Pope Francis: Look at the Peacock from Behind

Pope Francis: Look at the Peacock from Behind

According to Facebook, the Pope tops the list of most-talked-about topics.

The Pope appears to be well aware of the power of the internet and hopes to encourage followers to leverage the web, especially younger believers saying: “To proclaim Christ in the digital era is a special field for the work of the young.” (Huffington Post)

He’s Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2013.


His efforts include:

I have become increasingly convinced that this Pope might just make a difference, that he might have more substance than the past talking heads of the Vatican. I’ve followed the news stories with a big shit-eating grin on my face thinking, well, it’s about time a Pope started shaking things up in the religious institution.


Yet for all this upheaval, I remain skeptical about his role because, “The Vatican is currently facing criticism for rejecting an extradition request from Poland regarding the ex-papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski. Wesolowski, the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse to date, is currently thought to be living in the Vatican.” (Huffington Post).

Look at the peacock; it’s beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth … Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them. — Pope Francis

If the Pope really wants reform, he needs to be willing to lose everything. After all, what is more important, Vatican financial transparency or Vatican moral transparency? Gossip and rumors of sexual misconduct may require some descretion, however, formal charges and legal controversies of sexual abuse and cover-ups should be taken very seriously and exposed to the light of scrutiny.

Mary Dispenza, a former nun, a plaintiff in a successful class action suit against the Los Angeles Archdiocese over child molestation claims, an area representative for SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, in Bellevue, Washington, and the author of “Split: A Child, a Priest and the Catholic Church” writes,

Pope Francis must take action and mandate every bishop to immediately defrock any priest who has sexually abused children in the past or in the present and let the civil authorities investigate any priest or bishop alleged to have sexually abused a child. It’s common sense. Nothing else will show the world that the Catholic Church is serious about its promise to address this issue.

Pope Francis will need to begin at home and release whatever records the Vatican possesses on priests and bishops accused of these crimes, wherever they are in the world. Anything short of this speaks of lip service and platitudes.

Let’s stop and think about what this would look like. According to Wikipedia,

The Associated Press estimated the settlements of sex abuse cases from 1950 to 2007 totaled more than $2 billion.[81] BishopAccountability puts the figure at more than $3 billion in 2012.

If the church had to fork over two to three BILLION dollars when it addressed sexual abuse merely on a local level, imagine what it would cost the institution to systematically address sexual abuse on a global level, including not only sexual offenders but all those who covered up and perpetuated the abuse by paying legal fees and allowing these priests to continue practicing. It could easily bankrupt the institution and send it into a downward spiral from which it might never recover.

Would the Catholic Church cease to exist if the religious institution fell?

No. It wouldn’t.

It would remain alive and well within the heart of each individual Catholic believer. This personal expression of faith is exactly the kind of church the Pope envisions in his Evanglii Gaudium (November, 2013):

Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey.

God’s word is unpredictable in its power. The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown, grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps (Mk 4:26-29). The Church has to accept this unruly freedom of the word, which accomplishes what it wills in ways that surpass our calculations and ways of thinking.

The Pope describes his vision for an evangelizing (evangelizing = spreading the Good News) church as a global community of believers who:

  • take the first step
  • are involved and supportive
  • bear fruit and rejoice
  • become involved (Jesus washed the feet of his disciples) by word and deed in people’s daily lives
  • bridge distances
  • embrace human life
  • are supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be
  • are ready to put their whole lives on the line
  • have a goal, not to make enemies, but to see God’s word accepted and its capacity for liberation and renewal revealed
  • are filled with joy and know how to rejoice always

Can God accomplish this, even if the institution is crippled by lawsuits and bad publicity?


Does the Kingdom of God stand or fall on the Catholic (or any other) institution?

If I had to choose between a wounded church that goes out on the streets and a sick, withdrawn church, I would definitely choose the first one. — Pope Francis

I would take this a step further.  If I had to choose between a dead church (institution), a wounded church (institution) that goes out on the streets, or a sick, withdrawn church (institution), I would definitely choose the dead one. The dead church (institution) is a church has been crucified with Christ and can be resurrected to new life (aionios zoe).


P.S. *If you or your loved one has been sexually abused by a priest, DON’T CALL THE CHURCH, CALL THE POLICE!

  • Lanny A. Eichert March 4, 2014 at 2:24 am

    Alice, neither you nor the Church you report made any mention of being being Biblically born again. You expect eternal results by unregenerate people? Forget it. That church as well as many many others are nothing more than social clubs producing natural works, never eternal works.

    Only those church members that have been born again becoming God’s children can do eternal works. All others are vain workers producing perishable fruit.

    Again you miss the very basic foundation and that’s why I say you know nothing of conversion because you’ve never yet been saved.

  • Mary Vanderplas March 4, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I agree with what you say about the need for the Pope to seek justice worldwide on this issue – not letting concern about costs to the institution stand in the way of doing what is right. I agree, too, that even if the institution were to die – which, I would say, it likely wouldn’t, given its massive size and influence worldwide – this would not spell the end of the Catholic faith; the latter would remain alive in the hearts and lives of believers committed to embodying and enacting the reign of God in the world. I like the larger points you make about God’s power not being confined to the institution (and God’s purposes not being derailed or hindered by the failure thereof) and about genuine reform requiring willingness to lay aside self-interest, becoming totally vulnerable, risking even one’s very existence. And I agree that death is by no means the worst thing that could happen to the institution.

    Thanks for the informative and stimulating blog.

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 7, 2014 at 2:06 am

      Mary, where’s your sense of the Reformed Faith? The Roman Catholic Church is not at all in any way part of God’s Kindgom. It is doctrinely totally foreign to grace. It might have a few unnamed individuals who have read and believed the Bible and inspite of their church have believed the truth, but certainly not the populace who only have a hope-so religion spawned by church doctrine, practice, and tradition. On this site, Alice has been fuming about fear-mongering and mass control by the institutional churches and no better example is there than the RCC and would you disagree with her and include their hearts and lives in the Reign of God because of their heretical RCC belief? Mary, there’s a huge difference between the Roman Catholic Church’s catholic faith and the catholic faith of the Reformation; don’t you know that?

      • Mary Vanderplas March 8, 2014 at 5:28 am

        People enter the kingdom of God, receive God’s gift of eternal life, not through subscribing to a creed, but through trusting the love of God made known in Jesus. Even if one’s doctrine is off, one isn’t thereby disqualified from entrance into the life of God’s reign. Besides, the RCC teaches the truth of Jesus Christ and him crucified, the way to eternal life; they are not “foreigners to grace,” as you falsely claim.

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2014 at 12:33 am

          I guess the answer to my last question is “No.”

          What Reformation, Mary? What was protested by Protestants? What was the life or death issue? Was the RCC ever reformed?

          • Mary Vanderplas March 13, 2014 at 5:14 am

            What was protested was a religious institution that by its doctrine and practice distorted and obscured the great good news of God’s grace in Christ – much the same way you routinely distort and obscure the gospel by your doctrine, which makes the receiving of God’s gift contingent on believing and doing the right things (and which excludes from the scope of God’s love those who don’t believe), and by your triumphalist claims to possess ultimate truth, making yourself greater than the finite, fallible human being that you in fact are.

            • Lanny A. Eichert March 17, 2014 at 1:06 am

              Mary, if as you wrote, “by its doctrine and practice distorted and obscured the great good news of God’s grace in Christ” is the truth, then HOW can “the RCC teach the truth of Jesus Christ and him crucified, the way to eternal life; they not be foreigners to grace?”

              Do you at all realize what you wrote?

              You wrote they distort its doctrine and practice about the grace of God and then insist they are not foreigners to grace.

              And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. {Romans 11: 6}

              Do you know the differences? If their idea of grace is defective, then they are foreign to the truth of grace. Why isn’t it that simple to you? God, by Paul made it that simple. Will you believe it?

              • Mary Vanderplas March 18, 2014 at 5:42 am

                Adding to grace, as you do (“You have to believe that every word of the literal holy Bible is true, blah, blah, blah…”), doesn’t mean being a foreigner to the truth of God’s saving love in Jesus Christ. Besides, the RCC has been reformed since the time of the Reformation. No Catholics I know buy and sell indulgences. The fact is that the RCC teaches the truth of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. They do not teach that anyone gets to God strictly by his or her own efforts. That they don’t get it exactly right (in my humble opinion) doesn’t make them any less faithful followers of Jesus Christ – trusting him and following his way in the world – than any others who name the name of Christ.

                • Lanny A. Eichert March 19, 2014 at 12:02 am

                  Mary writes, “They do not teach that anyone gets to God strictly by his or her own efforts.” Yet in doing so she acknowledges they, the RCC, does require works, and that blasphemes God’s completed work of salvation. Salvation cannot be had by works supplimented by grace. I quoted Romans 11: 6 for you above and yet you don’t believe it. Any one supplimenting his work with grace is a foreigner from grace and doesn’t know what grace means according to the Scripture portion quoted. How can I even be able to fathom you understanding grace in the slightest, Mary?

                  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. {Galatians 5: 9} such that works thoroughly permeates their gospel and it never was of grace, nor ever shall be.

                  Mary, you “are fallen from grace.” {Galatians 5: 4} No wonder you can’t see the RCC faith sends all their people to the Lake of Fire forever. The RCC faith is an hundred percent damning faith.

                  • Mary Vanderplas March 20, 2014 at 5:36 am

                    Salvation is by grace not by works, which means that there is nothing we can do to earn it nor is there anything we can do, including embracing an erroneous understanding of how we are saved/justified, to disqualify ourselves from receiving God’s free gift. Stop slamming Catholic believers; they are as much a part of God’s family as you are. That they don’t pass your litmus test for determining who is a true believer and who isn’t means precisely nothing. And look in the mirror: you regularly add to what God has done the acts of subscribing to right dogma and adhering to a legal code as necessary conditions for being saved – i.e., works that merit God’s acceptance.

                    Whether one “gets” grace or doesn’t get it is reflected in one’s attitude toward others. Your un-graceful, condemning spirit shows that you don’t get grace at all.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert March 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm

                      Mary, you ommit part of the text: For by grace are ye saved through faith. There is no saving apart from faith. There is no saving for those who add to their works. Believing the right things is not a work, but it is a faith, that is, it is a believing. A believing that is not accompanied by the works of faith is a dead believing. That’s why we read in God’s perfect literal Holy Bible of “obeying the Gospel.”

                      Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; {Romans 4: 23 & 24}

                      There is no imputed righteousness without there be believing first, and the right thing.

                      For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. {verse 3}

                      You “are fallen from grace” that comes through faith, dear Mary. {Galatians 5: 4} How can I fathom you understand grace even remotely, let alone God’s plan of salvation?

                      Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. {Matthew 23: 15} is WELL spoken of the RCC faith, also. It is not a “grace only” religion, but it is a works religion, just like that of the scribes and Pharisees. An abominable religion. If you had any sense of grace, you’d utterly hate it; that’s why you have no sense of the Reformation any more, poor girl. Those who “get” grace hate the ignorance of those who suppliment their works with what they think is grace and let them know their ignorance will send them straight to the pit of hell to burn forever. Salvation is had only by believing the right things. Those who believe the wrong things do so because they want to believe the wrong things since it boosts their pride to add to their salvation. They do that because their pride refuses to believe total depravity. {Proverbs 6: 16, 17a}

                    • Mary Vanderplas March 25, 2014 at 5:32 am

                      Faith is trusting in the God who saves, freely by his grace, apart from anything we do. It is not believing or doing certain things so that God may come to love and accept us. Salvation can’t be both free gift and something we earn by meeting certain requirements, including the requirement of believing. Yes, faith is the means by which we receive God’s grace in Christ. But it is not what makes God love and accept us, any more than doing good works wins God’s love and acceptance. No one is saved by faith; it is only by grace through faith that anyone is saved. And faith is trusting in God’s love (and is itself a gift of God’s love); it is not subscribing intellectually to certain beliefs.

                    • Mary Vanderplas March 25, 2014 at 5:37 am

                      Those who “get” grace hate and renounce the pride of thinking that they are better than everyone else, that somehow they deserve God’s love and approval while others who don’t believe as they do are objects of God’s hatred and wrath.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert March 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm

                      Mary, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Any good Calvinist knows grace comes first to enable faith, but you’re missing the point: the RCC is devoid of understanding grace even as you’ve just defined salvation, therefore they cannot be saved by their doctrine, only in spite of it. Thus their doctrine sends their people straight to hell forever, as does any works-based religion. It all falls back on discerning grace as does Romans 11: 6

                      Now back to the pitfall of this site: grace is given only to God’s elect, therefore only God’s elect get saved. Alice knows the elect are only found in this earthly mortal existence; in other words, there are no elect among those who have physically died in unbelief. All those doubly dead people have no grace extended to them, so they burn forever and forever.

                    • Mary Vanderplas March 29, 2014 at 6:07 am

                      Any good Calvinist knows that salvation doesn’t depend on anything we do, that it doesn’t depend on believing certain things, on accepting as true certain doctrines. It depends only on God and what God has done. The believer’s confidence is in God, not in having faith, believing the right things, etc. Catholic believers trust in God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ, they are no less a part of the family of God than are Protestant believers.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert March 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm

                      Mary, Roman Catholics are void of grace teaching through their RCC doctrines, therefore they are not trusting in God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ, so they are not part of the family of God. Any one adding “grace” to their works is not trusting God’s love, but they are blaspheming it. Romans 11: 6 again, Mary.

                      And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 19, 2014 at 6:15 am

                      No one is saved by believing in a book or a doctrine, including the doctrine “by grace you are saved.” We are saved only by God’s grace freely given in Christ. Yes, faith is important. But it is not the ground of salvation (“saving faith”); it is a response to God’s gracious act and the means by which we receive what has already been done for us (“by grace…..through faith”).

                      The God of all creation is defined and contained by words of a book written in human language??? I don’t think so. That the Bible bears witness to revealed truth hardly means that the knowledge we receive is complete. Knowledge of God in the here and now is indirect and partial. Not until the eschaton will we see “face to face” and “know fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

                      Stop trying to affirm both “free gift” and “not free gift” (i.e., “saving faith”). The work was accomplished some two thousand years ago; and it was entirely God’s doing, a wholly unmerited act. Enjoy the gift – and have a happy Easter!

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 22, 2014 at 12:27 am

                      Mary, WHERE do you learn of “God’s grace freely given in Christ” except from the Holy Bible? If you learn it from the Bible, then you are trusting each individual word in the Bible that details it.

                      “That the Bible bears witness to revealed truth hardly means that the knowledge we receive is complete.”
                      According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: {2 Peter 1: 3} tells us your wrong, Mary. You want to have “revealed truth” that saves. totally apart from the Bible? How and where?

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 23, 2014 at 5:30 am

                      The text you cite says nothing at all about our receiving full knowledge of God this side of this eschaton. Present knowledge is indirect and incomplete, as Paul says plainly in 1 Corinthians 13:12. Moreover, the knowledge of God spoken of in 2 Peter seems clearly to be not just intellectual knowledge – understanding of doctrine – but personal knowledge that has the power to transform the lives of those who receive it.

                      Doctrine doesn’t save; only God saves.

                    • Patrick Strickland April 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

                      Hi Everyone:

                      Did you miss me? Sorry for the lengthy sabbatical but I had other things on my plate that needed tending to. I am just glad that God has given me the release to return and post again.

                      Hey Lanny I have enjoyed reading over the past few days many of your posts. There are many points I agree with such as that the RCC is not a ‘grace only’ religion, but then I don’t think any main denomination can really qualify as a ‘grace only’ religion. All of them add some law that you must do to either earn salvation or something you have to do in order to maintain it. If you are doing something to earn your salvation or to maintain it then you are under the law in some area of your life.

                      However grace on the other hand you don’t do anything other then just believe and receive what God has done is doing and is going to continue to do through Jesus Christ in order to receive his loving mercy and grace. Once we receive His grace which brings salvation and has appeared to all men then His grace will begin to teach us to do many things including denying ungodliness and worldly lusts. Titus 2:11-13 After grace comes we learn to do good works out of an appreciation for what he has already done- He saved us…we do not work to earn salvation or even to maintain what he has given to us freely through his dear son lest we come to boast in our own good works.

                      Now when you said the following to Mary I must disagree with your opinion. “You “are fallen from grace” that comes through faith, dear Mary. {Galatians 5: 4}”

                      Just like you told mary that she omitted part of the text you have done the same thing. See you also need to quote the whole verse in order to truly understand what Paul was saying.

                      Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (Gal 5:4-5 KJV)

                      It is only when a person tries to maintain a law to earn God’s favor that they miss grace entirely. That is not Mary’s position at all. She is not advocating that you do anything in order to earn salvation, other then receive, and believe what god has done through Jesus. So how is she fallen from grace as you suppose?

                      Did you know Lanny that sin is not the only thing likened to leaven in scripture? The kingdom of God is likened to leaven in a parable that Jesus spoke.

                      Matt13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

                      As long as a person has a desire to grow in his grace then the Lord will overlook all the junk they believe and cause the leaven to begin to grow till it affects the whole lump.

                      I agree with Mary that the RCC knows about the grace of God to a small degree and that small amount will act like leaven in them and will grow till it corrects and fills every corner of that individual persons life. We are not required to believe everything right in order to be saved. (In fact every denomination has a different definition of what is right.) But once we get that first measure of leaven in our lives it will begin to work in us doing just what the father wants it to do. The first measure is that Jesus died for our sins and three days later rose from the grave and is now seated at the right hand of the father. The RCC teaches this truth. Unfortunately they add a lot of law on top of that blessed truth. His grace will teach us and correct us and Honestly none of us, including myself, fully 100 % believe all that God wants us to come into. We all must continually to have a tender heart that is not beyond correction and a desire to grow in him and we must allow all men the same grace to grow into all the Father wills for them to become in His kingdom.

                      Abraham believed what God spoke to him and it was counted unto him as righteousness.

                      For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Rom 4:3-5 KJV)

                      We all as believers wait for the hope of righteousness that comes by faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by a rhema word that is now proceeding out of the mouth of God. True grace is only going to come into an individuals life when they believe what they have heard God speaking to them. If anyone wants to believe something right then seek to hear him speak and teach you what he truly meant by what he had written in the Bible.

                      Grace and Peace Patrick

                    • admin April 28, 2014 at 6:35 pm

                      Welcome back, Patrick 🙂 Yes, we missed you.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 28, 2014 at 10:53 pm

                      Patrick, miss grace entirely? If you miss grace just a little bit you miss grace entirely and you don’t have grace salvation.

                      It only takes a speck of dirt to make a clean shirt dirty or a holy man a sinner. So it is with grace. A speck of works excludes grace salvation and makes a person abominable to God. God does NOT share His glory with man in salvation. The saved man’s glory is God’s glory given to him.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 28, 2014 at 11:02 pm

                      Mary please, WHERE do you learn of “God’s grace freely given in Christ” except from the Holy Bible? If you learn it from the Bible, then you are trusting each individual word in the Bible that details it.

                      “Revealed truth” that saves. totally apart from the Bible? How and where, Mary?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm

                      Mary says, Present knowledge is indirect and incomplete.

                      According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: {2 Peter 1: 3} tells us Mary doesn’t understand that it is totally sufficient and complete enough for our current salvation needs.

                      I’ll trust God’s individual words written by the Apostle Peter in the Bible over Mary’s opinion anytime. It is far from indirect and definitely touchable and visible in the Book called the Holy Bible. Poor Mary doesn’t know what she has since I know she has a Bible.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 30, 2014 at 6:11 am

                      There is no logical connection (if…then) between learning of God’s grace from the Bible and trusting in the words in the book or in the book as a whole. I trust in the person revealed in the book, not in the book itself.

                      So, what did Paul enjoin the Philippian jailer to do? Study the scriptures and believe that every word is literally, factually true? Give assent to the truth of doctrines about the person and work of Jesus? No; he enjoined him to believe in/trust in/commit himself to this One he came to know through the witness of the church and the working of the Spirit. This is what faith is: trust and commitment to a person, not trusting in the words in a book or believing that such and such about the person is true.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 30, 2014 at 6:16 am

                      Sufficient for our salvation needs is not the same as complete, direct knowledge of God. Get a clue. And ponder the inconvenient truth of 1 Corinthians 13:12 while you’re busy scavenging the scriptures for proof-texts to support your claims.

                    • Patrick Strickland April 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm

                      That is a very interesting response there Lanny.

                      I have read in scripture where it may be possible for someone to FRUSTRATE the grace of God by seeking to become righteous through doing the law(Gal 2:20,21), or one can make grace of NONE EFFECT in ones life by doing the law (Gal 5:4,5): but I find it rather strange that no where do I read that one can “miss” the grace of God entirely. Seems to me that you are again reading into scripture what is not there.

                      Now I will freely admit that someone can be totally unaware of what has been given because no one has told them of what God gave them at the cross of Christ. But that does not change the fact it has been already given to them. Someone can frustrate the grace of God by trying to live their life by some combination of law and grace, or they can make it of none effect in their life by living totally by the law. But it does not change what God freely gave to all men through the cross of Christ.

                      Grace is a gift. Because ultimately as scripture declares the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. God is not going to take back any gift he has freely given to mankind. God is not going to change his mind once the gift has been given. The gift will accomplish what he sent it to do no matter how long it may take to accomplish what it was sent to do. It is very important that we establish how many men are affected by the gift of grace that comes from God. Grace brings salvation and this grace according to scripture has appeared to all men. (Titus 2:11) Paul had many interesting things to say about sin and grace.

                      (Rom 5:11-18 KJV) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

                      “Sin passed upon all men from what one man did…Adam’s disobedience affected all men. All men died as scripture declares the wages of sin is death. Notice carefully that the wages of sin is not described by Paul in this passage as eternal torment in hell.”

                      (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one MANY (the many was actually all) be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto MANY (The very same many who suffered the offence, the many who in reality were the ALL!!) . And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL MEN to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one THE FREE GIFT CAME UPON ALL MEN unto justification of life.

                      The gift of grace was given to all men to the justification of life. That is a clear promise from scripture. Yet Paul’s description does not end here but continues:
                      (Rom 5:19 KJV)For as by one man’s disobedience MANY made sinners (How many were made sinners by Adam’s transgression? ALL mankind were.), so by the obedience of one shall MANY be made righteous (the very same all-many that were made sinners are going to be made righteous by Jesus obedience to His Father.).

                      Grace is then described by Paul to “much more abound” then sin.

                      (Rom 5:20-21 KJV) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

                      In Romans 5:20 the phrase “much more abound” comes from the greek word Huperperisseuo and means to abound beyond measure, to overflow. Grace is going to abound beyond measure, to overflow to all men whom the free gift came to who were all trapped in sin.

                      Paul verifies this to the church at Corinth:
                      (1Co 15:22 KJV)For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.

                      This all fits with what Paul said to Timothy:

                      (1Ti 4:9-11 KJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.

                      This even fits with the fact that the kingdom of heaven is likened to leaven by Jesus Christ that will eventually leaven the whole lump.

                      Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away all sin. That is why in a vision he told Peter to not call what he had cleansed unclean, before he was sent to the gentiles. All gentiles are clean in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did. They are not clean in our eyes when we don’t believe him and continue to mix law with grace and walk in darkness of sin. Sin is not the problem dear sir God already took it all away. Darkness is now passed in Christ and in him is no darkness at all Getting people to really believe what he actually did at the cross is.

                      Where sin is grace is going to abound and overflow till eventually there will be no more memory of sin.

                      When we all start to learn to walk in the grace of his light as he is in the light then the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanseth our conscience from all the darkness of sin.

                      Grace and peace Patrick

                  • Lanny A. Eichert March 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm

                    Mary, March 29, 2014 at 6:07 am you made the statement, The believer’s confidence is in God, not in having faith, believing the right things, etc. Can a believer have confidence in God WITHOUT having faith in God, WITHOUT believing the right things about God? Can he even be a believer without having faith in God, without believing the right things about God?

                    Wow, I am having a very hard time thinking you know what it means to be a believer or what it means to have confidence. Are you now making things so very complicated that it makes no sense?

                    I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. {2 Corinthians 11: 3}

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 1, 2014 at 5:36 am

                      Faith is trust in a person, confidence in God, not confidence in my own act of believing certain things about God. It isn’t my faith, my acceptance of right doctrine, my belief in the Bible, etc., that saves me; it’s God who saves.

                      Catholic believers trust in God’s love revealed in Christ. They are, by definition, part of the family of God. That they add to grace makes them no different from you: you add assent to certain doctrines to what God has done, making salvation no longer the free gift that it is, but something that must be earned by right belief. Face the fact of your hypocrisy, and stop excluding Catholic believers.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 2, 2014 at 12:36 am

                      Mary, you are making no sense.

                      But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. {Hebrews 11: 6}

                      You cannot come to God for salvation without personal individual faith upon the perfect words written in God’s Holy Bible. Roman Catholic people don’t have that personal faith by their church doctrine.

                      Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. {James 2: 19}

                      You have to believe the right things to be saved by God’s grace through faith. The few right things Roman Catholics believe are good, but NOT good enough to be saved. They haven’t gotten by their church’s doctrine exactly what they need to believe to be saved. RCC doctrine gives them a little truth mixed with a lot of error, which is the Devil’s trick to keep them in his household as his children. Keep them busy with works is his greatest trick to prevent them from learning what grace really means. He knows it works in all religious formates. The only believing that works is the one that causes people to stop working and start completely trusting without ever stopping.

                      No one can be saved without RECEIVING salvation from God. Those who refuse to receive it as a free gift evidence their refusal by establishing their own righteousness in part by their works as do Roman Catholics and all other works oriented religions. No one can receive it without KNOWLEDGE. You must know exactly what it is to receive it. You cannot receive what you don’t KNOW.

                      You cannot receive a Christmas gift if you don’t know it is given to you. You must know it is a Christmas gift to receive it. You must know IT and you must know it is a GIFT. Otherwise you cannot receive it as a gift. Salvation cannot come to anyone except as a gift.

                      Look, Mary, you wrote, “Faith is trust in a person.” WHO is doing the trusting and whose trust is it? WHO is having confidence, whose confidence is it? that you wrote, “confidence in God.” Don’t tell me it is God’s confidence in God and God’s faith in God. Mary, you would be making no sense.

                      Catholics trust/believe, what better than the devils of James 2: 19? Don’t the ages-old devils know exactly how God saves His creatures much better than what the mortal Catholics know? Why aren’t the devils yet saved? And you think the Catholics are saved on a lot more imperfect knowledge? Isn’t the James passage about the KIND of personal working faith that saves/justifies? And isn’t that faith distinguished from the actual works that it produces? Then is personal faith a work?

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 2, 2014 at 5:21 am

                      If salvation is a reward for right believing, then it is not a free gift. It can’t be both. Faith is a response to what God has done that enables us to receive/experience/enjoy the love that God has for us. It is not the basis for our being made right with God. And one doesn’t have to get it right either doctrinally or morally in order to be accepted by God.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 2, 2014 at 11:06 pm

                      Mary, you aren’t getting it: faith is not a work worthy of reward. You even wrote, “Faith is a response to what God has done” yet if you don’t know accurately what God has done, then you don’t have faith. You can say God is love, but if that is all your faith knows, you don’t have faith. If you say God eventually saves everybody, you don’t have faith because you call Jesus a Liar at Matthew 7: 13 & 14.

                      The only way the Mt 7 passage works correctly is knowing that God saves nobody else other than His Elect mortals to whom He gives grace to know and believe what He has done. They and only they have faith to receive/experience/enjoy salvation.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 3, 2014 at 12:20 am

                      Mary & Alice, don’t you see that all along I’ve been telling both of you that neither one of you have saving faith since you don’t UNDERSTAND conversion nor how one is born again nor what being saved actually is, because it hasn’t happened to either one of you and most if not all of your friends. That’s why I am so contrary to you all. Mary, you can’t seem to understand why the RCC is preparing their people for hell and there’s only one right way of believing that FEW find, leaving the majority to burn forever in the Lake of Fire.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

                      Faith is trust in the God who saves; it is not trust in my faith that saves. There is no such thing as “saving faith”; there is only a saving God. Faith isn’t acceptance of doctrines; it is trust in the God revealed in Jesus Christ.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 5, 2014 at 3:03 am

                      Mary, no such thing as “saving faith” you write. Now I know you’ve never experienced regeneration. You’re all tangled up in the technicalities of doctrine so that in your confusion you can’t see the light. Your smarts has made you blind to the simplicity that is in Christ {2 Corinthians 11: 3}. Dear lady, faith is believing each individual Biblical word in the text in its context. The object of faith is the literal perfect Holy Bible. How do we know “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” of Hebrews 11: 1 except by reading the individual words of the Holy Bible?

                      Now I know you would accuse me of worshipping the Bible more than God, but, dear lady, there is NO way to know God but by the Holy Bible. God did not leave us without a SURE foundation in black and white, an undisputable document, His Holy Bible that never changes year by year throughout the centuries.

                      God has put us on earth after completing His Bible two thousand years ago to our great advantage in that we have a PERFECTLY assured Hebrew and Greek texts along with wonderful translations into our own languages. God has made it possible for us to have the utmost confidence in every single word He inspired to be written with pen and ink. Your problem is you all refuse to believe God is that capable of such accuracy and faithfulness to each and every one of His very own words. Simply put, you don’t believe the God of the Bible, but have manufactured for yourselves a lesser god who is impotent and imperfect in all his ways so that you can have reason for your unbelief.

                      Think about it, will you? If God is perfect, then He certainly is capable of preserving His written revelation of Himself, namely the Holy Bible, perfect throughout the centuries, even perfect in every single year of them. God has not left humanity with doubtful ideas, but has given us the unshakable foundation of every single word He wrote for us in black and white in His Holy Bible, the source book and ultimately only source of knowing God.

                      Let God be true, but every man a liar {Romans 3: 4}

                      Will you believe every word of it as Jesus requires according to Matthew 4: 4
                      He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

                      Don’t be dumb about how we got our Bible.
                      All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness {2 Timothy 3: 16} Every word is God-breathed out of the mouth of God and put down in black and white with pen and ink.

                      You, poor human being, are under moral responsibility to God to believe every word of it or be eternally damned because of your refusal. It does matter if you get it right or wrong. Right means Heaven, but wrong means the eternal Lake of Fire without remedy. The RCC got it wrong and is sending all of its believers to the eternal Lake of Fire without remedy. They are blind to their error.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 6, 2014 at 5:42 am

                      I’m not “tangled up” in anything. Faith is trusting in a person, in the God revealed in Jesus Christ, not in letters printed on a page, not in ideas about who God is and what God does. Yes, of course, we come to know God through the scriptures – which are a product of both divine and human action. But we put our trust, our confidence, not in that which bears witness to God’s self-revelation but in God himself. This is faith. And it is a response to God’s gracious, saving act (and itself a gift), not the ground of salvation (“saving faith”).

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 8, 2014 at 3:15 am

                      Mary, can’t you realize you are not able to trust in the Person of God without FIRST trusting every word of His Self-revelation given in His Holy Bible? What you know of the Person of God is learned no other way than by first reading His Book. You cannot know His Self-revelation in nature is truth without first learning it is truth in His Book. When what you think is nature’s revelation of God only is just that when you find it confirmed in Scripture. You may mistake something you think is nature revealing God when it is only your imagination and personal desire.

                      Mary, when you trust the person of God, you must of necessity trust the Holy Bible He produced. “Yes, of course, we come to know God through the scriptures – which are a product of both divine and human action.” So you DO put your trust, your confidence, in that which bears witness to God’s self-revelation as well as in God himself.

                      Mary, you cannot divorce God’s Words from His Person.You can’t say you trust His Person but not His Words. His Words are letters printed on the pages of the Holy Bible. They are GOD BREATHED words. You know 2 Timothy 3: 16. Can you believe God and not believe the words He breathed?

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 9, 2014 at 5:16 am

                      You miss the point entirely. The point is that faith is a matter of trusting in a person, not believing in a book, not giving intellectual assent to ideas about God. Knowledge of God is personal, not informational. Intellectual acceptance of doctrines has nothing to do with trusting God’s love and living in intimate communion with God – which is the essence of faith. If intellectual assent to doctrines were a prerequisite of trusting in God, then every person who lacks the cognitive ability to understand and assent to doctrines would not be able to trust in God’s love – which clearly is not the case.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

                      Mary, personal, not informational? How can you trust a person without information? Trust is not a feeling as I suspect you mean by personal: you’re trying to make trust an emotion without fact. That sort of emotion is fantasy, imagination; and is totally relative to the individual, therefore without absolutism. No, Mary, you’re wrong because trust is founded on fact, doctrine, absolute words of God’s perfect literal Holy Bible. Look, I may be as opposed to written organized theologies complied by men and women, but certainly the plain statements of Scripture are equally doctrine as stated in 2 Timothy 3: 16 & 17.

                      These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. {Acts 17: 11}

                      Mary, WHAT did they search in order to know what to believe, trust?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm

                      Mary, the Roman Catholic Church keeps their people ignorant of grace salvation by a false “spirituality” just as Alice does with the readers of this site. False, I say, in contrast to the truth. Those who believe and trust the wrong things burn forever in the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels. You must believe the right things to be saved. That was the whole point of the Reformation and you don’t even know it.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 12, 2014 at 5:21 am

                      You claim to be a fundamentalist, but your comments show that you lack understanding of this fundamental biblical truth: faith is trust in the God who cannot be defined or contained by our ideas and thoughts about him. When the biblical authors talk about faith, they are not talking about giving assent to a particular theory of biblical inspiration or to a particular doctrine about who God is and what God does. They are not talking about knowing information about God and his will. What they are talking about is putting one’s trust in this One who is infinitely higher than our highest thoughts, this One who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ; they are talking about committing ourselves to him and so receiving/experiencing/enjoying the freedom and life that he offers freely by his grace.

                      “You must believe the right things to be saved” was hardly the point of the Reformation. The point of the Reformation was “by grace you are saved – not by your own goodness or faith.” Get a clue, brother.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm

                      Mary wrote: every person who lacks the cognitive ability to understand and assent to doctrines would not be able to trust in God’s love. I suppose you mean God loves them WITHOUT having died for their sins, that is, that they don’t need to know Jesus died on the cross for their sins to believe God loves them.

                      Jesus’ death on the cross is DOCTRINE, dear Mary, about which there is no other salvation. How do you propose to learn of the love of God without doctrine?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 17, 2014 at 12:07 am

                      Mary, “the right thing” is by grace you are saved – not by your own goodness — but through faith in the promises of God written in discrete Biblical words. God can be defined and contained by His written Biblical words. Truly, God is transendant and cannot be known by mankind except by His Self-revelation in Biblical Scripture. Therefore trust in each word written in the Bible is the only way to have the faith through which salvation comes from God. You cannot have faith in a god who does nothing, but you can believe in what God does because that’s how God defines Himself. (That’s not this blog site.) Haven’t you heard, you are what you do?

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 17, 2014 at 5:03 am

                      When the Philippian jailer asked what he must do in response to the great good news of God’s saving love, what did Paul and Silas answer? “Man, get your Christology all worked out. Make sure your soteriology is up to snuff. Get it together when it comes to your understanding of what the scriptures are.” No, no, no, no, no. What they answered was “Believe on the Lord Jesus” – i.e. trust in this One in whom God is revealed – “and you will receive the salvation that God has given you.”

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm

                      So Mary, this One in whom God is revealed. Where is that revelation found? Not in thin air, dear girl, but in the Scriptures: individual perfectly spelled words written with pen and ink in God’s perfect literal Holy Bible. You fail to acknowledge he had adequate knowledge of Scripture. The commanded faith is not in thin air.

                      How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. {Romans 10: 14 – 17}

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm

                      Mary, I asked you April 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm How do you propose to learn of the love of God without doctrine?

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 19, 2014 at 6:19 am

                      The misplaced comment is under Lanny’s comment dated March 31 at 3:41 p.m.

                    • admin April 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm

                      I have no way of moving it – sorry

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 21, 2014 at 5:27 am

                      The Philippian jailer had knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures??? That seems highly unlikely, dear boy. In any case, you miss the point. The point is that faith is not about believing in a book, it is not about grasping what cannot be grasped and possessed, it is not about having the right answers, the right beliefs. What faith is about is trusting in God’s love in Christ Jesus. To be sure, faith rests on (personal) knowledge, and is generated through hearing the message of God’s love in Christ, but faith as such is not belief in information; it is not staking one’s life on doctrine. No; it is trust in the One who is revealed in the scriptures and in the proclamation of the word of truth.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 22, 2014 at 12:16 am

                      Mary, How many times do I have to ask you the same thing? I asked you a week ago April 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm How do you propose to learn of the love of God without doctrine from the Holy Bible’s perfect literal words?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert April 23, 2014 at 2:09 am

                      Your words, Mary, To be sure, faith rests on (personal) knowledge {so you have to personally know something like doctrine}, and is generated through hearing the message of God’s love in Christ {which message originates in the Holy Bible, learned by preachers who proclaim it}, but faith as such is not belief in information; it is not staking one’s life on doctrine {double contradiction of your above}. No; it is trust in the One who is revealed in the scriptures {ah, Bible doctrine} and in the proclamation of the word of truth {ah, what preachers learned from each perfectly spelt word in the Bible}.

                      {Lanny’s words interpreting Mary’s} I like that you at least know faith is belief that stakes the life.

                    • Mary Vanderplas April 23, 2014 at 5:31 am

                      That I learn of God’s love through the Bible and through the church’s proclamation of the gospel message doesn’t mean that I put my faith in the Bible or in doctrine. My confidence is in God, who alone saves, not in a book or in theological doctrines.

  • Stephen Helbig March 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Alice, love your “I would take this a step further”… 🙂 ~ and can truly relate to the “shit-eating grin” for I too like to follow the news and always conclude ~ “Rest” in THE GOOD NEWS of Gospel of Christ

    p.s. ~ … “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also;” … ~ Jesus

    p.s.s. ~ So also [is] the rising again of the dead: it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body; there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; so also it hath been written, ‘The first man Adam became a living creature,’ the last Adam [is] for a life-giving spirit, but that which is spiritual [is] not first, but that which [was] natural, afterwards that which [is] spiritual. The first man [is] out of the earth, earthy; the second man [is] the Lord out of heaven; as [is] the earthy, such [are] also the earthy; and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] also the heavenly; and, according as we did bear the image of the earthy, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly.

    p.s.s.t. ~ “for us now a new ardour born of the resurrection, that we may bring to all the Gospel of life which triumphs over death” ~ Pope Francis

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Stephen, such vulgarity used of his grin brings your holiness under firm suspicion, just as I wrote likewise about Alice many times. Such blazes the hypocricy of this site. Quote Scripture all you want without in the least convincing me you’re saved. Such behavior proves to me the lot of you are all hell-bound to burn in eternal torment; and the proof is that you deny E.T., not withstanding Jude 6’s everlasting chains.

      Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: {Hebrews 12: 14}

      • Lanny A. Eichert March 11, 2014 at 10:39 am

        There’d be peace and harmony between us if you would get genuinely saved, walk in holiness, and joyfully attend meetings at church. Your lives would be radically changed and you’d speak and write truth. In fact it is called “receiving the love of the truth” in 2 Thessalonians 2: 10, but do you see in the next two verses what happens to those who don’t?

      • Stephen Helbig March 12, 2014 at 2:24 am

        Lanny hear is an attempt to define and clarify my use of a quote I used ~ A “shit eating grin”; ~ Defined as ~ Someone donning a forced smile in an uncomfortable, embarassing, or compromising situation potentially leading to danger or disgrace. ~ A shit eating grin is a very wide grin, and to the outside observer may appear stupid looking, ~ usually the wearer of this grin is showing an inner peace, and inner humor with amusement for the topic at hand, because that someone knows something that allows rests in that KNOWING

        Having stated the above, ~ Let me clarify a little bit more with a quote from the Apostle Paul, ~ “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but “dung”, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:8)(KJV)

        So Lanny many times is the course of this world I just smile with that big shit eating grin and realize God is truly omnipotent and faithful regardless of the “dung” that man creates in the flesh ~ no apology intended ~ SORRY ~ pun intended ~ but I am smiling 🙂


        p.s. ~ Pursue peace with all men. True friendship can only be enjoyed in an environment of total forgiveness ~ (“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”) ~ This makes God visible in your life. One must understand that this is a grace-race and not a law-race. While we’re in compete- and compare-mode we create the opportunity for resentment to flourish and to poison many in the process. ~ (We are all equally included in the same victory in Christ!) ~ (Hebrews 12:14,15) (Mirror Bible)

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2014 at 2:38 pm

          Explanations don’t suffice for actual holiness, poor man.

          The obvious remains still obvious; and you continue to blaze it, and are caught in the fire which will be eternal.

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      And don’t bother to apologize, since without peer pressure you display what you really are. Your vulgar conduct is that of children of perdition, not of holy men and women of God.

  • Lanny A. Eichert March 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    (Jesus washed the feet of his disciples)


    This is a family matter; everybody else needs to embrace the Lamb of God by kissing the Son {Psalm 2: 12}, that is, believing and receiving Him by faith alone, if they’d have all of their sins removed and join the family.

    1 John 1: 9 belongs only to family members as does Galatians 6: 1. That’s footwashing. The pope wrongly makes it evangelism, which it is not; and no wonder, because just like most of you all, he too is not saved and therefore doesn’t know Biblical truth and speaks ignorantly.

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 8, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      “liberation and renewal” says the pope without any mention of regeneration. Supreme ignorance: profound, to say the least, and none of you catching it speaks volumes of your theology: how lacking it is in new birth. You speak of the kingdom and don’t see it, so how will you enter it? {John 3: 3 & 5}

      • Stephen Helbig April 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

        Ezekiel 34
        Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? “You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. “Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. “They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. “My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”
        Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: “As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”

        Note: This Restoration and entrance into the land of His KINGDOM

        For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. “As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. “I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. “I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.
        “As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats. ‘Is it too slight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must foul the rest with your feet? ‘As for My flock, they must eat what you tread down with your feet and drink what you foul with your feet!’”
        Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. “Because you push with side and with shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns until you have scattered them abroad, therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.
        “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. “And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the LORD have spoken.
        “I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. “I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. “Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. “They will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid. “I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations anymore. “Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” declares the Lord GOD. “As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord GOD.


        p.s. ~ one shepherd—literally, “a Shepherd, one”: singularly and pre-eminently one: the only one of His kind, to whom none is comparable (Song of Sol. 5:10). The Lord Jesus refers to this prophecy (John 10:14), “I am THE Good Shepherd.” ~ Also ~ “one” as uniting in one the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and also “gathering together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and on earth” (Eph 1:10); thus healing worse breaches than that between Israel and Judah ~ See (Col 1:20). “God by Him reconciling all things unto Himself, whether things in earth or in heaven.”

        p.s.s. ~ We enter by the work of our Shepherd ~ For He perfects that which concerns us

        p.s.s.t. ~ And he shall feed them; the flock, even the poor of the flock, thrust at and pushed by those who go up against the work of our Lord Jesus, who having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Col. 1: 20) ~ He shall feed them by his ministers of this love and of good news the gospel of JESUS CHIST, He shall feed them with Himself, the bread of LIFE; with His flesh and blood,(broken and shed) ~ which are meat and drink indeed; with covenant grace, blessings, and promises; with this Good News and the doctrines of it; he feeds his babes with milk, his strong men with meat, and all with the wholesome words of faith and good doctrine, whereby he nourishes them up to EVERLASTING LIFE; ~ and this he will do thru the greatness of HIS LOVE ~ FOR GOD IS LOVE

        • admin April 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm

          I have returned to that passage many times over the years, and we live in a time when the deconstruction of so-called spiritual authority is beginning to taking place. What a privilege it is to live in this particular portion of human history, and to enjoy the green pastures that have been withheld and trampled for so long.

        • Lanny A. Eichert April 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm

          Stephen/Alice, how many times must I complain that you are continuously INCAPABLE of correctly reading God’s perfect literal Holy Bible.

          “gathering together in one all things in Christ”
          The “gathering together in one” is a single action verb and the “all things in Christ” is what is gathered: the object of the verb.
          Hence: gathering together into one group all things which are already in Christ. There are things that are “in Christ” and there are things that are NOT “in Christ.” What is NOT “in Christ” is not gathered. Only those things that are “in Christ” are gathered.

          The term “in Christ” means all His saints, redeemed ones. Excluded from the term are sinners, rebels.

          A proper understand of each word disproves your salvation after physical death. Get the grammar.

          • Stephen Helbig May 1, 2014 at 1:26 am

            (Ephesians 1:10) “In the (1)economy of the fullness of time, everything culminates in Christ; all that is in heaven and all that is on earth is reconciled in him.”

            (The word above,(1)oikonomia, translates as administration
            GRK: εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος
            NAS: with a view to an administration suitable
            KJV: That in the dispensation of the fulness
            INT: for [the] administration of the fullness.

            NAS Exhaustive Concordance
            Word Origin
            from oikonomeó
            Definition ~ stewardship, administration
            NASB Translation ~ administration (3), management (3), stewardship (3).

            “All human history shall be consummated in Christ, everything that exists in heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him.” — Phillips.

            “All that is in heaven, all that is on earth, summed up in him!” — Knox)


            GREEK ENGLISH
            ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι to head up
            τὰ the
            πάντα all things
            ἐν in
            τῷ Χριστῷ, the Christ,


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