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February 4th, 2012

Personal Revelation : The Test of Obedience

Personal Revelation : The Test

God gives personal revelation to some people.

The church has studied and often accepted the personal revelations given to saintly people over many centuries. The approach of the church to personal revelation is one of guarded scrutiny. The saints have often revealed their visions to their confessors and superiors in total obedience. If the superior told the saint not to reveal their visions to anybody else, the saints obeyed it without questioning. They practiced the virtue of obedience to the Holy mother church in all matters.

Examples of Personal Revelation

Take for example the visions and revelations of Teresa of Avila. She followed the instructions of her confessors and superiors in all matters without questioning. If a vision is from God, it will come to pass and no force on earth can stop it. If it is a vision of wishful imagination, it will die without ever producing any fruits.

Look at the visions of Joseph, the Patriarch. His visions were true and his brothers came to see him in Egypt and accepted his dominion over them, exactly the way as it was prophesied. Joseph was immature when he had the dream. He told his brothers about his visions. Joseph’s dream enraged his brothers. They burnt with jealousy and threw Joseph in the pit and sold him as a slave. Joseph lived as a slave, and was later accused as a molester of his master’s wife. Joseph was put in the prison for no fault of his own.

The experiences in the pit, the seductions of Potipher’s wife or the life in the dungeons of Egypt did not stop Joseph from becoming the master of Egypt. The dream of Joseph was from God and no creature on earth could stop the dream of the creator for his beloved Joseph. A personal revelation is also a test of obedience from God.

What to do when you receive a Personal Revelation

First, subject the vision to the authority of the word of God in the bible and see if it is compatible with the gospel. Secondly, subject the vision to the authority of the church and see if it is compatible with the teachings of the church. Thirdly, humble yourself before God and never show off to men about your vision. Visions do not make any one holy. You become holy when your life is offered as a living sacrifice to Jesus.

When a corn of wheat dies it will bring out more fruits. When you abide in Jesus and Jesus abides in you, you will start showing the character traits of the son of man. You are the branch and Jesus is the true vine. The branch can do nothing on its own. It is totally dependent on the vine for sap and sustenance. Jesus himself had told his disciples not to feel elated on seeing Satan fall from heaven at their command, but to feel happy that their names were written in the book of life.

Our words have power. The words we utter in total faith and surrender to the promises of Jesus can shake the forces of hell. We, by faith, can pray for healing and deliverance from the forces of oppression and it will come to pass. We should never get pumped up when we see the power of the living word of God. On the contrary, it should bring extreme humility into our soul as God is giving the power of the risen Christ into the hands of wretched sinners like us.

Read The PDF: Understanding The Principles of Personal Revelation

Personal revelation is a double-edged sword. It is a test of our obedience and humility. If you receive a personal revelation, then humble yourself before God and obey the teachings of the Holy Catholic and apostolic church. When you do so, fruits will abound from your visions and revelations and you will be worthy to be called a faithful servant of God.

– – – written by Dr. Jacob C Tony

February 3rd, 2012

Paradise : The Kingdom of God

Paradise Kingdom of God

Paradise is a name of pleasure and delight, for it signifies a garden, or most beautiful orchard, suitable both for recreation and amusement. In the book of Genesis this paradise of pleasure is not once named, when the terrestrial paradise is the subject of the discourse. But in the prophet Ezechiel speaking of the heavenly paradise, it is said of the chief angel who afterward fell and became the devil: “You were in the pleasures of the paradise of God.”

But since the Holy Scriptures mention nothing of Paradise, but that there were in it many trees and the fountain of living water, therefore it is my intention under the word “Paradise” to explain the joys and pleasures which the blessed possess in heaven. And this will be, unless I am deceived, a useful contemplation to excite our minds to seek and reflect upon the things above: and thus so to regulate our life, that when we depart hence, it may not be to sorrow and darkness, but by the divine assistance, to Eternal light and happiness.

All men, with few exceptions, are influenced more by pleasure, than by any thing else. And the Church in one of her prayers says, “There may our hearts be fixed, where our true joy is.” And first we shall consider what the Holy Scripture says of the heavenly Paradise, whence we shall prove that in it are true joys; then we shall endeavour to explain what these joys are: and lastly, by various reasons, or rather comparisons, we shall prove that these joys are far more excellent than we can either comprehend, or think, or even imagine.

First, then, the name of paradise signifies pleasure and delight, as we have already seen from the Book of Genesis. And that there is a Paradise in heaven, Ezechiel testifies. Our Lord also testifies in the gospel, when he said to the thief hanging by him: “This day thou shalt be with me in paradise”

He used the word paradise for the kingdom of God, and its essential beatitude: for the good thief had said, “ Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.” St. Paul testifies in his second Epistle to the Corinthians, where he says, “ I know a man in Christ such a one rapt even to the third heaven, and was caught up into paradise.”

St. John testifies in his Apocalypse, where he introduces the Lord thus speaking: “ To him that overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of my God.” From these passages it is evident, that the region of the “blessed” is a place of happiness and delight. And when our Lord says to the good and faithful servant, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” does He not most clearly declare, that the house or city of God is a place of joy, to which good and faithful servants are admitted when they leave this world?

Our Lord in many places compares the kingdom of heaven to a supper, as we read in St. Luke, where it is said: “ A man made a great supper,” And again, “I dispose to you, as my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom: that you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom.” And when likewise we are told in the Apocalypse, “Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

The Scripture, by the figure of the supper, certainly points out the pleasure and delight of the heavenly paradise; unless some one assert, that there is no pleasure in the sense of taste. In addition to these passages, the kingdom of God both in the Gospels and the Apocalypse is compared to royal nuptials: as we learn from the parable of the king, who made a marriage for his son; and from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, of whom the wise went with the bridegroom to the marriage; but the foolish virgins remained without.

The same also is found in the Apocalypse, where many things are said of the “marriage supper of the Lamb” celebrated with great magnificence in the kingdom of heaven. Now the beatitude of the saints may be compared to a royal marriage, because on such occasions every variety of pleasure is experienced and enjoyed. But of this we shall treat in the following Book.

Also read: Heaven Our Final Destination

In fine, in the Apocalypse St. John sees a choir of virgins who followed the Lamb wheresoever He goes, and sang a new canticle which no one else could sing. Which passage St. Augustine explains in his Book on “Holy Virginity” as having relation to certain joys and holy pleasures, which virgins alone will enjoy. Thus it is manifest, that in our heavenly kingdom and city, there are many true joys amid most abundant pleasures.

– – – written by St. Robert Bellarmine

February 2nd, 2012

Watch Your Words

Watch Your Words

Tongue is a weapon that can build up as well as destroy. Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive (betray) yourself – James 1:26.

Our tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things. Just think how a large forest, can be set on fire by a tiny flame! The tongue is like this fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself. We humans are able to tame and have tamed all other creatures, wild animals and birds, reptiles and fish. But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison.

We use it, to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created just like us in the likeness of God.

In the Letter of James, we are asked to show our faith in the little acts of daily living. Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth; this should not happen! For no spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening. A fig tree, my friends, cannot bear olives; a grapevine cannot bear figs, nor can a salty spring produce sweet water. What about others who hurt us by their words? Shouldn’t that be considered? You may ask.

No, and I’ll tell you why. You have to set an example first, by putting into action our Lord’s teachings. Scripture is clear on this: ‘Rid yourselves, then, of all evil; no more lying or hypocrisy [insincerity] or jealousy or insulting language. Jesus Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge. Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed’ (1 Peter:2)

So then cry out to the Lord with your mouth and have high praise on your tongue. Use your tongue to Praise the Lord, Praise His holy name. In I Thessalonians 5:16-17 we read, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”When a soul praises the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan trembles and flees to the very bottom of hell. Praise makes room in our hearts for God’s will to be done. Let the Spirit of the LORD speak; let his word remain on your tongue (2 Samuel 23:2).

In Proverbs 18:21 we read – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. If then words can hurt or heal; let me ask you what did yours do Today? We love all words that devour [demolish], that are deceitful [lying] (Psalm 52:4). Our tongue, plots destruction, like a sharp razor, & acts as the workers of deceit [cheat] Furthermore we are all swollen with pride know nothing. We have an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words, and this brings on jealousy, disputes, insults, evil suspicions. (1 Timothy 6:4)

Remember, a gentle tongue is a tree of life. – Proverbs 15:4. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice – Psalm 37:30. Truthful lips endure [last] forever, but a lying tongue is just for a moment – Proverbs 12:19. Note the difference – Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble – Proverbs 21:23; but a man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity [tragedy].

Whenever you find yourself stuck, in a particular situation where shouting or insults, harsh words or threats are at the tip of your tongue. Ask the Lord’s help, recite several times, ‘Jesus, Master help me’ and trust me, God will make a way. For the scripture says – ‘Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.’(Psalm139:4)

May we open our mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness be on our tongue. For everyone deceive [betray] his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary [exhaust] themselves committing iniquity [injustice] – Jeremiah 9:5. Scripture is clear on this – “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit [dishonesty] – 1Peter3:10.

A person’s relationship with God is crucial here. So you decide, Do you care what God thinks about your behavior? Are your words, actions & deeds accountable to God? Then let not your throat be an open grave. This is where I ask you to consider, check & examine your words, actions & deeds and repent before you get caught or judged. Get rid of all bitterness, anger, passion and hateful feelings. No more shouting or insults, no more obscene talk must ever come from your lips. Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. (Ephesians 4:29)

In the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy 2:16-17 reminds us – To keep away from profane and foolish discussions, which only drive people farther away from God. Such teaching is like an open sore that eats away the flesh keep away from foolish and ignorant arguments; you know that they end up in quarrels.

As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. And then they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the Devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.

You must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another. Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you. As the scripture says, ‘If you want to enjoy life and wish to see good times, you must keep from speaking evil and stop telling lies. You must turn away from evil and do good; you must strive for peace with all your heart. For the Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their prayers; but he opposes those who do evil’ (1Peter3).

Also read: Set a guard over your mouth

Let us ask the Lord to take over this area of our life and pray like the Psalmist did, Set me free, O LORD, from lying lips & dishonest tongue (Psalm120:2) I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle [silence], so long as the wicked are in my presence (Psalm 39:1).

– – – written by Sharon Joseph

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