Bible Believers' Newsletter 264
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, it's great to be with you.
As we all know, the so-called 'war against terror' is a fiction disguising the fifth major stage of a plan drafted in the nineteenth century to bring the 'Hidden Hand' one step closer to Satan's totalitarian one world government. It will result in the pope of Rome, (there are at least four other popes), becoming president of Satan's New World Order. The last stage being the destruction of every religion, atheism, communism, et al, and the introduction of the pure Luciferian worship.
America's enemy is her lack of Jesus Christ. The whole world has put Christ out, and brought Satan in. To prove this, research the background and bloodline of our rulers.
America's Enemy is its unelected, largely alien Administration and its advisers. Israel Shamir, one of our contributors, writes, "A new spectre haunts America. It enters the well-protected boardrooms of newspapers and banks, shakes the deep foundations of its towers. It is the spectre of glasnost: the dark secret of Jewish power is out. Only rare desperados comment, as Edgar Steele did: 'The silence in America concerning Jews is simply deafening, isn't it? The old adage has it that, when visiting a foreign country, to ascertain who really runs things, one need determine only who is spoken about in whispers, if at all.' Judged by this measure, the Jews rule supreme. Indeed, when I referred to `Jewish media lords' during a UNESCO conference in the summer of 2001, the audience's hearts missed a beat".
"The American Ultimatum date was set on 17 March, the Jewish feast of Purim. Purim, 1991 saw destruction of Iraqi armies and death of 200,000 Iraqis." A further 1.5 million have died since as a result of UN sanctions and continuous bombing by the US and UK.
Purim is "the gayest in the Jewish calendar, the most glamorous of the Jewish holidays," as Rabbi Leon Spitz recounts in The American Hebrew (March 1, 1946). His sub-title is, 'Exterminate Anti-Semitic Termites As Our Ancestors Did 2,500 Years Ago'no doubt as Israel is exterminating Palestinian 'lice' as I write.
"American Jews too must come to grips with our contemporary anti-Semites. We must fill our jails with anti-Semitic gangsters, we must fill our insane asylums with the anti-Semitic lunatics, we must combat every alien Jew-hater, we must harass and prosecute our Jew baiters to the extreme limits of the laws, we must humble and shame our anti-Semitic hoodlums to such an extent . . . " But as those Hebrews who are Israelites are well aware, the only anti-Semites are the self-styled "Jews" themselves.
On Purim, February 25, 1994, Israeli army officer Baruch Goldstein, an orthodox Khazar from Brooklyn, massacred 40 Palestinian civilians, including children, while they knelt in prayer in a mosque. Goldstein was a disciple of the late Rabbi Kahane who has stated that his view of Arabs as "dogs" is "from the Talmud." (Cf. CBS 60 Minutes, "Kahane"). On Purim, the ministers of Germany were executed in Nuremberg.
If the 'Hidden Hand' who control our sham democracies does not acheive its Purim war, we may anticipate some further enticements from them like 9/11 and the Bali Bombing, to push the cattle (as they regard us) into the pen of their New World Order via World War III between the political Zionists and Islam.
In this week's Newsletter we have taken excerpts from the book, How did it Happen? by R. Hazeltine, to demonstrate the continuity of Scripture. Brother Branham said, "If a vision was Scriptural, then it must be interpreted by the Scripture, or a continuation of the same Scripture." Thus Jesus followed the shadow of certain Hebrew customs in laying the foundation for the Church of the new dispensation.
Everything we have presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother in Christ
Alleged Pedophiles at Helm of Britain's War Machine
March 11, 2003 NATO boss and Blair government insider Lord Robertson threatened to sue Scotland's leading independent newspaper over internet allegations that he not only used his influence as a Freemason to procure a gun licence for child killer Thomas Hamilton, but was also a member of a clandestine paedophile ring reportedly set up by Hamilton for the British elite.
On 13 March, 1996, Hamilton, armed with four hand-guns opened fire on a junior school class, killing 16 children and one teacher before turning the gun on himself, shattering forever the idyllic 13th century Scottish town of Dunblane.
The controversy is certain to topple the Blair government, which has already issued a D-Notice to gag the press from revealing the names of known paedophiles within the British executive, including at least two senior ministers; and the case highlights the government's antipathy toward the Sunday Herald and its brand of independent journalism that has, among other things, exposed the role played by the domestic security agency, MI5, in helping the IRA to carry out terrorist atrocities. . . Full story: propagandamatrix.com guardian.co.uk sundayherald.com
An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control
This is a working document of the European Parliament. This report discusses MKDELTA, MKULTRA, CCTV, developments in surveillance technology, innovations in crowd control weapons, new prison control systems, interrogation, torture hardware, techniques and technologies developed, manufactured, employed and exported by the (once) Christian West. Full story: cryptome.org
Derivatives pose 'Potentially Lethal' Threat
In his annual letter to shareholders last week, Mr. Warren Buffet, who at the height of the share boom warned that the hi-tech market, measured by the Nasdaq index, was grossly overvalued, said that derivatives were "time bombs, both for the parties that deal in them and the economic system." Posing a "mega-catastrophe risk," derivatives were "financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal."
While the LTCM rescue operation prevented a financial meltdown, Buffet's warnings point to the fact that in the four and a half years since then none of the underlying risks have lessened and may have worsened considerably.
Full story: prairie.ca
The Government's Secret Slush Funds
There's enough money in these hoardslargely the result of aggressive investing on the part of governmentto pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt and the accumulated state and local debt many times over, plus cut everyone's taxes for years to come, according to Walter Burien, a former Wall Street commodities trader, whose revelationson talk radio and the Internetabout government finance practices have sparked a nationwide firestorm of public outrage over an arcane, hitherto all-but-ignored subject. Full story: worldnetdaily.com
Israeli Official Claims War starts March 18
March 11, 2003 Michael Gurdus, an Israeli government monitor, reportedly said the order was relayed by US Central Command to all American forces in the Persian Gulf. According to the report, Gurdus told Israel's Channel 2 television that he heard the order being relayed to US fighter-jet pilots and others over US military radio communications he intercepted.
Gurdus is considered the leading communications monitor in the Middle East. According to the WorldTribune.com report, he has broken numerous stories because of his ability to intercept and understand foreign-language civilian and military radio broadcasts and communications. He said the US military, in its radio communications, refers to Iraq as "bad cows" and "kabab," Middle East Newsline reported. Full story: worldnetdaily.com
Breakthrough in the War on Terror?
I'll believe it when We see some Evidence
March 3, 2003 In the theatre of the absurd into which America's hunt for al-Qa'ida so often descends, the "arrest"the quotation marks are all too necessaryof Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is nearer the Gilbert and Sullivan end of the repertory.
First, Mr. Mohammed was arrested in a joint raid by the CIA and Pakistani agents near Islamabad and spirited out of the country to an "undisclosed location". "The man who masterminded the September 11 attacks" was how the US billed this latest "victory" in the "war against terror" (again, quotation marks are obligatory). Then the Pakistanis announced that he hadn't been taken out of Pakistan at all. Then a Pakistani police official expressed his ignorance of any such arrest.
And then, a Taliban "source" . . . Full story: argument.independent.co.uk
Court rules Graves competent to prosecute AIDS Bioengineering Case
SAN DIEGO A March sixth federal court order mandates civil rights activist Boyd E. Graves legally competent to prosecute the AIDS bioengineering case originally filed in the Southern District of California Dec. 6, 2001.
"At issue in the case is the action or lack of action on the part of government AIDS officials who located the secret AIDS program in May 2000 and took no affirmative action for the American people and people of the world," Graves said. "The complaint seeks full disclosure of the secret US Special Virus Program which spans from 1948-1978."
President George W. Bush and other named defendants inside the case are provided 60 days by law and are compelled to respond to Dr. Graves' complaint by May 1, 2003. Full story: boydgraves.com biblebelievers.org
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How did it Happen?
I have always asked myself this question"How Did It Happen that the one church at Rome became so different from all the other churches in the world when every church sprang from the one church that Jesus started on the day of Pentecost?""It is to be regretted, indeed, that many able writers of this period of church history were too subject to the ecclesiastical influences of the Roman church, and allowed themselves in many ways to overstep the true line of moderation both as to the Christian system they commended and the Christian systems they depreciated."
It was a coincidence that my eye fell many times on the word 'Heretic,' however when I looked at the definition of the word I came to realize that I was a 'Heretic' according to the standards of the first Roman church. Hence the beginning of my research became a game of chasing the name 'Heretic' wherever I found it.
I reasoned that there must have been a time in church history when the separation of the two existing bodies began. Hence my task.
As I searched in different Encyclopedias, the reports were varied. I could see that the coloring of the data was dependant upon the personal opinions of the writers. Hence, before I read an article I would look up the background of the contributor.
The historian Merrivale expressed my views exactly so I ask permission of the publishers of his "General History of Rome" to forgive me for the following, I quote:
"It has been my aim to trace institutions to their real foundation, and to distinguish between the accounts we can accept as true and those that are bound to be rejected as fictitious or imaginary; I have collected, compared and sifted the authorities, full as they are of inconsistencies and contradictions; I have analyzed and criticized them at every step, and while obliged to advance my own conjectures, I shall try to explain the ground on which I base my opinions and show the means by which they may be defended."
I have used the process of deduction in compiling this work.
It is my belief that the true Church followed the Scriptural pattern, and the First Roman church substituted dogmas and made traditional dogma the guide from the first century.
I really believe if St. Peter were to enter Rome today and preach a sermon like the one he preached at Jerusalem he would be cast out of the city.
Christ breathed on His disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Ghost" (John 20:22). He told them He was going away and He would send the Holy Ghost to them. When He said, "Receive the Holy Ghost," He meant, "When I send Him, welcome Him." It is as if we were going away and we say, "When I arrive at my destination, I will send someone to take my place. When He comes, please receive Him."
He commanded them to "Go back and wait for the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem." This was the enduement of Power making man the vehicle to carry the Gospel.
After Jesus' ascension the disciples eagerly returned to Jerusalem, joyfully awaiting the arrival of the Holy Ghost. They were all with one accord. The Holy Ghost did come and they did receive Him into the temples of their bodies (Acts 2:4). They were now God's representatives on earth. They were Christ's vicars; as such they had all authoritythe same as He had (John 20:21). This was the Church, and it came into being on the day of Pentecost.
"Christ will quicken your mortal bodies by His spirit dwelling in you," Romans 8:11. The early Church now knew for certain that Christ was living and His Words were Absolute! Truth, for they had received this quickening power He had promised. They knew Him as the resurrected Christ and also as the ascended Christ. They knew that He was living and seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, and that the Holy Ghosteven the Logos Himself, had come from Him and had entered into their mortal bodies. There was a "shout in the camp" (I Samuel 4:6).
They went everywhere carrying out Christ's commands, and proclaiming His everlasting Gospel. They found that when they did what Jesus told them to do He confirmed the Gospel they preached with signs following (Mark 16:17). The Holy Spirit always followed the preaching of the Word. He does yet today.
We hear Matthew saying over and over, "You have heard that it has been said by them in old time . . . BUT I SAY UNTO YOU. But I say unto you. . ."
The ceremony of the Jews in creating leaders in the schools for preparing doctors in the Law is used to illustrate what Christ is doing and saying. When the Jews installed a man in office as was the custom in making rabbis, everyone shouted the name of the person elected, and repeated it. The Christians in Rome carried this into their reception of new members so when someone from the Pagans or Jews joined the Christian Church he first made his public confession and then the whole multitude shouted his name. It was not until he actually appeared and was recognized, and his name was shouted aloud by the crowd of witnesses, that Rome could believe in so signal a conversion. (Merrivale, Victorinus the Grammarian, p. 605).
When Jesus used this phrase, "And I also say unto you." He was referring to what the Jews said (in calling the names of the newly elected rabbis). So Jesus says, "And I also say unto you(I also am exercising My right to call your name in making you one of My rabbis). And I also say unto you that you are Peter".
Saint Matthew was careful not to leave out a Word of Jesus' in order to show that the new ceremony was like the old ritual of ordaining rabbis. We see this harmony between the Old and New Testament practices illustrated in Matthew 16:13 where Jesus taught His disciples at Caesarea Phillipi.
As we read Matthew's gospel we hear Jesus saying, "You have heard that it has been said by them of old time . . . but I say unto you." Matthew was expressing Jesus' way of teaching to the Hebrews, for his Gospel is addressed primarily to them. The phrase, "And I say also unto you" is the key that identifies Jesus' ordination ceremony with the old ritual of creating Jewish rabbis.
Matthew was very particular to illustrate the Jewish custom Christ is following in the ordination of Saint Peter as a rabbi (teacher) in His new dispensation church.
At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus demonstrated His Rabbinical authority in the founding of His Church. Christ and the disciples were gathered together after a wonderful revival where thousands of people were fed with a few small loaves and fishes (Matthew 15:32). With His disciples still reveling in His last miracle, Christ asked, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
Matthew realized that such a question was put to rabbinical candidates at the temple in Jerusalem when the ruler of the temple asked the candidate, "Who do men say is God?" The candidates would respond, "Some say He is the sun, or moon, or stars; or perhaps a cow, or mud turtle (idol)."
(A rain god tortoise was given to Mary Snyder Hazeltine in March 1881, by Miss Perry, a missionary to the Pueblo Indians of Laguna Pueblo. It had been given to Miss Perry by a converted Indian who had used it as a god to pray to when the land needed rain. A rain god was supposed to come into this pottery image).
How much this was like the answer the disciples gave Jesus when He asked, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, of one of the prophets."
Then, following the old ceremony, the ruler of the council of ordination would say, "But whom do you say is the God of Israel?" To which they would reply, "She-ma yis rael" or "The Lord, our God. The Lord is One." And when Jesus asked this question of Himself, "Whom do you say that I am?" Peter, the spokesman for the rest, replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
Again referring to the old Israelitish ceremony, the leader would say, "Blessed are you (Samuel), for no man has shown you this; but the Father in Heaven has revealed it to you, because you are His." And Christ said, "Blessed are you Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but My Father which is in heaven has revealed it unto you."
We see here from the original Hebrew pattern Jesus followed that the 'rock' upon which Christ is building His Church is neither Himself, nor Peter, but faith which is revelation (or a clear understanding) from the Father in Heaven.
At this point in the old ritual all those assembled at the laying on of hands would chant the name of the candidate saying, "You are Samuel. You are Samuel . . ."
According to the text of a letter from The Keeper of the Department of Oriental Printed Books and MSS, at the British Museum, dated June 29, 1954:
The ceremony of ordaining a Rabbi seems in Rabbinic times to have consisted of the following five stages:
1) the laying on of hands (Semikhah);
2) proclamation of the ordained as Rabbi by word of mouth;
3) his investiture with a special mantle;
4) festivities, including the rhythmical praise of the newly ordained Rabbi by the assembled scholars;
5) the celebration for the young candidate (Rabbi) which included great festivities.
We are most interested in the second stage which is the proclamation of the ordained as rabbi by word of mouth: "You are Samuel." Page 605 of Merrivale's General History of Rome, tells of Victoranius' confession of Christ the Rock wherein His name was shouted by the witnesses before the Church body, and so we hear Jesus in Peter's 'ordination,' "And I also say unto you, that you are Peter."
Returning to the Hebrew ritual as a pattern for His procedure, we hear the rabbi say, "Upon this confession that 'the Lord God is the Rock,' will we establish and govern all of the tribes of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:3, 4). And so we hear Jesus Christ saying to Peter, "And upon this Rock (your revelation from the Father that I am the Christ; the Son of the Living God) will I build My Church."
The rabbi then states, "No nation shall prevail against you as long as you believe that the God of Israel is the Rock and every place the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours." So we hear Jesus say to Peter, "The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it"your faith or Spiritual revelation from Above, on which I will build My Church.
Others, by "this rock," understand Christ, founding their claims upon I Corinthians 3:11, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." I Peter 2:6, "Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on Him shall not be confounded". However God's Church is not built upon Jesus or any other man, or upon the "letter" of Scripture. When we expound these verses we see that Jesus Christ is the Word or Logos which is not discerned by the "letter" or "after the flesh," but by a revelation of the Holy Spirit, which is faith (II Corinthians 3:6; 5:16). I Corinthians 12:3, "For no man can say that Jesus is the Christ, but by the revelation of the Holy Ghost".
Christ is both the Church's Founder and also its Foundation; He draws souls and draws them to Himself by revelation; to Him they are united by faith, and on Him they rest and have a constant dependence through a clear understanding of His mind in them.
At this point the old rabbis presented the young candidates with the keys that would unlock the chests that held the sacred Scriptures which were to be searched in order to discern what was right and what was wrong, according to God's unchanging Word, indicating the candidate was authorised to take out a scroll, read and expound it. So Jesus said, "I will (future tense, by which He meant after His resurrection), give unto you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven." For it was when He ascended up on high that He gave the five-fold ministry as "gifts unto men" (plural) to pass the Life through the Body (Ephesians 4:8). Then this power was actually given, not to Peter only, and not to ministers only, but to all of His disciples (Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:21). That is, to every soul in the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 5:4; Revelation 1:6; 5:10).
The keys are the authority by the Holy Spirit that open His Word to our understanding, or grant Spiritual revelation by which we are born into the Kingdom of Heaven (which consists of His Word). Jeremiah 31:33-34, "I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall no longer need to admonish one another to know the Lord: for everyonegreat and smallshall truly know Me then, says the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and forget their sins".
Those scrolls, which were written and given to the children of Israel, were facsmiles of what God had foreordained from the foundation of the world for Israel under Moses' dispensation. Knowing Psalm 119:89, "Thy Word, oh Lord, is settled forever in Heaven", Jesus said, "I speak only those things that I have heard from My Father" (John 8:26).
The key is not to be understood of any particular power that Peter was invested with, as if he were sole door-keeper of the kingdom of heaven: all Christians are kings and priests, having received the key of the kingdom of heaven, or a clear revelation of the Word for their day that unlocks the new birth. The keys were put first into Peter's hand to honor Jesus' promise. And Peter was the first to unlock the door of faith to the Hebrews (Acts 2:14-36); to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17), and to us Gentiles (Acts 10:44-47). Jesus referred to His Words as the key or authority of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is why He told Peter, "I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven," which is the ability to "bind" or "loose," lock or unlock the hidden meanings or revelation of Jesus' Words by which the Kingdom of Heaven is being transformed into glorified material form here on earth through faith in His elect.
Hebrews 11:1-3, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the dispensations were formed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (i.e. faith in God's unseen spoken Word).
Returning to the Israelitish ordination ceremony, the young rabbi being handed the keys to the chests that hold the Torah now has authority to unlock the chest and take out the precious scroll. Removing the cloth wrapper he finds the scroll bound with a band, which he unties, "loosing" the scroll, (as Jesus commanded of Lazarus, "Loose him and let him go," for he was bound with grave clothes). The scroll is placed on the reading stand and then opened to the place in the Law that will judge right or wrong. When the Law has been searched and judgment made, the young rabbi gives his decision from the old scroll. Then he rolls the scroll together and takes a strong cord or ribbon with which he binds the scrolls, signifying that the decision is made. The next step is to wrap it up in a piece of cloth, meaning that the case is settled. "Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among my disciples" (Isaiah 8:16).
There is a harmony and continuity between the old and the new Church practices of ordaining a minister as there is harmony and continuity in the revelation of the "original sin" and the distinct duties and obligations of men and women (Genesis 3:1-21; I Timothy 2:8-15), and every other revelation. Jesus and Paul did not pluck these rituals or their revelations out of thin air. The Rabbinical body that consecrated rabbis of old comprised the High Priest and the Sanhedrin, whereas Jesus is 'High Priest' of the new dispensation. And the new, Christian Church is a fulfilment of the prophecies given to the old, which the non-elect Israelites rejected because they were against the man-made traditions they had been taught contrary to Moses and the prophets. In the same manner the non-elect Gentiles today, persuaded by the man-made traditions they were taught, reject the realization of the prophecies promised to them and "crucify to themselves afresh the Son of God" (Hebrews 6:6; Revelation 3:17-20).
What could a pagan or philosopher of the third century understand about the revelation of the old Jewish dispensational ceremonies? These had to be explained by an Israelite. Until the early seventh century the majority of Christians were Hebrew converts able to help the Church comprehend the true Gospel the way Matthew had explained it. Today, these shadows and types lay buried within dust-covered books, have become obscured by contemporary vocabulary, or are perverted by modern translations of the Scriptures.
Jesus said, "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall have already been bound in Heaven." From the ancient ceremony, we can know that He was saying, "When you govern My Church, base your decisions upon THUS SAITH THE LORD of My spoken Word as your Law or Torah for the new Church . . . I have not spoken of Myself. The Words that I have spoken shall judge you in the last day" (John 12:48-49). "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall have already been bound in Heaven" and the matter is decided and final as indicated by the scroll that is bound up after consultation and a decision by the Israelitish priests.
The Greek words "shall have already been bound" verify that all of these judgments and decisions were foreknown, settled and established in Heaven, before God inspired them to Jesus, Who brought them to us by His spoken Word by which those who are Spiritual judge in all things and will be judged. What a consulation this is to the end-time Bride of Christ who rest on the spoken Word God brought to us by Brother Branham. And as the Pentecostal saints beyond the curtain of time declared when Brother Branham told them his doctrine was identical with THUS SAITH THE LORD of everything Paul taught, "We're resting on that"! So are we!
"I also say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My assembly, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on the earth shall have been loosed in Heaven. Then He told the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. From that time He began to show His disciples, that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised again on the third day. And Peter, taking Him aside, began to rebuke Him, saying, "God be merciful! This shall not happen to You."
Whatever God's children bind here on earth, God has already bound in Heaven. The same is true of loosing. And since THUS SAITH THE LORD does not change or pass away but must all be fulfilled, "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever".
When a lawsuit has been judged and decided in a United States law court, the lawyers say, "WRAP, IT UP." This term comes from the time when Israel's judges tried criminal cases in the Hebrew courts. We read in Micah 7:3, "That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, and the judge asks for a reward; and the great man, he utters his mischievous desire; so they wrap it up." This routine of court procedure refers to the manner of handling the books which contained the ancient laws of Moses.
These scrolls were kept in a locked chest and carefully guarded lest they be destroyed, for they were handwritten and very precious. When a case came before the courts the judge would call for the scrolls; the attendant would be handed the keys to the chests which he would unlock and remove the scrolls. These were placed on a reading stand in front of the judge's seat. The judge commanded them to he unwrapped, so the young rabbi took off the fabric covering, which was wound many times around the scrolls, like the linen wrappers on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
When the scrolls were exposed they were tied with a thong called a binder. The judge said, "Loose them," the binder was removed and the scroll was opened to the particular place where the laws were written that determined that specific matter. The lawyers of old read then gave their opinions to the judge. Once he had decided the case he said, "Bind the scrolls." The judge announced his decision and said, "Wrap it up," which meant the case was finished. The bound scrolls were then wrapped, returned to their chests, and locked.
In Exodus 22:9 we read a law that governed a case that was brought into the courts. A certain man had lost his sheep and the one who found it knew whose it was but refused to return it. So the man who owned the sheep, brought the case before the court. The judges commanded the second Book of the Torah brought from the chests. The young rabbi was given the keys to unlock the chests, and when the scroll was read, it proved the man guilty of breaking the Law of God because he would not return the sheep to its rightful owner. The judge then asked, "Will you now return the the sheep to his owner?" and the man said, "Yes." In passing sentence, the judge declared, "Your sin is forgiven," (or remitted). However, had the man refused to obey the Law, the judge would have said, "Your sin is retained."
John 20:23, "Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained." But these sins are only to be judged by the written or spoken Words of God. "The words that I have spoken, the same shall judge you in the last day."
We know that no man can forgive sin unless he has searched the Word of God to see how Jesus would decide. If any man uses the Word of God as his basis for forgiveness, he obeys God. This is the basis upon which every Christian binds or looses sin. The Roman church claims the power to forgive sin, but by means of man-made dogma and false interpretations, not by God's unchanging Word.
Tertullian said, "It could hardly follow, that a man who is ladened with gross sin could officiate in any office of Christ to forgive sins of others." "For God hears not sinners" (John 9:31). Many who trusted in the forgiveness of a Roman Catholic priest will die and awaken in hell.
"If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." John 4:14, "If you shall ask anything in My Name I will do it." Jesus desires to forgive our sins more than anything else for He said, "He that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out."
"If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." No priest has confidence in his own power to grant forgiveness. He knows in his heart that he, as well as every other priest, has hidden unconfessed sin. Hebrews 7:23, "Wherefore Christ is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." nl264.htm
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.