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Why Pray to Mary and the Saints?

Answer: Repentance, redemption, and the sign of resurrection. Question: What is the prophet Jonah's connection to Simon-Peter other than they both came from the Galilee, and why should he be identified as a "son" of Jonah? Hint: what was Jonah's mission to Nineveh? Answer: Jonah's mission was to go to the capital city of the world super power and convince the people to repent and turn to Yahweh. Peter's mission will be to go the capital city of the world super power, Rome, to establish the religious center of the New Covenant people and to convert the world through Rome!

Question: It may also be significant that the name Jonah [ Yonah ] in Hebrew means "dove". There was probably no man less "dove-like" than the Prophet Jonah, but for the New Covenant people what is the symbolic significance of the dove and how can that symbol be linked to Simon-Peter as a "son"?

Question: Looking at the story of Jonah and the major themes of repentance, redemption, and resurrection, what event in Salvation History does the story of Jonah foreshadow? Answer: The story of Jonah foreshadows redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Historical note: We know from the recovered annals of the Assyrians at Nineveh that a plague in BC resulting in great loss of life, and a solar eclipse in BC and had a devastatingly fearful effect on the extremely superstitious Assyrians. If you recall that Jonah's ministry was active during this time [c. We also have recorded evidence that a man can survive in a whale for three days.

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There are at least two such incidents during the 's recorded by the whaling industry in New England. There is also an account of a man surviving inside a huge grouper. In any event, this story represents one of the clearest demonstrations in the Old Testament of God's love and mercy for all people, the Covenant people as well as the gentiles. The first 35 chapters of his book deal with God's Covenant Lawsuit against the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and prophesy judgment on them and on the surrounding gentile nations for their immoral and idolatrous behavior.

These chapters are followed by a short historical account and then by the final 26 chapters, which bring a message of hope, consolation and the promise of future redemption. Isaiah the son of Amoz was probably a member of the royal court of Judah. He was married to a prophetess and was the father of at least two sons. Isaiah was also a contemporary of the prophets Hosea and Micah.


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His prophetic ministry was active during the last years before the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which he prophesized. During Isaiah's ministry the Assyrians were the world power, having expanded their empire to include most of their neighbors along the Mediterranean Sea including Egypt, modern Lebanon and Syria, into southern Turkey and across Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf.

But the main focus of Isaiah's ministry was directed to the Southern Kingdom of Judah who was following the sinful career of her sister nation to the North. After Assyria's conquest of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in BC, about 40 years after Jonah's mission, Isaiah warned the people of Judah of the coming judgment from God --not by the Assyrians but from a nation which had not yet risen to prominence'the Babylonians, a young and hungry vassal state to the east who wouldn't become powerful enough to defeat Assyria until the Battle of Carchemish in BC'long after Isaiah's death.

Isaiah is named as the author of this prophetic work in Isaiah and even though there is never an allusion of any other author, many modern scholars ascribe the work to two or three different men, designating them Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah, and Trito-Isaiah. While some stylistic differences do exist between different sections of the work, stylistic similarities far outnumber differences and support the unity of the book.

Then too, according to the text Isaiah's ministry covered a span of a generation, a 40 year period from ca. Isaiah identifies the span of his ministry: "which he received in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. However, most scholars who reject Isaiah as the single author do so because it is thought that a man of his generation could not have predicted the events of the Babylonian exile and the prophecy of the return of the "faithful remnant" through the BC edict of King Cyrus of Persia, a historical figure who entered the stage of history long after Isaiah's death.

This argument is based on the assumption that predictive prophecy is not possible. Such a theory not only limits the power of God but also cannot explain the messianic prophecies of Isaiah that were perfectly fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth who lived 7 centuries after Isaiah [see the chart of Isaiah's prophecies fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth]. In Isaiah the prophet calls down a "Covenant Lawsuit" [a riv or rib in Hebrew] on a disobedient people: "Listen, you heavens, earth, attend for Yahweh is speaking, 'I have reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.

Question: Every trial requires witnesses to recount the actions of the law breakers. Can you recall any other passages that are similar from Deuteronomy or the Psalms? Answer: In these passages of Isaiah chapter 1 heaven and earth are summoned as witnesses in God's lawsuit against the Covenant people. It is reminiscent of the passages in Deuteronomy ; ; ; and Psalms This prophecy dates from the earlier days of Isaiah's ministry. Chapter 5 is the Song of the Vineyard. The prophets often compared faithful Israel to a fruitful vineyard and apostate Israel to a vineyard that is full of weeds and has failed to produce fruit.

Are We Right about the Trinity? John 1:1-3

Beginning in Isaiah there are a series of 6 woes or curses that will be followed by a 7 th in Isaiah Please read Hosea ; In these passages Yahweh has sent His prophet Hosea, whose name means "salvation", to call a Covenant Lawsuit against the Northern Kingdom. In Sacred Scripture each prophet is sent to address the generation on which the Covenant curses falls [very important to remember when interpreting the Covenant Lawsuit the Prophet John announces in the book of Revelation].

The book of Hosea is laid out in the classic Covenant Treaty format established in the kingdoms of ancient Mesopotamia:. The book of the prophet Ezekiel is especially noteworthy as a Covenant Lawsuit since it parallels the visions of John in the Book of Revelation. Please compare the list of the parallel visions in Ezekiel and St. John's Revelation. It is very important to note that each of the Old Testament Covenant Lawsuits is addressed to the current generation in the context of the Covenant relationship.

Hosea speaks to his current generation of Israel in terms of Israel as the adulterous wife who has deserted her faithful husband. In Hosea the prophet warns Israel: "He will not have to go back to Egypt; Assyria will be his king instead! Since he has refused to come back to me, the sword will rage through his cities, destroying the bars of his gates, devouring them because of their plots".

Question: When is this prophecy fulfilled? Answer: In the final assault on Samaria, the capital of Israel in BC and the exile of the 10 northern tribes eastward into the lands of Assyria. Please read Isaiah ; ; It was the duty of the prophet to call down Yahweh's judgment but it was also the mission of the prophet to offer reconciliation and redemption. In these passages Isaiah offers the hope of the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah : In c. The 3 time repetition speaks of Trinity as well as of God's infinite holiness.

This hymn of 3 times holy is repeated in John's vision of the heavenly court in Revelation This event is the commissioning of Isaiah as Yahweh's prophet. As Yahweh speaks in the heavenly council Isaiah is a witness to the proceedings just as Micaiah in 1 Kings and Jeremiah in Jeremiah and Question: When do we, as New Covenant believers come into Yahweh's heavenly court? If we could see with perfect faith we could see the Glory Cloud filled with angels ascending and descending over the holy Altar of Christ the King!

Question: Why does the Seraph touch Isaiah's mouth with the live coal? A seraph is a heavenly being. The Hebrew root underlying this word means, "burning". Answer: The heavenly fire purges Isaiah of his sins and purifies his lips; a prophet functioned as the "mouth of God" and therefore he needed to speak with "clean lips". It is interesting that the text mentions "live coals". Live coals of fire were taken inside the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement [see Leviticus ] when the sacrifice was made to atone for the sins of the Covenant people as a whole community.

Question: When the voice of Yahweh asks "Whom shall I send?

Answer: Isaiah immediate faithful response is: "Here I am. Send me". Isaiah's mission as a prophet was to be a difficult one. He had to tell the Covenant people who, despite their heresy and apostasy, believed they were uniquely blessed by Yahweh that their God was going to inflict punishment on an unrepentant people. Question: In Isaiah 6: what warning does God give Isaiah concerning his mission to the people? Answer: The people will listen but they will not learn from his message because their hearts had become hardened beyond repentance.

It was God's judgment to abandon them to their rebellion and hardness of heart. Question: If God knows the people will not listen why does He bother to send his prophet? See Isaiah Answer: Even though the nation as a whole will not repent there will be some who will listen. God has a plan for this "holy seed", this "faithful remnant" of believers. From the time of the Fall in Eden there has always been a "faithful remnant" protected by God.

Question: When will the people listen and repent? Answer: Only when they have come to the end and have no where else to turn but to God. This will happen when the land is destroyed by the invading Babylonian army and the people have been taken into exile. The "tenth" refers to either those who remained in the land after the captivity or to those who would someday return from Babylon to rebuild the Promise Land.

Each group was about a tenth of the total population. Isaiah These passages and the Suffering Servant passages contain some of the most profound prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. The year is c. Yahweh tells Isaiah to take his young son with him and to go to the king and assure him that the Southern Kingdom will not fall at this time, although the Northern Kingdom of Israel will be destroyed. Yahweh instructs His Prophet Isaiah to tell Ahaz to ask for a "sign" that Judah will be saved, but Ahaz declines to ask, giving the excuse that he will not test God.

The problem is Ahaz is feigning righteousness; the fact is God told him to ask, but Ahaz really doesn't want to know what God will say. Question: Have you met people like this who shun any discussion of faith and the doctrine of the Catholic Church? What is often the motivation behind their indifference? Answer: Can it be the excuse "if I don't know I can't be held accountable?

Biblical Trinitarian:

Despite Ahaz's reluctance, Yahweh gives the "sign". Remember a "sign" points beyond the actual event to something even more significant which the "sign" promises as a future event. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion. Basically, it's going against God's will and treating Him with anything less than the respect and love He deserves.

The Holy Spirit, being one part of the Holy Trinity, is what confers the gift of grace upon people. So, to blaspheme against the Spirit is to willfully reject God's grace and forgiveness. Or as the Catechism puts it :. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss. The analogy I've heard is that it's to know God exists and know His power, but to believe you can do better. And thats why it's so unforgivable: God can't forgive you or save you if you reject His ability to do so.

Mark's answer is certainly true, but there is more to the story. To find out, we really need to read this passage in context. How then can his kingdom stand?

So then, they will be your judges. Then he can plunder his house. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. So if we look at the context of this, we can clearly see what provoked Jesus to say this. It was when the Pharisees were calling the work of the Spirit the work of beelzebul.

What is the context of these statements, and what is the exact sin described?

When Jesus performed the miracle, they denied it as being from God. Jesus explained that 1. The Holy Spirit is the one who was giving Him the power to drive out the deamons, and calling the work of the Holy Spirit evil, is the worst thing you could ever do and you will be held accountable for it.

He was making it clear that they had crossed the line from just discrediting Him they thought he was only a man, so it was nothing for them to speak against Him , to blaspheming the Spirit of God. So in context, we see that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is when the Holy Spirit is doing something miraculous and you turn around and say that it is of the devil. In order to answer your question it is necessary that we first understand the meaning of Blaspheme, and then see how that applies to the Holy Spirit, and ultimately who or what the Holy Spirit is in accordance with the Bible.

According to Merriam Webster's dictionary the verb blaspheme has two connotations. It can be either transitive are intransitive. The first syllable is the same as in blame, blasme,. Matthew And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

As we see above in Matthew chapter 12 verse 31 the verb blaspheme is used in the intransitive form. I have included the definition of the word arrogate since it is not a common word. To this point. What we have done is to define these two verbs. Blaspheme and arrogate, now we must determine what Jesus meant in his statement. To do this we need to look at the setting, and to whom he was talking at the time. Matthew through 27 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?

Here we find that Jesus is accused of being inhabited by Satan and it is the power of Satan within him that he uses to cast out Demons.

Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost

Jesus answers them by saying that they are not making sense, why would Satan want to cast out other Devils, since that would be exactly opposite of his goals. Matthew and 29 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? We need to break this down to see just what Jesus meant:.

The Holy Spirit. In the Synoptic Gospels, it is thrice reported that Christ was accused of casting out demons by the power of the devil. Let us read these reports and then examine their meaning and what their meaning necessarily implies. Matthew Mark Luke Christ is the Stronger Man who binds the strong man i. Contextually, therefore, there are two spirits, corresponding to two kingdoms, in diametrical opposition to one another. Speaking of what occurs after demons are exorcised from unbelievers, the Lord Jesus declares —.

What is clear from these texts is that spirits are not forces but immaterial, self-conscious, morally accountable persons. They differentiate themselves from others e.