Some recent correspondence from men in prison has required much time invested to answer them responsibly. I consider it a sacred duty and a privilege for the Father to give me these opportunities. The length of time I am spending on correspondence prevents me from writing blog posts, but I have found that many readers appreciate it when I post correspondence that I have with men in prison, for it gives them a window into the lives of men who are locked up. Additionally, the subjects discussed, and the counsel given are instructive to many readers.
I am including here one more lengthy correspondence with an inmate who, like the man in the previous post, sent me a series of questions. I sense a more humble spirit in this man, which is reflected in my reply to him.
As a bit of background, the man I am writing to was raised Roman Catholic. He had sent me a letter a few weeks ago where he stated that he was considering converting to Islam while in prison. He asked my thoughts on this and I was happy to be able to share with him that in doing so he would be trading one Babylonian religion for another. He responded very well to my counsel, as you will see in his letter below. I will use the man’s first name here as it makes the correspondence less awkward to read. His name is Alex.
Thank you for your thorough and timely responses. I was not expecting so much, but I devoured both the writing titled Syncretism and Satanic Inroads in one day. I am starving for intelligent and truthful information without an agenda. Your comment that converting to Islam would only be trading one Babylonian form of worship for another was what I needed to hear to realize the mistake I was about to make, and not just the comment, but all the historic information to back it up. There is just so much going on that we cannot see or even know about, especially trapped in her with such limited information. Your books have left me with questions that others haven’t been able to answer and I’m hoping you will be able to.
Those are the big ones for now. I wish I could read your blog. I’ve been telling my free-world friends about it. Have you ever thought of writing this information in a novel form, like a factual David Brown, as a way to expose people to the truth? Or do you prefer to let the Spirit guide them? I’ve included some stamps to cover postage.
It was great to hear from you again. I am delighted to write to someone who has an evident desire to discover truth. I am glad that the writings I sent to you were helpful. In your letter to me you asked some excellent questions. I will address them one by one.
- The Catholic Church was the steward of the Bible, more or less, so how can we trust the accounts in the Bible? How do we know Jesus was the Son of God and not just a prophet?
These are actually two separate questions, that require distinct answers, so I will begin with the question about the accuracy of the Bible manuscripts. This is a real concern, and I appreciate your intellectual honesty in asking the question.
One of my most recent books (Yahweh’s Book
) focused on the history of the Bible, taking a look at the ancient manuscripts. It explained how many of these manuscripts came into existence and how they have been preserved. Although the Roman Catholic Church exercised great authority over large portions of the earth for many centuries, it never was able to destroy, or alter all of the existing manuscripts of the Bible. Around 300 A.D. the Pope of Rome charged a man named Jerome with developing a new translation of the Bible in Latin. There were older Latin versions available, but it was thought there was a need to come up with an official translation of the Bible that the Roman Catholic Church could use. This translation developed by Jerome has become known as the Latin Vulgate. The word “Vulgate” means “common.” This became the common Bible of the Roman Church for more than a thousand years. Even after the Latin language was no longer spoken by the people of the nations in which the Roman Catholic Church was found, all masses were conducted in the Latin language. The absurdity of this is evident when one recognizes that the people did not understand anything that was being spoken.
There are older Bible translations whose manuscripts remain to this day. Among them are the Septuagint, the Syriac, and others. All of these translations contain errors. There is no such thing as a perfect, or completely accurate Bible manuscript that exists today. Yet, the points at which these ancient manuscripts differ does not alter the foundational truths about God or His Son. Nevertheless, there are some serious errors in all of the Bible translations available today. It is necessary for anyone who desires to arrive at the knowledge of the truth to seek diligently for that truth.
This is one of the reasons Yahweh has not found it necessary, or even desirable, that the Bible should be preserved without error throughout the ages. Yahweh desires to test men’s hearts to prove who are the ones who love truth. Therefore, He has allowed Satan to have much success in introducing error into the Bible and into the church itself. This makes it necessary for men to contend for the faith, to wage spiritual warfare, and to stir themselves up to separate between truth and error. Those who do not love truth will fall short in their efforts to acquire truth. The consequences of their laziness, or unfaithfulness will become evident as they embrace much error.
Yahweh does not see an environment of error as a hindrance to those who sincerely desire truth. He has given to those who have been born again of His Spirit, the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide them. This Spirit, inside of the man who has been born spiritually, will instruct him, teaching him truth and exposing error.
“I [Yahshua] still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
I John 2:27
And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
The anointing is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a man. Although the Roman Catholic Church, other evil men, and fallen angels have been able to introduce error into the Bibles we have today, they cannot interfere with the voice of the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ ALWAYS speaks truth. He will guide a man to truth if he truly yearns for it and asks God to teach him truth. I am printing out Yahweh’s Book
for you so that you can study this subject of the manuscripts of the Bible further.
Regarding how we know that Jesus was the Son of God and not just a prophet, there are a number of things that I would share with you. First, this is a truth that all of the most reliable Bible manuscripts agree upon. It is not just the Latin Vulgate that reveals Jesus Christ as the Son of God. All of the most ancient manuscripts proclaim the same.
Ultimately, however, a man must receive this revelation of the deity of Christ from God Himself. Consider the following exchange in Scripture between the disciple Peter and Jesus.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Alex, the revelation of Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah as the Son of God must ultimately be revealed to a man by the Spirit of God. Yahweh chooses to reveal the identity of His Son to those whom He wills. Consider the testimony of the following Scriptures.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him…”
And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
The faith to believe in Christ is given to man as a free gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Alex, very often when a man is experiencing a sincere interest in knowing God and the truth about His Son, it is evidence of the Holy Spirit drawing that man. It is very common for people to say something like, “I was searching for God when I found Christ.” Yet, the actual truth of the matter is that Yahweh is always the initiator when a man comes to Christ. No man would ever come to the knowledge of the truth in Christ apart from the Spirit of God drawing that man. We never know how long God might draw a man. It is therefore unwise for anyone to say, “I will look further into this matter of the truth of Christ Jesus at a more convenient time.” There is no guarantee that at a later time the Spirit will be present to lead a man to truth. This is why the Bible shares the following words.
Seek Yahweh while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.
II Corinthians 6:1-2
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain – for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you”; behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation.”
Though you may not at this time know God, I encourage you to pray to Him and ask Him to reveal Himself, and to reveal His Son to you. If you are sincere in wanting to know the truth, He will not reject your prayer.
In your letter you also asked:
- The Eucharist, Jesus said you must eat My body, and for eat He used the word “gnaw,” and many people left him saying this is hard for us to follow. Also, he said, “Do this in remembrance of Me, and the word he used for remembrance was not like a memorial, but a re-creation of that moment, so how do we eat of Christ’s body and is he actually present in bread and wine?
You have done a good job describing the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the Eucharist. What the Roman Catholic Church teaches is error. It is little wonder that the RCC has never encouraged its members to study the Scriptures for themselves, for if they did many would realize the error that is being taught to them by the priests in the church.
Christ spoke many things that were figurative. That is, they were not to be understood literally, but rather as a figure of speech. For example, Christ was standing in front of Herod’s Temple when He said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The people who took His words literally, misunderstood Yahshua’s meaning.
The Jews therefore said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
I do not doubt that you perceive the error of the Jews who took these words of Yahshua literally to be speaking of the Temple of Herod. Sadly, however, a great many Roman Catholics do not understand that they are making the same type of error by assigning a literal interpretation to the words Christ spoke in John chapter 6. Let us look at some clues to understanding the true intent of Christ’s words.
[The Jews] said therefore to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'” Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
The Jews therefore were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” And they were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. Not that any man has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.
Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Let me draw your attention to the two highlighted portions of this passage. In the first, Yahshua compares Himself to the manna that Moses gave to the people of Israel in the wilderness. Yahshua makes a very interesting statement. He says those who ate the manna that Moses gave them died. I would say to you that all those Roman Catholic believers who take the Eucharist every time the priest places the wafer on their tongue also die. Christ was not offering to men life for their fleshly body. What He was offering them was spiritual life. Even as the physical body has physical food, so too does the spiritual body have spiritual food.
Christ was using a figure of speech by comparing and contrasting Himself to the bread that Moses gave to the Israelites in the wilderness. Moses gave them physical manna for their bodies, but all who ate it eventually died. Christ gives to mankind spiritual food containing spiritual life, and all who eat it will live forever. In what sense will they live forever? Will their physical bodies live forever? No! We know this is not what He meant, for all men who become partakers of the spiritual life of Christ still experience the physical death of their bodies. What He is saying is that they will live forever spiritually. To receive spiritual life a man must eat spiritual food, even as a man must eat physical food to support his physical life.
Should any doubt Christ’s meaning, they have His final words that I quoted above, “ the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” Christ was speaking spiritual words. They were intended to be understood spiritually. The reason the Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests of Rome have not understood the words of Christ correctly is because they are NOT spiritual men. They are NOT partakers of the life of Christ. Because of this, the words of Christ are foolishness to them, and they have given them a foolish interpretation.
I Corinthians 2:11-14
Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Your next question is as follows:
- By worshiping with false idols are we giving power to demons or inviting demons into our bodies without even knowing it?
I think it would be necessary for you to more clearly define what you mean when you refer to “worshiping with false idols.” There are many ways by which unclean spirits gain entrance into a man’s life. Engaging in acts of idolatrous worship is certainly one of them. However, demons do not always enter into men when they participate in some form of idolatrous worship, and what some consider to be idolatrous worship, others may not.
As a case in point, consider the apostle Paul’s counsel to the churches regarding the eating of foods that had been offered up, or devoted to idols before they were sold in the market. Some Christians at the time thought that eating meats which had been dedicated to idols was unclean, and it should not be eaten by the Christian. Others who were more spiritually mature, such as Paul, recognized that the idols were nothing, and the meat was not affected by these idolatrous dedications. Paul felt no compunction regarding eating meats sacrificed to idols, but if eating the food would cause a brother of weaker faith and lesser knowledge to stumble, Paul said it was better that he not eat the meat for the sake of conscience (not his own conscience, but the other man’s conscience.) You can read about this in I Corinthians 8:1-13, and 10:19-31.
Without knowing what you are specifically talking about, I can only answer generally, so if you want to inquire further, please write me back and provide some more information. In your letter you also wrote:
- What is the proper way to worship?
Taking this in the context of your other questions, and knowing that you were raised Roman Catholic, I am assuming that you are asking whether a liturgical service such as that experienced in the Roman mass is the proper way to worship, or whether there is some other way that is acceptable unto God. The short answer is found in the following words of Christ.
“An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
What Christ was expressing is that true worship is not limited to a place (like the Temple in Jerusalem, or a church building). Rather, true worship is a matter of the heart. True worship flows from within the spirit of a man and must be in agreement with truth. In other words, worshiping a false image of God or of His Christ cannot be considered true worship. Worship must be founded upon the true knowledge of the One being worshiped. Yahshua spoke the following words to the Samaritan woman at the well.
“You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
The Samaritans had a false concept of who Yahweh was. Consequently, their worship was unacceptable in God’s sight. To the Jews Yahweh had sent the prophets and the patriarchs who taught them the true knowledge of His character and person. Therefore, the Jews were able to worship in truth, having an accurate knowledge of the One they worshiped.
These two things are necessary for all true worship. Those who worship must worship in spirit, and they must worship in truth. The form of the worship is inconsequential. One can worship God while alone in a prison cell. They can worship Yahweh while driving down the road, while cleaning their home, or while enjoying a quiet time of reflection outdoors. They can also worship in a group setting, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs unto the Lord. Not all worship is musical, however. The Bible gives many examples of men and women falling on their faces on the ground to worship Yahweh. Words need not even be spoken, for Yahweh sees the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
- Is Baptism an actual cleaning of the soul, or a symbolic ritual?
This question is very similar in character to what you asked about the Eucharist. Christ gave to His disciples a number of traditions for them to observe. The Roman Church refers to these as sacraments, which refers to something sacred, or holy. These traditions were given as a means to remember and to commemorate something that occurred in the spiritual realms. Because we cannot discern the spiritual realm with our physical senses, Yahshua gave us natural experiences that would help us to envision what was occurring in the unseen spiritual realms. Baptism is a physical acting out of something that occurs in the spirit realm. The apostle Paul wrote the following:
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
Let me step you through the symbolism of baptism and what it represents. The Bible tells us that those who have been born of the Spirit of Christ, having received His spiritual seed in them, become one with Him. Those who belong to Christ are “in Him,” and He is “in them.”
So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Having experienced the Spirit birth, those who are in Christ become fully identified with Him. What Christ did is imputed to them, and vice versa.
II Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
This is what some refer to as “the great exchange.” All of our sins were laid upon Christ, while His righteousness was imputed to us. This identity in Christ goes even deeper. When Christ bore the penalty of sin on the cross, He did so as a substitute for all mankind. He literally took our place, for our sins demanded the penalty of death. In Yahweh’s grace, He sent His Son to offer Himself up as a substitutionary offering on our behalf that we might live.
True baptism is by full immersion, not by sprinkling. In the act of baptism, when a man or woman is laid beneath the waters they are symbolizing having died and being buried. It is not just any death and burial they are acting out. It is the death of Christ on the cross, and His burial that is in focus. What they are confessing through this symbol is that when Christ died, they also died. When He was buried, their old life was buried.
God, in His grace, did not leave His Son in the grave. He resurrected Him to newness of life. This is figured through the act of baptism as a person is brought up out of the water. They are symbolically being raised to newness of life in Christ Jesus.
A very important aspect of what is being symbolized is that when a person is under water, they cannot breathe. Without respiration, the body will die, for it needs a constant source of oxygen to remain alive. Interestingly, in the Greek language each letter is also a number. It is therefore possible to take any word or name and calculate the numeric value of it. This is called gematria. The gematria value for the name of Jesus in the Greek language (Iesous) is 888. This corresponds perfectly to the element Oxygen on the Periodic Table, for Oxygen has 8 electrons, 8 protons, and 8 neutrons. Oxygen in many ways is symbolic of Christ. Oxygen is needed for life, and Christ came to give men life. Oxygen is required for fire, and Christ said, “I have come to cast fire on the earth.” Mankind breathes in Oxygen and the Oxygen combines with Carbon in man’s body, so that man exhales Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Carbon has 6 electrons, 6 protons, and 6 neutrons (666). Thus we have in the natural realm a parable of Christ coming into mankind’s life and imparting life and then removing sin from the man.
Now, if I were to hold someone under water for a lengthy time during a baptism, the first thing they would do when they came up out of the water is to breathe in deeply, filling their lungs with life giving Oxygen. This is symbolic of men and women receiving into their being the Spirit of Christ when they are born again. Without our receiving the Spirit of Christ into our being, it would be impossible for us to live as new creatures, overcoming sin, and walking as spiritual men and women.
So we see in the act of baptism a role-playing of what has occurred in our life. We are attesting to the fact that we have died with Christ on the cross. We were buried with Him so that our body of sin might be rendered powerless over us. We were then raised up from the dead to new life in Christ, and we are empowered and quickened spiritually by receiving the Spirit of Christ into our body.
The act of baptism itself does not cleanse the soul. It is merely a symbol of what God has done through His Son and through placing His Spirit within man. Peter makes this plain in the following Scripture.
I Peter 3:21
And corresponding to [the flood of Noah], baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In other words, Peter is telling us that it is through our union with Christ and our consequent sharing in His resurrection, that we are saved. It is not the removal of dirt from the flesh during the act of baptism that save us. Baptism is only a symbol.
You also asked:
- If God can do anything, why do we need redemption?
I am assuming that you are intending to ask “Why can’t God just forgive mankind, and make them holy without His Son having to die?” If you are intending something else by your question, please write back and let me know.
The answer to this question has to do with the justice of God. The Bible tells us that Yahweh is just. His righteousness demands a just penalty for sin. Yahweh cannot just wink at sin. He cannot wave His hand and say “All is forgiven,” for to do so would be unjust. In a creation established upon righteous principles, there must always be a consequence for sin, even as there is a reward for obedience. The creation must conform itself to the just character of the Creator. Let us look at the following Scriptures to see what they state regarding this matter.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation (merciful covering) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance (patience) God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
What these Scriptures are conveying is that God is just, and His righteousness demands a just recompense for all sin. In times past, Yahweh in His patience passed over the sins committed. A time came, however, when all sin; past, present, and future had to meet with a just penalty. What God did was to lay the sins of all men, from Adam to the last person to be born, upon the body of His Son as He hung on the cross. Christ bore the penalty for all of us. No other man could do so, for the only way the justice of God could be satisfied is for someone who was sinless to die in the place of those who were sinners. Only Yahshua lived a sinless life. He alone could fill the role of the spotless sacrifice lamb, and become an atonement for man (make us one, and bring us back into union, with God).
Notice that in the passage cited above in Romans it states “that He might be just.” Also, in the Scripture from John we are told, “He (Yahweh) is… just to forgive us our sins.”
It would be a violation of justice for God to simply say “All is forgiven. Let us forget about it.” No! Righteousness demands that all sin be met with a just penalty. Yahweh’s justice was satisfied when His Son accepted that penalty on our behalf. He is therefore “just to forgive us our sins” for our sins have been paid for, the penalty having been laid upon the body of His Son.
Thank you also for the suggestion about writing a novel in which I might share some of the truths Yahweh has revealed to me. As a son of God, I am constrained to only do those things Yahweh directs me to do. Although I have considered what you have suggested on many occasions in the past, I have not yet sensed the Spirit of God directing me to such a work.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,