Last Updated: 25 December 2019
First Christianity – Christ the Perfect Nazarene
“and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23, NASB)
Searching the entire Old Testament, scholars have pointed out that the only Verses which exist to explain the phrase “He shall be called a Nazarene” as “spoken through the prophets” in Verse above is in regards to a Perfect Asceticism which was Practiced by Lord Jesus Christ Himself to fulfill All Law including this (based on Numbers 6:13, Judges 13:5).
Note: Christ may not have been a Nazarite all his life as He also fulfills other Laws of Moses (Matthew 5:17) which includes for example to raise the dead (as a Nazarite cannot be near/touch a dead body by vow, Numbers 6:2 – 3, Luke 8:49 – 54).
What is “following Lord Jesus Christ” under the Context of “Perfect Asceticism”?
“As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:57 – 58, NASB)
“This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he [Judas] was a thief, and had the money box; and he [Judas] used to take what was put in it… For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.” (John 12:6, 13:29, NKJV)
iii. Free Ministry with no Money Collections is the Highest Way
Don’t do Money Collections at all most of the Times and only Receive the need such a Food or Clothing Staying where they’re Received:
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. “Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:8 – 9, NASB)
” “Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you;” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 10:7 – 8, NASB)
The Apostles followed Christ by Forsaking All because Christ Forsook All of his house in Perfect Asceticism as well:
“Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have LEFT ALL and FOLLOWED YOU. Therefore what shall we have?” So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have FOLLOWED ME will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has LEFT houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother ]or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a HUNDREDFOLD, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last FIRST.” (Matthew 19:27 – 30, NKJV)
Please note ‘carefully’ that Christ Implies that His Apostles will be “First” in His Kingdom because of this One Reason in that they FORSOOK ALL to FOLLOW after CHRIST in the Context of Perfect Christian Asceticism of Obeying the Gospel, not just in Preaching the Gospel but also in Giving to the Poor First as evidenced by these Verses Prior to the above (“Context”):
“The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be PERFECT, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:20 – 22, NKJV)
Interestingly Christ Himself points out that keeping all the Commandments of God from the youth is still NOT PERFECTION till one “sells what one has and gives to the poor,” and only after that “follows Christ” into this path of Perfect Christian Asceticism as taught in the Gospels and Practiced by the Best such as the Apostles of Christ Himself making them FIRST in His Coming Glorious Kingdom.
In First Christianity under the Apostles themselves, not only ‘leaders’ (pastors, deacons, bishops) were living like that but even the Common Believers, wow!, Verse:
“And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” (Acts 2:44 – 45, NASB)
Around the Time of St. Jerome of the Vulgate, there was a change of attitude in priests (pastors, deacons, bishops) where they started to abandon the non-possessiveness “Perfection” Lifestyle (Matthew 19:21) into a money-laden one, to quote:
“… He will teach you the perfection of a monk, and I shall show you the whole duty of a clergyman. A clergyman, then, as he serves Christ’s church, must first understand what his name means; and then, when he realizes this, must endeavor to be that which he is called. For since the Greek word alhroj means “lot,” or “inheritance,” the clergy are so called either because they are the lot of the Lord, or else because the Lord Himself is their lot and portion. Now, he who in his own person is the Lord’s portion, or has the Lord for his portion, must so bear himself as to possess the Lord and to be possessed by Him. He who possesses the Lord, and who says with the prophet, “The Lord is my portion,”can hold to nothing beside the Lord. For if he hold to something beside the Lord, the Lord will not be his portion. Suppose, for instance, that he holds to gold or silver, or possessions or inlaid furniture; with such portions as these the Lord will not deign to be his portion. I, if I am the portion of the Lord, and the line of His heritage,receive no portion among the remaining tribes; but, like the Priest and the Levite, I live on the tithe,and serving the altar, am supported by its offerings.Having food and raiment, I shall be content with these,and as a disciple of the Cross shall share its poverty…It is the glory of a bishop to make provision for the wants of the poor; but it is the shame of all priests to amass private fortunes… Many build churches nowadays; their walls and pillars of glowing marble, their ceilings glittering with gold, their altars studded with jewels… But now our Lord by His poverty has consecrated the poverty of His house. Let us, therefore, think of His cross and count riches to be but dirt. Why do we admire what Christ calls “the mammon of unrighteousness”? Why do we cherish and love what it is Peter’s boast not to possess?”… – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Letter LII. To Nepotian’)
Conclusion – The Holy Apostle Paul – A Perfect Ascetic Minister of Christ
No Inspired Author of the Word of God puts it better than the Selfless Anointed Apostle Paul regarding this Topic as he clearly Reveals the Truth of the ‘higher way’ (of doing Ministry for “Free” whilst working as he didn’t quit his secular job as a tentmaker claiming the full time excuse, Acts 18:3) vs the ‘lower way’ (of taking “wages/money as Salary” for preaching the Gospel or doing His Ministry Work). Please don’t be angry with me for Speaking this Truth as it is not my words nor my opinion but God’s Word in Verses below (so, please be careful of your vain words lest you find yourself Fighting God Himself), to quote:
“… 5Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? … 8I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? … 11If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ… 14So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.15But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. 16For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel…” – The Blessed Apostle St. Paul to All the Gentiles (1 Corinthians 9:5 – 6, 8, 11 – 12, 14 – 18, NASB)
Never think that any ministry is smaller than others or another is greater because of numbers. Why? God Judges and Measures Relatively and in Percentages to be Fair to All: remember the poor widow with 2 coins who gave more than all as Christ Declared (Luke 21:1 – 4)? Also Christ Said that when ‘more is given, more is required’ implying for example that when people support you more for ministry work, the output needs to be more (a relative measure is inherent implying equality if the support is less likewise and so no one is at any disadvantage, Luke 12:48).
Such ones like apostle Paul who go the ‘higher way’ of ministry as Described often Gain some Spiritual Gifts above the Rest, to quote in the remarkable life of the following recent Christian who also underwent his ministry also likewise along the lines of these Commands of Perfection by Lord Jesus Christ (“Verses” quoted above), to quote:
“… “When suffering from hunger and thirst, I used to complain, and to ask why the Lord did not provide. He had told me not to take any money with me. If I had taken money I could have bought what I needed… Again before the fast, I was sometimes tempted to give up the life of a sadhu with its hardships, to go back to the luxury of my father’s house, to get married and live in comfort. Could I not be a good Christian and live a life of communion with God there also? But then I saw that, though it was no sin for others to live in comfort and have money and home, God’s call for me was different; and the gift of Ecstasy which he had given me is better than any home. Here I find wonderful joys which transcend all others. My real marriage is with Christ. I do not say that marriage is not good for others. If I am already bound to Christ, how can I marry another?” … ” – the Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh (Pages 23 – 24, Chapter I: The Man and His Making, ‘The Message of Sundar Singh’, 1921)
Personally, I can never reach such Spiritual Perfections. Hence, I admire these Saints of Christ together with such ones from First Christianity (those saints whom I often quote) as the Best Imitators of our Most Perfect Master Himself, the God-Incarnate in Flesh, Lord Jesus Christ.
Regarding the Rarely known Truth that even a regular ‘poor working man convert’ can exceed even ‘his pastor who had devoted his life to full time ministry’ into a higher spiritual abode upon death due to ‘Percentage, Love & Obedience Measure’, Sadhu Sundar Singh saw this in one of his Spiritual World Visions as follows, to quote:
“A PROUD MINISTER AND A HUMBLE WORKMAN – A minister who looked on himself as an exceedingly learned and religious man died at a ripe old age. And without doubt, he was a good man. When the angels came to take him to the place appointed for him by the Lord in the world of spirits, they brought him into the intermediate state, and left him there with many other good spirits, who had lately arrived, in charge of those angels who are appointed to instruct good souls, while they themselves went back to usher in another good spirit. In that intermediate heaven, there are grades upon grades right up to the higher heavens, and the grade into which any soul is admitted for instruction, is determined by the real goodness of his life on earth. When the angels, who had put this minister in his grade, came back conducting in the other soul, for whom they had gone, they brought him up beyond the grade in which the minister was, on their way up to a higher plane. Seeing this the minister in a blustering voice called out, “What right have you to leave me half-way up to that glorious country, while You take this other man away up near to it? Neither in holiness, nor in anything else, am I in any way less than this man, or than you yourselves.” The angels replied, “There is no question here of great or small, or of more or less, but a man is put into whatever grade he has merited by his life and faith. You are not quite ready yet for that upper grade, so you will have to remain here for a while, and learn some of the things that our fellow-workers are appointed to teach. Then, when the Lord commands us, we will, with great pleasure, take you with us to that higher sphere.” He said, “I have been teaching people all my life about the way to reach heaven. What more have I to learn? I know all about it.” Then the instructing angels said, “They must go up now, we can’t detain them, but we will answer your question. My friend, do not be offended if we speak plainly, for it is for your good. You think you are alone here, but the Lord is also here though you cannot see Him. The pride that you displayed when you said, ‘I know all about it’ prevents you from seeing Him, and from going up higher. Humility is the cure for this pride. Practice it and your desire will be granted.” After this, one of the angels told him, “The man who has just been promoted above you, was no learned or famous man. You did not look at him very carefully. He was a member of your own congregation. People hardly knew him at all, for he was an ordinary working man, and had little leisure from his work. But in his workshop, many knew him as an industrious and honest worker. All who came in contact with him recognized his Christian character. In the war, he was called up for service in France. There, one day, as he was helping a wounded comrade, he was struck by a bullet and killed. Though his death was sudden, he was ready for it, so he did not have to remain in the intermediate state as long as you will have to do. His promotion depends, not on favoritism, but on his spiritual worthiness. His life of prayer and humility, while he was in the world, prepared him to a great extent for the spiritual world. Now he is rejoicing at having reached his appointed place, and is thanking and praising the Lord, who, in His mercy, has saved him, and given him eternal life.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh (‘Visions of the Spiritual World’, Pages 50 – 53, Chapter VI: State of the Righteous, 1926)
Though I myself may be Saved by His Grace with a General Salvation, I do not know if I will be worthy even to attain the “thirty fold” fruit level. However, I do not intend to Manipulate what Mysteries as it has even been taught in First Christianity to make it look like it’s the same as the way I practice in such a weak/imperfect faith and sinful lifestyle of mine (hence I provide proof quotes for each claim made).
My intention includes to encourage you (yes perhaps you) who could attain to such First Christianity’s Perfect Asceticism whilst Preaching the Gospel as it was Practiced by Lord Jesus Christ Himself and followed as it is by His Great Apostles and in turn by the earliest Church Leaders, to quote (as it now makes sense why the ‘thirty fold, sixty fold and hundredfold mystery’ in First Christianity bears the Marks of a Lifestyle along the Reasoning Described since that’s how Lord Jesus Christ Himself Demonstrated Perfectly with His Life, talking about Following Christ, Right?), Link below:
“… And brings forth some an hundredfold, &c. “We must observe,” says S. Jerome, “that like as in the bad ground there were three different sorts—namely, by the wayside, the rocky, and the thorny places—so in the good ground there is a threefold diversity. And in the one as well as in the other, it is not the substance which is changed, but the will; and so it is the heart of the unbelieving as well as of the believing which receives the seed.” Moreover, the greatest fruit of God’s Word, as it were the greatest fruit of seed is a hundredfold, as if from a single grain a harvest of a hundred grains were gathered, as was Isaac’s case (Gen. xxvi. 12). The medium fruit is called sixtyfold; the lowest thirtyfold. A definite number is put for an indefinite; otherwise He might have added, brings forth some fortyfold, some twenty fold, and so on. Whence, in opposition to Jovinian and Calvin, the inequality of merit and consequently of the reward, of good works in Heaven is rightly proved. So S. Chrysostom (Hom. 45), S. Augustine (de S. Virgin. c. 46), Nazianzen (Orat. 28), and others. For the Fathers, however Calvin may deride and exclaim, apply these words especially to diverse states. 1. S. Jerome, on this passage (lib. 1, contra Jovin), and S. Athanasius (Epist. ad Ammon.), and others assign the hundredfold fruit to virgins; the sixtyfold to widows; the thirtyfold to those who live in honest and holy wedlock. 2. S. Cyprian (l. de Hab. Virg.) and S. Augustine (l. 1, de quest. Evang. quest. 9, tom 4) assign the hundredfold to martyrs, the sixty to virgins, the thirtyfold to those who are married. Hear what S. Augustine says: “I assert that the hundredfold belongs to martyrs, on account of their holiness of life, or contempt of death; the sixty fold to virgins, on account of interior quiet, because they do not need to fight against fleshly habits—for rest is wont to be granted to soldiers who are past sixty years of age; the thirtyfold to the married, because thirty is the age of warriors—for those have a sharper conflict, that they may not be overcome of lust.”3. Euthymius and Theophylact assign the thirtyfold to beginners, the sixty to those who have made some progress, the hundredfold to the perfect. So also Nazianzen (Orat. 28.) When a man proceeds, saith he, from thirty to sixty, he finishes with a hundred, as Isaac did (Gen. xxvi.) And he sings the Psalms of Degrees, going from strength to strength, and placing the Ascensions in his heart (Ps. 84.)…” – Cornelius Bible Commentary
Source Post with more First Christianity Quotes in this Context of the differences between the thirty, sixty and hundred fold:
The claim that we do not need to fulfill the Law meant for us as it was Revealed through His Apostles (1 Corinthians 14:34, 2 Peter 3:2 below) under the false Pretext that Christ Fulfilled all so we don’t need to (Matthew 5:17 – 18) will only cause one to lose one’s rewards and become smaller (Matthew 5:19). Indeed, we are not saved by fulfilling the Law meant for us as a Gentile Believer vs Jewish Believer but fulfilling obedience has its Great Rewards and Vice Versa accordingly (Matthew 5:19).
“that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.” – the Blessed Apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:2, NASB)
“If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” – the Blessed Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37, NASB)
Comment: Christian ascetics use passages such as 1 Peter 2:11 and 1 Corinthians 9:27 to support their lifestyle, and they exhibit their austerity in different ways. Some choose to be celibate. Others practice religious disciplines such as meditation, keeping vigil, and fasting. This is based on Lord Jesus’ teachings on perfection (Matthew 5:48), celibacy (Matthew 19:10-12), and voluntary poverty (Matthew 19:16-22).
St. Basil the Great Lamented over the Disobedient Church at his time too and pointed out that the ‘True Christians were in the Desert (among those practicing Asceticism) making intercessions in tears’, to quote:
“… All the while unbelievers laugh; men of weak faith are shaken; faith is uncertain; souls are drenched in ignorance, because adulterators of the word imitate the truth. The mouths of true believers are dumb, while every blasphemous tongue wags free; holy things are trodden under foot; the better laity shun the churches as schools of impiety; and lift their hands in the deserts with sighs and tears to their Lord in heaven. Even you must have heard what is going on in most of our cities, how our people with wives and children and even our old men stream out before the walls, and offer their prayers in the open air, putting up with all the inconvenience of the weather with great patience, and waiting for help from the Lord…”+ St. Basil the Great, (Letter #92, “To the Italians and Gauls”)
Hence, though I may never attain even to the great works in modern Christianity itself, I admire even more to the fullest regarding First Christianity’s Finest.
Peace to you
Christian Dilemma – Who is First and Who is Last?
Is it true that those with the biggest ministries on earth are the first in heaven and vice versa?
Not necessarily. If such was the case, it would be a great unfairness to the poor & illiterate as these are rarely even celebrated for their faith as opposed to the flattery & support given to the educated & rich.
Explanation, please consider:
“John [the Baptist] answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.” (John 3:27, NASB)
Some may interject and say that it is their hard work. The ability to do the hard work or that your hard work gets supported (for example due to your racial or social-economic advantage) is ‘given’. A same person can work harder than you or be smarter than you & never get the promotion or even the same salary as you. So, how does God balance out these unfairness in the afterlife?
We shall see at the end of this discussion.
Also, it is well known that the Mega Churches are supported by big numbers of believers and only certain people are supported in that way (human discrimination within each believer too in some way – e.g. ‘same race’, ‘same mindset’, ‘money benefit groups’ etc.).
The number of support or ‘how big their success is on earth is no indicator of who is best either’ according to this ancient Verse:
“I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11, NASB)
iii. In Judgment Day’s Reward Perspective toward Believers, Percentage Count & Intent of Love plays the Greatest Roles
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He [Lord Jesus Christ] said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1 – 4, NASB)
Comment: On the surface, the rich’s pouring of money (e.g. the modern church’s collection of money in their offerings) may look great as it supports many orphanages etc. but yet Christ Still Maintained that the Poor Widow gave the Most, hence the highest rewards goes to her even though the two coins which she put in may not even have been enough to buy a meal. Can you see it? nothing is judged based on results for that would be unfair to a poor & financially disabled person.
Lord Jesus Christ Explains in Parable below that any Christian can be made Equal to a ‘harder labouring suffering for Christ senior Christian who bore the heat of ministry’, to quote:
“1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2“When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3“And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. 5“Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6“And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ 7“They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ 9“When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10“When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11“When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made THEM EQUAL TO US who have BORNE the BURDEN and the SCORCHING HEAT of the day.’ 13“But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is YOUR EYE ENVIOUS because I AM GENEROUS?’ 16“So the LAST shall be FIRST, and the FIRST LAST.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:1 – 16, NASB)
Yes, according to these First Christianity Quotes*:
Each Quote below is from Archbishop St. Athanasius the Great, ‘called the Great Father of Orthodoxy in Eastern Orthodoxy’ in his infamous book titled ‘The Paradise of the Holy Fathers’ unless stated otherwise, source:
“Abbi Poemen said, If there be three [brethren] to-
gether, and one leadeth a fair life of silent contemplation,
and the other being a weak man giveth thanks, and the
other singeth and prayeth with a lowly mind, all three are
performing work [of EQUAL MERIT].” (Point 237)
” There were two brethren who were the sons of a merchant, and their father died, and they A divided their inheritance between themselves, and unto 604. each one there came five thousand dinars. And one of the brethren divided his inheritance among the churches, and the monasteries, and the poor, and he himself became a monk, and he chose for himself a life of continual silence, and fasting, and prayer; now the other brother built a monastery for himself, and gathered brethren to him, and he took care of the strangers, and the poor, and the sick, whom he received and relieved. When the two brothers were dead there was questioning among the brethren about them, and they went to Abba Pamb6 and asked him, “Which manner of life and condudl ” was the more excellent and exalted?” And having learned from God, he said unto them, “They are both perfedl, and in ” my sight they appear to be of equal merit.” Explain to us
now the old man’s words, for how can the man who is desti-
tute, and the man who hath possessions be equal [in merit]?
The old man said, “Since the whole condudl of these brethren
” was to God, and since whatsoever they did they did it for
“God, with an upright aim, and since the aim of each was
“the same, they appeared to be in the old man’s opinion of
” EQUAL MERIT before God.” (Point 604)
To Quote (in the Context of ‘monks’):
“606. The brethren said: — Abbd Pambd said, “If there be
” three monks in one place, and one of them live in silence [it
“is] well, and if another be sick and he give thanks in his
” weakness, and if another minister to men and relieve them,
” all three of them are in the same service.” Reveal to us now
the mind of this holy man. And Abbd Pambd said, ” If a man dwell in silence for God’s ” sake, and not for the sake of vainglory, or any other human “thing; and if another, who is sick, give thanks to God for ” his sickness, and he endure him that ministereth unto him “with longsufFering, he becometh like unto him that is in ” silence; and if he who ministereth unto men doeth it not for ” a reward of this world, but for God’s sake, and if he con-” straineth himself in everything, and doeth the will of those
” who are ministered unto by him in love and gladness, he
” thus becometh like unto him who shutteth himself up in
” silence, and like unto him that is sick, and in this way the
” work of all three is of EQUAL MERIT.” (Point 606)
It is known that some ‘later desert fathers taught that no Christian can equal the life of a Christian monk even if they obeyed all commandments’. This is NOT accurate as their Founder, St. Anthony the Great (of whom even the Archbishop St, Athanasius the Great wrote a biography titled, ‘Life of Anthony’) declared plainly the Truth that a Christian who Performs God’s Will assigned for his life (e.g. working a secular job as a doctor) by carrying out Charity works or doing good toward others (to the best of his ability) without going into any full time ministry nor even is he known in his city (meaning that he may only affect a few lives of those who come in contact with him as opposed to St. Anthony who has touched the entire city of Alexandria, which is equivalent to a ‘Mega Church’ Exposure in modern context) may still be equal to him. Wait. What?
I repeat, a simple Christian doing God’s Will for his life accordingly may be EQUAL to even the greatest Mega Church Pastor in his city (e.g. St. Anthony the Great) as this Founder of the Desert Father’s Order himself testifies in ‘his own words below’ agreeing in Perfect Context with Christ’s Parable earlier making God Perfectly Fair (as any Christian be it rich or poor, literate or illiterate can thus be EQUAL as long as they fulfill God’s Will for their own lives accordingly), to quote:
“It was revealed to Abba Anthony* in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.”
*Abba Anthony = St. Anthony the Great in our Discussion.
The quote is from the Source below (retrospectively, they are called the ‘Sayings of the Desert Fathers’):
Peace to you
Giving Dilemma – Give to Anyone Mystery
If you gave to someone and it didn’t reach a good cause but they ended up cheating or scamming you, your giving is lost, right?
No. No Giving is lost especially if you give for ‘reasons / intentions to help , to love or to do good’ as the Verse in image by our Most Blessed Savior Reveals.
Is this a Correct Context?
Yes, according to the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture too in Verses below implying this same meaning, to quote:
“1:4 But clothe thyself in reverence, wherein is no evil stumbling-block, but all things are smooth and gladsome. Work that which is good, and of thy labors, which God giveth thee, give to all that are in want freely, not questioning to whom thou shalt give, and to whom thou shalt not give. Give to all; for to all God desireth that there should be given of His own bounties.
1:5 They then that receive shall render an account to God why they received it, and to what end; for they that receive in distress shall not be judged, but they that receive by false pretence shall pay the penalty.
1:6 He then that giveth is guiltless; for as he received from the Lord the ministration to perform it, he hath performed it in sincerity, by making no distinction to whom to give or not to give. This ministration then, when sincerely performed, becomes glorious in the sight of God. He therefore that ministereth thus sincerely shall live unto God.” – Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate 2)
All Givers will get the reward for their giving on Reason of Love or Good Intention regardless some in this life or some in the afterlife or some in some proportion of both realms.
Peace to you
Whose Responsibility is it to Solve the Poverty on Earth?
‘All, collectively, yes’. But who is more responsible?
Here’s a simple explanation:
If anyone collects money or takes a Salary in the Name of God, you are responsible to solve this especially locally in any way. Remember, you’re just taking another person’s hard earned money as your collection (quoting yourself as God’s Servant) and so please do this with the money you collected from others (to solve the problems listed in image in any small way – Blessed are you if you do so).
if you never collected money nor took a salary in the Name of God, it’s not your salaried duty – but any act of willing giving yields great spiritual rewards.
Please ponder carefully.
Peace to you
Prosperity Gospel Error – Desire to be Rich
The Bible doesn’t speak against desiring to be rich right? I mean, when we are rich, we can help the poor too.
The Bible teaches that it is wrong to even “desire” to be rich, Verse below, 1 Timothy 6:9 in two popular translations as follows (in image too):
“New American Standard Bible
But THOSE who WANT to GET RICH fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
New King James Version
But THOSE who DESIRE to be RICH fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
How about rich believers such as Abraham in the past? The difference is that they “never desired” to be rich. God blessed them to be rich. This is a key difference: in such persons, the idea of connecting faith with money/prosperity/wealth does “not” exist.
They just keep doing their work faithfully and if it maketh rich, they receive it and if it doesn’t, they are likewise content but they ‘never work hard to be rich’ obeying the Verse below (in three translations – Proverbs 23:4):
“New American Standard Bible
Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it.
New King James Version
Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!
King James Bible
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.”
The Verse above itself cleary proves that those who teach or believe in being hard-working to be rich are ‘not’ obeying God but are led by one’s own wisdom and the Bible warns to ‘stop such an attitude which is not to be found amongst believers’.
Further, the Bible only teaches one to be hard-working to provide for one’s own needs and ‘not to become rich’ – there is a difference in Context entirely in Verse below, to quote:
“Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6 – 8, NASB)
Is this Context Correct?
Yes, according to the Scripture in the Shepherd of Hermas which also reveals that many ‘servants of God’ are prophesied to be ‘dead due to this desire to be rich’ (as mentioned below as a chiefest “evil desire”), to quote:
“1:3 “Of what sort, Sir,” say I, “are the works of the evil desire, which hand over men to death? Make them known to me, that I may hold aloof from them.” Listen,” [saith he,] “through what works the evil desire bringeth death to the servants of God.
2:1 “Before all is desire for the wife or husband of another, and for extravagance of wealth, and for many needless dainties, and for drinks and other luxuries, many and foolish. For even luxury is foolish and vain for the servants of God.
2:2 These desires then are evil, and bring death to the servants of God. For this evil desire is a daughter of the devil. Ye must, therefore, abstain from the evil desires, that so abstaining ye may live unto God.
2:3 But as many as are mastered by them, and resist them not, are done to death utterly; for these desires are deadly.” – Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate 12)
The last phrases above, e. g. “These desires then are evil, and bring death to the servants of God.” in regards to ‘being rich desires’ such as “for extravagance of wealth” or “other luxuries” clearly imply that ‘the prosperity Gospel preachers & believers are probably unsaved, right’?
Remember, it is Written above that “For even luxury is foolish and vain for the servants of God.” So, is there such a thing as a ‘rich Pastor as a Servant of God’?
I’m not condemning anyone as I didn’t write the Shepherd of Hermas but the Angel of God which inspired that (the Angel which presides over Repentance toward anyone to become His Church/Bride is saying so – and they have their authority accordingly, Hebrews 2:2). Please remember that in regards to being His Church or to be part of the Highest First Resurrection (Revelation 20:4 – 6), the number of Christians believing something doesn’t prove truth and only those who ‘run the race of faith according to the BIBLICAL RULES given’ (Verses quoted) get the PRIZE, to quote:
“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does NOT WIN the PRIZE unless he competes ACCORDING to the RULES.” – apostle Paul (2 Timothy 2:5, NASB)
Can you really be Saved by Practicing against what is Written in Verses quoted?
Let’s see on that Day which Prosperity Gospel denomination is approved of God against the Divine Revelation set forth in the Shepherd of Hermas Writing.
I implore the Elect of God: Please don’t be deceived and please don’t lose your Salvation to become part of His Bride in the First Resurrection (Revelation 20:4 – 6) being ‘Denied as Lawless’ as the “Many Christians” (Matthew 7:20 – 23) on that Millennial Reign Day on account of this doctrinal & life error as the Verse below is literally True:
“AGAIN I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a RICH MAN to ENTER the KINGDOM of GOD.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:24, NASB)
Which type of rich believer may be Saved then?
“1:8 Therefore, instead of fields buy ye souls that are in trouble, as each is able, and visit widows and orphans, and neglect them not; and spend your riches and all your displays, which ye received from God, on fields and houses of this kind.
1:9 For to this end the Master enriched you, that ye might perform these ministrations for Him. It is much better to purchase fields [and possessions] and houses of this kind, which thou wilt find in thine own city, when thou visitest it.” – Shepherd of Hermas (Parable 1)
“1:5 “How, Sir?” say I; “instruct me.” “Listen,” saith he; the rich man hath much wealth, but in the things of the Lord he is poor, being distracted about his riches, and his confession and intercession with the Lord is very scanty; and even that which he giveth is mall and weak and hath not power above. When then the rich man goeth up to the poor, and assisteth him in his needs, believing that for what he doth to the poor man he shall be able to obtain a reward with God–because the poor man is rich in intercession [and confession], and his intercession hath great power with God–the rich man then supplieth all things to the poor man without wavering.
1:6 But the poor man being supplied by the rich maketh intercession for him, thanking God for him that gave to him. And the other is still more zealous to assist the poor man, that he may be continuous in his life: for he knoweth that the intercession of the poor man is acceptable and rich before God.
1:7 They both then accomplish their work; the poor man maketh intercession, wherein he is rich [which he received of the Lord]; this he rendereth again to the Lord Who supplieth him with it. The rich man too in like manner furnisheth to the poor man, nothing doubting, the riches which he received from the Lord. And this work great and acceptable with God, because (the rich man) hath understanding concerning his riches, and worketh for the poor man from the bounties of the Lord, and accomplisheth the ministration of the Lord rightly.
1:8 In the sight of men then the elm seemeth not to bear fruit, and they know not, neither perceive, that if there cometh a drought the elm having water nurtureth the vine, and the vine having a constant supply of water beareth fruit two fold, both for itself and for the elm. So likewise the poor, by interceding with the Lord for the rich, establish their riches, and again the rich, supplying their needs to the poor, establish their souls.
1:9 So then both are made partners in the righteous work. He then that doeth these things shall not be abandoned of God, but shall be written in the books of the living.
1:10 Blessed are the rich, who understand also that they are enriched from the Lord. For they that have this mind shall be able to do some good work.” – Shepherd of Hermas (Parable 2)
iii. Which type of rich believer may be Saved? To quote:
“27:4 Hear now likewise concerning those round and bright stones. All these are from the white mountain. Now here wherefore they have been found round. Their riches have darkened and obscured them a little from the truth.
27:5 When therefore the Lord percieved their mind, *that they could favor the truth,* and likewise remain good, He commanded their possessions to be cut off from them, yet not to be taken away altogether, so that they might be able to do some good with that which hath been left to them, and might live unto God for that they come of a good kind. So therefore they have been cut away a little, and placed in the building of this tower”.
27:1 “But the other (stones), which have remained round and have not been fitted into the building, because they have not yet received the seal, have been replaced in their own possession, for they were found very round.
27:2 For this world and the vanities of their possessions must be cut off from them, and then they will fit into the kingdom of God. For it is necessary that they should enter into the kingdom of God; because the Lord hath blessed this innocent kind. Of this kind then not one shall perish. Yea, even though any one of them being tempted by the most wicked devil have committed any fault, he shall return speedily unto his Lord.” – Shepherd of Hermas (Parable 9)
“5:5 “But the white and round stones, which did not fit into the building, who are they, lady?” She answered and said to me, “How long art thou foolish and stupid, and enquirest everything, and understandest nothing? These are they that have faith, but have also riches of this world. When tribulation cometh, they deny their Lord by reason of their riches and their business affairs.”
5:6 And I answered and said unto her, “When then, lady, will they be useful for the building?” “When,” she replied, “their wealth, which leadeth their souls astray, shall be cut away, then will they be useful for God. For just as the round stone, unless it be cut away, and lose some portion of itself, cannot become square, so also they that are rich in this world, unless their riches be cut away, cannot become useful to the Lord.
5:7 Learn first from thyself When thou hadst riches, thou wast useless; but now thou art useful and profitable unto life. Be ye useful unto God, for thou thyself also art taken from the same stones.” – Shepherd of Hermas (Vision 3)
Please notice the last line carefully which is against the Wisdom of this World which teaches the opposite that the rich are very useful to God: “… Learn first from thyself When thou hadst riches, thou wast useless; but now thou art useful and profitable unto life…”
Biblical Giving means ‘expect nothing in return’ (Verse: Luke 6:35 – below in two translations even toward ‘enemies it is a valid context & not just giving to your church or family only’). If we give and get back what we give as a ‘borrowed amount’, that is a ‘help in the transaction type’ but it is certainly ‘not Biblical Giving’ which must include ‘expect nothing in return’ which only attains the Highest Rewards as Revealed in the Shepherd of Hermas Writing too.
New American Standard Bible
“But LOVE your ENEMIES, and do good, and LEND, EXPECTING NOTHING in RETURN; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. – Lord Jesus Christ
New King James Version
But LOVE your ENEMIES, do good, and LEND, HOPING for NOTHING in RETURN; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Peace to you
Life’s Real Question – What are we doing more than others?
Note: Hell can only be eternal if God has Willed to Hate His enemies eternally or unchangingly. As our Most Blessed Savior Reveals Majestically in Verses below, ‘all hate your enemy Verses’ (e. g. ‘God hates the Wicked everyday’ – or Any Judgment Verses, be it ‘eternal Hell that we deserve’) can be CANCELLED as Christ Himself Does this Under the New Covenant by Saying, “… You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and HATE YOUR ENEMY.’ But I say to you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES …” (Matthew 5:42 – 44), Context “as it is Written”. Can we see it? It’s similar to the “Mercy which Triumphs over and ends the afterlife Judgment (James 2:13, Romans 11:30 – 32) eventually after the Last Penny in Gehenna or the Lake of Fire Context (Matthew 5:20 – 26)” implying reconciliation from the Lake of Fire (Revelation 22:17) as the Christian-Jewish Sibyline Oracles, Apocalypse of Peter and the Apocalypse of Elijah books have Prophesied in First Christianity.
I wonder in shame knowing that I hardly have done anything toward this Level of Perfection as it is Commanded by Lord Jesus Christ, to quote:
“42Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and HATE YOUR ENEMY.’ 44But I say to you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [q]tax collectors do so? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:42 – 48, NKJV)
Another Example: the phrase “bless those who curse you” in the above. Most Christians agree or believe that “blessing is mostly financial and when they bless their pastor, they give money to him.” So under this included definition, bless those who curse you means giving money to those who have cursed you. Have we done it? Here’s a way to do it: For example, give money to the charity works or ministries of Christians or non-Christians who think that you’re a heretic or believe that you’re going to burn forever in hell (cursing you in their hidden belief though they don’t confess it honestly to you) – can you see how we may sincerely bless them too regardless to fulfill these most difficult Perfection Commands of God?)
If you can fulfill these Greatest Perfection Commands in any way, you may be great in His Kingdom of the Heavens (Matthew 5:19, the harder the Command to Love, the Greater the Rewards as the charity works only does not automatically merit anything even if you gave all your possessions away nor does giving your body to be burned as a Martyr dying for Christ means much either – as the question or reason ‘why’ is Scrutinized by God), example Verse:
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:3, NKJV)
One more example: It is easy to see that local churches spending a lot of money in evangelizing the ‘rich’ in the ‘marketplace concept’ because they want rich people in their churches. Bravo to the churches that spend money to evangelize the poorest in their communities. Do you think the poor and marginalized groups are going to be unsaved? The Shepherd of Hermas Scripture & Sadhu Sundar Singh’s Visions disagree and they Testify to the Truth of 1 Peter 4:6 where “… the Gospel is Preached to the Dead …” regardless (the True Meaning of the Sovereignty of God as whether we preach the Truth or not or choose the people we want to evangelize, God has His Apostles who also Descended into Hades to Preach & Convert them as the Shepherd of Hermas Writing Reveals this Truth from First Christianity).
In Consecutive Verses in Image (Context), Lord Jesus Christ Reveals a Most Astounding Truth that Perfection involves doing the ‘same thing we do for our loved ones’ toward ‘others too’ as well (Matthew 5:46 – 48) which is ‘hardest’ if we consider it especially toward an ‘enemy’ as well (which is in context in Verses Matthew 5:43 – 44, not shown in image).
God’s Perfection (Quoting these Verses in Context) in regards to the “Wicked” being Restored post-Lake of Fire Judgment, Reconciled on the Eighth Day with their ‘Houses’ (Body + Soul are houses of the Soul + Spirit respectively in the First Christianity Definition below) being repaired by God till the ‘Wicked become obedient & subject to Him as one child which is a different entity than the [Body of Christ, the Church]’ is the Best Exegesis to Roman’s 8:20 – 22’s ‘rest of Creation eventually sharing this aspect of sinlessness arising from sharing in the liberty which belongs to the Christians (or “sons of God only prior, Romans 8:19) till God becomes “All in all” Creation (as Prophesied in 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28 too) which is ‘not yet’ (Hebrews 2:8) but will ‘come to pass’ or ‘be a testimony in its own Divine-Kairois Times for His Ransom for All’ (1 Timothy 2:6) in the ‘Making Alive’ aspect (1 Corinthians 15:20 – 23) till ‘All (Created) things’ are Made New again (Revelation 21:5) be it some have their part in the Lake of Fire first (Revelation 21:8) being Reconciled back later (Colossians 1:16, 20) as the ones whom the fire makes thirsty (Revelation 22:17), to quote:
In the Shephered of Hermas quote above, the last phrases … “These twelve mountains are [twelve] tribes that inhabit the whole world. To these (tribes) then the Son of God was preached by the Apostles.” … is similar to the ‘Eighth Day’ Mystery below where St. Justing Martyr first points out that the Gospel is Preached by the Apostles into the World (Kosmos, hence the Spiritual World or Afterlife Context is Included as per the Shepherd of Hermas’ Scripture Context too) causing even the ‘Wicked to Subject & obey Him eventually’ (1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28) as a ‘child, hence saved’ (Matthew 18:3, Matthew 5:19) toward the part or Context of ‘non-Church Related/non-Christian things’ in order of the Prophecies in Holy Scripture as St. Justin Martyr himself states just after saying this as …” … I can demonstrate that they were types, and symbols, and declarations of those things which would happen to Christ, of those who it was foreknown were to believe in Him, AND OF THOSE THINGS WHICH WOULD ALSO BE DONE BY CHRIST HIMSELF …”.
“… The command of circumcision, again, bidding [them] always circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath, [namely through] our Lord Jesus Christ. For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle, and [yet] remains the first. “Moreover, the prescription that twelve bells be attached to the [robe] of the high priest, which hung down to the feet, was a symbol of the twelve apostles, who depend on the power of Christ, the eternal Priest; and through their voice it is that all the earth has been filled with the glory and grace of God and of His Christ. Wherefore David also says: ‘Their sound has gone forth into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.’ And Isaiah speaks as if he were personating the apostles, when they say to Christ that they believe not in their own report, but in the power of Him who sent them. And so he says: ‘Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? We have preached before Him as if [He were] a child, as if a root in a dry ground.’ (And what follows in order of the prophecy already quoted.) But when the passage speaks as from the lips of many, ‘We have preached before Him,’ and adds, ‘as if a child,’ it signifies that the wicked shall become subject to Him, and shall obey His command, and that all shall become as one child. Such a thing as you may witness in the body: although the members are enumerated as many, all are called one, and are a body. For, indeed, a commonwealth and a church, though many individuals in number, are in fact as one, called and addressed by one appellation. And in short, sirs,” said I, “by enumerating all the other appointments of Moses I can demonstrate that they were types, and symbols, and declarations of those things which would happen to Christ, of those who it was foreknown were to believe in Him, and of those things which would also be done by Christ Himself. But since what I have now enumerated appears to me to be sufficient, I revert again to the order of the discourse.” – St. Justin Martyr (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, CHAPTER XLI & CHAPTER XLII, ‘Dialogue with Trypho’)
Please also notice ‘carefully’ how St. Justin Martyr distinguishes the Church as One Body vs the Wicked converted as ‘One Child’ as two different entities as follows:
The Wicked becoming Obedient/Subjected – as One Child
“…We have preached before Him as if [He were] a child, as if a root in a dry ground.’ (And what follows in order of the prophecy already quoted.) But when the passage speaks as from the lips of many, ‘We have preached before Him,’ and adds, ‘as if a child,’ it signifies that the wicked shall become subject to Him, and shall obey His command, and that all shall become as one child … and of those things which would also be done by Christ Himself …” – St. Justin Martyr
The Church compared as an Analogy to that
“… Such a thing as you may witness in the body: although the members are enumerated as many, all are called one, and are a body. For, indeed, a commonwealth and a church, though many individuals in number, are in fact as one, called and addressed by one appellation … of those who it was foreknown were to believe in Him,…” – St. Justin Martyr
Please note the popular fallacy (of some) who may think that the ‘wicked referred to in quote above is the Christians before they have repented’. This is a false context as St. Justin’s phrase “… Such a thing as you may witness in the body [of Christ, the Church, implied] …” means that St. Justin is drawing an analogy toward how ‘the Wicked being converted & becoming as One Obedient/Subjected Child’ is similar to the One Body as how Lord Jesus Christ First Did to His Church. Can you see it?
“and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world [Kosmos].” – apostle John (1 John 2:2, NASB)
“Ver. 2. “And not only for our sins,”–that is for those of the faithful,–is the Lord the propitiator, does he say, “but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) He, indeed, saves all; but some [He saves], converting them by punishments; others, however, who follow voluntarily [He saves] with dignity of honour; so “that every knee should bow to Him, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth;” that is, angels, men, and souls that before His advent have departed from this temporal life..” – St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD)
P/S: The House Context Argument Referring to Body + Soul which is Destroyed & Repaired at the Resurrection of Judgment
To quote (from the same source Post above), please consider:
This Context is strengthened & Expanded next by the Fact that St. Justin Martyr understands the Verse above to mean that for a Christian, all three (Body, Soul, Spirit) is Saved (1 Thessalonians 5:23) while for the Wicked (Body, Soul) can be Destroyed in the Lake of Fire (Gehenna, Matthew 10:28) implying that the latter only ‘live in their spirit’ thereafter as St. Irenaeous’ quote and Verses above seems to suggest (1 Peter 4:6, 1 Corinthians 5:5) post afterlife Judgment but these ‘destroyed body/soul in Gehenna’ (Matthew 10:28) may be ‘regenerated to the Salvation of the destroyed Body, Soul’ in St. Justin’s quote below (though albeit mysterious):
“.. But, in truth, He has even called the flesh to the resurrection, and promises to it everlasting life. For where He promises to save man, there He gives the promise to the flesh. For what is man but the reasonable animal composed of body and soul? Is the soul by itself man? No; but the soul of man. Would the body be called man? No, but it is called the body of man. If, then, neither of these is by itself man, but that which is made up of the two together is called man, and God has called man to life and resurrection, He has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body. Since would it not be unquestionably absurd, if, while these two are in the same being and according to the same law, the one were saved and the other not? And if it be not impossible, as has already been proved, that the flesh be regenerated, what is the distinction on the ground of which the soul is saved and the body not? Do they make God a grudging God? But He is good, and will have all to be saved…. But no thanks are due to one who saves what is his own; for this is to save himself. For he who saves a part himself, saves himself by his own means, lest he become defective in that part; and this is not the act of a good man. For not even when a man does good to his children and offspring, does one call him a good man; for even the most savage of the wild beasts do so, and indeed willingly endure death, if need be, for the sake of their cubs. But if a man were to perform the same acts in behalf of his slaves, that man would justly be called good. Wherefore the Saviour also taught us to love our enemies, since, says He, what thank have ye? So that He has shown us that it is a good work not only to love those that are begotten of Him, but also those that are without. And what He enjoins upon us, He Himself first of all does.” – St. Justin Martyr (100 AD – 165 AD, On the Resurrection, Chapter VIII)
It is very clear from the above that St. Justin Martyr Speaks the Salvation of Body, Soul and Spirit for believers and then implies (in the latter) part that since God is Good, He will not only do this to His Own (or ‘those begotten of Him’, Christians, Sheepfold1 John 10:14) but also toward His Slaves (Sheepfold2, John 10:16) and even toward His Enemies (the wicked, eventually) as the Context of the Passage (Topic) only Speaks of this. Please note that the Wicked may only attain to this Salvation of ‘Body, Soul’ (the ‘houses in his own definition below’) which must undergo ‘decay/destruction first’ (Matthew 10:28 in Gehenna or the Lake of Fire first, implied) before ‘Renewal, Salvation, Restoration’ as explained in a Parabolic way above.
What is First Christianity’s Definition of “Body, Soul and Spirit in a Man” as St. Justin Martyr’s own words below reveal?
“For the body is the house of the soul; and the soul the house of the spirit. These three, in all those who cherish a sincere hope and unquestioning faith in God, will be saved.” (‘FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST WORK OF JUSTIN ON THE RESURRECTION’ CHAPTER X)
Peace to you
Salvation Advices in regards to Monetary Wealth and Wisdom by St. Anthony the Great
Verse in Image – What’s its Context?
Example Context explained by a wealthy man who gave it all away for Christ, to quote:
“Anthony the Great, called ‘The Father of Monks’ was born in central Egypt about AD the son of peasant farmers who were Christian. In c. 269 he heard the Gospel read in church and applied to himself the words. ‘Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor and come…’ He devoted himself to a life of asceticism under the guidance of a recluse near his village. In c. 285 he went alone into the desert to live in complete solitude. His reputation attracted followers, who settled near him, and in c. 305 he came out of his hermitage in order to act as their spiritual father. Five years later he again retired into solitude. He visited Alexandria at least twice. Once during the persecution of Christians and again to support the Bishop Athanasius against heresy. He died at the age of one hundred and five. His life was written by Saint Athanasius and was very influential in spreading the ideals of monasticism throughout the Christian World.”
“A brother renounced the world and gave his goods to the poor, but he kept back a little for his personal expenses. He went to see Abba Anthony. When he told him this, the old man said to him, ‘If you want to be a monk, go into the village, buy some meat, cover your naked body with it and come here like that.’ The brother did so, and the dogs and birds tore at his flesh. When he came back the old man asked him whether he had followed his advice. He showed him his wounded body, and Saint Anthony said, ‘Those who renounce the world but want to keep something for themselves are torn in this way by the demons who make war on them.’”
iii. What is the ‘Great Work a man can do’ in regards to his faith?
“Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, ‘this is the great work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.’”
“When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgements of God, he asked, ‘Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?’ He heard a voice answering him, ‘Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgement of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.’”
“He also said, ‘Our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.’”
“Some brothers came to find Abba Anthony to tell him about the visions they were having, and to find out from him if they were true or if they came from the demons. They had a donkey, which died on the way. When they reached the place where the old man was, he said to them before they could ask him anything, ‘How was it that the little donkey died on the way here?’ They said, ‘How do you know about that, Father?’ And he told them, ‘The demons showed me what happened.’ So they said, ‘That was what we came to question you about, for fear we were being deceived, for we have visions which often turn out to be true.’ Thus the old man convinced them, by the example of the donkey, that their visions came from the demons.”
vii. Which type of rich believer can even equal St. Anthony’s life & works in faith?
“It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.”
Each quote is from the Source below (retrospectively, they are called the ‘Sayings of the Desert Fathers’):
Peace to you
Judgment for a Sin is Multi Layered as follows:
He chooses to Judge No One (John 8:15, John 12:47).
We can choose to not forgive and judge (John 20:23) or follow Christ and Forgive and Love even our enemies toward the Perfection of Agape (Matthew 5:42 – 48).
3) Spiritual Authorities
Even if God and the Victim has forgiven, it does not mean that the evildoers have escaped judgment in this life or next or both entirely because the angels have their right to judge and execute punishments as well (Hebrews 2:2, Psalm 82). It is true that sometimes a person gets off free from this based on point 1 or 2 above but only if they truly repent (John 5:24).
4) Earthly Authorities
Next, the earthly authorities bear their sword and can execute judgment or excuse accordingly too (Romans 13:1 – 7) which is closely tied up to the spiritual authorities of the heavenlies be it the good (Hebrews 2:2) or evil (Ephesians 6:12) as they relate to each other by influencing our earthly leaders accordingly (Psalm 82).
By Choosing not to forgive (even say when we have lost literally 99% of our hard earned legal money which was slowly accumulated over the last 10 years to them – including money borrowed from kind & loving friends who helped due to humanitarian emergency reasons given, where sadly these reasons we realize now turns out to be fake), we can be right but not Perfect.
So, the Best is to Practice what we Preach in this area and to Love our enemies too as our Most Blessed Lord Demonstrated and ‘Let Go’ and ‘Forgive Freely’ (Matthew 5:19). I apologize for being very Judgmental Previously toward those who wronged me but now I realize that though I can be right on some points, but it was certainly not Perfect at all.
Hence I take back my words of judgment and bless those who money scammed me so that they can have a good life with that money. I am Realizing that Obeying God toward His Perfection by His Grace despite my mistakes and sins too is more important than the RM 148,000 lost (including two of my only insurance policies which I surrendered completely to help them thinking that they are really gonna be homeless or medically damaged if I didn’t – my friends are right, I’m so easily deceived and stupid, not street wise at all to be deceived like this – so sorry to disappoint you guys in this, sincerely meant).
Please. Be. Reconciled to God.
As this Ancient Biblical Example Resounds, please note the phrase ‘not asked for the life of the enemies’ (means not requiring their death or judgment even), let’s be more loving (lesson of a lifetime for me too via this experience):
“God said to him (king Solomon), “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice” – God Speaks (in 1 Kings 3:11, NASB)
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – apostle Paul (Romans 12:21, NASB)
Let us “Overcome” the “Evil” we face by doing “Good” instead to them to Inherit something Greater than this World, as the Verse below Majestically Rings:
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:7, NASB)
“You have heard that it was said … HATE your ENEMY.’ “But I say to you, LOVE your ENEMIES … Therefore YOU are to be PERFECT, as your HEAVENLY FATHER is PERFECT .” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:43, 44, 48, NASB)
“For NOT even the FATHER JUDGES ANYONE, but He has given all judgment to the Son.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22, NASB)
“You judge according to the flesh; I am NOT JUDGING ANYONE.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:15, NASB)
” I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. “If ANYONE HEARS MY SAYINGS and does NOT KEEP (Obey) them, I do NOT JUDGE him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:46 – 47, NASB)
iii. The Son passes down the Judgment Rights to the Victims and to the Earthly and Spiritual Authorities as ‘the other one’ who may ‘judge’ as the Verse below reveals regarding the Execution of Judgment by the Son (John 5:27)
“He who REJECTS ME and does NOT RECEIVE MY SAYINGS , has ONE who JUDGES HIM; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:48, NASB)
The Final Judgment of God (Hades or Lake of Fire) is on behalf of the Victims and/spiritual authorities as Described in Point 3 and 4 above as even detailed with Verses in earlier posts.
Now, can you forgive if you went through similar situations? If you answered yes, well done as then you are following Christ toward this Narrow Path too in this aspect.
“Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2, NASB)
It is easiest to forgive where money is not involved and vice versa and that’s why most (if not all) of Christ’s Parable regarding Forgiveness has to do with money and/or debts.
P/S: First Christianity taught that God is NOT angry at ALL His Creatures. Really?
God the Father has no anger (as Verses quoted earlier reveal, e.g. in John 5:22).
“… let us look steadfastly unto the Father and Maker of the whole world, and cleave unto His splendid and excellent gifts of peace and benefits. Let us behold Him in our mind, and let us look with the eyes of our soul unto His long-suffering will. Let us note how free from anger He is towards all His creatures.” – St. Clement of Rome* (c. 35 AD – 99 AD, 1 Clement 19:2 – 3)
Focus Phrase proving our claim: “how free from anger He is towards all His creatures”
Example of a Post Discussing more Judgment Details, please consider:
Peace to you
Givers and Takers
A Verse not found in the Gospels at all but agrees Perfectly to the Quote in image but Revealed by whom?
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” – apostle Paul (Acts 20:35, NASB)
What is the Context?
Please note the phrase “In Everything” in Verse above.
Example: The poor Widow and her two cents (Giving away 100% in percentage and in intent of Love), says Who? Our Most Blessed Savior Himself, to quote:
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He (Lord Jesus Christ) said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1 – 4, NASB)
This is True. Please note the word “Truly” in Verse above by our Lord Himself.
Measure of Love – Forgiveness Aspect
Example: An aspect of Love is how much can we forgive others for their sins especially when their sins are done against us. Proof Verse:
“Love (Agape, Love of God) … Keeps no Record of Wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5, NIV, NASB, Translations using the Dead Sea Scroll Manuscripts)
Peace to you
Peace to you
Forgiveness – Measure of Love – How much can we forgive?
One of the hardest command to fulfill is forgiveness simply because it means letting someone who wronged us to be free.
Forgiveness benefits the offender while the victim must endure the damage done and that’s why it is difficult to do. This is why Forgiveness can only be Done by those who are Selfless and Vice Versa as explained next with Verses.
Christ is the Only Perfectly Selfless One as He Uttered the Following whilst being Crucified on a Cross for the sin of the whole World:
“But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” …” (Luke 23:34, NASB)
Thus, the more easily forgiving we are toward a harsh sin done against us, the more selfless you are and Vice Versa. As Discussed prior, God’s Perfect Forgiveness in keeping no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5) for sins done toward Him and that all sins done against Lord Jesus Christ will be Forgiven is clearly demonstrated in Verses below (Perfect Leadership by His Example, again):
All Sins will eventually be Forgiven toward All Men in General so Hell (collectively any afterlife Judgment) cannot be eternal
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not* be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:30 – 33, NASB)
Please note carefully that Christ Spoke of All Sins of Men being eventually Forgiven in the Context of mentioning regarding ‘he who is with Him vs he who is not with Him’ and ‘which is the Good Tree vs Bad Tree analogy’ in the Same Breath. So, Contextually, Practicing more of these may prove one to be a True Disciple of Christ – Can you see it?
Focus phrase from the above proving that all sins will eventually be forgiven in Christ’s Own Most Blessed Words —-> “any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people”
*The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is “Unforgiven” not forever but to exactly “two ages (Aeon in Greek), the current one (Aeon1) and the next one (Aeon2) ” where there are “ages (Aeons) to come (Aeon2, Aeon3,…), Ephesians 2:7” proving Biblically that Aeon2 is not forever either and must end putting hope in Aeon3 onward. We do not add nor remove from His Holy Word but strive to Preach it “as it is Written”.
The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit incurs the all time highest judgment which shows that ‘sinning in words’ (e. g. being a “liar / scammer”) even using/taking His Most Holy Name in Vain are serious sins and it is probably decided by a Heavenly Council (Hebrews 2:2).
Please also remember (as explained in previous posts) that God Who is Love doesn’t force anyone to Forgive either in the same way/reason He allowed the evil to be Done by evildoers by freedom of choice thus allowing us to determine Judgment sentences (together with say the angelic authorities) toward evildoers into the afterlife judgments accordingly (the ‘other’ in John 12:48) but Demonstrates that He Truly Judges No One (John 5:22, John 8:15, John 12:47) but executes the Judgment we require by our demands on behalf only (John 5:27) as even the Infamous Judgment Day Verses in Matthew 25:31 – 46 clearly prove this Irrefutably as Christ only judges on behalf based on how we treated or maltreated other human beings (i. e. the wronged victims sufferings causes the judgment back to the perpetrators if they hold it, especially in light of the choice to forgive or not given to Christians in John 20:23).
So, by Forgiving Unconditionally in any little way, we are Following in His Footsteps in this Aspect which may earn us the following benefits:
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:19, KJV)
This must also mean that if you forgive a more serious sin easily your own more serious sin will be forgiven easily and vice versa.
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:14 – 15, NASB)
Please note that all sin are not the same but the truth is that there are big sins vs small sins and afterlife Judgment or Judgment here may be accordingly as the Verse below clearly distinguishes these Punishments relatively and fairly (implied):
“And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:47 – 48, NASB)
Please note carefully that the word “few” lashes implies a ‘small sin’ while the word “many” implies a ‘big sin’ and countability proves that these are ‘finite punishments’ (to the age/ages respectively, long time) but not ‘infinite / forever’ for if so, phrases like ‘beating with no end’ would have been used which is not Found in Holy Scripture.
iii. Your Prayers will be Heard in Heaven as unforgiveness can block your prayers
“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 11:25, NASB)
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:37, KJV)
Peace to you
Real vs Fake – Good vs Evil
Some Great Songs are Real.
Example: The Infamous Christian Hymn in image was Created/Sung not out of prosperity but Great Tragedies. Yes, that’s right, not tragedy but tragedies.
‘”The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by a successful Christian lawyer Heratio Spafford. His only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife & 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill fated SS Ville du Havre. Since he had a lot of work to do, he planned to follow them later. The Ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters with the wife being the only survivor. She sent him a famous telegram which simply read, “SAVED ALONE….” On his return home, his Law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him. They said “It’s an Act of God”. He had no money to pay for his house and no work, he also lost his house. Then while sitting and thinking what’s happening to him, being a spiritual person, he wrote a song – “Whatever, my Lord, You have taught me to say – It is well, it is well with my soul”.
My dear friend, a good attitude will determine your altitude. When you look at your life, career, job or family life, what do you say? Do you praise God? Do you blame the devil? A good attitude towards God makes Him move on your behalf. Just sit down and say, “Today, God, it is well with my soul, I am thankful I had a peaceful sleep, I am thankful I am alive with possibilities, I am thankful I have a roof over me, I am thankful I have a job, I am thankful that I have Family and Friends. Above all, I am thankful that I have you Lord Jesus Christ on my side.” Be blessed and don’t be envious or shocked when others are prospering because you don’t know what they have been through to get there (test, trials and tribulation) so thank Him for what you have. “Little is much when God is in it. It Is Well With My Soul!” Touch someone’s life with this message. If God is for us, who can be against us?”.’
I add, in the End this is very Biblical because Character/Attitude is Best Proven when ‘evil is done to us’ and we show ‘who we really are beyond words in action’ by ‘our thoughts, words and actions in response to the evil faced ‘. Verses:
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – apostle Paul (Romans 5:3 – 4, NASB)
‘… I found out who I was at last … ‘ – Through Her Eyes by Dream Theatre
Peace to you
Start vs End – The Promised Bibllical End of the Ages/Aeons/Olam
Verses of Prophecy: 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28 as it is Written.
Why did some Creation fall in the beginning?
Did you notice that nowhere at the start of creation is ever Written that God was “All in all” creation?
However, God being “All in all” Creation is Promised at the End meaning that Evil will eventually cease to be when God Reconciles All created things back to Himself (Colossians 1:16, 20) and Saves the World (1 John 4:14) as it comes true for All Men (John 12:32) especially believers first (1 Timothy 4:10) and all creation eventually too, including His Enemies too with nothing being excepted (Context in 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28 and Hebrews 2:8) some post-afterlife Judgment when ‘His Mercy Triumphs over and ends the required judgment first as demanded by others/victims and angels’ (James 2:13, Hebrews 2:2) which will be testified or become true as “His Ransom for All” in its Own Divine-Kairois Times accordingly (1 Timothy 2:6 – Unchangeable as it is Written – the Sovereignty of God).
Christ Will Do this by Himself with most of the Reconciliation in the Afterlife as the phrase ‘after being Lifted up (Resurrected) from the Earth’ means in Verse below:
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw All men unto Me.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:32, KJV)
Peace to you
What is a Good Heart – Who is Closer to God?
Only God Knows and the quote in image is Biblical.
Our Most Blessed Savior Himself, to quote:
i. A Righteous man in Good Works is not necessarily close to God despite his holy living
“And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ .” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 18:9 – 12, NASB)
ii. The Sinner who was closer or more justified before God in comparison to the righteous man above example, to quote:
“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 18:13 – 14, NASB)
‘Christ is the Heart Reader’
The Verses above by our Most Loving Saviour Describe that this is an example of ‘how God judges our hearts’ which determines ‘how close or justified before God we may be in the end’ as per the Ancient Verse below:
“Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2, NASB)
Please note carefully to ‘avoid’ these two attitudes which makes even a holy living to be less valuable as Warned by our Blessed Lord in a Verse above:
1. “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous,”
2. “and viewed others with contempt”
If I may combine the two cases, it’s obvious that the Best Person for us to strive to be Biblically is to be ‘one who obeys as many relevant New Testament Commandments of the Lord as possible’ (e. g. 1 Corinthians 14:37, Matthew 5:19, Acts 15, John 14:15, John 15:14) and ‘feels true remorse or acts true repentance for sins done’ while ‘not condemning but loving and tolerating others who disobey likewise or otherwise in a sincere manner’. I would Describe this as a ‘Good Heart which is Daily Renewed based on the Word of God’.
‘Always be Kind and Forgiving even when somebody does the Worst things to you and we may Experience Christ Better in some aspects’
Peace to you
Can a Repentant Sinner be Close to God again?
“Some people have clearly committed grave sins, but have also done far greater good in secret. So those who gloat are deceived, because what they held in their hands was merely smoke, not the rays of the sun.” – Saint John of the Ladder
Biblical Example: King David was not punished at all personally for breaking at least two of the 10 commandments (regarding Murder & Adultery).
Please don’t get me wrong as I am NOT promoting sin but stating a Biblical Fact because people often ask,
‘Why did King David get forgiven so easily and even is called the Man after God’s Own Heart despite these sins?’
‘Because he exhibited faith & love greater than others around him’.
Please note that the Verse in image further proves this point and that angels can decide who to punish severely vs letting who freely without punishments (as others vs King David) is clearly illustrated in the Infamous Verses in Image.
Peace to you
Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The Quote in image and Verses above Agree. So, if you have done something which is in the Direction of this, though you may have lost to the “enemy” (who comes to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ in some way, John 10:10), you may have experienced a little Glimpse into the Perfection of God’s Unconditional Love (“Agape”, 1 Corinthians 13) beyond words in Action & Experience which extends beyond this World.
‘ Stars Die in a Supernova ‘ – Unknown
How did Lord Jesus Christ Define “Perfection in Love” in “Action”?
“Jesus told him, “If you want to be PERFECT, go and SELL ALL your possessions and GIVE the MONEY to the POOR, and you will have TREASURE in HEAVEN. Then come, FOLLOW Me.” (Matthew 19:21, NLT)
Example of Christians who literally gave up everything for Christ and Practiced such “Agape” is reflected in the following Quote especially regarding their ‘afterlife Soul’s Beauty/State/Perfection upon Death too’:
“Those who had attained to close fellowship with God while they were on earth, like St. Francis of Assisi and Thomas a Kcmpis, are able, at death, to enter immediately into the third and highest heaven.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh
We may not be able to give all and live a life closer toward perfection especially like St. Francis of Assisi but if we have a chance to give say once or twice in our life to some great extend be it even toward our enemies, let us do it for rewards beyond this World and Experience “Agape” First Hand.
It is good to study and know the lives of saints who are way better than us because we fulfill these commands too:
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” – apostle Paul (Philippians 2:3, KJV)
“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:41, NASB)
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2, NASB)
“For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you.” – apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 10:12 – 13, NASB)
Self-Check Life Questions – How Selfish vs Selfless are we really?, Here’s are few Questions to Ponder:
1) The Real Giving Factor
In your entire life, how much percentage of your hard earned income have been used for yourself vs given to others?
2) The Width of Our Giving
Width of Love-Giving Check: How much Giving (in Percentage) have we done toward our enemies [Matthew 5:42 – 44]?
3) The Depth of Our Giving
Depth of Love-Giving Check: How much Giving (in Percentage) have we done toward our Loved ones [John 15:13 – 14]?
Love in these Verses = “Agape” in Greek (the ‘Love of God’)
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” – apostle John (1 John 4:18, NASB)
Peace to you
Love one Another – St. Theresa of Calcutta
She fulfilled her life to the fullest according to her quote in image – Blessed Theresa of Calcutta (“Mother Theresa”). I have not seen a greater Charity worker in humanity where she did it all for free in a foreign land to a group of people who are not of her own race/nationality, did not manipulate her position to covet any leadership position but remained a servant and inspired more people to pursue charity works without even having conferences herself. Such selflessness. Respect earned in full and I believe that she is one of the great ones in His Kingdom (Matthew 5:19).
In comparison, please consider without prejudice: ‘A mother can only love her own child unconditionally. Now, can we love unconditionally toward a stranger? How about loving our enemies unconditionally? These are the limits of our Love and one can only go further to fulfill that in any little way with ‘Agape’, the ‘Unconditional Love of God’.’
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” – apostle Paul (Romans 12:9, NASB)
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” – apostle John (1 John 4:7, NASB)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 13:34, NASB)
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – apostle John (1 John 4:8, NASB)
The only way to know God is to love and to know God to the fullest we must Love Unconditionally (1 Corinthians 13) even toward our enemies (Matthew 5:42 – 44).
I repeat the last phrase from the last Verse above:
“God is Love (“Agape”)”
And God Doesn’t Change from ‘Who He is’. Can you really see it now?
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:32, KJV)
P/S: Her sins
Some Protestants may interject and think that mother Theresa is in hell due to worshipping the idol of Lord Jesus Christ and for praying to Mother Mary and the Saints. Personally, I do not agree to these Roman Catholic practices at all which are not found in First Christianity such as in St. Irenaeous of Lyons or St. Justin Martyr (which is a different Topic).
Regardless, I do believe that her sins in this Area (as for the Roman Catholics who are sincerely wrong in this), may get Mercy and be Forgiven & be Included as part of Sheepfold1 (I pray) as per the Verses below if they loved others much in life:
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” – apostle Peter (1 Peter 4:8, NASB)
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 7:47, NASB)
Want to know what is in a Person’s Heart?
Here’s the Biblical Truth: Listen to a person’s words because their words reveal ‘what they believe’ and in turn it ‘reveals how good/bad their hearts really is’, to quote this Truth (Implied) from the Creator of All Hearts itself:
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:45, NASB)
Peace to you
Judge Righteously if you Choose to
Correction for Image -*Moral: Never Judge too early before its time unless we know the Facts in Full
” Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 4:5, NASB)
If it’s ‘time to judge as you choose, judge righteously’:
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:24, NASB)
Peace to you
Good Always Wins
From a Heavenly Perspective the quote in image is true even the Bad we faced, if we faced it Biblically, it will be rewarded there as “Overcomers” do “Overcome evil with good”, Verse:
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – apostle Paul (Romans 12:21, NASB)
Peace to you
Doing Good – the Great Choice Given to each of Us
What is the meaning of the Quote in Picture?
Message in Picture: Help Clean what is not your garbage / problem too if you can.
“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – apostle James (James 4:17, NASB)
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
Point to Ponder: Each time we skip doing a good which we can (God Knows), we are “sinning” according to James 4:17. Knowing this really puts a perspective regarding how great sinners we really are, right?
Peace to you
Forget the Picture and Focus on the Nice Quote
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: …” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV)
Peace to you
Two Verses for the Quote in Image
i) Take life a Day at a Time
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:34, NASB)
ii) Be Grateful / Thankful Everyday
“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NASB)
Peace to you
Truth – Details Matter
In some situations, the truth can be ugly. In another situation, the truth may only be a dot ugly only while in the purest situations, despite how it seems, the truth can be beautiful as per the true incident described regarding St. Macarius the Great in image.
Who was St. Macarius the Great?
He is also known as Macarius the Elder, Macarius the Great and The Lamp of the Desert (300 AD – 391 AD). While at the desert, he visited Anthony the Great and learned from him the laws and rules of monasticism.
Why didn’t St. Macarius defend himself?
He knew that ‘they won’t believe him as the circumstantial evidence points to him being guilty while he was not’.
“Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days– You would not believe if you were told.” – God Speaks (in Habakkuk 1:5, NASB)
What is bad is bad, what is a little bad is a little bad, what is only a drop bad is a drop bad meaning that accuracy in judgment is of utmost importance for true justice to prevail.
‘Every detail matters in Truth’ – Anonymous
Who is a Christian?
Mysteries of Sin – only God and Angels know
There are two Types of Sinners:
1) One that does it Willfully – Hence Retribution is Quite Definite if no Repentance is in sight
“For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,” – Anonymous (Hebrews 2:2, NASB)
2) One that did not plan nor do it willfully or was forced – may not be judged at all
A Mysterious First Christianity Quote:
“Whosoever willfully Commits a wrong, an evil man is he; But he that does it under force, the end I tell not; but let each man’s will be right.” – Sibyline Oracles (Book II)
The end is probably not spoken of yet simply because a more thorough analysis of Fair and Righteous Judgment needs to be conducted especially by angelic authorities before a Judgment Sentence vs Acquittal Decision is made (Hebrews 2:2).
In our lives, we may sometimes do the type 1 or type 2 sin. Perhaps type 2 sin is the sin not leading to death, Verse:
“If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.” – apostle John (1 John 5:16, NASB)
Example of Type 2 sin (possibly): The Verse in image where Christ Rebukes Peter as “Satan” could have forced-influenced him and thus Christ clearly Rebukes “Satan” and ‘not Peter’ for it. There has been much debate about this Verse in theological circles and we can keep an open mind about it.
Example Scenario: A Person sinning type 2 must do it once only and must have proof that it was under force (e. g. a witness or co-sinner confesses to this) and the best is, the person did not even repeat it once again in the ample of times where he was able to do so by his will in his place of strength. As I said, only God and His Angels can see this and judge righteously if the Sibyline Oracle Quote is Justified (Hebrews 2:2 & 1 John 5:16 also).
A Beautifully Wise Quote in image especially because we do not know who is sinning by will or by force as per the Sibyline Oracles’ Quote prior reveals.
Need I speak of the one who quoted it, who is he?
Saint John Climacus (Greek: Ἰωάννης τῆς Κλίμακος; Latin: Ioannes Climacus), also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites, was a 6th-7th-century Christian monk at the monastery on Mount Sinai. He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.
Peace to you
Peace to you
Wisdom of God – Who are we Really to an Outsider?
Let’s Listen Especially to the Poor and Prophets even the Poor Prophets as the Quote in image rings true Biblically even as the Verses below prove the Existence of “Poor Prophets”:
i. In the Past Old Testament Times
“They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,” – Anonymous (Hebrews 11:37 – 39, NASB)
ii. In the Current / Future New Testament Times
The Same has been and is being Repeated in the New Testament Times by “Synagogues” too (a shadow-word to mean “church too”):
“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:34, NASB)
The “True Prophets of God” do NOT ‘persecute nor chase anyone away from their synagogues/churches’ but point out the people’s sins and let each man decide their ways thereafter as beyond that is between that person and God.
Peace to you
Apparently, John the Baptist’s Beheading was celebrated as a feast on “Sep 11” back then by Christian Tradition to remember him, to quote (the link between why some look at it as 29 Aug while the more accurate correction refers to 11 Sep today):
“The Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches also celebrate this feast on 29 August. This date in the Julian Calendar, used by the Russian, Macedonian, Serbian and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches, corresponds in the twenty-first century to 11 September in the Gregorian Calendar. The day is always observed with strict fasting, and in some cultures, the pious will not eat food from a flat plate, use a knife, or eat round food on this day.”
My elder brother’s birthday is “Sep 11” while my younger brother’s birthday is “Sep 12”.
Early today, a cousin sister of mine interrupted my sleep by messaging me “Happy Birthday” at about “12 am, Sep 11”. I had to remind her that it’s my brother’s birthday and not mine.
“Sep 11” is also the Day the World Trade Centers fell. Regardless if it was a terrorist attack or an American conspiracy, relatively innocent lives were sacrificed.
Please avoid Killing Civilians in the Name of Religion or Country even if you’re right. If the authorities (e. g. Soldiers vs Freedom Fighters) want to kill anyone, please fight each other (a. k. a. Fight and kill only armed personnel).
Hey, I’m not promoting killing but I know that some believe in all that so it’s best those who believe in that kill each other instead of killing unarmed civilians for whatever reason.
I condemn the killing of unarmed Civilians by Country A and Country B equally where A and B are enemies. We don’t take sides in hate because the Lord I know told us to lay down our lives instead (if need be) and “Love our enemies” cancelling the “hate (kill) your enemy” commands as “His Highest Perfect Way of Love (Agape)” in Matthew 5:42 – 44 and by Doing so you may become Greater than those participating in such senseless Bloodsheds for sure (Matthew 5:19) as only the Devil teaches such hate/killing being a Murderer (John 10:10).
Knowing vs Not Knowing – Do you Know Each Other?
Quote in Image – Explanation – Usually it’s this Simple:
1) The Person you know = People reveal their good side to you
2) The Person you don’t know = People usually hide their evil/sin part from you
I trust most a person who can confess his sin openly as that’s a Truth-Speaker instead of men who can’t speak about it at all (even to their spouses or close friends or to none) because ‘their ego to keep the good Image’ is higher than ‘their humility to admit their mistakes and change’ (as we don’t need to confess to all but to those who are closest to us).
Why should you do it?
These are the Benefits (Related Verses):
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” (Proverbs 28:13, NASB)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – apostle James (James 5:16, NASB)
What is “Judgment”?
It’s Primarily about “Revealing (Exposing) who we really are in Total” which occurs by our own Confessions now or later:
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:19 – 21, NASB)
The Advantage of Willingly Admitting to our sins and facing the “Judgment of Exposure” here on earth is that, there remains no other Judgment for us if we repent:
“But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 11:31, NASB)
An honest person is a person who can speak not just about the good things he/she has done but also the bad things he/she has done too toward a person close to him. Wisdom here is knowing that you cannot just confess your sins to anybody because not everybody is matured spiritually and may stumble instead not understanding these Biblical Commands / Purposes Accurately.
Peace to you
It depends on who you ask as per the quote in image.
Justice is not understood via the ruling economic classes*. Now your cries of justice only makes sense if only ‘injustice you faced’ but ‘you never did any injustice toward others’. Please read this again ‘Carefully’.
Meaning to say that if we also are racists within (e. g. openly speaking of equality on the outside but secretly practising racism in some way, God Knows All) or accepting the perks of injustice (e. g. not complaining when you get a raise or promotion especially when you know that your colleague of a different race deserve it more than you for the quality of work he did, as silence is approval of injustice), we are really not ‘Champions of Justice’ at all in God’s Eyes.
We can deceive each other but neither God, nor the Angels (Hebrews 2:2) nor even Hades (or Hell now) is deceived:
“… There is an eye of justice, which sees all. For two ways, as we deem, to Hades lead- One for the good, the other for the bad. .. But err not. For in Hades judgment is, Which God the Lord of all will execute, Whose name too dreadful is for me to name, Who gives to sinners length of earthly life. …” – – St. Clement of Alexandria (c.150 AD – c. 215 AD, Stromata, Book 5)
*just because they donate to the poor doesn’t mean that they’re free of wrongdoings because these are also responsible for keeping the poor in lower income by the low-wages, not shared in percentages through the business they own where the poor works, by God’s Law of ‘Treat others the same way you want them to treat you’ (Luke 6:31) – applies in Judgment context of say in wages as well here.
Angels usually make sure all things get straightened out (they’re not perfectly forgiving unconditionally like God, Hebrews 2:2) and yes, these angels are ‘perfect in the aspect of not having fallen/sinned’ and so ‘they can judge us’ and prevail.
Hush, please read this repeatedly (true story):
In my brief little life, I have met some people who claim to be racists openly but I saw that their actions were even benefitting other races in significant ways while on the other hand, I saw non-racist claims made by their adversaries and to my surprise even I have been discriminated via their unfair wages despite giving the best service at work toward their development not to mention free training materials which the claimed-non-racists took from me with no payment or royalty of any sort claiming that it’s part of work except that I never singed a contract for writing-work but only teaching. Please bear in mind that they used to charge RM 700 to 800 per student for about 8 lessons training using those materials proving that these are valuable.
Anyway, I let them have it only because Lord Jesus Christ Commands us to do so even toward our enemies, Verses (which is a Greater Command to Fulfill in any little way that we can):
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:44, KJV)
Please note the words “Love your enemies” —-> includes ‘letting them use you’ —-> as the phrase “pray for them which despitefully use you” in Verse above means.
Why? Our Rewards in Heaven will be Incomparable (Matthew 5:19) as these are the Highest Commands relating to ‘Humanity Aspect of Love your neighbor’ (Mark 12:31) where the definition of neighbor includes the enemies too as per the Good Samaritan Parable Proves Irrefutably (Luke 10:29 – 37) toward emulating the Perfection of God in any little way we can (Matthew 5:48).
Peace to you
St. Julian of Norwich
She too had heavenly Visions of Christ Centered Universalism beyond Purgatorial Hell for some first as their victims and angels and others whom they have wronged demand it first (John 12:48) and God allows this afterlife Judgment (Hebrews 9:27) in the same way He allowed evil to be done by them first toward others without Intervening (that’s the Providence of Evil vs Evil in Judgment Which God has Created to Exist and be Executed, Isaiah 45:7 which God does NOT involve His Own Will or Action at all, as per James 1:13, John 12:47, John 5:22, John 8:15) apart from Him executing their Judgment demands on behalf of victims as the Judgment Day Verses clearly Prove in Matthew 25:31 – 46, John 5:27.
After all these Judgment-parts are over, to “Overcome” or End Evil Permanently till it ceases to Exist, His Mercy will Triumph and End every afterlife Judgment Sentences eventually (be it the ‘eternal hell sentence’ which can be cancelled based on James 2:13, as His Last Word on Judgment is “Mercy to All” eventually, Romans 11:32) and the “Good which Overcomes Evil” (Romans 12:21) where thereafter God Will Reconcile All created things back to Himself (Colossians 1:16, 20) Saving the World (1 John 4:14) in its own Divine-Kairois Times (1 Timothy 2:6, Ephesians 1:9 – 10) till God becomes “All in all” Creation as Prophesied Majestically in Holy Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28) where the “All Created Things” Being Saved Prophecy is Progressive and not yet (Hebrews 2:8) where believers are first saved more specially as compared to all men eventually too (1 Timothy 4:10, John 12:32) as “It is Written”.
Can you see it?
.Peace to you
Speak or Not Speak?
Voice if necessary, but no violence.
A change if any must come willingly from within. If they don’t change, continue to let them use you or abuse you which seems stupid to the world but are the highest perfection Commands (Context Matthew 5:48) toward our enemies too (Matthew 5:42 – 48 – especially KJV is very clear).
*Not necessarily applicable to political posts only (as image suggests) but also toward religious or social – economic posts too.
Kingdom of Heaven is All Theirs
“But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”.” (Matthew 19:14, NASB)
“…, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:3, NASB)
“Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:4, NASB)
Hush, here is a rarely known Secret:
Even the ‘wicked’ (the “enemies”) will one day submit back to God post-afterlife Judgments (1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28) and be ‘converted’ like children too as per this Ancient Rarely known Orthodox Quote from a king of Christian Theology:
Here is the Mystery of the Twelve Bells on Christ’s High Priesthood Garment: The Gospel will be Preached throughout the “World” by the “Apostles” literally including the afterlife regions (as the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture – endorsed even by St. Irenaeous of Lyons as Scripture – Quotes above) toward the end that even the “Wicked” becomes like a “child” (Post-Judgment and Gospel acceptance – in the afterlife, – the word being made “Subject” implies this irrefutably in the ‘Context of All His Enemies, e. g. 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28’ too) – Says who?
To quote, another Orthodox First Christianity Quote Revealing this Mystery:
“Moreover, the prescription that twelve bells be attached to the [robe] of the high priest, which hung down to the feet, was a symbol of the twelve apostles, who depend on the power of Christ, the eternal Priest; and through their voice it is that all the earth has been filled with the glory and grace of God and of His Christ. Wherefore David also says: ‘Their sound has gone forth into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.’ … But when the passage speaks as from the lips of many, ‘We have preached before Him,’ and adds, ‘as if a child,’ it signifies that the wicked shall become subject to Him, and shall obey His command, and that all shall become as one child…” – St. Justin Martyr (100 AD – 160 AD, Dialogue with Trypho, CHAPTER XLII)
Peace to you
Secrets of the Gospel Beyond Men from First Christianity
Please note the phrase “all His Enemies” who will be made subject to Him in Verse 25 in image where in Verse 27 (not in image) the Bible clearly states that this Context refers to All Created things because it is Written that “only He” (the Creator) is ‘Excepted’, nothing else, to quote:
“For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:27, NKJV)
This Context is Certain because it was mentioned to mean this Same Truth by the Anonymous Author of Hebrews too as Prophetic Toward the Future (these two Verses sounds uncannily similar – Can you see it?)
“You have put all things in subjection under His Feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him.” – Anonymous (Hebrews 2:8, NKJV)
Focus Phrase proving our claim again: “He left nothing that is not put under Him”.
Prophetic Part (Future): “But now we do not yet see all things put under Him.”
So, “It is Written”.
Here’s an Ancient Well Known Story in Orthodoxy from First Christianity along these lines:
Titled: Abba Joseph and the Demon
“With the Sign of the Cross, the old monk Abba Joseph trapped in his cell a dark and miserable demon who had come to tempt him.
“Release me, Father, and let me go,” pleaded the demon, “I will not come to tempt you again”.
“I will gladly do that, but on one condition,” replied the monk. “You must sing for me the song that you sang before God’s Throne on high, before your fall.”
The demon responded, “You know I cannot do that; it will cause me cruel torture and suffering. And besides, Father, no human ear can hear its ineffable sweetness and live, for you will surely die.”
“Then you will have to remain here in my cell,” said the monk, “and bear with me the full struggle of repentance.”
“Let me go, do not force me to suffer,” pleaded the demon.
“Ah, but then you must sing to me the song you sang on high before your fall with Satan.”
So the dark and miserable demon, seeing that there was no way out, began to sing, haltingly, barely audible at first, groping for words long forgotten. As he sang, the darkness which penetrated and surrounded him began slowly to dissipate. The song grew ever louder and increasingly stronger, and soon the demon was caught up in its sweetness, his voice fully lifted up in worship and praise. Boldly he sang of the power and the honour and the glory of the Triune God on High, Creator of the Universe, Master of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible and invisible. As the song sung on high before all ages resounded in the fullness of its might, a wondrous and glorious light penetrated the venerable Abba’s humble cell, and the walls which had enclosed it were no more. Ineffable love and joy surged into the very depths of the being of the radiant and glorious angel, as he ever so gently stooped down and covered with his wings the lifeless body of the old hermit who had liberated him from the abyss of hell.”
Comment: Perhaps the Verse below Proves that such a Song Exists
“When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7, NASB)
Where did this Story Come from?
‘That story about the demon comes from some obscure Russian Patericon which even such scholars as Lisa Bitel have tried to track down, without success. It is not necessarily true. In fact I think that an ecumenical council has laid down that the wicked angels cannot be saved? Does anyone have the reference for that?
However the Orthodox have always been attracted to the idea of “universal salvation”, that all will finally be recapitulated in Christ, both the earth-born and the demons. You will find this in the Early Church. We know from Saint Augustine that it was a widely held teaching of what he calls the “fathers of the Church.” As you may imagine Saint Augustine was inclined to the opposite belief. It resurfaces in the writings of the Parisian school of Russian theology. Russia’s young theologian-bishop Hilarion of Vienna is sympathetic to the teaching and has delivered lectures on it, drawing on Saint Isaac the Syrian.
I would think that the story is apocryphal. However it is beneficial because it jolts us into the realisation that God’s mercy and compassion cannot be fitted into the small box to which we often think we can confine Him. As Saint Isaac the Sryian said, in various ways, His compassion exceeds His justice.’
In the last line the phrase “His compassion exceeds His justice” by St. Isaac the Syrian is clearly more strongly written in Holy Scripture as “His Mercy Triumphs over (or ends) Judgment” (be it even the eternal Hell sentence, implied) in James 2:13 and as apostle Paul’s Last Word on Judgment is also “Mercy to All” (Romans 11:32).
Hope Remains In Christ.
Peace to you
Peace to you
Wisdom and Knowledge – Does it make us more Sad?
Yes, to quote:
1) A Secular Quote (I saw a friend posting it, thank you I. N.)
Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.
Fyodor M. Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
2) Is such a Philosophy empty talk or Biblical Truth?
It is true, Verse:
“Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18, NASB)
In another translation:
“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18, KJV)
Does it mean that we should not seek knowledge and wisdom?
Why is it so then?
It’s because those with knowledge and wisdom know that the world is full of sin where evil sometimes does hurt us directly too and we can’t seem to have a control over it.
However, by recognizing that this age (Aeon/Olam) is temporary and is passing away (1 John 2:17, Galatians 1:4), we find Joy in Hope that at the End of this age (Aeon1 – during the First Resurrection followed by the 1000 years Millennial Reign of Christ, Revelation 20:4 – 6) and in the ‘age to come’ (Aeon2, Luke 18:29 – 30), we will see that God Will Make All Created Things New Again (Revelation 21:5), as Christ Assures that He Will not Fail in Verse below proving that these sorrow/grief in tribulation are ‘temporary only’:
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:33, NASB)
Or in another translation
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:33, KJV)
Peace to you
Righteous Ones are Givers
I want to say a Big Thank You to God Who has used some people in my life (you know who you are) who have Given Graciously toward me or more accurately to causes which I have requested regardless if it turned out to be true or not because you have fulfilled these Verses:
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” – apostle Paul (Galatians 6:2, NASB)
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:31, NASB)
“The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.” (Psalm 37:21, NASB)
“But love your enemies, … and lend, expecting nothing in return; …” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, NASB)
Conclusion – Why Should you?
Even if it turned out to be a money scam, you fulfilled the Verse below toward such “enemies” where “you gave without hoping anything in return” toward the “evil and ungrateful too” fulfilling the Perfection Command Regarding our God (the hardest commands) in some little way, Congratulations! (Please read the Verse below ‘carefully’ to realize this – Can you see it?)
So, A Reward Beyond this World awaits thee by God’s Grace I pray for you, Amen:
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, NASB)
Or in another translation:
“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, KJV)
Peace to you
Love – Agape – Highest Spiritual Growth – Love Your Enemies
Loving those who love us back is easiest and vice versa.
How to love your enemies?
“26What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
27“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
32“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
35“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:26 – 36, NLT)
Please note two points below:
1) Christ taught “Love your enemies” (Verses 27 – 36) just after warning against against “false prophets” (Verse 26) implying that false prophets teach otherwise, right?
2) His opening lines toward this Teaching proves the Difficulty in many obeying it because He says in Verse 27:
“But to you who are willing to listen,…”
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:27, NLT)
So, are we willing to listen to Him as He asked above?
Since God Counts in Percentage and Intent (as everything is relatively measured to what you’re given), life is fair as the afterlife rewards are proportionally as well. Can you see it?
i) Relative Measure
“… From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:48, NASB)
“1As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 21:1 – 4, NASB)
“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:5, NASB)
In the end, what matters in life is keeping God’s Commands (as much as possible as we decide to by our own choice – same conclusion for both the Old and New Testaments):
“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NASB)
“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 7:19, NASB)
Peace to you
Strongest Deceptions – Power and Money Loving Traits
A Politician Said: “Power is always dangerous.
It attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”
A Rich Man replied, “The Same is True for the Love of Money”.
“Love of Money is always dangerous. It attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”
Always be careful of what appears in your life when you begin to have some power and some money.
An Observation: The ones with Power and Money sometimes love people who don’t have power nor money even to the point of marriage (in a love-Marriage context) proving that their love was sincere in such cases, right?
Hence, a crucial question is this:
i. ‘Would we be loved if we had no power or no money?’
And the second is like this,
ii. ‘Would we have loved another person if they had no power or no money instead?’
If you answered yes (and God approves it), you’re on the Path of Perfection for sure.
If not, we need to re-examine our ways.
A Righteous Man once prayed,
“Lord, only give me Power and Money if I will not be corrupted into sin by loving it. If not, let me remain poor & let not Thy Mercy depart from this sinner.”
Peace to you
Inspiration – What type of people inspire our hearts the most?
They’re “more selfless” than me because they can “give away so much” (in percentage too, to be fair to all as the poor widow biblical example shows, Luke 21:1 – 4).
A famous current example – nice to be retold as shown in image. The person in image had different financial ambitions which is to give – as our Blessed Savior Lord Jesus Christ remarked that this is one of the requirements toward “Perfection”, Verse:
“Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)
Please note the word “Perfect” carefully in Verse above.
I always admire most the ones that give the most especially in percentage (Luke 21:1 – 4) and intent (1 Corinthians 13:3) be it they give encouragements, support or especially financially (you know who you are my friends, and thank you for it).
Peace to you
Rock of Ages – Which House is Built Upon the Rock?
A Beautiful Quote in Image. This Should be the Unchangeable Church Goal for Every Church.
How to fulfill it?
What FREE Service is your Church doing toward the community?
(Not toward each other and other Christians in Church or their own ministry only out of the Church’s own expense? now, that’s a Selfless Church)
Please let us think seriously about it because if our church activities is only toward other Christians or family members but not toward those who “don’t love us” (e. g. enemies and those who hate you), it’s really ‘very low level reward for all your hard efforts’ – says Who?
Our Most Selfless Saviour Himself in Verse below:
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?…” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:32, NASB)
Definition Example: “those who love you” = ‘your church members, family members, friends, your supporters, etc.’
So, “those who don’t love you” = ‘your haters, enemies’. How do you love them?
Do “Good” to them and “Love” them even by “Giving them money” as the Verses below Reveal Beautifully regarding True Heavenly Wisdom:
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? … But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil … ” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:32, 33, 35, NASB)
Only then we are Truly Following Christ toward the “Perfection of God” (recorded in Matthew 5:42 – 48, same Topic/Context) as Christ Continues to say also the following within this Same Topic/Conversation (‘Context’):
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:45 – 48, NASB)
Did you notice that the “House Built Upon the Rock” thus refers to only Christians who ‘love their enemies’ by doing good & giving toward ‘those who don’t love them back’ as these Verses all Speak of the Same Context (Proof: Consecutive Verses from the same Chapter, Luke 6:32 – 48)?
Can you see it?
To do any part of it is to practice highest religion according to the Gospel as Revealed Majestically in Verses Quoted.
Peace to you
God’s Ways vs Satan’s Ways
Healer by God’s Act through us or Destroyer by Satan’s whisper? – We Decide
A Beautiful Quote in Image.
It gives another perspective as to why Lord Jesus Christ asked us to “Love our enemies” (Matthew 5:42 – 48) even if they kill us literally as the awe-inspiring biblical case of the First Christian Matyr, Stephen clearly showed in Verses below (Christ was Standing Beside His Throne for he obeyed these hardest Verses requesting Forgivingness for his enemies who were stoning him to death as Christ Did on His Cross – “Perfection in the Final Action too”, Luke 23:34), to quote:
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” … They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts of the Apostles 7:54 – 56, 59 – 60, NASB)
Lord Jesus Christ uses His Blood Shed on His Cross to Forgive All (Luke 23:34) and Heal “All Created Things” by Reconciling All (Colossians 1:16, 20) and “Making All New” again in His Time eventually (Revelation 21:5) till He Becomes “All in all” creation (Hebrews 2:8, 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28).
Peace to you
Highest Giving – Which is it?
It has these Characteristics:
“… Freely you received, freely give.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:8, NASB)
Comment: Giving your Best Work/Expertise/Talent for free toward others (and not giving freely a low quality work while refraining from sharing your best).
2) Expecting nothing in return
“… and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return …” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, NASB)
3) Includes giving toward Enemies too freely
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; …” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, NASB)
4) Giving Most when you have Least
Giving the Most with Love at a time when your own pockets are empty or is very close to being empty
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He [Lord Jesus Christ] said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1 – 4, NASB)
Never look down upon a poor person’s giving because as the Verses above reveal, they may have given the most as God Counts everything relative to what we are Given first too (Fairness & Equality in Perfect Righteous Judgment with no Bias – 1 Corinthians 1:27 – 28, Luke 12:48).
5) Give with the “Love of God” (Agape)
“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” – Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 13:3, NASB)
Conclusion – What’s your reward if you do so?
You will become a Son of the Most High (During the First Resurrection, implied Context by Holy Scripture – Revelation 20:4 – 6, Luke 20:35 – 36):
“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil …” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:34 – 35, NASB)
“but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 20:35 – 36, NASB)
Someone may interject and ask, ‘what has these set of Verses Speaking of the First Resurrection in regards to the Giving Topic?’
Please read carefully the phrases “sons of God” = “sons of the Most High” (connecting the Context of these two set of Verses) while in the former please note further a few traits which are required namely, “do good”, “lend” toward “enemies” too and “expect nothing in return”.
Can you see it?
Please allow me to rephrase it as follows:
‘Lord Jesus Christ is clearly revealing that His Sons of the Most High God are ones who will exhibit Giving Freely toward their enemies too without expecting anything in return’.
So, in light of this Biblical Perfection Context, Life’s Greatest Question may thus be Rephrased as follows:
‘In our own little way in our area of work/expertise/talents, have we given freely-in-love to share that work/expertise/talent toward others including the benefit of our enemies for free without expecting anything in return especially whilst we ourselves are close to being zero financially as well?’
That’s the Challenge of Perfection in this Context that I see which us set forth by the combination of these Verses for those who wish a ‘Better Resurrection’ in some way, right? (Hebrews 11:35).
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make a living out of your work/talent/expertise but rather that in pursuing perfection, we as Christians ought to also have some platforms where we give it for free too as these Beautiful Verses Reveal.
Please also note that Giving to Family and Church and Friends is Great (Love-Deepest) but these Verses also Command such Unconditional Giving (Free, nothing expected in return) toward neighbours, strangers and eventually enemies too (Love-Broadest) to move toward the Unfathomable Perfection of Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father (Matthew 5:42 – 48).
These Perfection Verses are among those in Context when Lord Jesus Christ Concluded the following toward those believers who are willing to obey it (such Giving looks foolish to the world but it is Wise in God’s Kingdom for the Highest Possible Gains – All these Verses are from Matthew 5’s Infamous Sermon on the Mount Context):
“Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:19, KJV)
Remember He Himself was Called Lord ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ (and He Accepted it, John 18:5) where being Identified with the Term “Nazareth” meant being “identified with the outcasts and poor” (allegorically accepted spiritual meaning in light of the looked down town of “Nazareth”, Context: John 1:46).
Peace to you
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