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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Curse Of Oak Island

There is a reality TV program on History channel called The Curse of Oak Island. If you've never heard of Oak Island you might want to read this first.

Oak Island is a 140 acre island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, in the Mahone Bay. "Mahone" is from the French word Mahonne meaning "barge". It has two hills and an intersecting swampland.

The tree-covered island is one of about 360 small islands. The Atlantic waters from Brazil to Newfoundland teemed with pirates seeking treasure in the 1600's-1700's. Mahone Bay was a pirate haven.

In 1795, 18 year old Daniel McGinnis noticed lights coming form Oak Island. He went to check it out and discovered a circular depression in a clearing on the southeastern end of the island. Undoubtedly knowing the history of pirates in the area, he became excited. Adjacent to the clearing was a tree with a tackle block on one of its overhanging branches. He and two friends, John Smith and Anthony Vaughn, decided to dig and see what was in the pit. After a few feet of digging, they found a layer of flagstone. At 10' they discovered a platform of oak logs. At 20 feet they came upon another layer of oak logs. At 30 feet, they hit another layer of logs. This is where they decided to stop digging and abandoned the site. But they never forgot it either. That pit would become known as the Money Pit.

John Smith's family owned Lot #19. Smith was born on 8/20/1775 and he died on on Oak Island on 9/29/1857. His family moved onto Oak Island when he was about 11 yrs old. On 6/26/1795, John Smith purchased Lot #18 which contained the Money Pit. Eventually he would build a house there and purchase lots 15-17, 19-20 making him the sole owner of the eastern end of the island. Anthony Vaughn's father had 200 acres on the mainland and Anthony's brother, Daniel, acquired Lots 13-14

There is a tale that there were lights seen on Oak Island. Some men rowed out to check and they saw pirates in the light of some bonfires. Two of the men went on to Oak Island and were never seen or heard from again.

After 8 years, the 3 young men found a financial backer in Simeon Lynds from Truro. He formed the Onslow Company to try excavating it. Colonel Archibald was the director of operations and they had about 2 dozen backers. Archibald was a surveyor. They started work in the summer of 1803.

They were able to dig to 98 feet. At every 10 feet they would find another layer of oak logs. The flagstones and the walls of the pit showed signs of tools being used. At the 40' level those logs were covered with putty, so much that they were able to use it to glaze windows in 20 homes on the mainland. At the 50 foot level the oak logs had a layer of charcoal on top of them. At the 60 foot level they found coconut fiber on top of the logs, the rind of a coconut and manilla grass. At the 70 foot level they found another layer of putty. At the 80 or 90 foot level they found a 3' stone engraved with mystical looking figures. It was found face down. But here is where they ran into trouble. At 90' the bottom began to ooze water and get soggy. At 93'  they had to begin bailing. They stopped at 98' one night. The next morning they found the pit was filled with water. The next summer they attempted to dig an adjacent pit with the intent of boring farther down than the Money Pit then tunneling laterally to the Money Pit. But this pit filled with water at the 110' level. They gave up.

The engraved stone that was found was an enigma.

Since Smith was in the process of building his house on Oak Island, he used the stone in the making of his fireplace. As the news traveled about Oak Island and the Money Pit, hundreds would visit the island and want to see the stone. John Smith would let them come into his house to see the stone in the fireplace. Supposedly the stone was removed from the old fireplace in 1865 by A.O. Creighton, treasurer of a newly formed treasure hunting group. He took it to Halifax and displayed it at his business, A. and H. Creighton Bookbinders. It later became Creighton and Marshall and finally into Phillips and Marshall. They used the stone for a beating stone and weight and eventually the engraving was lost. The business closed in 1919 and the stone was lost. in True Tales of Buried Treasure, written by explorer and historian Edward Rowe Snow in 1951. In this book he states he was given this set of symbols by Reverend A.T. Kempton of Cambridge, Mass. This is a weak point. How did Rev. Kempton know the symbols? He could not have recalled the symbols in 1951 as they were illegible way before the 1919 closing of the business. Were they written down or a rubbing taken some time before they became illegible?

In 1849, the Truro Company formed and re-excavated the pit. They got to 86' before it filled with water. This time they decided to do some hole boring. They bored 5 holes in the bottom of the pit using a pod auger. They drilled to 112 feet. At the 98' level they struck the log barrier that they had reached in 1803. This time the logs were spruce five inches thick. Twelve inches later they came through 4" of oak. Directly after the oak, they were drilling through small metal pieces for 20" and then back to the 4" of oak and finally 6" of spruce. Were these oak chests filled with gold sitting in a vault of spruce?

The mining engineer-foreman, James Pitblado, was carefully going through the material brought up by the auger. At one point, someone saw him take something, wash it off, look at it, and pocket it. When challenged he denied it but refused to empty his pockets. He left the island immediately and tried to get a license to dig on Oak Island. Pitblado is said to have died in a gold mine or railway construction accident in 1850 but is not confirmed. Meanwhile the Truro Co. also tried sinking a shaft 10' from the Money Pit with the intent of reaching the vault and casks by lateral tunneling.. But water burst through at 109'.

Both the 1804 and the 1850 attempts to bore down and then tunnel laterally to the Money Pit had failed to encounter water until they were attempting to tunnel to the Money Pit. Both shafts were close to the Money Pit and through the same extremely hard clay. So why did they not have the water problem until the attempt to attach to the Money Pit? They also noted that the water was salt water meaning it did not come from some underground spring which would be fresh water.

They began to look at Smith Cove. With a little digging they found that Smith Cove was an artificial beach! Just below the sand and gravel rock, they found 2 inches of coconut fiber for 145' of the shore between the low and high water mark. Below the coconut fiber was 6" of eel grass. Below that was a dense layer of gravel without sand. So they built a coffer dam and drained Smith Cove. The original clay had been removed and filled with beach stone. They found 5 well built box drains made of stones below the gravel layer.

Smith's Cove on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

They realized that these drainage boxes converged into a tunnel that ended at the Money Pit. It seemed a booby trap had been made. Whenever a digger reached that level, the side of the pit would weaken and burst, allowing the water to flood the Money Pit. But this invaluable discovery did not

draw investors and they Truro Company had to give up due to lack of money.

John Smith conveyed his property to his two sons, Joseph and Thomas. They conveyed it to Henry Stevens who conveyed it to Anthony Graves. It was said that Graves often used Spanish gold coins to pay for supplies. In 1930, a silver Spanish coin was found on his property and again another was found in 1965 at the site of his house.

In 1861 a new company called the Oak Island Association took on the challenge which resulted in the collapse of the bottom of the shaft into either a natural cavern or booby trap underneath. It is thought that the chests or casks, filled with "metal pieces", fell into a natural cavern or another booby trap. There was also the first fatality when a steam engine burst and scalded a man to death.

They attempted to destroy the flood tunnel to stop the water from flowing into the Money Pit but whatever they tried did not work.

In 1866, the Oak Island Eldorado Company tried. Their plan was to build another coffer dam to reveal the box drains and therefore deprive the flood tunnel of water. But storms and high tides destroyed the coffer dam just as it had before. They tried drilling the Pit again. At the 90' level they set up a drill and at 110' they brought up spruce chips. At 128' they drilled through coconut fiber, chips of wood and charcoal. At 132' they brought up oak borings, chips of spruce or popular and coconut fiber. They drilled on to 163; with no further findings.

In 1878, Sophia Graves Sellars, daughter of Anthony Graves, was plowing with 2 oxen when suddenly the ground gave way sinking her oxen into a pit about 12' deep. They managed to get the oxen out. The Sellars refilled the sink hole with rock and top soil. But this became known as the Cave-In Pit. It was deduced that this was part of the flood tunnel on it's way from Smith Cove to the Money Pit.

In 1885, a bone or ivory boatswain's whistle was discovered below high tide at Smith's Cove. A few year's earlier someone had found a copper coin dated 1317. In 1893, Frederick Leander Blair formed the Oak Island Treasure Company. Anthony Graves had died in 1887 and he left his property to his daughters, Sophia and Henry Sellers and Rachel and Abraham Ernst. Blair leased the land for 3 yrs for $30,000 and the rights to 100% of anything found.

In 1894, they tried to shut off the water from Smith's Cove by excavating the Cave-In Pit to 52 feet. They found it a soft circular pit dug in the very hard clay. So hard it was impervious even to picks. At the 52' level they drilled a hole from the bottom an additional 16' without striking water. But the next day the water broke into the pit. They failed to shut off the water. The company was re-organized in 1895 and in 1896 they tried again. This time a second man was killed. On 3/26/1897, Maynard Kaiser was sent down in the shaft to recover a cask that had fallen in. He filled the cask, and then attempted to ride with it up the shaft. It was too heavy a load, The rope slipped off the pulley and he was killed in the fall. But, while excavating the Money Pit, they go to 111' and found a well defined 2 1/2' wide opening which they determined was the flood tunnel. Water was gushing. So they drilled 5 holes 15' apart and 80-95' deep about 50' from the high water mark of the shore of Smith's Cove. Only the 3rd hole struck water. It was sea water and it rose and fell with the tide. They loaded each hole with dynamite hoping to destroy the flood tunnel and stop the water flow. Nothing happened. So they loaded the 3rd hole with 160 lbs of dynamite. This time the water slowed and the water in the Money Pit and the Cave In Pit foamed and boiled indicating they had pinpointed the flood tunnel. From this, Blair figured that the water dropped through a vertical hole where the fan shaped drains converged directing the water to a catch basin about 75' below the beach. They figured the tunnel ran on a slight incline where the Cave-In Pit was and then back down to the Money Pit. But this didn't fit with all the facts. They went back to the Money Pit and were able to work with the help of pumps. From the 90' level they drilled down. At 126' they struct an iron obstruction. They shifted over and drilled again and slipped past the iron. At 153'8" they struck cement that was 7 1/2" thick and on top of 5" of solid oak. Then they were drilling through metal pieces again. They had such trouble getting through the metal pieces that they stopped and withdrew the drill. It brought with it oak chips, coconut fiber and a tiny shred of parchment that had handwriting on it.

This so excited them that their work continued. They drilled a 3rd hole about 160". They hit wood, cement and then iron at 171'. They were only able to pierce the iron 1/4" so they stopped. They ran a magnet over the material that came up and found iron filings.

They drilled 2 more holes and one appeared to intercept another flood tunnel that might have come from the south shore. After this they sank more and more shafts only to get flooded out. They did some experiments and found there were natural or man-made flood tunnels that ran to 3 different areas of the south shore. It seemed the original flood tunnel from Smith's Cove had been blocked. They gave it up in May, 1990.

In 1909, Franklin Delano Roosevelt got involved. He had become fascinated with Oak Island so he joined a treasure search group headed by Capt. Henry L. Bowdoin and called the Old Gold Salvage and Wrecking Company. But their attempts brought up nothing new.

In 1931, Frederick Blair found an investor, Chappell's Limited of Syndey, Nova Scotia. William Chappell was one of the owners and he was joined by one of his sons, Melbourne, and a brother Renerick, and his nephew Claude. William Chappell had been in charge of the drill in 1897 when the parchment was found.

At this time, the abandoned works were in sad shape and Chappell and Blair could not agree on the exact spot of the original Money Pit. The put a large shaft 12'x14' and down 163'. They drilled an additional 12'. They laid underwater electrical cable from the mainland so they could have electricity to run a pump. This shaft didn't encounter any of the expected materials so they must have been at the wrong spot. But they did find part of an anchor at 120' (lost after Blair's death in 1951) and an axe head believed to be 250 yrs old.

"The question now is, where is the wood and treasure - metal in pieces - which dropped from 100 feet, the iron struck at 126 feet by drillers, the cement and wood drilled into between 153 and 157 feet, and the iron at 171 feet? ...It has been the theory of many connected with previous expeditions, that there was an open chamber below when the Money Pit collapsed years ago. There was certainly an open space of some description under that deposit, otherwise the result of the collapse would never have been so great a drop, if any collapse had occurred." -Frederick Blain

Bad weather, cave ins and pump problems caused them to stop in October, 1931. But Mel Chappell did discover a stone triangle that had been discovered by Capt Welling in 1897. It was near the high water mark in Smith's Cove.

In 1932 and 1933, 2 search parties attempted to locate the lost deposits without success.

In 1935, Gilbert D. Hedden of Chatham, New Jersey, purchased the east end of Oak Island from the heirs of Sophia Sellers and signed an agreement with Blair. In 1936 they opened the Chappell Shaft and retimbered it to the depth of 170' but found nothing. In 1937 they bore a new shaft beside the Chappell Shafit, and called the Hedden Shaft, to a depth of 124'6". They made it twice the size of the Chappell Shaft. In the bottom of the Hedden Shaft they drilled 15 holes 42 more feet. The only thing they found was oak from 1" to 2'6" at levels 148' and 157'. But Hedden had sunk $50,000 into the project and he was having financial problems. So he bowed out but he hired a professional surveyor in Charles Roper, his son and his assistant George Bates. Working with the known stone triangle, he found cone shaped stones that had drill holes in them scattered throughout the island.


These stones formed a Christian cross

Next, Erwin H. Hamilton, Associate Professor of Engineering at New York University, wanted to give Oak Island a try. He carried out a two-phase operation for the next 5 summers at the cost of $58,000. First he deepened the Hedden Shaft and laterally drilled 58 holes at various angles to locate the lost deposits. By now the exact location of the Money Pit had been lost for years. The second phase involved exploring, recribbing and mapping many of the shafts and tunnels of previous expeditions. But this contributed nothing to towards solving the mystery.

He tried deepening the Chappell Shaft to 176 feet where he struck a 24' thick layer of limestone bedrock. He drilled through this layer for 200' and brought up chips of oak. He was through with it in 1943 when WWII interrupted his expedition.

Mel Chappell acquired the Oak Island land and took over Blair's treasure trove license. He found George Greene from Texas who represented 5 large oil companies. Being a petroleum engineer, he thought he was bringing new skills to the problem. So in 1955 he tried cored drilling. He drilled 4 holes and reported finding platforms every 10' until they reached the 112' level. From there it dropped into some type of cavity. He pumped water into the cavity to see how large it was but the water disappeared.. Greene left and never returned.

Next, two brothers, William and Victor Harman, signed an agreement with Mel Chappell. They used drillers and brought up oak, spruce, coconut fiber and ship's calking from depths of 150' in the vicinity of the Money Pit.

In October, 1959, Robert Restall and his wife, Mildred, signed an agreement with Chappell. Robert and his wife were motorcycle stunt riders in the Globe of Death. It was a steel mesh sphere and they rode around the sphere at 65 mph barely missing each other. Robert and Mildred's children came along. Robert Restall, Jr. and Rickey. They basically camped and worked on it themselves. He worked on a shoe string. He explored and recribbed the Hedden and Chappell shafts and did some tunneling between 100' - 120' but found nothing. In 1964 he concentrated on Smith's Cove and dug shafts between the Cave-in Pit and the Money Pit. His second shaft was 27' on 8/17/1965 and he was running a gas powered pump on the surface. Somehow, Restall fell in the pit, overcome by carbon monoxide. Restall, Jr. saw his father fall. He called for help and started down the ladder. He, too, was overcome and fell into the water at the bottom of the pit. Karl Graeser, Restall's business partner ran up, looked down and saw them unconscious in the water at the bottom. He went down the ladder and a 16 year old worker, Cyril Hiltz, followed. Another worker, Andy Demont, followed and fell. They were also overcome with carbon monoxide. Some tourists happened to be there and one happened to be a fireman. He recognized carbon monoxide poisoning. He tied a rope around his waist and the others fed him down. He harnessed DeMont into the rope before he succumbed. They were both pulled out and resuscitated. After they drained the shaft, they brought up the 4 bodies.

Immediately following the Restall tragedy, Robert R. Dunfield, a petroleum geologist from California, took over the operation. He decided heaving earth moving equipment should be used. First he had a causeway built to get the heavy equipment to the island.

He considered it like open pit mining with seeping water. He bulldozed 12' feet of layer of surface soil from the Money Pit area. He also pushed tons of clay over the beach at Smith's Cove to try and cut off the flood tunnel. He also dug a trench at the south shore where he struck a refilled 8' round shaft. It was not cribbed and there was no record from previous expeditions so he felt it was part of the original project with what would be called the Money Pit.

During this time, the rock triangle was lost

He dug a 100' diameter shaft at the approximate site of the Money Pit and went 198' down. He ripped out old cribbing leaving only the Hedden Shaft undisturbed. They did sift the soil coming up and found some porcelain dish fragments from the 1700's. He also drilled into the cavern that was 40' deep before he hit bedrock. Next he attacked the Cave-In Pit and he excavated 100' wide and 108' down with nothing to show. But bad weather, breakdowns, cave-ins caused the project to lose money at a rate or $2,000/day and he called it off. He was out $131,000.

There were some other rocks found on Oak Island that seemed to have human shaping.

This rock is called the heart stone.

This stone is called the head stone because it has been shaped into a head. You can see the nose and chin on the right side.

The reality TV show called The Curse of Oak Island has already had season 1 and will begin season 2 in November on the History Channel. They are attempting to find the treasure.

There are also books and websites that can give you more information. I relied heavily on Oak Island Gold by William S. Crooker that I found at my local library. It was published in 1993 but it was an easy read and very interesting so I can recommend it.

These iron scissors were found on the island and are from the Spanish Exploration periods. How do they figure in along with the Spanish coins.

The questions are obvious:
Are these discoveries somehow natural or man made?
If man-made, who made them?
Why was this complex, labor intensive, time consuming project done?
Is there something stored down there?
If there is, what is the treasure?
What is so important that they booby trapped it?
Who was suppose to come back for it and how were they to reach the treasure? They had to have planned a way of retrieval.

Of course, pirate treasure is what everyone first think of because the 1600-1700's were the pirate heydays. But they were generally on the move, unskilled in engineering and probably undisciplined enough to have followed through something to this extent. Another thought is it may have been built by the Knight's Templar to hide their riches and the holy grail. Aliens are whispered to have done it. The original manuscripts for such well known writers as Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser may be hidden there.

One theory some people are accepting as the solution to the mystery is the possibility of a huge Viking longship having landed on Oak Island. At the time the waters were higher and the ship may have been beached. For some reason the crew couldn't un-beach it so it was left there. It would have taken at least 100 men to row a large ship like that. So maybe they died in a storm, of disease, or killed by native peoples and just didn't have the manpower to un-beach the ship and get back home. According to this theory, eventually a sink hole opened up and it tilted the ship vertically into the sink hole. So that the layers are the ribs of the ship, the coconut fiber was used in their seat pillows and for packing material. This is an interesting theory but I'm not convinced. I don't think it takes into account the flood tunnels, etc. And the largest longship discovered was a little over 100' long, were there any as long as this seems to be? And why would the excavators not have been able to figure it out considering all the shafts and drilling. Wouldn't something have clued them in that this was a ship?

The Dragon Harald Fairhair is the largest Viking longship to be built in modern times at 114 ft long and 27 ft wide.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brett And Ryan On The Farm

Our great nephews, Brett and Ryan, were getting a tour of their great grandfather's barn. My Dad, Avery Huneycutt, is showing them his father's tractor, a John Deere H 1944. His father, Oscar Alexander Huneycutt, would be Brett and Ryan's 2 great grandfather. He is also showing them his grandfather's blacksmith tools. His grandfather was William Eli Huneycutt and he was a farmer and blacksmith. He would be Brett and Ryan's 3 great grandfather.

Our Little Brooke

Our little grandniece, Brooke, is growing like a weed. I loved these photos that Jenny shared so I made this digital scrapbook page of our little baby Brooke growing up.

Brett And His Homework

Our grandnephew, Brett, is in 5 yr old kindergarten this year. He's been having a lot of homework for a little boy. His mother, Jenny, has been having to help him. It's driving her to the brink of madness. I made this digital scrapbook page and used her Facebook comments for the journaling.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Authentic Christian II

Note - This lesson was prompted by a Bible study I'm in by Erilynn Barnum in the Call To Discipleship ministry, "Authentic Christianity", Lesson 2. Power Given. She is a wonderful teacher!

2 Peter 1:1-11 (King James Version - KJV) (1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Let's look at some different translations:

2 Peter 1:1-11 (Amplified Version - AV) 1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Confirming One’s Calling and Election 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:1-11 (Easy To Read Version - ERV) (1) Greetings from Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To all of you who share in the same valuable faith that we have. This faith was given to us because our God and Savior Jesus Christ always does what is good and right. (2) Grace and peace be given to you more and more, because now you know God and Jesus our Lord. (3) Jesus has the power of God. And his power has given us everything we need to live a life devoted to God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus chose us by his glory and goodness, (4) through which he also gave us the very great and rich gifts that he promised us. With these gifts you can share in being like God. And so you will escape the ruin that comes to people in the world because of the evil things they want. (5) Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; (6) to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; (7) to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. (8) If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But those who don't grow in these blessings are blind. They cannot see clearly what they have. They have forgotten that they were cleansed from their past sins. (10) My brothers and sisters, God called you and chose you to be his. Do your best to live in a way that shows you really are God's called and chosen people. If you do all this, you will never fall. (11) And you will be given a very great welcome into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a kingdom that never ends.

In Authentic Christian I, we learned a little about the Apostle Peter and where these letters came from. Peter introduced himself in vs 1 as a "servant and apostle of Jesus Christ". In this letter to the Roman church, he is dealing with internal problems. After he introduces himself, he directs his letter to "them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ". The church has the same faith as the Apostle Peter. It has been passed down from Jesus Christ to His Disciples who became the Apostles and started the early church. It was passed down from the Apostles to the first church and through true believers to each generation. I have the same faith.

Let's look at 2 Peter 1:2 in a little more detail.
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Confirming One’s Calling and Election"

This is similar to his first letter to the Roman church:

1 Peter 1:2 (Contemporary English Version - CEV) God the Father decided to choose you as his people, and his Spirit has made you holy. You have obeyed Jesus Christ and are sprinkled with his blood. I pray that God will be kind to you and will keep on giving you peace!

Let's read that verse in some different versions:
1 Peter 1:2 (Easy To Read Version - ERV)
God planned long ago to choose you and to make you his holy people, which is the Spirit's work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I pray that you will enjoy more and more of God's grace and peace.

1 Peter 1:2 (Modern King James Version - MKJV) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

1 Peter 1:2 (Young's Literal Translation - YLT) according to a foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied!

1 Peter 1:2 (International Standard Version - ISV) the people chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctifying action of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus, the Messiah, and to be sprinkled with his blood. May grace and peace be yours in abundance!

God made His Plans before the foundation of the world. He planned long ago for our existence, knowing our fall into sin and how He would save us from our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ. It was the beginning of an epic story (meaning a long and extremely important story). He had every intention of providing for us a way to be saved from our iniquities. He is a God of love, grace and mercy. He manifested it with His Plan of Salvation (what we call the gospel, the good news). It was His Grace and Mercy. Grace means He gave us what we did not deserve. Mercy means He withheld what we did deserve. We did not deserve forgiveness, salvation, sanctification and eternity with Him! But He gave them to us anyway! That is His grace! We deserve punishment and an eternity in hell because of our sins and our hostility towards Him who made us. But He provided a substitution for us in His Son, Jesus Christ! That is His mercy!

Back to 2 Peter 1: 2, (Amplified)
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Confirming One’s Calling and Election"

Peter's prayer for them is "grace and peace be yours in abundance". How? "through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord".

He prays "divine favour to them, and the advancement and growth of the work of grace in them, and that peace with God and in their own consciences (which cannot be without grace) may abound in them" - Matthew Henry Commentary

Knowing God's grace, experiencing it, brings us peace. We have peace with God. We were once an enemy of God but He has brought us close through Jesus. We have been reconciled with Him. This peace flows throughout my life. I will get upset, cry, depressed, grieve. But not as one without hope! I know my eternity is assured and that peace with God is priceless!

The Greek gnosis is the common noun for knowlege. The word for "knowledge" here is epignosis in Greek - epí, "on, fitting" which intensifies gnosis, knowledge gained through first-hand relationship; experiential knowing - Strong's Greek Concordance

"The word for 'knowledge' (epignosis) hovers between the meaning of 'complete knowledge' and the recognition which implies love...not an abstract speculative knowledge, but that which implies a fulness of contemplation, loving as well as knowing." - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and College

We cannot learn John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life" by rote and say we know Jesus Christ. We cannot memorize Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" and say we are saved. It is not just knowledge that saves us. It is the knowledge joined with faith and a relationship with Christ that saves us. We must experience His saving grace. I can go to a religious school. I can memorize portions of the Bible. I can pass tests on the history of the Jews and the first church. I can attend archaeological digs that prove the existence of a worldwide flood. But none of that saves me! We must hear the gospel; we must choose faith; and, we must accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. It is not just an assent, but an assent and a new direction. We turn around with a new life and a new direction. It is the beginning of a relationship with Jesus Christ. The word "repentance", metanoéō, not only means regret and remorse for your sins, but turning away from sin and walking in a new direction. It indicates a changed mind; to change one's mind or purpose; "used especially of those who, conscious of their sins and with manifest tokens of sorrow, are intent; on obtaining God's pardon; to repent" - Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.

This doesn't mean that we suddenly begin to walk sinlessly through life. We still have our sinful human nature to contend with until we die. But we think differently; we have a new direction; we have a new standard that we judge all things by. When we come up lacking, realizing we have sinned, we can go before our Savior and be forgiven. If we were unsaved, we wouldn't care.

Not let's go to 2 Peter 1: 3 (KJV)
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Once we choose Christ; once we have repented and been forgiven; once our faith has been activated and we lovingly trust in God, then God bestows upon us His Holy Spirit. God is a godhead, 3 in one. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All equally God, all equally divine and all with specific ministries. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead the unsaved to the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ and, once we have accept Christ, to dwell in us to aid us in our new walk as Christians.

John 16:7-15 (KJV) Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 16:7-15 (YLT) `But I tell you the truth; it is better for you that I go away, for if I may not go away, the Comforter will not come unto you, and if I go on, I will send Him unto you; and having come, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment; concerning sin indeed, because they do not believe in me; and concerning righteousness, because unto my Father I go away, and no more do ye behold me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world hath been judged. `I have yet many things to say to you, but ye are not able to bear them now; and when He may come--the Spirit of truth--He will guide you to all the truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but as many things as He will hear He will speak, and the coming things He will tell you; He will glorify me, because of mine He will take, and will tell to you. `All things, as many as the Father hath, are mine; because of this I said, That of mine He will take, and will tell to you;

John 16:6-15 (ERV) But you are filled with sadness because I have told you all this. (7) Let me assure you, it is better for you that I go away. I say this because when I go away I will send the Helper to you. But if I did not go, the Helper would not come. (8) "When the Helper comes, he will show the people of the world how wrong they are about sin, about being right with God, and about judgment. (9) He will prove that they are guilty of sin, because they don't believe in me. (10) He will show them how wrong they are about how to be right with God. The Helper will do this, because I am going to the Father. You will not see me then. (11) And he will show them how wrong their judgment is, because their leader has already been condemned. (12) "I have so much more to tell you, but it is too much for you to accept now. (13) But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak his own words. He will speak only what he hears and will tell you what will happen in the future. (14) The Spirit of truth will bring glory to me by telling you what he receives from me. (15) All that the Father has is mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will tell you what he receives from me.

Here we have Jesus' own Words promising us that He would send the Holy Spirit to us. The Holy Spirit has a ministry and Jesus describes it here.

"He [Holy Spirit] will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment"

Jobs of the Holy Spirit, His Office, His Ministry in this world according to this scripture is to
1) Convict the world of sin
  • In the 3 translations above: "He will reprove the world of sin". "He will convict the world concerning sin". "He will show the people of the world how wrong they are about sin."
  • "Of sin, because they believe not on Me". "concerning sin indeed, because they do not believe in Me". "He will prove that they are guilty of sin, because they don't believe in Me."
2) Convict the world of righteousness

  • "He will reprove the world,... of righteousness". "He will convict the world...concerning righteousness". "He will show the people of the world... about being right with God".
  • "Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see Me no more". "concerning righteousness, because unto my Father I go away, and no more do ye behold Me". "He will show them how wrong they are about how to be right with God.The Helper will do this, because I am going to the Father. You will not see Me then".
3) Convict the world of judgment

  • "He will reprove the world of ... of judgment." "He will convict the world... concerning judgment". "He will show the people of the world... about judgment".
  • "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged". "concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world hath been judged". "And he will show them how wrong their judgment is, because their leader has already been condemned".

The Holy Spirit moves about this world preparing the hearts of those who will accept Jesus as their Savior. For me, it was when I was 8 yrs old. For you, it may have been as a teenager, or a young adult. For some, sadly, it is on their death bed. But the Holy Spirit never ceases to work, to draw all men to Christ. It is only after you've taken your last breath, that His attempts are over. If you resist Him all the way to death's door, you will be lost and will go to hell forever. This is not God's Will. He did not go to all this trouble and give His Son to die a horrible death on the cross in order that His Created Human Beings would spend eternity in hell. He did not send His Holy Spirit to work every second of every day to try to get you to turn to Jesus because He wanted people to go to hell. He wants people to be saved. He planned you, He created you, He provided salvation for you, He sent His Spirit to draw you and He did it all so you would be saved.

Once you are saved, the Holy Spirit moves inside you and works alongside your new spirit. You have been born again. You have a new spirit living inside of you. This baby spirit needs help. God did not leave us alone in this world to struggle to be a Christian and to do good works in our own puny strength! So often, we try to do everything all by ourself. And we will fail. Our flesh in not able to do what God requires. But, thank God, we are not by ourselves. The Holy Spirit now lives within us to teach us, train us and empower us.

John 16:7 (KJV) "Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

The word for the "Comforter" in Greek here is paráklētos. Called alongside. It means called to one's aid; an Advocate; Helper; a legal Advocate who makes the right judgment-call because He is close enough to the situation; Intercessor; Consoler; Comforter - Strongs Exhaustive Greek Concordance

According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, paraclete is properly, summoned, called to one's side, especially called to one's aid; hence,

1. "one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant; an advocate": Demosthenes, p. 341, 11; (Diogenes Laërtius 4, 50, cf. Dio Cassius, 46, 20.

2. universally, one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor: Philo, de mund. opif. § 59; de Josepho § 40; in Flaccum §§ 3 and 4; so of Christ, in his exaltation at God's right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins, 1 John 2:1 (in the same sense, of the divine Logos in Philo, vita Moys. iii. § 14).

3. in the widest sense, a helper, succorer (one who gives encouragement, aid, support), aider, assistant; so of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of gospel truth, and to give them the divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom: John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7, cf. Matthew 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11f...

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

I'm so thankful to my Father God who created me, created this world for me. I'm so thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ and I'm so thankful for the work of the Holy Ghost who got the message of the gospel through to me and now lives in me to help me live a Christ-like life.

Let's go back to our lesson scripture in 2 Peter 1: 3, His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

We are not helpless! We are not alone! In our flesh, we are weak. But where we are weak, He is strong! He enables us, empowers us. We are His vessels and we contain the Holy Spirit. I sort of think of myself like a sock monkey puppet. With no hand inside, the puppet is weak, crumpled, limp. But with someone's hand it becomes animated, able to move, someone's mouth gives it speech.

I am NOT saying that we are puppets without a will. I AM saying that my flesh is weak and I have chosen my Master. I try to remember to submit to Him because He is able and I am not. I have a free will and a sinful human nature that gets me in trouble. But if I repent and ask forgiveness, He is always there to forgive me. Then, if I submit to Him and give Him my life, my body, my words, my time, my energy, my talent, my relationships, my money, my education, etc, He will take control. Why would I surrender my will to His? Because I will make a mess, an ugly mess of things, of my life. All the resources He gave me, I will misuse or abuse and end up with a mess. But He uses the same resources, with His Power, to make something beautiful of my life!

God gives us energy, talents, an intelligent mind, a physical body. Then He builds on that by giving us free education here in America, at least through high school. We may have jobs that give us money to spend. We have a car to drive, a home to live in. We may have a spouse and children. All these are gifts throughout our lives. But how many people misuse or abuse these gifts? They use their intelligence and energy to figure out ways to rob people. They use their education to become a professor who teaches there is no God in his/her classes. They may use that singing talent God gave them to sing filthy songs full of hate, illicit sex, cursing, etc. They may use their car God provided to pick up people to take them to a wild party or to race or to run from the police. They may use their physical bodies to take drugs, participate in sex outside of marriage or to stay drunk. In fact, I've said this a million times... if you made a list of all the things you could do to mess up your life, a good portion of people seem to go down that list checking them off. Then they wonder why their life is such a mess? All these things complicate our lives, ruining them.
  • Drugs/alcohol
  • Sex outside of marriage (If you are married and having an affair outside your marriage, it's called adultery. If you are single and having an affair, or "hooking up" as they say now, it's called fornication. That's the difference.)
  • Perverted sex (such as pedophilia, homosexuality, sadism/masochism, bestiality, etc)
  • Hate
  • Gluttony
  • Sloth (laziness; reluctance to work or make an effort)
  • Pride
  • Stealing
  • Killing
  • Lying
  • ...etc

How many of us could go through the list of bad behaviors and check them off? We all can check some off and some of us could check most or all of them off. Been there, done that! We make a mess of our lives and make a mess in the lives of others around us. We end up in divorce; as addicts; fat; so full of pride that our lives rotate around ourselves; as thieves; in jail for murder; etc. We take the resources God gave us and misused or abused them and we pay the consequences for our mistakes.

It's not someone else's fault. Even if you were raped as a pre-teen. That was not your fault. But how did you react in that situation? Did you have hate? I could understand it if you did! Did you become a glutton, greedily eating all that you could only to "purge" as a bulimic? Did you talk yourself into shoplifting because you deserve it because of what someone did to you? A traumatic experience that was NOT your fault can lead to destructive behaviors that ARE your fault. You use the horrible experience as an excuse to misuse or abuse the blessings God has given you. Are you punishing the rapist? Yourself? Your parents? God?

John 8: 34, "Truly, truly, I [Jesus] say to you, Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin."

We make a mess of things. Our lives can get out of control and we dive bomb into a pit of despair. We are in bondage to our sinful lusts. Listen, I'm no different. I've sinned. And I've fallen into pits of despair. But I have a secret weapon! Living inside of me is the Holy Spirit. I may be weak, sinful, and a mess but God loves me. He forgives me. And His Spirit lives inside of me. I don't have to continue on in mess. I don't have to continue to live in sin. I don't have to continue to fall and fail over and over again. His divine power is all I need! It's all you need!

Some people think they have done such awful things that they can never be forgiven. That is backwards pride. Do you really think God's power is limited? Do you really think the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross cannot cover any sin a human being can commit? Is Jesus so puny of a God? Is there something so "special" about you that your sins are unforgivable? It's like they think, "Poor little God, I'm too big a project for Him to take on. There is no way puny, pathetic God can overcome my sins."

Mark 3:20-22 (ERV) Then Jesus went home, but again a large crowd gathered there. There were so many people that he and his followers could not eat. (21) His family heard about all these things. They went to get him because people said He was crazy. (22) And the teachers of the law from Jerusalem said, "Satan is living inside him! He uses power from the ruler of demons to force demons out of people."
Mark 3:28-29 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible - LITV) "Truly I say to you, All the sins will be forgiven to the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they have blasphemed; (29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit has no remission unto the age, but is liable to eternal judgment"

Blasphemy - blasphēmía (from blax, "sluggish/slow," and phḗmē, "reputation, fame") – blasphemy – literally, slow (sluggish) to call something good (that really is good) – and slow to identify what is truly bad (that really is evil). - Strong's Exhaustive Greek Concordance

Blasphemy is vilification (especially against God). It is such a state of wilful, determined opposition to God and the Holy Spirit, that no efforts will lead to repentance. Blasphemy is not just a one-time offense; rather, it is an ongoing attitude of rebellion – a stubborn way of life that continually resists, rejects and insults the Holy Spirit. The one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man,’ God said (Genesis 6:3).

The unforgivable sin is resisting the work of the Holy Spirit. If you continue to deny Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Savior, the Son of God and you continue to resist His offer of salvation, then, yes, you are unforgiven and you will reside in hell for eternity. But that's the only unforgivable sin. I don't care if you are another Jeffery Dahmer, with murders out the wazoo. You can be forgiven. You may still have to face the consequences of your sins but you are forgiven and God no longer sees your sins, He sees Jesus Christ's righteousness. Others may not forgive you, but God does. You may still struggle with feeling guilty but God no longer condemns you. You are under no more condemnation because of what Jesus did for you and for me. And I don't know a human being's last seconds in this world. They may have rejected Christ throughout their lives but the Holy Spirit was able to soften their heart and get the message through in their last minutes. In fact, it's possible that facing imminent death is what it takes to get them to drop their resistance and call out for God. On the other hand, they may resist with their last breath and then they are gone. There is no need to pray for someone who is dead. Their eternity is assured one way or the other. Our prayers should then turn to their loved ones and we can pray for their salvation.

My point is that if we are saved, the Holy Spirit lives within us. We no longer have to live a life of defeat. God has a different way of looking at things. We may be poor as church mice but if our spirit has grown, matured and taken hold of the help of the Holy Spirit, then we are a success in God's eyes. The world may see us as poor, demented, sick, etc but God sees the real us and He knows if our spirit is strong and growing. That is what is important to him. Living in an 18,000 sq foot mansion is not success in God's eyes. Being President of the United States doesn't mean success in God's eyes. Being a rock star does not mean success in God's eyes. As we know, many times these things hide a miserable, lonely, mentally sick individual.

You and I have the privilege of having God's very Spirit living in us to help us! Have you ever stopped and looked at the world in all it's beauty and majesty? Most of us have and we are in awe. God created this universe, this planet, this world with a few words. That is how powerful He is! Have you ever read the Bible and read the stories of God's power manifested in the miracle stories? He parted the Red Sea so that the Jews could cross on dry ground! That's how powerful God is! Have you read about the life of Jesus and His death and resurrection? How much power did it take to rescue us and take on the sins of the world, past, present and future and dump them in hell back on the devil's doorstep? Well, that same power is available to us! If we want to be Christ-like, live a spiritually victorious life, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us do just that!

Psalm 147:1 (ERV) Praise the LORD because he is good. Sing praises to our God. It is good and pleasant to praise him.
Psa 147:4-6 (ERV) He counts the stars and knows each of them by name. Our Lord is great and powerful. There is no limit to what he knows.  The LORD supports the humble, but he shames the wicked.

Our God is a mighty God! And He is willing and able to help us live as He asks us to live. If we have the desire to live His Way, and His Holy Spirit is within us, then there is no stopping us! Hallelujah!

He lays the foundations bare and reveals the truth.
Psalm 18:1b-3 (English Standard Version - ESV) I love you, O LORD, my strength.(2)The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (3) I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:6-7 (ESV) In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.  (7)  Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
Psalm 18:15-17 (ESV) Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.  (16)  He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. (17) He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

Just as God heard Jesus as He was nailed to the cross, He hears us. He hears us when we cry out and He comes running! His power will rattle the foundations and lay bare the foundations. There will be no hiding from Him. We cannot hide from Him and neither can our enemies. They can be so glib and lie to your face, but God sees and knows all and He is working for us not against us because we are His children!

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, (13)  looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works.

Romans 8:10-15 (KJV) And if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you. (12) Therefore, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (13) For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-9 (Contemporary English Version - CEV) Finally, my dear friends, since you belong to the Lord Jesus, we beg and urge you to live as we taught you. Then you will please God. You are already living that way, but try even harder. (2) Remember the instructions we gave you as followers of the Lord Jesus. (3) God wants you to be holy, so don't be immoral in matters of sex. (4) Respect and honor your wife. (5) Don't be a slave of your desires or live like people who don't know God. (6) You must not cheat any of the Lord's followers in matters of sex. Remember, we warned you that he punishes everyone who does such things. (7) God didn't choose you to be filthy, but to be pure. (8) So if you don't obey these rules, you are not really disobeying us. You are disobeying God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (9) We don't have to write you about the need to love each other. God has taught you to do this,

We cannot live a holy, godly, righteous life just by trying hard enough. Our flesh is weak and we will fail. We may want to, but we can't seem to do it.

Romans 7:15-25 (CEV)In fact, I don't understand why I act the way I do. I don't do what I know is right. I do the things I hate.(16) Although I don't do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good. (17) So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.(18) I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. (19) Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong.  (20)  And so, if I don't do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them. (21) The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right.  (22)  With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. (23) But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do.  (24)  What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? (25) Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me. So with my mind I serve the Law of God, although my selfish desires make me serve the law of sin.

But if I want to live a godly life and God's Holy Spirit lives within me, then I can be victorious. It's a daily, hourly submission which is why we can get off course pretty fast. We can be reading the Bible and praying on our way to work, only to trip over a piece of trash on our way in the door and utter a curse. We were victorious by choosing to read the Holy Bible before leaving for work. We were victorious when we spent time with God in prayer on the drive. But we sinned when we uttered that curse word. Of course, you will know right away that you did something wrong because the Holy Spirit lives within you. And, hopefully you take the time to utter a prayer asking for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit to help you be stronger next time.

This is called the process of sanctification. How can we help ourselves? By spending as much time with God and His Word as we can. The closer we get to God, the more we realize our sinfulness and His grace and mercy. Sometimes I can't get passed praising and worshiping Him as I pray and I never get to my requests. God knows what's in my heart and the needs in my life and those I care about. But I get to thinking about all that He's done for me and I just worship! This is what I call true communion. My love flowing to Him and His love flowing to me in a circle of love. The more He loves me, the more I love Him.

1 John 4:19 (MKJV) We love Him because He first loved us.

This is the true knowledge. I know it with my head, but I experience it in my spirit. That is how I know I'm saved. The Holy Spirit is the seal of that salvation.

Ephesians 1:13 (CEV) Christ also brought you the truth, which is the good news about how you can be saved. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show that you belong to God.

Revelation 9:1-6 (CEV) When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, I saw a star fall from the sky to earth. It was given the key to the tunnel that leads down to the deep pit.  (2)  As it opened the tunnel, smoke poured out like the smoke of a great furnace. The sun and the air turned dark because of the smoke.  (3)  Locusts came out of the smoke and covered the earth. They were given the same power that scorpions have.  (4)  The locusts were told not to harm the grass on the earth or any plant or any tree. They were to punish only those people who did not have God's mark on their foreheads.  (5)  The locusts were allowed to make them suffer for five months, but not to kill them. The suffering they caused was like the sting of a scorpion.  (6)  In those days people will want to die, but they will not be able to. They will hope for death, but it will escape from them.

That mark is a seal that proves we are true believers, true Christians. That mark reveals the Holy Spirit within us. We are God's people and nothing can separate us from His Love!

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, 1 Peter 1:3

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