Mark 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
https://youtu.be/CjaHcrS4nak Mark 4
.Back at St. Patrick’s
.What is true?
.Jesus is the sower
.Wasted seed is part of the process
.Crop failure too
.Cabbie wants to give me a ride!
.Trump- Obama- ‘Wires tapped’? [Read below]
.Rome and the Tiber
NEW [past teaching- verses below]
In the parable of the seed planter- Jesus teaches us about how people respond to the truth.
When some hear about the Kingdom- right away they lose the truth they heard.
Others hear the message- and get excited about it- but after trials and difficulty- they too ‘fall away’.
Some believe the truth- but because of the many struggles in life- they never produce the desired result [fruit].
And some hear- persevere- and bear fruit.
The message of the kingdom brings with it difficulty- and those who are willing to bear their Cross- will make it to the final stage.
Jesus also teaches us that the kingdom is like a seed- it starts small- but eventually becomes a huge tree and provides shelter for ‘the birds’.
In the 1st century Jesus appeared- he proclaimed the truth to men- he prophesied of his own death- and resurrection.
This indeed did happen- not just because the ‘bible says so’ but because it is an attested to historical fact.
In as much as any other historical fact has been attested to.
The Christian faith is founded upon historical truth- not simply faith in something that we have no idea ever happened.
In our day- truth- or facts- are not simply actual things that happened.
Many believe things simply because they have been persuaded to believe them.
I hesitated to talk about our current political situation- because it divides people.
But I simply gave one example how we- the populace- are easily persuaded by the way things are reported- or told to us.
While I was in New Jersey the news broke -Trump tweeted that ‘Obama had my wires tapped’.
Here’s the actual tweet-
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
Ok- before I heard any reporting on it- as a news watcher- I figured that Trump found out that a warrant was issued by the Fisa court- to investigate his campaigns ‘possible’ collusion with Russia.
If this were indeed true- then what Trump said would be fairly accurate.
But as the days passed- the media came out and said what Trump tweeted was absolutely false- and groundless.
Ok- the same media that reported that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign was ‘tapped’- or meaning there was never a Fisa warrant put out.
Also reported that a Fisa warrant was actually sought- under the Obama administration- and was initially turned down.
The same media also reported that they went back to the court- and finally did indeed obtain a Fisa warrant to investigate any connections of the Trump campaign to the Russians [links below].
So- the media denied something- that they previously admitted- themselves.
I brought up this one example- not to defend Trump- or accuse Obama.
But to show what we mean when we say ‘fake news’.
How easily people will believe a lie- if they are told it long enough [by either side].
Jesus gave us the truth- regardless of the political side of the aisle you are on- his truth can be trusted.
When we embrace the truth about him- then there will indeed be struggles as you follow the path.
It’s important for believers to know that this is part of the cost of discipleship.
The foundation of the Christian faith is the reality that Jesus died for us- was buried- and rose again.
We do indeed read about this event in our bibles- as well as the historians who wrote at the time of Christ.
Many witnesses of this event have passed the message along to following generations.
This movement has grown over the centuries- and has become a ‘kingdom’ that covers all the earth.
The testimony of man has its ups and downs.
But the testimony of God stands sure- and this is the testimony that God himself gave to us- about his Son.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
These links- by reputable news outlets [BBC] report that Fisa warrants were sought- and that the warrants were no doubt ‘about Trump’. If these reports are true- then it’s very possible that what Trump tweeted was no so far fetched. The reason I talked about it on today’s video- was to simply show you how we are persuaded by constant media coverage- of any issue- and we rarely form our views based on actual evidence. In the end- it’s still possible that no ‘wiretapping’ occurred- but the warrants were sought- twice- to do this very thing ‘wiretapping’. The media simply made it sound like there was never even the possibility that a Fisa warrant was ever even sought- yet the same media has reported that one was sought- twice.
And that the 2nd time they were granted the warrant. If true- then this is indeed ‘wiretapping’. Not so hard to see. The source for the BBC article said Trump was not named in the order- but 3 Trump associates were targeted for the inquiry- meaning it was indeed about Trump.
For those who don’t like to read entire news articles- here is an excerpt from the BBC report-
Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was - allegedly - a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.
It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.
The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.
Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities - in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.
A lawyer- outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case - told me that three of Mr Trump's associates were the subject of the inquiry. "But it's clear this is about Trump," he said.- BBC
PAST TEACHING [verses below]
I quoted from these bible books on Today’s video [Mark 4] here are my past studies-
I wrote this little book years ago- it fits-
I mentioned Vatican 2 on today’s video- Mark 4- below are some of my past teachings where I also taught on Vatican 2-
.  TREASURY OF MERIT
Let’s pick up where we left off 2 posts back. We were talking about Martin Luther and the events that led up to the Protestant Reformation.
In order to understand the key act that caused the protest- we will have to teach some Catholic history/doctrine.
In the 16th century Pope Julius began the effort to build St. Peters basilica in Rome. He got as far as laying the foundation and died. Pope Leo the 10th would pick up after him.
The church needed to raise money for the project- and the German prince- Albert- would play a major role.
It should be noted that both Catholic and Protestant scholars agree that the Popes of the day were pretty corrupt. They came from what we call the Medici line of Popes.
If you remember last month I wrote a post on the Renaissance- I talked about the Medici family and how they played a major role in supporting the Renaissance that took place in the 13th century in Florence Italy that would spread to the region.
Well this very influential family also played a big role in who would get top positions in the church.
At the time of Luther and prince Albert- if you had the right connections and the money- you could literally buy a position in the church.
Albert already held 2 Bishop seats- and there was an opening for an Archbishops seat in Mainz [Germany] and he wanted that one too. [overblog- see the rest here- https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/01/24/galatians-5/ ]
It should be noted that official Canon law [church law] said you could only hold one seat at a time- Albert was bidding on his 3rd one! And he was too young for all of them.
So even the Pope and the officials held little respect for what the church actually taught at the time.
So Albert opens up negotiations with Leo- and the bidding starts AT 12,000 Duckets [money] Albert counters with 7,000- and they agree on 10,000. How did they justify the numbers? 12- The number of Apostles. 7- The 7 deadly sins. 10- The 10 commandments.
Yes- the church was pretty corrupt at the time.
So Albert works out a plan with Leo- he will borrow the money from the German banks- and pay the banks off by the Pope giving Albert the right to sell Indulgences.
What’s an Indulgence?
Okay- this is where it gets tricky.
The ancient church taught a system called The Treasury of Merit. This was a sort of spiritual bank account that ‘stored up’ the good deeds of others over the years.
You had the good deeds of Jesus at the top- but you also had Mary and Joseph- the 12 Apostles- and other various saints thru out time.
The way the ‘bank’ worked was you could tap into the account by getting a Papal indulgence- a sort of I.O.U. that had the Popes guarantee that it would get so much time out of Purgatory for a loved one.
The actual sacrament that accesses the account is called Penance [confession].
When a penitent does penance- he confesses his sin to the priest- and he is absolved by the authority of the church that the priest has. The priest usually tells the person ‘say so many Hail Mary’s- Our Father’s’ and that’s a form of penance.
One of the other things the church practiced was called Alms Deeds. This term is found in the bible and it means giving your money to the poor- it is a noble act that Jesus himself taught.
In theory- part of the sacrament of penance was tied into Alms Deeds- you can access the account thru the practice of giving to the poor- which also meant giving to the church that helps the poor- and in the hands of the Medici line of Popes- meant outright giving money to the Pope.
So now you see how the abuse worked its way into the pockets of the faithful.
Albert now had the permission from Leo to sell these indulgences in Germany- and he would pick a certain corrupt priest to sell them in a place called Saxony- the region where Luther operated out of.
It should be noted that the Catholic Church never taught the crass act of ‘buying your way out of Purgatory’. The practice of including giving money as a part of the sacrament of penance was tied into the biblical principle of giving to the poor- a good thing.
But Tetzel and others abused the official meaning of the indulgence- and did make it sound like you could by your way out of Purgatory [in theory- a loved one might be in Purgatory for so many years- and through the indulgence you are actually getting time off for them- because the good deeds of others are now applied to the account].
The money Albert would raise- half would go to Rome for the building of St. peters- and half would go to pay off the banks in Germany- it was a sad system- and a sad time for the church as a whole.
It would be wrong to judge the entire church at the time as being corrupt- you did have many sincere Priests and Catholic men and women who saw the abuses and did not take part in them.
But there was corruption at the top- and this would eventually lead to the breakup of the church- and the launching of what we now call the Protestant Movement.
As a side note- it should be said that many Catholics and Protestants are not aware of the whole treasury of merit system- and the church never officially changed her position on the doctrine.
There were 3 Church councils since the time [Trent- 1500’s, Vatican 1- 1800’s and Vatican 2- 1962-65]. The Treasury of Merit never came up for change.
Obviously Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory- and it’s not my purpose in these posts to change Catholics into Protestants or vice versa- but to give all sides a clear view of the issues that divided us- and to try and be honest- and respectful during the process [overblog- see the rest here- https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/14/mark-4/ ]