Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

August_2011

The Unassailable Purity

The Defense

The Liberation

The Greatness of Man


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57. Sunday, August 7, 2011

 

The Unassailable Purity

 

…For we are not as the many adulterating the word of God;

but as of sincerity, but as of God.

In the sight of God, in Christ, we speak.…

{2 Corinthians 2:17}

 

 

From the depth of the Past, the ancient warning comes against “the shepherds of Israel” – the priest, keepers of the Law, men in a position of the authority over the people. The evil shepherds left the sheep unattended: they used the sheep to feed themselves, yet, they did not feed the sheep, they did not strengthen the weak, they have not cherished the sick, they did not seek the lost… So, the sheep were scattered over the face of the earth, and there was none to seek them out and to bring them back; they became the pray, the meat to the wild beasts {Ezekiel 34:1–8}.

Lord God Jesus Christ warns His followers, that many will come under His name to lead many astray. Many will utter the name of the Lord, prophesy, and perform the works of power, yet in the Last Day, God will tell them that He “never knew them,” and they depart from Him, because of their works of lawlessness. Only those who accomplish the will of God enter His kingdom {Matthew 7:21–23; Mark 13:5–6}.

These two texts convey the explicit warning: many of those who mention the name of God or act because of the authority, which they pretend to receive from God, do not speak by the Spirit of God, they do not observe the Law of God, and they do not accomplish the will of God: they are as far from God as the evil is far from the good, and as death is far from life.

Today, exercising their freedom of speech, many people use references to the name of God: some of them expressing their faith by seeking self–identification as the Christians and imploring God for help and deliverance, some of them seeking advantages and leadership in the worldly affairs, some of them in the attempt to express hatred to God and to those who observe His Law.

Love and reverence to God (therefore, respectful mentioning His name) is the true and natural feature of any human being created in image and after likeness of God.

To the contrary, some of the references to God, which are conveyed by the media, reveal the depth of degradation/perversion of the human nature – hatred to God. This hatred has grown within the societies because of many reasons, including

a/ centuries of deceitful use of the name of God for masquerading religious wars, persecutions, tortures, and assassination of the different–minded practiced by the papal Church of Rome, which still covers its official doctrine (Aquinas’ political theology) with the name of Christianity

b/ political propaganda and persecutions of the people of different religions in the totalitarian states of the twentieth century (e.g., Communist Russia and Nazi Germany)

c/ spread of the neo–heathenism and revamped ancient heresies.

Nevertheless, can widely propagated heathenism, heresies, atheism, and hatred to God disprove the fact that the current crisis of mankind is the consequence of the violations of the two greatest commandments of God – love to God and love to each other {Matthew 22:37–38}? For instance, unstoppable wars, genocides, exploitation of one nation by other nation and one man by another man, human trafficking, international pedophile rings, drug wars, disloyal employees, betrayers, fraudulent and deceitful commerce and business practices, and other realities of daily life are possible only because love to God and love to each other became the distant memories of the remote and almost forgotten Past.

However, today, as it was in the very beginning, the word of God is the living double–edged sword of the omnipotent power that judges and reveals the inner essence of man {Hebrews 4:12–13}. Therefore, it will be no unity, and there will be no peace. The division that Lord Jesus Christ has brought on the earth {Matthew 10:34–36; Luke 12:51–53} never will be reconciled until the end of times, because there is not in the power of man to reconcile the evil with the good and the death with the life. So, such division will exist until the evil is able to enter the human mind. So, we live in the time of separation, schisms, animosity, controversies, hatred, perversion, and unprecedented by their scale crimes against humanity. Also, because of hostility among different groups within the societies, there is no realistic expectation to reach the unity of thoughts, interests, purposes within all the human institutions and establishments. Hence, it cannot be any fruitful cooperation in decision of the most pressing problems.

For instance,

– there are many who use the name of God to cover godless organizations and their crimes, to push those who seek spiritual truth into the trap of political organizations and cults pursuing earthly power and financial benefits

– there are many who reject God

– still, there are some true followers of Lord Jesus Christ.

Which kind of efficient cooperation would be possible among all those groups, if each of them has own meanings of the good and the evil, own vision of human nature, different purposes and incompatible limits of tolerance?

In addition, three very alarming trends might be identified in the information flowing through the current media:

1 / attempts to erase the very memory of God from all aspects of political, social, and cultural life

2/ attempts to cover with references to God the political, social, commercial, and other aspirations

3 / attempts to cover by the name of God the ruthless crimes against humanity and senseless massacres.

It looks like those who mention the name of God in public, with the worldly purposes (that is in vain) and not because of sincere belief, have forgotten, or probably, never knew

a/ one of The Ten Commandments: “Thou shall not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain” {Exodus 20:7}

b/ that our God is the consuming Fire {Hebrew 12:28–29} that annihilates the evil (along with its carriers) and the lawless ones

c/ that by calling upon the name of God in vain, they not only violate the Law of God – they also trigger own ruin and accelerate disintegration of their establishments.

The danger of the contemporary situation is not only coming of the stage of advanced collapse of godless human institutions; the spiritual death awaits those who adulterate the words of God, intervene with the words of God, transform the name of God into cover–up of own lawlessness and worldly purposes, and misinterpret the Holy Scriptures with own imagination. If someone does not believe in God – the Source of the Law, it does not mean that he will avoid responsibility for violation of the Law of God – the Law that defines the human nature and the nature of the world that accommodates existence of men. Even in worldly affairs, ignorance in the matters of the human laws does not release the transgressor from responsibility before the state or other institutions whose laws he has violated as well as before those against who he committed a crime. What, then, could expect the one who acts against own nature and against the nature of the world? Would he and his offspring prosper indefinitely and not be wiped out from the face of the earth?

Everyone has freedom to interpret for own pleasure anything that is within the reach of the intellect. However, in the matters concerning the Christian teachings and Christian faith, the Christians should exercise caution in expression of own “discoveries” and making them mandatory truth for the others, because Christianity is the reality created by God Himself. Modifications, additions, contradictions, or misinterpretation and concealment of the words or commandments of God are falsification of the knowledge of God; and such falsification constitutes the crime against God and against man.

The Holy Scriptures establish the special and unambiguous requirements to those who desire to propagate the words of God and methods of identification of those who mislead their followers, create confusion or temptation for the others, and modify, diminish, or take away the words of God.

For instance,

a/ any reference, any service and worship to God must be accomplished in love, sprit, truth, humility and the awe before the glory, majesty, grandeur, and omnipotence of the Almighty God–Creator

b/ St. James the Apostle warned against many becoming teachers – the teachers will receive greater judgment, yet, we all stumble in many ways {James 3:1}

c/ as St. Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians, the disciples of Lord God Jesus Christ do not adulterate the word of God as many others do; they preach sincerely, “as of God, in the sight of God, in Christ” {2 Corinthians 2:17}.

The true Christians live by God, in love to God, in presence of God, and for God; their only way and truth is the Word–God, Lord Jesus Christ, their only teacher is the Holy Spirit of God, and the only wisdom they seek is in knowledge of the words of God and observation of the commandments of God.

Some people seek omens and signs, dream the dreams of their imagination, and compile false knowledge through divination. Usually, divination is seen as the ancient forgotten practices. Yet, the entire edifice of the contemporary culture, education, social, religious, and political life is full of the fruits of divination, e.g., starting with the astrologers at the service of the heads of the states (or their wives) and finishing with horoscopes published in magazines and carried through other channels of communications daily.

Although the people accept the dreams of diviners as the very summit of human wisdom, such wisdom is foolishness before God. The people possessed by the spirit of divination “speak out of the earth, the vain words out of their own belly”*1*{Isaiah 8:19}. It means that the diviners speak only by flesh and conveys sounds of the earth/matter: they made themselves the creatures of flesh, and they perceive and voice out only the needs of the flesh, not revelations of the Spirit of God. However, the dreams and sounds of flesh/matter are sufficient nor for guidance, nor for survival within the world of the matter, nor for obtaining the life everlasting. If the one wants to survive, he should stand above his environment, to possess the wisdom, which allows discerning the threats and dangers within the surrounding pieces of flesh and structures of the matter. Only the power of spirit gives such abilities, yet, there is no power of human spirit without the Spirit of God.

Furthermore, when the creatures of flesh stumble upon the truth of the crucified God–Man, which they are not able to comprehend, they substitute own figments of imagination for the truth that they do not understand and then, misinterpret or falsify the words of God to substantiate their fantasies: that is when the judgment and destruction begin.

 It might be inferred from the Holy Scriptures that if the one takes away, or adds, or adulterates the words of God, he commits iniquity, and separates himself from God: he becomes a liar. If the liar propagates the adulterated and misinterpreted words of God, he becomes a false teacher. The liar/false teacher do not have wisdom, which comes only from the presence of God. The false teachers are unable to comprehend the Christian teachings and to convey the truth and knowledge of God to the others. St. Paul the Apostle refers to them as to those who departed from the truth and clung to the teachings of demons in hypocrisy of liars having being seared in their own conscience. The liars and false teachers transform themselves into the sons of arch–evil that was the murderer of men from the beginning, and they will share the destiny of the arch–evil {cf. in: Deuteronomy 4:1–2; 12:32; Proverbs 2:6–9; 4:14–19; Isaiah 59:2–11; Matthew 7:15–23; 18:6–7; John 8:42–47; 1 Timothy 4:1–5; James 3:1; 2 Peter 2:1–22; 1 Corinthians 1:18–25; Revelation 21:8, 27; 22:10, 15, 18–19}.

Therefore, the words of God must be kept in the unassailable purity, because they impart the holiness that sanctifies and heals and feeds the heart and the mind; they are the greatest treasure of a human being and the highest standard with which all human thoughts, words and deed are evaluated.

Whoever the people are – believers or atheists – they should remember that only people are responsible for all the evil that triumphs today: God has done nothing wrong to any of His creations. He revealed the Law on which the world is established and He warned of the consequences of the violation of the Law – the choice belongs to His creations: to live or to die.

It must be acknowledged that today’s world is the summary of the personal choices: who then, can blame God for own actions?

God created human beings; human beings transformed themselves into beasts. Thus, it must be acknowledged that it is not God,

 

it is a human beast who betrays, kills, deceives, inflicts pain and suffering
on the others – children, women, men, young and old

|

it is a human beast who butchers humans and animals,
who blows himself up in crowded markets and streets with the purpose
to kill and to dismember as many innocent bystanders as possible,
in false expectations of advancement of the bestial ideology of those
who transform a human being into the weapon of destruction
and expect to conquer the world by terror, fear, and ruthless crimes against humanity

|

it is a human beast who massacres children and women
in an attempt to prove own racial or any other “superiority”
and to advance neo–heathen cults covered with the name of Christian God

|

It is a human beast who creates own vision/image of God according to own essence
and with imagination inclined to the evil,
and who then, fashions this god into the idol,
by ascribing to it his own thoughts, vice, atrocities, and crimes,
and then, blames his idol–figment of his own imagination for his own actions,
referring to this idol–figment of own imagination as to “god.”

 

And I think, since the Antiquity, freedom and responsibility always are the inseparable twins.

For anyone who is endowed with the faculty of deliberation, the responsibility for own thoughts, words, and deeds always was the property of true human nature, which distinguishes freeman from slave and elevates man above the level of the creature of flesh – the beast.

Then, how low the contemporary human institutions fell, if knowledge of such responsibility might be found only in the rare ancient manuscripts…

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* "και τους απο της γης φωνουντας, τους κενολογουντας, οι εκ της κοιλιας φωνουσιν" {Isaiah 8:19}.

 

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58. Sunday, August 14, 2011

 

The Defense

 

…guard themselves from idols.…

{1 John 5:21}

…on behalf of His name they went out taking nothing from the Gentiles…

 {3 John 7}

 

Those who lived in the beginning of the current age, when the Christian teachings began to spread all over the world, and those who lived later, when the war with heresies began, those who live today, and those who will come tomorrow – all the living have the same warning: to guard themselves from the idols and to take nothing from the Gentiles {1 John 5:21; 3 John 7}.

The Gentiles are the heathens – idol–worshipers, who do not know true God.

In the beginning of the current age, the possession of the Gentiles was the serpentine theology – the Orphic doctrine*1*, and the multitude of its derivatives: heathen philosophy, religions, and cults of different idols, because of which the people sacrificed their brethren and children to the figments of their own imagination. When the heathens used the word “god,” they referred to either to the Orphic “divine absolute animal“ (the dragon–serpent–beast, which headed hierarchy of other gods, semi–gods, and similar mythical creatures, and which was the container of forms of living creatures, including men) or to any other deity from the flock of global, local, household idols (it was the common belief that “the world is full of gods”).

How, then, any reasonable mind could come to the assumption that the “knowledge” of the serpent stuffed with forms/ideas of beasts, animals, etc., might be associated with knowledge of any monotheist religion or with any rational knowledge at all?

Nevertheless, through the works of the theologians who accepted the heathen philosophy as the wisdom and truth, the heathen knowledge began to penetrate the Western theology. Augustine of Hippo*2*, who is recognized as one of the “fathers” of the Western church, is also one of those who triggered mass inflow of the heathenism into the works of Western theologians. Thomas Aquinas, the main papal theologian, completed the work of Augustine with transformation of the Christian teachings into the “Christian Aristotelianism” or “neo–Aristotelian system”*3* (simply, the Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology), which became the official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome.

Along with the heathen philosophy, the Western theologians accepted the particular – symbolical/mythological – mode of thinking. This mode of thinking is the feature of the heathen diviners; it enables the mind to create idols – the false gods, to worship them, and to transform the surrounding world into the inferno stuffed with bestial gods and their worshipers – human beasts. The heathen philosophy (and with it, the idol–making practices) became the general foundation of the Western civilization and as of today, still sustains the general framework within which the mind operates and creates knowledge of its gods, of itself, and of the world. 

Whatever assumptions the mind accepts in its evaluation of the world and own place within it, one point of reference is constant: theology provides the general foundation for all mind’s activities and only theology defines the nature of the mind’s creations as well as the destiny of the mind itself.

There are two incompatible theologies and based on them realities of existence, ways of life, of thinking, creating knowledge, and gathering fruits: there is the way of the children of God and there is the way of idol–worshipers, children of the arch–evil {John 8:42–44; 1 John 3:9–18}.

These theologies/realities are irreconcilable, because they develop on different foundations and have different cores–centers:

 

Christianity is focused on God–Creator, the Source of Life, the Absolute Good, and the Perfect Love;
it is the doorway into the eternity

 

the heathenism is a temporal arrangement around the void of the arch–evil – death,
which is destined to annihilation

 

 

Between them, there is no intermediate state, there is no similarity, there is no semblance, and there is no slightest chance of reconciliation.

St. John the Apostle warned the Christians to guard themselves from the idols and provided the example to follow: the brethren – the disciples of Lord God Jesus Christ – took nothing from the Gentiles {1 John 5:21; 3 John 7}; this message also should remind us of the warning given by God: none is able to serve two masters {Matthew 6:24}.

Many centuries ago, Aristotle substituted the practicable perceivable material best of men for the Absolute Good, and wrote Politics and other works, which became the handbooks for the theologians, philosophers, and politicians. In the matter of fact, the entire current civilization – religious, political, educational, social, and other establishments – has developed from the Aristotle’s Polis. This civilization embodies Aristotle’s common good of social animals–men who are the interchangeable–replaceable parts–property of the community and whose life, happiness, and freedoms might be sacrificed for the sake of the common good (the good as it is defined by the rulers of the community). The social animals live in the fog of ignorance and deceit; their access to knowledge of the actuality is limited; they are fashioned with special education tailored to the purposes of the ruling group; they are managed through the fear and deprivation of good; they are brain–washed with “right opinions” created for them by the opinion–makers at the service of the rulers.

Each daily news digest reveals, which kind of fruits the Aristotle’s followers harvested: the today’s world is the container for the amassed evil, crimes against humanity, incessant wars, massacres, poverty, crises and calamities, corruption and insufficiency of all kinds, and other fruits of the idol–worshiping mind, which became unable to create the systems and establishments sustaining life in dignity, prosperity, and happiness. Within the reality of the heathenism, a human being is the beast, which either consumes other beasts or is consumed by other beasts.

This world became the embodiment of the horrifying warning of Moses and visions of Isaiah the Prophets {e.g., Deuteronomy 28:15–68; 29:22–28; Isaiah 1:1–31, 2:6–10, 5:1–30; 9:13–20; 10:1–4; 59:1–15}, not the world, which a human being received from God and which carries the blessings of the Lord {Genesis 2:1–15; Deuteronomy 11:12–17, 26–28; 28:1–14}.

In fact, almost all evils predicted by Moses depict the daily life of either a particular nation or the entire world, even enslaving by the Egyptian (heathen) past exists: the minds of idol–worshipers have sold themselves into subservience of false knowledge, yet, none of the sound minds would buy them.

Although many denominations and religious establishments pretend to bear the name of Christ and assert that they are spreading the Christian teachings, which kind of fruits they have harvested, and what they can offer as the proof of their service to the true God? Which kind of works their members are doing, what they bring to the others, how they protect themselves and those who depend on them from sin, poverty, disasters and evil of all kinds, and most important, from the false knowledge, which leads to destruction? The answer on these questions is simple: just look around and evaluate the human establishments by one criterion – the good for which man was created: wisdom, happiness, health, prosperity, peace. Is any place in the world where these things can be found?

The Christian reality remains unknown for the majority of population; this reality is hidden within the soul–heart–mind of a human child of God, and there is no place for it, as well as for its carriers, within the world of the heathens.

And I think: what is left for those who want to live according to the human nature, according to the Law of God, and to be protected from the evil within the world of evil? How we, the Christians, could pass unharmed through this world on the way to home, to our God the Father and Creator?

There is only one way of defense: Christianity – love to God, love to the others, and knowledge of truth. Many centuries ago, God promised their followers that His truth would set them free {John 8:31–36}.

The truth of Lord God Jesus Christ indeed sets the mind free, because it allows seeing the true essence hidden within the things, which the surrounding world offers. Firstly, it protects from the idols created by the others…

 

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Notes:

 

*1* See The Orphic Doctrine, in Philosophy: the Beginning, Folder Philosophy, Page_1.

 

*2* See Works of Augustine of Hippo, Folder Philosophy, Page_6.

 

*3* See Doctrine of Thomas Aquinas, Folder Philosophy, Page_7.

 

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59. Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Liberation

 

 

…the Lord looked upon the earth from heaven,

to hear the groaning of the fettered ones,

to loosen the sons of the slain.…

{Psalm 101(102):19–20}

 

Even when Judea was the Roman province, there were many freemen among the people of Israel. Some of them answered the promise of freedom given by God with the statement that they are the sons of Abraham and never were the slaves {John 8:31–36}.  

Furthermore, Christian teachings do not promise the physical freedom; since the beginning, it does not urge the slaves to rebel against their owners: the Apostles mentioned the duty of submission to the civil authorities in the civil matters. However, there is a distinction: a Christian must not become a slave of sin and a slave of men who are false teachers and heretics {1 Peter 2:13–18; 3:1–4; 2 Peter 2:1–22; Jude 3–21; Romans 6:6–23;  1 Corinthians 7:21–24; Ephesians 6:5–8, 12–18; 2 Timothy 2:24–26; Titus 3:1–11}.

Therefore, if the civil authorities and leaders of social and religious establishments intervene with the freedom of conscience, if they attempt to modify the Christian faith and to spread heresy, if they attempt to turn the Christians to idol–worship, then, and only then, the Christians must not obey. Then, the Christians must make the choice between obedience to God and obedience to the enemies of God. There should not be fear of those who can deprive of physical life; only God decides the eternal destiny of man {Matthew 10:28}: for the Christians, God is the only Authority in the matters of conscience and faith.

The meaning of freedom promised by God is the freedom from sin {John 8:31–36}.

The foundation of any sin is corrupted imagination, because, before committing sin by physical actions (words and deeds), the mind commits sin by thought: the mind admits permissibility of such actions and contemplates how to accomplish them with the resources a human being possesses or is able to steal from the others. Therefore, the power of sin rests in the inclined to evil imagination: the evil comes into possession by the mind through over–stimulated and corrupted imagination, which admits a possibility of thoughts, words, and actions inconsistent with the Law of God, that is inconsistent with normal human nature.

Consequently, freedom from sin becomes possible only after liberation from the power of evil. Liberation from the power of evil is freedom from

 

imagination and its framework, the symbolic–mythical thinking – legacy of the heathen diviners

the false and deceit spread through political theology, ideologies,
heathen religions and cults of different idols.

 

The warning of Moses that for rejection of God, the apostates would be severely affected by all evils, would have to suffer intrusion of the conquerors and destroyers, and would serve other masters in the foreign lands {Deuteronomy 28:45–60}, has not lost its actuality.

After revelation of the Christian teachings, the freedom and slavery are opened at the higher levels: the human mind and the human spirit. Physical freedom does not secure freedom by spirit. Physical slavery and necessity of physical submission to the owners/masters do not deprive the mind of the freedom of thinking, as well as physical death does not deprive of the eternal life: the temporal parameters (the matter, time, and space) are irrelevant in the matters of faith, in the realm of the spirit.

Only God the Creator and Father has the power over the human soul and only God, because of His will, love, and mercy to His creations, transforms the creature of earth/flesh into the creation of the Holy Spirit, when the human soul is born as the child of God destined for the eternity with God {John 1:1–5, 9–13; 3:2–7}.

In the Present, even if there is physical freedom (to travel, to change employers, to move in another place, to buy that what is desired, and to eat that what is seems to be desirable, etc.), there is not much spiritual freedom. Many live by imagination and dream worlds spread through the mass culture, neo–heathen religions (e.g., the cults of magicians, witches, vampires, celebrities, supermen, aliens), and superstitions.

One of the main reasons of the spiritual slavery is attachment or even subservience to false knowledge propagated by the contemporary diviners and “opinion–makers.” Cultivation of the symbolic thinking*1* begins in the early childhood, with violent games and movies that

 

establish patterns of violations of The Ten Commandments and the words of God
by using murder, thievery, corruption, perversion, vice, and deceit
as the legitimate components of the dream worlds,
which are spread through entertainment, education, and cultural values

impart permissibility of crimes against God and men, and other creatures of the earth,
because, technically, they are committed in the mind of the participants, in the shared dream world,
and at the Present, they do not culminate in actual bloodshed or other evil deed

ultimately, take the place of the actuality
by transforming the mind of a child into the mind of a criminal.

 

            The ability to commit crimes within child’s own mind transforms a child into receptacle of the evil and makes a child ready to commit crime within the surrounding world.

Many forgot (or never knew) the simple truth: whoever commits crime in his heart–mind is guilty in the crime {cf.: Matthew 5:27–28; 12:34–37; 15:15–20}. Therefore, those who create and propagate dream worlds filled with violence, with heathen beliefs into magic, vampires, aliens, other unnatural creatures, as well as the parents, guardians, and educators who allow children to consume these products of corrupted imagination, – all including creators, sellers, and disseminators (free or commercially–motivated), all of them pollute and corrupt the heart–mind of our children: they transform our children into criminals.

In general, it is hard to discern presence of the rational thinking within the contemporary societies:

– from one side, the societies establish plenty of institutions for preventing of crimes, catching, judging, and punishing the criminals, and taking care of the victims

– from the other side, the societies themselves nurture the criminals and prepare the ground for the crimes.

So, how to protect children from the destructive influence of the godless society?

As the Christians, we have no right to physically harm even those who harm us: we cannot punish or put out of business those who, under protection of the civil laws and because of their free will, corrupt our children through media, education, books, movies, games, and other channels of communication, those who intervene with our responsibilities to prepare our children for service to God, so our children would obtain the everlasting life in His kingdom.

Only love to God and knowledge of God can protect a child from corruption spread by the perverted servants of the evil.

The inference is simple: the parents, who want their children to live, must educate their children by giving them the knowledge of God and by making the Holy Scriptures their guide, textbook, and the main source of knowledge of God and the Law of God. Only the words of God impart the righteousness, establish the conscience and moral strength of a child. Then, the societies will be free from riots and the violent crimes, because it will be no rebels and criminals.

And I think that the freedom promised to the fettered ones and the children of the slain, firstly, is the freedom to choose life and freedom. This choice is given through Christian teachings.

The tragedy of the world is inabilities to discern the fetters of sin and evil, which assumed the form of the dream worlds born by the corrupted imagination intently bent upon evil things {Genesis 8:21}, and to come to the Light…

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* See Introduction to Political theology, Folder Political Theology, Page_1.

 

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60. Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Greatness of Man

 

 

…Among those born of a woman, no prophet is greater than John the Baptist.

But the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is.…

{Luke 7:28}

 

There is not much information concerning John the Baptist, besides the words of God and mentioning in the Gospels. From the moment of conception, he is set apart from other people: he is different – he is the messenger of God, the voice crying in the wilderness, the one destined to prepare the ways of the Messiah. Also, God refers to him as to Ilias, the great prophets of the Old Testament who served God when the chosen people lapsed into idol–worship of the Phoenicians. John the Baptist stands on the border between two periods of human existence:

 

the time of learning, the Old Testament times, when the laws and the prophets were given

and

the time of actions, when the final revelations are given –

knowledge of God the Father, the Kingdom of God, and the Way to God the Father;

since, own choice of man and his own actions

(observance or disregard of the words of God) define his destiny:

would he enter the eternal life in the Kingdom of God,

or would he be separated from God.

 

John the Baptist came to prepare the people for the meeting with the Messiah, unless God comes and smites the earth (sinful creatures of flesh) completely. His entire life is focused on fulfillment of the mission, for which he was born. With his coming, the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God began, and with his death, the times of the prophets ended {Matthew 11:7–14; Mark 1:1–15; Luke 1:1–80; 3:2–  22; John 14:1–6, 23; 17:3–7; Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1–3; 4:1–3; 3 Kings 18:17–40; 19:1–18; 4 Kings 2:1–11; Revelation 21:1–8}.

That what is known of the deeds of John the Baptist does not describe his greatness in the terms of earthly human life. He was ascetic, and until his time, he lived in the wilderness. One day, he came to Jordan and began to baptize in the water those who repented and sought purification of sins. Through baptizing with water (as the sign of repentance and therefore, purification), he prepared those who repented for forgiveness of sins and for baptism by the Fire – the Holy Spirit of God, so a human being would receive the authority to become the child of God born by the Spirit of God. He recognized God in Jesus Christ, and his two disciples became the first disciples of the Lord. He determined the true essence of the learned leaders of the Israel – the Pharisees and the Sadducees who discarded the Law of God, perverted the truth, and became the “offspring of vipers” and the children of the arch–evil*1*. Then, because he spoke the truth, Herod the king imprisoned him. Ultimately, by the order of Herod, he was beheaded for the sake of vanity and pride of sinful woman {Matthew 3:1–17; 11:7–18; 14:1–13; Mark 1:1–15; Luke 1:76–80; 3:2–22; 7:16–30; 9:7–9; John 1:1–40; 3:1–7; 8:37–47; Acts 1:4–5; 13:24–25; 1 John 3:7–10}.

In the time of Moses, the way into the Promised Land led through Jordan and God the Consuming Fire came before His people to annihilate the sinful and corrupted nations. The waters of Jordan washed feet of those who carried the Law and who went to claim the Land promised by God.  In the time of John the Baptist, the way to the Kingdom of God also started in the waters of Jordan, which have to wash away the dirt of men, so they would remember that they repented and prepared to be cleansed from the evil. Otherwise, the presence of God would destroy them: the presence of God annihilates the evil, and if the human heart–mind becomes the void of evil, it shares the destiny of the evil. The baptism of John was given with revelation of the Future: God would baptize His people with the Fire. Those who repented and who were purified from their sins would accept the baptism by the Holy Spirit: with the Living Water and with the Fire, man, who is saved/re–created by the Word–God, enters the Kingdom of God, and obtains the life everlasting. In the time of the Last Supper, Lord God Jesus Christ washed feet of His disciples purified by His word to complete their preparation for His departure from the earth and for coming of the Holy Spirit {Deuteronomy 9:1–3; 31:13; Joshua 3:14–15; Malachi 3:1–3; 4:1–3; Luke 3:16–17; John 1:6–8, 19–36; 3:5, 16–17; 4:10–14; 7:37–39; 13:3–10; 15:3; 1 John 5:6–8}.

Therefore, the story of John the Baptist reveals that before coming to God, we have to wash out the earthly dust and dirt – sins, iniquities, misunderstanding, and ignorance, with which our earthly road is contaminated. Then, the Living Water that purifies and prepares for God will come: it is the words of Lord God Jesus Christ.

The story of John the Baptist is remarkable because of many reasons; and one of them is that it reveals how God evaluates His creations. John the Baptist has nothing of this world: he possesses neither riches nor any of the earthly powers. Yet, he is the greatest among those born of a woman – the greatest among of all the living and the dead, those who lived in the Past, those who live today, and those who will pass through the earthly life in the Future.

The meaning of greatness within the world of man might be inferred from the history as well as from the current daily life: the greatness of man is measured by the ability to manipulate (arrange, maintain, obtain, and destroy) the material objects and by the access to the power of coercion and other means of persuasion, which, for instance, force men–subjects–slaves to act according the purposes of their leader–ruler–owner.

For example, people ascribe greatness to the conquerors, kings, emperors, popes, builders and destroyers of the empires, creators of arts, and the others.

In general, the more human blood the conquerors shed the sooner the conquered ascribe them the title of the great; the more wealth man accumulates the greater he becomes in the eyes of those who remain poor, and so on.

John the Baptist has nothing of the usual attributes of human greatness:

 

he did not murder

he did not deceive

he did not plunder

he did not steal

he did not destroy

he did not create

he did not build

he did not collect

he did not make charitable contributions

he has nothing of earthly riches

he did not use any of the powers,

 by which one man subdues and enslaves other creations of God.

 

Only God defines him as the greatest among those born of a woman.

So, what is the greatness of man before God, what differentiates the great man from all the others?

John the Baptist is different from the others who associate greatness with the properties of the material world, yet, God refers to him as to the greatest among all born of a woman. Therefore, greatness of God’s creation is not in the power and abilities to manipulate with the matter. God is the Spirit; He seeks those who would worship Him in spirit and truth. Hence, the meaning of John the Baptist’s greatness is in his spirit, in his heart–mind, in his steadfastness and faithfulness of the messenger

 

who came for the sake of accomplishment of the will of God

who is focused only on the will of God

who lives only for accomplishment of the will of God.

 

The story of John the Baptist makes clear that the greatness of man is in the power of his spirit–heart–mind that secures fulfillment of the will of God, in humility before God, and in desire to accomplish the will of God.

Then, the words of God give one more revelation: although John the Baptist is the greatest among those born of a woman, the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is {Matthew 11:11; Luke 7:28}. These words introduce another system of values, which is not of this world; it destroys all human assumptions and annihilates the values, with which ordinary men assess all that compose the meaning of their existence. Yet, this system is the only reality by which a human being should live, because this is the reality of God the Creator.

So, who are those in the Kingdom of God, how they differ from men, if even the least one of them is greater than the greatest one among those born of woman?

As Lord God Jesus Christ explained to Nicodemus, the Pharisee and one of the leaders of Israel, only the one, who receives the birth from above, is able to see the Kingdom of God. This birth is not connected with the birth from a woman: by the Holy Spirit of God mortal man becomes the child of God born into life everlasting {John 1:12–13; 3:1–6, 16–18}. This birth is of water of repentance and purification accomplished through Lord Jesus Christ – the Word–God and coming of the Holy Spirit of God Who illuminates, sanctifies, and transforms mortal creature of dust into the immortal child of the Light – the child of God.

Therefore, as it is possible to infer from the Gospels, the difference between a child of God and a mortal man–creature of flesh is in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God within a human being who has been re–created by the Word–God: by the Holy Spirit of God the immortal child of God lives, sees the Kingdom of God, and enters the life everlasting.

And I think, how miserable life is, if the mind lives only by the values of this world, which before God is nothing but flowing dust, dissipating particles of the matter, the senseless drawing on the sand washed away by the ocean of the eternity…

Thousands of years ago, the prophet cried to God: what is man that Thou take him in consideration {Psalm 143(144):3}?

The story of John the Baptist holds the answer: the true greatness of man is in accomplishment of the will of God and the issuing authority to become the child of God – the being who loves God and loves the others, who lives by the Word–God and for God, and who is loved by God {John 1:10–13; 3:15–18; 13:34–35; 14:23; 17:6–26; 1 John 3:1–3; 4:7–21}.

Until man becomes the child of God, the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the being living by love to God in God and for God, he is nothing, and he is worthy of nothing, as the lifeless dust is…

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* See The Authority to Survive and The Great Chasm, in Folder 2011, July_2011.

 

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