may fully understand it seems?

    But i digress, clearly my communication skils leave something to be desired – forgive me in this. Michelle and i have made our peace and understand where we both were coming from now. I agree with NE’er – Michelle was being a tad ‘harsh’ on herself – far more than i intended to be in my comments.

    As for the important thing i think B4B has not fully understood or considered as fully as he might…

    The human mind contains is our greatest ‘tool’ we have whilst in our earthly body for discerning Truth – when it operates in harmony with our Heart! (our love/seat of our soul) . It is also able to be our worst enemy!

    We may adopt Jesus as our armour against the latter – but very few of us ever develop this to the level where it protects us 24/7 – and The Devil NEVER sleeps – he is able to wait far longer than we can stay on our guard against him.

    It is in this sense that i said the devil resides in our mind – always waiting – establishing tiny outposts that can control our way of thinking and looking at the world for varying periods of time.

    These outposts were raised from the moment of our conception before we learned the ‘proper’ use of our mind as a tool and as a way to summon God’s assistance in our defences.

    This is rarely thought of or understood and most human ‘Christian’ souls fail completely to see it or consider its consequences or use the correct tactics to gain sufficient mastery over our own minds to diminish and ultimately OVERCOME the ‘devil’ within.

    I do not deny the power of Jesus and of His Father to defeat evil and resist temptation. I do know that we fool ourselves FAR too readily and to willingly to believe that the devil has little or no power over us and our actions – especially those who follow Jesus more in name than in deed.

    The devil was closer to us than Jesus was ( consciously) he began his work on us long before we could read or talk or utter the name and invoke the protection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    If we Truly walk as Jesus walked – we will be saved – just saying we do and thinking we only need His Armour when we are placed in temptation’s path is being very short sighted – in my understanding.

    if your work and practice is showing the fruits you desire then maybe my understanding is not for you ( it is probably not in any event) But if you are not achieving in Him all you might – it just might be because you are not being wary enough of the devil within.

    Jesus promised in scripture that those who truly follow him would do greater miracles than he – i don’t think 2000 years of Christian theologian teachingand us thinking saying we seek His Salvation has got anyone to that point yet – maybe there might be something in what i have to say after all – would you think?

    Can i perform miracles greater than He? I certainly have not done so yet – but then i never called myself a Christian and believed He had Saved me yet either! 😉

    I have a LONG way to go before i can do that.

    I’m working on it though -and listening to Him every chance i get.

    You’re doing great work there Michelle!

    love <B

  16. Freudian slip ( lucifer at work?) 1st line second para in last comment – i meany i hope not to do so – not u hope ( the keys are adjacent)

    hope that clears that one up? 😉

    love <B

  17. B,

    I am in no way ‘anti-numbers’ but of the mind and heart that it is not necessary to define the exact meaning of the biblical connections in relation to the matter of the salvation of souls. Connections are significant, but not in the matter or process of God’s plan for saving the souls of men, which is my most earnest desire.

    “The devil was closer to us than Jesus was (consciously) he began his work on us long before we could read or talk or utter the name and invoke the protection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    As believers we have a ‘battle’ on several fronts – the world (world systems under the sway of the evil one), the flesh (inborn/original sin from the fall) and the devil (himself and his demons). The unbeliever is bound by sin, but the believer is ‘in’ Christ and no longer under bondage to sin, and can overcome temptation.

    “If we Truly walk as Jesus walked – we will be saved”
    That is ‘works’ based salvation and contrary to scripture, particularly Ephesians 2:8-9. When the religious leaders asked Jesus what ‘works’ they must do, he said only ‘believe’ in Him as the one sent by God as the messiah. Works are important and result from the result of our believing in Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit, who empowers us and gives the desire to walk in obedience. The ‘greater works’ are not works unto salvation, but works as a result of salvation and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    I also read your comment on the de-conversion blog and would offer that when one truly comes to Christ, he/she will be kept by the power of God for eternity. No works can save, nor can lack of works keep one saved.

    I do call myself a Christian and have the assurance of scripture that I am His for eternity. My earnest prayer for you, my friend (I mean that) is that He would do such a great work in your heart that the power of his amazing grace and free gift, if you only believe, would be a reality today!

    Peace?

  18. Peace (His Peace) always!

    I am happy to consider all you have written but would you be so kind as to rephrase that last line in the 2nd last para you wrote?? I have got the first part but the second is escaping me a little.
    If i might explain just a little my concern for ‘some’ Christians and why i believe works are necessary upon our mind… Jesus chose 12. They lived with and walked with him for years. yet STILL the Gospels show numerous instances when Christ was aware that being human before they met him they carried within them an inability to correctly perceive or have sufficient Faith to ‘overcome’ or to hear what he Truly meant ( follow Christ Truly)

    If they had such difficulty truly following Christ do you truly believe you are so ‘perfect’ as to be able to not need ‘work’ to overcome your inherent ‘sins’ of the mind – the ones the devil can and does utilise when we let down our ‘guard’???

    Do you never find yourself unconsciously being full of pride, greed, self-love? etc etc etc. When we wake up and realise what we were doing we can again ‘live in Him’ but i am concerned for those moments when we ( all) don’t and would want us to understand how to eliminate them from within us that we live MORE in Him.

    love <B

    p.s. while my name does actually begin with a B, here, i go more by the mickname ‘love’ and the B is the ‘top’ of my Heart! the < is the lower half of same 😉

  19. love,

    I assume you mean this little bit:

    ” also read your comment on the de-conversion blog and would offer that when one truly comes to Christ, he/she will be kept by the power of God for eternity. No works can save, nor can lack of works keep one saved.”

    Ephesians 2:1-10 explains the condition of the one without Christ. Paul is talking to the beleivers in Ephesus. In Romans 7, Paul describes former bondage and the battle with sin even as believers. The consciousness of pride, greed, and self-love even in the believer is a reality. It is exactly that knowledge that the enemy uses to try and destroy the assurance of our salvation in Christ – that The God who saves us also keeps us in His power.

    To have that consciousness is a good thing. Even Paul had it. It seems that the longer he served the Lord the more he was aware of it. We will never achieve perfection, but we can grow more and more into the image of His Son. That the process of sanctification that continues, hopefully, until the day we die.

    The devil always attacks the mind. that’s where the battle begins. He attacks the mind and we if we submit to that, it’s because we are drawn away by the sin that still resides in our flesh. (James 1: 12-14). Romans 12:1-2 even tells to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. One of my favorite verses in the Psalms is 119:11 – “Your word I have hid in my heart, that I might not son against thee.”

    We can stand righteous and before God although we still have sin in our lives because of Chtist and his substitutuonary death on the cross. We can stand before God and bear the name of Christian because our righteousness is in Christ and not in ourselves.

    Specifically concerning our assurance, here is some scripture that addresses that very point:

    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

    “We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Any one who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
    (I John 5:9-12)

    “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:13)

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you. Through faith you are shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation…” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

    The ‘salvation’ in the above verse refers to the 2nd coming of Christ, not the salvation we have in Him that is eternal when we truly believe.

    Is that helpful? I hope so.

    B4B

  20. Lovin’ all the scripture – I needed a boost today and the Word always does it for me. Helpful? Yes,sir. Thanks! (I know this wasn’t addressed to me, you men are doing just fine without my input – but I’m reading every word and enjoying the interchange.) Blessings to you both ~Michelle.

  21. B4B

    Thank you – i can agree with pretty much all of that and hope i follow it also! 🙂 was a little more than i was asking 4 though – what i was actually asking was if Dan could put another way that i might better understand the words…”nor can lack of works keep one saved”

    Something doesn’t translate right there to my mind?

    love <B

  22. We cannot work to earn our salvation, nor to we have to do a certain amount of works to keep our salvation, That was settled in heaven by God’s election before creation. If we are prompted to works once we are saved (and we are/will be), being disobedient does not send us to hell. It might however, bring chatisement in this life. God disciplines those he loves. It’s like being a parent down here. My child’s disobedience in no way results in him no longer being my child. Such is the new birth. Make more sense?

  23. Thank you Dan – i thought you meant something along those lines but assumptions are often costly in blogland! – The way it was phrased initially made it sound like some ( who consider themselves ‘saved’) thought that ny doing no works they would maintain that state.

    I think Scripture can raise confusion over the ‘works’ issue because the one word has several meanings: There are the Works of the Lord, thy God, there are the works of the Law ( maintaining the Ten Commandments and diverse ordinances in Lev, etc.; and then there are the works those of Faith do in Christ.

    I think it is dangerous to suggest Christians do not need works (you are correct if you mean only works of Moses’ Law) to be ‘saved’, especially in light of what James has to say in Ja 2: 14-17.

    14 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him?
    15 If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food,
    16 and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit?
    17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

    ALL those who desire to follow Christ NEED to do works – particularly on the evil that still grows within each and ever single one of us today. Those who have imperfection (sin) within them will not enter His Kingdom as He Himself has declared.

    We can declare our faith and have our sins forgiven (cleansed) – once cleansed however living on Earth has a way of making you ‘dirty’ again quite quickly – ask any Mother who does her Children’s washing. So it is with our minds and ego. Just starting ‘over does not mean we stay ‘pure’.

    it is a constant battle.

    love <B

  24. “I think it is dangerous to suggest Christians do not need works (you are correct if you mean only works of Moses’ Law) to be ’saved’, especially in light of what James has to say in Ja 2: 14-17.”

    Granted that passage in James can be seen to mean that works are necessary for salvation (Martin Luther hated it), it bumps heads with Eph 2:8-9.

    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

    Ephesians clearly says that salvation is ALL of grace and even says that the faith through which we are saved by grace is a gift (the original construct of the Greek fully supports that).

    If we assume rightly that both sections of scripture are true even with the appearance of contradiction, one or both need a relook. I submit that if the James passage connects works with salvation, the Ephesians passage CANNOT be true. However, if we determine that the James passage means works as a result/necessary ourworking of our salvation, both can be true.

    If we assume both to be true, then true saving faith WILL produce works unto righteousness. Philippians 2:13 supports that. There are those who would disassociate any sort of works (before or after salvation) as necessary evidence of true Christianity because it adds works to grace. I do not see that at all in scripture, but after lengthy study I do see from scripture that when one is truly saved ‘works’ will be a result of that salvation – not equally evident in all who believe in Christ, but there, nonetheless.

    Not only do we have assurance that when we are saved by grace, we are kept by grace and at the same time, the indwelling Holy Spirit (also given by grace) compells us to good works by His inner working.

    You are absolutely right – ‘works’ are/will be part of the Christian experience, but they cannot save or keep one saved. Is that a bit clearer?

  25. B4B

    You made it quite clear, thank you 🙂

    I see things slightly differently to you still and here is why…

    Eph 2:8 uses the PAST tense – saved’ – by Grace we are saved – NOT by works ( we agree there!)

    Where we appear to disagree is in the idea that once we are saved by His Grace we stay thay way until we die. We may be washed clean – but if we continue to abide in our sinful ways – and hold on to the ‘old man’ out of Habit and not put on the New Man (free of corrupt ways – asociations) and continue to walk in the Path of Christ Always then we revert to our ‘unsaved state ( perhaps not as bad as before, but sinful none-the-less.

    It is by works (on ourself as well as to others) that we remain saved – working to overcome the ways sin grew in us from the moment of Birth – to remove them constantly out of our mind and body and working to instill Christ into every nook and cranny of our minds.

    I have never yet witnessed a single human who could claim to be saved through Grace who never did anything ‘wrong’ afterwards for the whole of their lives.

    Perhaps you know of one? 🙂

    love <B

  26. Michelle – just read your other post and we see more closely eye to eye on this issue i think?

    Grace washes us clean – at that moment – from then on it is up to us to keep our ‘noses’ ( clothes ) clean. Jesus told Peter it was only necessary to wash the feet of our body as it is this part that comes into contact with the ‘earth’ – that which soils us in body , heart and mind).

    Once we see how dirty we have become it is up to us to ask for more washing Grace and to keep ‘washing our feet’ ( works)…. until we become ‘Pure’ – In Him – completely. 🙂

    love <B

  27. love,

    I guess we do disagree on the role of works after salvation and the assurance of salvation. That’s fine, I just want to agree with scripture. Here a few verses for consideration concerning if we are kept secure and who does the ‘keeping’. Thanks for continuing the discussion.

    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

    “We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Any one who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
    (I John 5:9-12)

    “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:13)

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you. Through faith you are shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation…” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

  28. Lovin’ the scripture!! Makes me want to stand up and shout, “Hallelujah!” 😆

    “In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.”

    LOVE IT!! LOVE HIM!!!

  29. Glad you both are ‘shouting’ a bit! There are others, but those were handy because they are the set of verses used in an inductive study of the subject.

    I too especially like the verse from 1 Peter. It states clearly how were are kept!

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