Sunday, March 31, 2024

Does Salvation come by Faith Alone?

2 Peter 3:16 | Words of jesus, Sacred scripture, Scripture

It is Easter Sunday, and after hearing a sermon I felt obligated to correct a major error that certain churches repeat, ad naseum. Despite what churches teach, we are obligated to double check what they say by referencing scripture, and not take things out of context.

There are many churches who have made Christianity one of belief only, where only a verbal statement is needed to be made in order to receive salvation.  For this they quote the apostle Paul out of context, and completely ignore not just the Old Testament, but the words of Jesus Himself.  For this, there are typical proof texts to support such a false teaching, all taken from the writings of Paul. Observe this typical statement from a church web site, "What We Believe":

So lets go through these quotes one by one:


The first passage is in Rom. 6:23:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23, NASB)

Here, there is slight mistranslation of the verse. Several translations have "free gift" here.  The Greek word is charizomai, and it simply means "gift" as originally translated in the KJV:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23, KJV).

The implied doctrine here is a verbal acceptance, without regard to one's life, is all that is needed to receive the gift of eternal life. So what did Jesus say on this?  That particular Greek word translated as "gift" or "free gift" is nowhere found in the Gospels, but there are similar passages to the same effect. There is one similar to Paul's statement, where indeed salvation is a gift available to those who wish to receive it:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (Luke 11:13)

But to receive the Holy Spirit, one should live by the Holy Spirit. Jesus always couples salvation with how you live, and always emphasizes a life of charity or giving to others according to their need:

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 11:32-34)

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. (Luke 6:38)

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. (Matt. 10:8)

And finally, Paul quotes a saying of Jesus that is not mentioned in the Gospels, which may just cover in a general sense what was quoted in the passages above:

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)


The next passage is in the letter of Ephesians, and it happens to be the most often quoted passage from those who support the idea of salvation from faith alone:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)

Paul here uses the word "works" which he uses in three different contexts:

  1. Works of the Jewish rituals, which were representative rituals fulfilled by the coming of Jesus, and,
  2. Works done for the sake of self credit to glorify one's own self, and, 
  3. Works done out of a spiritual faithful life for the sake of others and God.

Paul here is talking about works done for sake of appearance to give one pride in one's ego. But unfortunately Protestant churches lump works of faith in this quote, which clearly goes against what Jesus taught. And even in Paul's day his own letters began to be used inproperly, which prompted James to respond in his letters against faith alone:

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14)

But will thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20)

These, among numerous other passages, are simply ignored as "blinders" are put on for those who wish to support the doctrine of faith alone.  The other excuse Protestants use: the will of man is passive, without any active participation on our part.  But one important point the passage of Ephesians is taken out of context. Paul continues about works in the very next verse:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Eph. 2:10)

In other words, faith does include a life of good works according to Paul.  To "walk" is to live by the truth.  And this verse was conveniently excluded from a prominent church web site, and the ordinary man off the street would not know any better.  Paul himself even recognized how his writings could be perverted in his day when he wrote this:

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.  (Rom. 6:15-19)

And salvation is dependent on "sanctification" - which is the process whereby the Holy Spirit enters our life as we turn away from sin and commit our ways to righteousness. And Paul repeats this again, salvation is dependent on how we live our lives by following Jesus Christ:

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (Rom. 6:22)


It is in this context, that we can now quote Titus 3:5, which at first glance seems to contradict what was just said and support the idea of faith alone:

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5)

Here, again, Paul is talking about works of self-righteousness as explained in Eph. 2:8-9, not about works done through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. When good is done, it must be acknowledged that the one source of Good is God Himself; we are simply active conduits participating in a relationship of the holy covenant made available to us in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this passage alone can be twisted to support the idea of faith alone, but one must ignore many, many other passages to the contrary. That this is the case, Paul himself states all will be judged according to their works:

Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath (Rom. 2:6-8)


So, in the case of any doubt, what exactly did Jesus say on the subject of salvation and eternal life?  He was quite clear: one must follow the 10 commandments:

And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt. 19:16-19)

So this is very clear, no ands, ifs or buts.  And believe it or not, when I quoted this to a group that followed the idea of faith alone, without any effort to live a life of obedience to turn away from sin, they simply said that this was all abrogated and had no effect after the crucifixion(!!!!). In other words, everything Jesus said had to be ignored and what Paul said has priority.  The coming of Jesus simply abrogated the Jewish rituals, not the 10 commandments. But even then they ignored statements from Paul.  For after the crucifixion, Paul said this:

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom. 13:8-10)

It is for this reason, that the apostle Peter warned the church against those who distort the writings of Paul:

And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16)

So with this, follow the simple rule: follow Jesus, and what He says, above what other people say or believe. Jesus has priority over everything in your life. Loving God and loving one's neighbour is what is central to a spiritual life; faith is just the understanding which leads to that way of life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A Prophecy of the Pandemic and the War in Ukraine


In June of 2019 I published a book, The X Prophecy, of a highly symbolic dream which contained many symbolic clairvoyant meanings, as it gave knowledge of things that were unknown to the dreamer.  Since then, I discovered it contained an explicit warning of the upcoming COVID-19 pandemic which broke out months later that year. The indication from the dream is that this coronavirus was man-made, designed to target a certain segment of the population, and there is evidence to support that. For a recap, see the following blog posts:

As it was published before the outbreak of the pandemic I have decided not to update the book and keep it in its original form, and instead just post updates to it on this blog.  There were many odd features of the dream, and many which stood out were symbolic references to Russia and Ukraine. I surmised at the time it had something to do with the Russian invasion of Crimea which took place in 2014. But now with the full blown invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the warning in the dream is now quite clear.

In one segment of the dream a grave is shown on top of a castle, which is the grave of someone named Elena who had died long ago. This grave of Elena has multiple meanings, and one of them pointed to Queen Elena of Moscow, who lived in the 16th century. She married the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and at that time the Grand Duchy of Lithuania covered the modern territories of Lithuania, Ukraine and a part of Russia, as can be seen in the following map which is also shown in the book:

And in the book (back in June of 2019) I wrote this of Queen Elena of Moscow:

"She was said to be the uncrowned Grand Duchess of Lithuania and the uncrowned Queen of Poland since she refused to convert from her Orthodox faith to Catholicism. Her marriage was used as a pretext to renew the Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars in 1500 which ended in 1503 but the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had lost about a third of its territory... Before these wars the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was in control of the Kievan Rus’ territories. Following a series of wars in the 16th century, the Duchy of Moscow expanded their territory west annexing many of the Rus’ lands. Kievan Rus’ was a loose federation of Eastern Slavic and Finnish states and at one time their capital was at Kiev, the capital of modern Ukraine which is the territory north of the Black Sea. The conflict between the Duchy of Lithuania and the Duchy of Moscow in the 16th century over the lands of Kievan Rus’ is being repeated as of this writing in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine."

If we look at the first battle in the Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars in 1500, Moscow invaded from the north through what is now known as the country of Belarus, heading south but not quite reaching Kiev. Here is a map of the campaign of the war in 1500:

This was repeated again in February 2022 in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where several columns advanced from the north toward Kiev, as well as other areas to the east and south (keep in mind the book was published in June of 2019). The following map shows the course of the invasion from February to April of 2022:

In the dream, there were symbolic depictions of the Slavic myth of paradise, the realm of the souls of the dead (the dreamer had no knowledge of any Slavic myths or legends). In the end the interpretation is clear: it predicted the deaths of many from the coronavirus pandemic, and now from the Russian-Ukraine war, as sadly they are both the same people of Slavic descent. But we should of course call this Putin's war, as the majority of Russians don't even support it. The war is for the sake of power, money and Ukraine's natural resources (see Russia’s Resource Grab in Ukraine), and Putin's inner circle of oligarchs have moved the riches of Russia into offshore assets (see THREE DOZEN TYCOONS MET PUTIN ON INVASION DAY. MOST HAD MOVED MONEY ABROAD). Corruption is so rife from top to bottom many can now see it in how just badly the Russian military is performing. The reason for wars is to expose evil for all to see:

"It is not from the Divine Providence that wars should exist, for they are united with murders, plundering, violence, cruelty, and other enormous evils, which are diametrically opposed to Christian charity; but still they cannot but be permitted, because man's life's love since the time of the most ancient people meant by Adam and his wife has become such as to desire to rule over others, and at length over all, and to possess the wealth of the world, and at last all wealth. These two loves cannot be kept bound, since it is according to the Divine Providence for every one to be allowed to act from freedom according to reason; and without permissions man cannot be led from evil by the Lord, and so cannot be reformed and saved; for unless evils were permitted to break out, man would not see them, thus would not acknowledge them, and so could not be led to resist them. Hence evils cannot be repressed by any Providence; for so they would remain shut in, and like the diseases called cancer and gangrene would spread and consume all that is vital in man. For man is from birth like a little hell, between which and heaven there is perpetual variance. No man can be withdrawn from his hell by the Lord, unless he sees that he is there, and unless he wishes to be led out; and this cannot be done without permissions, the causes of which are laws of the Divine Providence" (Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Providence, n. 251).

It is the nature of evil to attack, but it is in the nature of good to defend:

"The Lord never began the combat with any hell, but the hells assaulted Him; as is also the case with every man who is in temptation, or in combat with evil spirits. With the man the angels do not make the assault, but always and continually the evil or infernal spirits; the angels only ward off and defend. This comes from the Lord, Who does not wish to bring evil upon any one, or to thrust him down into hell, even if he were the worst and the most bitter enemy of all; but it is he who brings the evil upon himself, and precipitates himself into hell. This also follows from the nature of evil, and from the nature of good. It is the nature of evil to wish to trouble every one; it is the nature of good to wish to trouble no one. The evil are in their very life when they are assaulting; for they continually desire to destroy. The good are in their very life when they are assaulting no one, and when they can be of use in defending others from evils." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1683)

We should all pray for peace in Ukraine, and support the defense of the good against any and all evil.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Angelic Numerical Revelations on Psalm 32

In the 18th century, Emanuel Swedenborg was given many detailed revelations on heaven, hell, the unity of God in one person, and how and why certain books of the Bible are Divinely inspired.  In one particular case, he saw in a waking vision how the Bible is even inspired not only by word but by even each Hebrew letter:

"There was once sent down to me from heaven a little paper inscribed with Hebrew letters, but written as with the ancients, by whom those letters which at this day are in some part of straight lines, were inflected with little curves turning upward. And the angels who were then with me said that they learned entire meanings from the letters themselves, and that they knew them especially from the bendings of the lines and of the terminations of the letter; and they explained what they signified separately and what conjointly; saying that the H, which was added to the names of Abram and Sarai, signified the infinite and eternal. They also explained to me the meaning of the Word in the second verse of the thirty-second Psalm, from the letters or syllables alone; and the meaning of them in sum was, that the Lord is also merciful to those who do evil." (True Christian Religion, n. 278)

So, exactly how did the angels do that? Swedenborg does not say. At first one might think one would have to know the symbolic individual meaning of each letter as it appears in each word. But there is a key phrase here, Swedenborg mentions "the meaning of them in sum." To "sum" is to simply add them up. I have been re-editing my work on the numerical poetry of the Psalms, in which I explain in detail the numeric significance of each Psalm number, verse count, word count, and even letter count. Initially I was going to make a minor translation update, but I discovered quite a few new significant word and letter counts I had missed. So its going to be an extensive update.  As I was editing Psalm 32, to my surprise a numerical pattern came up that confirms what Swedenborg said the angels had told him.

A more literal translation of Psalm 32:1-2 from the original Hebrew is as follows:

Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered.

Happy is the Man to whom Jehovah reckons not iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Ps. 32:1-2)

This translation also restores the parallelism in the Hebrew poetry, in which each line of a verse tends to repeat in the form of a bicolon or sometimes a tricolon; this translation is published in the three volume work The Symbolism of the Psalms, The Mistranslations of the Psalms, and The Secret Code of the Psalms.

The latter e-book is the one I am editing and its off market now; I may rename it to The Numerical Poetry of the Psalms so the subject matter is a bit more clear. Once one knows the numerical pattern of each Psalm, one can uncover surprising hidden meanings through a hidden system of cross references. And this is done through the sum of word and letter counts.  So when I saw that word "sum" of letters or syllables being used in the angelic interpretation of Psalm 32:2, that caught my attention. Psalm 32:2, as one can seen from above, cant be read in isolation from Psalm 32:1. Moreover Psalm 32 is divided into several larger sections which for purpose of discussion I will call a "stanza" although other scholars prefer to use the word "strophe." Stanzas are generally defined by a switch in overall subject, however in Psalm 32 its been made easier for us: the first and second stanzas are demarcated by the word Selah. Thus Psalm 32 can be divided into three stanzas as follows: vv. 1-4, vv. 5-7 and vv.8-11.

The word and letter counts of each Psalm are significant, and not random.  So for example, if we count the number of Hebrew words in the first stanza, it is 32.  The 32 words is a self reference to Psalm 32.  The numerical structure thus influenced the placement of the Psalm so that it would be the 32nd Psalm. And there are many, many more examples of this numerical symbolism. 

The majority of stanzas in the Psalms do not have a word count related to the Psalm number. It took me a while to realize this, but the majority of the stanzas reference other Psalm numbers. It is a hidden cross reference system.  Sometimes the reference is to Psalm numbers, other times it is to similar word, letter or verse count. Many Bibles have cross-references in the middle column, but in this case, it is a Divinely inspired set of cross-references and quite a few of them are rather interesting. One has to follow the numbers by knowing the word and letter counts. And this may have led to the Jewish practice of counting words and letters when transcribing scripture.

This numerical significance extends even to letter counts, which in the first edition of the work was incomplete. So, returning back to Psalm 32, the total sum of Hebrew letters in the first stanza is 122. Now, this number as well as many others at first had no meaning to me, but I am now using several computer programs that I wrote to analyze them. So what does the number 122 mean? It is a reference. I plugged it in, and there are exactly 122 poetic verses from Psalm 25 to Psalm 32. In order to see this one has to first restore the poetic verses of each Psalm which does not necessarily match the verse numbers as given in modern Bibles (which I have done, and it was tedious). The number 122 is acting as a reference pointing us to Psalm 25.

The ultimate authority in all this is the text itself, and Psalm 25 contains several similar passages to Psalm 32. For example, compare Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Ps. 32:1) with forgive all my sins (Ps. 25:18). And here is the passage from Psalm 25 where the angels had derived their meaning, that the Lord is merciful even to those who do evil:

Remember Your compassion, Jehovah, and Your mercies,

For they have been from of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions:

According to Your mercy remember me for Your goodness' sake, Jehovah.

Good and upright is Jehovah,

Therefore He will instruct sinners in the way. (Ps. 25:6-8)

Swedenborg had no knowledge of this numerical symbolism, and this is probably the method the angels used to derive this meaning from Psalm 32:2 by using the sum of the letters. It is a confirmation that indeed Swedenborg did receive angelic revelations concerning true Christianity, which has become corrupted over the period of several centuries. And its a confirmation of this truth: the Lord is indeed merciful, loving and compassionate, even to those who are evil. All one has to do is learn the truth, ask help from the Lord and turn away from one's evil, and it will be forgiven.