Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

2_April-May_2011

April_2011

The Pursuit of Knowledge

The Resurrection

Lazarus

The Holy Pascha 


May_2011
 

The Name of God

The Blessing in the Night

The Poor in Spirit

The Rejected Knowledge

The Earth without the Foundation 

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39. Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Pursuit of Knowledge

 

…let us pursue comprehension of the Lord.…

{Hosea 6:4}

 

Hosea the prophet rebukes the chosen nation in infidelity {Hosea 1; 2; 3; 4; 5}: people forgot their God and turned to the idols; they became similar to the adulterous and wicked woman. The consequences of ungodliness are devastating: there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God. Cursing, lying, murder, theft, adultery became abound. The people mingle blood with blood; they have gone astray: spirit of fornication, drunkenness, and gluttony possess them. The people defiled themselves and became as those who have no knowledge; they are unclean because they forgot the law of God, rejected knowledge of God, and sinned against God.  Therefore, they reduce themselves to naught – there is nothing humane left; consequently, they are rejected by God.

Yet, if God rejects the people, they vanish along with their iniquities: for the lawlessness of men, the earth shall mourn; she will be diminished with all her inhabitants, even the fishes of the sea vanish.

The only remedy the prophet can offer to his tribesmen: to return to God. Moreover, he elaborates the meaning of reconciliation: διωξωμεν  του  γνωναι  τον  Κυριον;  ως  ορθρον  ετοιμον  ευρησομεν  αυτον,  και  ηξει  ως  υετος  ημιν  πρωιμος  και  οψιμος  γη  {Hosea 6:4}. The English translations convey Hosea the prophet’s message as the call to strive to know the Lord, Who comes as the dawn and as the spring rain to the earth.

However, something is missed in the English translations.

In the Septuagint’s text, the Prophet calls us to pursue comprehension of God, to follow on to know the Lord, as the strait flow ready to discover, the earth, as the rain early and later {Hosea 6:4}.

The combination of words and composition chosen by the prophet convey the meaning of not passive state of knowing; they mean interaction with the power, which he perceives as the strait flow of the rain pouring onto the earth. This rain is defined as the early one that awakes to the growth and as the later one, that brings completeness to the harvest. The summary: those who seek the Lord and long for the knowledge of God will find Him; the process of cognition of God is likened to the entry into the stream that would awake them to life and complete them as the rain awakes and completes the earth.

The precise meaning of the prophet’s words might be clear if to recall Genesis: in the beginning, all grass and all greens of the fields were created before they sprung up, for God did not rain upon the earth and it was no man to cultivate it {Genesis 2:5}.

Hence, the earth, man, and rain are inseparably linked into the circle of life. As the tree or grass of the field becomes barren, dries out and turns into withered food for fire if there is no rain to water it, in the same way, the human mind without knowledge of God becomes the desolate, barren, and capable of nothing.

And I think, how to find God if, for instance, there was no possibility to learn knowledge of God in childhood? If now, predators, liars, and criminals took the place of preachers and

–– instead of righteousness and peace they lead to corruption and murder

–– instead of peace and forgiveness, they incite unrest, hatred, and murder

–– instead of spreading the Gospels, they spread their own judgments and misconceptions

–– they cover their lust for fame, earthly power, and riches with sermons filled with mentions of the name of God?

How to recognize criminals under the mask of pious and righteous teachers?

Well, until the Holy Bible still is available, and until is a possibility to obtain traditional text, without added human politically–correct and gender–neutral nonsense*1*, the Light still can be found. In an attempt to survive natural catastrophes, the people store food, water, and other necessary things. In the same manner, we need to store and to preserve the Holy Scriptures with unaltered text for our children and friends, for those who will come after us. So, as soon as they obtain the precious Book of Life, open the New testament, and read it, they come to the same knowledge we possess: that God is love, that we cognize love because He gave up His life for us. Therefore, we must lay down our lives for our brethren as He laid down His life for our salvation. And if someone has enough and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart for the one in need, there is no love of God in him {John; 1 John 3; 4}. Even if at the first glance, it would not make them to believe, they will continue to read; gradually, the deeds of love will become the manner of daily life. With time, the meaning of things that was closed at the first moment will become clear, and they will see the dawn of a new day – the day, in which the life everlasting begins…

 

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Notes:

 

*1* The destiny of man and the destiny of woman are different sides of the same road home, into the Kingdom of God: we, as man and as woman, have different bodies, purposes, tasks, and ways to accomplish life, yet within soul of man and within soul of woman is the same image of God, and man and woman live by the same breath of God. The Holy Scriptures lead us to the life everlasting before which we shed our bodies as the worn clothes and in which gender does not exist {Luke 20:27–38}. So, instead of pointless “corrections” of the words of God and defiance of the laws of nature created by God, better let us learn to accomplish the commandments of God and to live according to the law of God.

 

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40. Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Resurrection

 

 

…He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their ruin.…

{Psalm 106(107):20}

 

Then, it was told through Hosea the prophet:

 

After two days, He will heal us: in the third day, we shall arise and live before Him, and shall know…

{Hosea 6:3}.

 

Then, it happened: the Life was revealed, the true Light has shined through darkness, the Love and Truth brought grace and truth into the world of evil, and the only Son of God explained God the Father to His Own creations and revealed the Way home, into the kingdom of God {John 1:14; 14:1–10;  1 John 1:1–3}.

Many things are given to those who believe in Lord God Jesus Christ: peace of God, knowledge of God, love of God, life in God and with God. The ancient prophecies are fulfilled and expectations of our ancestors became the reality.

Yet, until we live, each spring we celebrate the Feast of Feasts, the day of resurrection of our Lord and Savior. In this world, we are similar to the one dying of thirst of body and thirst of soul, who might be given water to drink, yet who cannot quench the thirst of the soul until he comes to the Fountain of Life {John 4:5–14}. And it cannot be otherwise, because only in God, we, His creations and children, obtain the completeness, fullness, and perfection. The most important thing a human being is able to learn is that only in God is life with all completeness, only in God is all of man, and only with God the human heart obtains comfort and happiness – everything that is life and joy and beauty.

The preparation to the Holy Feast of Resurrection reminds us that we have to purify our heart–soul–mind from earthly vanities, to comprehend our transgressions and wrongdoings, with which we have sinned before God and before the others. We have to be reconciled with God by asking forgiveness for all evils we have done and by correcting our way of life, so our thoughts, words and deeds would be accomplished according to the commandments of God. Each sin is disease and each evil is the wound: they disfigure the soul–heart–mind and deprive us of the ability to perceive the presence of God. If we want to live, we need to be forgiven, so we would be healed and restored to our original beauty of the being created in image and after likeness of God. There is no other way into life.

Two weeks separate us from the Holy Pascha, the Easter, when again we shall celebrate the day, in which by the mercy and love of God the Father, through the Word–God, and by the Almighty Holy Spirit, we have been delivered from death and liberated from the slavery of evil. In that day, in the Holy Book of Life we shall read again that in the third day after the crucifixion, when the women came to anoint the Body of crucified Lord Jesus Christ, they found the empty tomb. Those who were sent by God to guard the place where the Lord’s Body was entombed, told the women:

 

Why do you seek the Living One among the dead ones? He is not here, but He was raised…

{Luke 24:1–7}.

 

These words will remind us that we also are resurrected and came from death to life: the surrounding world of evil is just a tomb, from which we are lifted by God, so we shall live with Him forever…

And I think: whatever knowledge was acquired during the entire life, there is nothing comparable with the knowledge of the future life with God, with understanding that in the day of the Holy Pascha along with celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior we celebrate our own birth into the eternal life, the coming from death to life, from the slavery of evil and bondage of the dissipating matter to the freedom of human child of God…

                                                                                     

 

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41. Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lazarus

 

 

…I am the Resurrection and the Life;

the one believing in Me, though he dies, he shall live…

{John 11:25}

 

 

One week separates us from the greatest Feast – the day when we, the Christians, celebrate resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: the Holy Pascha, the Easter. Before the resurrection of the Lord, there is Lazarus’ Saturday, the event that preceded the Feast of Feasts…

In small village not far from Jerusalem, Lazarus and his two sisters lived; Lord God loved them. Lazarus became sick and his sisters sent to the Lord saying: the one whom You love is sick.  Yet, the Lord said: this sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God; the Son of God will be glorified by it. Two days passed, and the Lord told His disciples: Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, and I am going that I may awaken him. The Lord’s disciples did not comprehend the words of God, so, He explained: Lazarus died. Coming to the village, they have found that Lazarus died and was buried; it was fourth day after the burial. Martha, Lazarus’ sister, told the Lord that if He would be here, her brother would not be dead. The Lord said to her that her brother would rise. Yes, Martha knew that Lazarus would rise – in the Last Day. God answered woman’s grief and despair: “I am the Resurrection and the Life; the one believing into Me, though he dies, he shall live. And everyone living and believing into Me he shall not die forever.” Then, Lord God Jesus Christ came to the Lazarus’ tomb and called the dead man out. In response to God’s call, Lazarus who died came out, back into this world {John 11:1–44}.

Lazarus returned into our world of the dissipating matter, because his death and resurrection had to reveal the power of the Word–God over man: we had to see that even there, in the world of death, death has no ultimate power over human being, even over mortal human body. Only by the will of God, man lives and dies and comes to life again.

In the sad story of fallen mankind, the Lazarus’ Saturday has the special place. In this day, the words that people hear before – “there is nothing that would be impossible for God” – one more time became the actuality of the believers. Besides, Lazarus’ death and resurrection explained some other things. The first of them comes through finding the answer, why Lazarus was chosen to reveal the glory of God, how death of one person could glorify God Who is the Source of life?

For instance, there were plenty of the dead in tombs; why only Lazarus came back if God can restore to life the entire mankind right now, not in the Future, in the Judgment Day?

One of the Hebrew Prophets left the vision of the plain filled with excessively dry and dead human bones. According to the will of the Lord, he uttered prophesy upon the dead bones: you, dry bones, hear the Word of God {Λογον Κυριου}: “ I will bring upon you the breath of life, and put flesh upon you, and I will put My Spirit into you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Then, the prophet watched how the bones joined with each other, and flesh covered them; then, bodies materialized, began to breeze, and came to life. Ultimately, the plain was filled with the great congregation. God explained the vision: the dry bones are the entire house of Israel that lost the hope. The Lord will bring them out of their graves into life {Ezekiel 37:1–14}.

Lazarus was chosen to illustrate the meaning of resurrection and to give hope to those who have none; he became the personification of the dead in their tombs who are called to life by Λογος, the Word–God.

There is another remarkable thing in the book of Ezekiel the prophet: he predicted the switch from the traditional unity of man and his family and his tribe, which was the residual feature kept from the original grouping of all humans in the times of the pre–Babylonian confusion of languages {Genesis 11:1–9}. At some moment of the Past, the promised change foretold through the prophet happened and the people entered the reality in which

– the righteousness of one man would not longer save those who are with him {e.g., similarly to a family of Noe the Righteous – Genesis 7:1}

– the righteous life in the Past would not save from the consequences (death) of the lawlessness and sin committed in the Present

– the lawless man can be saved, if he turns away from his sinful life and begins works of law, mercy, and truth

– a son would not answer for sins of his father  {Ezekiel 14:13–20; 18:1–32; 33:12–19}.

Then, in the New Testament, the Lord said that He did not bring peace unto the earth: He brought the dividing sword. He came to dissever a man and his father; even those of man’s house would become man’s enemies. Furthermore, he who loves anyone above God is not worthy of God {Matthew 10:34–37}.

In the moment of Lazarus’ coming out of the tomb, the human mind was given the chance to comprehend that the world has been altered for accommodation of the last stage of homecoming–returning to God

a/ God became the only focus of a human being, and the ultimate human destiny was revealed as either unity with God or disintegration of death:

b/ the truths known from the Old Testament {man shall live by each word that proceeds out of the mouth of God – Deuteronomy 8:3} became the manifest perceivable reality

c/ people have been given the hope, because it was made clear that God is the Living God of the living ones, and the meaning of life is Lord God Jesus Christ, the Word–God: man who believes into Him, though he die he shall live

d/ death have been thrown away from its throne: it became just a condition of homecoming, not the master of man.

It means that

1/ nothing more would ever be able to stand between God and man and to separate man from God, even such core institution as a family – the foundation of all life–oriented structures, societies, and other establishments, which accommodate human existence and secure physical survival

2/ none of the establishments, even the religious ones, would ever have the actual power over human heart–soul–mind; only God has. 

3/ only will of God define the destiny of man – would a human being be chosen to enter life everlasting or he would be left to die according to his own choice. Although personal man’s choices might bring success or failure in business, war, and other activities, yet, only God determines shall a person enter life or shall the person come to death.

For instance, there were many widows in the land stricken by famine, yet, Elijah the prophet was sent only to one of them; there were many lepers, yet only the one was made clean; two will be in the field, one will be taken, and the other will be left {Luke 4:25–27; 17:36}.

So, the choice of God determines personal salvation of man – of each person, and the personal salvation does not depend on family ties, power, riches, education, membership in privileged groups, and other properties vital for advancement within the human establishments. God observes not as man sees: man looks at the face – the outer appearance; God looks at the human heart {1 Kings 16:7}, and the human heart–soul–mind determines man’s true value.

Lazarus’ resurrection illustrates the destiny of a person who is loved by God.

How a person becomes the one whom God loves? What are the way and the means to obtain love of God; what are the criteria by which human suitability for the purposes of God is determined? The main of them are love to God and observance of His commandments: the one, who loves God and keeps His Word, has dwelling with God {John 14:23}.

The Holy Scriptures tell that faith, love to God, love to the others, mercy to the others, and observance of the commandments of God are the conditions of personal salvation and resurrection–coming from death to life. Even now, within the world of death dissipating under the authority of evil, the chosen ones claim the road leading home, into the kingdom of God.

How to become the chosen one?

The first step is liberation from the slavery of evil –  from sin, lawlessness, and hatred.  

Preparation to the ultimate freedom begins with assuming of the responsibility for own thoughts, words, and deeds: the freedom of the child of God and responsibility of the child of God are inseparable. There is no power over life and death without understanding what death is and what is life, what results in death, and what gives life.

If a mortal human being wants to become the immortal child of God, he has

– to learn that something that differentiates the living from the dead

– to comprehend the difference between the good and the evil, love and hatred, righteousness and vice

– to choose life and to live in righteousness and peace, by observing the commandments of God

– to accomplish the deeds of love, mercy and truth.

This knowledge, this understanding, and these accomplishments are not possible to buy, to receive in exchange, to delegate to the others, and to learn through the others’ experience. Only because of love and mercy of God, through the Word–God, and by the Holy Spirit of God a human being learns truth, accomplishes the will of God, cognizes love, becomes the chosen one, and enters the life everlasting.

Almost nothing is known of Lazarus: how he lived before meeting with the Lord, why he, one among the multitudes known to God, was chosen to come back into this world and to glorify God by his death, what happened with him after his resurrection? All that is known concerning his earthly life is that {John 11:1–44; 12:9–11}

1/ the Lord loved Lazarus and called him friend

2/ the chief–priests and Pharisees decided to put Lazarus to death, because through him many people believed in Lord Jesus Christ.

And I think that the information concerning Lazarus is so scarce, because Lazarus’ story is the story of every person: every one who hears the words of God and comes to God, he leaves the tomb of evil and sin; he returns from death to life as Lazarus resurrected by God. If Lazarus’ story is accepted as the forecast of own personal resurrection, if it becomes the reality of a person, it opens understanding that only God decides personal destiny of every human being – only personal connection with God, personal observance of the commandments of God, and personal knowledge of God define life and save from death. At that is why another aspect of Lazarus’ story comes to the light.

The chief–priests and Pharisees decided to put to death Lazarus – man resurrected by God, and to murder God Himself, because they perceived God as the threat to their earthly interests {John 11:45–53; 12:10–11}.

This pattern became the historical actuality: during the following centuries, the authorities of the religious establishments focused on acquisition of the earthly power and riches did not hesitate to put their subjects to spiritual and physical death by depriving them of true knowledge of God and transforming them into servants of the evil. The history illustrates the easiness with which titles of priests and “doctors of the church” (contemporary counterparts of Pharisees) could cover ungodly men, seducers, murderers, and enemies of God; any of positions within the religious establishments (and all of them) might be taken by the enemies of faith; the religious establishments might serve the evil and earthly purposes of men, and corruption of religious establishment might reach such abyss that its members would lose abilities to recognize God and would become unable of keeping the words of God.

Many centuries the true meaning of the Lazarus’ resurrection, as well as the Apostle’s words concerning the destiny of the chosen ones {neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers nor the present nor the coming nor height nor depth nor any creature will ever be empowered to separate us from love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior – Romans 8:1–39}, was hidden behind the lofty slogans and sermons proclaiming

a/ superiority of the “common good” of the establishment over happiness, life and well–being of a person

b/ particular significance and value of those belonging to the deified hierarchies, special clans, orders, flocks, herds, and groups, which are elevated over the ordinary people

c/ vital necessity of “ultimate sacrifice” of a human being–person, when person’s death or enslaving is needed to secure interests, advance benefits, and satisfy desires of self–deified rulers – kings/popes/bishops/leaders, who in fact, are criminals, because in their corruption, vice and fear, for the sake of own insatiable lust for power and riches, they kill, enslave, and defraud the ordinary people and deprive them of life and happiness. 

Gradually,

– the image of God Who died for every one of us – for every person – was transformed into the image of the remote head of a particular establishment/hierarchy within which the access to God is possible only through submission to the special mediators among God and mortal men – the religious leaders who ascribed to themselves the right to take the place of God and who then, substituted their own will and their own laws for the commandments of God

– the hierarchical establishments that their members call “churches” took the place of the Christian Apostolic Εκκλεσια – gathering of those who have been called, the free and equal  chosen ones who believe in Lord God Jesus Christ and live by Him

– the sons of perdition erected own thrones in the temples of God

– human beings, who are redeemed and set free by the Word–God – Lord Jesus Christ, were transformed into

a/ the “small undeveloped souls” deprived of the Chalice of Salvation

b/ the herd of social animals that must be kept in fear and ignorance and fed by the images created for them by the theologians serving the religious hierarchical establishments

c/ slaves whose main virtue is unreserved obedience to those who pretend to stand at the place of God.

Nevertheless, the actuality is that if a person thinks and pronounces the name of Lord God Jesus Christ with faith, love, and reverence, if the person loves the others and does the good to all creations of God, if the person lives by the commandments and by each word coming from the mouth of God, this person is the chosen one, the child of God living by God and in God {John 14:23; 15:12–17; 1 John; Romans 8:1–39}. Nothing else matters.

Christianity restores the direct connection of a human being–person with his Creator and Father – Almighty God, the Perfect All–forgiving Love. The essence of Christianity is the unity of God and His human child, the unity in love, freedom, and truth.

Christianity is the personal freedom from the slavery of evil, firstly, through the ability to discern evil and vice of those who

– pretend to speak on behalf of God

– employ the wordings of the Holy Scriptures in their sermons, yet, whose deeds spread corruption, hatred, and lies

– pursue the earthly purposes (especially, the political ones) under the mask of the servants of God and benefactors of mankind.

Christianity is the highest treasure, because it

opens the path to cognition of God

gives the knowledge that sets a person free from evil

offers the Chalice of Life to every one who worships Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ...

 

Lazarus’ resurrection not only provides a glimpse into the meaning of the omnipotence of God; it leads to understanding of the comprehensive universal and personal truth: everything is possible for God, and nothing should stand between God and person, between God and human heart–soul–mind, because a human being, a person, has been created to be the temple of the Living God…

 

 

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42. Sunday, April 24, 2011

 The Holy Pascha

 

…Christ is risen from the death, by death trampling upon death,

and bestowed life to those in the tombs…

{Hymn of the Holy Pascha}

 

 

The beautiful ancient hymn of the Resurrection conveys the message of the absolute victory: death is defeated, and death is no more.

 

God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, so we might live through Him: as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive {1 John 4:9; 1 Corinthians 15:22}.

 

There is no more death, and the dead are no more: life everlasting is bestowed to every one who wants to live.

 

All human wisdom is silent before the reality of the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Son of man and Son of God: by death, the death is defeated, and death is no more – Christ is risen…

 

Χριστος Aνεστη!

Αληθως Aνεστη!


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43. Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Name of God

 

…I will protect him, because he has known My name.…

{Psalm 90(91):14}

 

The protection and mercy of God is promised to the one, because he has known the name of God. God is helper and defender, and the heart of man will rejoice, because of hope in His holy Name; all nations will bless Him and glorify His name {Psalms 32(33):20–21; 85(86):9; 90(91):14}.

Not only the chosen nation will be saved; to the strangers who love the name of God, who serve Him, accomplish His commandments, and hold His covenant – to them the honorable place in the house of God and the everlasting name will be given: the house of God shall be the house of prayer for all the nations {Isaiah 56:3–8}.

The third of The Ten Commandments is devoted to the name of God: man must not take the name of God in vain; if he takes the name of the Lord in vain, he will not be cleansed {Exodus 20:7}; therefore, he will not be able to enter the Kingdom of God and to dwell with God.

Those from the chosen nation, the idol–worshipers, who left the Lord to serve the evil – they shall perish and leave their name for loathing. The servants of God shall be called by new name, which shall be blessed on the earth, because they shall bless true God. They shall forget the former suffering and it shall not come into their heart, for there shall be a new heaven and a new earth {Isaiah 65:11–17}.

How man can know the name of God*1*? What is this name of God – the true name by whom the servants of God shall be called, through whom do help, protection, salvation, blessing, and then, life in the house of God come?

 The name of God refers to the entirety of the attributes of God, which a human mind perceives as the Absolute Good, the Absolute Power, Omnipotence, the Highest, the Holy, the almighty and all–forgiving Love, the Source of life, the Highest Wisdom, the Light of the world, the Fear and the Sanctification, the Sanctuary, the Father, the Teacher, the Supreme Judge, the consuming Fire, the Beginning and the End. The name of God identifies the Almighty Uncognizable Being Whose might is manifested as the unity of the Power, Energy, and Law that originates life {Exodus 3:13-14; 19:18-24; 33:18-20; 34:5-7; Deuteronomy 4:24; 32:3-4; Psalms 90:1; 144:1-21; 145:5-10;  Proverbs 2:6-9; Isaiah 6:1–3; 8:13; 40:10-26; 66:1-2; Matthew 10:28; 23:8-10; Luke 12:49; John 1:1-5, 9; 1 John 4:8, 16; Hebrews 10:30-31; 12:18-24, 29; Revelation 21:6}.

For those who believe in God and who belong to His kingdom, the name of God is sacred, because it is the reference to the greatest Holiness recognized as the Absolute. The Lord’s Prayer tells: αγιασθητω το ονομα Σου –– the name of God is hallowed {Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2}.

The Gospels are about the name of God: the name of God is the Word–God revealed through Jesus Christ, the Son of man and the Son of God {John 1:1–4, 9–14, 16–18; 4:24; 6:27–58; 8:32; 9:5; 14:1–26; 15:26; 17:3–6; Luke 12:49; 1 John 1:1–4; 4:9–21}:

 

He is the Word–God, through Him the world came into being

He came into the world that He created, yet, the world cognized Him not

He cast the Fire–Holy Spirit upon the earth

He gave to a creature of earth the authority to become the child of God born by the Holy Spirit

through Him, a fallen exiled creature of the earth is resurrected
to love God and to live by the love of God

He is the Daily Bread and the Light sent from the heaven, by Him man lives

He brought the knowledge of God that is the eternal life of man

through Him, man learns to worship God,
Who is the Spirit, in spirit and truth

through Him, man perceives light, which is the life of men,
obtains freedom, cognizes truth, and finds the way to God

through Him, man receives the peace of God and obtains completeness of the perfection

through Him, man knows God and beholds the glory of God

through Him, man has the communion with God

through Him, man becomes the temple of the Living God

through Him, man dwells with God and enters the life everlasting.

 

            In Him – the Word–God, Lord Jesus Christ, is everything of man: the entirety, wholeness, completeness, grace, perfection of wisdom, and glory of God and the eternal life of man.

St. Peter the Apostle, by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, summarized the knowledge of the name of God in a few words: this is the name of Jesus Christ crucified by men and raised by God; there is no other name under the heaven by which salvation comes {Acts 4:10–12}.

The Holy Scriptures reveal attributes and functions of the Word of God {Genesis 1:1–31; Psalm 147:15–19; Isaiah 55:10–11; Matthew 4:23–24; 9:2–13; 28:18–20; Mark 1:1–34; 2:1–13; 3:1–6; 16:15; Luke 5:12–13; 6:19; 24:13–32; John 5:2–18; 9:4–5; 14:26; 16:5–15; 18:20; 2 Peter 3:5–13; Revelation  19:11–21}; some of them are manifested through

– creation of the world – in the beginning, God said – He spoke, uttered the Word, and the universe perceivable my man came into existence

– accomplishment of the will of God

– the absolute authority over the world and over men

– maintenance of the world

– giving knowledge and wisdom to the human mind

– forgiveness of sins; forgiveness of sins comes through clarification and illumination of the mind, revelation of wisdom, and healing of disorders, diseases, and infirmity of human spirit, mind, and body {that is, for instance, replenishment of the vital energy that has been lost because of violations of the Law – perversion of the nature and sin – Mark 2:1–13; Luke 5:12–13; 6:19; John 5:2–18}

– collapse of human establishments, which violate the Law of God and accomplish evil, ruin and annihilation of the corrupted lawless beings, the signs of coming destruction of the world polluted and corrupted by evil and transgressions of men.

So, what is for a human being in the name of God – the Word–God?

The Word of God creates the essence of a human being – the image and likeness of God is “written” or “imprinted” within the heart–soul–mind of man. As a creation fashioned after the image and likeness of free and omnipotent God, a human being has the absolute freedom, and the first sign of this freedom is the choice to live or to die –

So, what is for a human being in the name of God – the Word–God?


to keep and observe the Law of God and enter the life with God
or

to violate the Law of God, and consequently, to give up own freedom,

to become the slave of evil and to share the destiny of the evil – annihilation.

 

The road to the eternal life is described in the Holy Scriptures; there are main points of this road:

1. to read the Holy Bible and to learn the words of God, which give knowledge of the Law of God and of the human nature. When these words are accepted as the true knowledge, this knowledge begins to work: we begin to abstain from the evil and sin – this is when the road to God begins. As it was told many thousands years ago, the road begins from the first step and this step is known:  εν  τη  καρδια  μου  εκρυψα  τα  λογια  Σου,  οπωσ  αν  μη  αμαρτω  Σου – in my heart, I have hidden Thy words, so I might not sin before Thee {Psalm 118(119):11}

2.  to accomplish the commandments of God means to make them into the actuality, the reality of daily life – this is the only way to have the Word of God as the meaning of life. That is when the eternal life begins, already here and now – within the world of death, because the one who keeps the Word of God, he will not behold death; he becomes the dwelling, the temple of the living God {John 8:51; 14:23–24}.

The road to God is accomplished through obtaining the faith into the Word–God, the Son of God Lord God Jesus Christ and by making His words the reality of daily life, because only deeds prove existence of the faith:

 

through the inner faith and the manifest works of charity and love

{love to out brethren and all creations of God is accomplishment of the Law – Romans 13:9–10}

we come to understanding of the meaning and the main purpose of the human life and all roads:
coming to God through His Son, the Word–God, Lord Jesus Christ

{God gave us the everlasting life and this life is in His Son;
the one believing in the name of the Son of God has the everlasting life – 1 John 5:11-13}

we begin to understand the grandeur of the mission of the Son of God
Who, by His Own suffering and death, redeemed us from slavery of evil and death,
and love to Lord God Jesus Christ becomes the essence of heart–soul–mind:  we learn to love God

because of love to Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, God’s love embraces us

{for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed
that I came out from the Father – John 16:27}

we begin life in God

{God is love and the one abiding in love, dwells in God,
and God dwells in him – 1 John 4:16}.

 

And I think, if there is any sense in all human suffering, in all misery that is called “life of man,” it might be found only in the sad and strange phenomenon: some of us come to God only after suffering and losses clear the mind from vanities and emptiness and pointlessness of daily life focused only on the material things.

When there is nothing left, and when all is lost, and no one to help, and no one to share the burden of the Past, emptiness of the Present, and hopelessness of the Future, then, in the abyss of despair, we begin to pray and to call upon the Name of God – Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner…

Then, within the darkness of the world of death, we begin to see the Light – the Son of God leads us into the house of the Father, into the everlasting world without suffering and death. The eternal life – homecoming – begins with the name of God: the Word–God, Lord Jesus Christ…

 

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Notes:

 

*1*  See The Road to God, Foundation folder.

 

 

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44. Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Blessing in the Night

 

 

…all you the slaves of the Lord…

Lift up your hands by night in the sanctuary and bless the Lord.…

{Psalm 133}

 

It is a very ancient and very short Psalm of a few words, just three sentences – the call, the actions needed, and the purpose. Those who are the slaves in the dominion of the Lord (δουλοι Κυριου)  standing in the courts of the dwelling of God should bless the Lord; they should lift up their hands by night in the sanctuary and bless the Lord. Then, may the Lord Who made heaven and earth give His blessing out of Zion {Psalm 133(134):1–3}.

It is not known who are those δουλοι Κυριου, where is and what is the sanctuary; it could be any place, any time, any universe, where night in literal or figurative sense (therefore, darkness – physical or spiritual or intellectual) exists, and the meaning of holiness is known. This holiness might be the greatest sanctuary – Αγια Αγιων  - of the temple that Solomon built, it might be any temple in which the priests beseech blessing of God; it might be the human heart that became the temple of the Living God…

What is known is that there is a connection between them and God:

 

they are vigilant in the time (night) when
the others have no awareness of the actuality (sleep)

they lift up their hands to accept the power that comes
with the blessing of God and from the dwelling of God

God–Creator responds to them with His blessing

the power given through the blessing of God–Creator sustains the world.

 

The ancient Psalm reveals the pattern describing maintenance of the existing world and gives the insight into the world to come…

At any time, blessing of God–Creator is accompanied with well–being of His creations; it always was and it is the sign of the Future when night and darkness will be no more {Revelation 21:23; 22:5}, because in the presence of God the evil does not exists.

Until then, the people invented different methods of illuminating their darkness: burning wood, candles, lamps, street lights, bonfire, burnt–offering of animals and children, arson, stakes of the Inquisition, suicide–bombers, and so on…

And I think that now, when the darkness of idol–worship, false religions, and ignorance crawls over the entire planet, when the burning Christian churches took place of street–lighting in Islamic countries, would the mysterious δουλοι Κυριου seek the blessing of the Lord for the world of evil? And if they do, would not the power that comes from God with His blessing accelerate disintegration and bring forward the end?

 

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45. Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Poor in Spirit

 

…Blessed are the poor in spirit, because of them is the kingdom of God.…

{Matthew 5:3}

 

In the Gospel According to Matthew, Lord God Jesus Christ begins His teachings with definitions of the highest happiness attainable by a human being – the condition defined as blessedness. The first condition is οι πτωχοι τω πνευματι  translated in English as the poor in spirit; those who possess this feature are correlated with the Kingdom of Heaven:

 

Μακαριοι οι πτωχοι τω πνευματι, οτι αυτων εστιν η βασιλεια των ουρανων

{Matthew 5:3}.

 

Traditional interpretations of the first condition of blessedness include poverty of all kinds as the main material manifestation of the poverty of spirit: humbleness, humility, deprivation of the material resources, and all other features traditionally attributed to the underprivileged, uneducated, and ordinary people – τους οχλους  – the crowds, the mob.

So, according to such interpretations, poverty, humility, deprivation of wealth and other material things accompanied with ignorance were accepted as the distinguishing marks of the owners of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Later, those who assumed the right to enslave the others under the slogans with references to Christianity, elevated material and spiritual poverty into the rank of main Christian virtues. Such poverty became the foundation for institution of hierarchical churches, which supplemented deprivation of material resources (therefore, deprivation of any freedom to live own life according to own purposes and inclinations) and ignorance (deprivation of true knowledge of God) with another “virtue” – the unreserved obedience to the “superiors,” who pretend to stand at the place of God and assert themselves as the mediators between God and ordinary man.  

However,

 a/ if a human being was created to dominate, toil, possess, and cherish the world in love and good, and if the meaning of evil is deprivation, could deprivation of anything needed for the normal life of man be the pledge of blessedness?

b/ if our God is the God of knowledge Who gives wisdom and from Whose presence knowledge and understanding comes {1 Kings 2:3; Proverbs 2:6}, if the knowledge of God opens the life everlasting and transforms human clay/slaves into the friends of God {Isaiah 64:8; John 15:15; 17:3}, could ignorance be the condition of the Heavenly Kingdom?

c/ if our God sees the human heart, the true and hidden from the others essence of man {1 Kings 16:7} while  humans see the surface, do material things define the true value of man before God?

d/ if God is the Spirit Who must be worshiped in spirit and truth {John 4:24}, Who lives in the soul–heart–mind of man and gives the ultimate freedom of love and knowledge, Who transforms human clay into a child of God born from above and teaches the truth {John 1:12–13; 3:5–7; 4:24; 14:17, 26; 16:13}, is any human being able to stand between God and man?

Therefore, true meaning of οι πτωχοι τω πνευματι is not correlated with the material things and manifest features of man.

Although the traditional interpretation of Greek word πτωχοι is poverty, there are other meanings. The root πτω– or φτω– originates the cluster of words with general meaning of destruction and devastation:

–  πτωχαινω  or φτωχαινω  – from which φτωχεια – the exact world defining poverty – is derived

πτωμα  – corpse, dead body, cadaver

πτωχεγω  or φτωχαινω  – to impoverish, to reduce to poverty – is derived from πτωση  – fall, loss, collapse that is close to the meaning of the words derived from συντελευω    – to destroy, to break, to exterminate, to bring to its end. The derivatives –– συντριμμα  συντετριμμενον  –– describe the true sacrifice to God: Θυσια τω Θεω πνευμα συντετριμμενον,  καρδιαν συντετριμμενην και τεταπεινωμενην  ο Θεος ουκ εξουδενωσει. In English version of the Old Testament, this phrase is translated as “The sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and humbled heart God will not despise” {Psalm 50(51):17}.

Then, Isaiah the prophet writes that God, the Most High, the Holy of the holies, gives life to the broken–hearted {συντετριμμενοις  την καρδιαν  – Isaiah 57:15}; therefore, with the broken heart, true human life – the life given by God – begins.

 With the same word  – πτωχος  – St. John the Apostle conveys the reference of God to one of the mysterious Angels of the Church. The Son of God refers to him as to neither hot nor cold. This condition is the misery of the one who considers himself as rich and sufficient, yet who, in the actuality, is wretched, miserable, poor, and blind. He must repent and become zealous, let God enter, and acquire the treasure of the Fire (that is the Holy Spirit).  To fulfill this something for what the one exists, he must open the door and let God go in to him; then, he will be the overcoming one and he will sit with the Son of God Who is with His Father {Revelation 3:14–21}.

Therefore, the One who has οι πτωχοι – the poverty, which he considers as the riches, yet he is insufficient, because he does not have the Fire – Spirit of God. He is prepared, yet, still, he is blind, because the Spirit of God is not in him yet.

So, the literal translation of οι πτωχοι τω πνευματι and correlated texts of the Holy Scriptures bring us to the concept of impoverished and extinguished – dead – human spirit, with which the true life of a human child of God might begin.

It means that until God creates His child from human clay and until human being learns the truth concerning God the Father and Creator, which is possible to learn only through the Word–God and with the Teacher – the Holy Spirit of God, until cognition of God begins, a human being/clay lives by his own set of assumptions concerning own nature and the world. This set of assumptions is called “human spirit,” because it is existence of the mind deprived from the knowledge of God, because it sustains all human endeavors within the realm, which humans make without God, and because it dies with its creator {Psalm 145(146):4} when he leaves this world.

            At the general level, the “human spirit” might be identified as a human mind deprived of true knowledge of God; it is imagination producing false assumptions concerning God, humans, nature, etc. These false assumptions make a human being to sin, because he acts in ignorance of the Law of God, therefore, he does not accomplish the purposes for which he has been created (sin is violation of the Law of God and the issuing inability to accomplish the will of God through thoughts, words, and actions). The realm of human spirit includes the heathenism – false religions, ideologies, cults created by humans according to their level of development and reflections of the material world; it sustains all human establishments – social, political, scientific, religious, everything that

 

admits a possibility of existence without God

assumes that prosperity and completeness of perfection might be obtained without God

expects to live in dignity and happiness without God.

 

The realm of human spirit is the realm in which a human being completes the first task of his earthly existence – cognition of the evil. If at some point of this existence the mind comes to understanding that cognition of evil is death, it is ready to enter the next stage of the earthly life: cognition of the good with which the homecoming – the life everlasting – begins.

So, if a human being desires to enter the Kingdom of God, he has to forfeit the entire edifice of human logic, philosophy, ethics, culture on which his world is founded, for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, and philosophy crafted according to the traditions of men and the elements of this world is deceit – the robbery, which deprives of truth {1 Corinthians 3:18–21; Colossians 2:8}.

Then, if human assumptions concerning the world, own nature, and the nature of things, which are founded on the heathen philosophy and logic of evil are gone, if understanding of futility of own efforts to create knowledge of truth and obtain wisdom is reached, what is left of proud mind? That what is left is the broken and humble spirit of the being who cognized the evil, rejected knowledge of evil, and came to understanding of own death –

 

without God, there is nothingness

without God, it has founded its world on the void.

 

In summary, the poverty of spirit is knowledge that only in God is wisdom, richness, and life of man.

And I think: what would happen if the human mind trained in all divisions of human logic and philosophy realizes that its entire life is spent at the threshold at which it, the proud particle of dust, stumbles unable to enter because it cherishes own follies and believes in emptiness and other nonsense of irrationality that veils the true poverty – inability to come to truth? Would this vision of own misery cast the mind down, into the disintegrating world of matter, or would it lift the mind up, to the ability to begin new life – new way of cognition?  Only if the pride is gone and the spirit is broken/dead, and the heart is humbled, the human mind becomes able to leave all crumbs of knowledge it gathered and called “wisdom.” Then, when nothing is left but poverty and hunger and darkness, only then, the desperate will to live brings memory of God, and the poor beggar begins to pray: Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…

Then, God the Father lifts His child from the dust, feeds with the Bread of Life, and takes home {Psalm 118(119):25; John 6:32–33; 14:1–4; 17:24}.

Only poverty in spirit leads to the riches of God; only after rejection of the evil of this world the new world – the Kingdom of God – opens…

 

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46. Sunday, May 22, 2011

 

 

The Rejected Knowledge

 

 

…because thou has rejected the knowledge, I will also reject thee…

{Hosea 4:6}

 

It happened in the day the Lord God Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem. Seeing the beautiful city from afar, He felt sorry for her: the days will come and the enemies will rise up a rampant to you, and surround you, and tear you down and your children in you, and they will not leave in you a stone on stone, because you have not known the time of your visitation {Luke 19:41–44}.

In the Greek text –– ανθ ων ουκ εγνως τον καιρον τυς επισκοπης σου {because you have not known the time of your visitation – Luke 19:44}, two Greek words convey the warning of God with the definiteness, for which in English translations many words are required:  εγνως  defines comprehension/cognition leading to the state of knowing and καιρον  defines the system’s preparedness, or time–space–complexity point–settings at which the system reaches the highest potency, completeness (or the planned state of affairs), and comes to the condition when it has and it is able to accomplish the main purpose for which it has been created, instituted, or came into being. This particular text discloses the meaning of καιρoς  for the ancient Jerusalem: it is the preparedness for the visitation – coming (manifestation–materialization) of the Messiah, the Son of God, Redeemer and Deliverer.

According to the God’s words, Jerusalem has to be destroyed with her inhabitants, because they did not reach the state of knowing, which is necessary to receive God and, therefore to accomplish the purpose for which the chosen nation has been instituted. Everything was given them – the Law to keep, the land to live in righteousness, freedom, and prosperity, the prophets to guide, the wisdom to aspire, and the knowledge, which was hidden from all idol–worshipers, and which would make them the holy nation, the kingdom of priests, the members of God’s household. They rejected this knowledge and went “after other gods” that are nothing more than figments of imagination made to deceive, to corrupt, to enslave, and to ruin. Now, the time of destruction came as it comes for

– any system that has perverted own nature and became unable to accomplish the purposes for which it has been created

– any being that is worthless for the purposes of God

– anyone who rejected God and who is rejected by God

– anyone who rejected life–sustaining knowledge of the actuality and who lives by false assumptions and by figments of imagination, which deprive the mind of an ability to foresee danger and to avoid it (that makes survival impossible).

The history preserved the sad history of Jerusalem – everything told by God has been fulfilled:

 

starting in AD 70, September 7, with destruction of the city by the Romans

then, in 135, when Judea was renamed into Syria Palestine,
on the site of Jerusalem a new Roman city was built,
the Jews were barred from Jerusalem and dispersed across the Roman Empire

through the consequent centuries –

not only destruction of the city, which has not recognized her Master, was complete,
the entire nation has been rooted out from the Holy Land
and dispersed among hostile nations and enemies
to learn slavery, humiliation, and misery of the outcasts.

 

In the seventh century BC, long before the moment described by St. Luke the Apostle, the people received the warning through Hosea the prophet.

Hosea foretold the tragedy of those who are not able to preserve the loyalty to God and therefore, deprive themselves of virtue, reasoning, wisdom – of everything associated with righteousness, and, ultimately, of the very life:  “because thou have rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee that thou shall not serve as priest to Me. As thou have forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children” {Hosea 4:6}.

The people of God became as if they ουκ εχων γνωσιν – have no understanding. So, God would reject them as the priests*1*, and the glory of the chosen people would be turn into shame, because they have sinned before God according to their multitudes. In the same way as they went astray in a spirit of whoredom – by believing in signs and sacrificing to idols, in the same way as they mingled themselves with harlots and the polluted ones, their daughters will go a–whoring and their daughters–in–law will commit adultery. They have chosen the ways of Canaanites (the Phoenicians*2*), so they shall be ashamed.  {Hosea 4:7–19}*3*.

The prophet’s text connects the idol–worship as disloyalty to God with death – firstly, death of reason, then, physical annihilation:

 

two main inseparable attributes of heathenism –

1/ the idol–worship
(which is referred to as prostitution or a–whoring)

and

2/ madness that manifests itself
through immorality and corruption, which are the consequences
of collapsed intelligence and issuing inability of comprehension

ruin and death.

 

The chosen nation became the model of entire mankind: they have received the Law of God to preserve it and to make it understandable and available for other nations; their destiny encompasses all patterns of life and death, wisdom and folly, perfection and collapse; their history is the living lesson and warning that

 

without God, the people live in corruption and ruin everything starting with own offspring

the people’s establishments, which are not founded on the law and knowledge of God,
serve the evil, promote corruption, culminate in collapse,
and finish with annihilation – their own and their creators.

 

From a particular point of view, the history of mankind might be seen as a repetition of the same lessons or patterns; the most frequent of them is the pattern of rejected knowledge.

The ancient idea of spiral evolution proved itself to be true concerning the spiral anti–evolution: with each new generation, in different times and countries, the pattern of the rejected knowledge (as the lesson pupils do not comprehend), is repeated in increased scale and with increased persuasiveness (that is with increased insufficiency and suffering). Yet, again and again, some minds reject knowledge of God, choose the false assumptions as the actuality, pursue corruption, and finish with ruin and death.

What is the reason of the constantly repeated and deadly mistake? Why some minds choose to know and to live and why other minds choose to reject knowledge and to follow the path of self–annihilation?

The world of men will meet its end when the heaven, the elements, and the earth will be dissolved in the consuming fire {Deuteronomy 32:22; 2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12}. However, Apocalypse is the general model for the entire world. The world consists from persons: each one has personal Apocalypse – victory or defeat in the very own war against the evil or in the very own war with the evil against the good.

The war among men is simple and finite, because physical death is visible.

The war with the evil is hidden within the human heart–mind; at the earth, it began within the first son of Adam {Genesis 4:1–8} and it will not stop until human beings live, although already there are many “living dead” in the world that serves the evil.

In this hidden war, everything within the heart–mind that makes possible acceptance of evil must be dissolved and annihilated with the Consuming Fire – by the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, Who comes in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, the Word–God, and by Whom the human heart–soul–mind lives, overcomes the world of evil, and enters the kingdom of God {Deuteronomy 4:24; Luke 12:49; John 14:15–17, 26; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 3:20–21; 21:7}.

The living dead {Matthew 10:5–8; 2 Peter 2:1–22; Jude 3–16} are those

1/ who were not given a chance to learn the true knowledge of God {Matthew 10:7–8}

2/ who were offered, yet, rejected the true knowledge of God {Jude 12; 2 Peter 2:1–2, 20–21}.

Such beings carry death within them, because they live by spreading evil. Willingly (because of corruption) or not–willingly (because of ignorance), they deceive, enslave, corrupt, and murder (spiritually or physically) the living ones.

Although evil has many purposes and the arsenal of evil contains many things, the main target of the living dead is the human mind–reason and the main weapon is deprivation of truth: the actual end and death are in deprivation of knowledge of God, because without God, human intelligence and the very humaneness do not exist*4*.

Hence, there is a possibility to recognize (therefore, to overcome) the living dead by the knowledge they convey or reject and by that what their ideas, words, actions, and establishments bring to the others: prosperity and good or poverty and suffering…

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* A priest is the messenger of the Lord Almighty. The mission and purposes of the Old Testament’s priests – the sons of Levi included, for instance, such things as to serve God, to keep and to convey the law and knowledge of God, to walk before God in peace, to keep the covenant of the Lord, and to turn people from unrighteousness {Deuteronomy 10:8–9; 33:8–10;  Malachi 2:1–7}.

 

*2* Concerning the Phoenicians, see postings: 

The Curse of Cain, folder Archive, Page_5_2009

Philosophy: the Beginning, folder Philosophy, Page_1.

 

*3* For Hosea {who obviously is not concerned with the offense, which could be taken in his expressions, for example, such as “Διοτι ως δαμαλις παροιστρωσα παροιστρησεν Ισραηλ” interpreted in English as “The Israel was maddened as mad heifer” – Hosea 4:16}, behavior of his contemporaries, who rejected the knowledge of God and went to sacrifice the idols, looks like frenzy of an animal.

 

*3* See also posting The Potential of the Mind, folder Archive, Page_4_2008–2009.

 

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47. Sunday, May 29, 2011

 

 

The Earth without the Foundation

 

…a man having built his house on the earth without a foundation,

on which the stream burst, and it immediately fell,

and the ruin of that house was great…

{Luke 6:49}

 

 

            Also in the Gospel According to Matthew: a man built his house on the sand; and the rain came down, and the rivers came up, and the winds blew, and beat against that house; and it fell, and its collapse was great {Matthew 7:26–27}.

St. Matthew and St. Luke tell the story of two men:

– one man, who hears the words of God and makes them the actuality of his life – observes them, keeps them, and accomplishes everything the Lord said him to accomplish; God compares him to a man who built his house on the stone, so, the house withstood tempest, flood, and winds  

– another man, who hears the words of God yet does not do them, is compared with a foolish man who built his house on the earth (sand) without the foundation {την γην χωρις θεμελιου  Luke 6:49; χωρις  from  χωριζω – to separate, put asunder: the earth of this story was separated from the original foundation}; so, the house collapsed under the impact of bad weather {Matthew 7:24–27; Luke 6:47–49}.

The house is the entire human life: everything a human being thinks, tells, imagines, creates, and offers to the others – the entire human universe is this house built


– either on the stone – indestructible

– or on the earth without a foundation – collapsing and coming apart under the slightest impact.

 

If this house fails, the collapse is great, because the entire cosmos that man built is ruined, often along with its creator.

Both texts speak of two kinds of human beings:

– the one that is invincible, because he established himself on the Stone, on the Word–God, the one that would become the temple of God, who would carry the Spirit of God within {Luke 20:17; John 14:15–17, 23}; he withstands the evil and adversities of the material world referred to as the destructive rain, flood, and winds

– the one that fails, that is susceptible to the evil and hardship, because he is the earth that was set apart from the foundation; within the world of the matter, the earth without foundation is the unstructured fluid mass similar to the amorphous ground liquefied by the destructive forces of earthquake.

In another reference to collapse and ruin, Lord God Jesus Christ tells His disciples about annihilation of Jerusalem: the city that became unable to recognize the time of the visitation is left desolate as the house forsaken by the Master; it will be destroyed: no stone on stone will be left in the city, which kills the prophets and stones messengers sent by God {Matthew 23:37–38; 24:1–2; Mark 13:1–2; Luke 13:34–35; 19:41–44; Isaiah 27:10–11}.

So it happened:

– on September 7, 70, Jerusalem besieged by the army of Titus, son of Vespasian the emperor, fell; the Romans massacred the rebels, plundered, and destroyed the city and the Third Temple

– in 132, Jewish population of Jerusalem rebelled against construction of the shrine to Jupiter on the site of the Temple. The revolt against the heathens lasted two years and was finished in 135: rebels were massacred; survivors dispersed across the Roman Empire; the site of Jerusalem was hidden under new Roman city; Judea was renamed into Syria Palestine, and the Jews were barred from the new city built on the Jerusalem’s site.

So, how it happened that the faithful city that was filled with justice became the unfaithful one filled with murderers {Isaiah 1:21; Luke 13:33–34} and doomed to annihilation?

Almost sixteen centuries passed from the day when the Law was granted (1446 BC) until Jerusalem was erased from the face of the earth (AD 135). All corruption, idol–worship, and injustice predicted by Moses, foretold and diagnosed by the prophets, as well as the consequences of human corruption – dishonor, famine, poverty, plague, wars, cruel and corrupt and incompetent rulers, exile, slavery, etc. {e.g., Deuteronomy 28:15–68; 29:10–29; 30:1–20; Isaiah 3:1–25; Ezekiel 6:1–14; 12:19–20; 14:21}, became the actuality.

However, the history – as the list of events, wars, names of good and bad kings, amassed descriptions of acts of mercy and justice, crimes and injustice, the evil and good deeds – leaves some questions unanswered. For instance, what are the reasons why

 

the chosen nation, the vineyard of the Lord, the carrier of the Law and justice,
the kingdom of priests of the Most High,

defied the Law of God

broken the covenant with God

became the carrier of injustice, corruption, and bloodshed

collapsed into rejection of the Messiah – the Son of God and the Redeemer?

{Isaiah 5:1–9; John 1:10–11}

 

What are the roots of the evil, which made the chosen people to forsake their God and which therefore triggered the collapse of their state and destruction of their temple and their city accompanied with massacres, suffering, slavery, and injustice? How the one, who lives today, should comprehend the essence of the roots of evil, how the evil grows within the heart–mind, and which fruits it brings, so he would be able to guard himself from the evil that destroyed many?

There are two co–related phenomena from which the evil arises: the absence of the foundation and the absence of protection; they made human mind defenseless and expose it to attacks of the evil as the house built on the earth without foundation is exposed to the flood and hurricanes.

The Holy Scriptures describe iniquities of the ancient Israelites and the consequences – the works of the destructive power of the Law that the prophets named “the wrath of God.” The texts also lead to finding and comprehension of the roots of the evil as well.

For instance,

–– in his vision, Ezekiel the prophet sees the hidden corruption of the elders of Israel who worship in secret the idols, abominations, and the sun; for their iniquities, they will be destroyed without mercy {Ezekiel 8:6–18}

–– Isaiah the prophet {Isaiah 1:2–31; 2:6–20; 3:1–4; 27:1; 28:16–18; 44:9-11, 18–20; 59:2–15}

a) describes

            1/ the reasons, why God rejected His people: the land is filled with diviners as it was in the beginning (as the land of the Philistines), the land is filled with abominations made by the people, and the people worship idols made by their own hands; the people have no understanding, their heart is as ashes; they err, yet they are not able to see lies and to deliver their soul  

            2/ the consequences of idol–worship and impurity: the desolated land and cities burned with fire, the land devoured and overwhelmed by aliens – the “strange nations,” rulers who love bribes and have thieves as the companions, the dominion of enemies of God and the mockers

b) mentions the lawless sinners who trust in vanities and bring forth iniquities; their hands are defiled with blood, their thoughts are of murder, destruction and misery are their ways; they hatched the asp’s eggs and those who crush their addled egg finds the basilisk in it; although they expect illumination, they walk in perplexity and without judgment – as the blind against the wall {Isaiah 59:2–11}

c) conveys the promises of God

            1/ God will bring His holy and mighty sword upon the serpent, the crooked dragon, which will be annihilated without mercy {Isaiah 27:1}

            2/ God will establish the foundation on the precious corner Stone; he that believes in Him shall not be ashamed; those who trust in falsehood shall fall; the covenant with death shall be taken away {Isaiah 28:16–18}.

In summary, Isaiah the prophet reveals two things that facilitate comprehension of the uninterrupted war against the evil (or against good) that is unavoidable for all human beings.

1. The reason why the mind of those who became idol–worshipers and murderers fails (and triggers ruin of the world that accommodates their existence): the Old Testament’s mind does not have yet the foundation, the inner structure promised by God {the precious corner stone rejected by the builders – Isaiah 28:16; Mark 12:10}. Only such a foundation – the Word–God within a human heart–mind – foreseen by the prophets {e.g., Psalm 118:11} enables the human mind to unwaveringly observe the Law of God and to steadfastly pursue accomplishment of the will of God, therefore, do not sin against God.

2. The promise of God to establish His people on the indestructible foundation and to give the sword that will destroy the enemy referred to as serpent and crooked dragon. The meaning of this sword becomes clear when Lord God Jesus Christ tells that He brought the sword upon the earth; during the final battle, the evil will be destroyed by this sword coming from the mouth of the Word of God {Isaiah 27:1; Mathew 10:34; Revelation 19:11–16}.

            It means that the Word–God is everything that a human being needs to accomplish life in this world and to enter the kingdom of God the Father: He is the foundation, He is the Source of life, He is the protection from the enemy, and He is the ultimate weapon, by which all enemies will be defeated.

The Old Testament’s history of the chosen nation proves that even with knowledge of the Law, the human mind fails. In spite of the manifestations of the power of the Almighty God revealed during Exodus, in spite of the knowledge of the Law given through Moses, in spite of the warnings that Moses and the following prophets uttered concerning the destructive power of the Law that carries blessing to those who observe the Law (who live according to human nature) and the curse to those who violates the Law (who pervert human nature), the chosen people repeatedly fell into idol–worship {Leviticus 26:1, 13–46; Deuteronomy 6:13–25; 30:15–20;  Isaiah 2:6–9; 65:2-5; Zechariah 7:8–14}.

The chosen nation was given the perfect setting, in which they could live in dignity and evolve into the holy nation of God, the nation of the priests and servants of God. There are three components of this setting: the Law, the land – living space filled with abundant resources and everything needed for the well–being, and the reveled through Moses condition that would prevent corruption of men and violations of the Law: all contacts with the surrounding heathens were strictly forbidden {Deuteronomy 7:1–6, 11–26; 9:1–6; 10:12–13}.

Consequently, it might be inferred that the main roots of evil, which bring ruin of man and collapse of his world, include

a) unfaithful heart – that is why love, therefore loyalty, to God is the first greatest commandment {Matthew 22:35–38}

b) ignorance, which is the consequence of either willful rejection of God or deprivation of the knowledge of God by those who have authority – that is why the prophets, the priests, the judges, and the wise righteous people were sent by God to teach, to guide, and to guard the chosen nation

c) availability of adverse knowledge, the false assumptions and figments of imagination, which are offered instead of true knowledge of God and which might be easily accepted if their carriers have emotional, physical, or another value or significance – that is why all contacts with the idol–worshipers were forbidden and their places of worship had to be destroyed {e.g., Exodus 34:11–16; Deuteronomy 7:1–5}.

However, the people despised the warnings, mingled with the heathens, accepted their manner of live and their idols, violated the commandments of God, and became as they were in the beginning, as those unworthy to bear the Name of God {Isaiah 2:6; 63:19; 65:15–16}.

Hence, it could be inferred that even own salvation is not in the power of humans; only in God is everything of man, and no flesh will be justified by the deeds of law. Only the direct intervention of God, Who gave the Holy Spirit to His prophets and servants, sustained the chosen of the chosen ones destined to preserve the knowledge of God for the following generations until those who would accept the Messiah, the Son of God, the Word–God, are born {Isaiah 45:20–26; 63:10–14; Ecclesiastes 12:13; John 17:6–26; Romans 3:20–26; Ephesians 1:3–11; 2:4–10}.

The Word–God came to re–create the human clay, which the Law prepared and which God preserved for His works, into the new creation destined to become the dwelling–temple of the Living God. The Apostles recognized Him as the main corner Stone on which the human temple of God is built {James 1:17–18, 21–25; 1 Peter 2:4–10; Ephesians 2:10, 20–22}.

Moreover, only the human mind that believes in Lord Jesus Christ – the Word–God – can be invincible and unwaveringly focused on God. St. John the Apostle named this ability the authority {εξουσιαν  – John 1:12 – authority, power, control} to become a child of God born by the Holy Spirit of God {John 1:12–13; 3:3–6}. Only faith in Lord Jesus Christ and received through Him the Holy Spirit of God make human being immortal, and only through the knowledge of God revealed by Lord Jesus Christ a human being obtains the eternal life {John  14:6; 17:3; 1 John 5:11–13}. The Word–God within human soul breaks the “covenant with death,” which began with disobedience of Adam {Genesis 2:15–17; 3:17, 22}.

            Only if the Word–God becomes the imprinted Seal, the inner essence of the human heart–mind {James 1:17–18, 21; 1 John 3:1–2}, a human being receives the indestructible foundation and the ultimate weapon that defeats the evil. Such a human being becomes a child of God; he is unable of committing sin; his deeds are truth and love to the others {1 John 3:9–10}.

The next question: who is the crooked dragon, the asp with lethal poison, the basilisk within the addled egg, which blinds its followers and brings death and destruction {Isaiah 59:2–11}?

Definitely, the Prophet does not speak of material earthly animals – snakes, asps, vipers; besides, the basilisk is a fictional creature similar to Gorgon Medusa of the Greek myths.

In the New Testament, Lord God Jesus Christ mentions serpent(s) when He refers to the Pharisees as to “Serpents! Offspring of vipers!” {οφεις, γεννηματα  εχιδνων   – Matthew 23:33}, and when He gives His disciples the authority to tread on the serpents and all powers of enemy, which will not be able to harm them {Luke 10:19}.

Then, St. Paul the Apostle summarizes the essence of heathenism (idol–worship – deification of creatures and the worship of creatures, not true God) and its impact on its followers (loss of reasoning, hatred to God, perversion, corruption of mind and body, insolence, malice, cruelty, falsehood, envy, quarrels, etc.). Those who initially were given the knowledge of the eternal power and Godhead, which also can be discerned through the visible things created by God, began to seek truth in unrighteousness. They did not glorify and thank God; instead, they deified and served creatures – birds, animals, reptiles. So, God gave them up to their uncleanness, lusts of their heart, and dishonor of their bodies: they became vain in their reasoning and darkened in understanding; they fell in foolishness holding themselves as wise, yet working all uncleanness with greediness  {Romans 1:18–32; Ephesians 4:17–19}.

Therefore, the heathenism is degeneration of human nature and annihilation of humaneness accomplished through perversion of mind and body: those who worship beasts re–create themselves into the likeness of beasts.

The referred above texts concerning the serpent, asp, crooked dragon, addled egg with the crawling monster carrying death within, the descriptions of the heathen rites and influence on those who practice them point to the Orphic doctrine*1*: the cult of the arch–evil/serpent–beast/container of all forms of all living creatures. Orphism was the source of all idols which the nations surrounding ancient Israel worshiped and to which they sacrificed animals and humans (including own children).

Orphism was not only the root of the numerous heathen cults of the Mediterranean region; Orphism also sustained the Plato–Aristotle’s philosophical, political, and social concepts, which Alexander of Macedonia embodied into his empire and imposed unto all conquered nations of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Asia. Although his establishment was short–lived and disintegrated after his death, the religious–philosophical–political–social foundation of empire’s remnants was practically unchanged. It means that the world, which surrounded the ancient Israel and from which the chosen people picked up their idols, worshiped the different forms of the same beast portrayed by the Orphics as the arch–dragon impregnating the coiled egg from which the dragon–container of all prototypes of all living beings appears.

For the ancient heathens, the allegory of “breaking of the egg” signified achievement of enlightenment and the unity with the deified beast–serpent, the arch–evil. However, in the referred above texts of the Holy Scriptures, Isaiah the prophet refers to such “enlightenment” as to blindness and perplexity and portrays the serpent–worshipers as murderers, destroyers, and sinners.

Therefore, the definition of the leaders of Israel as “offspring of vipers” {Matthew 23:33} reveals the source of corruption – the false doctrine of serpent–worshipers. This definition summarizes the Israel’s history of rejection of God, violations of the Law, and idol–worship, which resulted in inability to recognize the Messiah and to comprehend the time of visitation {Luke 19:41–44; John 1:9–11}. The words of God, Who sees the true essence – the heart – of man, reveal the tragedy of the chosen people whose leaders became the evil and adulterous generation, the murderers of the righteous men and prophets sent by God, the unclean beasts – likeness of the arch–enemy that was the murderer of men from the beginning, the hypocrites, evil and devoid of reason “blind guides” who lead the ignorant (“blind”) people into the pit {Matthew 12:34; 16:1–4; 23:1–35; John 7:25–26, 30, 44–49; 8:44; 9:39–41}.

The power to tramp over serpents, which God gave His servants, points to the power inseparable from presence of the Word–God Who is the only Defender from the evil; for instance,

 

wisdom to observe the commandments of God

the issuing abilities to recognize the evil root in thoughts, words, and actions of men

the power to stop/discard  the evil and do not let it enter into own heart–mind.

 

And I think of the complete understanding of the human nature given to Isaiah the prophet: he wrote that we are the clay in the hands of God the Father {Isaiah 64:8}. Indeed, until God claims man as His Own possession {Malachi 3:17–18} and transforms the lifeless dust into a living child of God, a human earth without the foundation is nothing more than liquefied unstructured mud that flows in any direction and covers any debris of collapse…

 

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Notes:

 

*1* Concerning Orphic doctrine and its impact, see postings

 

Philosophy: the Beginning, Philosophy: Plato, folder Philosophy, Page_1 and Page_2

The Mysteries – June 22, 2008, Archive, Page_7_2008–2009

The Logic of Death – October 19, 2008, Archive, Page_2_2008

Note 2, The Broken and Humbled Heart – February 14, 2010, Archive, January–March_2010.

 

 

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