Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

8_October_2012

The Law and the Future

The Repentance


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118–119. Sunday, October 7-14, 2012
The Law and the Future 

Αποκαλυψον τους οφθαλμους μου, και κατανοησω τα θαυμασια εκ του νομου Σου

(unveil Thou my eyes, and I shall perceive wondrous things out of Thy law)…

{Psalm 118(119):18}

 

The Holy Scriptures speak of the law of God – the law on which the universe is established, and according to which a human being was created, lives, and dies. According to the law, all things come into being, exist to accomplish the will of God, and then, either complete/end/exit their time–range of existence or evolve (develop and reach the higher complexity – the potency to accomplish other purposes of the Lord).

Knowledge of the law of God enables the mind to compose own knowledge of the world and to cognize the nature of things, which God created for man: as the prophet says, “unveil Thou my vision, and I shall perceive the wonders out of Thy law” {“Αποκαλυψον τους οφθαλμους μου, και κατανοησω τα θαυμασια εκ του νομου Σου” – Psalm 118(119):18}*1*.

As soon as the mind comprehends the law of God, it becomes able of foreseeing the future of those things that are open for its observation, analysis, and cognition. In a process of cognition of the law of God and analysis of things out of the law (εκ του νομου – out of the law: the law*2* is the reason why the things came into being), the mind creates new knowledge, which it uses for own development, for comprehension of the world, and, if it is empowered, for control and improvement of things that compose the world given into the dominion of man {Genesis 1:26–28; 2:7–8, 15, 19–20; 9:1–7}.

The common view is that one of the most valuable (because it is the most sought after) results of knowledge of the law of God is knowledge of the future.

So, what is the law of God? Then, how the mind that is devoted to God and is seeking knowledge of His law could be enabled to know the future?

Only God the Creator knows the future of the world He created and the future of His creation – man whom He made for accomplishment of His purpose. The chosen ones, the prophets – messengers of God and the apostles of Lord God Jesus Christ, received revelations of the future, so, they conveyed the particular knowledge – prophecies–forewarnings of the future things to come, particularly, if some ways and conditions of life are not changed {for instances, warnings, “curses,” and signs of Moses in Deuteronomy (esp. 28:45–47); prophecies in the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Malachi, and other Old Testament prophets; the Gospels, Epistles of the Apostles, the Book of Revelation}. With this knowledge, the mind received the guidance, became capable of evaluating own progress/failure, and, by learning the consequences of violations of the law of God, was enabled to perceive the future as the outcome of thoughts, words, and deeds of men who act according to their knowledge, for achievement of their purposes, and within limits of their potency*3*.

In brief, knowledge of the law and consequences of its violations began to sustain survival of men and to define the meaning of the proper life leading to achievement of the main purpose of existence – accomplishment of the will of God.

The significance of the law can be inferred from the dogma that everything in the world came into being, exists, and comes to the natural completion according to the will of God the Heavenly Father.

Thus, the human mind comprehends the will of God as the being/life consistent with His purposes, consummated/evolving according to His plan/design issuing from and accomplished through manifestation of the Uncognizable Absolute – the Unity, from Whom the Almighty Divine Power, Divine Energy, and the Divine – Universal – Law come to create, to sustain, and to lead to completion the world perceivable by man*4*. Anything that deviates from the way consistent with the will of God (violates the law of God) comes to the unnatural and violent end – deprivation of reason, insufficiency, hunger, suffering, collapse, annihilation, death; all these evils come through corruption, immorality, wars, unrest, revolutions, crimes, lethal diseases, natural disasters (drought, flood), perplexity and darkness, fearful, weak, and debilitating heart–mind that worships visible perceivable idols because it is unable to perceive God {cf.: Deuteronomy 28:15–68; Isaiah 5:24–30}.

The law out of which the world is (the universal law) reveals to the human mind the way through which the will of God the Father is accomplished within the world of men. This law is definition of the nature, and its revelation to man is manifestation of the Perfect All–forgiving Love of God {cf.: Deuteronomy 4:13, 39–40; 6:1–9, 13–19; 7:7–15; 30:1–20; Matthew 22:36–40; John 3:16–18; 6:38–40; 1 John 4:16–21}:

a/ knowledge of the law (therefore, cognition of the good, and comprehension of the nature of things, through which the mind cognizes the good and the evil and into which it embodies knowledge created as the result of cognition of the good and of the evil) triggers the human evolution at the earth as the process of obtaining the life everlasting {e.g., Ezekiel 33:8–20}; this evolution is completed when a creature of dust becomes a child of God born of God {cf.: John 1:12–13; 3:5–7; 1 John 5:1–4}

b/ the essence of the law is love: love to God and love to the others {Matthew 22:36–40; Mark 12:28–34; Luke 10:25–37; John 13:34–35; 15:12–13}

c/ the purpose of observance of the law is development of the ability to perceive the Absolute Good – the attribute of God, which man has to imitate through imitation of mercy and perfection of God {Matthew 5:44–48; Luke 6:35–36}: cognition and observance of the law is cognition of the good that is necessary for transformation into the embodiment of the good of man capable of dwelling with God – the living temple into which the Holy Spirit comes {John 7:37–39; 14:15–17, 23–26}; without such a transformation – birth of God the Spirit, a human being is not able to obtain the everlasting life in the presence of God {cf.: John 1:12–13; 3:3–7; 4:24}

c/ man enters the life everlasting only accepting and accomplishing the words of Lord God Jesus Christ Who came to fulfill the law revealed through the prophets and Whose earthly life is manifestation of the Absolute Good – the Perfect Love of God: He committed His soul*5* for salvation of man and declared knowledge of God the Father that is the everlasting life {Matthew 7:21–27; 18:11–14; Mark 10:45; Luke 6:46–49; John 1:1–18; 5:24–25; 10:11; 15:13; 17:1–3, 23–26}.

In the very beginning, when the law was given, man learned that God instructs and corrects man as a man instructs and corrects his son, and that God has pity on man as a merciful father has pity on his son; so, man shall keep the commandments of God and walk in His ways, and to fear Him {Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalm 102(103):8–13}.

With coming of Lord Jesus Christ, the Word–God, the Savior and the Redeemer, man was given the authority to become a child of God born of God; he also learned the meaning of the perfect law of freedom and perfect love in which there is no fear {James 1:25; 1 John 4:14–21; 5:1–4}. After the one has learned the commandments/words of God and began to embody them into own thoughts, words, and actions, he become able of comprehension the true meaning of freedom – freedom from evil and sin. Along with evil and sin, fear vanishes, and the one dwells with God and in the love of God according to the promise of the Word–God {John 8:31–36; 1 John 4:7–21}.

In summary, one of the interpretations of the law of God, which assists in comprehension of the Perfect Love of God, is fostering of development/evolution of the creations of God: any human being is expected to evolve into a child of God capable of withstanding the presence of God during the eternity. Such development (or evolution) begins with observance of the law – commandments of God {Matthew 19:16–19; Luke 10:25–37}, proceeds through imitation of perfection and mercy of God {Matthew 5:36–48; Luke 6:27–36}, and is completed with development of the ability to love the others as God loves His creations {John 13:34}.

In conclusion, as it can be inferred from the Books of the New Testament, the purpose of the law is

 

to secure the normal growth of the seed planted by God

(the Word–God accepted by the human soul–heart–mind)

into the mighty tree (a child of God destined for the eternity with God)

with the great branches under the shadow of which the birds of heavens are able to roost

or, in other words,

to transform the dissipating structure of dust into the indestructible temple of God

built on the precious Stone and destined for the eternity

{cf.: Mark 4:2–33; Luke 17:20–21; John 1:12–13; 14:23; James 1:18, 21; 1 Peter 2:4–10; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17}.

 

As soon as the most visible consequences of violations of the law of God are suffering and death, some theologians came to the blasphemous doctrines, which portray God as the source of the evil*6*. They not only absorbed heathen philosophy and practices of the heathen diviners: they invented heresy that is much worse than the ancient heathenism is*7*. They asserted the rights of man to overthrow the law of God with own decrees, to usurp the place of God in His temple, and to modify the meanings of the good and the evil transforming freeman–creation of God into a slave of worldly corrupted establishment striving for the world domination. Ultimately, they began to persecute the true (Orthodox) Christians and burn at stake the different–minded (“heretics”). They have lost the remnants of understanding of the nature of the good and the nature of the evil and, therefore, became incapable of discerning the embodiments of the evil within the world of men. As Isaiah the prophet has foreseen {Isaiah 59:3–15}, their ways became crooked ways of wickedness, bloodshed, and iniquities *8*.

However, God did not create death, and the evil does not exist in the presence of God. By committing himself to the evil – that is by violating the God’s commandments*9*, man commits himself to death {cf.: Isaiah 28:15–19; Ezekiel 18:31–32; Romans 6:23}. The direct connection between sin and death is the meaning of the law for the unrepentant sinners who

1/ do not believe in Lord God Jesus Christ

2/ do not observe the commandments of God

3/ do not cease doing the works of the evil.

The law of God is the universal law: it controls the nature of the world, including the human nature, because the law enables the direct connection

 

between the good and the continuing life for accomplishment of the will of God

and

between the evil and annihilation/death.

 

It means that within the world created by God, only a being that accomplishes the will of God (therefore, exists and evolves in compliance with the law) enters the next phase of life: only the one who lives by observing the commandments of God and doing the works of God, becomes the child of God and enters the life everlasting.

The power of law could be inferred from the words of Lord God Jesus Christ Who came to fulfill the law revealed through the prophets according to the will of God the Father:

 

everything exists for the sake of accomplishment of the will of God the Father

all those who accomplish His will are connected into the multitude serving God the Father

everything will be accomplished in full compliance with the will of God the Father, and in the time allotted by God the Father

{Matthew 5:17–18; 24:33–51; 26:38–39, 42; Mark 3:34–35; John 4:34; 6:38–40; Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14; Revelation 21:1–8; 22:1–5, 12–15}.

 

Furthermore, the power of the law over the creations out of the law is absolute, because only this something that is in full compliance with the will of the Creator and that works according to His purposes is empowered to complete a natural phase of existence and to reach the fulfillment according to its nature. God warned His followers that the earth and the heavens will cease their existence, yet the entire law shall be fulfilled – He himself came to fulfill the law and the prophets (through whom the law was revealed), not to annul it {cf.: Matthew 5:17–18}.

Consequently,

– in the world of man, whoever violates the law, therefore deviates from the human nature, is doomed to disorder (mental and physical abnormalities, ills, diseases), and premature death (annihilation), because he has no power to complete existence according to his nature and to reach the level of development needed for the next phase – the kingdom of God

– in the world, which accommodates existence of mankind, is the similar setting/pattern: whatever deviates from own nature loses the abilities of normal functioning and normal reproduction, and perishes.

With time, some theologians developed misconception that after coming of Lord God Jesus Christ and fulfillment of the redemption of man, anyone can be saved and enter the life everlasting only through faith in Jesus Christ (that is, for instance, by acknowledging the fact of His existence and mentioning His name, reading prayers, visiting churches, making appearances of righteousness, etc.). However, they either do not read the New Testament, or are unable to perceive the words of God conveyed by the Gospels and His Apostles {e.g., James 2:8–26; 4:1–17; Romans 10:4–21; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 6:10–18}: the mandatory condition of salvation*10* is proving the faith with deeds. There is only one way, one pattern of the actions, leading a sinner to salvation:

 

repentance

(acknowledgement of violations of the law of God and wrongs done to himself and to the others,

sincere desire and intention to change the ways of life: to cease doing the works of the evil)

refraining from the evil

doing the works of God –

(embodiment of His words/commandments into own thoughts, words, and deeds,

so the entire life of man becomes accomplishment of the will of God)

{cf.: Matthew 7:21–27; Luke 6:46–49; John 5:24–25; 14:6–24; James 2:17–26}.

 

The faith without deeds is dead {Matthew 7:21–27; Luke 6:46–49; James 2:17–26} – it is nothing; likewise, knowledge without embodiment of it into the actions and material things is nothing: even the demons believe and tremble. So, they believe in God and fear Him, yet, knowledge does not save them, because they do not act according to knowledge {cf.: Mark 3:11; Luke 4:33–35; James 2:19}.

By the mercy of God, some repentant sinners who do not have time for proving their repentance and faith with deeds, when the earthly live had to be ended, still receive forgiveness and are saved because the Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ, committed His soul and shed His Blood for the salvation of many {Luke 22:19–20; John 6:51–58; 10:11}. God, Who sees the heart of the repentant sinner and his intentions, sorrow and suffering, forgives him and reconciles him through Lord Jesus Christ Who took on Himself the sins of the world and fulfilled the law, so everyone who turns to the good can be saved. The meaning of the words that Lord Jesus Christ is the end of the law to the righteousness of the believer {Romans 10:4} is that through His death on the cross, the law is fulfilled: the evil of man is crucified with the body of the Redeemer, and death, as a lawful and unavoidable end of a sinner is defeated by the death of the Righteous Son of God {Genesis 3:22–25; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:20–22}.

Since, through Lord Jesus Christ, man obtains his righteousness before God the Heavenly Father:

 

with the Precious Blood of the Son of God, man is acquired for God

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by the Word–God, the Word of truth, the human nature is re–created

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through the Son of God, Who is the only Mediator between God and man, man is prepared for dwelling with God

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because of His petition, the Holy Spirit comes, teaches, and empowers man,

and creates him into the human child of God capable of entering the life everlasting,

when the earthly life is over

{Luke 12:49; John 1:1–5, 12–13; 3:3–7; 14:26–28; 14:16–27;

James; 1 Peter; 1 John; 1 Corinthians 15:20–58; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 14–21}.

 

It means also that the future of anyone is not fixed irreversible destiny: the ultimate future of a human being is one of two realms – either the realm of God or the eternal darkness of separation from God, and this ultimate future is defined by the actions of man {Matthew 25:23, 30, 31–46; Revelation 20:12–15; 21:1–8; 22:1–5, 10–15}.

Consequently, the knowledge of the future consists from three domains:

1/ the future of a human being (either eternal life in the presence of God or eternal darkness of separation from God)

2/ the future of the current world that accommodates existence of man (collapse and disintegration)

3/ the future of creations of man, with which they sustain their existence within the world of the material things (accomplishment of purposes or failure to accomplish the purposes of man).

The Holy Scriptures reveal the end of the world; the signs of the coming collapse are given, and the human mind should know and identify them in due time: the creations of God Who is the Source of wisdom and knowledge should exercise their natural faculty of deliberation – intelligence and reasoning and prove their wisdom {cf.: Matthew 16:1–4; 24:3–44; Mark 13:3–37}.

In a case of knowledge of the future of the world, wisdom might be seen as the ability to analyze compliance with the law of God and to identify the symptoms of the collapse and the coming end. Every human being has inherent knowledge of the law according to which everything comes into being, exists, and is complete, because the law is the foundation of human heart–soul–mind, yet some of us, as Isaiah says {Isaiah 8:16}, sealed themselves so they would not learn and actualize this knowledge.

Ecclesiastes wrote concerning καιρος {Ecclesiastes 3:1} – the season/period, time–point, when everything comes to its completion*11*. When καιρος παντος ανθροπου – time of completion of the entire mankind – comes before God, He decides the χρονος – the time–frame of the end {e.g., the Flood – Genesis 6:12–23; 7:10–13, 17–24; 8:1–14}, and only God the Heavenly Father knows the day and hour when the purposes for which He created this world are accomplished and the time–range of its existence is complete {cf.: Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32–37}.

However, the future of creations of man (empire, state, society, family, business entity, political, social, religious, and other establishments) might be specified with relatively high degree of certainty, which is provided by knowledge of the law of God {e.g., Deuteronomy 28:46}. Isaiah the prophet {Isaiah 8:9–20} writes of the Gentiles and those who seek knowledge of diviners, the knowledge of the earth – the knowledge of death concerning the living. The law is given for help, and those who seal themselves so they may not learn the law shall be revealed. For instance, their failure and collapse of their establishments will illustrate the consequences of their iniquities/violations of the law of God. Indeed, thoughts, words, and actions of one man committed in violation of the law of God, especially, if the deviant has access to the power of coercion, media, and material resources, can change the future of the entire establishment, which accommodates man’s existence (e.g., family, business enterprise, state, world). Therefore, knowledge of the law makes possible cognition of the possible futures for two realms with which thoughts, words, and actions of man are connected or can be correlated:

1/ establishments/systems created by man for accomplishment of his purposes

2/ establishments/systems created by the others for accomplishment of their purposes.

The settings, within which the law operates, are the time–space–complexity parameters sustained by the irreversibility of cognition of the good and the evil.

The settings/phenomena/things, through which the law manifests its power, include: the nature (of the world, man, material things), symptoms or manifestations of perversion of the nature – deviation from the law, time range during which the reverse is still possible (the deviations from the law might be corrected, for instance, a servant of the evil is still capable of reverting to the good*12*), the means of destruction, and annihilation of the irreversible deviants. The sciences based on the Christian theology developed some theoretical foundation for the description of the future of systems/establishments of men*13*: knowledge of the law and the settings, through and within which the law operates, gives the mind knowledge of the future of things/system created by the mind.

And I think of the inherent predictability of everything that sustains and compose life: the law of God is within the soul–heart–mind of man created by God and opened to the knowledge of God the Father that is the everlasting life {Deuteronomy 30:11–14; John 1:1–5, 9–13; 14:15–21, 26; 16:13; 17:1–3}. The main component of knowledge of the future revealed by the law, which is the στερεωμα *14* of human soul–heart–mind, is that

 

God is everything of man

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the law of God is peace, freedom, and wisdom of man

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to fear God and to accomplish His commandments is the entirety of human existence at the earth,

which comes to its completion with obtaining freedom from evil and sin

and through comprehension of the perfect law of freedom –

All–forgiving Omnipotent Perfect Love without fear and suffering

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observance of the words of God – accomplishment of His commandments –

is the pledge of the everlasting life in the kingdom of God

{Matthew 22:36–40; Mark 12:28–34; John 6:28–40, 44–58; 14:1–27; James; 1 John; Psalm 118(119); Ecclesiastes 12:13}.

 

Therefore, knowledge of the law of God is the knowledge of the possible futures of man, of the world that accommodates existence of man, and of the creations of man. Man creates his future – the life everlasting in the presence of God – through embodiment of the knowledge of the law and knowledge of the good cognized through the law into own thoughts, words, and deeds.

 

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Notes:

*1* Concerning Psalm 118, see postings in Folder Archive_2008_2010: Liberty – Page_3_2008–2009, The Deliverance – Page 1_January–March_2010, and The Knowledge and the Vision – Page 5_October_2010.

*2* Concerning the law, see posting Introduction to Christianity, Part 4. The Law, Folder Foundation, Page_4.

*3* If to accept that everything within the world perceivable by the mind is embodiment of knowledge of the good and of the evil, it could be acknowledged that

a/ the mind works with two sets of possible futures: development/evolution, and collapse/disintegration

b/ the future is a definition of a particular state of a particular human being and his creation(s) – system(s)/establishment(s) into which he embodied the knowledge of the good/evil he obtained and which he made for accomplishment of some purpose(s)

c/ the future is the open system, which, although has the universal law as the definition of the nature (creation, existence, evolution, termination, maximal time–range of existence, maximal potency, etc.), might evolve/collapse differently, reaching the different levels of complexity/simplification, because the operating knowledge (operating knowledge, or the power to act, is the summary of cognized/absorbed knowledge of the good and the evil that the mind uses for embodiment into words, actions, systems, establishments), which it applies for own works and conveys to the others, is defined with many variables. The variables include parameters of the time–space–complexity point at which the mind came into being, exists, and evolves or degenerates. The main factor is complexity defined by knowledge of the good and the evil, which the mind cognized/absorbed/created. See also posting Introduction to the Systems, Folder Systems, Page_1.

*4* See also posting The Lord’s Prayer, Folder Foundation, Page_2.

*5* την ψυχην αυτου τιθησιν” – John 10:11; τιθησιν from τιθημι (also θη – John 15:13) – put, place, offer, commit; the primary word is either ancient Θεω – to run or Θεο – complete, as the root of words defining Θεος – God. See posting The Ultimate Purpose, Folder 2012, Page 7_August_September.

*6* The recognition of the good as the source of evil marks the beginning of penetration of the Manichean heresy into the theological studies of the Western theologians; it started with the works of Augustine of Hippo – the former Manichean who apparently converted in Christianity, while accepted Plato’s philosophy as “precursor" of Christianity. The Augustine’s concept of evil reveals direct influence of the Manichaeism: Augustine defines “imperfect good” as the good, which contains the evil. While he recognizes evil and good as the contraries, he asserts that only something good can be evil (e.g., an evil man is an evil good), evil arises from good, thus, existence of evil is good; a search for the causes of evil might be compared with an attempt “to see darkness or to hear silence”: “evil is that which is contrary to nature,” yet, the good nature of man originates the good and the evil and justifies his assertion with “strictness of reasoning” [Augustine Enchiridion XIII–XV 13–17; The Catholic and Manichaean Ways of Life VIII.11. 73; also Augustine ref. and qtd. in: O’Donnell 52–53].

The Augustine’s references to seeing “darkness” could be an implicit reference to “the darkness” (translations of γνοφον – gloom, storm) and “cloud” (νεφελη, νεφος) – the protective barrier that covered the place (therefore separated/prevented annihilation of the world of the matter, which is not capable of withstanding the presence of God) when the Glory of God was manifested as the Consuming Fire. Probably, it also refers to φοβος σκοτεινος μεγας – perception of dark and great horror, which felt upon Abraham, when God came to make His covenant with him {Genesis 15:12; Exodus 20:21; 24:16–18; 33:18–23; 34:5; 40:34–38}. This “darkness” is definition of the end of the human perception and indication of the insurmountable boundary (the protective energy field) between the realm of the spirit and the realm of the matter – the derivative of the spirit, which protects the matter from annihilation. This “darkness” might not be “dark” at all, and it cannot be correlated with evil, although human mind perceived it in horror, because it denotes the limit of the world behind which there is no matter and flesh.

Augustine’s references, as well as all other assertions of any compatibility of the good with evil and especially, blasphemous description of God as the source of the evil indicate misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures, the attempt to unify the incompatible: evil (therefore, death) with God – Who tells Moses “Εγω ειμι ο Ων – I am THE BEING” {Exodus 3:13–14} revealing that He is Life, therefore, the Source of life and light and good.

Furthermore, to consider evil as the opposite of the nature means to acknowledge that evil exists at the same ground with the Absolute Good – such assumption is not compatible with the Christian theology and re–iterates the ancient Persian concept of dualism, which the Manicheans made the foundation of their cosmic vision. Besides, the Augustine’s “strictness of reasoning” and the good nature as the source of evil are not consistent with the words of God: a good tree does not bring bad fruits, evil man brings forth the evil, and evil man cannot speak the good {Matthew 7:15–18; 12:33–36; Luke 6:43–45}. The Creator of man explained that the good cannot originate the evil (therefore, to be the source of the evil) and the evil is not able to originate the good. Consequently, the “wisdom” of man, which attempts to reconcile the good and the evil and make them flow from the same source, is folly, and the Augustine’s assertions are contradiction of the word of God.

Well, ancient logic of insufficiency, irrationality, and materialism never depart from those who are guided by the heathens.

Nevertheless, later, Thomas Aquinas elaborated the Manichean–Augustine’s concept of evil with the direct statement that the good, therefore God, is the source of evil.

Aquinas supplemented the image of God with such characteristics as the source of unjust laws and the cause/source of evil [Summa Theologica I Q.48 a2 ad3; Q.49 a1, a2, a3; Q.103 a7 ro1; I–II Q.18 a1 ad2 a3; Q. 93 a3 ro2, ro3; Summa Contra Gentiles III 4, 6, 7, 10, 11].

The summary of Aquinas’ assertions based on references to the Augustine’s discoveries (for instance, “there is no possible source of evil except good”) and Aristotle’s assumption that an entirely evil thing or complete evil is self–destructive [Summa Theologica I Q.48 a3; Q.49 a1 ro1, a2, a3; Q.103 a7; I–II Q. 93 a3 ro2, a4; III Q.6 a1 a; Truth Q.3. a4 ad7, ad8; Q.5 a2 r, ad4] is that

a/ although evil has only an “accidental cause,” good is the cause or foundation of evil: evil is caused by good

b/ the unjust law of men is derived from the eternal Law of God; moreover, the evil can exist only in the good “as in its subject,” and evil always is mixed with good: good is always foundation of evil, and evil should be reduced to “some good cause”

c/ as soon as the opposites (“contraries”) exist on a “common ground,” they have one common cause: while evil has only an “accidental cause,” good is the cause/foundation of evil [Summa Theologica I Q.49 a1]. If according to Aristotle, the secondary cause does not exist without the essential or primary cause; for Aquinas, the causality becomes the hierarchy: the first cause → a cause (as the midway) → the last effect [Summa Theologica III Q.6 a1 a]

d/ ultimately, Aquinas directly names God “the author of the evil which is penalty” and implies the God’s responsibility for corruption of things because, according to Aquinas, corruption is the accidental consequence of the order of the Universe. Then, he refers to the unity of the opposites – “contraries”: as soon as “all contraries agree in something common,” in particular, in the nature of being, contraries have “one first common cause” [Summa Theologica I Q.48 a3; Q.49 a1, a2, a3]

This is the Aquinas’ conclusion: the good and the evil have one first common cause.

Furthermore, if the Aquinas’ god is the source of evil, it means that the nature of Aquinas’ god originates, therefore, accommodates evil. Indeed, at the beginning of his Treatise On God, Aquinas declares that God is the same as His nature, as His essence, and as His being, God acts through His essence, and knows effect “by knowing His own essence” [Summa Theologica I Q.3 a3, a4; Truth Q.2 a3 ad3].

It means that

1/ for Thomas Aquinas (the Catholic saint and main theologian of the papal church of Rome), the good is the subject of evil, and the Aquinas’ god is the cause/source of two opposites – the good and the evil

2/ Aquinas follows heresy of Hermogenes and the Manichean traditions of Augustine

3/ whichever logical dancing around in circles Aquinas makes with all his Aristotelian tools, references to Augustine’s works, and with standard praises to God, the essence of all his wordings comes to the assertion, which was the sacrilege even in the Plato’s perfect Republic: the Aquinas’ god is the cause/source of evil. Portrayal of God as the source of evil might be consisted with the ancient doctrine of unity and struggle of the opposites, yet, this portrayal is heretical and sacrilegious for the Christians.

Lord God Jesus Christ explained that the good and the bad do not come from the same source {Matthew 7:15–20; Luke 6:43–45}. The Christian Orthodox theology does not admit existence of the opposites/contraries/evil in any reference to God: God is Light and there is no darkness in Him; He is light and perfect love without darkness, fear, and suffering – perfect God Who creates everything good, Who has mercy, forgiveness, and such love to His creations that He took on Himself the sins of the world, sanctified man with Own presence, and gave man salvation and eternal life {1 John} [St. Gregory Palamas §34 in: The Philokalia 4:359]. Therefore, the assertion that God – the source of life and the Absolute Good – might be at the same time the source of the evil and death is blasphemy and utter heresy incompatible with the Christian teachings. Therefore, for the Christians, the Aquinas’ theological “discovery” is not only the ultimate heresy; it is the unforgivable blasphemy, which makes the Aquinas’ doctrine and its derivative – the papal faith/Catholicism – irreconcilable with the Christianity and unacceptable for the Christians.

Therefore, the Christian can make only two inferences from the referred Aquinas’ texts:

1/ the Aquinas’ god is the source of two opposites – the good and the evil

2/ for the Christians, the Aquinas’ speculations, covered with the wordings from the Holy Scriptures, are blasphemy against God and heresy incompatible with the Christian dogma.

 

See also posting Doctrine of Thomas Aquinas in Folder Philosophy, and The Invincible Empire, Chapters 5– 8.

*7*. The heathenism produced two groups of concepts concerning the origin of evil: those which ascribe creation of evil to the good deity and those which attempt to find another source of origin of evil independent from the good deity’s will. For instance, to explain existence of evil,

– Mani introduced the second god – the god of darkness, who exists from the eternity [Baybrook 310]

– Plato named human soul “the universal cause” of all contraries, including good and evil, right and wrong [Plato Laws 896d].

Aquinas does not have the luxury to introduce openly new gods for confirmation of own assertions: the teaching of Mani already was officially condemned as heresy and the Inquisition pursued the complete extermination of the Manicheans. At the same time, Aquinas needs efficiently set up the evil for the service of his masters–popes who, nevertheless, have no intention to disconnect themselves from Christianity, because Christianity provides them with the greatest advantages to assert themselves as the teachers of the universal faith, which they envision as the basis for their claims on the absolute power and supremacy over the world.

With the Aristotle’s theological–physical speculations and Plato’s “universal cause,” Aquinas unifies both Mani’s gods in “one first common cause.” Such unification became the logical basis for the self–asserted right of the papacy to employ evil, crimes, and capital punishment for decision of its problems. Indeed, if the Aquinas’ god is the source of good and evil, this god’s church naturally becomes the source of the good and the evil for its members whose souls are the “universal causes” of good and evil, so when they receive the evil from their superiors, they receive their own.

Aquinas not only incorporates into his doctrine the Manichean/Persian dualism and repeats the heresy of Hermogenes (Hermogenes asserted that evil should be attributed to the will of God and presented God–Creator as “the author of evil” [in: Tertullian The Treatise Against Hermogenes IX.3, X.1–3 38–40]); with his newly founded universal cause/source of evil, Aquinas follows the Plato’s inconsistency [Plato Phaedo 103c, 105a–e, 107a; Laws 896d] and destroys the ground for the concept of immortality of human soul.

Although Aquinas usually slavishly follows the pagan philosophers, in this case he discards the Plato’s advice: if a ruler intends to arrange a perfect community, he must not allow voicing of the sacrilegious claim that god – the Absolute Good – might be responsible for “any instance of badness.” Any claim on the connection of god and evil must neither be spoken nor be heard; any word and any work have to comply with the preliminary assumptions that god is good and that god is not responsible for any evil, because it is sacrilege to speak about responsibility of gods for any instance of evil [Plato Republic 380b–c]. It looks like the pagan philosopher has more reverence to God than the main theologian of the papal church of Rome does. Perhaps, Plato understands that what Aquinas cannot comprehend: to make God the source of evil means to destroy the very meaning of humanity and the very foundation for existence of men. Indeed, centuries later, the Aquinas’ concept of the god–source of the evil – matured into the von Hartman’s unconscious death–designer of evolution [von Hartmann 2:11–13, 15].

*8* The very meaning of the good of the ancient heathens is not compatible with the Absolute Good revealed by Lord God Jesus Christ.

For instance, the Phoenicians (see posting Philosophy: the Beginning, Folder Philosophy) believed that the good of their communities can be bought by human sacrifices, esp., the first–born children, and that the victims – their children who “had gone through the fire” – will obtain the eternal bliss; therefore, for them, “good” is death, and death is the source of good.

Nevertheless, the philosophizing theologians mislead by the wording and unable to see the essence, accepted the heathen philosophy as the knowledge of the truth. Hence, as the Holy Scriptures define {e.g., in: Deuteronomy 32:28–33; Proverbs 14:12, 22; 16:25; Isaiah 28:7–16; Romans 3:10–18}, they became drunk with the wine that is the rage of serpents and the incurable rage of asps, their mind perceives the ways of death as the straight path leading to life, the poison of asps is under their tongue, and those deceived by their speculations, enter the covenant with death and commit the deeds of evil.

The wordings of the ancient Greek philosophy are misleading indeed. The heathen philosophers describe the absolute/ideal good as the source of creation of the universe, intelligence, and the life of men. At the same time, they omit to mention that the source of their good is their prime deity – Orphic arch–serpent/beast, container of all forms of living beings; among these forms, a form of a human being is placed after animals, which therefore are superior by their power, strengths, and can be placated with human sacrifices (see posting Philosophy: the Beginning: Orphic Doctrine, in Folder Philosophy). It means that the good of the ancient heathen philosophy is the evil for those who value truth and life and freedom of man created in image and after likeness of God.

Plato summarized the concepts of philosophers of ancient Greece: the absolute good is the primal cause of the universe, the source of intelligence, being, beauty, knowledge, and truth, and the main standard of behavior – virtue. Plato arranged his vision of absolute good, intelligence, and knowledge into the inner structure of the universe and into the general framework of existence of man issuing from the “unknown deity”:

the absolute good is the main object of cognition

cognition is the life of reason

everything might be expressed in the terms of knowledge; even the virtues become the kind of knowledge.

Plato stated that the essence of the unknown deity is the absolute good [Phaedo 100b; Republic 508b–509a]; however, following Orphic tradition, he did not disclose who is his “unknown deity.” Besides, the mythical arch–serpent/basilisk/dragon to which the snake–worshipers sacrificed human beings through feeding the temple beasts with human flesh, was repulsive for the human nature, evoked fear, and even for the heathen population could not be easily accepted as the prime–deity/source of the absolute good.

So, the question is: what is the Plato’s actual absolute good and how its true meaning could be deciphered? The answer can be found in his Republic, Law, and other works that reveal philosophy of the slave–owner (who in the same time identifies himself as the consummated deified philosopher–king who stands above the mob and knows thought of his deities) for whom other human beings are the flock of slaves–animals, which exist to serve the bodily needs of their owners. That makes the entire Plato’s universe embodiment of the arch–evil arranged with false knowledge and based on slavery, which Aristotle identified later as the universal order (see analysis of Plato and Aristotle doctrines in Folder Philosophy).

With acceptance of Plato’s doctrine, his followers inevitably accept the Orphic arch–serpent as the “unknown deity” – source of the absolute good. Then, their knowledge and establishments, into which they embody their knowledge, carry the evil for all who are connected with them or are within their reach. At some time–space point, they slip into open recognition of slavery as the most desirable order of their establishment, elevate the unreserved obedience at the rank of the highest virtue of the subjects (e.g., unreserved slavery of the church militants), and they justify death and coercion as the natural means to sustain their law and order.

As Isaiah the prophet said {Isaiah 59:3–15}, their hands are defiled with blood, they meditate unrighteousness, they hatch asps’ egg within which basilisk can be found (Orphic arch–serpent); their thoughts are thoughts of murder, destruction and misery are on their ways, they do not know peace, they speak lies, conceive evil, and bring forth iniquity. In addition, they greatly multiplied the evil of the ancient heathens. For instance, the scales of the evil of the Inquisition, religious wars, and unrest and separation of the sciences from religion, which resulted from persecution of the different–minded, deification of the papacy and its struggle for world–wide domination, surpassed immeasurably the modest scales of the Plato’s Nocturnal Council and Aristotle’s Polis.

If the one analyzes the doctrines of Augustine of Hippo the former Manichean and Plato’s admirer (Filioque, Compelle Intrare, and wise judge concept), Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology (e.g., “dignity” of wicked prelates, postulate that the church cannot imitate the mercy of God, therefore, relapsed heretics must be put to death, assertion that God is the source of evil, justification of inquisition, execution and maiming of human beings for the sake of “common good” of the papal establishment, the Aristotle–driven modification of the doctrine of transubstantiation, doctrine of the unreserved obedience, etc.), and actual history of the papal church of Rome (the crimes of the Inquisition, Crusades, religious wars and persecution of the different–minded, deification of the pope who pretends that without unreserved submission and loyalty to pope salvation of man is not possible, vice and corruption, “priests” in a state of mortal sin, etc., etc, etc.) – can he infer that the Isaiah’s prophecy is not the detailed description of the consequences of embodiment of Orphism under disguise of the wordings snatched from the Holy Scriptures?

Christians should be vigilant and watchful, because Lord Jesus Christ warned that many would come under His name and seduce and mislead many, yet only those who accomplished will of the Heavenly Father enter His kingdom {Matthew 7:15–23; Mark 13:5–6}.

Concerning the works of the referred above heathen philosophers, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, history of the papal church of Rome, and deification of pope, see postings in Folders Philosophy, Political Theology, and World & War, and bibliographical references to each posting.

Concerning the Absolute Good, see postings:

Folder 2012: The Emptiness, Page 1_January_2012; The Survival, Page 3_March 2012, The Perception, Page 4_April 2012, The Excellence, and The Virtue and Survival, Page 6_July_2012.

Folder Archive_2008_2010: Wisdom, Page_1_2008; The Completion, Page_4_2008_2009; The Way, Page_8_2009; The End, Page April_June_2010; The Future, Page Semptember_2010

 

*9* See postings The Ten Commandments, and The Road to God, Folder Foundation, Pages 1 and 5, and The Ultimate Knowledge, Folder 2012, Page .

*10* See also posting The Ultimate Purpose, Folder 2012, Page 7_August_September_2012.

*11* Concerning the future, καιρος, and χρονος, see Patterns #5 and #10, Folder Patterns, and postings

in Folder Archive 2008–2010: The Completion –Page_5_2009, The Portion – Page_3_2008–2009

in Folder Archive_2011: The Rejected Knowledge – Page 2_April–May_2011.

*12* For instance, when a repentant sinner comes to the faith and accepts Christian teachings, he is saved by Lord Jesus Christ – the Word–God. St. Paul the Apostle refers to Lord Jesus Christ as to the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes, because He is given for redemption and salvation of the world: to reconcile man with God, to complete the uncompleted, to undo evil of man, to transform the crooked ways into the straight path into the kingdom of God, to open the freedom for the slaves, to free the ignorant and afflicted ones from fear and ignorance, to give knowledge of truth to those thirsty for the truth, so the former sinners can comprehend and follow the righteousness and be empowered to become children of God and enter the life everlasting {John 1:1–5, 9–13; 3:14–21; 6:37–40; 8:31–36; 11:25–26; 14:1–27; 1 John 2:1–29; 3:23–24; 5:1–12; Romans 10:4–15}.

At the moment of forgiveness – when God forgives the sins because of repentance of man – the essence of sinful man is melted by the Divine Fire of the Omnipotent Perfect and All–forgiving Love of God, the evil of man is annihilated, and a new–born creation of God comes to life. This future of man was foreseen by the Old Testament Prophets and became the actuality of human existence after Lord Jesus Christ – the Word–God, the Son of God and the Son of man, committed His soul for the salvation of man {Isaiah 59:12–21; Daniel 12:10; Malachi 3:1–3; John 10:11; 15:13; 19:28–30; 1 John 5:1–5}.

*13* For instance, see posting Introduction to the Systems, Folder Systems.

*14* Concerning στερεωμα, see Pattern #11, Folder Patterns, and The Completion, in Folder Archive 2008–2010, Page_5_2009.

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References:

 

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The Catholic and Manichaean Ways of Life. The Fathers of the Church. v.56. Trans. Donald A.Gallagher and Idella J.Gallagher. Washington, D.C.: Catholic UP, 1966.

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love. With a New Introduction by Thomas Hibbs. Trans. J.B. Shaw. Gateway Editions. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 1961.

Baybrook, Gar. Heresies of the Christian Church. Payson, Arizona: Leaves of Autumn Books, 1998.

St. Gregory Palamas. "Topics of Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and ascetic Life; One Hundred and Fifty Texts." The Philokalia: The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodimus of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Trans. and ed. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, with the assistance of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline) Constantine Cavarnos, Dana Miller, Basil Osborne, Norman Russel. London: Faber & Faber, 1979–1995. 4 vols. v.4, 346–417.

von Hartmann, Eduard. Philosophy of the Unconscious: Speculative Results According to the Inductive Method of Physical Science. With a Preface by C.L. Ogden. 1931. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1972.

O'Donnell, James J. Augustine. Twayne's World Authors Series, 759. Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne, 1985.

Plato. Complete Works. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper. Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing, 1997.nk. Ancient Christian Writers. The Works of the Fathers in Translation. № 24. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1956.

Savitsky, Alice A. The Invincible Empire. Washington, DC: The AEHESIA® Services, 2003.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica I–I, I–II. Summa Contra Gentiles. Ed. Anton C. Pegis. New York: Random House, 1945. 2 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Truth. Trans. Robert W. Mulligan. 1954. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1994.

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120. Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Repentance

 

…those sitting in darkness and shadow of death, fettered in poverty and iron...

…they cried to the Lord in their affliction, and He saved them out of their distresses.

…He brought them out of darkness and shadow of death and broke their bonds…

…He helped them out of the way of their lawlessness…

…He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them out of their ruin.

{Psalm 106(107):10, 13–14, 17, 20}

 

The Holy Scriptures provide the guidance, reveal the ways and describe actions needed for achievement of the ultimate purpose – salvation*1*: it is the Book of Life given by the Creator of Life Who knows and loves each one of His creations and Whose will is salvation and peace and everlasting life for everyone {John 3:16; 14:27}.

Every human being is unique, inimitable irreplaceable person, the cosmos of his own – the world of his soul, which is the breath of life breathed by God and which therefore, has the value incomparable with the value of the entire world {Genesis 2:7; Matthew 16:26}.

However, everyone can find description of his personal troubles, learn similar experience of the others, determine his own way to salvation, and receive the personal guidance that correlates with the depth of his soul, as if the Holy Scriptures have been written especially for him. The knowledge conveyed by the Book of Life evokes the inborn knowledge of the human heart–mind, because it contains the words of God – the law of life written in the tablets of heart of a human being created in the image and after likeness of God. The Holy Bible is uniquely personal: it is intended for salvation of every unique human being; it encourages a person who seeks God; it leads from loneliness in darkness, powerlessness, and slavery to the freedom, love, and guidance for homecoming given by Almighty God the Creator and the Father and the Teacher and the Savior {cf.: Psalm 31(32):3–10; John 14:1–28; 15:1–17; 17:1–11, 19–26}.

In the same time, the Holy Bible is universal, because it is timeless and it is intended for all nations and for all people: the history of each person is an embodiment of one of two ways traceable through the history of the entire mankind – either the way into life or the way into ruin.

Hence, the general pattern of actions leading to salvation includes three sets of actions, or steps, or stages, through which a sinner (a sinner is the one who violated the law of God – committed iniquities, because of own free will, or own ignorance, or deceit by the others) can receive the authority to become a child of God and enter the life everlasting*2*:

1/ repentance; repentance begins with acknowledgement of violations of the law of God and wrongs done to himself and to the others; genuine repentance is accompanied with the sincere desire to change the ways of life and intention to cease doing the works of the evil

2/ refraining from the evil

3/ doing the works of God – embodiment of His words/commandments into own thoughts, words, and deeds, so the entire life of man becomes accomplishment of the will of God.

In brief, the Book of Life

a/ is addressed to all who are created in the image and after likeness of the only One True God – to all of us, the living ones

b/ describes the archetypal patterns of evolvement and degeneration of the human heart–mind; there are only two ultimate results, which a human being is enabled to reach: either becoming the embodiment of the Absolute Good or becoming embodiment of the arch–evil; consequently, a human being undergoes either preparation to the next stage existence (birth of a child of God for the life everlasting) or corruption following with eternal separation from God {the “sons of the arch–evil” – John 8:31–47; and 1 John 3:8–15}

c/ provides the guidance for those who choose the path into life everlasting in the presence of God.

The guidance is given as description of purpose–focused actions, which can be inferred from historical events, messages of the prophets conveying evaluation of the present and revelation of the future of their contemporaries, and – in the New Testament – directly from the words and deeds of God.

For instance, the Psalm of deliverance provides six variations of the same pattern:

 

human needs–lawlessness–affliction–distress–slavery

cry to God

deliverance by God

thanksgiving by man:

acknowledgment of the mercy, appreciation of kindness,

acceptance of the saving grace of God,

and giving praise to God

{Psalm 106(107):4–43}.

 

Similar pattern is given in the New Testament: crying to God → receiving mercy of God → thanksgiving and praising God for His mercy {for instance, Matthew 8:23–27; 20:30–34; Mark 4:35–40; Luke 17:11–19; 18:35–43}.

Deliverance begins with acknowledgement of own sickness, insufficiency, or distress. After acknowledgement of own misery and identification of the source of misery as a consequence of own wrongs (repentance), a human being longs for help. If he finds the source of help in God, the afflicted one cries to God pleading for forgiveness and deliverance. If the one has faith in Lord God Jesus Christ, he receives help of God, forgiveness of sin, and salvation.

The one can infer the meaning and purpose of repentance from the description of mission (acts and words) of St. John the Baptist, the messenger of God sent before coming of the Lord to prepare the way for Him and to make all paths straight for Him, so all flesh will obtain salvation of God. He preached baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and urged “the offspring of vipers” (sinners and idolaters who substituted humans folly for the wisdom of the law of God*3*) to bring the appropriated fruits of repentance. He told that he baptized the people with water*4*, yet, the One Most Powerful is coming: He will baptize the people with the Holy Spirit {Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:2–18}.

Therefore, repentance is purification from the evil and preparation for the meeting with God. From a particular point of view, repentance might be compared with preparation of the field (human soul–hear–mind) for sowing the seed (the Word–God), when the soil is cleaned from weeds, stones, impurities (sins and iniquities), which could intervene with growth of the harvest (readiness for the kingdom of God and quality of the fruits (cognition of the good and doing the works of God {cf.: Mark 4:2–20; Luke 8:4–8, 11–15; John 14:12; James 1:21}.

The process of repentance

 

begins with self–evaluation – identification of the committed evil

and comprehension of himself as the slave of the evil,

as a being with sick soul–heart–mind that is wounded by the evil and needs forgiveness and healing by God

leads to the desire to be forgiven by God,

to be healed from sickness and distress caused by corruption and evil done to the others,

to be set free from slavery of the evil,

and to be purified from iniquities – violations of the law of God

is consummated through sincere prayer/cry to God asking for forgiveness:

the sinner begs for forgiveness and beseeches God to come, to forgive, to heal,

and to set free his soul–heart–mind, eradicating the evil from his thoughts, words, and deeds.

 

Self–evaluation might be seen as

a/ comparison of own thoughts, words, and deeds with the law of God and standards of the Absolute Good established by the Word–God and revealed through earthly life of Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God

b/ analysis of the reasons of failure

c/ final decision, which makes the heart–mind either repentant (that is afflicted because of own failure and longing with desire of the good) or impenitent and unapologetic (that is rejection of the law of God and intention to continue the same manner and way of life).

If a sinner accepts the actuality (that he is imperfect and that he has committed deeds of the evil toward God, himself, and the others), if he concludes that the committed evils lead him to ruin and death, and if he decides that he needs to change the manner and the way of life, only then the preparation for forgiveness of God begins.

Within the daily routine, coming to repentance is almost impossible, because it demands the extraordinary ability to see everything from the above: the sinner needs leap of faith and especial mercy of God, which evokes the inborn ability to find God – to perceive the voice of God within own heart–mind {cf.: John 6:44–45, 65; 8:23–24; 10:25–30; 17:6–8}. Only then, the power to cease cognition and doing the evil and to begin cognition and doing the good comes. This power enables the chosen one to discern the core of the evil within own heart–mind, which became engrossed with material things, debilitated by the committed evil, and turned into the stone.

In the worst case, transformation of the heart {because of the committed evil, for instance, such as mentioned by St. John the Evangelist – John 8:37–47; 1 John 3:8–15} is irreversible: the enclosure/separation from God results in becoming the one who “is not of God” and the consequent inability to accept the Word of Truth through Whom salvation comes (or with current terminology, transformation into the closed degenerating collapsing system disconnected from the source of life–sustaining energy), inability to repent, and issuing incapacity to receive salvation.

Such horrifying end of a sinner is mentioned in the Books of the Old and the New Testament {for instance, Isaiah 6:9–10; 42:22; 59:1–14; Hosea 4:1–14; John 12:35–50}: whatever evil a human being does to the others, the first victim of unleashed evil is his own soul–heart–mind, the first consequence is his separation from God, and the end is his total ruin*5*. Many people with the incapacitated heart–mind unable to perceive the Creator walked upon the face of the earth in the time of the first coming of Lord Jesus Christ: He referred to them as to the dead ones {e.g., Luke 15:32}. Some of them turned to life and reconciled with God, as, for instance, it is shown in the parable of the Prodigal Son {Luke 15:1–32; 19:10}.

After revelation of Christian teachings, all people received a possibility to find salvation through the Gospels: Lord Jesus Christ came to give the hope of salvation and the path into the everlasting life to all those who have neither hope nor expectation of anything good (for instance, justice, health, prosperity, simple human happiness, recognition, acceptance, appreciation, and all other things desirable by many).

So, how repentance begin?

Only when the very foundations of the inner life are shaken by grief, injustice, loss, suffering, disease, or other non–ordinary events, the one begins to search for the reasons of distress and disaster and sometimes comes to comprehension of the truth: he understands that suffering and distress are the consequences of the evil done to the others or to himself. Again, not everyone is capable of lifting the mind above the daily life and discarding the established mind–blocking routine: the evil deprives of the ability to discriminate between good and evil. Therefore, repentance itself is the gift of God – the call for homecoming: Lord Jesus Christ came to call sinners to repentance; He refers to the sinners as to the lost sheep, which He – the Good Shepherd – came to find and to collect and to lead home, and as to the sick ones who need a physician {Matthew 9:12–13; 11:20–30; 15:7–9; 23:5–12, 23–33; Luke 5:30–32; 15:1–7}.

So, the first step is to realize (acknowledge, diagnose) own insufficiency, imperfection, iniquity, corruption, or whatever became the heavy burden on conscience and sickness of the heart–mind. This step is accomplished in the deep silence of the inner world of the afflicted and humbled human soul – the broken spirit that has the only hope: to obtain mercy of God {e.g., Psalm 38(39):2–13; 41(42):6–9, 11; 52(51):17}. The Gospels make clear that while God does not accept outer “righteousness” and “purity” of the hypocrites, He forgives and heals a humble sinner and makes everything impossible for man {cf.: Matthew 9:10–13; Luke 11:39–44; 12:1; 16:15; 18:27; John 8:3–11}.

Repentance is seen differently:

– the Isaiah’s prophecy {Isaiah 40:3–5} speaks of the “cry in the wilderness” urging to make all paths straight for God and prepare the way to Him

– Malachi’s prophecy {Malachi 3:1–5} compares the process of eradication of the evil from the heart–mind and thoughts, words, and deeds with melting and purification of gold, so all impurities vanish and the untainted, tried with the fire, gold emerges in its precious purity – ability to serve God according to His will

– St. Peter the Apostle {1 Peter 3:18–22} evokes the memory of the Flood, which cleansed the earth from corruption and perversion. Now, the repentance of a sinner is not cleansing the flesh: it is purification of the repentant soul–heart–mind that has obtained reconciliation with God through suffering and resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ and that therefore, pledges clean conscience devoted to God.

Repentance begins with fervent prayer for forgiveness; it includes restraining of pleasures (social activities, entertainment), and fasting, through which the repentant sinner focuses on the inner world of his soul–heart–mind, and observes rituals of his religion. However, actual – true – repentance is the personal business of the sinner, his inner disposition, which is seen by God as it is. While some hypocrites put ashes on their heads, cut their clothing, and sat in the mud as the sign of repentance, their heart is not changed – they perform rituals/produce appearance of repentance intended to deceive the others and to convince the public in true righteousness of the performer. Isaiah the prophet {Isaiah 58:2–11} describes the meaning of true fasting that is pleasing to God: the deeds of mercy and love to the others.

The words of Lord Jesus Christ {John 4:24; also see Matthew 6:5–6, 16–18; 23:5–7, 27–33; Luke 18:9–14} define the behavior that is pleasing to God: man should worship God

in spirit and truth

with the humble heart that knows own weakness and does not justify own transgressions

in “the closed room” (within own heart), seeking forgiveness of God and reconciliation with God,

and not in the public places seeking recognition of men and appearance of righteousness.

 

Then, God, Who sees the true essence of man, will reward him openly, when the time comes, according to His will.

So, to be repentant and to cry to God in a search of deliverance does not mean to shed tears in public; the heart cries, and God answers. The tears of heart, the inner affliction that comes as the result of comprehension of the committed evil, wash away the sins; as the waters of the Flood in the ancient past, they destroy the entire edifice – corrupted world created by a sinner during his pre–repentance life. David the prophet and king in Jerusalem compared the broken spirit, the broken and humbled heart (humbled and afflicted by comprehension of the committed evil) with the sacrifice to God, which God does not reject {Psalm 50(51):17}.

In the New Testament, God tells that He does not send away the one who comes to Him, but saves him, and will resurrect him in the Last day {John 6:37–40}.

And I think of the intrinsic unity of the past, present, and future. The water of the Flood destroyed the world created by the water; now the existing world is kept until its καιρος comes before God and it shall be dissolved in the Fire {Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:24–37; 2 Peter 3:5–13; also Malachi 4:1} that will annihilate the evil along with all flesh in which it has built its nest and through which it brings its eggs filled with deadly poison and rage of asps and vipers*6*.

How strange and difficult is the way of the human soul to the Creator: through waters, desert, fire, in complete seclusion of its own inner world inaccessible for the others, in complete silence and loneliness it has to claim its way toward the eternity, with nothing, except the faith in God and love to Him and expectation of His mercy and forgiveness…

Yet, the ancestors knew that, and the one living today knows: he shall go through the waters and through the fire unharmed, because God is with him {Isaiah 43:1–3}. The value of repentance is immeasurable: it leads to God. With coming to God, man obtains freedom from evil and sin and life everlasting.

 

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Notes:

 

*1* See posting The Ultimate Purpose, Folder 2012, Page 7_August_September_2012.

*2* See posting The Law and the Future, Folder 2012, Page 8_October_2012.

*3* See postings: The Vineyard and The Lessons of the Vineyard, Folder 2012, Page 5_May_June_2012.

*4* See posting The Water, Folder 2012, Page 1_January_2012.

*5* See postings The Plundered People in Folder 2012, Page 2_February_2012, and The Rejected Knowledge, in Folder Archive_2011, Page 2_April_May_2011

*6* See postings Philosophy: the Beginning (The Orphic Doctrine), Folder Philosophy, Page_1; The Ultimate Purpose, Folder 2012, Page 7_August_September_2012.




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