Salvation History the How and WHY of it


I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART One of 4

Mt. 7: 21-23 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”

There we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall love and praise. Behold what will be at the end without end. For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom which has no end? St. Augustine, De civitate Dei 22,30

“Humanity alone, of all of God’s created creatures was willed for God’s own sake.” a quote by Father Wade Mendez of the Fathers of Mercy

This means that there is a precise reason for our existence. What is truly amazing is that God leaves it up to us to determine if this desire of His Divine will finds fulfillment or rejection by us. Isa.43 Verses 7 & 21: “every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” AND the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

One of the most important and least understood Faith issues, and one of critical merit, are those surrounding the Salvation of our souls. Despite the logic of only a possible single truth, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, New Agers, Utilitarian’s and Atheist all hold differing views and understandings. Our goal here is to ONLY express the TRUTH of the Roman Catholic Church, because it is thee singular truth, and therefore in the end, the one that matters most.

The Bible-Book of Genesis in the account of Creation, God determined that He would create out of His WANT, not out of any real “need”, humanity in “his image.” [Gen. 1:26-27] When God created the universe, He already knew that to “complete” His work, a masterpiece, mirroring traits of Himself would be desirable. So humanity alone are given a mind, a intellect, a freewill; all permanently attached to our souls. These are Spiritual attributes that remain with US for ever. Thus humanity alone can love and rationalize right from wrong; good from evil. The consequences of these facts is that we; not God, decide where we will spend eternity. And this is the first critical lesson of our salvation.

God gives every human being a mind, intellect, freewill and attaches them forever to our souls, as an ever-lasting sign of His love for us and as a stamp of our uniqueness, our bond with and our obligations TO Him. These “things” like God Himself are of a “spiritual nature.” Therefore they cannot be killed or die. And in this way we have evidence of our first likeness of God.

1 John 4: 16 “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” This friends then is the guiding principle of and for our personal salvation.

Two additional shared “things” that are unique to God and to humanity alone are the ability to freely choose to love [or hate] and the ability to conceptualize, think, and to be rational [logical], and only humanity can invent. These gifts of mind, intellect, and freewill, are not unencumbered, and are not without attached conditions and so to speak; a required price to be remitted to God, with a promise of further reward or penalty, depending on our response; our choices and our decisions. While MUCH is required; NOTHING is mandated.

Heb.6: 10 “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.”

Rev.2: 23 “and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.”

1 Peter 1: 17 “Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, “

“ Matt.19: 17 “And he said to him, …. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

John 3:5 “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.

Luke.14: 7 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

God is perfect and desires to be surrounded by “perfect things.” knowing full well, that very often we will fall short of the mark. Certainly God could have just “made us perfect,” sort of like clones of Himself. But no; true-love commands and demands perfection as a free-choice, a self-willed reality of a remote possibility. …. Why? Because only in the effort is the gift of love returned, made possibly perfect. This possibility of perfection, and our necessary effort to strive to attain it then form the background for the story of salvation. It is a dramatic LOVE STORY. A key to understanding it is the nearly incomprehensible reality that God desires a personal relationship with His humanity [His alter-image], FAR- more than we are capable of comprehending. It is God seeking us, long before we choose to in return, seek Him.

After the “fall from grace” of Adam and Eve; God had to rethink how this now fallen nature of His humanity both ought to and might be redeemed. God could have simply chosen to “give-up on humanity” as a failed effort. Or chosen many other ways to accomplish it. Because God is Love, and Mercy and for an nearly- incomprehensible reason; clearly desires a personal relationship with man; He choose to have US decide for ourselves, if we truly desire salvation. … After all that was the purpose of humanities Creation in the first place.

In Genesis 3:12-15; Yahweh makes the prophesy of a future Messiah. Salvation- History slowly unfolds.

“The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;… he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” take careful note of the blame game. Adam blames God; Eve blames satan, and neither claim personal responsibility. THEN notice God’s reaction. He does NOT accept excuses!

It is clearly God’s intent to have a women be a MAJOR element of the human salvation process. Just as both genders were involved in the “FALL from grace”; so to both are to be involved in our possible salvation and return to grace.. We know now that “women” is to be the Mother of Jesus; the future Messiah; the “man-God.”

There can be no doubt that That God has a specific plan that will require our cooperation, and our knowledge of the plan, along with our humility to accept the plan. These are essential and minimum requirements of our ability to choose to fulfill it. IF WE ARE UNAWARE of the specifics of God demands; or if WE HAVE VARIANT understandings, [any and all that do not FULLY- concur with that of Jesus and the RCC should be considered as such]. We set for ourselves a nearly impossible task. Yes “The Way” is singular with a very few exceptions permitted, all of which will be specified later. If we don’t the “WHAT” than how can one possibly know and possess the ’HOW?” And therefore be saved?

After Adam and Eve had children, their children’s children had children and their children had more children; tribes were formed, cultures developed; countries were formed and many practices that ignored and offended God became common practice because man was doing it their-own way, and removing God’s Will from their choices.

A propensity to sin was evident, and Satan was claiming many souls. Among the more despicable practices were the innovation of numerous false gods, false idols and deviant worship and sacrifice customs including even some offering of there own children as sacrifices to these numerous man-made gods. Sexual mores were at least as corrupted as they are today. Once humanities fallen nature came into existence Satan was grated enormous powers of influence, and sin seemed to rule “the day.” It would seem that this trend only becomes more dominate as time progresses. Yet Satan can ONLY act and succeed with OUR freewill-consent!

God is extremely patient and “long-suffering,” full of love and mercy. …. God, for reasons known only to Him, determined that he would choose just one of these tribes and endeavor to form them into “His people,” guided by His rules, conditions and covenants. He would “be there God; and they would be His people.” God choose the Hebrew nation, starting with Abram. … and Only One God; Only One set of faith beliefs and Only one religious Institution. This would remain the standard for ALL of human existence.

Deut. 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live,” Clearly God offers ONLY His Way.

Abram came from “Ur“, near the north end of the Persian gulf. Abram’s father, Terah moved the family further north to Haran [Gen. 11:25-31]. When Abram was 75 years old God told Abram to move his family to Canaan. …Abram a faithful God-fearing man did what God asked of him, and took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and their slaves and families and made the move.

God was pleased but choose to test Abram further. He promised Abram that he would be the “father of a great nation, as numerous as the stars in the sky” and then changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. [A sure sign of future greatness].

Yahweh then makes a Covenant with Abraham and through him to the entire Jewish nation: Gen. 17: 9-11 “And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” God’s Providence is usually conditional. Here God offers to “be their God” [their Only God] and to have them be God’s people IF they follow this demand. Today’s equivalent is the Sacrament of Baptism. [John 3:5] Baptism is a NORMAL CONDITION TO ONES SALVATION.

At this point both Abraham and Sarah were already beyond the normal “birthing years” Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90, God’s promise must have rang hallow as they were still childless . God was testing their faith in His Word. …Despite a skeptical wife, God fulfilled His promise and a son whom they named Isaac was born to them.

Yahweh had yet another faith challenge for Abraham. He directed him to go out into the desert, build an altar of sacrifice and offer up young Isaac, his ONLY and beloved son to God. We know that Abraham did as he was directed and at the last moment an “angel of God” [a term when used in the OT, that refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the New Testament] who saved Isaac at the last possible moment.

Finally TRUE Faith had at last been found, tested and proven, and a savior of the nation was introduced. God kept His promise and Abraham through his son Isaac would indeed be the father of the GREAT Hebrew nation.

There is much to be learned in these doings.

God demonstrated Faith, hope and love for humanity. …These “theological virtues” as we now call them are the impetus and foundation for Gods grace offer to us; and faith, hope and love are our “right” response to God’s offer. We are to recognize; and then freely choose to accept and apply the graces offered to us. This is ALWAYS the first step in our personal salvation mission. God initiates AND THEN, WE choose to accept or to reject His offer. We choose or reject God’s PLAN, for our own salvation.

Much testing, training, and formation would take place in the ensuing years of the Hebrew nation. There were times of faith, and times of failure. Each had its own reward. After many years of disobedience, and neglect of God by headstrong actions we find the Hebrew nation now conquered and enslaved in Egypt. The same Egypt that many years earlier had Joseph, [the faithful son] who had been sold into slavery by his brothers, and who through God’s direct-interventions; was made Prime Minister to the Pharaoh; the second most powerful position in the land; by foretelling of a severe famine, and subsequently saved Egypt, his father Jacob and his family from starvation. Before dying, his father, Jacob foretold a future Messiah would at some point come.

We jump ahead now to Egypt and the time of captivity. To Moses and the key events that apply to salvation history. …Because we are covering a span of about four-thousand years from Adam to Jesus; it is necessary to be very selective in our review process.

Something that we need to be aware of is the constant callings of God as He reaches out, time and time again; overlooking previous failings, God continues to offer additional opportunities, patiently forming these people unto Himself. God called out to Adam and Eve “where are you?” God called Abraham, God called Jacob and Joseph and now we find God calling Moses. And Aaron. PART of God’s patience at this juncture stems from the fact that the Hebrew nation was not yet even formally “under God’s laws.” much less under grace as we currently are. Because God is both “fair and Just” He factors in what HE MAKES AVAILABLE FOR US TO KNOW, and that [NOT what we believe or choose to accept] becomes God’s Judgment baseline.

Genesis 3:1-5 “Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid’ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD [REMEMBER this is OT language for Jesus Christ] appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the LORD saw that he turned [ANOTHER REFERENCE TO JESUS] aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Once again we see God reaching out to His humanity.

So God chooses Moses, who claims that he is not competent to do as God demands of him, because he lacks the necessary “speaking skills.” God solves the problem and tells Moses that His brother Aaron will speak on his behalf. So Moses grudgingly accepts the task. Moses and Aaron see the Pharaoh who becomes increasingly hard-hearted, thick-headed and obstinate. The bible say’s “God made Pharaoh this way,” BUT no, the correct understanding is that each denial, each refusal of a request was accompanied by a known- corresponding consequence, so in effect denial of God’s Will was the preference of Pharaoh rather than obedience to God. Pharaoh’s sinful actions and the accumulative consequences of sin are the real cause of the plagues. This too is a specific and clear warning of the consequences of OUR own sins and how they effect our own ability to deny God, and ignore God’s Will. The more we sin; the more difficult it is not to sin again; as our ability to recognize evil is diminished within us and our conscience is dimmed which results in blurring our understanding of right over wrong. This LESSON plays out time and time again over NINE entire chapters so that WE, you and ME, hopefully get the message God wants us to have.

The next key event coincides with the final warning: the “plague of DEATH” of every firstborn person and animal throughout the entire land. …Yahweh, protecting “His own,” introduces the “Passover warranty” by offering and accepting the blood of a [the] unblemished lamb, which is to be marked on every door in order to protect, and to save those so marked. [This is a metaphor for the seal of Baptism on every soul and the prophesy of Yahweh / God, offering His First-born Son, [the Lamb of God… John 1:29,36] Jesus for our salvation], In order that death will pass by those protected without claiming yet another victim [soul for Satan]. The ritual includes the use of “unleavened bread”, which is why today’s Communion – host REQUIRES using ONLY unleavened bread. The “Passover” celebration is to be an annual event that includes consumption of a “unblemished lamb,” unleavened bread, [no time to let bread rise; the urgency of NOW! Is the “time of salvation], with bitter herbs, reminding them of the sacrifice of leaving behind much of what they possessed, and of course, wine: three glasses [representing the Trinity; even though they were unaware of this fact.] The Catholic Mass takes its roots from the Jewish Passover: Seder meal. And it too is critical to potential salvation.

This recounting of early events culminates in the crossing of the RED SEA. For SOME; From death unto life, and for others from life unto death. ….Always’ OUR CHOICE!

Once again God makes clear: I AM your God [and only ME] and you are MY People. God always and everywhere insist on Only One God, Only One set of faith-beliefs; and only one church. … Gen. 13: 21-22 “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night; the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART TWO of 4

That “God” is synonymous with “love” is clear and indisputable. God’s desire to take care of us and provide ALL of what He knows we need is legend. Here we find God following His people as a cloud by day and fire by night. Always visible to them; always there to guide and protect them; and STILL MANY doubted, griped, and complained. But God doesn’t give up easy. This is another key to our salvation. GOD REMAINS ALWAYS available to us until the moment of death.

Gen. 16: 4.6.12-15 “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or not. So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, “I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, `At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'” [Inserted…Book of Numbers 11: 13-14 MOSES SPEAKING TO GOD: Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, `Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to carry all this people alone, the burden is too heavy for me. …In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. Here, [the bread of life], The bread that saves is being BOTH given AND foretold! “ FYI: MANNA means “what is this?” The significance here is subtle and quite amazing. God’s Salvation begins with the body needs and wants in order to train them about salvation of their souls. The manna of course leads to our Eucharist. The difference is critical: Manna here is from God; while Eucharist is BOTH from God and God Himself . The fact that God also “gave then “flesh to eat,” is also a sign of the Eucharistic-miracle to come when Christ gives us His own Flesh to consume in the Catholic Holy Communion..

The next HIGHLY significant event effecting salvation History is God giving to Moses the Ten Commandments. [Exodus chapter 20]

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before me.”
“You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day”
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. “
4. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
5. “You shall not kill. “
6. “You shall not commit adultery”.
7. “You shall not steal”.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
9. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; or property”
10.“you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbors.” Here we are to discover that the ONLY sure-way to salvation WILL BE GOD’S DETERMINED PATH.

Now the Hebrew nation will be judged going forward is conditional, based on compliance to the specified command of circumcision AND full obedience to the Commandments and WHAT EVER ELSE Moses ADDS TO THEM!… CHAPTERS 21-24 go on to detail MANY, MANY additional requirements as “covenant attachments”. NOT SO DIFFERENT from what the CC is empowered to do in New Testament times.

The salvation lesson point here is understanding and acknowledging that God is in CHARGE! God does not provide ‘wiggle room” for other opinions and other beliefs. … ONLY One God; and Only One set of faith believes is permitted and found acceptable by God.

A note of interest. The Catholic list of Commandments differs from the non-Catholic Christian list to permit Protestants to have a “cause” to deny Catholicism, and to accuse us of “idolatry.” …A charge that is bluntly untrue. There is a second list in the book of Deuteronomy that list what we Catholic use. The point is completely irrelevant as to content, because BOTH sets command the same things despite the verbiage differences.

The next highly significant event is God commanding Moses to build both a ARK of the Covenant and a meeting place [THE FIRST TEMPLE /CHURCH] according to precise instructions from God Himself. Exodus. 25:10-22

“They shall make an ark of acacia wood; two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without shall you overlay it, and you shall make upon it a molding of gold round about. And you shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. Then you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”

I included quite a bit of the text here to show that God is very demanding and precise it what He expects from us. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS CRITICAL POINT.

Now that God has taken control of their [and our] spiritual life; the next necessary element is to raise the authority and the dignity of the “priesthood.” … We know that even in Abrahams time there was already in place a priesthood of at least two levels. Highpriest and subordinate- priest. Psalm 110:4; the Highpriest Melchiz’edek.” who was honored by Abraham; and the Father of Moses, Jethro, who was also a priest. Exodus 18:1. The early bible does not seem to specify responsibilities at least up to the selection of a permanent CLASS of priest requested by God starting with Aaron and the Levites.

In Exodus chapter 28:1-2 “Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests — Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abi’hu, Elea’zar and Ith’amar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. [30] And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD; thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually. Exod.29: 1 “”Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.”

In addition to offering sacrifices and being in charge of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tent [Church/Temple] of meeting; God gave to these priest a precise and specific role for the forgiveness of sins. Lev.5: 13 “Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the cereal offering.” … Lev.6:7 “and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty.”

Lev.16: 8-9, 21 “and Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Aza’zel. .. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD, and offer it as a sin offering; …and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.” … So we see where the tradition of God using priest in the act of forgiveness of sins dates all the way back to at least Moses. … Lev. 1:10 “If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall offer a male without blemish;”

There was at this point three distinct levels of “ordination” Highpriest [Bishops]; priest [priest] and Levites [Deacons].

The next significant event in the history of salvation is found in Lev. Chapters 1 to9 and is a precise warning about false gods and false religions. “Lev.19: 1-4 “And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.” TAKE NOTE: Moses here is acting in the role of today’s Pope. Aaron is the “CHIEF- Highpriest“, who answers to the ONE [singular] in authority above him. Lev. 29: 14 “When a man dedicates his house to be holy to the LORD, the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.”

Following this we learn something that has already been shared, and is repeated in a different manner here in order to STRESS the importance of NOT questioning those God has chosen, and Placed in authority to act, teach and lead on HIS BEHALF. God gives to these men and to His Church; His personal warranty to make it indisputability clear to us that He, God is present, and He God remains IN CHARGE. [Mt. 16:15-19; John 15:16] “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

14:16-17; John 17:15-19 and John 20:19-22], provide the NT evidence of the moral of this OT account. Anyone, for what so ever reason who fails at this command ought to fully expect to have to settle accounts with God Himself.

Num.12: 1-11 “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman; and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed; and when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned.”

In yet another example of how our personal choices effect our salvation; be it in this world or in the spiritual realm; the notion that because we can; therefore we are entitled too choose to reject God; to reject God’s leaders; or to remake god into an image we find easier to deal with and accept is always rejected by God. Our decision to ignore all that God had already has done to protect and to provide for our needs is both extreme and foolish.

The message here points out the high risk of “following the crowd” and it isn’t going to endear one with God. … God gives to EACH of us a mind, intellect, and a freewill and attaches them to our souls so that we CAN; and we MUST; choose right from wrong; good or evil on the merits we ARE ENABLED by God to know for ourselves. Lack of effort on out part to discover truth will be judged as an EXCUSE; NOT a “reason” to not condemn us.

God choose certain men to go ahead and scout the “promised land.” They reported back that as God promised it is “a land of milk and honey” BUT the inhabitants are men “like GIANTS.” The “people en -mass” then decide to override Moses and Aaron [and therefore GOD], and choose a new leader to take them back to Egypt. Effectively ignoring all that had been taught to them, done for them and ignoring that God Himself had committed and proven to them that so long as they OBEY Him; He will provide, He will protect and He will prevail.

With GREAT reluctance they are convinced to go forward. BUT God punishes them so that every person will die who took park in the revolt; before they are given access to the promised land, and it is primarily the next generation that inherits God’s promise.

Our “key” salvation lesson is one that seems is the most difficult to learn and to accept. It deals with two KEY ISSUES regarding our salvation: Faith and total-OBEDIENCE in and to God.

Numbers 20: 6-12 “Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, and the LORD said to Moses, ….”Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Among the errors of humanity; right from the “Fall from grace” onward, is our seemly impossible to grasp understanding of the Nature of God and how it necessarily relates to HIS Divine Fairness and sense of Justice driven by the sins we commit. Here we see Moses have a “temper-tantrum,” ..[very much like those who think they know more; or they know better than God; or choose to follow those who once DID hold this position…] brought on by oft repeated denials of God; and of Gods Divine Providence for them. Moses strikes the rock TWICE; NOT Once as directed; and the consequences of this seemingly “little error in judgment” is [perhaps even justified in the mind of Moses and us] results in God permitting Moses to view the ‘promised land from afar; but does not permit him to enter into it.”

WHY? Because to those to whom much is given; MUCH WILL BE EXPECTED… If you are in the state of Grace; it is because of Gods benevolent love for YOU! YES, we do have to cooperate with Gods offered grace. But we MUST always do it with humility and in full accord to what GOD DEMANDS.

God in His Goodness and Mercy; offers the Hebrew nation a way to stay connected to Him; their God by a daily and continual offering that in a foundational way; is not so very different from the Catholic mass of today:

Numbers 28: 1-10 “The LORD said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, `My offering, my food for my offerings by fire, my pleasing odor, you shall take heed to offer to me in its due season.’ And you shall say to them, This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs a year old without blemish, day by day, as a continual offering. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer in the evening; also a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained at Mount Sinai for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD. Its drink offering shall be a fourth of a hin for each lamb; in the holy place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the LORD.
The other lamb you shall offer in the evening; like the cereal offering of the morning, and like its drink offering, you shall offer it as an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD. “On the sabbath day two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering: this is the burnt offering of every sabbath, besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering” The tie in and significance here in the fact that God offers out of His WANT; ways and means for us to cooperate with His commands; and in doing so grants us the privilege of being able “to merit” additional grace; so KEY to ones salvation effort. It is such an exchange between us and God that permits one to actually “merit” [which does not mean “to earn”], ones salvation in accord with Gods plan for us.

Friends we are now in the fifth and final book of the Torah, what we call the “Pentateuch”, the first FIVE BOOKS of the Old Testament. In the book of Deuteronomy, we find immediately another key, another guide to our own salvation. It involves God setting up a structure of governance and judgment that finds favor with Him, because it is His way of doing it. A second key point is that EVERY promise, every Covenant that God makes with us is CONDITIONAL on INFORMED and humble, and complete obedience to His Divine Will. Duet. 4: 1-2 “And now, O Israel, give heed to the statutes and the ordinances which I teach you, and do them; that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, gives you. …You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it; that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” The chapter ends with a GRAVE warning NOT to make, permit or allow other gods that divide our loyalties, our allegiance to the One True God. Do not accept false gods and what they teach.

Moses is soon to be removed from his position as the people now enter into the “promised land.” A needed replacement is evident; as is a need for continued unity and obedience. So God sets up “Judges” and “commanders” to be the new form of governance. …It is highly significant that these; like priest; are chosen, not elected. Appointed because of ability, holiness and impartiality. The message here is that governance is always to be in the form selected by God. And that the truly wise; in humility, subject themselves to what God KNOWS is best for us.

After a time the Hebrew nation were exposed to many gods, differing faiths and governance by Kings, not like the Judges Yahweh had demanded. The people once again went against God’s Will, and demanded from God a King like everyone else had. God warned them that this not a good idea and not His desire, as kings would tax them, make slaves out of some and conscript many men for their war-machines. Still the “plea” persisted and God relented by giving them King Saul; who [surprise; surprise], was not a good ruler.

I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART THREE of 4
Matt.7: 21 “”Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Luke.6: 46 “Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 2:6-14 “And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

And from this day onward, Gods Created humanity and the entire world would be forever changed. From now on man would be no longer under “the laws of old;” but now under GRACE and enlightenment”… Mt. 13:12 “For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away”

This is good news for those humble enough, smart enough or both, to “Be still and know.” Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.” This is certainly true; but very much incomplete to the point of being dangerously misleading. Who you choose to listen to is every bit as important as listening itself. Choosing with God to hear those both chosen by God and qualified to teach, and therefore the ONLY possible source of complete, the full truth, without a personal agenda, is Christ keeper of the key that accesses the gate to heave; His Catholic Church. The New Testament is loaded with caution signs that are often ignored; as many choose to think that “he MUST BE TALKING about someone else”… WHO ME?

Matt.7: 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matt.10: 16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Luke.10: 3 “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” Acts.20: 29 “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock”

2nd. Peter 2: 1”But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction

1st.Tim. 1:6-7 “Certain persons by swerving from these have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions”

2nd. Tim. 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths”

Romans 13: 2 “Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

Acts.20: 28 “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God [singular] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

1Cor.12: 28 And God has appointed in the church [singular] first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues

Eph.3:10 “that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”

1Tim.3[15] if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth

Matt.10: 2 “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother…….;”

Luke 22: 31-32 [Jesus Speaking to Peter] “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”

The entire story of “personal salvation” rest solidly on two clearly articulated, indisputable; MUST-BE accepted Foundational-Teachings by our God Himself.

Only One God [as defined by God Himself, not man], Only One set of Faith Beliefs, now in the possession of the Roman Catholic Church, [Mt. 16:19] and Only One Church. Christ Own Catholic Church, to whom alone Christ entrusted the One key; to the One gate to heaven. Nowhere in the entire Bible; first to the last page does God ever; not even once; tolerate more than One God; or the Only Faith HE Himself teaches and has authorized and chosen personally to teach in His name; with His Powers and with His Authority. [Mt. 10: 1-8, Mt. 16:15-19, John 20:19-22] The “key’s to the gate of heaven are given to only Saint Peter and His Catholic Church; nowhere else can one find the complete, full and singular truths of the Bible correctly explained. This is God’s design and God’s own Will. Accept it or RISK everything.

Matt.10: 1-8 THESE MEN ARE ALL CATHOLICS; The founders of today’s Catholic Church… And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay… After His Resurrection this was changed to the “entire world.” [Mt. 28:19-20].

The second principle is “LOVE” in ALL of it various forms and applications.

Both by God’s Will and necessity; salvation is to be possible; BUT NOT EASY; as the “narrow gate” account makes so very clear. The steps and the process of meriting ones own salvation can be known with humility and effort, but “Salvation” and “redemption” both from Christ are SEPARATE issues. Redemption is now an accomplished fact for everyone; BUT salvation is dependent on our personal choices and to what degree we accept what GOD [not man], teaches, and will be granted only to those who actually know what God demands; and then does it.

Exod.20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Exod.34:14 “(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), “
Deut.5:7 “`You shall have no other gods before me.
1Kgs.8: 60 “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other.”

Isa.45: 5-6 “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me, hat men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other

Bar.3: 35 “This is our God; no other can be compared to him!

Acts.4: 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1Cor.11: 16 If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God

We see here a narrow definition of God; one that is clearly singular in Person and singular in definition [understanding of who he actually is]. Not simply who God is ; but THEE-Only God and is to include ONLY the sense of accepting and living ALL that He actually teaches. Therein in is the RISK; the rub; the affront to ones ego; ones own will, doing battle [perhaps unknowingly; which in the end, makes little if any difference] because there is and can be but One Single truth; one and only one understanding that He God, WILL ACCEPT, and in the end; what God makes possible for us to know, accept and live is what is the minimum expectation of our God.

John.10: 16 “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” Matt.7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. John 14: 6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [WHICH MEANS ONE CHURCH] and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, [Meaning only One set of beliefs] one baptism,
one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [singular] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; [singular] in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

John.13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Mark.12: 31-32 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he”

Before summarizing in A clear and concise manner what is necessary for salvation in a no-nonsense, blunt manner; I wish to make clear that it is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that salvation “may be” possible without being a member, under closely defined conditions, of the Catholic Church.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation

754 “The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.

819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

ONLY IF one is without fault: unaware of the CC as being the One choice of Christ Himself; and then; ONLY if a “Perfect Contrition” for sins is made; followed immediately by a change in life style that reflects a sincere repentance. Can and will forgiveness of one’s sins be granted by God. KEEP IN MIND; GOD’S STANDARDS ARE MUCH TOUGHER THAN OURS; [One cannot be assured that our understanding of “perfect” will match God’s own understanding of what is perfect.] AND HE READS OUR HEARTS AND CANNOT BE FOOLED. ………. ONLY THROUGH THE CATHOLIC SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION CAN COMPLETE ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS OF SIN AS KNOWN FACT be reality!. THE “SINNERS PRAYER” AND OTHER RECENT HUMAN INNOVATIONS, such as “OSAS,“ our ANY of the saved by “only ________ “ , WILL NOT grant FORGIVENESS OF SINS! They give false hope, because they are founded by men; NOT God, and they founded on lies, and partial truths, misunderstandings and at times misrepresentations of fact.

It is folly, foolishness, gullibility, and a lack of understanding and Faith that allow anyone to think they can follow Christ in Glory; without first following Christ in suffering. Such thinking is completely without logic or merit.

1Pet.4: 13 ” But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1Pet.5: 1, 9 “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.” 2Tim.4: 5 “As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Phil.1: 29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, “ 2Thes.1: 5 “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering “ Heb. 2: 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.”

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church [the Catholic Church] which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

Awareness is the same as knowing and choosing for what ever-reason not to join. God MUST Judge us based on what He makes POSSIBLE for one to know; NOT on what we are willing to accept!

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.

My friends consider carefully this prayer shared from Father Hardon’s “Stations of the Cross”; the Fifth station where Simon is conscripted and forced by the Romans to assist Jesus in carrying His Cross, for fear by the Jews that He would die before they get the chance to actually Crucify Him:

“Lord Jesus teach me as you taught Simon of Cyrene to collaborate with you in the Redemption of souls. They are Redeemed by your Blood, shed on Calvary; but not without readiness to do our part. ….No less than Simon, we must believe that you want us, without absolutely speaking needing us, to carry our share of the Cross, if your redemptive mission is to be accomplished. Deepen our faith in the necessary role we have to play in assuring our own salvation and that of the rest of mankind. Make it clear to us that we have a freewill that we must want to exercise. Amen”
As a few of you may know; Father John A. Hardon S.J., was one of the most respected Theologians of the Twentieth Century, and he clearly affirms humanities necessary role in our own salvation.

Part of the problem stems from a common misunderstanding of the bible terms; “redemption and salvation.” While at times having a synonymous meaning; most often they have significantly different applications.

Redemption has four key factors: 1. It applies to all of humanity; bar-none. And it is now accomplished fact. 2. As it applies to our after-life, it has two highly significant effects. First, Christ by His passion, death and Resurrection earned and merited for ALL of humanity sufficient grace for everyone’s POSSIBLE salvation. Second “earned” does not mean or imply granted or even given, or that “all” or even “some” have to accept it. 3. And this is the KEY. While the necessary grace has been earned; and sort of put into a secured-bank-account for us, we MUST QUALIFY personally and individually for the ”loan [grace].” 4. Because the gate [singular] to heaven had been locked by the Grave-sin of our parents; Adam and Eve. AND Christ alone has the key to unlock the gate. This is the very key that Jesus entrust to Peter and today’s Catholic Church. [Mt. 16:19; John 20:19-22].

Salvation on the other hand, refers to ONLY those who “merit” it and do ALL that is necessary to qualify for “the loan” [grace] without which attaining salvation is impossible. Just as a loan application requires a lot of information; so too, salvation requires a lot of effort and many steps. It is never a simple, or a easy process to qualify for it. GOOD THINGS require an good- effort on our part. Acts.4: 12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Understanding just what this actually means and entails is the purpose of this entire document.

Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 2Cor.13: 5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith [meaning thee One complete and true-Faith]. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART FOUR of 4
I can think of no better advice than this to begin the final segment of this document pertaining to and explaining “Just WHAT is REALLY needed if one is to be Saved?” What is it we must …. 1. KNOW? 2. UNDERSTAND? and 3. Then Applying
it to our lives and live it? This is the “lock” on the gate of heaven to which Peter Alone holds thee “key.” WHY? Because this is God’s Divine Will.

Matthew 7: 21-27 “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

Jer.3: 15 “`And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. …Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” 2nd. Cor.11: 12-13 “And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” Luke 10:16 “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

John 10: 16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. Mt. 16: 15 “He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock [ROCK = Foundation of you Peter] I will build my [SINGULAR] church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

1Tim. 3: 15 “if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the [SINGULAR] household of God, which is the church [SINGULAR] of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” [SINGULAR] .. FYI FACT: ….This HAS TO refer to today’s RCC as no-other “church” even existed at the time these words were spoken and written.

The necessary question to be asked by each of us is: Am I actually following God’s Divine and Perfect Will; if I’m not following what Christ lived, really and actually taught, shared and designated others to continue to teach? Then am I “really” following God’s will? Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:19-22 are exceedingly clear, precise and obligatory on all of us. Matthew 16: is not a mere recommendation; it is the Willed act of our Perfect God. It is the map, the guide, and the truth, as Christ Himself intends: “The Way.”

The FIRST necessary condition: I suspect that everyone [or nearly everyone] reading these lessons has a firm conviction that salvation, does, can and MUST flow through Jesus Christ. The reason there are so many different formulations of Christianity is NOT correctly understanding or agreeing just what this condition actually entails.

Certainly it does mean 1. That we have to recognize that Jesus is “true God and at the same time; True man.” 2. That we must have a “personal relationship” with Christ. 3. That we must actually know WHAT Christ Himself teaches without the “spin,” personal understandings being interjected, and or, incorrect or limited interpretations of HIS teachings. One cannot actually be a TRUE follower of Christ; if they have a wrong, or in complete understanding of BOTH who Christ is [that’s the easy part]; and ACTUALLY and FACTUALLY knowing what Christ Himself taught and left us instructions to follow, [and this is the HARD part], and therefore Jesus has every right to expect us to KNOW and to follow, fully, completely and obediently, what He taught and lived. That is the WHY Jesus provides, guides and protects the RCC; [Jn.14:16-17; Jn.17:15-19; John 20:19-23], so there is ONE place we can all go to discover the singular truths. BUT understand; just as there is BUT One God; there is and can be Only One set of true teachings. And it begins logically with the Apostles, empowered by Jesus Himself : “as the Father sent Me; SO TOO, I Send YOU“ [John 20: 21-22] with HIS Power and with His Authority, and this continues; just as logically today through the direct Apostolic successors of The Popes of the RCC.

2nd. Cor. 9: 13 “Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ,”

The second requirement is Christian Baptism. [John 3:5, Mark 16:16] This sacrament has the power to remove all existing sins as well as sins accumulated “pay-back” penalties. This then becomes a primary fruit of both redemption and salvation. HOWEVER, the effects of this Love of Christ for us effects and applies to ONLY those sins committed prior to receiving the sacrament. It accomplishes ONCE, all that is required for our salvation So that if one were to die without committing ANY other sins; such a person; NOW PERFECTED, would immediately upon death, enter into the Beatific Vision and be with God. It is NOT a guarantee that we cannot, or will not sin again! [1 John 1:8-10, 1 John 5:16-17, John 20:23]. Because further sins wreck’s the perfection, and requires additional actions on our part, If we are to attain our salvation.

The third condition is adherence to the Commandments. And perhaps best summarized in the Lords Prayer petition of “THY WILL BE DONE: ON EARTH JUST AS IT IS IN HEAVEN [fully; without question in Perfect conformity to God’s Divine Will. This MUST include acceptance and full obedience to the One organization that God choose, set up and protects] …..and Just as when the list of ten Commandments were given to Moses; the “ten” were only categories of sins; and by NO means, a complete list of possible ways to say ‘NO!” to our God. …You will recall that right after the ten Commandments were given they were immediately followed by several chapters that detailed what they actually obligated. A similar but smaller version of this takes place in Matthews Chapters five and six which cover the Beatitudes’ and the Lords Prayer. Both are pregnant with multiple requirements and obligations. And again, one cannot follow them if one does not know and understand them. This condition ends with this admonition. Mt. 19:17 [Jesus speaking 1st. Person] .“If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

The Forth Necessary condition involves the forgiveness of sins.
Mt. 5:48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

1John.1 Verses 8 to 10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

1John.5 Verses 16 to 1 “If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

John.20 Verses 20 to 23” “Peace be with you.“ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”

I admit to personally being puzzled by the reactions of all those who hesitate to accept and follow this extremely clear, concise and specific command of Jesus; both within the Catholic Church and outside Her ranks. After all; this is for OUR benefit; not God’s. God is perfect; it is humanity that needs forgiveness for sin. And only we benefit. Friends, it is not as if this is up for discussion; or like our opinion actually matters. …. GOD HAS SPOKEN> Either listen or be willing to pay the price. … Be assured dying with unconfessed; unforgiven; un-remitted Mortal sin will send you to HELL!

Besides the clarity of the command is the ESSENTIAL benefit of Known forgiveness of our sins. TRUE inner peace is possible and is even one of the goals actually specified by Christ. Even the hang-up of confessing to a priest is strange as this was a common Old Testament Practice, carried forward; and now Perfected by Christ himself as we are now “under GRACE“ and they were “under the written law.” And yes it is, it can only be, and it remains Jesus Himself who actually does the Forgiving.

God is “perfect love.” It has always been the desire of God, that everyone created in “His Image” [Gen. 1:26-27], be saved. However perfect love has no room for selfishness, so God makes the most important of all possible decisions; our own; and then takes a hands off position and honors what we ourselves have chosen. We; NOT GOD, decide where we choose to spend eternity.

Notice in [John 20: 19-23] the careful selection and the economy of words chosen by our Perfect God. The fewer words; the less likely they will not be rightly understood. Christ in a further manifestation of His love for us, desires that like Adam and Eve before they fell from Grace; had PERFECT Peace and complete [should have been]; contentment, and so should we. They lacked nothing! Nothing except not actually being “God.”

So peace is a critical issue for God’s list of “wants for us.” WHY? Because when one has “inner-peace,” one is more likely to be prayerful, pious, and God centered and be in a more intimate relationship with God. All very good for ones personal salvation; which is God’s most desired goal for us and for God Himself.

Inner peace is MUCH more likely when one is ASSURED that their sins HAVE BEEN forgiven; and the chances of ones salvation are GREATLY enhanced through the Catholic Sacrament of Confession because KNOWN- FORGIVENESS is a Catholic reality. Unlike other faiths; who offer “high risk-possibilities” and unfulfilled promises, with high hopes and great [nearly always unmet] expatiations, BECAUSE they insist on mans created remedy; while at the same time completely ignoring God’s provided solution, and thinking???? That it’s as good?

Notice the WORDS, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” POWERFUL WORDS of God! …Here Christ transfers His actual authority and power as GOD to Peter and the CC. With these very WORDS Jesus officially Begins His Catholic Church. These words are followed by “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This is God’s Own WARRANTY of Her [the CC] Teaching ONLY the truth on ALL matters touching ALL “Faith-beliefs and Morals.” NOT only an assurance of TRUTH but without even the slightest POSSIBILITY of error!

Then and ONLY THEN does God grant and COMMAND his priest to have an active role in the forgiveness of sin. Briefly defined this role is to: 1. Hear the sins of the penitent 2. Pass judgment on the sincerity and degree of sorrow 3. Advice the penitent on how they might avoid these sins in the future 4. Grant God permission to actually forgive the sins 5. Supply a “penance” suitable to the sins confessed, similar to the OT “sin-offering.” This must be accomplished before God’s forgiveness takes effect.

The Sacrament of Confession is both the SWORD and the Shield to protect us from satan’s attacks. It is an enormous source of the grace needed in order to be saved.

Lev.5: 13 “Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the cereal offering.” … Lev.6:7 “and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty.”

Numbers 15: 25 -28 “And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven; because it was an error, and they have brought their
Offering an offering by fire to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their error.
And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the error…And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who commits an error, when he sins unwittingly, to make atonement for him; and he shall be forgiven”

The Fifth condition for salvation

Deals with the essential elements and Gift of Grace. While Grace is always a free Gift from God; Divine providence permits Catholics to control the flow of Sacramental Grace by the frequency and worthiness of our reception of the sacraments. Especially those instituted by Jesus to direct our path of salvation towards Him. Confession and the Most Holy Eucharist; the gift and Grace of Christ Himself. The Mass is thee most perfect of ALL prayers, and of all possible forms of Worship. We are invited to unite our personal sacrifices with those of the Altar: By God; Of God and For God.

Know dear friends that no single item is of greater need and importance than God’s grace. For God to permit HIS children to control the flow of Sacramental grace, is one of the GREATEST mysteries of Faith, and evidence of God’s immeasurable love for us; and of the Catholic Church. And only through the eyes of love, can it be possible.

Mary; the Mother of God is so highly esteemed by Jesus that He permits Her to handle the flow of Grace to us. Therefore we have yet another GREAT reason to hold Her in very high regard too. One who prays THROUGH Mary to Her Son Jesus, will have a good friend and the ultimate intercessor on there side. A VERY Wise action.

And the Sixth and Final Condition for salvation

Love, charity and good-works: James Chapter Two: 8-26

This lesson; this condition is so important that I will allow Jesus Himself and Saint James explain to you.

“If you really fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. .. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment. What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith [alone] save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe — and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

Matthew 25: 31-46 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. …. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ …. Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Love is the summation of everything God commands of us. Love is the perfect description of our God; and ONLY love has the power to heal and to PERFECT us; which is necessary if we are to spend eternity with God, not satan.

John.10: 1-2, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door [SINGULAR] but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep“…. John.17: 3 “And this is eternal life, that they know thee the Only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Acts.2: 38 “And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Rom.13: 14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” 1Cor.3: 11 “For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Eph.1:5, 17 “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,”

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [singular] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; [singular] in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Phil.2: 2 “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

John 17:18-24 “As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world”

A SUMMATION of this entire document can be put into three words; if, IF, they are understood and fully accepted. …. “Repent AND Convert!”

Ezek.18: 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.
Ezek.14: 6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. Mark 1:15 “and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Acts.26:20 “but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance.”

The need for repentance is clearly understood by most of us. BUT without proof; without giving evidence; it by itself means very little. True repentance will ALWAYS lead to a modification of how we lead our lives. If we fail to permit ourselves to be humbled, to become more personally pious, to be fully-obedient to all those God places in our lives to lead us to Him, and to be more pro-active in our charity; then we have missed a God Given opportunity to be forgiven to be healed, and to be saved.
Amen!

God Bless you and grant you the necessary humility, Grace and wisdom to accept Him at His own Words. When seeking thee truth; prudence dictates that one Go where it Can be found.
Pat

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