Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

4_May_2013

The Resurrection

The Ones Believing

The Great Calm

The Precious Stone


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 146. Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Resurrection 

 

Χριστος  Ανεστη! 

Christ is Risen!

 

…Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

He, Who according to His great mercy, has recreated us

to the hope living through resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

to the inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading

having been kept in Heaven for you,

by the power of God having been guarded through faith

to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time…

{1 Peter 1:3–5}

 

 

St. Peter the Apostle speaks {1 Peter 1:3–5} of the hope living through resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, the salvation, and the inheritance awaiting us in the Kingdom of God – all that we might have by the mercy and because of love of God the Father.

In the beginning, St. Peter was a fisherman. Firstly, soon after he was called by God, he went through contradiction, misunderstanding, denial, and fear, because of the initial lack of faith and weakness of man. Ultimately, by the will of God, he became the Apostle of the Word–God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the one called by God to shepherd His sheep, the one who left everything of his own and followed God until his death, and the one who did his works by the power of God. God gave him the power to heal the sick and to accomplish his works in this world, after completion of which he will be one of the judges of Israel. So, St. Peter the Apostle healed the sick ones, disseminated the Christian teachings, baptized those called to serve God and become His children; through him, even justice was carried for those who attempted to deceive God {Matthew 4:18–20; 8:23–27; 10:38; 14:22–33; 16:21–25; 19:27–28; Mark 3:13–19; 10:28–30; Luke 18:28; 22:31–34, 54–62; John 1:40–42; 13:36–38; 18:15–27; 21:14–19; Acts 2:1–41; 4:1–20, 33; 5:1–11, 13–16; 8:9–25; 9:32–41; 10:1–48}.

As God willed, St. Peter became the fisher of men; his life and his works grew to be the example and the model of life: he set the earthly foundation – the rock {πετραMatthew 16:18} and arranged the Christian communities, which are the visible component of the Christian Church established on Lord Jesus Christ, – the Church of the Living God {Acts; 1 Peter; 2 Peter}.

On this rock (the way and arrangement of life, rules of behavior, the ways to accomplish the will of God, and the ways to deal with the others), the chosen ones called by God might evolve into the holy nation of God, into the spiritual unity in God, the wholeness, the Church {την ΕκκλησιανMatthew 16:18} of Lord God Jesus Christ {Matthew 4:18–20; 16:16–19; 1 Peter 1:1–25; 2:1–10} – the spiritual οικος  (household) that is built on the Word–God – the Living Stone, the Precious Corner–foundation {Λιθον ζωνταΛιθον ακρογωνιαιον εντιμον  – 1 Peter 2:4–6}.

The St. Peter the Apostle’s story strengthens those who are the weak ones with little faith: it strengthens the hope of all for the sake of whom God sent His Son into the world set for cognition of the good and of the evil, because it shows that every one, by the mercy and love of God, might become His child, serve His will, receive His peace, and enter the life everlasting {Luke 22:31–32; John 1:12–13; 3:3–6, 16–18; 6:37–58; 14:12–28} – all comes through faith and by the power of God.  

Indeed, St. Peter the Apostle writes of the faith as the one who has no one but God; he sees faith as the protection by the power of God, as the treasure more precious than the pure gold tried in fire, as the guardian of those who are to receive the salvation {1 Peter 1:5–9}. His testimony of faith is invaluable for the ones who are called to become children of God, because he himself – having been kept and guarded by the Word–God – followed the only Way leading to God {John 14:6} and his words reflect his own life–experience.

Through the eyes of St. Peter the Apostle, we, those who live today, can see the power, the glory, and love of Lord Jesus Christ and, at least in some degree, to comprehend the greatness of His mercy to men, to perceive how the power of God creates His Own living ones from the stones {in: Luke 3:7–8}, because St. Peter is the one who

– was with Lord Jesus Christ all time after He called to Himself those who would become His disciples and apostles

– was taught and kept and guarded by God

– observed the power of God through the miracles created by Lord Jesus Christ

– witnessed betrayal of God committed by Judas

– was allowed to observe that, according to the words of God, the son of perdition (who had no place for the Word–God within him, no love to God, and no faith, and who betrayed God) died in his sins {Matthew 27:3–5; Mark 11:12–14, 20–23; John 5:33–47; 6:70–71; 8:24; 17:12; Acts 1:15–20}

– who attempted to fight with a sword for the sake of the Son of God, and who received the last warning of the Lord and the Teacher that physical power and bloodshed are not appropriate for those who proceed according to the will of God {Matthew 26:47–54; also in: Genesis 9:6; Zacharias 4:6; Revelation 13:1–10}

– who promised to lay down his soul for the Lord and the Teacher, yet, who three times denied Him because of fear before men {John 13:36–38; 18:15–27}

– who evolved from the man of little–faith into the builder of the visible part of Εκκλησια into which God gathers together those who are His Own.

Whatever the one has done in the past, the one should never give up the faith in Lord Jesus Christ, the hope in God’s all–mighty and all–forgiving love, and the hope in salvation through Lord Jesus Christ {Matthew 9:12–13; Luke 5:30–32; Mark 2:17; 9:23–24; 11:23–24}, because

 

– by His Soul the human soul lives

– through His death on the cross, the dead ones receive the eternal life

– because of His Precious Blood, the sins of the repentant sinners are forgiven

– by Him the world lives, as a human body lives by bread

– through Him, man is reconciled to God and returns into the Father’s house

through Him, man becomes the temple of God the Spirit

{Matthew 26:28; Mark 10:45; John 4:23–24; 6:32–69; 10:11, 17–18; 14:1–28}.

 

Love and mercy of God transform man into His servant, His child, and His temple; God’s Love and mercy are promised to everyone who loves God and proves own love to God by observing His commandments and therefore, by accomplishing His will {John 13:34–35; 14; 15; 16; 17; 1 John; 2 John 6}.

And I think how the one can answer love and mercy of God? What a creation is able to do for the Creator – the Almighty and Omnipotent God, if man is not enabled to see His face and to live, if the earth is His footstool, if all things are His, if the nations are as nothing, and if the universe is just a particle of dust created by “the stream of fire” rushing before Him {Exodus 33:20; Isaiah 40:10–31; 66:1–2; Daniel 7:9–10}?

The prophet says {Psalm 17(18):1–2; 62(63):3; 115:13; 144(145):1–3}:

 

I love Thee, O God, my strength, my firmament, my refuge, and my Deliverer,

for Thy mercy is more than life

I will accept the chalice of salvation

and I will call upon Thy Name

 I will exalt Thou, my God, my King,

and I will bless Thy Name for ever and ever

every day I bless Thee, and I will praise Thy Name for ever and ever.

 

So, all that man is enabled to do for the Creator is

to accept the precious gift – the Love of God

in return, to love Him with all his soul, with all his heart, with all his mind, and with all his strength

to prove his love by his thoughts, words, and deeds, with which he embodies the words of God into his life

and therefore, accomplishes the will of God

{Matthew 5; 6; 7; 10:28–42; 11:27–30; 22:36–40; Mark 12:29–34; Luke 10:27–37;

John 14:15–24; 15:9–13; 1 John 4:9–21; 5:1–12}.

 

Hence,

– the Christian loves God more than he loves himself giving up everything for His sake and taking own cross {Luke 9:23}  – facing difficulties and making sacrifices for the sake of love to the others

– the Christian accepts the Chalice of Salvation with the Precious Body and the Precious Blood of Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, – the bread and the cup with the fruit of the vine as it was given by the Lord our God in His last supper, for the memory of Him {Luke 22:17–20; John 10:30; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26}

– the Christian loves and blesses Almighty God the Creator Who, through Lord Jesus Christ – the Word–God, became his own Father: he calls God Father and asks for the daily Bread, forgiveness of sins, and deliverance from the evil {Luke 11:2–4}…

In all days of life, and especially, in the day when the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated, we, the Christians, bless God the Father and glorify His Holy Name; we thank Him for the hope of the eternal life in His kingdom; we pray that His mercy that is more than life and the Omnipotent and Almighty and All–forgiving Love revealed through His Son, the Word–God – Lord Jesus Christ the Savior, be always with all of us, forever.

 

Χριστος  Ανεστη!

Αληθως Ανεστη!

 

Christ is Risen!

Truly is Risen! 

 

 

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147. Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Ones Believing 

 

…Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed.

Blessed are the ones not seeing, and believing…

{John 20:29}

 

 

In the first Sunday after the Holy Pascha, the Christians recall the story of St. Thomas the Apostle.

There are two references to St. Thomas the Apostle in the last chapters of Gospel According to John {John 11:1–16; 20:24–29}.

When the Lazarus’ sisters sent the message to the Lord that Lazarus is sick, the Lord told His disciples that He is going to come to Lazarus and to awake him. The disciples warned Him that the people of Judea wanted to stone Him. The Lord answered that those who are walking in the night are stumbling because the Light of the world is not with them, and He intends to resurrect Lazarus who died. Then, Thomas told other disciples: Let us go, even we, that we may die with Him {John 11:1–16}.

This time, they did not die for their Lord and Teacher. They will die for the Lord God later, one by one, and most of them tortured, by agonizing death: for proclaiming His Gospels, for illuminating those in the darkness of death, for miracles that they would create in the name of Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of God given them from the above…

Now, in their nearest future, they would witness Lazarus’ resurrection and the following glorious entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God into Jerusalem {John 11:33–44; 12:12–18}.

After His resurrection, Lord God Jesus Christ came to the disciples and they witnessed Him and recognized Him as God. Thomas was not with them. When he came, the disciples told him that they have seen the Lord. Thomas answered that unless he himself sees the mark of the nails in His hands and trusts his finger into the mark of nails, and trusts his hand into His side, in no way he will believe. The next time when all disciples gathered together again in the house with the locked doors, and Thomas was with them, Lord God Jesus Christ came and stood in the midst; He told Thomas to bring his finger, and to see His hands, and to trust his hand into His side, and be not unbelieving but believing. Thomas answered to Him: My Lord and my God! Then, God said: Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are the ones not seeing, and believing {John 20:19–29}.

The story of St. Thomas the Apostle reveals some features of the phenomenon of faith. Although Thomas the disciple is ready to die with his Teacher and Master, although he witnessed the miracles created by the Son of God (including resurrection of Lazarus), still, he is not able to believe unless he receives the perceivable – material – evidence.

The disciples made their choice to stay with Lord Jesus Christ at the time when the others departed – those who were not able to comprehend His words concerning His Body and His Blood as the Divine Food given for the life of the world, so creations of God might be resurrected and receive the eternal life, and enter the eternity in the presence of God {John 6:27–69}. Answering the question of the Lord “Do you also wish to go?”, Simon Peter said: to whom they shall go? They have believed and they have known that He is Christ, the Son of the Living God Who has the words of the eternal life {John 6:68–69}.

Indeed, they did not come to anyone else: they followed Him until the cross, yet, they were not able to comprehend the reality of resurrection and eternity given to them through death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, their Teacher and Master with Whom they travelled through the land and Whose miracles (including resurrection of Lazarus) they witnessed. Apparently, they were brought up as the people of the chosen nation who knew the law of God and had the promise of the Messiah. However, under the control of the law, they were not able to reach the complete comprehension of the miracle of salvation given through Lord Jesus Christ. Only after God appeared to them and opened their heart for understanding, they became the true believers; only after they received the greatest gift of God – the Holy Spirit {Luke 24:13–49; Acts 1:1–8; 2:1–43}, they became the true laborers of God through whom the Christianity was established at the earth and the earthly foundation of  Εκκλησια of God with His people*1* has been opened as the actuality of existence for every Christian {Acts; The Epistles}.

What then, is the faith, and how the one can obtain the faith in God?

There is no possibility to find the answer for the arrogant and proud ones who are confident in the power of their earthly possessions, who identify themselves as the elite and the power of this world because of their social, political, economical, and other advantages, who put their trust in men, live only by perceivable material things, and rely on the power of coercion, especially weapons and armies*2*.

The answer is given freely to the humble and meek ones who know that they are creations of God Who makes and fashions them according to His will, that they are – as Isaiah the prophet sees – the clay in the hands of the Potter, the lamps of clay made to carry the Light of God {Isaiah 45:8–12; 64:8–9}. They focus on God their entire being*3*; they receive their Light in Whom they see their earthly and eternal light {Psalm 17(18):28; 35(36):9; Matthew 5:14–16; Mark 4:21; John 1:1–5, 9; 9:5; 14:6; Ephesians 2:8–10}*4*, and because of Whom they accomplish their earthly purposes according to the will of God the Creator.

The faith is ignited within the heart–mind of the one who understands that God is all of man, who has ceased the works of the evil and began to do the works of the good, who transformed his ways into the ways of righteousness and justice pleasing to God, who seeks knowledge of God and issuing wisdom*5* as the greatest treasure that the one can have. Then, the Holy Wisdom, the Light that is the Truth and the Way and the Life of man, illuminates the darkness of the creature of earth/clay making him capable of becoming the child of Light – the child of the eternal God {John 1:1–13; 9:5–7; 10:30; 14:6, 23}. That is when the human reasoning/mind reaches the optimal state – faith*6*, the direct connection with God – completing the earthly stage of human evolution.

And I think that the phenomenon of faith facilitates understanding of the meaning of earthly evolution – the way that the human mind must accomplish, if it desires to enter the everlasting life with God. Faith is the beginning of the eternity, because it connects the creation with eternal God the Creator, and as such, faith does not have limits and temporal restrictions as everything that composes the world of men has.

For instance, the Christians who live today and the Christians who lived centuries ago are no different: they all have the same greatest treasure – the same love and blessing of God {John 17:17–26} coming through the faith, because they believe in Lord God Jesus Christ, although they have not seen God in the same way as His disciples did {in: John 1:1–18, 34–51; 1 John 1:1–4}.

The world of men is different, and not only because the fog of the evil intensifies transforming existence under control of the evil into the inferno of the ancient Phoenicians*7*, in which the lost souls wander without sense and purpose, without hope to find the way to the light and life. Two factors define this difference:

1/ availability of knowledge of God – the Gospels, the Christian teachings carries the message of Light and eternal life (before coming of the Messiah, this knowledge was not given)

2/ intentional disregard of the Christian teachings, therefore, ultimate rejection of the will of God Who sent His Son that the world might be saved through Him and none of His creations would perish in the darkness.

The war against Christianity becomes more cruel and inhumane with each day.

It means that the time of the last reckoning came when everything is given for the free and ultimate choice of each living creature:

 

either

to accept the Light and Life, enter the kingdom of God, and obtain life everlasting in the presence of God

or

to reject God, become the servant of arch–evil, and share its destiny.

 

Yet, still, the Light of Christ is shining in the dark and the blessed ones come to this Light and through Him enter the eternity with God and Creator and Father.

How then, we the believers, can share our greatest treasure with those who seek God, whose souls are thirsty for God more than a body is thirsty for the water in wasted dry desert*8*?

How to assist those who have no faith, if

– they do not know what is faith

– the skeptical “scientific” mind, godless societies, and totalitarian regimes identify religion as sickness, mental disorder, and abnormality

– in Islamic countries, the Christians suffer persecution and death for their faith and for following the commandment of God to communicate the Gospels, even the Holy Bible is banned, and common punishment for those who converted into Christianity is death?

Indeed, for the one who holds physical survival as the main priority and the world of the matter as the only reality of existence, for the one who is rich with the possessions of this world (e.g., confidence in knowledge of the material things and the power of coercion, wealth, social and political status), who relies on the armies, weapon, power of coercion and deceit, there is no reason to seek the Christian faith, as well as there is no hope to find it.

There is no human mediator between God the Father and His creations. Coming to Lord Jesus Christ is the will of God the Father, and only through Lord God Jesus Christ man comes to his Creator and Father: God is the Beginning and the End {John 6:65; 14:6; Romans 11:36; Revelation 22:13}.

The starting point*9* is desire to comprehend the meaning of existence and its purposes, that is to find God the Creator. Then, the only thing what the one can do for the others who seek the road to God is to convey them the knowledge of the Gospels and, when they are ready to become the Christians, to baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as it was commanded by God {Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–16}. Then they start their own road to God.

Only if God wills, the one comes to Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him – to God the Father, becoming the first fruit of certain creations, which as a seed in the soil, begin their development in the temporal world of the matter and evolve into the new creations capable to withstand the presence of God through the eternity with Him.

If there is no faith but there is a desire to become the faithful one*10* – it is already the beginning of the road to God: the one should pray, read the Gospels, observe the commandments of God, and love God with all his soul, heart, mind and strengths; then he will receive the guidance of God Himself, as He promised to His followers {John 14:15–26; 15:26–27; 16:7–15, 27}.

If there is no faith, yet there is desire to live forever, the one should begin to pray God (Jesus’ Prayer, Folder Foundation, Page Foundation)*9*. If the desire is true longing of the soul–heart–mind {e.g., Proverbs 2:3–12}, by the mercy of God and because of His abundant good*11* the one will find His guidance, encouragement, and help.

The story of St. Thomas the Apostle reminds us that, for the unbelievers, there still is the hope to come to God and to be blessed with the gift of the eternal life, which starts with faith.

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* See posting Εκκλησια – the Meaning, Folder Archive_2011, Page 5_September_October_2011

 

*2* See posting The Trust, Folder Archive_2012, Page April_2012, and The Lessons of the Vineyard: the Material Things, Folder Archive_2012, Page 5_May_June_2012

 

*3* See posting The Focus – Folder 2013, Page 2_March_2013

 

*4* See posting The Light – Folder 2013, Page 3_April_2013

 

*5* See The Nature of Knowledge and The Methods of Learning – Folder 2013, Page 1_January_2013

 

*6* “Faith is the life of human mind–intellect–reasoning, the natural property of the human nature and the necessary condition of normal life of a normal human being; faith is the state of optimum – the perfection, which God seeks in each human being. Faith sustains the mind’s ability to focus itself on God, therefore, it is the normal state, in which the human nature realizes own maximal potential and serves the purposes of God. Faith maintains life of the mind and illuminates the way from limitedness of the temporal material world to freedom of the eternity. The reasoning–intellect maintains existence of a human being with the knowledge obtained through faith {“Your faith has saved you” – Luke 7:50}, and faith of man might be determined through the actions of man, because faith reveals the essence.

the Christians, hold that

  – faith is the optimal state, or the light, of human reason; otherwise Lord God would not seek it in His creations {Luke 18:8}.”

See Introduction to Christianity, Part 3. Faith – Folder Foundation, Page_4.

 

*7*  Concerning Phoenicians, see postings:

 

The Creation and the Renewal – Folder 2013, Page 3_April_2013

 

Folder Archive_2008_2010:

Wisdom – Page_1_2008

The Curse of Cain – Page_5_2009

The Heathenism – Page 5_October_2010

 

*8* See posting The Thirst, Folder Archive_2012, Page April_2012

 

*9* See The Starting Point, The First Word of Human Wisdom, and The Coming – Folder 2013, Page 1_January_February_2013

 

*10* See The Coming – Folder 2013, Page 1_January_February_2013

 

*11* See The Abundant Good – Folder 2013, Page 2_March_2013

 

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148. Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Calm 

 

…My peace I give you…

…I have spoken these things to you that you may have peace in Me.

You have distress in the world; but be encouraged:

I have overcome the world…

{John 14:27; John 16:33}

…He rebuked the wind and said to the see: Silence! Be still!

And the wind cut off, and a great calm came forth.

And He said to them: Why are you so fearful?

How you do not have faith?…

{Mark 4:39–40}.

 

 

The inner peace given by God is the next stage of evolution of the soul–heart–mind that came to faith in Lord God Jesus Christ.

It could be also said that the faith and inner peace are inseparably connected as the beginning and end are: they follow each other as sunset follows sunrise, as evening follows the day, as the consequence follows the cause. Faith and peace belong to the same reality of the Kingdom of God, precisely, to the part of it that is accessible for comprehension of man while he still lives at the earth, within the world of the matter, until coming of his time to step over the threshold of the physical death–separation of the soul/spirit from the body/matter.

Until silencing the sea described in Gospels {Mark 4:36–41; also, in: Matthew 8:23–27; Luke 8:22–25}, the Old Testament speaks of the great power of God over the elements mostly through the events, which are connected with intentional demonstration of the glory and power of God, destruction triggered by the sins of men, and because of the necessity to punish the sinners {e.g., Exodus 9:23–26; 14:19–31; 19:16–18; Psalm 17(18):8–15; 103(104):1–9}. The mercy of God is revealed also through establishing calmness, when, for instance, the storm as the threat of physical survival of men is no more, the sea is still, and people are delivered from fear {e.g., Psalm 106(107):23–32}.

The New Testament speaks of the peace given by God; in spiritual life, the calmness is the consequence of faith, through which man obtains the ultimate confidence in the all–forgiving love of God. So perfect and complete this confidence is that the unseen eternity is more convincing that the entire world of the perceivable matter, the will of God prevails the human powers, and even physical needs, suffering, and death do not separate man from the Perfect Love of God and His mercy that is more than life, because man obtains the everlasting life in His Kingdom {e.g., in: Romans 8:35–39; 2 Corinthians 4:8–18; 5:1–10}.

So, what is the peace promised by the Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ? Is it only the inner calmness that is not affected by the distress, threats, and insufficiencies of the outer world, the world of the material things?

Two texts of the Holy Scriptures provide the key to understanding.

When Jezebel the Phoenician and wife of Ahab the king exterminated the servants of God and intended to kill Eliu the prophet, Eliu fled in dessert and implored God to send him death, because everything is pointless: the prophets of God have been murdered, no one left but him, and his life is also in danger. The messenger of God instructed Eliu, and he came to the mountain Choreb. Then, he was forewarned that he would meet God: it shall be the great strong wind crushing the rocks before God and the earthquake and the fire, but God is not in them. The great wind and earthquake and fire have thundered and gone; after them, it was φωνη  αυρας λεπτης  – the voice/perception of gentle emanation/breeze {in: 3 Kings 19:1–13}: so, after the great strong wind, earthquake, and fire, it was as calmness, from which the voice of God came.

During the last supper, Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that He and His Father shall make dwelling with the one who loves Him and observes His words. He gave them His peace and promised that although He is leaving the world, He shall come to them, and in Him they shall have peace {John 14:23, 27; 16:33}.

Therefore, the peace of God, the great calmness that makes the entire world of the evil and death irrelevant, is the presence of God within the human soul–heart–mind. A human being obtains this peace – the blessing of the presence of God Who is everything of His creation, when the promise of God is fulfilled and He comes into His temple: the human soul–heart–mind.

From another angle of consideration, the peace given by God might be seen as knowledge of God received from the Holy Spirit through the faith in Lord Jesus Christ, and as love to God and to the others, which has become the manner of existence {in: John 14:14–17, 26; 16:7–16; 1 John 4:7–21}: the knowledge and love are the completion and fullness of everything that is necessary to accomplish the rest of the earthly existence.

And I think of the method, through which the lessons of the Holy Scriptures are given. The life–threatening storm and wind experienced by the sea–travelers in the Old Testament and by the disciples of the Lord in the New Testament are physical (material) events that trigger changes of the mental state (distress, trouble, fear), which, in their turn, induce changes of the spiritual disposition. Through them, the one receives

1/ the advice to focus on God and therefore, to comprehend the omnipotence of the power of the Creator manifested through the change of conditions of existence*1*

2/ comprehension of the unseen – the faith, firstly, as the confidence that everything that is happens according to the will of God, therefore ultimately, it shall result in the one’s highest good {cf.: Matthew 10:28–30; Mark 4:39–40; Romans 8:28–32; 2 Corinthians 4:17–18; 5:7}.

The Holy Scriptures teach to perceive the actual essence of apparent visible features and to comprehend the law – the will of God – behind the chains of the events. With knowledge conveyed through the prophets and apostles of God, the mind learns to decipher σημεια των καιρων – the signs of times {Luke 12:54–57}*2*, to comprehend the Past, Present, and Future, to see the presence of God in the eyes of a stranger, and to discern the evil in the words and deeds of those who speak of peace and common good…

The Holy Scriptures speak to the human mind with the logic, which is different from the common way of thinking adopted from the ancient heathens*3*. This logic leads to comprehension of the wholeness of Kοσμος – the unity of life created by God:

 

the material realm in which the life–creative power of God is manifested

through the matter enabled to carry the spirit

as an element of

the realm of God the Spirit

{cf.: John 14:23; 16: 28; 17:15–26; Romans 14:17}.

 

This logic is the reflection of the wholeness and comprehension of complexity of each phase of existence; it should be the foundation of the human thinking, because it is revealed through the words of God – Lord Jesus Christ {John 10:30; 17:1– 26} – when He

 

speaks of His Kingdom that is within man

{ Luke 17:20–21 }

explains that God is not God of the dead but the living for all live to Him {in: Luke 20:38 }

disclosing that the visible world is just a part of the road, the temporal phase before the eternity,

and the departed ones, who have completed their cycle of development within the world of the matter and left,

are expecting us, those who live today, to be reunited with them in the Kingdom of God,

when the purposes of God are accomplished

according to His plan from the beginning

{ in:  1 Peter 1:17–21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18}

tells that His Father still works and He is working {John 5:17; 9:4–5}

revealing the incessant process of creation – the process,

which the human mind within the earthly–bounded terms of existence perceives as an explanation

 that the evolution as the creation of beings that evolve up to their optimal potency of the good never stops

refers to His followers as the branches of the Vine that are pruned and purified by God the Father,

so they are enabled to bring more fruit

{John 15:1–8 }

speaks of the unity of God and His creations

{John 17:21–24}.

 

Human beings pass through the world of the material things to come to knowledge of the unseen and unproved by the material evidences life in the spirit, in the realm of God the Spirit – Creator and Father {cf.: John 4:24}. Through the Word–God, Lord Jesus Christ the Savior, every one of the living is given the authority to become a child of God, to be born of the Spirit of God {John 1:1–13; 3:3–18}.

Therefore, the one might be enabled to obtain the eternity with God if he wishes so: in spite of all the difficulties, distractions, and insufficiencies of the matter, the faith may overcome the matter, and the sinful and earth–minded human beast may become {εγεννηθησαν  – be born/brought forth of – John 1:13} the child of the Almighty God the Spirit because of Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior {John 1:12–13; 3:16–21, 34–36; 1 John}.

As God explains His followers {John 12:24–25; also in: Luke 13:18–19}, the seed planted into the soil dies to spring to life, and grows into the mighty tree with branches, in which the birds of heaven perched.

To become the mighty tree, the seed acts according to its nature/design or core/pattern {its own kind – Genesis 1:11–12; 2:4–9}: it originates the sprout, which begins to develop by consuming the reserves of the seed (the seed “dies”), comes out of the soil, and, within the new for it space, under the light of the sun, grows into the plant according to the design of the Creator and for the purposes of the Creator.

In the similar manner, the human soul–heart–mind, through the Word–God Who is the στερεωμα *4*, the fabric of life and the very life of a new creation – the carrier of the Kingdom of God and the temple of God {John 6:29–58; 9:4–5; 14:23–27; 19:28–30; Psalm 68(69):21, 33–36; also, in Luke 17:20–21; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16}, comes to existence within the world of the matter as a being enabled to evolve for the eternity with God {James 1:17–21; 1 Peter 1:17–25; 1 John 2:1–2; 5:1–12; Ephesians 2:4–10; Revelation 21:3–5; 22:3–5}.

As St. Peter the Apostle writes, it is the plan of God from the beginning {1 Peter 1:13–21}.

The instructions how to obtain the everlasting life in the kingdom of God are also given: the Holy Scriptures make the one wise into salvation by the faith in Lord Jesus Christ and prepare him for all good things {2 Timothy 3:14–17}…

 

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Notes:

 

*1* See The Focus – Folder 2013, Page 2_March_2013 , and The Lessons of the Vineyard: Material Things  – Folder Archive_2012, Page 5_May_June_2012

 

*2* Concerning σημεια των καιρων – the signs of times – see Pattern # 10, Folder Systems, Page 4.

 

*3* The logic of ancient heathens is the logic of Orphics, which through the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle became the common foundation of thinking and learning, on which the Western and other civilizations built on Plato–Aristotle’s social–political–philosophical utopia come to being, strive for existence, and collapse, because by their very nature they are not capable of achievement the purposes for which they are created. This logic is logic of simplification, logic of collapse and disintegration incompatible with the logic of the evolution, with which the evolving systems capable to sustain evolution of mind and its creations (e.g., societies and other establishments) should be designed and maintained.

 

Concerning logic of simplification, see postings at this site: Philosophy: the Beginning, and Aristotle – Folder Philosophy; Logic of Death – Folder Archive_2008_2009, Page 2_2008.

 

 

Concerning logic of evolution: I began to post texts disclosing the logic of the evolving systems, see Folder Systems.  

 

In addition, Introduction to the Systems Logic may be downloaded free from my commercial website http://systemslogic-by-alicesofia.net

 

Also, see the next post – #10, which I intend to publish in the end of May 2013, at my blog http://cyberdefense-systems-logic.blogspot.com/,

 

*4* Concerning στερεωμα, or the firmament, see the following:

 

1/ Psalm 17(18):1–2: Αγαπησω Σε, Κυριε ισχυς μου. Κυριος στερεωμα μου, και καταφυγη μου, και Ρυστης μου {I love Thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my Deliverer – Psalm 17(18):1–2}

 

2/  Folder 2012:

The Foreknowledge and The Plundered People – Page 2_February_2012,

The Future – Page 3_March_2012,

The Perception and The Trust – Page 4_April 2012

Note 4 to The Lessons of the Vineyard: Slavery and Freedom – Page 5_May–June_2012

 

3/ In general, στερεωμα is the framework or foundation for the set of energy fields made for transformations of the divine energy into a particular structured matter (e.g., water of the sea, dust of the land), the components of the world accommodating existence of mankind. Στερεωμα of this world is a particular manifestation of the universal order/arrangement/code that sustains/defines/creates divisions among the energy fields allotted for the cycles of energy transformations creating the perceivable structures of the matter at different levels of complexity. Life of the particular beings – inhabitants of the world composed with the structures of the matter – is possible only under the Heaven, within the στερεωμα – fixed arrangement of the energy fields with the limits, which humans measure with such parameters, for instance, as pressure, temperature, light, darkness, radiation, and so on (see the Pattern #11, Folder Systems, Page_4).

 

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149. Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Precious Stone 

 

…a Living Stone… elected by God, Precious…

{1 Peter 2:4}

 

 

St. Peter the Apostle perceives Lord Jesus Christ as the Living and Precious Stone chosen by God, the Corner–foundation. Those who are drawn to Him,  are being built as the living stones into the spiritual house, becoming the holy priesthood destined to offer the spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Lord Jesus Christ {1 Peter 2:4–6}.

The New Testament books convey the vision of Lord Jesus Christ as of the One Who received everything from God the Father, Who is above all authorities and all powers, Who is the completeness of everything in this world and in the eternity, Who is the Mystery of creation, because God creates everything through Him – through the Word–God, in Whom the creature of dust and slave of the evil may become the child of God called to freedom and perfection, doing the works of God, and immortality. St. Paul the Apostle also (as St. Peter does) likens the Christians to the living stones, from which the οικος – household – of God is built and who already, in this life, become the temple of the Holy Spirit through Lord Jesus Christ, the Word–God {John 1:1–18; 3:35–36; 8:31–44; Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 1:3–23; 2:1–22; 3:1–12; Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20}.

Although there is no possibility to come to complete knowledge within the time–space–complexity bounded world, although the one sees as through deem glass and walks by faith relying on the “eyes of the heart” more than on the perception of the visible touchable material world, although the one will learn what, in fact, a human being is only after coming in the Kingdom of God, and although the only one thing is revealed is that the one will be the likeness of the Son of God {e.g., in: 1 John 3:1–3; 1 Corinthians 13:9–12}, – still, the Holy Scriptures provide indications with which at least some knowledge concerning human life and evolution can be inferred.

For instance,

man with a body formed of dust became the living soul after God breathed in his face the breath of life

{Genesis 2:7}

the ancient Israelites perceived appearance of God on the Mt. Sinai as the Fire that enveloped the mountain

{Exodus 24:16–17; Deuteronomy 4:11–15}

a human being is not able to see God and live

{Exodus 33:18–20}

Moses perceives God as the Consuming Fire

{Deuteronomy 4:24}

the prophets perceive appearance of God as the Fire melting the mountains and the valleys

{Psalm 17(18):8; 96(97):5; Isaiah 64:1–2; Micah 1:4}

Isaiah the prophet envisions a human being as clay in the hands of the Porter

{Isaiah 45:8–12; 64:8–9}

Malachi sees the One Who as the purifying Fire would melt and purify His people

as gold is melted and purified in fire, and the ones who would be made the possession of God –

those pitied by God as son is pitied by his father

{Malachi 3:1–3, 17; then, also in: 1 Peter 2:9–10}

St. John the Baptists speaks of the Word–God as of the One Who will baptize His people by the Holy Spirit and Fire

{Luke 3:16; John 1:26–34; also, in: Luke 12:49–50}

the Word–God says that He came to cast the Fire upon the earth

{through Lord Jesus Christ, the Word–God, the Holy Spirit comes and transforms

a creature of dust into the child of God, the one born of God and taught by God –

Luke 12:49; John 1:12–13; 3:3–7; 4:24; 14:15–26; 15:26; 16:13–16}

the Apostles write of the people of God as of the firstfruit of certain creations,

as of the living stones and the likeness of Jesus Christ the Son of God

as of the beings who, because of Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God,

have been pitied, forgiven, and adopted by God the Father to be His Own children,

as of the carriers of the Holy Spirit, the temple of God

{James 1:17–18; 1 Peter 2:4–10; 1 John 2:1–12; 4:9–21; Romans 5:1–10; 6:1–23; 8:14–17; Ephesians 2:1–22; 4:21–24}

the Apostles reveal that re–creation of man through the Word–God and in and after the Word–God

{through Whom all is created and comes into being – John 1:1–4; Proverbs 3:19–20; 8:22–36}

is the purpose of God from the beginning

{James 1:17–18, 21–25; 1 Peter 1:10–25; Ephesians 1:1–23; 4:17–24}.

 

Therefore, the one may infer the essence of human evolution within the temporal world of the matter:

 

by the Omnipotent Power of the Almighty God the Creator,

which overwhelms all potentials of the matter and might annihilate it by the very presence

at the first stage of creation, the dust (matter) becomes the carrier of life –

the derivative of the life–creative energy issuing from God

then, presence of God transforms (melts and purifies as in fire) the structures of the human essence

(which currently, at the phase of the earthly existence, is soul–heart–mind)

annihilating temporal substances and substituting the indestructible (eternal) energy being – creation of the Word–God,

which St. John the Apostle envisions as the likeness of the Word–God

{in: 1 John 3:1–2; furthermore, the Word–God – Λογος  – is the Holy Wisdom by Whom all is created and exists – Wisdom; Proverbs 3:19–20; 8:22–36; John 1:1–3;

or the One sealed by God – John 6:27; or the Name of God – Revelation 22:3–4; or in other terms, the Code of the eternity}

for the energy structures, which carry on the temporal definitions of the unity of

the source (life–creating energy) and its derivatives (life–carrying matter)

(where temporal means programmed for death/disintegration, or the ultimate cognition of the evil)

and therefore, determine the limited range of existence/life of human being as the unity of a body and the spirit

(the energy and the matter).

 

About seven centuries ago, in his theological works, which are devoted to the divine energies of God and which illustrate achievements of the Byzantine theological thought, St. Gregory Palamas (1296–1359) likens dwelling of the Holy Spirit in man to deification, or, in St. Gregory of Nyssa’s definition, to the process resulting in transcendence of human nature:  “the mortal becomes immortal, temporary becomes the eternal.” Similar vision, also referred to by St. Gregory Palamas, belongs to Maximus the Confessor who writes about the “Λογος of the eternal life carrying God” Who is conveyed to those who by the nature have beginning and the end, but who by the Grace of God become infinite and immortal [St. Gregory Palamas (2010); (1974) §11–§12 121–122; St. Gregory of Nyssa qtd. in: St. Gregory Palamas (1974) §12 122].

Therefore, if to summarize the knowledge given in the Holy Scriptures in secular – for instance, philosophical and systems – terms, the essence of transformation of the temporal into the infinite and the mortal into the immortal (or the intended for disintegration into the indestructible) might be described (by the term at the different levels of complexity) as evolution, modification, or re–creation of the life–form initiated by the will of its Creator. The evolution (or modification, or re–creation) empowers the life–form for transfer into the realm that accommodates life–forms at other levels of complexity:

 

the temporal matter

{χουν απο της  γης – the pouring dust of the earth – Genesis 2:7}

that was created to carry the life–bearing energy at the lowest levels of complexity

(in this case, complexity might be seen as an ability to actualize the energy potential at the different levels;

for instance, within the temporal and restricted settings – time–space–physical parameters that control functioning of the matter

at the planet earth, and in the limitless spiritual life of man)

is transformed into the derivative of the Code of the eternity

{a new being created after the likeness of the Word–God – John 1:12–13; James 1:17–18, 21–25; Ephesians 4:21–24)

is empowered to accept the divine energy of creation

that re–creates/modifies the fundamental life–sustaining structures

{is baptized with the Holy Spirit and Fire – Luke 3:16; 12:49–50; John 1:26–33}

enabling manifestations of the highest potency and power,

which can be revealed even within the limits of the time–space–matter

{e.g., the miracles of faith – Matthew 14:22–32; 17:20; Luke 17:5–10},

and

that makes the derivative – a new form of life – infinite–immortal–indestructible

and capable of existence within other realm

{in the realm of God the Spirit, the Creator of Life – in the Kingdom of God:

John 1:12–13; 3:3–6, 36; 11:25–26; 14:1–3; Revelation 21; 22; Daniel 7:9–10)

is enabled to actualize the increased energy potential

that within the limited time–space–complexity settings is manifested as

knowledge and love of God,

imitation of the perfection of God,

and, in some cases, even demonstration of the transcendent abilities,

for instance, such as knowledge of the future, clairvoyance, healing, and other “works of God”

{e.g., in: Mark 16:15–18; John 14:12; Acts}.

 

Everyone who claims his road to God comes to a particular – personal – vision and comprehension of God, yet the essence is always the same: God of the Holy Wisdom, the Perfect and Almighty God Who creates all through His Word – Λογος, Αγια Σοφια – Whom we know as Lord God Jesus Christ, and Who reveals Himself to His people as the Perfect Almighty Love with Whom there will be no sorrows, death, and suffering {John 3:16–18; 13:34–35; 14:21–23; 15:9–12; 17:21–26; 1 John; Revelation 21:3–7}.

The personal vision of God might be different, yet it always reflects the Absolute Good and completeness of the Perfect All–forgiving Love as much as the one, at his level of development, is enabled to perceive: the Holy Spirit is One but His gifts are different because their recipients have to accomplish different works and serve different purposes {our God is the God of Wisdom and knowledge, or as St. Paul the Apostle writes in: 1 Corinthians 14:33, not of ακαταστασιας – disarray, confusion, chaos}.

Indeed, they should be and they are different because the universe created by God is the wholeness of unlimited diversity of life (including the planet earth), the interconnected living multitudes of creations within different dimensions {John 14:2; Daniel 7:9–10}, with different potency, purposes and features (complexity), who in their totality are the manifestation of the Omnipotent Power and Energy issuing from God and carrying out the will of God the Creator.

Furthermore, it should be said that the evolution of a human mind proceeds through cognition of God, and the degree of mind’s development is a part of σημεια των καιρων {the signs of times – Luke 12:54–57}, which reveal closeness to the καιρος of this world*1*.

For instance,

 

the ancient tribe delivered from the slavery in heathen Egypt was horrified by the vision of God

Whose presence melted the mountains and Who spoke from the midst of fire

the chosen ones received the commandment to exterminate the corrupted and evil idol–worshipers

and do not enter in any kinds of relations with them – nor family nor business nor any other

{Exodus 34:12–16; Deuteronomy 3:1–7; 1 Kings 15:18–33}

the disciples who wanted to cast the fire from the heaven, so those who did not accept them would be killed,

are told that they do not know the Spirit Who is in them, because the Lord came to save the souls of men, not to destroy

{Luke 9:51–56}

Lord Jesus Christ asked God the Father to forgive the heathens (Romans) who crucified Him

and sent His apostles to bring the salvation and eternal life – through His Gospels and Christian faith – to all nations

{Luke 23:33–34; Acts 28:28; also, in: Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–16}

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a human being comes to life as a particle of disintegrating dust, rejects God,

lives as shadow of darkness, in wrath, distress, pain, and sorrow,

and becomes an idol–worshiper and beast consuming and not–sparing his brothers

{Job 4:19; 8:9–19; 14:1–22; Isaiah 1:2–31; 9:13–20}

the one who accepts faith in Lord Jesus Christ and cognizes love to God and to the others,

receives the authority to become an immortal child of the Almighty Omnipotent God the Spirit

Who is the Perfect Love

{John 1:1–13; 1 John 4:7–21}.

 

However, God always is the same and His Law is always the same law given for the entire life–cycle of the earth {Matthew 5:17–18; Luke 16:17; James 1:17–18; 1 Peter 1:22–25;  Psalm 101(102):25–27; Isaiah 40:6–8; Malachi 3:6}. Therefore, other factors should make the difference for mankind; for instance,

1/ the greatest evolution–driving factor – the knowledge of God and His Word – became the possession of the human mind destined for the eternity with God–Creator, although still living within the temporal limited world of the matter. Since, the world into which God has brought His knowledge that is the life everlasting, the world overwhelmed by God, the world in which God has completed His work {John 3:14–21; 13:1; 14:19; 16:5–7, 28, 33; 17:1–4; Ephesians 2:1–10}, the world, in which the Christian faith and salvation of man and his transformation into the living temple of the Living God are consummated, never can be the same as it was before coming of the Messiah. Although the beasts still commit terrible acts of hatred and atrocities, the world is different because of the knowledge that had been poured into the world and became possession of its inhabitants, and because even if this knowledge today is the secret treasure of just a few, tomorrow, its light will illuminate the many: the lamp shining in the darkness cannot be hidden {Matthew 5:15–16; John 1:5; 8:12; 9:5}

2/ the human mind is different at different periods of life (within different time–space–complexity parameters): it comes through different stages of evolution {that is different perceptions and degrees of comprehension of the Absolute Good as the attribute of God – the perfection of God, which the one should imitate – Matthew 5:48} during its ascent to God. As soon as this knowledge is already given by God {John 17:1–8}, the one can infer that the human mind has been prepared for the acceptance of this knowledge – the knowledge of the everlasting life.

Therefore, it should be said that the one’s mind evolves by learning the knowledge of God, by perceiving the perfection of God, by discovering His All–forgiving Perfect Love, by accomplishing His commandments, and by imitating the Absolute Good and perfection of God as much as it is possible for the one according to the conditions of his life.

When I think of the essence of the Christianity, I envision the human mind as a fragile shell of clay, yet, with coming of the Almighty Fire, it is transformed into the precious stone – the keeper of Light, on which the Name of God is carved as the insignia of the eternity… the feeble disintegrating piece of dark earth is re–created into the indestructible and eternal and beautiful light – the reflection of its Creator {John 1:1–5; 8:12; Revelation 22:5; Isaiah 42:16}…

 

 

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Notes:

 

 

*1*  Concerning σημεια των καιρων – the signs of times – see Pattern # 10, Folder Systems, Page 4

Concerning καιρος, see postings: The Completion, Folder Archive_2008–2009, Page_4_2008–2009, and Patterns #5 and #10, Folder Systems, Page 4

 

 

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References:

 

 

St. Gregory Palamas. "Pismo k Akindiny." A Russian translation of the third letter of St. Gregory Palamas to Akindynos, and Commentary by John Meyendorff. Byzantine Hesychasm:  Historical, Theological and Social Problems. Collected Studies by John Meyendorff. London:  Variorum Reprints, 1974. 113–126.

St. Gregory Palamas.  Antirretics Against Akindin. Library of the Temple of St. Illias. Krasnodar, Russia: Text, 2010 (in Russian).

 

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