Last Updated: 17 April 2020

 

 

Announcement:

Thirty Sixty and Hundredfold Mystery Book – Free PDF Download:

 

Here’s our Latest Book for further Edification regarding the rarely known Thirtyfold, Sixtyfold and Hundredfold Mystery as it was taught in First Christianity (Book Released Online – 7 Jan 2020).4

This Book is not for sale and only an online PDF version is available (no hardcopy due to no budget). Free download in links may be found in pages below:

 

 

(i) Web Browser Friendly Download Page

E-BOOK –

or

 

 

(ii) Mobile Friendly Download Page

E-BOOK –

Or

 

 

(iii) Direct Link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dpitw0fv7h5rfvi/First-Christianity-Thirty-Sixty-and-Hundred-fold-Fruit-Mystery-book-by-Jonathan-Ramachandran.pdf?dl=1

 

Or

 

 

(iv) Google Play Download Link:

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=9lnIDwAAQBAJ

 

Thank you Mr. Gavin Vincent for these IT works.

 

 

(v) About the Book

 

This Content of this Book is a Chapter from the Lake of Fire – Hope for the Wicked One Day? Essays in First Christianity Book. We decided to separate out this particular chapter due to the lack of exposure regarding this particular Topic which might be of interest to Christians and potential believers too.

We present the earliest known ancient orthodox concepts regarding the gradation of Salvation and how some of the early Church leaders have wrote about it presenting their quotes and sources accordingly.

We hope that this Booklet might help you find your life calling in Lord Jesus Christ and help you persevere in faith toward the end of the Prize and Crown which the Blessed Lord may grant to you for your works one day.

Knowing about these ancient mysteries of the Gospel may alter life decisions considerably and spark a fire of faith in you which may help even others to believe in Christ and find their calling in Him too.

Thank you for Reading & May Christ’s Peace be with you

 

 

 

 

Now, here are some Supplementary Essays to Help Edify the Reading of that Book & Beyond:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity of the Church – John 17:23 Mystery

 

Question

 

What is meant by “Complete Unity” or “Perfect Unity” as our Most Blessed Saviour Prayed in John 17:23 (Verse in image) according to First Christianity in the Bible?

 

Reply

 

In Christianity according to the Bible, if any Christian wants to attain “true unity”, they must live ‘by sharing all possessions in common’ (Acts 2:43 – 44) which happened just after the Anointing of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day (Acts 2:1). There’s no such thing as it cannot be done today nor is there one rule for the past and another one rule for now in the future as God’s Perfect Will is always the same.

 

If we cannot live like that with a “multitude” of believers as “one”, we should try to do it with at least one other believer to experience true unity as this is a fruit experienced in the Bible beyond ‘unity of talk’ (as money is the hardest to be shared by those who love it).

 

Here is that Verse Speaking this Biblical Truth about True Unity of the Church in this Context (please note carefully the words “one heart” and “one soul” and “multitude” in Verse below which clearly doesn’t exist if we cannot practice this):

 

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32, NKJV)

 

Besides our weaknesses to not live in God’s Perfect Will to be united like that (Luke 14:33, Luke 12:21), He can still Save us by His Mercy. Hence it’s proven that God can Save us Christians even when we transgress His Commandments and not keep to His Perfect Biblical Doctrines by His Great Mercy to a place of merit according to our faith and works too (Matthew 5:19).

 

The problem with Christianity is simple: we choose the “New Testament” Verses that we want (such as ‘blessings’, ‘power’ etc.) but ignore the ones such as these which require ‘our obedience and sacrifice toward perfection on Agape’.

 

Other Bible Verses quoted here:

 

  1. i) The ‘True Pentecostal Church’s Traits’

 

“1When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all [with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. … 42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:1 – 2, 42 – 45, NKJV)

 

Nothing pleases God more than fulfilling His Will in Living for the ‘Common Advantage’ (Hebrews 13:16):

 

“… Knowing then these things, let us contribute alike wealth, and diligence, and protection, [2872] and all things for our neighbor’s advantage. For the talents here are each person’s ability, whether in the way of protection, or in money, or in teaching, or in what thing soever of the kind. Let no man say, I have but one talent, and can do nothing; for thou canst even by one approve thyself. For thou art not poorer than that widow [Luke 21:1 – 4]; thou art not more uninstructed than Peter and John, who were both “unlearned and ignorant men;” [2873] but nevertheless, since they showed forth a zeal, and did all things for the common good, they attained to Heaven [Matthew 19:27 – 30]. For nothing is so pleasing to God, as to live for the common advantage [Acts 2:44 – 45, Acts 4:32, 1 John 3:16 – 18]. …” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople, one of the Three Holy Hierarchs (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Source (Homily on Matthew 25):

 

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/chrysostom/matthew/25.htm

 

  1. ii) God’s Will regarding “our earthly Possessions”

 

God Gives a Christian Possessions so that we can “sell it” and give to “Charity” (Verse 33 below) to attain “Heavenly Treasures” (Verse 34) to be ‘Rich in the Heavens’ (Verse 34) as this is His Perfect Will too (Verse 21), Verses:

 

“21“So is the man who STORES UP TREASURE for HIMSELF, and IS NOT RICH TOWARD GOD.” 22And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30“For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. 33“SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS and GIVE TO CHARITY; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:21 – 34, NASB)

 

“Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” – Blessed Apostle St. James the Just, First Bishop of Jerusalem (James 5:3, NKJV)

 

“… By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness … For what will it profit if a man gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” This world and the next are two enemies. The one urges to adultery and corruption, avarice and deceit; the other bids farewell to these things. We cannot, therefore, be the friends of both; and it behoves us, by renouncing the one [Luke 14:33], to make sure of the other. … For if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; otherwise, nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we disobey His commandments. For thus also saith the Scripture in Ezekiel, “If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they should not deliver their children in captivity.” Now, if men so eminently righteous are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children, how can we hope to enter into the royal residence of God unless we keep our baptism holy and undefiled? …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter V)

Source [ CHAP. V.–THIS WORLD SHOULD BE DESPISED and CHAP. VI.–THE PRESENT AND FUTURE WORLDS ARE ENEMIES TO EACH OTHER]:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-roberts.html

 

iii) True Salt Disciples of Christ

 

Salt with Flavor type of Disciple is one who ‘Renounces all his Possessions for Christ in some Way’ and the opposite is the manure type:

 

“33“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. 34“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35“It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”” – Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33 – 35, NASB)

 

“… But there is a difference between renouncing all things [Luke 14:33] and leaving all things [Matthew 19:27 – 30]. For it is the way of few perfect men to leave all things, that is, to cast behind them the cares of the world, but it is the part of all the faithful to renounce all things, that is, so to hold the things of’ the world as by them not to be held in the world. …” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14

 

Conclusion

 

I read an interesting article in link below highlighting the differences between a believer and a disciple of Christ:

 

https://redeeminggod.com/believers-vs-disciples/

 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19, NKJV)

 

The ‘Great Commission of Christ’ is for us to make disciples and not believers only. Please note the word “disciple” carefully in Luke 14:33 prior and the condition required for it as it is discussed in this write up. Please also notice that even “all believers” were at the “disciple-level” after being ‘Anointed by the Holy Spirit’ as Acts 2:43 – 44 & Acts 4:32 clearly prove.

 

If believers and disciples are to be at that level, shouldn’t their leaders (i.e. ‘pastors’ or ‘priest’ or ‘clergymen’) exceed ‘their own members’ in living in sharing like that? Indeed, this deviation from this True First Christianity Doctrine toward ‘worldly minded pastors/priests’ was both observed and warned off in this ancient early Christianity quote below agreeing to all this:

 

“… Under Christ’s banner seek for no worldly gain, lest having more than when you first became a clergyman, you hear men say, to your shame, “Their portion shall not profit them.” Welcome poor men and strangers to your homely board, that with them Christ may be your guest. A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague. … Many build churches nowadays; their walls and pillars of glowing marble, their ceilings glittering with gold, their altars studded with jewels. Yet to the choice of Christ’s ministers no heed is paid, And let no one allege against me the wealth of the temple in Judaea, its table, its lamps, its censers, its dishes, its cups, its spoons,1363 and the rest of its golden vessels. If these were approved by the Lord it was at a time when the priests had to offer victims and when the blood of sheep was the redemption of sins. They were figures typifying things still future and were “written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 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? Or if we insist on keeping to the letter and find the mention of gold and wealth so pleasing, let us keep to everything else as well as the gold. … 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. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin Priest, Confessor, Secretary to Pope Damasus I (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Letter LII. To Nepotian’, Points 4, 5, 6, 10 in some order)

 

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2/NPNF2-06/Npnf2-06-03.htm#P1872_458890

 

In light of ‘only those few’ (Matthew 7:14) who ‘do God’s Will enter His Kingdom post the First Resurrection’ (as per the Great Warning in Matthew 7:20 – 23), will we make it by ‘Carrying this Cross of Self-Denial Discipleship Daily’ (Luke 9:23) in regards to ‘our earthly possessions’ too likewise (Luke 14:33)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfection – Unity – Seven Churches Mystery

 

 

  1. i) Perfection Definition

 

Perfection in Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ’s Own Definition is ‘selling all ones has giving to the poor and then following Christ’ (Matthew 19:21) of which the ‘Apostles and very few achieved it’ (Matthew 19:27 – 20).

“21Jesus 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.”” (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)

 

“27Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28So 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. 29And 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. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:27 – 30, NKJV)

Comment: The Mystery of the ‘last becoming first’ has something to do with this Context of ‘selling all or leaving some significant amount of things/people to follow after Christ’ as Verses above demonstrate clearly regarding the “Hundredfold” fruit Mystery too as opposed to the lesser ‘thirty-fold or sixty-fold’ harvest of Christians (please see Matthew 13:8 as well).

 

 

 

  1. ii) Unity Definition

 

Thus whenever any group of believers or “Church” approximates this Perfect Command, they are heading toward perfection as Acts 2:44 – 45 proves literally as only then a Church is said to be of ‘one heart’ and ‘one soul’ in Acts 4:32 which is not impossible to achieve as the First Christians did achieve it to some Great Extent.

 

“44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44 – 45, NKJV)

 

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32, NKJV)

 

iii) Which Seven Churches?

This is what St. Irenaeous says the meaning of the seven churches is:

“… But the path of those belonging to the Church circumscribes the whole world, as possessing the sure tradition from the apostles, and gives unto us to see that the faith of all is one and the same, since all receive one and the same God the Father, and believe in the same dispensation regarding the incarnation of the Son of God, and are cognizant of the same gift of the Spirit, and are conversant with the same commandments, and preserve the same form of ecclesiastical constitution, and expect the same advent of the Lord, and await the same salvation of the complete man, that is, of the soul and body. And undoubtedly the preaching of the Church is true and stedfast, in which one and the same way of salvation is shown throughout the whole world. For to her is entrusted the light of God; and therefore the “wisdom” of God, by means of which she saves all men, “is declared in [its] going forth; it uttereth [its voice] faithfully in the streets, is preached on the tops of the walls, and speaks continually in the gates of the city.” For the Church preaches the truth everywhere, and she is the seven-branched candlestick which bears the light of Christ. …” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons, a Hearer of Blessed St. Polycarp who is an Apostolic Father being the Disciple of Blessed St. John who wrote the Book of Revelation (c. 140 – c. 202 AD, Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter XX)

 

Source:  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book5.html

Comment: It is interesting that the old English word for “Love” is “Charity” (Verse in image: Colossians 3:14).

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Christianity – Saved does not mean Entering the Kingdom of the Heavens Mystery

 

 

1) As discussed in the previous posts, some are saved into an Elect Salvation while others into a non-Elect Salvation as the Shepherd of Hermas Scipture Reveals.

 

Even among the Elect Salvation of the “thirty, sixty and hundredfold mystery” (Matthew 13:23) pertaining to obtaining an inheritance in the “New Jerusalem City, Paradise and Heavens respectively” as expounded by Bishop St. Papias, Bishop St. Polycarp & the rest of the direct disciples of the Apostles of Christ themselves as attested even by Bishop St. Irenaeous of Lyons, we see that ‘the many’ or ‘majority of Christians themselves who called Him Lord, Lord & did many signs, conversions & prophecies themselves do not get to Enter the Kingdom of the Heavens’ (Matthew 7:20 – 23). Why?

 

The Answer may be found in Christ’s Most Blessed Words Itself as it will be discussed next.

 

 

2) Let’s consider first that us being Saved is Christ’s Work Alone

 

“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” – Blessed St.Paul the Great Apostle of Christ (Romans 3:20, NKJV)

 

However, believing in Him and being Saved does not automatically give all Christians an inheritance in the heavens as the quotes & verses next may reveal further regarding this Mystery.

 

 

3) One can be Saved to obtain the non-Heavens inheritance

 

“A fragment from the early 2nd century of one of the lost volumes of Papias, a Christian bishop, expounds that “heaven” was separated into three distinct layers. He referred to the first as just “heaven”, the second as “paradise”, and the third as “the city”. Papias taught that “there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold”. In the 2nd century AD, Irenaeus (a Greek bishop) wrote that not all who are saved would merit an abode in heaven itself.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_in_Christianity

 

4) One can be Saved to obtain the non-Elect Salvation even

 

This is called the “another place” which is ‘not the Tower of Repentance’ (where the ‘Tower of Repentance’ is parabolically referring to the Church’s Inheritance Part) in ‘Verse’ below:

 

 

“… 7[15]:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for ALL THESE STONES that were REJECTED and would not fit into the building of the TOWER that was REPENTANCE, and they had a place in this tower. “THEY CAN REPENT” she said, “but they CANNOT be fitted into THIS TOWER. 7[15]:6 Yet THEY shall be fitted into ANOTHER PLACE much more humble, but not until they have UNDERGONE TORMENTS and have FULFILLED THE DAYS OF THEIR SINS. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts…” – Shepherd of Hermas

 

Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

Regarding the Shepherd of Hermas which was considered Scripture-Level in First Christianity by even St. Irenaeous of Lyons, Tertullian, Pope Callixtus I, St. Clement of Alexandria and even the First Bibles of Christianity (the Muratorian or Roman Canon in the West & the Codex Claromontanus Canon in the East) is discussed further with proof quotes in link below:

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/blog/christ-centered-universalism-mystery-in-first-christianity/amp

 

Conclusion

 

The Key to Unlocking this Entire Mystery is found in Christ’s Own Most Blessed Words in Verses below (in image too); please consider Matthew 5:20 in a few translations below for comparison:

 

New International Version

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

New Living Translation

“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

 

English Standard Version

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

New American Standard Bible

“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

King James Bible

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Here are the Truths set forth in light of these quotes and Verses:

 

  1. i) Christ Speaks of “your righteousness” and NOT ‘His Righteousness’ in Verse above (Matthew 5:20) as a requirement to ‘Enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens’. Please read this ‘carefully’ and ‘please repeat it a few times more’ to realize this Astonishing Truth.

 

  1. ii) Christ’s Righteousness causes one to be Saved (Romans 3:20) but ‘your righteousness’ decides which level of inheritance of final abode you obtain be it in His Kingdom of the Heavens or Outside of it (Matthew 5:20).

 

iii) Example – Money Matters Doctrine

 

Someone said: If you keep the Old Testament Tithes Doctrine Perfectly, you are only ‘equal’ to the ‘righteousness of the pharisees’ but have ‘not exceeded it’ as Christ Requires of you in order to Enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens (Matthew 5:20).

 

That thought agrees Perfectly with what this Great True Christian Saint wrote below:

 

“… and INSTEAD of the LAW enjoining the GIVING of TITHES, [He told us] to SHARE ALL our POSSESSIONS with the POOR; and NOT to LOVE our NEIGHBOURS ONLY, but EVEN OUR ENEMIES; and not merely to be liberal givers and bestowers, but even that we should present a gratuitous gift to those who take away our goods. For “to him that taketh away thy coat,” He says, “give to him thy cloak also; and from him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again; and as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye unto them: ” so that we may not grieve as those who are unwilling to be defrauded, but may rejoice as those who have given willingly, and as rather conferring a favour upon our neighbours than yielding to necessity…” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons, Hearer of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smryna, who is also an Apostolic Father being the Disciple of the Blessed St. John the Apostle (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 4, Chapter XIII, Point 3)

 

Translation Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book4.html

 

and

 

“… give all you can; or in other words, give all you have to God. Do not stint yourself, like a Jew rather than a Christian, to this or that proportion. Render unto God not a tenth, not a third, not half, but all that is God’s (be it more or less) by employing all on yourself, your household, the household of faith and all mankind, in such a manner that you may give a good account of your stewardship when ye can be no longer stewards…” – Blessed John Wesley, English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism (1703 AD – 1791 AD)

 

Best is that’s how the Bible Describes First Christianity’s Practice in this Topic of ‘Money-Matters’ too as the ‘Perfect Christian Attitude’, Verses:

 

Via ‘Selling all’:

 

” 44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided[p] them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts of the Apostles 2:44 – 45, NKJV)

 

and/or ‘Sharing All’:

 

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32, NKJV)

 

 

Yes, by Practicing these Traits is ‘how’ the ‘last shall become first’ in Christianity itself as the “Bible Verses” (not opinions of men) Reveal this Secret as follows:

“27Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”28So 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. 29And 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. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:27 – 30, NKJV)

 

“… Or, it is given to him who had gained five talents, that we may understand that though the Lord’s joy over the labour of each be equal, of him who doubled the five as of him who doubled the two, yet is a greater reward due to him who laboured more in the Lord’s money. The servant who of five talents had made ten, and he who of two had made four, are received with equal favour by the Master of the household, who looks NOT to the LARGENESS of THEIR PROFIT, but to the DISPOSITION of THEIR WILL ….” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

Yes, it’s an Open Invitation by Christ toward All ‘Law Keeping’ Christians (or Rich Man too) and not a call for the ‘apostles only’ as often wrongly assumed, to quote “Verses” again:

 

“21Jesus 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.”22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:21 – 22, NKJV)

 

” The rich man who has despised many things will naturally expect a reward, but he who POSSESSING LITTLE resigns what he has, may fairly ask what there is in store for him; as it follows, Then Peter said, lo, we have left all. Matthew adds, What shall we have therefore? This then we say, that he who gives up all worldly and carnal things will gain for himself far greater, inasmuch as the APOSTLES, AFTER LEAVING A FEW THINGS, obtained the manifold gifts of grace, and were ACCOUNTED GREAT EVERY WHERE. We then shall be like to them. Now perhaps this command is irksome to the rich, yet to those who are of a sound mind, it is not unprofitable, for their treasure is the kingdom of heaven. Hence it follows, Provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, &c. …” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

Source :

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

 

Please note that ‘none of the Pharisees whom Christ was against Practiced any such Righteousness to this Extent beyond the Tithing Doctrine only’, to quote this historical fact:

 

“… Because therefore the Pharisees, it says, were LOVERS OF MONEY, they DERIDED [LORD] JESUS,” for directing them by His SALUTARY DOCTRINES to a praiseworthy course of conduct, and rendering them desirous of SAINTLY GLORIES. For it was THEIR DUTY, He tells them, to SELL THEIR POSSESSIONS, and make DISTRIBUTION to the POOR; so would they possess in heaven a treasure that could not be plundered, and purses that could not be harmed, and wealth that would not have to be abandoned. And why then did they deride Him? For certainly the doctrine was salutary, a pathway of hope in things to come, and a door leading unto the life incorruptible: for they were being taught by Him the manners of true prosperity, … He said therefore, “You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is high among men, is an abomination before God.” This He is found also in another place saying unto them; “HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE, who receive honour one of another, and SEEK NOT the HONOUR that comes from the ONE GOD.” For the God of all crowns with praises unto righteousness those who are truly good: but those who love not virtue, but are hypocrites, steal perchance by their own votes solely the reputation of being honourable …” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Titles: The Pillar of Faith; Seal of all the Fathers; Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD, ‘Commentary on Luke’, Sermon CX on Luke 16:14 – 17)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/cyril-on-luke-16

 

Indeed,

 

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” – The Highest, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:22, NKJV)

 

Context for What is the ‘Will of God’ required to be part of the ‘few Saved’ (Matthew 7:14) on that Great Day of His Return (Matthew 7:21)?

 

“… Wherefore, brethren, leaving [willingly] our sojourn in this present world, let us do the will of Him that called us, and not fear to depart out of this world. For the Lord saith, “Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.” And Peter answered and said unto Him, “What, then, if the wolves shall tear in pieces the lambs?” Jesus said unto Peter, “The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear the wolves; and in like manner, fear not ye them that kill you, and can do nothing more unto you; but fear Him who, after you are dead, has power over both soul and body to cast them into hell-fire.” And consider, brethren, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of life everlasting. By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter V)

 

Source [ CHAP. V.–THIS WORLD SHOULD BE DESPISED ]:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-roberts.html

 

Bible Verse:

 

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” – God in Flesh, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33, NASB)

 

Please notice ‘carefully’ how St. Clement of Rome himself explains the meaning (or context) of Luke 14:33 which is clearly nullifies any ‘Prosperity Gospel Opinion’, to quote from the above (again) for ‘highlight’:

“… By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

Yes, this “narrow” and “difficult” path (Matthew 7:13 – 14) includes especially the following requirement to be practiced by the ‘few Christians’ who will be Saved by Practicing it:

 

“… and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

 

Can we be rich in both worlds? the quote below doesn’t seem to agree and neither does Luke 14:33 seems to fit such a ‘false hope’:

 

“… For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness ..” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

 

 

  1. iv) Obedience is Better than Sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)

 

Indeed, the Verses below make Perfect Sense now:

 

 

“Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.” – Blessed St.Paul the Great Apostle of Christ (1 Corinthians 7:19, NKJV)

 

 

Which ‘Commands of the Lord’ is Apostle St. Paul referring to? Please read especially 1 Corinthians Chapters 11 to 14 where Apostle St. Paul himself warns as follows for those challenging it:

 

 

“If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” – Apostle St. Paul the Great (1 Corinthians 14:37, NKJV)

 

 

Let’s not forget the danger of ‘Lawlessness’ as Demonstrated toward the ‘many’ for having ‘not exceeded the righteousness of the Pharisees to enter into His Kingdom of the Heavens’ (Matthew 5:20) on that Day (Matthew 7:20 – 23):

 

 

” 19Whoever 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. 20For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” – KING of the Heavens and Most Blessed One, LORD of lords, Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:19 – 20, NKJV)

 

 

“20Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – The Perfect One, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:20 – 23, NKJV)

 

 

Summary

“… And yet if both the land be good, and the Sower one, and the seed the same, wherefore did one bear a hundred, one sixty, one thirty? Here again the difference is from the nature of the ground, for even where the ground is good, great even therein is the difference. Do you see, that not the husbandman is to be blamed, nor the seed, but the land that receives it? Not for its nature, but for its disposition. And herein too, great is His mercy to man, that He does not require one measure of virtue, but while He receives the first, and casts not out the second, He gives also a place to the third… Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, says He; and He speaks what we before mentioned, of carelessness and attention, of cowardice and fortitude, of wealth and VOLUNTARY POVERTY; pointing out the hurt from the one, and the benefit from the other… Then of virtue also He brings forward different forms. For being full of love to man, He marked out not one only way, nor did He say, unless one bring forth an hundred [HUNDREDFOLD], he is an outcast; but he that brings forth sixty [SIXTY FOLD] is saved also, and not he only, but also the producer of thirty [THIRTY-FOLD]. And this He said, making out salvation to be easy. And thou then, are you unable to practise virginity? Be chaste in marriage. Are you UNABLE to strip yourself of YOUR POSSESSIONS? Give of YOUR SUBSTANCE. Can you NOT BEAR that BURDEN? SHARE YOUR GOOD with Christ. Are YOU UNWILLING to YIELD Him UP ALL? GIVE HIM but THE HALF, but the THIRD PART [of your Money/Possessions]. He is your brother, and joint-heir, make Him joint-heir with you here too. WHATSOEVER YOU GIVE HIM, YOU WILL GIVE TO YOURSELF … ” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘Commentary on Matthew’, Chapter 13)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

and

 

“… For there are two ways in life, as touching these matters. The one the more moderate and ordinary, I mean marriage; the other angelic and unsurpassed, namely virginity. Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold…” – St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy, Patriarch of Alexandria and Champion of Trinity, Doctor of the Church and Confessor, Coptic Pope (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Letter XLVIII.—Letter to Amun4583. Written before 354 AD via Philip Schaff, Pages 971 – 972)

Source: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1819-1893,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_04_Athanasius,_EN.pdf

 

The Basic Idea is that the ‘Secrets of the Kingdom’ is not given to everyone (and hence it is not written in the Bible, Matthew 13:11) regarding the Meaning of the ‘Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold’ Mystery (Context: Matthew 13:8 first) where it makes a difference of the Final abode in the ‘New Jerusalem City, Paradise or Heavens’ respectively according to whether one Sacrifices for Christ to Live a Holy Marriage, a Holy Widowhood or a Holy Unmarried Life Respectively (agreeing to 1 Corinthians 7:38 too) as First Christianity’s Best Saints have said that this Truth Comes from the Most Blessed Saviour Himself taught through His Apostles and their direct Presbyters, for example:

 

“… Now any one may object to this interpretation, and may give another which harmonizes with the rule of faith. For as the ark was to have rooms not only on the lower, but also on the upper storeys, which were called ” third storeys,” that there might be a habitable space on the third floor from the basement, some one may interpret these to mean the three graces commended by the apostle, — ^faith, hope, and charity. Or even more suitably they may be supposed to represent those three harvests in the gospel, thirtyfold, sixtyfold, an hundredfold, — chaste marriage dwelling in the ground floor, chaste widowhood in the upper, and chaste virginity in the top storey. Or any better interpretation may be given, so long as the reference to this city is maintained…” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Book XV, ‘City of God’, Page 99)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp_djvu.txt

 

Yes, the Earliest Church believes in the VOLUNTARY POVERTY Doctrine too as even Blessed St. Epiphanius has Testified clearly & hence it should be taught in every Church now too to encourage others to attain to the best they can in this Contest of Faith too, to quote:

“… The CHURCH too BELIEVES in RENUNCIATION, but it does not consider marriage unclean, it also BELIEVES in VOLUNTARY POVERTY, … ONE HOPE in the CHURCH and ONE FAITH, granted each in accordance with HIS ABILITY and HIS OWN LABORIOUS STRUGGLE. … IT REGARDS CONTINENCE as the MOST ADMIRABLE, and COMMENDS IT because it is engaged in the CONTEST and has DESPISED the WORLD, as being still MORE POWERFUL [than the world]. And the CHURCH BELIEVES in VIRGINITY and accords it the HIGHEST HONOR, because it is a thing of virtue and is fitted with the lightest wing. (7) The CHURCH has members who have RENOUNCED the WORLD and yet are not contemptuous of those who are still in the world; they rejoice in the VERY GREAT PIETY of such persons, as did the APOSTLES who OWNED NOTHING themselves, < and yet did not look down on the others* >. (8) And the SAVIOR HIMSELF OWNED NO EARTHLY POSSESSIONS when he came in the flesh, though he was Lord of all — and yet HE did NOT REJECT the women who ASSISTED his disciples and himself. … And if these people < who > have MADE THEIR OWN RENUNCIATION and live like the apostles would mix with the rest [of us], their ways would NOT seem strange, or foreign to GOD”S ORDINANCE. (4) And if they RENOUNCED WIVES for the SAKE of CONTINENCE THEIR CHOICE would be PRAISEWORTHY, provided that they did not call marriage unclean, and provided that they treated the < still > married as comrades, KNOWING the LIMITATION and the RANK of EACH. 4,5 For God’s ship takes any passenger except a bandit. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘APOSTOLICS’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 3.1 – 4.8, Pages 117 – 119)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

P/S: Hope?

 

If at least we can admit our mistakes instead of Contradicting these Verses in Holy Scripture, we might find Mercy by His Will, to quote:

“… Who are those who love God? those who accept his law without trying to disguise or excuse their faults. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source [QUESTION 112. ON PSALM FIFTY.]:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

We all fall short of it except for those Christians who have achieved Perfect Renunciation (e. g. Matthew 19:27 – 30, Acts 2:44 – 45) as per our Most Blessed Savior’s Perfect Command (Luke 14:33). So, the best we can do according to our measure of faith (Romans 12:3) is to renounce by sharing & giving to the best of our abilities accordingly (Acts 4:32).

Let us not slumber in the comfort of wealth which is most dangerous for a Christian (James 5:1 – 4, Luke 12:21, Luke 12:33, Luke 14:33, 1 John 2:15 – 17, Matthew 19:24):

 

“… Many love the things of the world, though they know that they cannot satisfy their souls’ thirst with them, and though they know that they will prove dangerous. Such will surely perish. Let us turn our hearts, not towards the world, but towards Him who is able to satisfy this thirst, and live. …” – Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh

 

Source [ SUFFERING, SIN AND JUDGMENT , Page 133 ]:

https://archive.org/stream/cu31924029356684/cu31924029356684_djvu.txt

 

Lord Jesus Christ Himself states that when ‘these things (the riches of this world) are added to you (Christians)’, we ought to ‘sell them and give to the poor/charity’ as His Art of Perfection means in Holy Scripture, to quote:

 

“But SEEK HIS KINGDOM, and THESE THINGS will be ADDED to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS and GIVE TO CHARITY; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Selfless One Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:31 – 34, NASB)

 

Remember, God doesn’t count by the Result or Amount of people you affected by the Giving but only the Disposition of your Will in your heart in Love (1 Corinthians 13:3) even as the Two Coins you give can be greater than all, hence a greater reward due to Percentage Count too (Fairness and Equality toward All in such a Divine Wisdom of God to Decide so), to quote “Bible Verses” agreeing to the Earlier First Christianity Quotes:

 

“1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3And He [Lord Jesus Christ Himself] said, “TRULY I say to you, this poor widow put in MORE than ALL of THEM; 4for 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)

 

 

” … there are some who, under the impression of the fear of God, despise the pleasures of the senses, flee the lavishness of life, do not turn away the eyes of the poor and the needy, and thus accumulate real treasures, …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source Post & More Reading:

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/blog/parables-of-lord-jesus-christ-in-first-christianity-exegesis/amp

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

Loving this World and its Things – Danger Zone

 

We all fall short of it except for those Christians who have achieved Perfect Renunciation (e. g. Matthew 19:27 – 30, Acts 2:44 – 45) as per our Most Blessed Savior’s Perfect Command (Luke 14:33). So, the best we can do according to our measure of faith (Romans 12:3) is to renounce by sharing & giving to the best of our abilities accordingly (Acts 4:32).

 

Let us not slumber in the comfort of wealth which is most dangerous for a Christian (James 5:1 – 4, Luke 12:21, Luke 12:33, Luke 14:33, 1 John 2:15 – 17, Matthew 19:24):

 

“… Many love the things of the world, though they know that they cannot satisfy their souls’ thirst with them, and though they know that they will prove dangerous. Such will surely perish. Let us turn our hearts, not towards the world, but towards Him who is able to satisfy this thirst, and live. …” – Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh

 

Source [ SUFFERING, SIN AND JUDGMENT , Page 133 ]:

https://archive.org/stream/cu31924029356684/cu31924029356684_djvu.txt

 

 

Conclusion

 

The ‘Will of God’ is against the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ as Verses below clearly Imply (in 1 John 2:15 – 17) and it’s the main reason “Many” Christians may be rejected on the Day of His Glorious Return (Matthew 7:20 – 23) as even Blessed St. Clement of Rome has clearly Prophesied in quote later below to include this aspect as well:

 

 

  1. i) Doing the Will of God is not Loving the World nor living in Prosperity

 

“15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” – Blessed Apostle St. John (1 John 2:15 – 17, NKJV)

 

 

  1. ii) Many Christians may be rejected due to Lawlessness where one aspect is for disobeying the Monetary Commands of the Gospel

 

“20Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – The Perfect One, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:20 – 23, NKJV)

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” – The Highest, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:22, NKJV)

 

Please take note that I am not adding nor implying this Context as part of the meaning of “lawlessness” regarding being “deceived by riches” (hoarding, luxury pursuits etc.) but am quoting only what the Bible and this great saint in ancient Christianity himself has Prophesied using these same Verses above in conclusion next.

Conclusion

 

Firstly please take note that the “Many” rejected on “that Day” of His Return (in Matthew 7:20 – 23) have done many works such as prophecies to conversions (that’s why they are “many”) but did not abstain from Lawlessness. So the “good fruit” refers to “virtue” or “Obeying God’s Commands” as all earliest church leaders have emphasized.

 

Please consider:

 

  1. i) Blessed St. Clement of Rome’s Prophecy

 

“… Let us, then, not only call Him Lord, for that will not save us. For He saith, “Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall be saved, but he that worketh righteousness.” Wherefore, brethren, let us confess Him by our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, or speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but by being continent, compassionate, and good. We ought also to sympathize with one another, and not be avaricious. By such works let us confess Him, and not by those that are of an opposite kind. And it is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather God. For this reason, if we should do such [wicked] things, the Lord hath said, “Even though ye were gathered together to me in my very bosom, yet if ye were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off, and say unto you, Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.” …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter IV)

 

Source [CHAP. IV.–TRUE CONFESSION OF CHRIST]:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-roberts.html

 

Highlight: Please notice ‘carefully’ that Christians who practice this is rejected:

 

‘… not be avaricious … ‘ – Blessed St. Clement of Rome = not loving money

 

while it is also required of them to practice ‘continence’ [e.g. Voluntary Poverty, Chastity & Obedience], remember?

 

‘… but by being continent, compassionate, and good …’ – Blessed St. Clement of Rome

 

 

  1. ii) Will of God

 

Context for What is the ‘Will of God’ required to be part of the ‘few Saved’ (Matthew 7:14) on that Great Day of His Return (Matthew 7:21)?

 

 

“… Wherefore, brethren, leaving [willingly] our sojourn in this present world, let us do the will of Him that called us, and not fear to depart out of this world. For the Lord saith, “Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.” And Peter answered and said unto Him, “What, then, if the wolves shall tear in pieces the lambs?” Jesus said unto Peter, “The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear the wolves; and in like manner, fear not ye them that kill you, and can do nothing more unto you; but fear Him who, after you are dead, has power over both soul and body to cast them into hell-fire.” And consider, brethren, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of life everlasting. By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter V)

 

Source [ CHAP. V.–THIS WORLD SHOULD BE DESPISED ]:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-roberts.html

 

Bible Verse:

 

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” – God in Flesh, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33, NASB)

 

Please notice ‘carefully’ how St. Clement of Rome himself explains the meaning (or context) of Luke 14:33 which is clearly nullifies any ‘Prosperity Gospel Opinion’, to quote from the above (again) for ‘highlight’:

 

“… By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

 

 

Yes, this “narrow” and “difficult” path (Matthew 7:13 – 14) includes especially the following requirement to be practiced by the ‘few Christians’ who will be Saved by Practicing it:

 

“… and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

 

Can we be rich in both worlds? the quote below doesn’t seem to agree and neither does Luke 14:33 seems to fit such a ‘false hope’:

 

 

“… For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness ..” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

 

In the next part, St. Clement of Rome describes what happens to these ‘Christians’ who fall away from the path of righteousness as ‘the ones who lose their soul too’, to quote:

 

“… And consider, brethren, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of life everlasting. By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness … Now the Lord declares, “No servant can serve two masters.” If we desire, then, to serve both God and mammon, it will be unprofitable for us. For what will it profit if a man gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” This world and the next are two enemies. The one urges to adultery and corruption, avarice and deceit; the other bids farewell to these things. We cannot, therefore, be the friends of both; and it behoves us, by renouncing the one [Luke 14:33], to make sure of the other. Let us reckon that it is better to hate the things present, since they are trifling, and transient, and corruptible; and to love those [which are to come,] as being good and incorruptible. For if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; otherwise, nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we disobey His commandments. For thus also saith the Scripture in Ezekiel, “If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they should not deliver their children in captivity.” Now, if men so eminently righteous are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children, how can we hope to enter into the royal residence of God unless we keep our baptism holy and undefiled? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we be found possessed of works of holiness and righteousness? …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter V)

Source [ CHAP. V.–THIS WORLD SHOULD BE DESPISED and CHAP. VI.–THE PRESENT AND FUTURE WORLDS ARE ENEMIES TO EACH OTHER]:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-roberts.html

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unmarried vs Married – Is there a Difference in His Kingdom according to any Scripture especially in the First Bible?

 

Fact: You can be Saved as a Christian without doing these works but obeying more commands gains greater rewards and glory in His Kingdom (Matthew 5:19).

 

We saw from earlier posts that all church leaders in First Christianity pointed to the “thirty, sixty and hundredfold” Mystery in regards to the Topic of Marriage vs Widowhood vs Unmarried as a Great Difference in Reward Level in His Coming Glorious Kingdom. However, is this Scriptural?

 

If it is not Scriptural, why did these early Church leaders all unanimously teach that? Perhaps they knew more from the Traditions passed down from the Apostles from Antiquity?

So, here we are going to look at it from “Scripture” belonging to First Christianity. Let’s Begin with the Bible Today first.

 

  1. Not everyone can accept this Great Truth pertaining to its relation to the Kingdom of the Heavens

 

“For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” – Revealer of Mysteries, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:12, NKJV)

 

  1. Perfection

 

In the Context of “Biblical Perfection”, the apostles had to “leave all” which included not just their possessions but also “their wives” in order to become “first in His Kingdom”:

 

“27Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28So 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. 29And 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. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:27 – 30, NKJV)

 

 

iii. Apostle Paul reveals that he wished all men could remain unmarried like him

 

“7For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. 8But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” – the Blessed and Great St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 7:7 – 9, NKJV)

 

If it makes no difference whatsoever whether one is married or not in regards to the kingdom & its rewards, apostle Paul would not have Written the Verses above.

 

  1. Sex in Marriage is not wrong but still it reduces the quality level of Prayer

 

“4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” – the Holy and Wise St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 7:4 – 5, NKJV)

 

Since even a lawful sexual relation in marriage affects one’s power in spiritual life (making it lower), thus antiquity has proven that the tradition for priests to not marry is from the apostles themselves (as described in link below):

 

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7052

 

  1. Not Marrying is Better than Marrying must refer to something Spiritual for if not the Bible Verse below would not teach that

 

“So the person who marries his fiance does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.” – the Great Apostle St. Paul (1 Corinthians 7:38, NLT)

or

“So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.” – the Great Apostle St. Paul (1 Corinthians 7:38, NKJV)

 

 

 

Conclusion – The First Bible

 

By the First Bible, I refer to the First Oldest Christian Muratorian Canon (in earliest Western Christianity) and the Codex Claromontanus Canon (in earliest Eastern Christianity) where both lists the Shepherd of Hermas as “Scripture”.

 

So what does the “Shepherd of Hermas Scripture” in the First Bible of Christianity say in regards to this Topic?

 

To quote:

 

  1. i) Which is Better – To Marry or Not Marry?

 

“… 4[32]:1 I asked him again, saying, “Sir, since once thou dost bear with me, declare unto me this further matter also.” “Say on,” saith he. “If a wife, Sir,” say I, “or, it may be, a husband fall asleep, and one of them marry, doth the one that marrieth sin?”

4[32]:2 “He sinneth not,” saith he, “but if he remain single, he investeth himself with more exceeding honor and with great glory before the Lord; yet even if he should marry, he sinneth not. …” – Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate 4, Translated by the Well Known Scholar Mr. J. B. Lightfoot)

 

Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

or

 

“… And again I asked him, saying, “Sir, since you have been so patient in listening to me, will you show me this also?” “Speak,” said he. And I said, “If a wife or husband die, and the widower or widow marry, does he or she commit sin?” “There is no sin in marrying again,” said he; “but if they remain unmarried, they gain greater honour and glory with the Lord; but if they marry, they do not sin. …” – Shepherd of Hermas (Chapter IV, Translated by another Well Known Scholar Mr. Roberts-Donaldson)

 

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd.html

 

In the above, the Question is asked in the case of a Widow/Widower as to whether ‘re-marrying’ is allowed. The answer is a yes but the angel of Repentance continues further and says this Remarkable Truth that remaining “Unmarried” receives ‘far greater honour and glory with the Lord’, so how much more those who don’t marry at all (implied), right?

 

Proof quotes from the above:

 

“… but if he remain single, he investeth himself with more exceeding honor and with great glory before the Lord …” = ” … but if they remain unmarried, they gain greater honour and glory with the Lord …”.

 

Reminder: Please note that ‘Shepherd of Hermas is Scripture’ and thus please let us guard our tongue lest we are condemned for preaching against it. The reason why it is not included in the Bible is discussed somewhere in the Post below:

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/blog/christ-centered-universalism-mystery-in-first-christianity/amp

 

 

  1. ii) Married but Renouncing one’s Wife for a way Greater Kingdom of Heaven Reward – Continence Mystery

 

Choice: Married but Renouncing one’s Wife for Christ by taking her as a sister only henceforth having no more sexual relations as both Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul are said to have done (e.g. Matthew 19:27 – 30’s ‘leaving one’s wife’ or apostle Paul’s ‘better to remain unmarried as I am’ context in 1 Corinthians 7:7 – 9).

 

Surprisingly, the “Scripture” of the “Shepherd of Hermas” also contains this rarely known Truth as it relates to the Tower of Repentance Mystery in the Context of Saints and the Church receiving the Final Promises in “abundant glory” (so do we want to miss it?), to quote:

 

“… 2[6]:3 But make these words known to all thy children, and to thy wife who shall be as thy sister; for she too refraineth not from using her tongue, wherewith she doeth evil. But, when she hears these words, she will refrain, and will find mercy. 2[6]:4 After that thou hast made known unto them all these words, which the Master commanded me that they should be revealed unto thee, then all their sins which they sinned aforetime are forgiven to them; yea, and to all the saints that have sinned unto this day, if they repent with their whole heart, and remove double-mindedness from their heart. 2[6]:5 For the Master sware by His own glory, as concerning His elect; that if, now that this day has been set as a limit, sin shall hereafter be committed, they shall not find salvation; for repentance for the righteous hath an end; the days of repentance are accomplished for all the saints; whereas for the Gentiles there is repentance until the last day. 2[6]:6 Thou shalt therefore say unto the elders of the Church, that they direct their paths in righteousness, that they may receive in full the promises with abundant glory. …” – Shepherd of Hermas (Vision 2, Translated by the Well Known Scholar Mr. J. B. Lightfoot)

 

Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

or

 

“… But make known these words to all your children, and to your wife, who is to be your sister. For she does not restrain her tongue, with which she commits iniquity; but, on hearing these words, she will control herself, and will obtain mercy. For after you have made known to them these words which my Lord has commanded me to reveal to you, then shall they be forgiven all the sins which in former times they committed, and forgiveness will be granted to all the saints who have sinned even to the present day, if they repent with all their heart, and drive all doubts from their minds. For the Lord has sworn by His glory, in regard to His elect, that if any one of them sin after a certain day which has been fixed, he shall not be saved. For the repentance of the righteous has limits. Filled up are the days of repentance to all the saints; but to the heathen, repentance will be possible even to the last day. You will tell, therefore, those who preside over the Church, to direct their ways in righteousness, that they may receive in full the promises with great glory. …” – Shepherd of Hermas (Chapter IV, Translated by another Well Known Scholar Mr. Roberts-Donaldson)

 

Source:  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd.html

 

Prove Phrases from the above proving our claim:

 

“… and to thy wife who shall be as thy sister …” = “… and to your wife, who is to be your sister …”.

Again, I say unto you, please remember that “Shepherd of Hermas” is “Scripture” & greater than ‘any men who claim that these things are not so’ (you have been warned) and best is, all earliest leaders of First Christianity understood & taught likewise, to quote (examples):

 

 

 

“… “Have we not a right to take about with us a WIFE that is a SISTER like the other apostles?” [1 Corinthians 9:5] But the latter, in accordance with their particular ministry, devoted themselves to preaching without any distraction, and TOOK THEIR WIVES with them NOT as women with whom they had MARRIAGE RELATIONS, but as SISTERS, that they might be their FELLOW-MINISTERS in DEALING with HOUSEWIVES . It was THROUGH THEM that the LORD’S TEACHING penetrated also the WOMEN’S QUARTERS without any scandal being aroused. We also know the directions about WOMEN DEACONS which are given by the noble Paul in his second letter to Timothy…” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria , Teacher of Origen (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD, Stromata Book 3, Chapter VI, Point 53)

 

Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/clement-stromata-book3-english.html

 

 

Focus Phrases from the above proving our claim:

 

“… Have we not a right to take about with us a WIFE that is a SISTER like the other apostles? …”

 

and

 

: “… and TOOK THEIR WIVES with them NOT as women with whom they had MARRIAGE RELATIONS, but as SISTERS …”

 

or

 

“… AMBROSIASTER (ca. 366-84) reminds us that Christ did not desist from choosing Peter as chief of the apostles just because Peter had a wife and children; in the same manner the Church chooses married men today as priests. But, Ambrosiaster adds, the apostles lived in perfect continence with their wives; following this precedent, he continues, priests today do not have intercourse with their wives (CSEL 50, 414-16; Cochini 82). … ISIDORE OF PELUSIUM (died ca. 435) wrote to Deacon Isidore explaining 1 Cor 9:5: If women accompanied the apostles, “it was not in order to procreate children or to lead with them a common life but, in truth, to assist them with their goods, to take care of feeding the heralds of poverty.” If Paul called them sister-women, it is “because by the word ‘sister’ he wanted to show that they were chaste, while describing their nature with the word ‘women'” (PG 78, 865d-68c; Cochini 81). Note here his interpretation of the “sister-woman” passage of 1 Cor 9:5; Paul, says Isidore, used the term to indicate a brother-sister relationship. I pause here to observe that some contemporary translators use the word wife in this passage. The New Catholic Study Bible, for example, reads like this: “Don’t I have the right to follow the example of the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Peter, by taking a Christian wife with me on my trips?” That translation is misleading. Scripture professionals of the early Church beg to differ. Clement of Alexandria (died ca. 215), Tertullian (died ca. 220), Jerome (died ca.420), Isidore of Pelusium (died ca. 435) and others, all state that Paul refers here to a brother-sister relationship (see Cochini 81 ff.). …”

 

Source: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7052

 

iii) What Type of Reward/Difference Level in His Kingdom does this “Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold Mystery” could possibly make?

 

Kingdom of God/Christ consists of:

 

Thirty-Fold = City = New Jerusalem City

 

Sixty-Fold = Paradise

 

Hundred-Fold = Heavens

 

To quote:

 

“… As the presbyters say, then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shah enjoy the delights of Paradise, and others shall possess the splendour of the city; for everywhere the Saviour will be seen, according as they shall be worthy who see Him. But that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold; for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second class will dwell in Paradise, and the last will inhabit the city; and that on this account the Lord said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions:” …” – Blessed St. Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, an Apostolic Father being the Disciple of the Blessed St. John the Apostle (c. 60 AD – c. 163 AD)

Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/papias.html

or

 

“… And as the presbyters say, Then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of paradise, and others shall possess the splendour of the city; for everywhere the Saviour shall be seen according as they who see Him shall be worthy. [They say, moreover], that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city; and that was on this account the Lord declared, “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” For all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling-place; even as His Word says, that a share is allotted to all by the Father, according as each person is or shall be worthy. And this is the couch on which the guests shall recline, having been invited to the wedding. The presbyters, the disciples of the apostles, affirm that this is the gradation and arrangement of those who are saved, and that they advance through steps of this nature; also that they ascend through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father, and that in due time the Son will yield up His work to the Father, even as it is said by the apostle, “For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” For in the times of the kingdom, the righteous man who is upon the earth shall then forget to die. “But when He saith, All things shall be subdued unto Him, it is manifest that He is excepted who did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all…” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons, Hearer of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smryna, who is also an Apostolic Father being the Disciple of the Blessed St. John the Apostle (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 5, Chapter Chapter XXXVI, Points 1 – 2)

 

Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book5.html

 

  1. iv) A Quote from Christ Himself?

Agrapha Proof regarding the “Hundredfold or Sixty Fold” Lifestyle of the Unmarried Nazarene Way stated by Christ as Quoted by Various Earliest Church Leaders regarding what we discussed prior as the ‘Perfect Nazarene Way’, to quote:

 

“… And again the Lord says: Let the one who has married not be cast out, and let the one who has not married not marry. He who has confessed that he will not marry according to his decision of eunuchhood, let him remain unmarried….” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD, Miscellanies 3.15)

Source:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20080215124232/http://www.textexcavation.com/agrapha.html

 

 

  1. v) Other First Christianity Quotes agreeing to this Mystery

 

Each quote is from the free-downloadable pdf e-book in link below:

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/christian-ebook/amp/

 

Or Direct Download Link:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dpitw0fv7h5rfvi/First-Christianity-Thirty-Sixty-and-Hundred-fold-Fruit-Mystery-book-by-Jonathan-Ramachandran.pdf?dl=1

 

Or Google Play Download Link:

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=9lnIDwAAQBAJ

 

To Quote:

 

“… For there are two ways in life, as touching these matters. The one the more moderate and ordinary, I mean marriage; the other angelic and unsurpassed, namely virginity. Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold…” – St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy, Patriarch of Alexandria and Champion of Trinity, Doctor of the Church and Confessor (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Letter XLVIII.—Letter to Amun4583. Written before 354 AD via Philip Schaff, Pages 971 – 972)

 

 

Source: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txuc/athana49.htm

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Greater Contests of Faith’, to quote:

 

“… 6,1 And again, when he was urging the < un>married [to remain so], he said, “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.” 18 (2) But then how could he go on to say, “Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed?” 19 Why will he not be guilty of contradicting his Lord, who said, “Whoso forsaketh not father and mother and brethren, and wife and sons and daughters, is not my disciple?” 20 6.3 But if Christ means that one must forsake his lawful wife, and his father, how can he himself say in turn, “He that honoreth father or mother, this is the first commandment with a promise attached” 21 and, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder?” 22 6.4 However, none of the sacred words need an allegorical interpretation of their meaning; they need examination, and the perception to understand the force of each proposition. (5) But tradition must be used too, for not everything is available from the sacred scripture. Thus the holy apostles handed some things down in scriptures but some in traditions, as St. Paul says, “As I delivered the tradition to you,” 23 and elsewhere, “So I teach, and so I have delivered the tradition in the churches,” 24 and, “If ye keep the tradition in memory, unless ye have believed in vain.” 25 (6) God’s holy apostles, then, gave God’s holy church the tradition that it is sinful to change one’s mind and marry after vowing virginity. And yet the apostle wrote, “If the virgin marry she hath not sinned.” 26 (7) 27 How can the one agree with the other? By that virgin he does not mean the one who had made a vow to God, but < the one on whom* > virginity has been forced by the scarcity, at that particular time, of men who believe in Christ… 6,8 And that this is the case the same apostle will teach us by saying, “Younger widows refuse. For when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry, having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.” 28 (g) If even a woman who has been widowed after knowing the world will be condemned for abandoning her first faith because she has vowed to God and then married, how much more will a virgin, if she marries after devoting herself to God without having known the world? (ro) < For > why has she, indeed, not waxed far more wanton against Christ, and abandoned the greater faith? Why will she not be condemned for relaxing her own godly resolution? … (3) And whoever repudiates virginity for God’s sake and dishonors the contest, is a sinner and liable to judgment. If an athlete cheats in a game he is flogged and put out of the contest; and anyone who cheats on virginity is ejected from a race, crown and prize of such importance. 7,4 But judgment, not condemnation, is the better alternative…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Apostolic’, “Panarion”, Points 6.1 – 6.8, 7.3 – 7.4, Pages 120 – 122)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

Summary – Does the Modern Opinions really matter?

 

To those Christians who don’t believe it, may God have Mercy on them and please remember this: Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons or Blessed St. Papias or even the rest of the saints quoted here including the Angel of Repentance (quoted in the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture earlier) does “not” believe in ‘any modern Christianity that denies this part either’. Can you see it? Please choose ‘Wisely’ what we believe in:

 

“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts of the Apostles 17:11, NKJV)

 

 

 

 

P/S: FAQ

 

  1. What is the Meaning of the “Perfect” Christian in the Context of Marriage (Matthew 19:27 – 30)?

 

“…9,4 For it was < with > a certain fitness that the divine Word said, “Wilt thou be perfect?” in the Gospel. Although he makes allowances for human clay and its frailty, he rejoices in those who can show the marks of piety and choose to practice virginity, purity and continence. Still, he honors marriage to one spouse, (5) even though he prefigures the gifts of the priesthood chiefly by means of persons who stayed continent after one marriage, and persons who remained virgin, and his holy apostles so established the canonical rule of the priesthood, with decency and holiness. (6) But if, from frailty, someone needs to contract a second marriage after the death of his wife, the rule of the truth does not prohibit this — that is, provided he is not a priest…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Montanists’, “Panarion”, Point 9.4,5,6, Page 14)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

  1. Is it a must for all Christians to Practice the Perfection of not Marrying?

 

“… For our part, we lay necessity on no one. As a good counsel we urge those who can [to follow this rule], but we lay no necessity on one who cannot, and surely do not expel him from life. 45 (g) The holy word everywhere declared that we must bear with the frailty of the weak. We shall find at once that, to shame people like these < who expel persons* > who do not have the same gift as they, the holy apostle says, “Younger widows refuse; (10) for after they wax wanton against Christ they will marry, having condemnation because they have left their first faith.” 46 For widows who have promised and broken their promise have condemnation, while those who made no promise, but married from frailty, will not have condemnation. If they were to have condemnation, why did Paul say, “Let them marry, guide the house.”…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Montanists’, “Panarion”, Point 9, 10, Page 15)

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

  1. Who are the Eunuch’s made for the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:12) and how to achieve it?

 

“… 4,5 “And there be eunuchs,” says the Savior, “which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” 6 Who can these be but the noble apostles, and the virgins and monks after them? (6) John and James, the sons of Zebedee, who remained virgin, surely did not cut their members off with their own hands, and did not contract marriage either; they engaged in the struggle in their own hearts, and admirably won the fame of the crown of this contest. (7) And all the millions after them who lived in the world without spouses and won the fame of this contest in monasteries and convents. They had no relations with women, but competed in the most perfect of contests. 4,8 So it is with Elijah in the Old Testament, and with Paul, who says, “To the unmarried I say that it is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot contain, let them marry.” 7 (g) Now in what state did he “remain?” For if he had been a eunuch, and his imitators had remained like him in obedience to his “Remain as I” — how could a eunuch marry if he could no longer contain himself, in accordance with “Let them marry and not burn?” 8 You see that he is speaking of continence, not of the mutilation of one’s members…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Valesians’, “Panarion”, Points 4.5 – 4.9, Pages 102 – 103)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

  1. Can a Eunuch who has mutilated his sexual organ be counted for this heavenly contest?

 

“… For if one makes himself a eunuch with his own hands, he is a man, and his hands have done this infamous thing. And even though he could not do it himself but was made a eunuch by others, he still cannot be a eunuch “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” because he was “made a eunuch by men,” whether by his own hand or the hand of others. 4,12 He will be deprived of his crown and prize as well, however, and have no further credit for abstaining from sexual relations. With the members which are needed for them removed, he cannot engage in them. (13) But for one who injures his own member, and one who cuts down another person’s vineyard, the sentence is one and the same. He has not lived as God wills, but has conspired to rebel against his creator, the Lord and God…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Valesians’, “Panarion”, Points 4.11 – 4.13, Page 103)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

  1. Can a Christian who was a non-Virgin repent and be part of this Continence Contest of Faith?

Yes. In such cases, his ‘continence’ is called his ‘second dignity’ but he has to ‘labor in penance’ in some way first, to quote:

“… (8) And as one who has fallen from virginity has continence for a second dignity, so he who has fallen into major sin after baptism has < reform > for a second healing — not as virtuous as the first, but he has the second healing he has received, one not thrust out from life. God’s word, then, does not deny the reward of those who labor in penance…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Cathari’, “Panarion”, Points 2.6 – 2.8, Pages 105 – 106)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Note: ” labor in penance” = punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for wrongdoing. Please note that both St. Jerome of the Vulgate and St. Augustine of Hippo themselves were not virgins having lost it in their sinful lives prior and thus fit into this category too.

and

 

“… If one drops out of the race it is better to take a lawful wife openly, and in place of virginity do penance for a long time, and be readmitted to the church as one who has strayed and wept, and is in need of reinstatement — and not be wounded every day by the secret darts of wickedness which the devil launches at him. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Apostolics’, “Panarion”, Points 7.6, Page 122)

Source: https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Despite the fact that neither Blessed St. Augustine nor Blessed St. Jerome were virgins, St. Jerome says this Bold Declaration in that as a Repentant non-Virgin, he stands a chance to attain even the highest HUNDREDFOLD rewards too, to quote:

 

“… My seed shall produce fruit a hundredfold – the reward of virginity is hundredfold; of widowhood, sixtyfold, and of married life, thirtyfold. “All cannot receive the Word of God but only they to whom it is given” (Mt 19:11). Let others be eunuchs of necessity, but I [am chaste] of my own will. … Let them sew robes who have previously lost the unsown robe…” –   Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin, Priest, Confessor, Secretary to Pope Damasus I (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Quotes on Marriage & Viginity’)

 

Source:  https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/n093_Virginity.htm

 

Here is that letter In a Fuller Scope:

“… 19. Some one may say, “Do you dare detract from wedlock, which is a state blessed by God?” I do not detract from wedlock when I set virginity before it. No one compares a bad thing with a good. Wedded women may congratulate themselves that they come next to virgins. “Be fruitful,” God says, “and multiply, and replenish the earth.”458 He who desires to replenish the earth may increase and multiply if he will. But the train to which you belong is not on earth, but in heaven. The command to increase and multiply first finds fulfilment after the expulsion from paradise, after the nakedness and the fig-leaves which speak of sexual passion. Let them marry and be given in marriage who eat their bread in the sweat of their brow; whose land brings forth to them thorns and thistles,459 and whose crops are choked with briars. My seed produces fruit a hundredfold.460 “All men cannot receive God’s saying, but they to whom it is given.” Some people may be eunuchs from necessity; I am one of free will.461 “There is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. There is a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together.”462 Now that out of the hard stones of the Gentiles God has raised up children unto Abraham,463 they begin to be “holy stones rolling upon the earth.”464 They pass through the whirlwinds of the world, and roll on in God’s chariot on rapid wheels. Let those stitch coats to themselves who have lost the coat woven from the top throughout;465 who delight in the cries of infants which, as soon as they see the light, lament that they are born. In paradise Eve was a virgin, and it was only after the coats of skins that she began her married life. … 20. I praise wedlock, I praise marriage, but it is because they give me virgins. I gather the rose from the thorns, the gold from the earth, the pearl from the shell. “Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?”476 Shall he not also enjoy the fruit of his labor? Wedlock is the more honored, the more what is born of it is loved. Why, mother, do you grudge your daughter her virginity? She has been reared on your milk, she has come from your womb, she has grown up in your bosom. Your watchful affection has kept her a virgin. Are you angry with her because she chooses to be a king’s wife and not a soldier’s? She has conferred on you a high privilege; you are now the mother-in-law of God. “Concerning virgins,” says the apostle, “I have no commandment of the Lord.”477 Why was this? Because his own virginity was due, not to a command, but to his free choice. For they are not to be heard who feign him to have had a wife; for, when he is discussing continence and commending perpetual chastity, he uses the words, “I would that all men were even as I myself.” And farther on, “I say, therefore, to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.”478 And in another place, “have we not power to lead about wives even as the rest of the apostles?”479 Why then has he no commandment from the Lord concerning virginity? Because what is freely offered is worth more than what is extorted by force, and to command virginity would have been to abrogate wedlock. It would have been a hard enactment to compel opposition to nature and to extort from men the angelic life; and not only so, it would have been to condemn what is a divine ordinance. … 22. How great inconveniences are involved in wedlock and how many anxieties encompass it I have, I think, described shortly in my treatise-published against Helvidius501 -on the perpetual virginity of the blessed Mary. It would be tedious to go over the same ground now; and any one who pleases may draw from that fountain. But lest I should seem wholly to have passed over the matter, I will just say now that the apostle bids us pray without ceasing,502 and that he who in the married state renders his wife her due503 cannot so pray. Either we pray always and are virgins, or we cease to pray that we may fulfil the claims of marriage. Still he says: “If a virgin marry she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh.”504 At the outset I promised that I should say little or nothing of the embarrassments of wedlock, and now I give you notice to the same effect. If you want to know from how many vexations a virgin is free and by how many a wife is fettered you should read Tertullian “to a philosophic friend,”505 and his other treatises on virginity, the blessed Cyprian’s noble volume, the writings of Pope Damasus506 in prose and verse, and the treatises recently written for his sister by our own Ambrose.507 In these he has poured forth his soul with such a flood of eloquence that he has sought out, set forth, and put in order all that bears on the praise of virgins. … 23. We must proceed by a different path, for our purpose is not the praise of virginity but its preservation. To know that it is a good thing is not enough: when we have chosen it we must guard it with jealous care. The first only requires judgment, and we share it with many; the second calls for toil, and few compete with us in it. “He that shall endure unto the end,” the Lord says, “the same shall be saved,”508 and “many are called but few are chosen.” …” –  Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin, Priest, Confessor, Secretary to Pope Damasus I (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, Letter XXII. To Eustochium*)

Source:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2/NPNF2-06/Npnf2-06-03.htm

Now, how well known, well believed or well spread were these Doctrines found in Blessed St. Jerome’s Letter XXII. To Eustochium above? To quote from the same source above:

*Perhaps the most famous of all the letters. In it Jerome lays down at great length (1) the motives which ought to actuate those who devote themselves to a life of virginity, and (2) the rules by which they ought to regulate their daily conduct. The letter contains a vivid picture of Roman society as it then was-the luxury, profligacy, and hypocrisy prevalent among both men and women, besides some graphic autobiographical details (§§7, 30), and concludes with a full account ofthe three kinds of monasticism then practised in Egypt (§§34-36). Thirty years later Jerome wrote a similar letter to Demetrias (CXXX.), with which this ought to be compared. Written at Rome 384 a.d.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Roman Catholicism

 

The Roman Catholic Commentary on Matthew 13:8’s ‘thirty fold, sixty fold and hundred fold’ Mystery agrees to our exegesis

 

“… Some a hundred-fold. This difference of fruits is the difference of merit here, and of the rewards hereafter, according to the diversity of states, &c. St. Augustine, in his work, (de Virginitate, chap. xliv, and seq.) saith, that the hundred-fold agreeth with professed virgins; the sixty-fold with religious widows; the thirty-fold with married persons. This old heretic, Jovinian, and many of modern date, deny, affirming that there is no difference of merits or rewards. (St. Jerome, lib. ii. adv. Jovin. St. Ambrose, ep. lxxxii. St. Augustine, ep. lxxxii.) (Bristow) …” (Bible Commentaries, George Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary Matthew 13, Verse 8)

 

Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/matthew-13.html

Example:

“… Now any one may object to this interpretation, and may give another which harmonizes with the rule of faith. For as the ark was to have rooms not only on the lower, but also on the upper storeys, which were called ” third storeys,” that there might be a habitable space on the third floor from the basement, some one may interpret these to mean the three graces commended by the apostle, — ^faith, hope, and charity. Or even more suitably they may be supposed to represent those three harvests in the gospel, thirtyfold, sixtyfold, an hundredfold, — chaste marriage dwelling in the ground floor, chaste widowhood in the upper, and chaste virginity in the top storey. Or any better interpretation may be given, so long as the reference to this city is maintained…” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Book XV, ‘City of God’, Page 99)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp_djvu.txt

 

 

  1. Hundredfold Mystery

Bible Verses:

“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.” – King of kings, Lord of lords Jesus Christ , The Rewarder of Each Man according to his work (Matthew 19:29, NKJV)

“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” – King of the Heavens, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33, NKJV)

 

How to achieve the “Hundredfold” Reward Level as Christians?

Being a Virgin or Unmarried alone may not be enough if not coupled with the Voluntary Poverty Doctrine as Matthew 19:29 in our Most Blessed Saviour’s Own Words clearly Imply (not the opinion of any man) as this is again expounded so accurately in quote below too:

“… so if a man were lord of all the earth and were to renounce it [Luke 14:33], that which he gives up is little, and he receives a HUNDREDFOLD. But if not even the whole earth is equal in value to the heavens, then he who has given up a few acres leaves as it were nothing; and even if he have given up a house or much gold he ought not to boast nor be low-spirited. Further, we should consider that even if we do not relinquish them for virtue’s sake, still afterwards when we die we shall leave them behind—very often, as the Preacher saith, to those to whom we do not wish…” – St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy, Patriarch of Alexandria and Champion of Trinity, Doctor of the Church and Confessor, Coptic Pope (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Point 17, Life of Antony via Philip Schaff, Page 423)

 

Source: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1819-1893,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_04_Athanasius,_EN.pdf

Also, how about the ‘doing Miracles Part’ of the Great Commission (Mark 16:17 – 18)?

 

Is it Greater than the “Nazarene/Voluntary Poverty” Doctrine of the Gospel? (Matthew 19:21, Matthew 19:27 – 30, Acts 2:44 – 45)

 

 

Which is the Apostolic Achievement (the highest “Hundredfold” fruit’s work then)?

 

To Quote:

 

“… For of those that wrought these miracles, many fell into hell, but they, who did those good things, attained a kingdom. And this you may learn even of Peter himself. For there were two things that he said, Silver and gold have I none; and, In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk. Which sort of thing then made Him glorious and blessed, the raising up the lame man, or the casting away his money? And this you may learn from the Master of the conflicts Himself. What then does He Himself say to the rich man seeking eternal life? He said not, raise up the lame, but, Sell your goods, and give to the poor, and come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. Matthew 19:21 And Peter again said not, Behold, in Your name we cast out devils; although he was casting them out, but, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed You what shall we have? Matthew 19:27 And Christ again, in answering this apostle, said not, If any man raise up the lame, but, Whosoever has forsaken houses or lands, shall receive an hundredfold in this world, and shall inherit everlasting life. Let us also then emulate this man, that we may not be confounded, but may with confidence stand at the judgment seat of Christ; that we may win Him to be with us, even as He was with His disciples. For He will be with us, like as He was with them, if we are willing to follow them, and to be imitators of their life and conversation. For in consequence of these things God crowns, and commends men, not requiring of you to raise the dead, or to cure the lame. For not these things make one to be like Peter, but the casting away one’s goods, for this was the apostles’ achievement…”  – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, Commentary on Matthew 28:20, Point 4)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25/chapter-26/chapter-27/chapter-28

 

Conclusion – Voluntary Poverty, not taking Money for Christian Ministry, Virginity and Almsgiving Lifestyle can help make one Equal to the Apostles attaining the HundredFold

To Quote:

 

“… With regard to wealth, however, He required of them great strictness, saying, Provide not gold, or silver, or brass, in your purses. (Matthew 10:9) And all this I say, not to depreciate fasting, God forbid, but rather highly to commend it. But I grieve when other duties being neglected, you think it enough for salvation, having but the last place in the choir of virtue. For the greatest thing is charity, and moderation, and almsgiving; which hits a higher mark even than virginity. Therefore, if you desire to become equal to the apostles, there is nothing to hinder you. For to have arrived at this virtue only suffices for your not at all falling short of them. Let no one therefore wait for miracles. For though the evil spirit is grieved, when he is driven out of a body, yet much more so, when he sees a soul delivered from sin. For indeed this is his great power. Acts 8:10 This power caused Christ to die, that He might put an end to it. Yea, for this brought in death; by reason of this all things have been turned upside down. If then thou remove this, you have cut out the nerves of the devil, you have bruised his head, you have put an end to all his might, you have scattered his host, you have exhibited a sign greater than all signs. “… The saying is not mine, but the blessed Paul’s. For when he had said, Covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet show I unto you a more excellent way; 1 Corinthians 12:31 he did not speak next of a sign, but of charity, the root of all our good things. If then we practise this, and all the self-denial that flows from it, we shall have no need of signs; even as on the other hand, if we do not practise it, we shall gain nothing by the signs. Bearing in mind then all this, let us imitate those things whereby the apostles became great. And whereby did they become great? Hear Peter, saying, Behold we have forsaken all, and followed You; what shall we have therefore? Matthew 19:27 Hear also Christ saying to them, You shall sit upon twelve thrones, and, every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or father, or mother, shall receive an hundredfold in this world, and shall inherit everlasting life. From all worldly things, therefore, let us withdraw ourselves, and dedicate ourselves to Christ, that we may both be made equal to the apostles according to His declaration, and may enjoy eternal life; unto which may we all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom be glory and might forever and ever. Amen…”  – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘St. John Chrysostom on Matthew‎’, Point 4)

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

 

 

 

How important it may be to agree with these First Christianity Teachings?

To quote:

“… 5[13]:1 “Hear now concerning the stones that go to the building The stones that are squared and white, and that fit together in their joints, these are the APOSTLES and bishops and teachers and deacons, who walked after the holiness of God, and exercised their office of BISHOP and TEACHER and DEACON in purity and sanctity for the elect of God, some of them already fallen on sleep, and others still living. And because they ALWAYS AGREED WITH ONE ANOTHER, they both had PEACE AMONG THEMSELVES and LISTENED ONE to ANOTHER. Therefore their joinings fit together in the building of the tower.” …” – Shepherd of Hermas (Vision 3)

Source (Translated by the Well Known Scholar Mr. J. B. Lightfoot):

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Believing After Seeing Mystery FAQ

 

1) Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) – Believing after Seeing Hope

 

“And this is the Will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – The Most Merciful, Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (John 6:40, KJV)

 

“25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:25 – 29, KJV)

Comment:

 

One can believe after Seeing Him too (John 6:40) but believing without seeing (definition of faith: Hebrews 11:1) is more greatly blessed (John 20:26 – 29). The absence of afterlife Judgment is only for those with faith, i. e. those who believe in Him on earth itself (John 5:24). Context for ‘believing after seeing definition’ = Seeing the Resurrected Christ (John 20:29). I repeat, Christ Himself says to Apostle Thomas who believed in Him only after seeing in the Context of Apostle Thomas having seen the “Risen Christ”. So, we shall consider Visions by Sadhu Sundar Singh next which describe some having been given this chance in the spirit world to ‘believe in Him after seeing the Risen Christ in some way’.

 

2) Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh’s Visions regarding Believing after Seeing in the Afterlife

 

  1. Atheists

Atheist with a Reasonably Good Moral Life may be Saved in the Spirit World

 

“… DEATH OF A PHILOSOPHER … The soul of a German philosopher entered into the world of spirits and saw from afar the incomparable glory of the spiritual world, and the boundless happiness of its people. He was delighted with what he saw, but his stubborn intellectualism stood in the way of his entering into it, and enjoying its happiness. Instead of admitting that it was real, he argued thus with himself, “There is no doubt at all that I see all this, but what proof is there that it has objective existence, and is not some illusion conjured up by my mind? From end to end of all this scene I will apply the tests of logic, philosophy and science, and then only will I be convinced that it has a reality of its own, and is no illusion.” … . I asked one of the angels what the end of this man would be, and he replied “If this man’s life had been altogether bad, then he would at once have joined the spirits of darkness, but he is not without a moral sense, so for a very long time he will wander blindly round in the dim light of the lower parts of the intermediate state, and keep on bumping his philosophical head, until tired of his foolishness, he repents. Then he will be ready to receive the necessary instruction from the angels appointed for that purpose, and, when instructed, will he be fit to enter into the fuller light of God in the higher sphere…” – Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh

Source [Translated by Rev. T. E. Riddle of the New Zealand Presbyterian Mission, Kharar, Punjab, from Urdu into English, c. 1926]:

https://reluctant-messenger.com/sadhu-sundar-singh.htm

 

  1. Non-Christians

 

A sincerely wrong non-Christian Idolater who has a reasonably sound moral compass may have a chance in the Spirit World too if he doesn’t hold too strongly to his false beliefs, to quote:

 

“… THE MANIFESTATION OF CHRIST … I saw in a vision the spirit of an idolater on reaching the world of spirits begin at once to search for his god. Then the saints said to him, “There is no god here save the One True God, and Christ, who is His manifestation.” At this, the man was a good deal astonished, but being a sincere seeker after truth, he frankly admitted that he had been in error. He eagerly sought to know the correct view of truth, and asked if he might see the Christ. Shortly after this Christ manifested Himself in a dim light to him, and to others who had newly arrived in the world of spirits, because at this stage they could not have endured a full exhibition of His glory, for His glory is so surpassing that even the angels look on Him with difficulty, and cover their faces with their wings (Isaiah 6:9). When He does reveal Himself to any one He takes into account the particular stage of progress to which that soul has attained, so He appears dimly, or in the fuller light of His glory, that the sight of Him may be endured. So, when these spirits saw Christ in this dim but attractive light, they were filled with a joy and peace, which is beyond our power to describe. Bathed in the rays of His life-giving light, and with the waves of His love, which constantly flow out from Him, flowing over them, all their error was washed away. Then with all their hearts, they acknowledged Him as the Truth, and found healing, and, bowing in lowly adoration before Him, thanked and praised Him. And the saints, who had been appointed for their instruction; also rejoiced over them. …” – Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh

 

Source [Translated by Rev. T. E. Riddle of the New Zealand Presbyterian Mission, Kharar, Punjab, from Urdu into English, c. 1926]:

https://reluctant-messenger.com/sadhu-sundar-singh.htm

 

 

iii. Wicked

 

The Wicked are unable to believe in Him nor be Saved in the Spirit World now, to quote:

 

“A WICKED MAN PERMITTED TO ENTER HEAVEN … Once in my presence a man of evil life entered at death into the world of spirits. When the angel and saints wished to help him he at once began to curse and revile them, and say, “God is altogether unjust. He has prepared heaven for such flattering slaves as you are, and casts the rest of mankind into hell. Yet you call Him Love!” The angels replied, “God certainly is Love. He created men that they might live forever in happy fellowship with Him, but men, by their own obstinacy, and by abuse of their free will have turned their faces away from Him, and have made hell for themselves. God neither casts any one into hell, nor will He ever do so, but man himself, by being entangled in sin, creates hell for himself. God never created any hell.” Just then, the exceedingly sweet voice of one of the high angels was heard from above saying, “God gives permission that this man may be brought into heaven.” Eagerly the man stepped forward accompanied by two angels, but when they reached the door of heaven, and saw the holy and light-enveloped place and the glorious and blessed inhabitants that dwell there, he began to feel uneasy. The angels said to him, “See how beautiful a world is this! Go a little farther, and look at the dear Lord sitting on His throne.” From the door he looked, and then as the light of the Sun of Righteousness revealed to him the impurity of his sin-defiled life, he started back in an agony of self-loathing, and fled, with such precipitancy, that he did not even stop in the intermediate state of the world of spirits, but like a stone he passed through it, and cast himself headlong into the bottomless pit. Then the sweet and ravishing voice of the Lord was heard saying, “Look, My dear children, none is forbidden to come here, and no one forbade this man, nor has any one asked him to leave. It was his own impure life that forced him to flee from this holy place, for, ‘Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3).” …” – Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh

 

Source [Translated by Rev. T. E. Riddle of the New Zealand Presbyterian Mission, Kharar, Punjab, from Urdu into English, c. 1926]:

 

https://reluctant-messenger.com/sadhu-sundar-singh.htm

 

More regarding Sundar Singh in link below [with plenty of links & proof quotes from various Christian Pastors & Believers who knew him personally]:

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/blog/sadhu-sundar-singh-a-christian-universalist/

 

 

 

3) Objections – FAQ

 

  1. Objection 1

 

Mercy is graciously (undeservedly) given to the penitent. Mercy is never extended or offered to the prideful, arrogant and unrepentant.

 

Reply 1

 

Let God Decide that as Mercy to All is Promised (Romans 11:32 & the Bible Verse in the Wisdom of Solomon Book above quotes the “all” toward “any rational creation” included keeping this Hope alive toward anything that exists) some without Judgment (believers, John 5:24) and some during or after they endure the ‘Judgment without Mercy ‘ (James 2:13) till the last penny first (Matthew 5:20 – 26, Luke 12:59). The Subjection of All things Hope (1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28) as Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan points that eventually ‘all things including His Enemies’ will willingly subject to Him but beyond this life as per the Context of Hebrews 2:8 regarding this same Topic affirms this strongly that “nothing remains that will not be subject to Him eventually” as the phrase ‘not yet’ implies here too.

 

  1. Objection 2

 

I don’t recall Ambrose being identified as one of Christ’s Apostles through whom the Holy Spirit authored the New Testament. Therefore, Ambrose’s opinion isn’t any less fallible than any other non-Apostle.

 

Reply 2

 

But Hebrew’s 2:8 is Infallible and states clearly that there may be no ‘eternal non-subjection’ of any enemies of Christ either when seen with 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28 regarding this same Topic “as it is Written”.

 

iii. Objection 3

 

Subjugating an enemy does not mean “saving” the enemy. An enemy under Christ’s feet hardly means they are saved – they are subdued and their effectiveness neutralized. Jesus is crystal clear in Luke 13:23-30 that all will not be saved. Your understanding of all your universalist references, which you affirm are unnecessary to believe anyway, are incorrect because your understanding of them contradicts what Jesus clearly said. Since the bible cannot contradict itself, nor does Jesus contradict himself, your understanding of those references is in error. Affirming that the repenting and trusting Christ in this life is wholly unnecessary also affirms the error of your view.

 

Reply 3

 

Subjected is Saved as only then God becomes all in all and the meaning of Subjection in those Verses is the same as Christ’s Subjection to the Father (in 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28).

What you’re quoting as unsaved refers to being judged first, hence unsaved till after Judgment.

 

Context = Definition of Saved

 

Saved = Part of the Tower of Repentance = Being His Church /Bride

 

Not Saved = not His Church = have not Salvation (referring to ‘not’ being part of the First Resurrection Revelation 20:4 – 6 when He Returns, Matthew 7:21 – 23) but may be saved post-Judgment into ‘lower afterlife abodes’ especially if they were ‘sinners’ who participated in the righteous Word before backsliding. Yes, these same rejected unsaved stones are said to be saved in another place more humble eventually, to quote:

 

“Hermas 7[15]:4 So she finished the explanation of the tower. Hermas 7[15]:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower. Hermas 7[15]:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.” – Shepherd of Hermas Scripture

 

Source for Translation: https://carm.org/shepherd-of-hermas

 

Note: Shepherd of Hermas is Scripture too, thus infallible.

 

  1. Objection 4

 

If his enemies are reconciled and saved, why would they continue to be under his feet?

 

Reply 4

 

The Shepherd of Hermas is Scripture (hence infallible) which clearly answers your query that these are “under His Feet” category as “they have no place in the Tower of Repentance (His Bride/Church)” anymore upon being saved after Judgment and are placed ‘in lower abodes’ as quoted above.

 

  1. Objection 5

 

The point is, if it is unnecessary to believe the bible in order to be assured salvation in the afterlife, what possible relevance could piling on references of even less validity have?

 

Reply 5

 

It doesn’t have any less validity. You’re believing those who claim that who came in later. I believe in the First Oldest Christian Muratorian Canon (in earliest Western Christianity) and the Codex Claromontanus Canon (in earliest Eastern Christianity) where both lists the Shepherd of Hermas and the Apocalypse of Peter as “Scripture” and “Canonical Scripture” respectively where the latter has the Christ Saving from Lake of Fire Prophecy. Example post discussing this in great detail, please consider:

 

Title: Lake of Fire – Hope for the Wicked One Day?

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/blog/lake-of-fire-hope-for-the-wicked-one-day/amp

 

  1. Objection 6

 

That quotation is wrong and completely misinterprets the meaning of the verse (James 2:13) when read in the context of the previous 12 verses of the chapter, which is about judging others with a lack of mercy for their poverty or low social standing. It has nothing to do with God’s mercy when read.

 

 

 

Reply 6

James 2:12 treating others badly causes the effect in the Final Judgment (as James 2:13 reveals) as the Judgment Day Verses itself pertains to ‘how we treated others first’ e. g. “When I was hungry, you gave me nothing to eat… Depart from me into the Fire prepared for the Devils and his angels… “(Matthew 25).

 

 

4) Salvation from Hell Mystery – First Christianity Quotes agreeing to all these perhaps makes sense now as to why some of the Most Orthodox held such Beliefs (or Hope) too likewise

 

Is it Biblical to Pray for the Unsaved to be Saved in the Spirit World?

 

 

Yes, based on the Context of ‘Prayers for All Men’ (1 Timothy 2:1) and 2 Maccabees 12:46 which are both Bible Verses, to quote:

 

 

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” – Blessed, Holy and the Great Apostle St. Paul (1 Timothy 2:1, KJV)

 

“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” [2 Maccabees 12:46, Douay-Rheims Bible 1899 American Edition (DRA)]

 

Source:

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Maccabees+12&version=DRA&interface=amp

 

  1. Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria

 

“… “it is evident that those, too, who were outside of the Law, having lived rightly, in consequence of the peculiar’ nature of the voice, though they are in HADES and in ward, on hearing the voice of the Lord, whether that of His own person or that acting through His apostles, with all speed turned and believed. For we remember that the Lord is “the power of God,” and power can never be weak. So I think it is demonstrated that the God being good, and the Lord powerful, they save with a righteousness and equality which extend to ALL that TURN to Him, WHETHER HERE or ELSEWHERE. For it is not here alone that the active power of God is beforehand, but it is EVERYWHERE and is ALWAYS at WORK…” – St. Clement of Alexandria (c.150 AD – c. 215 AD, Stromata, Book 6, Chapter VI)

Translation Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/clement-stromata-book6.html

  1. Blessed St. Maximus the Confessor

 

Blessed St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 580 AD – c. 662 AD) regarding the Post Mortem Evangelization – The Gospel being Preached to the Dead even now based on 1 Peter 4:5 – 6

 

To Quote:

 

“… An elaborate teaching of the descent of Christ into Hades is found in Maximus the Confessor. In his analysis, Maximus takes as a starting point the words of St. Peter: ‘For this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit’[26]. In Maximus’s view, St. Peter does not speak about the Old Testament righteous, but about those sinners who, back in their lifetime, were punished for their evil deeds: Some say that Scriptures call ‘dead’ those who died before the coming of Christ, for instance, those who were at the time of the flood, at Babel, in Sodom, in Egypt, as well as others who in various times and in various ways received various punishments and the terrible misfortune of divine damnation. These people were punished not so much for their ignorance of God as for the offences they imposed on one another. It was to them, according to [St Peter] that the great message of salvation was preached when they were already damned as men in the flesh, that is, when they received, through life in the flesh, punishment for crimes against one another, so that they could live according to God by the spirit, that is, being in hell, they accepted the preaching of the knowledge of God, believing in the Saviour who descended into hell to save the dead. So, in order to understand [this] passage in [Holy Scriptures] let us take it in this way: the dead, damned in the human flesh, were preached to precisely for the purpose that they may live according to God by the spirit[27]. Thus, according to Maximus’s teaching, punishments suffered by sinners ‘in the human flesh’ were necessary so that they may live ‘according to God by the spirit’. Therefore, these punishments, whether troubles and misfortunes in their lifetime or pains in hell, had pedagogical and reforming significance. Moreover, Maximus stresses that in damning them, God used not so much a religious as a moral criterion, for people were punished ‘not so much for their ignorance of God as for the offences they imposed on one another’. In other words, the religious or ideological convictions of a particular person were not decisive, but his actions with regard to his neighbours….” – via ArchBishop Hilarion Alfeyev

(Pages 3 and 4 by in the PDF as uploaded by a St. James Orthodox Church, link below):

Source: https://stjamesorthodox.org/files/articles/Bishop-Hilarion—Christ-the-Conqueror-of-Hades.pdf

 

and why is he important and what was his mysterious stand in regards to Christ Centered Universalism?

 

“… The theory of apokatastasis has unofficially cost Gregory of Nyssa for many centuries recognition as a theologian of the rank of Basil, Gregory of Nazianzos and John Chrysostom, and was one of the reasons Origen was anathematized. Yet in some ways it can also be found in the theology of Maximos the Confessor, a Father of the Church who has often been considered the measure of orthodoxy in doctrinal matters and the summit of Orthodox theology. The ideas of Maximos can be connected to the concept of apokatastasis in three different ways. First, he has written some passages that pertain explicitly on the apokatastasis. Second, some issues examined in his writings can be connected with the apokatastasis, and this association has been drawn by certain scholars, but Maximos refuses to discuss them in detail, in the apophatic expression he borrowed from pseudo-Dionysios, “honoring the truth by silence”. Third, Maximos’ entire theological system of cosmic salvation and his views on what exactly is restored in the kind of apokatastasis recognized by the Church, can give us a good insight to his views on the possibility of a final restoration of all…”

 

Source: https://www.cogwriter.com/salvation.htm

 

 

iii. Blessed St. Basil the Great

 

“Saint Basil the Great (379 AD), writes in his Third Kneeling Prayer at Pentecost: “O Christ our God…(who) on this all-perfect and saving Feast, art graciously pleased to accept propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in hades, promising unto us who are held in bondage great hope of release from the vilenes that doth hinder us and did hinder them … send down Thy consolation… and establish their souls in the mansions of the Just; and graciously vouchsafe unto them peace and pardon; for not the dead shall praise thee, O Lord, neither shall they who are in Hell make bold to offer unto thee confession. But we who are living will bless thee, and will pray, and offer unto thee propitiatory prayers and sacrifices for their souls.”

 

Source:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_for_the_dead

Comment: Contrary to modern additions, please note carefully that St. Basil’s quote does NOT limit the “prayer for the dead” to refer to ‘Christians only’ but toward ecnourages ‘propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in hades’.

 

 

  1. Blessed St. Epiphanius of Salamis

Can we Repent after we die and then be re-admitted into such Great Prizes and Contests of His Kingdom?

 

No, to quote:

“… For in the world [AGE/AEON] to come, after a man’s departure, there is no opportunity to fast, no call to repentance, no giving of alms. There are no blameworthy deeds either — no war, adultery, licentiousness — but neither is there righteousness and repentance. (2) As the seed cannot thicken or be blasted by the wind after the reaping of the ear, so < after a man’s death there can be no increase of his store* > and nothing else of benefit to him. (3) But don’t tell me about the things that spoil the store, that is, the worms and moths. Scripture does say this of things in eternity; but the point of comparison, and what we lock away behind gates and store safely in a barn, is a symbol and type of faith, [which is kept] “where neither thieves break through nor moths corrupt,” 43 as God’s word says. Thus < there is no decrease of our store* > after death, but neither, certainly, is there opportunity for godliness, nor, as I said, < call > to repentance. (4) For Lazarus does not go to the rich man in the next world, nor does the rich man go to Lazarus. Nor does Abraham inconvenience the poor man who has since become rich, and send him [to the rich man]. And the rich man who has become poor does not obtain his request, though he begs and pleads with the merciful Abraham. (5) The storehouses had been sealed, the time was up, the contest finished, the ring emptied, the prizes awarded, and the contestants at ease. Those who have failed have left, those who did not fight have no more chance, those who were worsted in the ring have been ejected. All is plainly over after our departure. 10,6 But while all are in the world there is arising even after a fall, there is still hope, still a remedy, still confession — even if not for everyone, still < by those who are repenting for the second time* >. And surely < even > the salvation of the others is not ruled out. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘CATHARI’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 10.1 – 10.6, Pages 112 – 113)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

How about this Bible Verse then?

“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” [2 Maccabees 12:46, Douay-Rheims Bible 1899 American Edition (DRA)]

 

Source:

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Maccabees+12&version=DRA&interface=amp

 

Even St. Epiphanius who said that the dead cannot repent (above) says in another quote below that we can pray for ‘dead sinners’ to attain to God’s Mercy?

 

To quote in full:

 

“… 7,1 And then, as to NAMING THE DEAD, what could be MORE HELPFUL? What could be MORE OPPORTUNE or WONDERFUL than that the living believe that the departed are alive and have not ceased to be but exist, and live with the Lord — (2) and that the MOST SACRED DOCTRINE should declare that there is HOPE for those who PRAY for their brethren as though they were off on a journey? 7,3 And even though the PRAYER WE OFFER FOR THEM cannot root out all their faults — [how could it], since we often slip in this world, inadvertently and deliberately — it is still useful as an indication of something more perfect. (4) For we COMMEMORATE BOTH RIGHTEOUS and SINNERS. Though we PRAY for SINNERS , for GOD’S MERCY 19 and for the righteous, fathers, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, evangelists, martyrs and confessors, for bishops and anchorites and the whole band [of saints], 20 (5) we worship our Lord Jesus Christ to distinguish him from the whole of humanity by our honor of him, remembering that the Lord is not on a level with any man — even though each man has < performed > a million righteous deeds and more. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘Aerians’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 7.1 – 7.6, Pages 509 – 510)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

  1. Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

Salvation from Hell is Promised both now and after His Second Coming (Advent) too in Holy Scripture Pointing further to the accuracy of the Apocalypse of Peter Prophecy likewise?

 

“… The prophet Joel also predicted this phenomenon so that one cannot doubt the fulfillment of a fact attested by several witnesses. “And the sun,” he says, “will be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible DAY of the LORD’s COMING.” (Joel 2:31) . As far as the literal meaning of these words indicates, they seem to be more fitting for the SECOND ADVENT, for then the Lord will manifest himself publicly to ALL MEN, to the testimony of Scripture: “Then every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth and those who have crucified him will strike their breast.” (Rev. 1:7) … So the prophet foretold that the Savior would take care of their infirmities, and this prophecy is fulfilled in his time, as we see in the Gospel: “He really has borne our torpor, of our sufferings.” (Isa. 1:4) All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. This is why Zechariah says: “To fulfill His mercies toward our fathers.” (Luke 1:72) But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION MUST ALSO COME in the SECOND ADVENT, … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD, Quote)

 

Source (Written c. 366 AD – c. 384 AD, Reply to Question 105, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

Focus Phrases Proving our Claim:

 

 

“… All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. … But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION MUST ALSO COME in the SECOND ADVENT …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion – Hope Remains in Christ

 

So, it makes sense why these earliest Church Leaders Pray and Hope for such Hidden Mysteries so that their unsaved loved ones, friends and others may attain to some ‘lower abode’ according to their works after being saved in the Spirit World if God Wills it.

 

We do not force God but make supplication and whether God Saves whom and doesn’t Save whomever, that’s His Choice and God Knows Best. Our duty is to believe now as Christians so that we can begin to ask even for the Salvation for our loved ones/friends (whom we know may never believe on earth) and also our loved ones/friends who have since departed from this earth unbelieving. At least we tried and there is no Bible Verse against it but rather only Bible Verses encouraging it as per 1 Timothy 2:1 and 2 Maccabees 12:46 as we have seen.

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Last Contests in Faith – How Close to God do we Aim to be in His Kingdom?

 

Here are some First Christianity Quotes to Consider for Edification:

 

1) The Choked Seed

 

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” – The Highest, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:22, NKJV)

So there are two Types of People based on ‘earthly work concerns/attitude of being busy’ with this life to earn more money ( as some won’t work as hard if they were doing it for ‘free’).

 

Hence the “Bible Verse” below explains this Condition (Psalm 127:2 in a few translations below):

 

New International Version

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.

New Living Translation

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

 

Berean Study Bible

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for bread to eat—for He gives sleep to His beloved.

New King James Version

It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

 

King James Bible

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Christian Standard Bible

In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food– yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.

 

2) Let’s not be Like the 5 Foolish Virgins who did not store up ‘enough oil’ (Matthew 25:1 – 13)

 

“… Or, The “oil” denotes joy, according to that, “God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.” [Ps 45:7] He then whose joy springs not from this that he is inwardly pleasing to God, has no oil with him; for they have no gladness in their continent lives, [p. 846] save in the praises of men. “But the wise took oil with their lamps,” that is, the gladness of good works, “in their vessels,” that is, they stored it in their heart and conscience, as the Apostle speaks, “Let every man prove himself, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself, and not in another.” [Gal 6:4] …” Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

or

 

 

“… Or, The “oil” denotes charity, alms, and every aid rendered to the needy; the lamps denote the gifts of virginity; and He calls them “foolish,” because after having gone through the greater toil, they lost all for the sake of a less; for it is greater labour to overcome the desires of the flesh than of money….” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

Source for both Quotes above:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

3) Contest of Kings in His Kingdom – Examples from First Christianity after the Time of the Apostles themselves

 

  1. Blessed St. Paul of Thebes (c. 226 AD – c. 341 AD)

 

“… Paul of Thebes, commonly known as Paul, the First Hermit or Paul the Anchorite, or in Egyptian Arabic as Anba Bola, Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲉ; (c. 226/7-c. 341) is regarded as the first Christian hermit, who was claimed to have lived alone in the desert from the age of sixteen to one hundred thirteen years of his age … Paul and his married sister lost their parents. In order to obtain Paul’s inheritance, his brother-in-law sought to betray him to the persecutors.[5] According to Jerome’s Vitae Patrum (Vita Pauli primi eremitae[7]), Paul fled to the Theban desert as a young man during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus around AD 250.[8] He lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree, the leaves of which provided him with clothing and the fruit of which provided him with his only source of food until he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread daily. He would remain in that cave for the rest of his life, almost a hundred years. … Paul of Thebes is known to posterity because around the year 342, Anthony the Great was told in a dream about the older hermit’s existence, and went to find him.[9] Jerome related that Anthony the Great and Paul met when the latter was aged 113. They conversed with each other for one day and one night. The Synaxarium shows each saint inviting the other to bless and break the bread, as a token of honor. Paul held one side, putting the other side into the hands of Father Anthony, and soon the bread broke through the middle and each took his part. When Anthony next visited him, Paul was dead. Anthony clothed him in a tunic which was a present from Athanasius of Alexandria and buried him, with two lions helping to dig the grave …”

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Thebes

 

  1. Blessed St. Anthony the Great (c. 251 AD – c. 356 AD)

 

“… Saint Anthony or Antony (Greek: Ἀντώνιος Antṓnios; Latin: Antonius; Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ; c. 12 January 251 – 17 January 356), was a Christian monk from Egypt … For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. … The biography of Anthony’s life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. … Anthony was born in Coma in Lower Egypt to wealthy landowner parents. When he was about 20 years old, his parents died and left him with the care of his unmarried sister. Shortly thereafter, he decided to follow the gospel exhortation in Matthew 19: 21, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven.” Anthony gave away some of his family’s lands to his neighbors, sold the remaining property, and donated the funds to the poor.[12] He then left to live an ascetic life,[12] placing his sister with a group of Christian virgins. … Anthony maintained a very strict ascetic diet. He ate only bread, salt and water and never meat or wine.[18] He ate at most only once a day and sometimes fasted through two or four days.[19][20] According to Athanasius, the devil fought Anthony by afflicting him with boredom, laziness, and the phantoms of women, which he overcame by the power of prayer, providing a theme for Christian art. After that, he moved to one of the tombs near his native village. There it was that the Life records those strange conflicts with demons in the shape of wild beasts, who inflicted blows upon him, and sometimes left him nearly dead. … Saint Anthony was on a journey in the desert to find Saint Paul of Thebes, who according to his dream was a better Hermit than he.[29] Saint Anthony had been under the impression that he was the first person to ever dwell in the desert; however, due to the dream, Saint Anthony was called into the desert to find his “better”, Saint Paul. On his way there, he ran into two creatures in the forms of a centaur and a satyr. … [Jerome Records that, inVitae Patrum, Book 1a- Collected from Jerome. Ch. VI ] Saint Anthony found next the satyr, a “a manikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’s feet.” This creature was peaceful and offered him fruits, and when Saint Anthony asked who he was, the satyr replied, “I’m a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favor of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.'” Upon hearing this, Saint Anthony was overjoyed and rejoiced over the glory of Christ. He condemned the city of Alexandria for worshipping monsters instead of God while beasts like the satyr spoke about Christ … [Athanasius the Great records this next story also] Once, Saint Anthony tried hiding in a cave to escape the demons that plagued him. There were so many little demons in the cave though that Saint Anthony’s servant had to carry him out because they had beaten him to death. When the hermits were gathered to Saint Anthony’s corpse to mourn his death, Saint Anthony was revived. He demanded that his servants take him back to that cave where the demons had beaten him. When he got there he called out to the demons, and they came back as wild beasts to rip him to shreds. All of a sudden a bright light flashed, and the demons ran away. Saint Anthony knew that the light must have come from God, and he asked God where was he before when the demons attacked him. God replied, “I was here but I would see and abide to see thy battle, and because thou hast mainly fought and well maintained thy battle, I shall make thy name to be spread through all the world. …”

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_the_Great

 

iii. Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD)

 

“… Athanasius of Alexandria (/ˌæθəˈneɪʃəs/; Greek: Ἀθανάσιος Ἀλεξανδρείας, Athanásios Alexandrías; Coptic: ⲡⲓⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲩ ⲡⲓⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲓⲕⲟⲥ or Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲩ ⲁ̅;[3] c. 296–298 – 2 May 373), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the 20th bishop of Alexandria (as Athanasius I). His intermittent episcopacy spanned 45 years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373), of which over 17 encompassed five exiles, when he was replaced on the order of four different Roman emperors. Athanasius was a Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century. … Alexandria was the most important trade center in the whole empire during Athanasius’s boyhood. Intellectually, morally, and politically—it epitomized the ethnically diverse Graeco-Roman world, even more than Rome or Constantinople, Antioch or Marseilles.[10] Its famous catechetical school, while sacrificing none of its famous passion for orthodoxy since the days of Pantaenus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Dionysius and Theognostus, had begun to take on an almost secular character in the comprehensiveness of its interests, and had counted influential pagans among its serious auditors. … Peter of Alexandria, the 17th archbishop of Alexandria, was martyred in 311 in the closing days of the persecution, and may have been one of those teachers. His successor as bishop of Alexandria was Alexander of Alexandria (312–328). According to Sozomen; “the Bishop Alexander ‘invited Athanasius to be his commensal and secretary. He had been well educated, and was versed in grammar and rhetoric, and had already, while still a young man, and before reaching the episcopate, given proof to those who dwelt with him of his wisdom and acumen’ “.(Soz., II, xvii) … While still a deacon under Alexander’s care (or early in his patriarchate as discussed below) Athanasius may have also become acquainted with some of the solitaries of the Egyptian desert, and in particular Anthony the Great, whose life he is said to have written. … After returning to Alexandria in early 366, Athanasius spent his final years repairing all the damage done during the earlier years of violence, dissent, and exile. He resumed writing and preaching undisturbed, and characteristically re-emphasized the view of the Incarnation which had been defined at Nicaea. On 2 May 373, having consecrated Peter II, one of his presbyters as his successor, Athanasius died peacefully in his own bed, surrounded by his clergy and faithful supporters. … Nonetheless, within a few years after his death, Gregory of Nazianzus called him the “Pillar of the Church”. His writings were well regarded by all following Church fathers in the West and the East, who noted their rich devotion to the Word-become-man, great pastoral concern and profound interest in monasticism. Athanasius is counted as one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in the Catholic Church.[5] In the Eastern Orthodox Church, he is labeled as the “Father of Orthodoxy”. Athanasius is the first person to identify the same 27 books of the New Testament that are in use today. … Gregory of Nazianzus (330–390) begins Or. 21 with: “When I praise Athanasius, virtue itself is my theme: for I name every virtue as often as I mention him who was possessed of all virtues. He was the true pillar of the church. His life and conduct were the rule of bishops, and his doctrine the rule of the orthodox faith.”[10] . Cyril of Alexandria (370–444) in the first letter says: “Athanasius is one who can be trusted: he would not say anything that is not in accord with sacred scripture.” (Ep 1). … The greater majority of Church leaders and the emperors fell into support for Arianism, so much so that Jerome, 340–420, wrote of the period: “The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Arian”.[6] He, Athanasius, even suffered an unjust excommunication from Pope Liberius (352–366) who was exiled and leant towards compromise, until he was allowed back to the See of Rome. Athanasius stood virtually alone against the world. …”

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_of_Alexandria

 

  1. Blessed St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

 

“… Aurelius Ambrosius[a] (c. 340–397), better known in English as Ambrose (/ˈæmbroʊz/), was an Archbishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374. Ambrose was a staunch opponent of Arianism. Ambrose was one of the four original Doctors of the Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. He is notable for his influence on Augustine of Hippo. … ”

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrose

 

and

 

“… In the late 4th century there was a deep conflict in the diocese of Milan between the Catholics and Arians. In 374 the bishop of Milan, Auxentius, an Arian, died, and the Arians challenged the succession. Ambrose went to the church where the election was to take place, to prevent an uproar, which was probable in this crisis. His address was interrupted by a call “Ambrose, bishop!”, which was taken up by the whole assembly. Ambrose was known to be Catholic in belief, but also acceptable to Arians due to the charity shown in theological matters in this regard. At first he energetically refused the office, for which he was in no way prepared: Ambrose was neither baptized nor formally trained in theology.

Upon his appointment, Ambrose fled to a colleague’s home seeking to hide. Upon receiving a letter from the Emperor Gratian praising the appropriateness of Rome appointing individuals evidently worthy of holy positions, Ambrose’s host gave him up. Within a week, he was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan. As bishop, he immediately adopted an ascetic lifestyle, apportioned his money to the poor, donating all of his land, making only provision for his sister Marcellina (who later became a nun), and committed the care of his family to his brother. Ambrose also wrote a treatise by the name of “The Goodness of Death”. …”

 

Source: http://www.religionfacts.com/ambrose-of-milan

 

and

 

“… Long after his death, Ambrose would be named a “doctor of the church” in the Catholic Church along with others such as Augustine, Pope Gregory, and Jerome. … Ambrose is also credited with introducing the concept of congregational singing, which at the time was somewhat controversial. By all accounts, Ambrose was an excellent preacher. One of his sermon quotes has entered modern parlance as an idiom: “When you are at Rome, live in the Roman style,” usually quoted as “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In his sermons, Ambrose of Milan greatly emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer, along with a rejection of legalism and a clear support for personal faith. Interestingly, while he opposed excessive legalism, Ambrose encouraged asceticism—an austere, self-denying lifestyle. His work attracted the attention of a young Christian named Augustine, who would later be baptized by Ambrose and surpass him as a great figure in early Christian history. …”

 

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Ambrose-of-Milan.html

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889 AD – 1929 AD)

 

“… Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889 – 1929), born in Patiala State, India, became an Indian Christian missionary whose life and message had a far ranging impact. … Before dawn, he wakened his father to announce that he had seen Jesus Christ in a vision and heard his voice. Henceforth, he would follow Christ forever, he declared. Still only fifteen, he utterly committed himself to Christ and for the next twenty-five years of his life he witness extensively to Jesus Christ. His father pleaded and demanded that he give up his conviction. When he refused, Sher Singh gave a farewell feast for his son, then denounced him and expelled him from the family. Several hours later, Sundar realized that his food had been poisoned. A nearby Christian community helped him, saving his life … Sundar’s impact went far and wide, influencing important spiritual leaders, such as Mahatma Ghandi and C.S. Lewis. He is believed to have died in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1929, although his body was never found. …”

 

Source:  https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sadhu_Sundar_Singh

 

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)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/themessageofsadh00streuoft/themessageofsadh00streuoft_djvu.txt

Personally, I may never reach anywhere close to 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.

3) Other Early Authoritative Christian Quotes

 

To quote:

 

Instead of the tithes which the law commanded, the Lord said to divide everything we have with the poor. And he said to love not only our neighbors but also our enemies, and to be givers and sharers not only with the good but also to be liberal givers toward those who take away our possessions.

 

Irenaeus, 130-200 AD

 

The rich are in possession of the goods of the poor, even if they have acquired them honestly or inherited them legally.

John Chrysostom, 347-407

 

Share everything with your brother. Do not say, “It is private property.” If you share what is everlasting, you should be that much more willing to share things which do not last.

The Didache

 

Let the strong take care of the weak; let the weak respect the strong. Let the rich man minister to the poor man; let the poor man give thanks to God that he gave him one through whom his need might be satisfied.

Clement of Rome, 1st Century

 

You are not making a gift of your possession to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. Ambrose of Milan, 340-397.

 

The property of the wealthy holds them in chains . . . which shackle their courage and choke their faith and hamper their judgment and throttle their souls. They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather who are owned: enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but its slaves.

Cyprian, 300 A.D.

 

The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging in your closet belongs to the man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you put into the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help but fail to help.

Basil of Caesarea, 330-370 A.D.

Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours but theirs.

 

John Chrysostom, 347-407 AD

 

Source:

bramboniusinenglish.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/teachings-of-the-early-church-fathers-on-poverty-wealth/amp/

 

4) What Type of Persons will Oppose the Doctrine of Voluntary Poverty for Christ especially toward ‘Christian Leaders’?

 

“… Because therefore the Pharisees, it says, were LOVERS OF MONEY, they DERIDED [LORD] JESUS,” for directing them by His SALUTARY DOCTRINES to a praiseworthy course of conduct, and rendering them desirous of SAINTLY GLORIES. For it was THEIR DUTY, He tells them, to SELL THEIR POSSESSIONS, and make DISTRIBUTION to the POOR; so would they possess in heaven a treasure that could not be plundered, and purses that could not be harmed, and wealth that would not have to be abandoned. And why then did they deride Him? For certainly the doctrine was salutary, a pathway of hope in things to come, and a door leading unto the life incorruptible: for they were being taught by Him the manners of true prosperity, … He said therefore, “You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is high among men, is an abomination before God.” This He is found also in another place saying unto them; “HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE, who receive honour one of another, and SEEK NOT the HONOUR that comes from the ONE GOD.” For the God of all crowns with praises unto righteousness those who are truly good: but those who love not virtue, but are hypocrites, steal perchance by their own votes solely the reputation of being honourable …” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Titles: The Pillar of Faith; Seal of all the Fathers; Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD, ‘Commentary on Luke’, Sermon CX on Luke 16:14 – 17)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/cyril-on-luke-16

And

“St. Cyril received an important recognition of his preachings by the Second Council of Constantinople (553 d.C.) which declared: St. Cyril who announced the right faith of Christians” (Anathematism XIV, Denzinger et Schoenmetzer 437).”

 

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_of_Alexandria

 

Context Verses St. Cyril is referring to:

 

“Now the Pharisees, who were LOVERS OF MONEY, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows YOUR HEARTS. For what is HIGHLY ESTEEMED among MEN is an ABOMINATION in the SIGHT of GOD.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 16:14 – 15, NKJV)

 

Also, First Christianity’s Forgotten Warning – What type of Pastor or Church to Avoid?

 

Verse:

 

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”.” – Blessed and Holy St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 15:33, NASB)

 

Example of a First Christianity Context of that Verse in regards to a Pastor/Leader/Church-False-Teaching to avoid:

 

” … 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. I beseech you, therefore, and Again and yet again admonish you, do not look to your military experience for a standard of clerical obligation. Under Christ’s banner seek for no worldly gain, lest having more than when you first became a clergyman, you hear men say, to your shame, “Their portion shall not profit them.” Welcome poor men and strangers to your homely board, that with them Christ may be your guest. A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague. … Many build churches nowadays; their walls and pillars of glowing marble, their ceilings glittering with gold, their altars studded with jewels. Yet to the choice of Christ’s ministers no heed is paid, And let no one allege against me the wealth of the temple in Judaea, its table, its lamps, its censers, its dishes, its cups, its spoons,1363 and the rest of its golden vessels. If these were approved by the Lord it was at a time when the priests had to offer victims and when the blood of sheep was the redemption of sins. They were figures typifying things still future and were “written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 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? Or if we insist on keeping to the letter and find the mention of gold and wealth so pleasing, let us keep to everything else as well as the gold. … 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. …” –  Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Letter LII. To Nepotian’, Points 4, 5,  6, 10 in some order)

Source:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2/NPNF2-06/Npnf2-06-03.htm#P1872_458890

 

If Christian leaders don’t practice this, as Blessed St. Jerome says in the above,

 

“… avoid [them] as you would the plague …”

 

5) What if we Give up something which is only a little in Value?

 

So, the ‘Voluntary Poverty’ Contest of Faith is Fair and available all believers (to quote from the ‘other St Cyril’):

 

“… Consider, I pray, of each nation, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Solitaries, Virgins, and laity besides; and then behold their great Protector, and the Dispenser of their gifts;—how throughout the world He gives to one chastity, to another perpetual virginity, to another almsgiving, to another VOLUNTARY POVERTY to another power of repelling hostile spirits…” – Blessed St. Cyril, ArchBishop of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church (c. 313 AD – c. 386 AD, Points 21, 22, Lecture XVI.On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spake in the Prophets, via Philip Schaff)

 

Source: https://ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207/npnf207.ii.xx.html

Yes, as even the Blessed Apostle St. Peter himself only gave away ‘little possessions’ which they had as ‘poor fishermen’ (and they were not rich business owning fishermen as ‘prosperity gospel preachers assert with no proof from Christian Antiquity’s Greatest’), to quote:

“… Peter had heard the word of Christ when He said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast.” Then he observed that the young man had departed sorrowful, and considered the difficulty of riches entering into the kingdom of heaven; and thereupon he put this question confidently as one who had achieved no easy matter. For though what he [Peter] with his brother HAD LEFT BEHIND them were but LITTLE THINGS, yet were they NOT ESTEEMED AS LITTLE WITH GOD, who considered that out of the fulness of their love they had so forsaken those LEAST THINGS, as they would have forsaken the GREATEST THINGS IF THEY HAD HAD THEM. So Peter, thinking RATHER of HIS WILL THAN of the INTRINSIC VALUE of the SACRIFICE, asked Him confidently [p. 672] “Behold, we have LEFT ALL … It may be said, In all things which the Father revealed to Peter that the Son was, righteousness, sanctification, and the like, in all we have followed Thee. Therefore as a victorious athlete, he now asks what are the prizes of his contest.” …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19

 

“… Or, it is given to him who had gained five talents, that we may understand that though the Lord’s joy over the labour of each be equal, of him who doubled the five as of him who doubled the two, yet is a greater reward due to him who laboured more in the Lord’s money. The servant who of five talents had made ten, and he who of two had made four, are received with equal favour by the Master of the household, who looks NOT to the LARGENESS of THEIR PROFIT, but to the DISPOSITION of THEIR WILL ….” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

“… Our Lord next declares, that though a man has kept the old covenant, he is not perfect, since he lacks to follow Christ. You yet lack one thing, Sell all that you have, &c. As if He says, you ask how to possess eternal life; scatter your goods among the poor, and you shall obtain it. A LITTLE THING is that you SPEND, you RECEIVE GREAT THINGS….” – Blessed Titus, Bishop of Bostra whom St. Jerome of the Vulgate himself names Titus among writers whose secular erudition is as marvellous as their knowledge of Scripture; (died c. 378 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

“… But the LITTLE FLOCK, our Lord signifies those who are willing to become His disciples, or because in this world the Saints seem LITTLE because of their VOLUNTARY POVERTY, or because they are outnumbered by the multitude of Angels, who incomparably exceed all that we can boast of. The name LITTLE our Lord gives to the company of the ELECT, either from comparison with the greater number of the reprobate, or rather because of their devout humility. …” – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12

 

 

“… The rich man who has despised many things will naturally expect a reward, but he who POSSESSING LITTLE resigns what he has, may fairly ask what there is in store for him; as it follows, Then Peter said, lo, we have left all. Matthew adds, What shall we have therefore? This then we say, that he who gives up all worldly and carnal things will gain for himself far greater, inasmuch as the APOSTLES, AFTER LEAVING A FEW THINGS, obtained the manifold gifts of grace, and were ACCOUNTED GREAT EVERY WHERE. We then shall be like to them. Now perhaps this command is irksome to the rich, yet to those who are of a sound mind, it is not unprofitable, for their treasure is the kingdom of heaven. Hence it follows, Provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, &c. ….” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

Source :

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

Conclusionare we a Thirty, Sixty or Hundredfold Christian regarding this Context?

 

The Hundredfold is Promised for Certain toward those who give up “all” as Christ Himself Said it & so the early leaders of the Church Teach the ‘same’ walking in His Truth (Hebrews 13:7, Hebrews 6:12):

“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.” – King of kings, Lord of lords Jesus Christ , The Rewarder of Each Man according to his work (Matthew 19:29, NKJV)

Please note that the above is what is ACTUALLY WRITTEN in the BIBLE by Christ’s Own Most Blessed Words regarding a certain reward of the HUNDREDFOLD MYSTERY. Do we dare to Preach against It or Differently?

 

Indeed, we are to follow Christ (if we wish to, Voluntarily) toward these Greatest Heights and Imitate those who have done it (to obtain the best rewards, 1 Corinthians 9:27, 2 Timothy 2:5), to quote:

 

“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Anonymous (Hebrews 13:7, 6:12, NKJV)

 

or

 

“… so if a man were lord of all the earth and were to renounce it, that which he gives up is little, and he receives a HUNDREDFOLD. But if not even the whole earth is equal in value to the heavens, then he who has given up a few acres leaves as it were nothing; and even if he have given up a house or much gold he ought not to boast nor be low-spirited. Further, we should consider that even if we do not relinquish them for virtue’s sake, still afterwards when we die we shall leave them behind—very often, as the Preacher saith, to those to whom we do not wish…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy, Patriarch of Alexandria and Champion of Trinity, Doctor of the Church and Confessor (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Point 17, Life of Antony via Philip Schaff, Page 423)

 

Source: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1819-1893,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_04_Athanasius,_EN.pdf

 

or

 

Logic – FAQ: No matter how hard you work or save money, one chronic disease and still the money will finish and your life end. On the contrary, if we didn’t have money, we suffer and die in that same disease ‘even faster’, that’s all. If we (rich & poor) both didn’t have the disease, the poor Will be greater in heaven having not hoarded riches on earth (James 5:3, being more “obedient” & losing one’s life putting it at risk for Christ’s Command, Matthew 16:25) and even generally given more in percentages too (Luke 21:1 – 4), all other factors held constant fulfilling even Christ’s “Perfection” Command to some degree if not fully (Matthew 19:27 – 30). Now even if your saved money managed to secure the best medicine and prolong your life on earth, it’s still doesn’t amount to anything great in the ‘spiritual sense’ as ‘no Bible Verse Speaks of a Reward in His Kingdom for it’.

 

Yes, the “Logic above” must be Biblical as that’s exactly what Blessed Jerome himself says in Essence, to quote:

 

“… You must also avoid the sin of covetousness, and this not merely by refusing to seize upon what belongs to others, for that is punished by the laws of the state, but also by not keeping your own property, which has now become no longer yours. “If have not been faithful,” the Lord says, “in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?”578 “That which is another man’s” is a quantity of gold or of silver, while “that which is our own” is the spiritual heritage of which it is elsewhere said: “The ransom of a man’s life is his riches.”579 “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.”580 Riches, that is; for in the heathen tongue of the Syrians riches are called mammon. The “thorns” which choke our faith581 are the taking thought for our life.582 Care for the things which the Gentiles seek after583 is the root of covetousness. But you will say: “I am a girl delicately reared, and I cannot labor with my hands. Suppose that I live to old age and then fall sick, who will take pity on me?” Hear Jesus speaking to the apostles: “Take no thought what ye shall eat; nor yet for your body what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.”584 Should clothing fail you, set the lilies before your eyes. Should hunger seize you, think of the words in which the poor and hungry are blessed. Should pain afflict you, read “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,” and “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”585 Rejoice in all God’s judgments; …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Letter XXII. To Eustochium.’, Points 31)

 

Source:  http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2/NPNF2-06/Npnf2-06-03.htm#P1872_458890

 

“Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” – Blessed St. James the Just, First Bishop of Jerusalem (James 5:3, NASB)

“But Samuel declared: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obedience to His voice? Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, and attentiveness is better than the fat of rams.” – Legendary Prophet Samuel, the Anointer of Kings (1 Samuel 15:22, Berean Study Bible)

 

I repeat this Hard Truth ( yes, I struggle greatly with these “New Testament Commands” of ‘Choice toward Perfection or Unfathomable Great Rewards in His Kingdom too’ though it may not affect the lesser degrees of Salvation, Matthew 13:8, Matthew 5:19):

 

“… obedience [to His Word, “Verses”] is better than sacrifice, …” – Prophet Samuel

 

The First Church in First Christianity Practiced it Literally and Perfectly (Verses: Acts 2:44 – 46, Acts 4:32).

 

How much do we really Love Lord Jesus Christ?

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:15, 23, NASB)

 

“… Who are those who love God? those who accept his law without trying to disguise or excuse their faults. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

Source [QUESTION 112. ON PSALM FIFTY.]:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

It’s hard to be a Christian monk / priest even in a place where the local church provides for them and even harder where the monk must provide for himself (Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:31 – 34). What is the definition of a Christian Monk? to quote:

 

” … The basic idea of monasticism in all its varieties is seclusion or withdrawal from the world or society. Monastic life is distinct from the “religious orders” such as the friars, canons regular, clerks regular, and the more recent religious congregations. The latter has essentially some special work or aim, such as preaching, teaching, liberating captives, etc., which occupies a large place in their activities. While monks have undertaken labors of the most varied character, in every case this work is extrinsic to the essence of the monastic state. … Both ways of living out the Christian life are regulated by the respective church law of those Christian denominations that recognize it (e.g., the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, or the Lutheran Church). Christian monastic life does not always involve communal living with like-minded Christians. Christian monasticism has varied greatly in its external forms, but, broadly speaking, it has two main types (a) the eremitical or secluded, (b) the cenobitical or city life. St. Anthony the Abbot may be called the founder of the first and St. Pachomius of the second.[7] The monastic life is based on Jesus’s amen to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This ideal, also called the state of perfection, can be seen, for example, in the Philokalia, a book of monastic writings. Their manner of self-renunciation has three elements corresponding to the three evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience. … Early Christian monasticism drew its inspiration from the examples of the Prophet Elijah and John the Baptist, who both lived alone in the desert, and above all from the story of Jesus’ time in solitary struggle with Satan in the desert, before his public ministry. … Communities of virgins who had consecrated themselves to Christ are found at least as far back as the 2nd century. There were also individual ascetics, known as the “devout”, who usually lived not in the deserts but on the edge of inhabited places, still remaining in the world but practicing asceticism and striving for union with God. In ante-Nicene ascetics a man would lead a single life, practice long and frequent fasts, abstain from meat and wine, and support himself, if he were able, by some small handicraft, keeping of what he earned only so much as was absolutely necessary for his own sustenance, and giving the rest to the poor.[10] An early form of “proto-monasticism” appeared as well in the 3rd century among Syriac Christians through the “Sons of the covenant” movement. Eastern Orthodoxy looks to Basil of Caesarea as a founding monastic legislator, as well to as the example of the Desert Fathers. …”

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_monasticism

Here’s an Interesting Comment: A simple Christian with such a lifestyle of ‘giving away what is not his need from his monthly salary to the poor’ can have the SAME REWARD LEVEL as even a Monk who has Renounced the World for Christ as the Ancient First Christianity Quote below Proves as this Comparison is only Possible via some Percentage Count:

“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’):

https://www.patristics.co/sayings/

 

The ‘unknown doctor’ was to 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 above’ agreeing in Perfect Context with Christ’s Most Blessed Words below making God Perfectly Fair toward anyone.

Yes,

 

“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.” (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)

Lord Jesus Christ Himself states that when ‘these things (the riches of this world) are added to you (Christians)’, we ought to ‘sell them and give to the poor/charity’ as His Art of Perfection means in Holy Scripture, to quote:

 

“But SEEK HIS KINGDOM, and THESE THINGS will be ADDED to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS and GIVE TO CHARITY; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Selfless One Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:31 – 34, NASB)

Remember, God doesn’t count by the Result or Amount of people you affected by the Giving but only the Disposition of your Will in your heart in Love (1 Corinthians 13:3) even as the Two Coins you give can be greater than all, hence a greater reward due to Percentage Count too (Fairness and Equality toward All in such a Divine Wisdom of God to Decide so), to quote “Bible Verses” agreeing to the Earlier First Christianity Quotes:

 

“1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3And He [Lord Jesus Christ Himself] said, “TRULY I say to you, this poor widow put in MORE than ALL of THEM; 4for 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)

 

” … there are some who, under the impression of the fear of God, despise the pleasures of the senses, flee the lavishness of life, do not turn away the eyes of the poor and the needy, and thus accumulate real treasures, …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source [QUESTION 34. HOW DOES THE SAME SOLOMON SAYS ON ONE SIDE: “GOD DID NOT KILL,” AND IN ANOTHER: “THE GOODS AND THE EVILS, THE LIFE AND THE DEATH, THE POVERTY AND THE LUXURY COME FROM GOD?” ]:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

The Final Great Reward? (Matthew 5:19)

Great Differences in Bodily Glory between Saints in the Resurrection

“… If indeed our Lord is called the sun of righteousness, and the saints must be like him, to the testimony of the apostle St. John: “When he appears, we shall be like him.” (1 Jn. 3:2) The prophet is right in comparing the saints with the sun, but pointing out that the brightness of the sun is seven times greater than that of the moon. When he predicts that the light of the moon will have the same brightness as that of the sun, but that the sunlight will be seven times brighter, he wants us to understand that the light of the moon will become seven times brighter to match that of the sun, that is, the moon will be as bright as the sun is now. Although the application of this comparison of the stars to the SAINTS is in the opposite direction, yet it brings out in part the increase of their glory, that is to say, after the increase of the light of the sun and the moon, and the DISTANCE that will exist BETWEEN ONE SAINT and ANOTHER AFTER they have RECEIVED THEIR REWARD will be as GREAT as that which SEPARATES THEM in the PRESENT LIFE. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

Source [QUESTION 105. HOW TO RECONCILE THE PROPHECIES WITH THE GOSPEL ON THE OBSCURATION OF THE SUN AND ON SOME OTHER POINTS?]:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order

 

 

‘… What Christ has Called Perfect Let no man call small …’ – Anonymous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parable of the Talents – What did First Christianity Teach about it?

 

Bible Verses:

 

” 14“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15“To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17“In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18“But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19“Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ 29“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – The Source of Wisdom, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:14 – 30, NASB)

 

Note: Some in Modern Christianity use the Parable above to Justify their ‘Earthly Wealth Pursuit Claiming that Christ wants us to be rich’. This interpretation contradicts many other Verses in the Bible (e.g. Matthew 6:19 – 20) and they fail to see that ‘none of His Apostles or Early Saints’ went into any ‘money making pursuits to fulfill it disproving thus that they understood it in such a way’ and in fact, the apostles & the earliest church ‘only did the exact opposite’ (e.g. Acts 2:44 – 45). Hence, let’s look at Real Theology from First Christianity regarding Its Ancient Exegesis and Possible Meanings for these Verses too.

 

Each quote below is from link below unless stated otherwise:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

1) What is the “Context” of this Parable of the Talents?

 

“… This parable is delivered against those who will not assist their neighbours either with money, or words, or in any other way, but hide all that they have…” Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

2) Does the “Talents” represent “Money” or “Something Else”?

 

“… Calling together the Apostles, He gave them the Gospel doctrine, to one more, to another less, not as of His own bounty or scanting, but as meeting the capacity of the receivers, as the Apostle says [marg. note 1 Cor 3:2], that he fed with milk those that were unable to take solid food. In the five, two, and one talent, we recognise the diversity of gifts wherewith we have been entrusted. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

or

 

“… Whenever you see of those who have received from Christ a dispensation of the oracles of God that some have more and some less; that some have not in comparison of the better sort half an understanding of things; that others have still less; you will perceive the difference of those who have all of them received from Christ oracles of God. They to whom five talents were given, and they to whom two, and they to whom one, have divers degrees of capacity, and one could not hold the measure of another; he who received but one [p. 854] having received no mean endowment, for one talent of such a master is a great thing. His proper servants are three, as there are three sorts of those that bear fruit. He that received five talents, is he that is able to raise all the meanings of the Scriptures to their more divine significations; he that has two is he that has been taught carnal doctrine, (for two seems to be a carnal number,) and to the less strong the Master of the household has given one talent. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Note: Blessed Origen of Alexandria seems to point the possible remarkable relevance of this Parable to the ‘three gradation of the Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold Fruit Mystery regarding the Saved’, in his words above, “… His proper servants are three, as there are three sorts of those that bear fruit…”

 

or

 

“… Otherwise; The five talents denote the gift of the five senses, that is, the knowledge of things without; the two signify understanding and action, the one talent understanding only. …” – Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

Note: “… Perhaps we should not err in putting Gregory the Great as the last of the original Commentators; for though very numerous commentaries on every book of Scripture continued to be written by the most eminent doctors in their own names, probably not one interpretation of any importance would be found in them which could not be traced to some older source…”

 

Source:

 

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/fathers/catena.html

 

3) What is the Meaning of the different Talents?

 

“… “He that had received five talents,” that is, having received his bodily senses, he doubled his knowledge of heavenly things, from the creature understanding the Creator, from earthly unearthly, from temporal the eternal. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, They that have their senses exercised by healthy conversation, both raising themselves to higher knowledge and zealous in teaching others, these have gained other five; because no one can easily have increase of any virtues that are not his own, and without he teaches others what he himself knows, and no more. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, That servant who received five talents is the people of believers under the Law, who beginning with that, doubled their merit by the right obedience of an evangelic faith. Or, the servant to whom two talents were committed is the people of the Gentiles justified by the faith and confession of the Son and of the Father, confessing [p. 855] our Lord Jesus Christ, to be both God and Man, both Spirit and Flesh. These are the two talents committed to this servant. But as the Jewish people doubled by its belief in the Gospel every Sacrament which it had learned in the Law, (i.e. its five talents,) so this people by its use of its two talents merited understanding and working…” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD)

 

or

 

“… So then we see as well the peril of the teachers if they withhold the Lord’s money, as that of the hearers from whom is exacted with usury that they have heard, namely, that from what they have heard they should strive to understand that they have not heard. It might seem more seasonable to have given it rather to him who had two, than to him who had five. But as the five talents denote the knowledge of things without, the two understanding and action, he who had the two had more than he who had the five talents; this man with his five talents merited the administration of things without, but was yet without any understanding of things eternal. The one talent therefore, which we say signifies the intellect, ought to be given to him who had administered well the things without which he had received; the same we see happen every day in the Holy Church, that they who administer faithfully things without, are also mighty in the inward understanding. …” – Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

4) Is Preaching the Gospel to the best of your ability itself enough despite the Outcome?

 

“… Again, there are some who by their understanding and their actions preach to others, and thence gain as it were a twofold profit in such merchandize. This their preaching bestowed upon both sexes is thus a talent doubled….” – Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

or

 

“… That He says of both these servants that they “came,” we must understand of their passing out of this world to Him. And observe that the same was said to them both; he that had less capacity, but that which he had, he exercised after such manner as he ought, shall have no whit less with God than he who has a greater capacity; for all that is required is that whatever a man has from God, he should use it all to the glory of God….” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, it is given to him who had gained five talents, that we may understand that though the Lord’s joy over the labour of each be equal, of him who doubled the five as of him who doubled the two, yet is a greater reward due to him who laboured more in the Lord’s money. The servant who of five talents had made ten, and he who of two had made four, are received with equal favour by the Master of the household, who looks not to the largeness of their profit, but to the disposition of their will….” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

5) Can the Talents represent our “Money making ability” as Christians?

 

“… To hide one’s talent in the earth is to devote the ability we have received to worldly business. …” – Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

6) How about Christians who have believed but who do not Preach the Gospel at all to their fellow men due to jealousy that others may be saved or hiding some details so others can participate say in the higher “Continence Race of Faith”?

 

“… Or otherwise; When you see one who has the power of teaching, and of benefitting souls, hiding this power, though he may have a certain religiousness of life, doubt not of such an one that he has received one talent and hides it in the earth. This servant seems to me to have been one of those who believe, but do not act honestly, concealing their faith, and doing every thing that they may not be known to be Christians. They who are such seem to me to have a fear of God, and to regard Him as austere and implacable. We indeed understand how the Lord reaps where He sowed not, because the righteous man sows in the Spirit, whereof he shall reap life eternal. Also He reaps where He sowed not, and gathers where he scattered not, because He counts as bestowed upon Himself all that is sown among the poor….” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, This servant who has received one talent and hid it in the earth is the people that continue in the Law, who through jealousy of the salvation of the Gentiles hide the talent they have received in the earth. For to hide a talent in the earth is to hide the glory of the new preaching through offence at the Passion of His Body. His coming to reckon with them is the assize of the day of judgment…” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD)

 

or

 

“… This lesson from this Gospel warns us to consider whether those who seem to have received more in this world than others shall not be more severely judged by the Author of the world; the greater the gifts, the greater the reckoning for them. Therefore should every one be humble concerning his talents in proportion as he sees himself tied up with a greater responsibility….” – Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

7) Who is called a “Good Servant” of Christ?

 

“… “Thou good servant,” this he means of that goodness which is shewn towards our neighbour. …” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

8) Mystery of ‘Sheepfold2’ or ‘Good non-Christians’ based on Matthew 25:24, Matthew 25:26?

 

“… Also, by this which this servant dared to say, “Thou reapest where thou sowedst not,” we understand that the Lord accepts the good life of the Gentiles and of the Philosophers. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

Note: Whether Blessed St. Jerome agrees or not to his quote above, he may be reiterating what other Great Christians from Antiquity have passed on to him regarding such exegesis for example, to quote:

 

” … In the early Church, Justin Martyr, a Church Father, taught that those who lived according to the logos are Christians, though they might not know about Jesus Christ. …” – Sanders, John (14 May 1990). “The Perennial Debate”. Christianity Today. Christianity Today International.

 

 

Where some Good non-Christians may get the Chance to Repent in Hades (Hell now) as per the Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh agrees as well, to quote:

 

“… Tertullian held that Christ has descended into Hades to deliver the Good News, with Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Athanasius declaring that “Jesus delivered from hell both Jews and Gentiles who accepted the gospel and that postmortem evangelism continues even today”. …” – Sanders, John (14 May 1990). “The Perennial Debate”. Christianity Today. Christianity Today International.

 

Source for both quotes above:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fate_of_the_unlearned

 

Conclusion

 

“… If you are offended at this we have said, namely that a man shall be judged if he does not teach others, call to mind the Apostle’s words, “Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.” [1 Cor 9:16] …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Who are the Blessed Saints represented here? (Listed in no order of importance for each saint here is very important in my view)

 

  1. Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD).

 

  1. Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD).

 

  1. Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

  1. Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

*Note: Blessed Origen of Alexandria must be the only Christian in entire history of Christianity where though he was declared a heretic by certain later councils, but yet his exegesis is still quoted and believed and used by some of the holiest leaders of the church during his time till today as it is found even in the official commentaries of the Catholic Church even. Why? Because they knew that he was ‘mostly right’ and ‘very scarcely wrong & he was also defended as being Orthodox during his lifetime by some of the Greatest Orthodox saints the world has ever known’.

 

  1. Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

  1. Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD). He is the only early Commentator listed on the “CATENA” who was a Pope. What is this Catena? To quote:

 

“… BY a CATENA PATRUM is meant a string or series of passages selected from the writings of various Fathers, and arranged for the elucidation of some portion of Scripture, as the Psalms or the Gospels. Catenas seem to have originated in the short scholia or glosses which it was customary in MSS. …”

 

Source: http://www.newmanreader.org/works/fathers/catena.html

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parable of the Ten Virgins – What did First Christianity understand regarding it?

 

Christ Spoke of the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1 – 13), Bible Verses:

 

“1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2“Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3“For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5“Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7“Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8“The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9“But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11“Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12“But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” – The Perfect Bridegroom Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:1 – 13, NASB)

 

Now, Christ did not explain this Parable in Holy Scripture. So, what understanding is preserved through Ancient Exegesis of Holy Scripture? Let’s take a look at some interesting quotes.

 

Note: Each quote below is from the Patristic Commentary on Matthew 25:1 – 13 in link below unless otherwise stated.

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

1) When will this Happen?

 

” … “Then,” because all this discourse is concerning the great day of the Lord, concerning which He had been speaking before…” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD)

 

 

 

2) Who are the “Virgins”?

 

“… Or, The understandings of all who have received the word of God are virgins. For such is the word of God, that of its purity it imparts to all, who by its teaching have departed from the worship of idols, and have through Christ drawn near to the worship of God; “Which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom and the bride.” [ed. note: ‘Et sponsae’ Vulg. and so a few Greek MSS.] They take “their lamps,” i.e. their natural faculties, and go forth out of the world and its errors, and go to meet the Saviour, who is ever ready to come to enter with them that are worthy to His blessed bride the Church…” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

or

 

“… This parable of the ten foolish and the ten wise virgins, some interpret literally of virgins, of whom there are according to the Apostle [marg. note: 1 Cor 7] some who are virgins both in body and in thought, others who have preserved indeed their bodies virgin, but have not the other deeds of virgins, or have only been preserved by the guardianship of parents, but have wedded in their hearts. But from what has gone before, I think the meaning to be different, and that the parable has reference not to virgins only, but to the whole human race. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

3) What is the “Lamp”?

 

“… “The lamps” which they carry in their hands are their works, of which it was said above, “Let your works shine before men.” [Matt 5:16] …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Lib. 83 Quaest, Q59)

 

or

 

“… “The bridegroom and the bride” represent our Lord God in the body, for the flesh is the bride of the spirit. “The lamps” are the light of bright souls which shine forth in the sacrament of [p. 845] baptism. [ed. note: Alluding to the terms φωτισμος and illuminatia, by which Baptism was designated…” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, S. Cyr. Cat. Oxf. Tr. p. 1.)

 

 

 

 

 

4) What is Meaning of the “Five” in “Five Wise Virgins” vs the “Five Foolish Virgins”?

 

“… For there are five senses which hasten towards heavenly things, and seek after things above. Of sight, hearing, and touch, it is specially said, “That which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have handled.” [1 John 1:1] Of taste, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” [Ps 34:8] Of smell, “Because of the savour of thy good ointments.” [Song of Songs 1:3] There are also other five senses which gape after earthly husks….” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, by the five virgins, is denoted a five-fold continence from the allurements of the flesh; for our appetite must be held from gratification of the eyes, ears, smell, taste, and touch. And as this continence may be done before God, to please Him in inward joy of the conscience, or before men only to gain applause of men, five are called wise, and five foolish. Both are virgins, because both these men exercise continence, though from different motives. …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, The five wise and five foolish are an absolute distinction between believers and unbelievers …” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD)

 

or

 

“… They that believe rightly, and live righteously, are likened to the five wise ; they that profess the faith of Jesus, but prepare themselves not by good works to salvation, are likened to the five foolish. And because the virtues are so linked together, that he who has one has all, so all the senses so follow one another, that all must be wise, or all foolish. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

5) What is the meaning of the “oil”?

 

“… The “oil” is the fruit of good works, the “vessels” are the human bodies in whose inward parts the treasure of a good conscience is to be laid up. …” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers

(c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD)

 

or

 

“… The virgins that have oil are they who, besides their faith, have the ornament of good works – they that have not oil, are they that seem to confess with like faith, but neglect the works of virtue. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, The “oil” denotes joy, according to that, “God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.” [Ps 45:7] He then whose joy springs not from this that he is inwardly pleasing to God, has no oil with him; for they have no gladness in their continent lives, [p. 846] save in the praises of men. “But the wise took oil with their lamps,” that is, the gladness of good works, “in their vessels,” that is, they stored it in their heart and conscience, as the Apostle speaks, “Let every man prove himself, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself, and not in another.” [Gal 6:4] …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, The “oil” denotes charity, alms, and every aid rendered to the needy; the lamps denote the gifts of virginity; and He calls them “foolish,” because after having gone through the greater toil, they lost all for the sake of a less; for it is greater labour to overcome the desires of the flesh than of money….” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, The “oil” is the word of teaching, with which the vessels of souls are filled ; for what gives so great content as moral discourse, which is called the oil of light. The “wise” took with them of this oil, as much as would suffice, though the Word should tarry long, and be slack to come to their consummation. The, “foolish” took lamps, alight indeed at the first, but not supplied with so much oil as should suffice even to the end, being careless respecting the provision of doctrine which comforts faith, and enlightens the lamp of good deeds…” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) What does it mean to “buy” or “sell” the “oil”?

 

“… For these wise virgins do not answer thus out of covetousness, [p. 849] but out of fear. Wherefore, each man shall receive the recompense of his own works, and the virtues of one cannot atone for the vices of another in the day of judgment. The wise admonish them not to go to meet the bridegroom without oil, “Go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” And this oil is sold, and at a high cost, nor is it to be got without much toil; so that we understand it not of alms only, but of all virtues and counsels of the teachers. But because the [p. 850] season for buying was now past, and the day of judgment was coming on, so that there was no room for penitence, they must not now lay up new works, but give an account of the old. Their worthy confession calling Him, “Lord, Lord,” is a mark of faith. But what avails it to confess with the mouth Him whom you deny with your works? …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or, the trimming their lamps is the return of their souls into their bodies, and their light is the consciousness of good works that shines forth, which is contained in the vessels of the body. They that sell are the poor, who, needing the alms of the faithful, made them that recompense which they desire, selling in return for the relief afforded to their wants, a consciousness of good works. This is the abundant fuel of an undying light which may be bought and stored up for the fruits of mercy. “The marriage” is the putting on of immortality, and the joining together corruption and incorruption in a new union. Yet though the season of repentance is now past, the foolish virgins come and beg that entrance may be granted to them. …” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD)

 

or

 

“… They “trimmed their lamps,” that is, prepared to give an account of their deeds. From habit, the mind seeks that which uses to give it pleasure. And these now seek from men, who see not the heart, witness to God, who sees the heart. But their lamps go out, because those, whose good works rest upon the testimony of others, when that is withdrawn, sink into nothing. Or we may suppose it not meant as advice what they should do, but as an indirect allusion to their fault. For flatterers sell oil, who by praising things false, and things unknown, lead souls astray, recommending to them, as foolish, empty joys, and receiving in return some temporal benefit. “Go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves,” i.e. Let us now see what they can profit you who have used to sell you their praise. “Lest there be not enough for us and you,” because no man is profited in God’s sight by the testimony of others, because God sees the heart, and each man is scarce able to give testimony concerning his own conscience….” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

or

 

“… Otherwise; Notwithstanding they were foolish, they yet understood that they must have light to go and meet the bridegroom, that all the lights of their senses might be burning. This also they discerned, that because they had little of the spiritual oil, their lamps would burn dim as darkness drew on. But the wise send the foolish to those that sell, seeing that they had not stored up so much oil, that is, word of doctrine, as would suffice both for themselves to live by, and to teach others, “Go ye rather to them that sell,” i.e. to the doctors, “and buy,” i.e. take of them; the price is perseverance, the love of learning, industry, and toil of all who are willing to learn. Or, He says, “While they went to buy,” because there are men to be found who have neglected to learn any thing useful, till when, in the very end of their life, when they set themselves to learn, they are overtaken by death. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or otherwise ; These virgins were foolish, not only because they departed hence, lacking store of mercy, but because they deemed to receive it from those of whom they importunately begged it. For though nothing could be more merciful than those wise virgins, who for this very mercifulness were approved, yet would they not grant the prayer of the foolish virgins. But the wise answered, saying, “Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you;” hence we learn that none of us shall be able in that day to stand forth as patron [marg. note: προστηναι] of those who are betrayed by their own works, not because he will not, but because he cannot. You see then how great merchants the poor are to us; but the poor are not there, but here, and therefore we must store up oil here, that we may have it to use there when occasion shall require. That, “While they went to buy,” shews that even, if we should become merciful after death, it will avail us nothing to escape punishment, as it was no profit to the rich man, that he became merciful and careful about those who belonged to him. …” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Conclusion

 

Let us be Wise to both “Preach the Gospel” and “Practice the Gospel” as much as we can to be considered Worthy to become His Bride/Church (Matthew 5:19).

 

Here is the Symbolic Meaning of the Easter Vigil too, to quote from the same source:

 

[ed note, Easter vigil: This day was kept an universal fast over the whole Church. And they continued it not only till evening, but till cockcrowing in the morning. The night was spent in a Vigil, or Pernoctation, when they assembled together to perform all parts of Divine service. There is frequent mention made of this in ancient writers, Chrysostom, (Hom. 30. in Gen,) Epiphanius, (Exp. fid. n. 22.) and many others. Particularly Lactantius and S. Jerome tell us observed it on a double account. Lactantius, (vii. 19.) says, ‘This is the night which we observe, with a per noctation for the Advent of our King and God; of which there is a twofold reason to be given; because in this night our Lord was raised to life again after His Passion; and in the same He is expected to return to receive the kingdom of the world.’ “ Bingham’s Antiquities, xxi. 1. 32.]

 

Who are the Blessed Saints represented here? (Listed in no order of importance for each saint here is very important in my view)

 

  1. Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD).

 

  1. Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD).

 

  1. Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

  1. Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

*Note: Blessed Origen of Alexandria must be the only Christian in entire history of Christianity where though he was declared a heretic by certain later councils, but yet his exegesis is still quoted and believed and used by some of the holiest leaders of the church during his time till today as it is found even in the official commentaries of the Catholic Church even. Why? Because they knew that he was ‘mostly right’ and ‘very scarcely wrong & he was also defended as being Orthodox during his lifetime by some of the Greatest Orthodox saints the world has ever known’.

 

  1. Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Forgotten Star of First Christianity – James the Brother of Lord Jesus Christ

 

1) Who was he?

 

“… For the apostles’ generation is gone — I mean the generation from Peter until Paul, and until John who even lived until the time of Trajan. And James is gone, the first to exercise the episcopate in Jerusalem. (James was called the Lord’s brother but he was Joseph’s son, born, like the rest of his brothers, of Joseph’s real wife. (8) Because the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in the flesh of the ever-virgin Mary, was brought up with them, < they > were in the position of brothers to him, and he was called their brother.) And all the saints who shared James’ throne are gone, and Symeon, the son of James’ uncle, with them — Symeon, the son of Cleopas the brother of Joseph. 19,9 I subjoin their successive episcopates one by one, beginning with the episcopate of James — < I mean the successive > bishops who were appointed in Jerusalem during each emperor’s reign until the time of Aurelian and Probus …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘MANICHAEANS’ , Points 19.7 – 19.9, Page 246 , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Note the James who wrote the Verse in Image is this James the Brother of Lord Jesus Christ who was the First Leader/Bishop of Jerusalem.

 

2) Virgin Mary never had Sexual Relations with Joseph even after the Birth of Christ. It’s a great heresy to Teach otherwise.

 

“… How dare they < so degrade * > the undefiled Virgin who was privileged to become the Son’s habitation, and was chosen for this from all the myriads of Israel, so that something deemed worthy to be a vessel and dwelling place is to become a mere sign of child-bearing? 7,1 For I have heard from someone that certain persons are venturing to say that she had marital relations after the Savior’s birth. And I am not surprised. The ignorance of persons who do not know the sacred scriptures well and have not consulted histories, always turns them to one thing after another, and distracts anyone who wants to track down something about the truth out of his own head. ( 2 ) To begin with, when the Virgin was entrusted to Joseph 15 — lots having compelled her to take this step — she was not entrusted to him for marriage, since he was a widower. ( 3 ) He was called her husband because of the Law, but it is plainly follows from the Jewish tradition that the Virgin was not entrusted to him for matrimony. ( 4 ) It was for the preservation of her virginity in witness to the things to come — [a witness] that Christ’s incarnation was nothing spurious but was truly attested, as without a man’s seed < but> truly brought about by the Holy Spirit. 7,5 For how could such an old man , 16 who had lost his first wife so many years before, take a virgin for a wife? Joseph was the brother of Cleopas but the son of Jacob surnamed Panther; both of these brothers were the sons of the man surnamed Panther. ( 6 ) Joseph took his first wife from the tribe of Judah and she bore him six children in all, four boys and two girls, as the Gospels according to Mark and John have made clear . …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ANTIDICOMARIANS’, Points 6.5 – 7.6, Page 620 , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

3) Blessed St. James the Brother of Lord Jesus Christ (nicknamed also as “James the Just”) was born to a different mother via the Marital Relations of Joseph and her & he took the Nazarite Vow whilst being the First Bishop of the Church at Jerusalem

 

“… Joseph took his first wife from the tribe of Judah and she bore him six children in all, four boys and two girls, as the Gospels according to Mark and John have made clear . 17 ( 7 ) His firstborn son was James, whose surname was Oblias, or “wall ,” 18 and who was also surnamed “The Just” and was a nazirite, or “holy man. ” ( 8 ) He was the first to receive the episcopal throne , 19 the first to whom the Lord entrusted his throne on earth. ( 9 ) He was also called the Lord’s brother, as the apostle agrees by saying somewhere, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother, ” 20 and so on. But he is called the Lord’s brother not by nature but by grace, because of being brought up with him. ( 10 ) For because she had been betrothed to Joseph Mary appeared to be the wife of a husband, but she had no sexual relations with him. For this reason the degree of the kinship of Joseph’s sons to the Savior was called, or rather, regarded as, that of brotherhood. 7,11 Similarly Joseph himself is held by dispensation to be in the position of a father, though he had had no part in the fleshly generation of the Savior. Thus Luke the evangelist says of the Savior himself that he was “the son of Joseph, as was supposed ” 21 and Mary too said to him the Gospel according to Luke, “Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing .’’ 22 ( 12 ) Who, then, can call Joseph the Lord’s father when he had no responsibility for his generation, especially when the incarnation took place without a man’s seed? But by the dispensation of providence this is how matters fell out. 8,1 Joseph begot James when he was somewhere around forty years old. After him he had a son named Joses — then Simeon after him, then Judah, and two daughters, one named Mary and one, Salome; and his wife died. ( 2 ) And many years later, as a widower of over eighty, he took Mary. So we are told in the Gospel, for it says, “Mary, his espoused wife ;” 23 it didn’t say, “married wife. ” And again, in another passage it says, “And he knew her not .” 24 ( 3 ) One can only wonder at all < the allegations * > 25 of those who look for wicked allegations, who < strive* > to discover the causes which need no discovery and to investigate the uninvestigable, but who turn from the essentials to foolish questions, so that we may surely catch the plague of every kind of unbelief and blasphemy because of the dishonoring of the saints. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ANTIDICOMARIANS’, Points 7.6 – 8.3, Page 620 – 621 , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”)

 

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

and

 

 

“… I always heard that James was called the Lord’s brother, and I said in wonderment, “What’s the use of this?” But now I understand why the sacred scripture said this beforehand. When we hear, “Lo, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee,” (5) let us by all means learn that it is speaking of James and the other sons of Joseph, and not of sons of Mary whom she never had. For it was plain that, in comparison with the [years of] the Lord’s incarnation, James was the elder. ( 6 ) The scripture calls them brothers to confound [our opponents], and names James, Joses, Simeon, Judah, Salome and Mary, so that they will learn whose son James is and by which mother, and understand who is the elder. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ANTIDICOMARIANS’, Points 9.4 – 9.6, Page 622 – 623 , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) As a Priest or Bishop, what Level of “Continence” did James the Brother of Lord Jesus Christ Practice?

 

“… James the Lord’s brother,” < who > died in virginity < at the age > of ninety-six. (3) No iron implement had touched his head, he had never visited a bath house, had never eaten meat . 41 He did not own a change of clothing and wore only a threadbare linen garment, as it says in the Gospel, “The young man fled, and left the cloth wherewith he was clad ” 42 13,4 John, James and James, these three, lived in virginity — the two sons of Zebedee and James, who was the son of Joseph and the Lord’s brother

because he had lived with him, had been brought up with him, and had the status of a brother because of Joseph’s only relationship to Mary, her betrothal to him. (5) Only this James was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies once a year 43 since he was a nazirite and a member of the priesthood. Thus Mary was related to Elizabeth in two ways 44 and James was distinguished by priesthood, since only the two tribes intermarried, the kingly with the priestly and the priestly with the kingly. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ANTIDICOMARIANS’, Points 13.2 – 13.5, Page 626, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Conclusion – James the Brother of Lord Jesus Christ a Nazarite Priest, Bishop of Great Continence in many areas of life

 

As the Verse in Image relates, living such a life of “Continence” as a Priest/Bishop for Lord Jesus Christ Produced Great Power in James’ Prayer, to quote:

 

“… James also wore the priestly diadem. And once he raised his hands to heaven and prayed during a drought, and heaven immediately gave rain. He never put on a woolen garment , 45 From their continual kneeling before the Lord with extreme piety, his knees grew as hard as camels’. (2) He was no longer addressed by name; his name was “The Just.” He never washed in the bath house, did not eat meat, as I have already said, and did not put on a sandal. And a great deal could be said about James and his virtuous life. 14,3 You see, then, that Joseph’s home was most remarkable in every way. For if Joseph’s sons knew the state of virginity and the practice of the nazirites, how much more did the elderly and honorable Joseph know how to preserve the Virgin in purity, and pay honor to the vessel in which humankind’s salvation had once dwelt? “Doth not nature itself teach you ?” 46 (4) The man was aged, very far advanced in years, and a man of standing, faithful character and pious demeanor. For the Gospel says, “From fear of God the man sought to put her away privily .” 41 14,5 This James, the Lord’s brother and Joseph’s son, died in Jerusalem, after living for about twenty-four years after the assumption of the Savior . 48 For at the age of ninety-six he was struck on the head with a fuller’s rod, was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple (6) and fell without injury, but knelt in prayer for those who had thrown him down and said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do .” 48 Meanwhile Simeon, his cousin but the son of Cleopas, stood at a distance and said, “Stop! Why are you stoning the Just? And look, he’s praying for you the best he can!” And this was the martyrdom of James. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ANTIDICOMARIANS’, Points 14.1 – 14.6, Pages 626 – 627 , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicolaus – One of the Seven ArchDeacons – Did he fall off from the Continence Race of Faith?

 

“… Sometimes your greatest gain on Earth can lead to your greatest loss in His Kingdom and your greatest loss on Earth can lead to your greatest gain in His Kingdom … ” – Unknown

 

Each quote below is from link below:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaism

 

1) Who was he?

“… The Nicolas (Νικόλαος) of Acts 6:5 was a native of Antioch and a proselyte (convert to Judaism) and then a follower of the way of Christ. When the Church was still confined to Jerusalem, he was chosen by the whole multitude of the disciples to be one of the first seven deacons, and he was ordained by the apostles, c. AD 33. It has been questioned whether this Nicolas was connected with the Nicolaitans mentioned in Revelation, and if so, how closely. …”

 

 

2) A Heretical Sect was Formed in his name of which Lord Jesus Christ Himself Condemns in Revelation 2:15

 

“… The Nicolaitanes are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practice adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols…” — Blessed St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, Adversus haereses, i. 26, §3)

 

3) What’s the Story regarding this Sect and their fall from the Faith-Race of Continence?

 

“… [Nicolas] had an attractive wife, and had refrained from intercourse as though in imitation of those whom he saw to be devoted to God. He endured this for a while but in the end could not bear to control his incontinence…. But because he was ashamed of his defeat and suspected that he had been found out, he ventured to say, “Unless one copulates every day, he cannot have eternal life.”[20] …” — – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, Panarion, xxv. 1)

 

4) Is the Story above True or did the Nicolaitan Sect borrow his famous name into it to gain popularity to spread their impious doctrines?

 

“… Jerome believes the account of Nicolas succumbing to heresy, at least to some extent.[22] This was also the opinion of the unknown Christian author (writing around 435) of Praedestinatus (in i. 4.),[4] as well as other writers in the 4th century. This view of Nicolas is irreconcilable with the traditional account of his character given by Clement of Alexandria,[23] an earlier writer than Epiphanius. He states that Nicolas led a chaste life and brought up his children in purity. He describes a certain occasion when Nicolas had been sharply reproved by the apostles as a jealous husband, and he repelled the charge by offering to allow his wife to become the wife of any other person. Clement also writes that Nicolas was in the habit of repeating a saying which is ascribed to the apostle Matthias, that it is our duty to fight against the flesh and to abuse (παραχρῆσθαι) it. His words were perversely interpreted by the Nicolaitans as authority for their immoral practices.[24] Theodoret repeats the foregoing statement of Clement in his account of the sect, and charges the Nicolaitans with false dealing in borrowing the name of the deacon. Clement (in Stromata 3, 2) does condemn heretics whose views on sex he sees as licentious, but he does not associate them with Nicolas:…”

 

5) What does the Father of Church History, Eusebius say about him?

 

“… Eusebius speaks directly about the Nicolaitans and Nicolas (in his Historia Ecclesiastica iii, 29), saying “At this time the so-called sect of the Nicolaitans made its appearance and lasted for a very short time. Mention is made of it in the Apocalypse of John. They boasted that the author of their sect was Nicolaus, one of the deacons who, with Stephen, were appointed by the apostles for the purpose of ministering to the poor.” Eusebius repeats Clement’s story about Nicolas and his wife and holds that those he decries as heretics are claiming his name for their sect because they misunderstand the context of his presentation of his wife to the apostles and are “imitating blindly and foolishly that which was done and said, [in order to] commit fornication without shame. But I understand that Nicolaus had to do with no other woman than her to whom he was married, and that, so far as his children are concerned, his daughters continued in a state of virginity until old age, and his son remained uncorrupt. If this is so, when he brought his wife, whom he jealously loved, into the midst of the apostles, he was evidently renouncing his passion; and when he used the expression, ‘to abuse the flesh,’ he was inculcating self-control in the face of those pleasures that are eagerly pursued. For I suppose that, in accordance with the command of the Savior, he did not wish to serve two masters, pleasure and the Lord [Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13]. …So much concerning those who then attempted to pervert the truth, but in less time than it has taken to tell it became entirely extinct.” …”

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

“15‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:15 – 17, NASB)

 

The True Christian Walk of Faith leads toward “losing one’s life here on earth” to “gain heavenly rewards/crowns”.

 

“32“Remember Lot’s wife. 33“Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. ” – Most Blessed Savior Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 17:32 – 33, NASB)

 

Repentance to Return to these Most Noble Races of Faith is still available now (even as a “Second Dignity” toward Repentance of Great Sins committed after Baptism):

 

“… The holy word and God’s holy church always accept repentance, though not to weaken those who are finishing their course, or to make them lax; still, she does not block God’s grace and lovingkindness, but knows the nature of every case. (7) For as one who has lost his virginity cannot < recover > it physically since nature does not permit this, so it is with one who has fallen into major sins after baptism. (8) And as one who has fallen from virginity has continence for a second dignity, so he who has fallen into major sin after baptism has < reform > for a second healing — not as virtuous as the first, but he has the second healing he has received, one not thrust out from life. God’s word, then, does not deny the reward of those who labor in penance …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘CATHARI’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 2.6 – 2.8, Pages 105 – 106)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myths vs Truth – Faith Contests for Continence – Is it Wrong to Desire it? and No Prayers to Virgin Mary

 

Let’s Begin with the first question: Faith Contests for Continence – Is it Wrong to Desire it?

 

Not at all.

 

In fact, this is a Foundational Truth Preached in First Christianity but is lacking today considerably especially in Protestantism. It’s NOT wrong to desire “Continence” to gain greater “Crowns and Rewards” in the heavens (not on earth, Matthew 6:19 – 20) and such an intention is encouraged toward those who make a choice for it, to quote:

 

“… 8,6 And the most holy apostle Paul prophesied, “Now the Spirit saith expressly that in the last days harsh times shall come,” 40 and so on. (7) And again, in another place, “Some shall fall away from sound doctrine, giving heed to seducing < spirits > and doctrines of devils, forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be partaken of by us < who receive them > with thanksgiving.” The material before this < will > itself < make it plain > that < this > has clearly come true, in you and in others like you. Most of these sects forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods, though they do not do this for discipline’s sake or for greater virtue with its rewards and crowns, but because they regard these creatures of the Lord as abominations. g,i Now the holy catholic church reveres virginity, monogamy and purity, commends widowhood, and honors and accepts lawful wedlock; but it forbids fornication, adultery and unchastity. (2) This will show the character of the holy catholic church and the false customs of the others — [show], < likewise >, who has seen fit to avoid every imposture, crooked path and uphill track. (3) For I have said before — as has just been said by the most holy apostle and I shall now repeat — that it was to make us secure and distinguish the character of the holy catholic church from the imposture of the sects, that Paul said how arrogantly the sects which forbid matrimony and prescribe abstinence from foods prohibit God’s good ordinances by law. 9,4 For it was < with > a certain fitness that the divine Word said, “Wilt thou be perfect?” 42 in the Gospel. Although he makes allowances for human clay and its frailty, he rejoices in those who can show the marks of piety and choose to practice virginity, purity and continence. Still, he honors marriage to one spouse, (5) even though he prefigures the gifts of the priesthood chiefly by means of persons who stayed continent after one marriage, and persons who remained virgin, and his holy apostles so established the canonical rule of the priesthood, with decency and holiness…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘MONTANISTS’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 8.6 – 9.5, Page 14)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

Here’s an interesting fact: There is no quote of ever St. Epiphanius praying to Mary as it was done by some others. In fact, he was against the use of images (“icons”) of saints or even possibly Christ in the Prayer Altar in the Church (quote below), Interesting, isn’t it?

 

“… Asking what place it was, and learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, and found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church, dyed and embroidered. It bore an image either of Christ or of one of the saints; I do not rightly remember whose the image was. Seeing this, and being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, Letter LI in Jerome’s letters gives Jerome’s Latin translation, made at Epiphanius’ request, of his letter, originally in Greek from c. 394 AD, “From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem”)

 

Source:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphanius_of_Salamis

 

Another Quote regarding Christian Cults which regard “Virgin Mary” as “Divine”:

“… The Catholic church is explicit that Mary’s role is as helper. Around 350-450 A.D. there was a heresy called Collyridianism where there was a group of women who did worship Mary as a deity. They were not Catholic. A Catholic representative, Saint Epiphanius defeated this heresy with his apologetic Panarion. …”

 

Source:

 

https://www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/mary-in-the-early-church.php

 

This is the only Reasonable and Accepted Orthodox Truth St. Epiphanius taught about the Blessed Virgin Mary:

 

“… Eve was called the mother of the living …after the fall this title was given to her. True it is…the whole race of man upon earth was born from Eve; but in reality it is from Mary the Life was truly born to the world. So that by giving birth to the Living One, Mary became the mother of all living (St. Epiphanius, Against Eighty Heresies, 78,9, written c. 374 AD) …”

 

Source:

https://www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/mary-in-the-early-church.php

Please notice carefully how the Roman Catholic Website in link above simply quotes St. Epiphanius as though he prayed to Virgin Mary but his actual writing quoted (the only one that’s there hence they themselves can’t find anything else) does NOT prove their point. Please also notice carefully that the ‘earliest Prayer to Mary’ fragment found by even the Roman Catholic Church called the “Sub Tuum Praesidium”, dates back to at least 300 AD has NO known authorship (it’s not by a Church Father or anyone endorsed but could be Gnostic though they don’t like to admit this truth – isn’t it strange that no early Church fathers before 300 AD wrote of any prayers to Virgin Mary like the later ones such as St. Augustine?)

 

If it was important to the True First Christianity’s Catholic Faith to “pray to Mary”, it must be found amongst the earliest Church Leaders before 300 AD, which is not the case. Strange, isn’t it?

 

Focus Phrases from the quote above making this clear regarding the True Contests of Faith especially in regards to Continence, to repeat (highlight):

 

 

 

 

1) It is allowed to abstain from Marriage or from certain foods by choice with the intention of gaining greater crowns and rewards in heaven due to sacrificing such a sought after blessing on earth.

 

“… Most of these sects forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods, though they do not do this for discipline’s sake or for greater virtue with its rewards and crowns …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

 

 

 

2) Perfection Contests of Faith belongs especially toward those who Practice Continence by choice.

 

“… the divine Word said, “Wilt thou be perfect?” 42 in the Gospel. Although he makes allowances for human clay and its frailty, he rejoices in those who can show the marks of piety and choose to practice virginity, purity and continence. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

 

3) Priesthood Calling in Christianity is actually required to Practice Continence to the extent that even sexual relations with their wives ought to be stopped permanently upon ordination (if married once only prior).

 

“… even though he prefigures the gifts of the priesthood chiefly by means of persons who stayed continent after one marriage, and persons who remained virgin, and his holy apostles so established the canonical rule of the priesthood, with decency and holiness …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

Those priests who break this Rule may not inherit such greater rewards (as the Rule is the same for all), to quote:

 

“It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office.” – Synod of Elvira (c. 305 AD, Canon 33)

 

“It is fitting that the holy bishops and priests of God as well as the Levites, i.e. those who are in the service of the divine sacraments, observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the Apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also endeavour to keep…. It pleases us all that bishop, priest and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from conjugal intercourse with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity.” – Council of Carthage (c. 390 AD, Canon 3)

 

Source for both quotes above:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerical_celibacy_in_the_Catholic_Church

 

*Catholic Church = Universal Church (though today this phrase is more commonly used to refer to the Roman Catholic Church).

 

Conclusion – Is this Important for Fulfilling the Great Commission?

 

Yes, the “teaching all that I have Commanded you part” (Verse below):

 

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:20, NASB)

 

I’m not necessarily implying that modern Christianity which sometimes ignores these Deep Truths or Contests of Faith is unsaved but rather that, even if one is saved, in order to attain these greater Crowns or Rewards in the Contests of Faith (Matthew 5:19), one needs to adhere by the same Commandments and Rules set by the Lord through His Apostles as Holy Ancient Tradition with Holy Scripture has Revealed (2 Timothy 2:5).

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Context – Kingdom of Heaven a Blessing to the Christian Poor or Poor in Spirit or Both?

 

Both, according to the First Christianity’s Champion of Faith below, to quote:

 

“… 401 8r,3 But he does not know that the Old Testament also says, “The poor and the rich have met together: but the Lord is the maker of them both.” 402 And the New Testament agrees, and pronounces a blessing on the poor who are literally poor, and in another passage a blessing on the poor in spirit, so that both pronouncements have force. Thus Peter can point with pride to his literal poverty and say, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, I give thee; in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk,” 403 (4) so that the blessing of the actually poor means nothing contradictory to the blessing of the poor in spirit. The “poor in spirit” are persons in righteous possession of property, while the “poor” are the humble, of whom Christ said, “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat, thirsty, and ye gave me drink,” and so on 81,5 Next he explains, ‘These (i.e., the poor in spirit) acted of their abundance”; 405 and you see one and the same Spirit speaking of the poor and the rich in the Old Testament and the same in the New, just as the Savior praises them both. (6) For as he was watching the treasury he saw people putting money into the treasury, and did not refuse the gifts of the rich; but he praised the widow who had put in the two mites for her [actual] poverty, as we have said, in fulfillment of the scripture, “The poor and the rich have met together: but the Lord is the maker of them both.” 406 (81,7) And to show that this is so, and the Spirit of the Old and the New Testaments is the same, see the apostle say of the ancient prophets, “The time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David and the other prophets who wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being tormented, straitened, afflicted, of whom the world was not worthy.” 407 For I have found that Isaiah wore sackcloth, and Elijah too. And do you see how, in the Old and the New Testaments, the poor are called blessed for piety, and the rich are called blessed for righteousness? …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘MANICHAEANS’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 62.10, Pages 308 – 309)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Bible Verses:

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – The Almighty Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:3, NASB)

 

“And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He [Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ] began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20, NASB)

 

[Emphasis Mine]

 

Focus Quote from the earlier quote above:

 

“… And the New Testament agrees, and PRONOUNCES a BLESSING on the POOR who are LITERALLY POOR [Luke 6:20], and in ANOTHER PASSAGE a BLESSING on the POOR IN SPIRIT [Matthew 5:3], so that BOTH PRONOUNCEMENTS HAVE FORCE…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Gift of Being Unmarried vs Being Married – Alexandrian Theology via the Coptic Church

 

Here are Two Major Facts:

 

1) Origen, like his teacher St. Clement of Alexandria, defends the lawfulness of marriage against the Encratites who are mostly the Marcionites and the Montanists. He refers to them in the words of St. Paul in 1 Tim. 4:3 as attaching themselves to demonic doctrines.

 

To quote:

 

“… Since God has joined them together (a man and a woman in marriage), for this reason there is a gift for those joined together by God. Paul knowing this declares that equally with the purity of the holy celibacy is marriage according to the Word of God a gift, saying, “But I would that all men were like myself; howbeit, each man has his own gift from God, one after this manner, and another after that” (1 Cor. 7:7). Those who are joined together by God obey in thought and deed the command “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also the Church” Eph 5:25 …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://www.copticchurch.net/topics/patrology/schoolofalex2/chapter19.html

 

Origen of Alexandria’s influence on Christianity’s Finest who influenced probably all of Christianity in some way in turn, to quote:

 

“… Influenced Athanasius, Rufinus, John of Jerusalem, Dionysius of Alexandria, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Arius of Alexandria, Theophilus of Alexandria, Maximus, John Scotus Eriugena, Erasmus, Henry More, Pope Benedict XVI, …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen

 

No matter what Origen’s errors in theology might have been in some areas, as the ancient Christian leaders have all mentioned (e. g. St. Cyprian of Carthage too), a Martyr for Christ is certainly a receiver of a “Hundredfold fruit” inheritance in His Glorious Kingdom, right?

 

2) Marriage is a safety valve for those who are not gifted with continence.

 

“… God has allowed us to marry wives, because not everyone is capable of the superior condition, which is to be absolutely pure. Do not think that just as the belly is made for food and food for the belly, that in the same way the body is made for intercourse. It was made that it should be a temple to the Lord. Adam had a body in Paradise, but in Paradise he did not know Eve…” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Didascalia, Teacher to Origen (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://www.copticchurch.net/topics/patrology/schoolofalex2/chapter19.html

 

St. Clement of Alexandria’s influence in Christianity, to quote:

 

“… Influenced Virtually all of subsequent Christian philosophy and Catholic theology, Including Benedict XVI and Eusebius … Regarded as a heretic by Photius. Catholic cult suppressed1586 by Pope Sixtus V … But Venerated inOriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Catholicism, Anglican Communion, Coptic Christianity, Ethiopian Christianity …”

 

Suppressed in 1586? I believe in First Christianity’s Finest even before Photius where even the “Popes” before & after Photius never saw anything heretical till “1586” via “Baronius”.

 

Source:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clement_of_Alexandria

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Highest Calling – the Hundredfold Mystery – Who are the Firsts in His Kingdom?

 

In Christ’s Own Most Blessed Words, to quote:

 

“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)

 

All the Mysteries and Answers to how to be among the “Firsts” (or the HUNDREDFOLD) in His Kingdom is found in Verses above. Did you notice that this Highest Race of Faith which is available to any believer by choice (not forced)? Since it’s available to every believer by choice, it’s perfectly fair and a True Biblical Doctrine.

 

Note: I may never reach even the Thirtyfold fruit of faith and how much more the most difficult hundredfold fruit but it doesn’t deter me from being fascinated by this Great Contest of Faith which Christ has Graciously Given to His Best where I admire most especially those saints and laity who have achieved it in Christianity.

 

Why is this Writing Important?

 

It is well accepted in almost all Christianity that the leaders of their denominations, i. e. “Priests” be it “Bishops”, “Deacons”, “Pastors” etc. are to be worthy of this highest hundredfold fruit first. However, it is not well known especially in Protestantism regarding the requirements for it where by ignoring it, many may find themselves lesser in His Kingdom due to not having observed these Ancient Apostolic Hierarchies (Matthew 5:19).

 

Let’s Begin. Each Quote below is (not my opinion, please take note carefully) from First Christianity and is from link below unless stated otherwise:

 

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7052

 

 

 

 

Quotes:

 

1) The Bible Verses First

 

“… The Gospel texts do not spell out in so many words that the apostles, in the company of Christ, instinctively adopted celibacy as their new lifestyle; that they relinquished the use of marital rights, if they were married. Documents of the young Church affirm, however, that clerical celibacy started with the apostles. If we first inform ourselves about celibacy in the early Church from non-Scriptural documents, and thereafter read again pertinent passages of the Gospel, I think we read about celibacy in the Gospel too, at least between the lines. For example, the Gospel according to St. Luke first tells about Peter’s marriage by mentioning his mother-in-law (Lk 4:38); then later Luke weaves in the passage about leaving wife and children behind: Then Peter said, “We have given up our possessions and followed you.” (Jesus) said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive [back] an overabundant return in this present age and eternal life in the age to come” (Lk 18:28-30). When I read the passage, I find myself believing that Peter and the rest had either already given up possessions and wife and children, or they were making up their minds gradually to do this. If that were not the case, the passage would lack the otherwise smooth flow and logic of St. Luke’s masterful style and context. Luke constantly challenges us to read between the lines. The parallel passages of Mt 19:29 and Mk 10:29 mention leaving children behind, but not a wife. Why? Perhaps because some of the women who later accompanied apostles on their journeys were their wives. Paul describes such a companion in 1 Cor 9:5 as adelphaen gynaika, a “sister-woman” or “sister-wife.” Paul thus delineates the brother-sister relationship of these apostolic teams, as we shall see. At any rate, early Church documents of Fathers, Popes, and Councils reveal a commonly held belief that the tradition of celibacy goes back to the apostles. We shall quote and analyze some of the documents. Recently it is more fashionable to claim that obligatory celibacy for the clergy began only in the 4th century, with Pope St. Siricius (384-399). But as we shall see, Pope Siricius was affirming a norm already fixed long before his time in the tradition; he was not at all innovating a new norm. In the meantime the book Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy appeared, which argues cogently from the sources that the tradition of clerical celibacy began with the apostles. If that is true, then opponents of obligatory celibacy oppose not the pope, but the twelve apostles…” – Source Link Quoted at the Start of this Write Up

 

2) Priests must be unmarried or give up Sexual Relations with their Wives too (and treat their wives as sisters only therafter) in order to be in this Highest Race of Faith which yields the Greatest Rewards

 

“… Bishop Epiphanius denounced Origen as an arch-heretic, whereas Bishop John defended him as orthodox. St. Jerome, listening to both, was converted then and there from being a follower of Origen to become now his opponent. As a result, the book burning of Origen’s works took place and many of his precious works were lost forever. St. Epiphanius had traveled to Rome with Saint Jerome years before this. St. Jerome, at that time, had become the secretary of Pope Damascus, and was disappointed when he was not elected to succeed him. All this shows that St. Epiphanius had his fingers on the pulse of the Church during this dramatic period (see Johannes Quasten, Patrology IV, 215-217). Because Epiphanius engaged in sometimes acerbic controversy with the great ones of his time, we can well imagine that his enemies would have gleefully exposed him had he given wrong testimony about the then prevailing norm concerning priestly celibacy. He had a sweeping knowledge of affairs of his time, as witnessed by his writing of the Panarion. The first twenty heresies he denounces are all of the pre-Christian period. The first Christian heresy he describes and opposes is that of Simon Magus; he made use of the writings of St. Irenaeus of Lyons and of others for his materials; the last of the heresies in his list is that of the contemporary Malawians, who would be officially condemned at the Council of Ephesis in 431, after Epiphanius had passed away. The Bishops of Cyprus, as indicated above, were so impressed by his learning that they asked him to become a fellow bishop on their island. What he says in the Pearson is that clerical celibacy dates back to the time of the apostles, and that it remains as the norm for the Church ever since. Here, then, is an illustration of what he says about clerics and continence: Since the Incarnation of Christ, the holy Word of God does not admit to the priesthood the monogamists who, after the death of their wives, have contracted a second marriage …And it is observed by the Holy Church of God with great exactitude and without fail. But the man who continues to live with his wife and to sire children is not admitted by the Church as a deacon, priest, or bishop, even if he is the husband of an only wife. And [only he can be admitted to be deacon, priest, or bishop] who having been monogamous, observes continence or is a widower. [This is observed] especially where the ecclesiastical canons are exact” (GAS 31, 367; Cochini, 229). Epiphanius testifies about a practice of the Church which, he says, started with the Incarnation of Christ. God Himself, he says in the passage, does not admit to the priesthood men who have re-married, by reason of the exceptional honor due to the priesthood. And the Church, he continues, admits married monogamists whose wives are with them, but only on condition that they observe continence. The practice of the 4th century to which St. Epiphanius testifies is in accord with the instructions of Paul to Timothy (1 Tim 3:2-5) and to Titus (Tit 1:5-6). That is, “A bishop may be married only once.” But Epiphanius adds what Paul had not spelt out there, namely that the married man who is to be ordained bishop must practice continence as a condition for ordination. Such is the norm where the canons of the Church are observed exactly, Epiphanius tells us. The Canons of the Church of which he speaks must be understood in the context of the 4th century: they are not yet a written Code of Canon Law; rather they are methods of procedure followed by those in authority who make the decisions about who is to be admitted to ordination. The “Canons” referred to by Epiphanius, then, are traditions which Church administrators were expected to follow. St. Jerome observes that the works of Epiphanius “were eagerly read by the learned, on account of their subject matter, and also by the plain people, on account of their language” (De Air. Ill. 114). We saw above that Epiphanius had his fingers on what was going on in the Church at his time; the information he gives that the Church was ordaining married men, but only on condition that they give up marital intercourse from the time of ordination, cannot be wrong…” – Source Link Quoted at the Start of this Write Up

 

3) How about Married Priests Phenomenon at that time?

 

To Quote:

 

“… Other sources tell us the same thing, and do not contradict Epiphanius. From other sources we know that there was usually a time of probation before ordination, during which the ordinand and his wife could test themselves, and the ordaining prelate could examine their fitness. But St. Epiphanius was not blind to the reality of offenses against this norm being committed in the 4th century. He wrote: “But you will surely ask [tell me]: in certain places there are priests, deacons, and subdeacons who are still begetting children. This is not done in conformity with the ‘canon’ but because men are now letting themselves go, and given the multitude [of the faithful], there are not enough ministers” (GAS 31,367-368; Cochini 230). We ask why the discipline of clerical celibacy was not observed rigorously everywhere at the time of St. Epiphanius. We recall that during this stormy post-Nice period Arians were unseating orthodox bishops everywhere, after stirring up riots with ruffians and then calling in the Imperial army to quell the riots and install the Arian bishop. Bishops and clergy were inclined to take the law into their own hands. We rightly admire the clergy who remained faithful, who preserved the general norm of celibacy despite the defections, despite the trying times. Defections, then as now, served to sharpen the profile of the general norm. To answer objections against the tradition of ordaining married men who promise to live celibately, Epiphanius wrote a defense. One reason why the Holy Catholic Church ordains married men, he wrote, is to demonstrate her esteem for the state of the married life. The Church is not at all narrow-minded, is by no means opposed to marriage, as the Coauthors are, wrote the saint. She admits married monogamists to the priesthood, as well as virgins and widows; these married men then renounce the use of marital intercourse as a condition for ordination. In this practice the apostles followed the lead of Christ; the Church today, continued Epiphanius, wisely and in a holy manner, follows the regulation instituted by the apostles that continence is to be observed by all the clergy, including the clergy who are married. “The Word of God (chose) former monogamists practicing continence … (as well as) men living continually in virginity; his apostles regulated with wisdom and sanctity the ecclesiastical canon of the priesthood in that same way” GAS 31, 231; see Cochini,227). Christ, then, according to Epiphanius, selected alternative lifestyles as being compatible with the priesthood: and by honoring these various lifestyles with the glory of the priesthood, Christ honored these different states of life. He chose virgins for the priesthood, on the one hand, to give honor to virginity; and He chose monogamists for the priesthood on the other hand — those who thenceforth practiced continence — to honor marriage. It was Christ who selected priests in this manner, testified Epiphanius, and the apostles followed this precedent of Christ by doing as He had shown them; that is, by ordaining virgins to the priesthood, and by ordaining also married monogamists who choose to embrace continence. This very significant testimony of Epiphanius reveals what must have been the general conviction of the Church at his time; namely that Christ admitted to the priesthood both virgins and married men; that the married men whom Christ admitted to the priesthood ceased exercising conjugal life; and that the apostles followed this precedent shown to them by Christ, by making celibacy the norm for the clergy in the Church…” – Source Link Quoted at the Start of this Write Up

 

4) Does it make a Difference in Heavenly Ranking as Christ Himself Implies Ranking when He says “MANY who are first shall be last and the last first” (Matthew 19:27 – 30) and also regarding those who break His Commands to be least in His Kingdom of the Heavens (Matthew 5:19)?

 

To quote:

 

“… In another passage Epiphanius allows us to see his great esteem for virginity, which he shared with the believers of his time. He regarded virginity as a great spiritual dynamism which nourishes and supports the Christian people at their spiritual roots; he relates that very many contemporary Christians, men and women, were living a virginal life, the state most highly esteemed and honored by believers at his time. Next in rank to virgins, he writes, are those living a solitary life [also celibates]; then numerous monks and contemplative of both sexes [celibates living a common life]; next in rank are continence, and widowhood; and finally marriage lived in sanctity. All of these ranks are esteemed in the Church and honored by her. But then comes the crowning of the structure of the Church, which is none other than the priestly order; Epiphanius salutes the priestly order as the nurturing mother of the Church: “The crowning of all these, or if one wishes, the mother and the one who gives them life, is the holy priesthood, whose dynamic force comes in great part from the virgins [who are priests]” (GAS 37, 522; Cochini 232). The priesthood, then is the crown and glory of the Church, he says; and what supplies the priesthood with its spiritual power is largely the dynamism of the state of virginity of its members. In the context he includes the continence of the married priests after ordination as part of this dynamism. Such is the insight of the great St. Epiphanius, a towering figure of the 4th century. Priests and deacons are recruited, continues Epiphanius, as the need for them is indicated, first from among virgins, then monks, then monogamists, in that hierarchy of preference: When there are not enough virgins [they are recruited] among the monks; if there are not enough monks for the ministry [they are recruited] among men who observe continence with their wives or among the exmonogamists who are widowers; but … admitting a re-married man to the priesthood is not permitted; even if he observes continence or is a widower, [he is not admitted to] the Order of the bishops, priests, deacons, and subdeacons (see ibid.). In the passage we note that continence is esteemed as the determining quality for the selection of the clergy at the time of St. Epiphanius. Fr. Cochini observes that “through the hierarchical ordering of the possible candidates to the priesthood — first the virgins, then the monks, and lastly the monogamists ready to observe continence — Epiphanius does indeed stress the prevailing importance that the Church granted to” perfect chastity. “The continence demanded from the moment of ordination is thus placed within the large movement gathering all the living forces of the Christian community toward the ideal of virginity…and, beyond virginity … toward the sacred priesthood.” The obligation of celibacy “no longer appears as a strange demand … but as a luminous border of a zone lit at its center by virginity,” as a condition for “participation in a peerless, enviable state … rather than an arbitrary constraint imposed … as a superhuman burden” (Cochini 232-233). In other words, the 4th century Church, newly emerged from the catacombs, esteemed the priesthood as the highest glory of the Church; and this Church, ever young, made continence the narrow gateway through which she strictly required all candidates for the priesthood to pass; she left no other detour open to reach the priesthood, no other way to reach it, than a pledge of lifetime continence…” – Source Link Quoted at the Start of this Write Up

 

5) Did Other Christians Agree? Yes, in fact not one quote I have seen from First Christianity’s Finest belonging to someone who disagreed

 

To quote:

 

“… but the abundance of prominent witnesses should leave no doubt in our minds that clerical celibacy was so firmly and so universally established at the time, that the Church simply took it for granted that this is how it must be.

 

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (died ca. 215) believed that Paul was married and took his wife with him during his apostolic ministry. But he believes that Paul must have lived with her as brother and sister, without marital intercourse. Clement says this because he also believed that the other apostles, if they were married, did not have conjugal intercourse with their wives. If the apostles did take a woman with them during their ministry, he states, “women were not treated as wives but as sisters, to serve as interpreters with women whose duties kept them within their homes, and in order that, through these intermediaries, the doctrine of the Lord could penetrate the women’s quarters without the apostles being blamed or unjustly suspected by people of ill will” (GAS 52, 220; Cochini, 80).

 

AMBROSIASTER (ca. 366-84) reminds us that Christ did not desist from choosing Peter as chief of the apostles just because Peter had a wife and children; in the same manner the Church chooses married men today as priests. But, Ambrosiaster adds, the apostles lived in perfect continence with their wives; following this precedent, he continues, priests today do not have intercourse with their wives (CSEL 50, 414-16; Cochini 82).

 

  1. AMBROSE (333-397), one of the four “great” doctors of the Church, urged his priests to persevere in perfect chastity: “You who have received the grace of the sacred ministry in an integral body and with an incorruptible purity and who are alien to the conjugal community itself know that the ministry must be immune from offense and stain and must not be subjected to any injuries from possible conjugal relations. …Learn, O priest, O deacon … to present your pure body to the celebration of the mysteries” (PL 16, 104b-5a; Cochini 236).

 

  1. AUGUSTINE (354-430), another of the great doctors, urged husbands, when separated from their wives by force of circumstances, to live chastely. To encourage them he tells about the members of the clergy who were ordained against their will (inviti), but who kept the rule of chastity thereafter, as imposed on them by ordination. He recalled how Ambrose had been elected suddenly as bishop, and how he himself was made bishop of Hippo. And once ordained the obligation to practice continence followed:

 

That is why we inspire these men … (and) give them as an example the continence of these clerics who were frequently forced against their wills to carry such a burden. Nevertheless, as soon as they have accepted it, they carry it, faithful to their duty until death. …If a great number of the Lord’s ministers accepted all of a sudden and without warning the yoke imposed on them, in the hope of receiving a more glorious place in Christ’s inheritance, how much more should you avoid adultery and embrace continence, for fear, not of shining less in the Kingdom of God, but of burning in the Gehenna of fire” (CSEL 41, 409; Cochini 289-290).

 

ISIDORE OF PELUSIUM (died ca. 435) wrote to Deacon Isidore explaining 1 Cor 9:5: If women accompanied the apostles, “it was not in order to procreate children or to lead with them a common life but, in truth, to assist them with their goods, to take care of feeding the heralds of poverty.” If Paul called them sister-women, it is “because by the word ‘sister’ he wanted to show that they were chaste, while describing their nature with the word ‘women'” (PG 78, 865d-68c; Cochini 81). Note here his interpretation of the “sister-woman” passage of 1 Cor 9:5; Paul, says Isidore, used the term to indicate a brother-sister relationship.

 

I pause here to observe that some contemporary translators use the word wife in this passage. The New Catholic Study Bible, for example, reads like this: “Don’t I have the right to follow the example of the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Peter, by taking a Christian wife with me on my trips?” That translation is misleading. Scripture professionals of the early Church beg to differ. Clement of Alexandria (died ca. 215), Tertullian (died ca. 220), Jerome (died ca.420), Isidore of Pelusium (died ca. 435) and others, all state that Paul refers here to a brother-sister relationship (see Cochini 81 ff.).

 

May I add that if we look at the passage in context, Paul argues here not about conjugal life, but about a right to receive support for his living from the community, by reason of his apostolic work; support which would include meals and other services. He forgoes that right voluntarily, he says, out of a feeling that he wishes to be a burden to no one. The context is not at all about conjugal relations, but about services provided by a “sister-woman,” or if you will, a “sister-wife” (adelphaen gynaika). Today we would call her a housekeeper. A correct translation reveals that Paul refers here to sister-companions or sister-wives of the apostles: if the actual wives of the apostles went with them, they went as sister-women, not as conjugal partners…” – Source Link Quoted at the Start of this Write Up

 

6) What did the Earliest Church Councils had to Say regarding this Matter? Is it True or an opinion only?

 

To quote:

 

“… COUNCIL OF ELVIRA (ca. 305): Canons 27 and 33 of this Council show clearly that clerical celibacy was in force in Spain at the beginning of the 4th century, even before Constantine won the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, and extended religious freedom to the Empire by the Edict of Milan in 313.

 

Can. 27: A bishop, or any priest at all, may have with him only a sister or a virgin daughter dedicated to God; it is decided that he by no means have a stranger.

 

Can. 33: It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office (trans. of Deferrari, the Sources of Catholic Dogma; DS 52 b and c).

 

Note that the 19 Bishops present at this early Council at the beginning of the 4th century, and the 24 priests, and an unrecorded number of deacons and lay people, give no impression whatsoever that they are promulgating a new regulation which makes clerical celibacy obligatory for the first time. Rather, the participants of this Council emphasize that the practice of obligatory celibacy, which they assume is already fixed before their time, should be observed exactly. They assume that everyone at the Council knew about the discipline beforehand, and that the believers all know it too. A reading which would make celibacy a new discipline here is completely foreign to the context. (See Cochini 158-161).

 

The Council of Carthage in 390

 

Fr. Cochini rightly gives place of honor to the famous declaration made at the Council of Carthage in 390; it is a high profile declaration which made its way into legislative texts of the African Church, into documents of Rome, which is much celebrated in the Byzantine tradition, which the promoters of the Gregorian Reform used more than once as their most solid historical argument (p. 4). The text is lean, sparse of words, authentic to human considerations, austere, totally sincere, and disarmingly humble. Bishop Epigonius proposes the declaration, presiding Bishop Genethlius formulates its wording, all the bishops vote in favor:

 

Epigonius, Bishop of the Royal Region of Bulla, says: The rule of continence and chastity had been discussed in a previous council. Let it now instruct with more emphasis the three ranks that, by virtue of their consecration, are under the same obligation of chastity, i.e. the bishop, the priest, and the deacon, and let them be taught to keep purity.

 

Bishop Genethlius says: As was previously said, it is fitting that the holy bishops and priests of God as well as the Levites, i.e. those who are in the service of the divine sacraments, observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God: what the apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also keep.

 

The bishops declared unanimously: It pleases all that bishop, priest, and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from [conjugal intercourse] with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity (CC 149, p.13; Cochini p. 5)…” – Source Link Quoted at the Start of this Write Up

Conclusion

 

This is Certainly one Truth the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy got Perfectly Right as per the Bible Verses and Solid First Christianity Proofs from History.

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawlessness – Which Christians will be rejected from inheriting His Kingdom?

 

To quote:

 

“… For if “Neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners can inherit the kingdom of God” 167 — (4) and if these things are accomplished by the body and derive their strength from the body, and no one is justified without overcoming them first — and if the one who overcomes them is the one who inclines to prudence and faith — then the body is subject to the law of God. For prudence is the law of God. 52,5 Thus the apostle did not say that the flesh is not subject to the good but that the mind of the flesh is not, removing, as it were, the flesh’s desire for immoderations, just as he removed the soul’s desire for evil (6) In his earnest effort to purge even the intemperance of gluttony, teaching us that such desires and pleasures must be utterly eliminated, (7) and shaming those who believe that luxury and feasting are life — persons “who regard their belly as God ,’’ … Vanity, unbelief anger and hypocrisy are sins of the soul, but fornication, passion and luxury are sins of the body. With these the soul can neither take refuge in the truth nor the body be subject to the teachings of prudence; both will slip away from the kingdom of Christ. 53,5 And therefore if our bodies, when kept holy, are the “temple of the Spirit that dwelleth in us ” 174 and “The Lord is in the body, ” 175 and the members of the body are the members of Christ, the body is subject to the divine law and “can inherit the kingdom of God .”…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ORIGEN’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 52.3 – 52.7, 53.4 – 53.5, Pages 184 – 185)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Conclusion

 

Let’s be careful of these sins which are explicitly mentioned by St. Epiphanius clearly in the above as the reasons why some may “slip away from the kingdom of Christ”:

 

1) Neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners can inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9).

 

2) to purge even the intemperance of gluttony, teaching us that such desires and pleasures must be utterly eliminated.

 

3) and shaming those who believe that luxury and feasting are life.

 

4) Vanity, unbelief anger and hypocrisy are sins of the soul.

 

5) fornication, passion and luxury are sins of the body.

 

Warning against these sins:

 

“… Vanity, unbelief anger and hypocrisy are sins of the soul, but fornication, passion and luxury are sins of the body. With these the soul can neither take refuge in the truth nor the body be subject to the teachings of prudence; With these the soul can neither take refuge in the truth nor the body be subject to the teachings of prudence; both will slip away from the kingdom of Christ. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

Both = sins “Vanity, unbelief anger and hypocrisy” (sins of the soul) and sins “fornication, passion and luxury” (sins of the body)

 

Let us Guard Ourselves and be in Watch lest we lose the Greatest Rewards of “inheriting His Kingdom” due to following a lifestyle which is contrary to these “Laws of Scripture” as First Christianity has taught lest we be ‘careless and lawless in pursuing especially even the seemingly harmless luxury’.

 

As the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture Level Writing has Declared regarding “Lawless Christians” that no matter how much “they had participated in His Word (i. e. including ministry works)” , they are still rejected for being “Lawless” and may only ‘repent in the afterlife after Judgment’ but can never be those part of the “Tower of Repentance” (i. e. His Bride that ‘inherits the Kingdom’), to quote:

 

“… 7[15]:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for ALL THESE STONES that were REJECTED and would not fit into the building of the TOWER that was REPENTANCE, and they had a place in this tower. “THEY CAN REPENT” she said, “but they CANNOT be fitted into THIS TOWER. 7[15]:6 Yet THEY shall be fitted into ANOTHER PLACE much more humble, but not until they have UNDERGONE TORMENTS and have FULFILLED THE DAYS OF THEIR SINS. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts…” – Shepherd of Hermas

 

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

Example of why some Christians (or allegorically “stones” in the Shepherd of Hermas Parable) are “rejected for being lawless” and hence do not become “part of the Tower of Repentance”, to quote (‘in full consecutive Verses context’)

 

“… 5[13]:3 “But they that have the cracks, who are they?” “These are they that have discord in their hearts against one another, and are not at peace among themselves; who have an appearance of peace, but when they depart from one another, their wickednesses abide in their hearts. These are the cracks which the stones have. 5[13]:4 But they that are broken off short, these have believed, and have their greater part in righteousness, but have some parts of lawlessness; therefore they are too short, and are not perfect.” 5[13]: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[13]: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[13]: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. 7[15]:1 “But the other stones which thou sawest cast far away from the tower and falling into the way and rolling out of the way into the regions where there is no way, these are they that have believed, but by reason of their double heart they abandon their true way. Thus thinking that they can find a better way, they go astray and are sore distressed, as they walk about in the regions where there is no way. 7[15]:2 But they that fall into the fire and are burned, these are they that finally rebelled from the living God, and it no more entered into their hearts to repent by reason of the lusts of their wantonness and of the wickednesses which they wrought. 7[15]:3 But the others, which are near the waters and yet cannot roll into the water, wouldest thou know who are they? These are they that heard the word, and would be baptized unto the name of the Lord. Then, when they call to their remembrance the purity of the truth, they change their minds, and go back again after their evil desires.” 7[15]:4 So she finished the explanation of the tower. 7[15]:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower. 7[15]:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.” …” – Shepherd of Hermas

 

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

Here’s a Blessing to those who listen and believe in the Shepherd of Hermas Writing

 

“… 2[23]:5 Go therefore, and declare to the elect of the Lord His mighty works, and tell them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If therefore ye prepare yourselves beforehand, and repent (and turn) unto the Lord with your whole heart, ye shall be able to escape it, if your heart be made pure and without blemish, and if for the remaining days of your life ye serve the Lord blamelessly. Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will set them straight… 2[23]:6 Trust ye in the Lord, ye men of doubtful mind, for He can do all things, yea, He both turneth away His wrath from you, and again He sendeth forth His plagues upon you that are of doubtful mind. Woe to them that hear these words and are disobedient; it were better for them that they had not been born.” … 3[24]:6 Wherefore cease not thou to speak in the ears of the saints. Ye have now the symbolism also of the tribulation which is coming in power. But if ye be willing, it shall be nought. Remember ye the things that are written beforehand…” – Shepherd of Hermas (Vision 4)

 

Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

Please don’t take these Warnings from the Shepherd of Hermas Writing lightly as Christians since it was considered as “Scripture” by St. Irenaeous of Lyons, St. Clement of Alexandria, Pope Callixtus I, Tertullian and even by the First Earliest Muratorian Cannon who only don’t let it to be read publicly in Church as these earliest believers spoke likewise of the Apocalypse of Peter* since Its Contents are for Matured believers and because it’s after the times of the Old Testament Prophets and New Testament Apostles, to quote:

 

“… The Muratorian fragment is a list written c. 170 AD (although some scholars now question this date and prefer to assign the fragment to the 4th century.[12]) that may be the earliest known canon of New Testament writings. It identifies Hermas, the author of The Shepherd, as the brother of Pius I, bishop of Rome: But Hermas wrote The Shepherd very recently, in our times, in the city of Rome, while bishop Pius, his brother, was occupying the chair of the church of the city of Rome. And therefore it ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly to the people in church either among the Prophets, whose number is complete,[13] or among the Apostles, for it is after their time.The Liberian Catalogue of Popes, a record that was later used in the writing of the Liber Pontificalis, states in a portion under the heading of 235: “Under his [Pius’] episcopate, his brother Ermes wrote a book in which are contained the precepts which the angel delivered to him, coming to him in the guise of a Shepherd.” …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shepherd_of_Hermas

 

*This the same Apocalypse of Peter listed as Canonical Scripture in the First Earliest Muratorian Canon which has the Christ Saving from the Lake of Fire Prophecy to quote:

 

“… In the version of the text in the 3rd century Rainer Fragment, the earliest fragment of the text, Chapter 14 describes the salvation of those condemned sinners for whom the righteous pray. The sinners are saved out of Hell through their baptism in the Acherusian Lake.[11] In the Ethiopic sources, there is a section following the main body of The Apocalypse of Peter that scholars like R.B. Bauckham consider to be a separate story written centuries later based on Chapter 14.[12] This separate story explains that in the end God will save all sinners from their plight in Hell: “My Father will give unto them all the life, the glory, and the kingdom that passeth not away, … It is because of them that have believed in me that I am come. It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men… ”

Thus, in this additional story, sinners will finally be saved by the prayers of those in heaven. Peter then orders his son Clement not to speak of this revelation since God had told Peter to keep it secret: [and God said]”… thou must not tell that which thou hearest unto the sinners lest they transgress the more, and sin”…”

 

Source:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Peter

 

Yes, this Apocalypse of Peter has the same requirement as per the Scripture of the Shepherd of Hermas where it should not be read publicly in church for the same reasons though it’s true (note: The Muratorian Canon fully endorses the Apocalypse of Peter and does not mention that some Christians reject it – but rather that not all Christian leaders of the time agree that Its contents should be available to all Publically, to discourage the simple minded from ‘sinning more & incurring greater Judgment as the Vision above records likewise’), to quote:

 

“… With some reservation however: “though some amongst us will not have this latter [Apocalypse of Peter] read in the Church.” …” (Section Comparison, footnote 12 under the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’)

 

Source:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muratorian_fragment

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gehenna or the Final Lake of Fire for Renewal?

 

The Context for Romans 8:20 – 23’s “All Creation Born Again via Fire” seem to point to a Re-Making of ‘All Created things New Again (Revelation 21:5) via the Lake of Fire too (Revelation 21:8) which was corrupted by sin & its effects prior’, to quote:

 

“… No more satisfactory is the argument that all things will be destroyed completely and there will be no more earth, air and heaven. The whole world will be overwhelmed with a deluge of fire, and burned to ashes for its purification and renewal, but will certainly not come to entire destruction and dissolution. ( 5 ) If the non-existence of the world is better than its existence, why did God make the poorer choice and create the world’? But God made nothing to no purpose or inferior. ( 6 ) Thus God ordered the creation in such a way that it would exist and endure, as Wisdom proves by saying, “God hath created all things to exist, and sound are the origins of the world; in them is no poison of destruction .” 118 ( 7 ) And Paul plainly testifies to this with his words, “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of destruction to the glorious liberty of the children of God. ” u9 ( 8 ) Here he chooses to call this world a “creature, ” and says that “the creature was made subject to vanity, ” but that it expects to be set free from such bondage. For it is not the invisible things that are enslaved to corruption, but these, the visible ones. 39,9 The “creature,” then, endures, renewed once more and in a comelier form, and is joyous and glad for the sons of God at the resurrection, though now it groans for them and shares their travail, while it too awaits our redemption from the perishability of the body. ( 10 ) Then, when we are raised and have shaken off the mortality of our flesh — as scripture says, “Shake off the dust, rise and sit down, 0 Jerusalem” 120 — and when we are set free from sin, it too will be set free from corruption and no longer enslaved to “vanity,” but to righteousness. ( 11 ) “For we know,” says scripture, “that all creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body. ” 39,12 And Isaiah says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name be. ” 122 And again, “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, this God that formed the earth and made it. He established its bounds, he created it not in vain, but to be inhabited. ” 123 ( 13 ) Indeed God has not created the world to no purpose or in vain, for destruction, as those who think vain thoughts would have it. He has made it to be, to be inhabited and to abide. Therefore heaven and earth must once more be, after the burning up and boiling away of all things. ( 14 ) To explain the necessity of this would require an even longer discussion. For after its dissolution the universe will not be reduced to inert matter, and its state before its establishment. Nor, again, will it be reduced to total destruction and decay. 40.1 But suppose our opponents say, “If the universe will not be destroyed, why did the Lord say that heaven and earth would pass away? And why did the prophet say that the heaven would perish like smoke, and the earth grow old like a garment ’?” 124 40.2 “Because,” we shall reply, “scripture’s way is to call the world’s change from its present state to a better and more glorious one a ‘destruction,’ like the change of anything to a more glorious form when its previous form is done away with; there is no contradiction or anomaly in the sacred scripture. ( 3 ) ‘The form of this world passeth away ,’ 125 but the world does not. Thus scripture’s way is to call the change of a previous form to a better, and sometimes a lovelier one, a ‘destruction, ’ ( 4 ) as one might call the change from one’s form in babyhood to maturity a ‘destruction’ because the stature of the infant is changed in its size and handsomeness. “For when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things .” 125 40,5 We would expect the creature to be troubled because it is to die in the conflagration and be created anew, but we would not expect it to perish. Thus we, the newly created, shall dwell free from sorrow in the newly created world — as the hundred and third Psalm says, “Thou shalt send forth thy Spirit and they shall be made, and thou shalt renew the face of the earth” 127 — with God at last, the regulator of its mild climate, surrounding it. ( 6 ) For if there is to be an earth even after this age, there is every necessity that it also have inhabitants, who will never again die, marry and be born, but like the angels will unchangingly perform the best of works in immortality …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ORIGEN’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 39.4 – 40.6, Pages 169 – 171)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Conclusion

 

Each Created Thing’s Life or Essence may thus may be Re-Made New into Something Better by God with ‘no creation part though affected by corruption of sin & its effects’ may be completely “annihilated into non-existence”. This Beautiful Mystery seems to be echoed likewise prior by this Champion of Theology himself too similar to St. Epiphanius’ argument above likewise, to quote:

 

Yes, the Gospel (“Good News”) is for “All Creation” in the whole “World” (Mark 16:15) including non-living things because by the Prophetic Declaration of “All Creation, the essence of it for non-living things or life in plants/animals” will be Made New (Revelation 21:5) as this ancient First Christianity Quote below implies too:

 

“… Then, when all things are made new, he shall truly dwell in the city of God. For it is said, “He that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And the Lord says, Write all this; for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They are done.” And this is the truth of the matter. For since there are real men, so must there also be a real establishment (plantationem), that they vanish not away among non-existent things, but progress among those which have an actual existence. For neither is the substance nor the essence of the creation annihilated (for faithful and true is He who has established it), but “the fashion of the world passeth away; ” that is, those things among which transgression has occurred, since man has grown old in them. And therefore this [present] fashion has been formed temporary, God foreknowing all things; as I have pointed out in the preceding book, and have also shown, as far as was possible, the cause of the creation of this world of temporal things…” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, Point 2-Chapter XXXV , Point 1-Chapter XXXVI, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 5)

 

 

Translation Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book5.html

 

All Glory to Lord Jesus Christ our Most Blessed Savior of the World!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Christianity – Thirty Sixty and Hundred Fold Seed Mystery

 

“… Truth is the Same  and whether we know about it or not only determines our reward level …”

 

“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)

 

“For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” – the Blessed Apostle Paul (Romans 10:2, NASB)

 

Here are the First Christianity Truths:

 

1) Is the number of converts the sign of the greatest rewards?

 

Claim: Modern Christianity often claims that the ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery refers to the ‘number of converts’ or that all believers get the same reward level (which clearly contradicts even Matthew 5:19).

 

Truth: I have found NONE of the First Christianity leaders of the Church preaching that the ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery refers to the ‘number of converts’. If you can find one, please let me know with quote & source. If not, it’s an imaginary tale.

 

Logic: If God Puts forth the ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery to refer to the ‘number of converts’, then it would be unfair to the illiterate, the poor and those that are discriminated especially the minorities by ethnic classes or those marginalized by gender rules and/or status/income level in society as these factors play a lot of role in ‘earthly leadership selection & opportunities available even in the Christian Ministry Context’. The Earliest Church Leaders (despite the numerous people they have converted into Christianity personally) never referred to this popular fallacy of assigning the ‘number of converts’ as anything to do with the Great ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery set forth in the Gospels (Matthew 13:8, Luke 8:8, Mark 4:8). What did they refer to then as the True Meaning of these Verses as Preserved by their Respective lineage of Apostolic Traditions? We shall discuss these next,

 

2) Why is the ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery  Important to a Christian?

 

It may decide whether or not a Christian gets into the Mansion-Reward of the ‘New Jerusalem City’ (thirty fold) or ‘Paradise’ (sixty fold) or ‘Heavens’ (hundredfold) a even the Blessed Bishop Papias (who was a direct disciple of the Blessed Apostle John who wrote the Book of Revelation itself) as Testified as affirmed also by St. Irenaeous of Lyons who was a disciple of Bishop Polycarp who also was a disciple of this Same Blessed St. John the Apostle and even stating that the other ‘Presbyters’ (i.e. direct disciples of the Apostles of Christ hence the ‘Apostolic Fathers of the Church’ as they’re called today) also Preached this Same Truth as discussed in  our Previous Posts, to quote briefly:

 

“A fragment from the early 2nd century of one of the lost volumes of Papias, a Christian bishop, expounds that “heaven” was separated into three distinct layers. He referred to the first as just “heaven”, the second as “paradise”, and the third as “the city”. Papias taught that “there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold”. In the 2nd century AD, Irenaeus (a Greek bishop) wrote that not all who are saved would merit an abode in heaven itself.”

 

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_in_Christianity

 

So, this is not a big deal as a Christian if you lose the reward of heavens & paradise and end up only in the “City” post-Resurrection? Decide ‘Wisely’ for yourselves.

 

 

 

3) First Christianity Interpretations of the ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery

 

Two Types:

 

  1. These refer to the Christians Living in Faith as a Virgin, Widow or a Married Person respectively

 

  1. These refer to the Christian Faith Level from Low to Perfect referring to the Context of Love, Understanding of Scripture and Voluntary Poverty

 

To quote:

 

“… 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:

http://www.corneliusbiblecommentary.faithweb.com/13matth.htm

 

4) The ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery as ‘Married, Widowed & Virgin’ Christians

 

To quote:

 

“… My seed shall produce fruit a hundredfold – the reward of virginity is hundredfold; of widowhood, sixtyfold, and of married life, thirtyfold. “All cannot receive the Word of God but only they to whom it is given” (Mt 19:11). Let others be eunuchs of necessity, but I [am chaste] of my own will. … Let them sew robes who have previously lost the unsown robe…” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Quotes on Marriage & Viginity’)

 

Source:  https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/n093_Virginity.htm

 

and

 

“… What then? do I condemn second marriages? not at all; but I commend first ones. Do I expel twice-married persons from the church? Far from it; but I urge those who have been once married to lives of continence. The Ark of Noah contained unclean animals as well as clean. It contained both creeping things and human beings. In a great house there are vessels of different kinds, some to honour and some to dishonour.  In the gospel parable the seed sown in the good ground brings forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.  The hundredfold which comes first betokens the crown of virginity; the sixtyfold which comes next refers to the work of widows; while the thirtyfold — indicated by joining together the points of the thumb and forefinger — denotes the marriage-tie. What room is left for double marriages? None. They are not counted. Such weeds do not grow in good ground but among briers and thorns, the favourite haunts of those foxes to whom the Lord compares the impious Herod.  A woman who marries more than once fancies herself worthy of praise because she is not so bad as the prostitutes, because she compares favourably with these victims of indiscriminate lust by surrendering herself to one alone and not to a number…”  – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Letter cxxiii. To Ageruchia’)

 

Source:

https://biblehub.com/library/jerome/the_principal_works_of_st_jerome/letter_cxxiii_to_ageruchia.htm

 

or

 

“… Now any one may object to this interpretation, and may give another which harmonizes with the rule of faith. For as the ark was to have rooms not only on

the lower, but also on the upper storeys, which were called ” third storeys,” that there might be a habitable space on the third floor from the basement, some one may interpret these to mean the three graces commended by the apostle, — ^faith,

hope, and charity. Or even more suitably they may be supposed to represent those three harvests in the gospel, thirtyfold, sixtyfold, an hundredfold, — chaste marriage dwelling in the ground floor, chaste widowhood in the upper, and chaste virginity in the top storey. Or any better interpretation may be given, so long as the reference to this city is maintained…” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Book XV, ‘City of God’, Page 99)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp_djvu.txt

 

or

 

“… Therefore hear me, O virgins, as a parent; hear, I beseech you … Strait and narrow is the way which leadeth to life; hard and difficult is the track which tends to glory. By this pathway the martyrs progress, the virgins pass, the just of all kinds advance. Avoid the broad and roomy ways. There are deadly snares and death-bringing pleasures; there the devil flatters, that he may deceive; smiles, that he may do mischief; entices, that he may slay. The first fruit for the martyrs is a hundred-fold; the second is yours, sixty-fold. …” – Blessed St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200 AD – c. 258 AD, Point 21, Treatise II. [3127] On the Dress of Virgins)

 

Source: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txu/cyprian5.htm

 

Comment: St. Cyprian’s “you” in his treatise above refers to “virgins” & hence tells them that they may either be a ‘hundredfold’ (if martyred or martyred type of lifestyle) or may hit the ‘sixty fold reward’. It’s implied that the remaining ‘thirty fold’ reward is for the ‘married Christians’ & that he links it to the ‘narrow way to life which few find it’ to refer to this Context too (Matthew 7:14). The ancient fact that the ‘thirtyfold’ reward refers to the ‘married Christians’ is not just found in Western/Roman Christianity as St. Cyprian above but is preserved as the same understanding in Eastern Christianity too at that time as St. Athanasius the Great Writes below in his own words likewise:

 

or

 

“… For there are two ways in life, as touching these matters. The one the more moderate and ordinary, I mean marriage; the other angelic and unsurpassed, namely virginity. Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold…”  – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Letter XLVIII.—Letter to Amun4583. Written before 354 AD via Philip Schaff, Pages 971 – 972)

 

Source: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1819-1893,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_04_Athanasius,_EN.pdf

 

or http://mb-soft.com/believe/txuc/athana49.htm

 

5) The ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery as the Context of Love, Understanding of Scripture and Voluntary Poverty Lifestyle Reward

 

  1. Voluntary Poverty – Renouncing the World or Giving our Possessions to those whom we do not wish itself i.e. not for Virtue’s sake only

 

Bible Verses:

 

“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 of the Apostles 2:44 – 45, NASB)

 

or

 

“… so if a man were lord of all the earth and were to renounce it, that which he gives up is little, and he receives a hundredfold. But if not even the whole earth is equal in value to the heavens, then he who has given up a few acres leaves as it were nothing; and even if he have given up a house or much gold he ought not to boast nor be low-spirited. Further, we should consider that even if we do not relinquish them for virtue’s sake, still afterwards when we die we shall leave them behind—very often, as the Preacher saith, to those to whom we do not wish…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Point 17, Life of Antony via Philip Schaff, Page 423)

 

Source: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1819-1893,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_04_Athanasius,_EN.pdf

 

 

 

or Voluntary Poverty as a ‘Gift of the Holy Spirit’:

 

“… For it is impossible to testify as a martyr for Christ’s sake, except a man testify by the Holy Ghost; for if no man can say that Jesus Christ is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost2042, how shall any man give his own life for Jesus’ sake, but by the Holy Ghost? Great indeed, and all-powerful in gifts, and wonderful, is the Holy Ghost. Consider, how many of you are now sitting here, how many souls of us are present. He is working suitably for each, and being present in the midst, beholds the temper of each, beholds also his reasoning and his conscience, and what we say, and think, and believe2043. …Consider, I pray, of each nation, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Solitaries, Virgins, and laity besides; and then behold their great Protector, and the Dispenser of their gifts;—how throughout the world He gives to one chastity, to another perpetual virginity, to another almsgiving, to another VOLUNTARY POVERTY, to another power of repelling hostile spirits…” – Blessed St. Cyril of Jerusalem, (c. 313 AD – c. 386 AD, Points 21, 22, Lecture XVI.On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spake in the Prophets, via Philip Schaff)

 

Source:

https://ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207/npnf207.ii.xx.html

 

or

 

“… But that desirable land brings forth fruit in three several degrees, as I said: a hundred, sixty, and thirtyfold. For as most wise Paul writes, “Each one severally of us has his own gift from God, one in one manner, and another in another.” For we do not at all find that the successes of the saints are in equal measure. On us however it is incumbent to emulate these things that are better and superior to those of meaner kind; for so will Christ bountifully bestow happiness upon us: by Whom and with Whom, to God the Father be praise and dominion with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen…” – Blessed St. Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD, ‘Commentary on the Gospel of Luke’, Luke 8)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/cyril-on-luke-8

 

or

 

“… For by fruit a hundred-fold, he means perfect fruit. For the number ten is always taken to imply perfection, because in ten precepts is contained the keeping, or the observance of the law. But the number ten multiplied by itself amounts to a hundred; hence by a hundred very great perfection is signified…” – St. Bede the Venerable (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD, ‘‎Catena Aurea on Luke‎’, Luke 8)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8

 

or

 

“… Or he bears thirty-fold, who instills into the minds of the elect faith in the Holy Trinity; sixty-fold, who teaches the perfection of good works; a hundred-fold, who shews the rewards of the heavenly kingdom…”- St. Bede the Venerable (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD, ‘‎Catena Aurea on Mark’, Mark 4)

 

“…  Or else the fruits of the earth are contained in thirty, sixty, or a hundred-fold, that is, in the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel…” – Pseudo Jerome (9th Century, ‘‎Catena Aurea on Mark’, Mark 4)

 

Source for both Quotes above:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/gospel-of-mark-commentary/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4

 

 

 

6) The ‘thirty, sixty & hundredfold’ Mystery as referring to both Virginity vs Married Lifestyle and/or Levels of Voluntary Poverty Lifestyle of Asceticism for Christ

 

“… But other seed fell upon good ground, and brought forth fruit, one a hundredfold, another sixtyfold, and another thirtyfold. Three quarters of the seed perished and only a quarter was saved. For few are they who are saved. At the end He speaks of the good ground, thus giving us hope of repentance. For although a man be rocky ground, or by the way side, or among the thorns, yet it is possible for him to become good ground. Nor do all who accept the word bear fruit equally: but “one a hundredfold,” perhaps he who has attained perfect non-possessiveness and extreme asceticism; “another sixtyfold,” perhaps the monk dwelling in a monastic community, and he, too, yields fruitfully; “and another thirtyfold,” he who has chosen honorable marriage and diligently practices the virtues as much as he is able. See the goodness of God, how He accepts everyone: those who achieve great things, those who achieve moderate things, and those who achieve small things…” – Theophylact of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD, ‘Commentary on Matthew’)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/theophylact-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

or

 

“…  Further, of those who receive the seed as they ought there are three degrees. Wherefore it goes on, “And these are they who are sown on good ground.” Those who bear fruit an hundred-fold are those who lead a perfect and an obedient life, as virgins and hermits. Those who bear fruit sixty-fold are those who are in the mean as continent persons [ed. note: The word translated continentes . . . means ascetics, who mix in the affairs of the world; whereas hermits lived quite out of them, and gave themselves up to contemplation; caenobites came between the two, living together in convents, and combined both the practical and contemplative life, see Greg. Naz. Or. 43, 62] and those who are living in convents.Those who bear thirty-fold are those who though weak indeed, bear fruit according to their own virtue, as laymen and married persons…” – Theophylact of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD, ‘Commentary on Mark’)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/gospel-of-mark-commentary/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4

 

or

 

“… Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, ( Matthew 13:18 ) says He; and He speaks what we before mentioned, of carelessness and attention, of cowardice and fortitude, of wealth and VOLUNTARY POVERTY; pointing out the hurt from the one, and the benefit from the other. Then of virtue also He brings forward different forms. For being full of love to man, He marked out not one only way, nor did He say, unless one bring forth an hundred, he is an outcast; but he that brings forth sixty is saved also, and not he only, but also the producer of thirty. And this He said, making out salvation to be easy. 3. And thou then, are you unable to practise VIRGINITY? Be chaste in marriage. Are you unable to strip yourself of your possessions? Give of your substance. Can you not bear that burden? Share your goods with Christ. Are you unwilling to yield Him up ALL? Give Him but the half, but the third part. He is your brother, and joint-heir, make Him joint-heir with you here too. Whatsoever you give Him, you will give to yourself…” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘St. John Chrysostom on Matthew‎’, Point 2)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

 

 

7) Who are the Virgins worthy of the Hundredfold Mystery?

 

Please note carefully that if ‘Virgins’ means those who had never had sex in life, both St. Jerome and St. Augustine just disqualified themselves by their own words above regarding this Ancient Traditional Interpretation of the Passage because both had some ‘sexual immorality lifestyle prior to full repentance’, to quote:

 

 

 

  1. St. Jerome fornicated freely during his younger days with women experimenting sexually

 

“… As a student, Jerome engaged in the superficial escapades and sexual experimentation of students in Rome; he indulged himself quite casually but he suffered terrible bouts of guilt afterwards….” (Payne, Robert (1951), The Fathers of the Western Church, New York: Viking Press, pp. 90–92)

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome

 

  1. St. Augustine (the Eternal Hell Champion) had a child out of wedlock and even discarded that ex-girlfriend and got engaged to a ‘rich 10 year old girl-heiress’ & whilst waiting for ‘his young child bride to turn 12 years old’, he had sex with another lover (or concubine) because he could not hold his lust but never legally married any of these whilst being somewhat a nominal Christian, to quote (he confessed to these sins in his own writings later so it’s certainly true):

 

“… At about the age of 17, Augustine began an affair with a young woman in Carthage. Though his mother wanted him to marry a person of his class, the woman remained his lover[64] for over fifteen years[65] and gave birth to his son Adeodatus (372–388),[66] who was viewed as extremely intelligent by his contemporaries. In 385, Augustine ended his relationship with his lover in order to prepare himself to marry a ten-year-old heiress. (He had to wait for two years because the legal age of marriage for women was twelve.) By the time he was able to marry her, however, he instead decided to become a celibate priest.[65][67]… Augustine’s mother had followed him to Milan and arranged an honest marriage for him. Although Augustine accepted this marriage, for which he had to abandon his concubine, he was deeply hurt by the loss of his lover. He wrote, “My mistress being torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, my heart, which clave to her, was racked, and wounded, and bleeding.” Augustine confessed that he was not a lover of wedlock so much as a slave of lust, so he procured another concubine since he had to wait two years until his fiancée came of age. However, his emotional wound was not healed, even began to fester.[76] It was during this period that he uttered his famous prayer, “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.”[77] There is evidence that Augustine may have considered this former relationship to be equivalent to marriage.[78] In his Confessions, he admitted that the experience eventually produced a decreased sensitivity to pain. Augustine eventually broke off his engagement to his eleven-year-old fiancée, but never renewed his relationship with either of his concubines. Alypius of Thagaste steered Augustine away from marriage, saying that they could not live a life together in the love of wisdom if he married. Augustine looked back years later on the life at Cassiciacum, a villa outside of Milan where he gathered with his followers, and described it as Christianae vitae otium – the leisure of Christian life…”  – Wikipedia Cites St. Augustine’s well known writings by his own infamous confessions

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo

 

My Point?

 

Hope Remains for those who Repent: The “Virgin lifestyle” of the HundredFold Seed may thus include those who were formerly fornicators or equivalent though they be ‘nominal Christians’ but must repent and live a holy life thereafter as both the examples of St. Jerome and St. Augustine illustrate with their own words matched to their own lifestyles prior.

 

8) The Roman Catholic Commentary on Matthew 13:8’s ‘thirty fold, sixty fold and hundred fold’ Mystery agrees to our exegesis

 

“… Some a hundred-fold. This difference of fruits is the difference of merit here, and of the rewards hereafter, according to the diversity of states, &c. St. Augustine, in his work, (de Virginitate, chap. xliv, and seq.) saith, that the hundred-fold agreeth with professed virgins; the sixty-fold with religious widows; the thirty-fold with married persons. This old heretic, Jovinian, and many of modern date, deny, affirming that there is no difference of merits or rewards. (St. Jerome, lib. ii. adv. Jovin. St. Ambrose, ep. lxxxii. St. Augustine, ep. lxxxii.) (Bristow) …” (Bible Commentaries, George Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary Matthew 13, Verse 8)

 

Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/matthew-13.html

 

 

Conclusion – Voluntary Poverty, not taking Money for Christian Ministry, Virginity and Almsgiving Lifestyle can help make one Equal to the Apostles attaining the HundredFold

 

To Quote:

 

“… With regard to wealth, however, He required of them great strictness, saying, Provide not gold, or silver, or brass, in your purses. (Matthew 10:9) And all this I say, not to depreciate fasting, God forbid, but rather highly to commend it. But I grieve when other duties being neglected, you think it enough for salvation, having but the last place in the choir of virtue. For the greatest thing is charity, and moderation, and almsgiving; which hits a higher mark even than virginity. Therefore, if you desire to become equal to the apostles, there is nothing to hinder you. For to have arrived at this virtue only suffices for your not at all falling short of them. Let no one therefore wait for miracles. For though the evil spirit is grieved, when he is driven out of a body, yet much more so, when he sees a soul delivered from sin. For indeed this is his great power. Acts 8:10 This power caused Christ to die, that He might put an end to it. Yea, for this brought in death; by reason of this all things have been turned upside down. If then thou remove this, you have cut out the nerves of the devil, you have bruised his head, you have put an end to all his might, you have scattered his host, you have exhibited a sign greater than all signs. “… The saying is not mine, but the blessed Paul’s. For when he had said, Covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet show I unto you a more excellent way; 1 Corinthians 12:31 he did not speak next of a sign, but of charity, the root of all our good things. If then we practise this, and all the self-denial that flows from it, we shall have no need of signs; even as on the other hand, if we do not practise it, we shall gain nothing by the signs. Bearing in mind then all this, let us imitate those things whereby the apostles became great. And whereby did they become great? Hear Peter, saying, Behold we have forsaken all, and followed You; what shall we have therefore? Matthew 19:27 Hear also Christ saying to them, You shall sit upon twelve thrones, and, every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or father, or mother, shall receive an hundredfold in this world, and shall inherit everlasting life. From all worldly things, therefore, let us withdraw ourselves, and dedicate ourselves to Christ, that we may both be made equal to the apostles according to His declaration, and may enjoy eternal life; unto which may we all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom be glory and might forever and ever. Amen…”  – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘St. John Chrysostom on Matthew‎’, Point 4)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

Yes, this Ancient First Christianity Truth the Way of the HundredFold need not have ‘any miracles’ is further exemplified by the two quotes below:

 

“… And Himself too, when He was making laws for His own disciples, what said He? Do miracles, that men may see you? By no means. But what? Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 5:16 And to Peter again He said not, If you love me, do miracles, but feed my sheep. John 21:16 And whereas He everywhere distinguishes him with James and John above all the rest, for what, I pray you, did He distinguish them? For their miracles? Nay, all alike cleansed the lepers, and raised the dead; and to all alike He gave that authority. Whence then had these the advantage? From the virtue in their soul. Do you see how everywhere practice is required, and the proof by works? For by their fruits, says He, you shall know them. Matthew 7:16 And what commends our own life? Is it indeed a display of miracles, or the perfection of an excellent conversation? Very evidently it is the second; but as to the miracles, they both have their origin from hence, and terminate herein. For both he that shows forth an excellent life, draws to himself this gift, and he that receives the gift, receives it for this end, that he may amend other men’s lives. Since even Christ for this end wrought those miracles, that having made Himself thereby credible, and drawn men unto Him, He might bring virtue into our life. Wherefore also He lays more stress of the two on this. For He is not at all satisfied with the signs only, but He also threatens hell, and promises a kingdom, and lays down those startling laws, and all things He orders to this end, that He may make us equal to the angels. And why say I, that Christ does all for this object? Why, even thou, should one give you your choice, to raise dead men by His name, or to die for His name; which I pray you, of the two would you rather accept? Is it not quite plain, the latter? And yet the one is a miracle, the other but a work. And what, if one offered you to make grass gold, or to be able to despise all wealth as grass, would you not rather accept this latter? And very reasonably. For mankind would be attracted by this more than any way. For if they saw the grass changed into gold, they would covet themselves also to acquire that power, as Simon did, and the love of money would be increased in them; but if they saw us all contemning and neglecting gold, as though it were grass, they would long ago have been delivered from this disease…” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘St. John Chrysostom on Matthew‎’, Point 3)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

and

 

“…  Therefore, because faith or martyrdom indicates the hundredfold fruit, and virginity the sixtyfold and power the thirtyfold, these all match and correspond to the Son of God by the degrees we have set out: in everything, he emerges as perfect God. Yet because Matthew moves down from the hundredfold to the sixtyfold, and from there to the thirtyfold, he shows the descent of our Lord Jesus Christ: in fact, he described Christ’s nativity according to the flesh…” – Fortunatianus, Bishop of Aquileia in North Africa   (Mid 4th Century, Commentary on the Gospels : English translation and introduction, Fortunatianus, Aquileiensis; H A G Houghton; Walter de Gruyter GmbH et Co. KG, 2017)

 

Source: https://www.worldcat.org/title/commentary-on-the-gospels-english-translation-and-introduction/oclc/1002270540

or downloadable pdf:

https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/books/9783110516371/9783110516371-005/9783110516371-005.xml

 

Comment: Both St. John Chrysostom and Bishop Fortunatianus clearly highlight that “Power” or “Miracle” ability in Christians may only bring one up to the “thirty fold” level only. Personally I keep an open mind leaning more on this exegesis simply because not one early church leader has preached that this Mystery refers to the ‘number of converts’ (external) but rather to one’s internal growth spiritually in Love & Understanding of Scripture & in a Giving Lifestyle be it without Miracles at all where even Virginity & Renouncing Wealth helps attain the “Perfect” Hundredfold  Level (as Christ Echoed in Matthew 19:21 to the ‘all commandment obeying rich man too’). Let us be Wise in our Life Decisions and not be deceived by popular Christianity following which the consequences of losing these available Rankings may be Eternal.

Here’s a question to ponder: So, all these earliest most authoritative church leaders are wrong and modern popular Christianity today is right?

 

Great Commission Mystery

 

 

1) The Great Commission – Make Disciples

 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19 – 20, NASB)

 

 

 

2) What if you Preached the Gospel but never Baptized anyone because no one believed through you?

 

Are you less worthy? Verses:

 

“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned [Judged].” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15 – 16, NASB)

 

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,…” – the Blessed and Holy Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 1:17, NASB – Verse in Image too)

 

Is apostle Paul contradicting Christ then? No, not at all as will be explained next.

 

 

 

Conclusion – Preach the Gospel Mystery

 

  1. Preaching the Gospel is the Same Effort whether the hearers believe or not

 

As the Parable of the Sower illustrates some seed fell on good grown while others on bad ground. Hence, even if no one believed through your preaching of the Gospel, you are no means lesser as you may have been preaching to the ‘bad soil’, to quote:

 

“…  “We must observe,” [says St. 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.”…” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, Commentary on Matthew 13, Verse 23)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/cornelius-a-lapide-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

Comment: Even when the apostles preached to the whole city (Acts 13:44 – 45), only those who are predestined to be the Elect of Christ believed (Acts 13:48) while others disbelieved and that depended somewhat also on the free will of the hearers too (Acts 13:46) but has nothing to do with the ‘Anointing of the Apostles’.

 

In other words, as the Great Commission Verses itself indicate, we have fulfilled it when we have Preached the Gospel (which counts as our effort as believers) but has nothing to do with ‘how many hearers believe or not’ simply because ‘the number of people believing in Christ’ is NOT due to us but God’s Predestination Work Alone (and hence it’s not our work at all, hence can’t be counted as ‘our effort in any way’).

 

Our effort is our willingness to Preach the Gospel to others so that they too may believe and attain the Greatest Afterlife Rewards but if they don’t believe, we still get our part as God doesn’t Measure on the ‘Result’ (how many people are saved) because that part is between Him & the potential believer/unbeliever only (not by the preacher’s will). We can only be rewarded for the ‘efforts in our will part’.

 

  1. Preaching the Gospel is Sufficient Work to Fulfill the Great Commission

 

Apostle Paul clearly mentioned that Christ only sent him to ‘Preach the Gospel’ and NOT to Baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17) meaning that if someone believes only, the Baptism responsibility comes into place which may be done by him or others and if someone does not believe (the Preaching part has fulfilled the Great Commission already).

 

Hence it is clear that we are responsible for the Baptism part if someone comes to us for it professing that they want to believe in Christ and it’s not our responsibility if they don’t come to us but go to another pastor/church to do it. If doing more Baptisms counted for greater rewards, I’m sure apostle Paul himself would have rushed to Baptize as many as he could (which he did not as this Verse in 1 Corinthians 1:17 Reveals this Truth). He surely knows that those who believe (and hence want to be Baptized) are Predestined and hence it’s not a ‘free will effort on our side’ (to determine rewards) but a ‘responsibility of those who bear the title of Christian clergy/priest to do it’ (for if they refuse, they may be condemned for disobedience), to quote:

 

“… Not therefore in opposition to Him that sent him did he baptize; but, as in the case of the widows , though the apostles had said, Acts 6:2 it is not fit that we should leave the Word of God and serve tables, he discharged the office Acts 12:25. τὴν διακονίαν of a deacon, not in opposition to them, but as something beyond his task: so also here. For even now, we commit this matter to the simpler sort of presbyters, but the word of doctrine unto the wiser: for there is the labor and the sweat. Wherefore he says himself, 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the Elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and in teaching. For as to teach the wrestlers in the games is the part of a spirited and skilful trainer, but to place the crown on the conquerors head may be that of one who cannot even wrestle, (although it be the crown which adds splendor to the conqueror,) so also in Baptism. It is impossible to be saved without it, yet it is no great thing which the baptizer does, finding the will ready prepared….” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/1-corinthians/st-john-chrysostom-on-1-corinthians/chapter-1

 

Clearly ‘Preaching the Gospel by your will or choice to the Believer or Unbeliever is the Greater Work than Baptism (the act of conversion)’, to quote:

 

“… For preaching the Gospel is a work perhaps for one or two; but baptizing, for everyone endowed with the priesthood. For a man being instructed and convinced, to take and baptize him is what any one whatever might do: for the rest, it is all effected by the will of the person drawing near, and the grace of God. But when unbelievers are to be instructed, there must be great labor, great wisdom. And at that time there was danger also annexed. In the former case the whole thing is done, and he is convinced, who is on the point of initiation: and it is no great thing when a man is convinced, to baptize him. But in the later case the labor is great, to change the deliberate will, to alter the turn of mind, and to tear up error by the roots, and to plant the truth in its place….”  – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/1-corinthians/st-john-chrysostom-on-1-corinthians/chapter-1

 

Please notice carefully in the above that St. John Chrysostom clearly reveals that the act of believing is NOT affected in any way by the Preacher’s Will (hence the same reward if he Preaches to the unbeliever too, implied) but is only affected by the ‘potential believer’s own will & God’s Predestination Grace’, in St. John Chrysostom’s words, “… it is all effected by the will of the person drawing near, and the grace of God…”. Yes, we cannot be rewarded for things which depend not on our will. Can you see how God is Perfectly Fair to each believer’s efforts to Preach the Gospel according to his relative ability?

 

 

iii. No Measurement Based on Results but Relative Measure only

 

“… 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.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:48, NASB)

 

The Literal and Allegorical Patristic Exegesis to the Widow’s Two Coins which is all she had is analogous to one Preaching the Gospel to whoever that comes in Contact with him in any way he can (In Principle). So, a person with 100 friends who heard the gospel from him is equal to another person who has reached 1 million people via the providence made from him (John 3:27) regardless of whether the hearers believe or not (“their will” & “God’s Will” Alone Decide that Part), to quote:

 

“… Now mystically, the rich men who cast their gifts into the treasury signify the Jews puffed up with the righteousness of the law; the poor widow, the simplicity of the Church which is called poor, because it has either cast away the spirit of pride, or its sins, as if they were worldly riches. But the Church is a widow, because her Husband endured death for her. She cast two mites into the treasury, because in God’s sight, in whose keeping are all the offerings of our works, she presents her gifts, whether of love to God and her neighbor, or of faith and prayer. And these excel all the works of the proud Jews, for they of their abundance cast into the offerings of God, in that they presume on their righteousness, but the Church casts in all her living, for every thing that has life she believes to be the gift of God…” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)

 

or

 

“… Or the widow may be taken to mean any soul bereft as it were of her first husband, the ancient law, and not worthy to be united to the Word of God. Who brings to God instead of a dowry faith and a good conscience, and so seems to offer more than those who are rich in words, and abound in the moral virtues of the Gentiles….” – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)

 

or

 

“… She offered two oboli, which with the sweat of her brow she had earned for her daily living, or what she daily begs for at the hands of others she gives to God, showing that her poverty is fruitful to her. Therefore does she surpass the others, and by a just award receives a crown from God; as it follows, Of a truth I say to you, that this poor widow has cast in more,…” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

 

or

 

“… For God regarded not the scantiness of the offering, but the overflowing of the affection. Almsgiving is not the bestowing a few at things out of many, but it is that of the widow emptying herself of her whole substance. But if you cannot offer as much as the widow, at least give all that remains over….” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

or

 

“…  For whatever we offer with an honest heart is well pleasing to God, who has respect to the heart, not the substance, nor does He weigh the amount of that which is given in sacrifice, but of that from which it is taken as it follows, For all these have cast in of their abundance, but she all that she had…” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)

 

Source for each Quote above (‘Commentary on Luke 21:1 – 4’):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21

 

  1. How about Fulfilling the “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20) part of the Great Commission?

 

“… Let Arius then be put to shame because Christ did not say to baptize “in the names,” but “in the name,” for the name of the Three is one, the Godhead, and the Three are one God. And let Sabellius be put to shame because the Lord spoke of Three Persons, and not, as that man prattles, of one person having three names, at times called the Father, at times, the Son, and at times, the Holy Spirit. But the Three Persons have one Name, which is God. Because it is not sufficient only to be baptized, but one must also labor to do good after his baptism, Christ then says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; not just two or three, but all My commandments.” Let us tremble then, brethren, when we realize that if even one thing is lacking in us, we are not perfect servants of Christ, for we are required to keep all the commandments. See that the Lord’s words contain those two essentials of Christianity: theology and active virtue. For by saying that it is necessary to baptize in the name of the Trinity, He handed down to us theology. And by saying that it is also necessary to teach the keeping of the commandments, He guides us in the way of active virtue. Since He is sending them out among the Gentiles to face death and danger, He gives them courage by saying, “Fear not, for I will be with you until the end of the age.”…” – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD, ‘Commentary on Matthew 28, Verses 16 – 20’)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/theophylact-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25/chapter-26/chapter-27/chapter-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How about the ‘doing Miracles Part’ of the Great Commission (Mark 16:17 – 18)?

 

Is it Greater than the “Nazarene/Voluntary Poverty” Doctrine of the Gospel? (Matthew 19:21, Matthew 19:27 – 30, Acts 2:44 – 45)

 

Which is the Apostolic Achievement (the highest “Hundredfold” fruit’s work then)?

 

To Quote:

 

“… For of those that wrought these miracles, many fell into hell, but they, who did those good things, attained a kingdom. And this you may learn even of Peter himself. For there were two things that he said, Silver and gold have I none; and, In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk. Which sort of thing then made Him glorious and blessed, the raising up the lame man, or the casting away his money? And this you may learn from the Master of the conflicts Himself. What then does He Himself say to the rich man seeking eternal life? He said not, raise up the lame, but, Sell your goods, and give to the poor, and come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. Matthew 19:21 And Peter again said not, Behold, in Your name we cast out devils; although he was casting them out, but, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed You what shall we have? Matthew 19:27 And Christ again, in answering this apostle, said not, If any man raise up the lame, but, Whosoever has forsaken houses or lands, shall receive an hundredfold in this world, and shall inherit everlasting life. Let us also then emulate this man, that we may not be confounded, but may with confidence stand at the judgment seat of Christ; that we may win Him to be with us, even as He was with His disciples. For He will be with us, like as He was with them, if we are willing to follow them, and to be imitators of their life and conversation. For in consequence of these things God crowns, and commends men, not requiring of you to raise the dead, or to cure the lame. For not these things make one to be like Peter, but the casting away one’s goods, for this was the apostles’ achievement…”  – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, Commentary on Matthew 28:20, Point 4)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25/chapter-26/chapter-27/chapter-28

 

  1. Feminism Opposition

 

Women being prohibited to teach doctrine from positions of authority and their exclusion from priestly roles (1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 14:33 – 34) does not mean that they are forfeited from these Greatest “thirty, sixty or hundredfold” Mystery but may even ‘more easily’ obtain these by ‘lesser work’ of ‘obeying these constraints which require great sacrifices & painful efforts’ (Galatians 3:28) as even the example of Blessed Virgin Mary proved, right? (as Virgin Mary never became a leader of the Church nor went doing Street Ministry as a Nazarene as the Apostles but Remained Blessed Greatly for her Obedience in Accordance to her role, as ‘Obedience is always Greater than any sacrifice’, 1 Samuel 15:22 as it’s the Highest Mark of Love, John 14:15, John 15:14, 1 Corinthians 14:37, 2 Peter 3:2).

 

Warning: As St. Justin Martyr warned toward those who still insist to disobey God’s Commands in the Context of ‘obeying the commands not meant for them’ (as with the case of early Christian-Judaizers, Acts 15), the quote below may apply in Principle to our feminist Christianity as well in that you will judged like a man toward these Great Bishops of the Early Church (who all renounced the world & lived in extreme piety as per Christ’s Perfect Voluntary Poverty or Nazarene Way of the Apostles, Matthew 19:21, Matthew 19:27 – 30) as ‘you’ both ‘challenge them’ and the Verses quoted, to quote:

 

“… “Wherefore also our Lord Jesus Christ said, In whatsoever things I apprehend you, in those I shall judge you.” …” – Blessed St. Justin Martyr, Martyred for Christ (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, Dialogue with Trypho, 47)

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrapha

 

The quote above by St. Justin Martyr is not found in the Bible but in Patristic Writings and these are called the “Agrapha”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

vii. Is the Nazarene Way Exhorted by Christ Himself Outside of the Gospel Records? (Matthew 19:21, Matthew 19:27 – 30)

 

Agrapha Proof regarding the “Hundredfold or Sixty Fold” Lifestyle of the Unmarried Nazarene Way stated by Christ as Quoted by Various Earliest Church Leaders regarding what we discussed prior as the ‘Perfect Nazarene Way’, to quote:

 

“… And again the Lord says: Let the one who has married not be cast out, and let the one who has not married not marry. He who has confessed that he will not marry according to his decision of eunuchhood, let him remain unmarried….” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD, Miscellanies 3.15)

 

“… For He [Lord] says: Ask for the great things, and the little things* will be added unto you…” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD, Miscellanies 1.24)

 

*Great things refer to ‘Heavenly/Spiritual Rewards’ while ‘Little things’ must refer to earthly things I think.

 

“… My mystery is for me and for the sons of my house…” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD, Miscellanies 5.10)

 

Source for Each “Agrapha ” Quote above:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20080215124232/http://www.textexcavation.com/agrapha.html

 

‘The Purpose of Life is to Find God’s Will for you and Live it’ – Anonymous

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saviour of All – Lord Jesus Christ – Ransom for All

 

“Who did give Himself a Ransom for All — the testimony in its own times –” – The Holy, Noble and Blessed St. Paul the Apostle of Christ to the Gentiles (1 Timothy 2:6, YLT)

 

Does the “All” in the phrase “Ransom for All” in Verse above  refer to Believers only or All Men or All Creation?

 

Let First Christianity’s Kings of Theology Answer as follows:

 

1) Is the Secret or Mysteries of the Gospel Revealed to His Saints?

 

Yes, to quote:

 

“that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,” –  Blessed St. Paul the Apostle (Colossians 1:26, NASB)

 

2) Is Christ’s Ransom for All Creation or All Men or All Believers only?

 

All Creation, to quote:

 

“… He it is that was crucified before the sun and all creation as witnesses, and before those who put Him to death: and by His death has SALVATION  come to ALL, and ALL CREATION  been RANSOMED. He is the Life of all, and He it is that as a sheep yielded His body to death as a substitute, for the SALVATION  of ALL, even though the Jews believe it not…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Point 7, S:37. PSALM XXII. 16, &C. MAJESTY OF HIS BIRTH AND DEATH. CONFUSION OF ORACLES AND DEMONS IN EGYPT)

 

Source: https://www.ecatholic2000.com/fathers/untitled-820.shtml#_Toc390306303

 

3) How is Christ’s Ransom for All Creation?

 

“… But “was made high priest” is said because he offered himself in his body to the Father for mankind, himself the priest, himself the victim; as high priest for all creation he offered himself spiritually and gloriously in his body itself and “sat down at the Father’s right hand,” 137 after “being made an high priest forever” 138 and “passing through the heavens” 139 once and for all. The same holy apostle testifies to this of him in the lines that follow. (5) And once again their ostensible discussion of sacred scripture, which they use as their excuse, has proved a failure, for scripture is life- giving; nothing in it offers an obstacle to the faithful or makes for the downfall of blasphemy against the Word. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ARLANS , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 39.4, Page 366)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Please notice the following quotes carefully:

 

(i) Christ is Ransom for [All] Mankind

 

“… But “was made high priest” is said because he offered himself in his body to the Father for mankind,…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

(ii) Christ is also Ransom for All Creation

 

“… as high priest for all creation he offered himself spiritually and gloriously in his body itself and “sat down at the Father’s right hand,” ..”  – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

4) Will Christ Re-Create All Created Things which He Created first out of Nothing?

 

“… What—or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, ‘On the Incarnation’, Chapter 2, Point 7)

 

Source: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.iii.html

 

5) How about the Unpardonable Sin to Two Ages (Matthew 12:31 – 32)?

 

Is there Hope for them thereafter? Yes:

 

“… They then that depreciate the Only-begotten Son of God blaspheme God, defaming His perfection and accusing Him of imperfection, and render themselves liable to the severest chastisement. For he that blasphemes any one of the Subsistences [Persons of the Trinity] shall have remission neither in this world [AGE/AEON] nor in that which is to come. But God is able to open the eyes of their heart to contemplate the Sun of Righteousness, in order that coming to know Him whom they formerly set at nought, they may with unswerving piety of mind together with us glorify Him, because to Him belongs the kingdom, even to the Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, ‘On Luke 10:22 and Matthew 11:27’, Section 6)

 

Source: www.newadvent.org/fathers/2805.htm

 

 

6) Is God Making All things including His Enemies to be Subject to Him is for their Restoration and Healing? (1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28)

 

Yes, to quote:

 

“… As the apostle when he said all shall be subjected to the Son did not mean union of essence, but obedience flowing from free-will, together with the honor and glory which all give him as the Saviour, and King of all, in the same way his subjection to the Father means nothing else than the glory, and honor, and veneration, and exaltation, and voluntary subjection, which he is to give to God the Father, when he has made all worthy of his paternal Godhead. For, so long as they are not worthy of this, he, anticipating the future as a common Saviour of all, administers a kingdom restorative of the imperfect and curative of those who need healing… Christ is to subject all things to himself. We ought to conceive of this as such a salutary subjection as that by which the Son will be subjected to him, who subjects all to him. We ought to believe that he will effect a subjection ineffable, indescribable, and befitting him alone, when he shall present to God, even the Father, those subjected to himself, collecting them like a heavenly choir ascribing to him glory and honor and salvation and majesty, who is the source and cause of all good things…” – Blessed Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, ‘Father of Church History’ (260 AD — 340 AD)

 

(Beecher 1878, citing Eusebius’ work, On Ecclesiastical Theology, Migne vi., p. 1030-1031)

 

Source:

 

https://www.tentmaker.org/books/Retribution/retribution29.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

7) Did the Greatest Miracle Worker used by God in First Christianity after the Times of the Apostles believe in Christ Centered Universalism?

 

Yes, to quote:

 

“… there lives still the Saviour of all men, even of the half-dead and the despoiled, the Protector and Physician for all, the Word, that sleepless Keeper of all …” – Blessed St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, The Miracle-Worker  (213 AD – 270 AD, Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen , Argument 17)

 

Source: www.newadvent.org/fathers/0604.htm

 

Another Quote:

 

“… The Son sojourned in the world, having of the Virgin received flesh, which He filled with the Holy Spirit for the sanctification of us all; and having given up the flesh to death, He destroyed death through the resurrection that had in view the resurrection of us all; and He ascended to heaven, exalting and glorifying men in Himself; and He comes the second time to bring us again eternal life. One is the Son, both before the incarnation and after the incarnation. The same (Son) is both man and God, both these together as though one; and the God the Word is not one person, and the man Jesus another person, but the same who subsisted as Son before was made one with flesh by Mary, so constituting Himself a perfect, and holy, and sinless man, and using that economical position for the renewal of mankind and the salvation of all the world….” – Blessed St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, The Miracle-Worker  (213 AD – 270 AD, A Sectional Confession of the Faith, Section 18-19)

 

Source: https://salvationforall.org/7_History/6-caesarea-and-gregory-thaumaturgus.html

 

 

 

 

8) How about the aeonian fire in Jude 1:7 as the Example of Sodom and Gomorrah shows?

 

To Quote:

 

“… even Sodom and Gomorrah, their punishment in history having satisfied the righteousness of God, shall ultimately be saved …” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, ‘The Theology of Hilary of Poictiers*’, Page 122)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/StHilaryOfPoitiersSelectWorks/St%20Hilary%20of%20Poitiers%20Select%20Works_djvu.txt

 

And

 

Please note ‘carefully’ that the Illustrious Saint below from First Christianity quotes Romans 11:32’s ‘Mercy to All’ to include ‘All His Enemies too’ (Romans 11:30 – 31) because the ‘Election of God toward these enemies as beloved’ cannot be Revoked (Romans 11:28) and so after these Enemies are Subjected by Christ Eventually (1 Corinthians 15:25), “life Immortal follows” to them (implied below), to quote:

 

“… When authorities and powers are abolished, His enemies shall be subjected under His feet. The same Apostle tells who are these enemies, As touching the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers’ sake . We remember that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; let us remember also that, because they are beloved for the fathers’ sake, they are reserved for the subjection, as the Apostle says, I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved, even as it is written, There shall come out of Sion a Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: and this is the covenant firm Me to them, when I have taken away their sins . So His enemies shall be subjected under His feet. But we must not forget what follows the subjection, namely, Last of all is death conquered by Him 1284 . This victory over death is nothing else than the resurrection from the dead: for when the corruption of death is stayed, the quickened and now heavenly nature is made eternal, as it is written, For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in strife. O death, where is thy sting? O death, where is thy strife ? In the subjection of His enemies death is conquered; and, death conquered, life immortal follows…” Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, Book XI ‘On the Trinity’, Points 34 – 35, Page 481**)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/StHilaryOfPoitiersSelectWorks/StHilaryofPoitiersSelectWorks_djvu.txt

 

9) Will All in the World will Believe in Christ and be Saved in the End?

 

[Context for 1 Timothy 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28]

 

Yes, to quote:

 

“… Let us then shortly sum up our CONCLUSION on the whole matter. A unity of power puts aside all idea of a degrading subjection. His giving up of power, and His victory as conqueror won over death, have not lessened His power. Obedience works out subjection. Christ has taken obedience upon Himself, obedience even to taking on Him our flesh, the cross even to gaining our salvation. Thus where the work lies, there too is the Author of the work. When therefore, all things have become subject to Christ, through Christ’s obedience, so that ALL bend their knees in His name, then He Himself will be ALL in ALL. For NOW, since ALL do NOT BELIEVE, ALL do NOT seem to be in SUBJECTION. But WHEN ALL have BELIEVED and DONE the will of God, then Christ will be ALL and in ALL. And when Christ is all and in all, then will God be all and in all; for the Father abides ever in the Son. How, then, is He shown to be weak, Who redeemed the weak? …” – Blessed Archbishop Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Selected Works and Letters, Page 726, Chapter 15, Point 182)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

 

Context for God overcoming the Unbelief of Men as it is Written in Romans 3:3 – 4?

 

The Unbelief of All Men may be Solved and these may believe as it is Written above till God becomes all in all after the third shaking of the Heavens, Earth, Sea when ‘All Principalities, Powers (of Evil, Devil, Demons, Darkness) shall be Destroyed, implied’, as St. Ambrose explains:

 

“… This is that peace above all peace which shall be granted AFTER the THIRD SHAKING of the heaven, the sea, the earth and the dry land, when He shall DESTROY ALL PRINCIPALITIES and POWERS [Ephesians 6:12, Colossians 2:15, Isaiah 24:21]. For HEAVEN and EARTH shall PASS AWAY [Revelation 21:1],306 and ALL the FASHION of this WORLD [1 Corinthians 7:31, 1 John 2:17]; … And thus there will be peace over all, the passions of the body offering no resistance, and the UNBELIEVING mind NO OBSTACLE [Romans 3:3 – 4], that CHRIST may be ALL in ALL [1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28], offering in SUBJECTION to the Father the HEARTS of ALL MEN [1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10] …” – Blessed Archbishop Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, LETTER XXX, AMBROSE TO IRENAEUS, GREETING, Point 14)

 

Source:

 

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/ambrose_letters_03_letters21_30.htm

 

 

 

Conclusion – Was such a Hope/Belief ever in any Official Commentary of Holy Scripture in Mainstream First Christianity?

 

Yes, to quote:

 

The Earliest Authoritative Commentary of the New Testament in Latin before St. Augustine also reflects this Prophecy that the Righteous may ask for Anything including the Salvation of the Damned “on that Day” toward Christ Centred Universalism as shown below, to quote

 

“… and yet to recognize that His kingdom is ETERNAL, that is to say, the kingdom of the Son, for in the Name of Jesus EVERY KNEE shakes in HEAVEN, on the EARTH, and IN HELL. (Philip. 2) The Apostle St. Peter confirms this truth when he says:” No other name under heaven was given to MEN by which we were to BE SAVED.” (Acts 4) And did not the Lord Himself say to His disciples, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name, ask and I will answer you?” (Jn. 16:24) The REIGN of the Son therefore consists in the fact that it is in HIS NAME that ALL MEN are SAVED, and that ALL the PRAYERS addressed to Him until the end of the world are ANSWERED. But when ALL CREATURES have confessed Jesus Christ WILLINGLY or by FORCE, and have been subjected to the power against which they have resisted, then the MYSTERY of ONE GOD will be REVEALED to ALL MEN, and all thanksgivings will go back to God the Father, the principle of all things, that ALL PREACHING CEASE, ONE GOD be recognized in the MYSTERY of the TRINITY. … ” – Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 26, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

“In THAT DAY you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:23 – 24, NASB)

 

Comment: Please notice carefully that Ambrosiaster quotes John 16:24 where in John 16:23 (see these Verses above), it is clear that the Context is “in THAT DAY” (probably the Seventh or Eighth Day onward in the Messianic Prophecies Timeline), all prayer requests especially for the Salvation of the Damned [that the ‘Eternal Hell Sentence’ may be Cancelled by His Mercy which can Triumph Over & End any Judgment Sentence, James 2:13] will be Answered causing this Universal Salvation of ‘All Men in heaven, Earth or Hell’ (Context: Please read the above ‘carefully’) agreeing to the Prophecies of the Apocalypse of Peter, Apocalypse of Elijah, Apocalypse of Zephaniah, the Christian-Jewish Sibyline Oracles, the Epistle of the Apostles, St. Julian of Norwich’s Visions & even the Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh as it was Discussed in Previous posts.

 

who is he?

 

“Ambrosiaster is the name given to the writer of a commentary on St Paul’s epistles, “brief in words but weighty in matter,” and valuable for the criticism of the Latin text of the New Testament.[1] The commentary itself was written during the papacy of Pope Damasus I, that is, between 366 and 384, and is considered an important document of the Latin text of Paul before the Vulgate of Jerome, and of the interpretation of Paul prior to Augustine of Hippo.[2] This commentary was erroneously attributed for a long time to St Ambrose.”

 

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosiaster

 

Christ’s Will to Save All Men (All Human Beings ever Created) is Clearly Revealed

 

“… So that the unbelieving Jews would remain wrapped up in an eternal night, and that the day would not appear the author of so great a crime, of so enormous sacrilege, but of the night; the day against the natural order of things is submitted to the preceding night, just as the God and Lord of all things is subject to the prince of death, in order to DELIVER ALL MEN from the CHAINS of DEATH…” – Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 64, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

Some may argue that it is a little vague in the above.

 

Christ Saves from Hell in the End after His Second Advent/His Second Coming

 

“… The prophet Joel also predicted this phenomenon so that one cannot doubt the fulfillment of a fact attested by several witnesses. “And the sun,” he says, “will be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible DAY of the LORD’s COMING.” (Joel 2:31) . As far as the literal meaning of these words indicates, they seem to be more fitting for the SECOND ADVENT, for then the Lord will manifest himself publicly to ALL MEN, to the testimony of Scripture: “Then every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth and those who have crucified him will strike their breast.” (Rev. 1:7) … So the prophet foretold that the Savior would take care of their infirmities, and this prophecy is fulfilled in his time, as we see in the Gospel: “He really has borne our torpor, of our sufferings.” (Isa. 1:4) All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL*, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL* THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. This is why Zechariah says: “To fulfill His mercies toward our fathers.” (Luke 1:72) But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION must also come in the SECOND ADVENT, … ” – Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 105, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

*Hell = Hades or Gehenna (Lake of Fire), we can’t be sure unless we see the Original but it’s certainly not Christians but some ‘lost ones’ who endured ‘sorrows in Hell first’ till that time of His Second Coming/Advent who ‘hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them’ sounds like ‘good non-Christians’, right?

 

One thing is for sure: Christians do not come under any afterlife Judgment in Hell (John 5:24) and hence this either Mysterious Salvation refers either to fallen believers and/or good non-Christians (I think both) who may be Saved from their respective ‘lower Hell abode’ from which they had to endure judgment for their sins first before being Saved to an appropriate abode thereafter during His Second Coming especially since after ALL MEN weep for Him as Written first, some of these SAVED ones could be those WHO REPENT at that TIME be it from HELL itself. So Great is His Mercy, right?

 

Last but not least, 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:

 

  1. i) 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 (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, CHAPTER XLI & CHAPTER XLII, ‘Dialogue with Trypho’)

 

  1. ii) 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 (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, CHAPTER XLI & CHAPTER XLII, ‘Dialogue with Trypho’)

 

Source for both quotes above:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ages – Aeons – Olams in the Future Times

 

Verses:

 

“so that in the ages [Aeons-plural] to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – The Noble and Blessed Apostle Paul (Ephesians 2:7, NASB)

 

“by faith we understand the ages [Aeons-plural] to have been prepared by a saying of God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things appearing;” – Anonymous (Hebrews 11:3, YLT)

 

[Emphasis Mine throughout]

 

An interesting First Christianity Quote:

 

“… But third it gives the ordinances of the spirit, as though, in the Gospels, arranging the mercy seat and Holy of Holies for its dwelling, but as its holy tabernacle a holy people < who * > have none but the righteous as their companions.10,7 In this people there dwells one infinite Godhead, one imperishable Godhead, one incomprehensible Godhead, unfathomable, inexpressible, invisible. It alone knows itself; it reveals itself to whom it will It raises up its witnesses, calls, predestines and glorifies them, lifts them up from hades, hallows them. (8) For its own glory and faith it makes these three one: things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; spirit, soul and flesh; faith, hope and charity; past, present and future; the AGES, the ETERNAL AGES, and the AGES of AGES; Sabbaths of Sabbaths; the circumcision of the flesh, the circumcision of the heart, and “the circumcision of Christ by the putting off of the body of the sins .’’ 202 (9) In a word, it PURIFIES ALL THINGS for itself, things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities authorities, powers. But IN ALL is the same holy voice crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” from glory to glory, < to glorify > the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father with the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory and might unto the AGES of AGES. Amen. And he who so believes will say “So be it! So be it. ” …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘PNEUMATOMACHI’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 7.1 – 7.3, Pages 498 – 499)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Focus points from the Quote above:

 

  1. Ages or Aeons Mystery

 

There are at least three types of Ages [Aeons-plural] Time Periods

 

“… past, present and future; the ages, the eternal ages, and the ages of ages; …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

I think that the phrase “eternal ages” means that the “ages or Aeons” continue into eternity.

 

Note: Men’s Final Punishment in Gehenna or the Lake of Fire has never been mentioned to the Aeons-plural to come but only to the lesser  maximum sentence which is to the next  Aeon-singular to come  (Matthew 25:46, Matthew 12:31 – 32) in the Bible giving a strong case that it’s not eternal but age-during to the next age only (though severe & a long time).

 

It cannot be that each of the phrases “the ages”  (Ephesians 2:7), “the eternal ages” (no such phrase exists  in the Bible but may be inferred to the overall creation of all ages as per the context of Hebrews 11:3) and “ages of Ages” (Revelation 20:10) all describe eternity.

 

The word eternal in front of the word ages (Aeons) itself proves that the word “ages-plural” itself does not mean eternity by itself but is a limited succession of ages to come by God’s Will as St. Epiphanius says, “eternal ages” to imply an eternal sequence of ages to come, right?

 

It is obvious that St. Epiphanius is revealing that eternity is a ‘long series of ages (aeons)’ as his phrase “eternal ages” means which is further broken up to some special highlight of certain focus ages such as the “ages of Ages” and the general succession of one age which terminates and is followed by another is exemplified in the phrase “ages” as it was with the “past ages” (Colossians 1:26, Ephesians 3:5) & so it will be into the future too always toward all created things as this is confirmed further in agreement of definition to the First Christianity quote below too:

 

“… But ALL THINGS which proceed from Him, WHATSOEVER have been MADE, and are made, do indeed receive their own beginning of generation, and on this account are INFERIOR to Him who formed them, inasmuch as they are not unbegotten. Nevertheless THEY ENDURE, and EXTEND their EXISTENCE into a LONG SERIES of AGES [Aeons, Aeon1, Aeon2, Aeon3, …] in accordance with the WILL of GOD their Creator; so that He GRANTS them that they should be thus formed at the beginning, and that they should so exist afterwards.” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Book II, Chapter XXXIV, Point 2)

 

 

Translation Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book2.html

 

  1. Context for Colossians 1:16, 20

 

From the First Christianity  quote above:

 

“… In a word, it purifies all things for itself, things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities authorities, powers. But in all is the same holy voice crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” from glory to glory, < to glorify > the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father with the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory and might unto the ages of ages. Amen. And he who so believes will say “So be it! So be it. ” …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

*Itself = Godhead

St. Epiphanius understands Colossians 1:20 as being Prophetic toward God Who “purifies all things for itself” where the “all” refers not to Christians things only but certainly includes them first as he defines this “all” in verse Colossians 1:20 to refer to exactly the same as the Holy & Blessed Apostle Paul did in Colossians 1:16 prior which is in his words,  “things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities authorities, powers.” (the phrase visible & invisible itself refers to both good & evil rational beings) to the end that all these will eventually Submit to God Finally crying out as “in all is the same holy voice crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,”.

 

Note: The three “Holy” is indication of the Most Holy Trinity, i. e. “Holy, Holy,  Holy” refers to “Holy to God the Father”, “Holy to God the Son” and “Holy to God the Holy Spirit” as some ancient Writers have pointed out.

 

iii. Faith of Jesus Christ Mystery

 

“Even the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” – apostle Paul (Romans 3:22, KJV)

 

This Context is further strengthened by St. Epiphanius’ own quote above regarding the “Faith of Jesus Christ” (Christ’s Faith to Justify all,  Romans 3:22, not our ‘faith in Christ’, in contrast Romans 3:3 – 4) in quote below:

 

“… For its own glory and faith it makes these three one: things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

Note: the phrase “under the earth” is Gehenna or the Lake of Fire (Hell) at that time on Judgment Day,  to quote:

 

“… according to the will of the invisible Father, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and THINGS UNDER THE EARTH, and that every tongue should confess” to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send “spiritual wickednesses,” and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting [Singular-age during] fire; …” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Book I, Chapter X, Point 1)

 

Translation Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book1.html

 

Where

 

The phrase “For its own glory and faith” implies that “its own Faith” = “Christ’s Faith” = the “Faith of Jesus Christ” in Romans 3:22-KJV (not by our faith we are justified but by His Faith where we become the first recipients of It when we believe first reaping Imperishable Rewards,  Romans 3:26).

 

So,  St. Epiphanius writes that by “His Faith” Christ makes even the “things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (Hell)” as one,  yes as He  “makes these three one” and “For its [His] own glory and faith”. So,  each of the “Justification of faith for all men (all mankind)” eventually must thus refer to “His Faith” which is the Free Gift of God to all (Romans 3:22 – 24) and ‘not our faith as popularly assumed’, i. e. not of anything of ourselves including not our faith too for Salvation by His Mercy (Ephesians 2:8, below):

 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” – St. Paul the Blessed Apostle (Ephesians 2:8, NASB)

 

The phrase “you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,” in verse above = we  have not been saved by our faith but by the “Faith of Jesus Christ” (Christ’s Faith is referred to here agreeing Perfectly to Romans 3:22). By His Will,  believers (those with faith in Christ on earth now) are the first recipients of this faith of His toward Salvation (Romans 3:26) with no afterlife Judgment (John 5:24).

 

  1. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

 

In his quote below, St. Epiphanius argues remarkably similar to St. Ambrose of Milan whom we discussed earlier to refer to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to be unforgiven in the Context that ‘pardon is available’ (probably after the two ages/Aeons) but such a one ‘may not have a share/Lot in the Christian Faith even if he repents on earth’ making him an ‘alien/slave level’ in His Kingdom with such a one being ‘denied before the Father too’ (implied), to quote:

 

“… [He is saying it besides] because he knows that certain persons will arise and blaspheme the Holy Spirit and place him in a slave’s status, making him alien to the essence of God. (6) And so, as a precaution, he said, “He that blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him here or in the world [AGE/AEON] to come” — not to commend those who blaspheme him, but to show his foreknowledge and lovingkindness by assuring in advance the salvation of those who blaspheme him and [then] repent. (7) For he himself, again, says, “He that hath denied me before men shall be denied before my Father,” 9 and, “I will deny him,” 10 and again, “He that confesseth me I will confess before my Father.” …”  – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘THEODOTIANS ‘, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 2.5 – 2.7, Page 74)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Please compare with the other similar First Christianity Quote below:

 

“… But we have heard that you are accustomed to bring forward as an objection that which is written: “Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but blasphemies against the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [age], nor in that which is to come.” [Matthew 12:31 – 32] By which quotation the whole of your assertion is destroyed and done away, for it is written: “Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” Why, then, do you not remit them? Why do you bind chains which you do not loose? Why do you tie knots which you do not unfasten? Forgive the others, and deal with those who you think are bound for ever by the authority of the Gospel for sinning against the Holy Spirit… Then, when Simon, depraved by long practice of magic, had thought he could gain by money the power of conferring the grace of Christ and the infusion of the Holy Spirit, Peter said: “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this faith, for thy heart is not right with God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if per-chance this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee, for I see that thou art in the bond of iniquity and in the bitterness of gall.” [Acts 8:22 – 23] We see that Peter by his apostolic authority condemns him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit through magic vanity, and all the more because he had not the clear consciousness of faith. And yet he did not exclude him from the hope of forgiveness, for he called him to repentance [Acts 8:22, 24]…    – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Ambrose: Selected Works and Letters, Point 20, 23 , Chapter 4 Pages 815, Book II Concerning Repentance)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

 

Comment (to quote from an earlier discussion):

 

  1. The ‘Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit’ is not forgiven eternally [or more accurately, it is not forgiven in this age/Aeon and neither in the next age/Aeon to come] in the sense that for such persons

 

” … Thou hast neither part nor lot in this faith ….” – the Blessed Apostle Peter quoted by ArchBishop St. Ambrose of Milan (highlighted)

 

That is, such ones cannot ever become His Bride in Participating in the First Resurrection & the Highest Rewards of the Heavens, Revelation 20:4 – 6, Matthew 5:20 – 23) as the phrase “… neither part nor lot in this faith…” eternally shuts them out of this hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 18).

 

  1. However a Hope of Forgiveness still remains

 

Because in the same breath St. Ambrose reminds them that apostle Peter himself reveals the Mystery that such ones may be forgiven (implying a General Salvation eventually) , in his words above as follows:

 

“… Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if per-chance this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee, for I see that thou art in the bond of iniquity and in the bitterness of gall.” [Acts 8:22 – 23]…”

 

and

 

“… We see that Peter by his apostolic authority condemns him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit … And yet he did not exclude him from the hope of forgiveness, for he called him to repentance…” [Acts 8:22, 24]

 

One final point, please consider the Verse:

 

“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.” – the Blessed Apostle Peter to Simon (Acts of the Apostles 8:22, NASB)

 

Please notice carefully that the phrase ‘… pray the Lord that, if possible, … may be forgiven you…’ strongly points that St. Ambrose is right in pointing out that this is a Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (example) which Simon has Committed as if it was any other  sins, apostle Peter would not have said “if possible”.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

St. Epiphanius or even St. Irenaeous’ own words prove that:

 

  1. i) They believed Eternity as a “long series of ages (Aeons-plural)” hence their rendering of “Aeonian fire” (singular age adjective) should not be translated as “everlasting fire/chastisement” (Matthew 25:46 too) but as “age-during chastisement/punishment/fire” only which is severe into a long but limited time period only as their own words imply.

 

  1. ii) St. Epiphanius clearly understood that Justification unto Salvation is by “Christ’s Faith” (the “Faith of Jesus Christ”) or “His Own Faith for His Own Glory” and thus Salvation is Purely His Work Alone where Colossians 1:20 points to a Future Prophecy where all rational creatures (“visible or invisible.. powers, dominions etc. including Ephesians 6:12 right?…) which are enmity with Him may be Reconciled back to Him eventually as this literally refers to the “All” defined first in Colossians 1:16 where we know that ‘nothing is excluded eventually though it’s not yet done’ (Hebrews 2:8).

 

Hence these other First Christianity quotes (below) which Speak of the Justification of Faith unto “All Men” (all human beings ever created) is by “Christ’s Faith” only making Universal Salvation Possible:

 

“And so we, having been called through His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves* or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart, but through faith, whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have been from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome (c. 35 AD – c. 99 AD, 1 Clement 32:4)

 

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-lightfoot.html

 

“Wages cannot be considered as a gift, because they are due to work, but God has given free grace to all men by the justification of faith.” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poitiers (c 315 AD – 367 AD) on Matthew 20:7)

 

Source

 

https://www.apuritansmind.com/justification/the-early-church-and-justification-compiled-by-dr-c-matthew-mcmahon/

 

Comment: When the early Church leaders quote of justification through ‘our faith in Christ’, they are referring to believers on earth now whose faith itself is by “Christ’s Faith” (the Source) and is Given as a ‘Gift’ (Romans 12:3) to the ‘Elect/His Church/ His Bride’ now on earth (Romans 3:26, Colossians 1:22) & understanding this accurately does not disqualify the Universal Salvation Hope of others via the ‘Faith belonging to Lord Jesus Christ Alone’ (Romans 3:22).

 

P/S: Repentance Mystery

 

1) Repentance to become Part of His Church to Reap the Highest Resurrection and Dwelling in the Heavens with Full Rewards (which no eyes has seen, nor ear has heard… 1 Corinthians 2:9) is limited in time to those who believe in Christ now on earth only

 

2) The rest of the “unsaved” (just like the ‘Lawless fallen Christians’) may attain to their much lower abodes even some toward Basic Salvation only after they repent in post-afterlife Judgment to the last penny accordingly where some of the most wicked must endure into the Final Lake of Fire Judgment as well

 

First Christianity’s Scripture Level Quote agreeing with this from the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture:

 

“Hermas 5[13]:1 But wouldst thou know about them that are broken in pieces, and cast away far from the tower? These are the sons of lawlessness. They received the faith in hypocrisy, and no wickedness was absent from them. Therefore they have not salvation, for they are not useful for building by reason of their wickednesses. Therefore they were broken up and thrown far away by reason of the wrath of the Lord, for they excited Him to wrath…. Hermas 7[15]:4 So she finished the explanation of the tower. Hermas 7[15]:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower. Hermas 7[15]:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.” – Shepherd of Hermas (2nd Century)

 

Source for Translation:

 

https://carm.org/shepherd-of-hermas

 

Comment: Please notice carefully that the ‘unsaved ones’ as quoted to as “They received the faith in hypocrisy, and no wickedness was absent from them. Therefore they have not salvation” were also later said to be saved as the Shepherd Reveals, “I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower. Hermas 7[15]:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins.”

 

Note: To ‘remain unsaved’ or ‘not be saved’ whilst being punished is only applicable as long a they don’t repent when they’re punished in the afterlife Judgments

 

Here’s another point to ponder: In the Shepherd of Hermas’ quote above, it’s obvious that some of the ‘rejected stones (people parabolically)’ are only saved in the ‘afterlife after Judgment’ and cannot be numbered among the righteous to be part of the ‘Tower of Repentance’ and are placed in ‘more humble places as the cases of these fallen Christians show’. Since these are fallen Christians some of whose faith has been told to be ‘in hypocrisy & wickedness’ (hence these have not Salvation or the faith in Christ), thus when they are Saved, by whose Faith are they Justified by? Surely they can only be Justified by the ‘Faith of Jesus Christ’ (Christ’s Faith Alone) since they have shipwrecked their own faith, right? Notice that of their faith in Christ remained, they would not have come under any afterlife Judgment (John 5:24).

 

Also Christ’ Descent into Hades Saved even “those in prison” (of Hell, 1 Peter 3:18 – 20) which refers  not to he righteous (who were in the blessed non-prison compartments of Hades as Abraham was in comfort as per Luke 16:19 – 31) but to the ‘wicked’ as even St. Epiphanius’ quote below agrees:

 

“…  And this is why he died first, to confirm the testament of death. Then he rose from the dead, that < we might be “changed > from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 356 For “He triumphed over principalities and powers” 357 on the cross and “condemned sin” 358 in death. He buried iniquity by his burial, and broke “death’s sting” 359 by tasting death. By his descent into hades he despoiled hades, manfully loosed its prisoners, and won the trophy of the cross against the devil….”  – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘MANICHAEANS ‘, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 73.6, Page 301)

 

Focus Phrase from the above:

 

“… By his descent into hades he despoiled hades, manfully loosed its prisoners, and won the trophy of the cross against the devil…. …”  – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” – the Noble Apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:18 – 20, NASB)

 

Now, since these wicked ones from even Noah’s Time (1 Peter 3:18 – 19) who were set free and Saved by Christ’s Descent into Hell are now no more disobedient being only “who once were disobedient”, please note that these ones did NOT have faith in God in their lives prior and so how can they be Saved except if by Faith of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22) which overcame their ‘unbelief’ too (Romans 3:3 – 4)?

 

Yes, Christ literally went with His Spirit upon Death and Preached to the spirits in Prison in Hades (Hell), to quote:

 

“… And Paul writes, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever .” 31 (7) But the impassible and incorporeal Word of God was in the body that was circumcised, was carried in its mother’s arms, ate, grew weary, was nailed to the tree and suffered.  This body was laid in the tomb when Christ himself “went to preach to the spirits that were in prison ,” 32 as Peter said. 8,1 This above all reveals the folly of those who say that the Word was changed to bones and flesh. If this were so there would be no need of a tomb. The body itself would have gone of itself to preach to the spirits in hades. (2) As it is, Christ himself went to preach, but “Joseph wrapped” the body “in a linen shroud, and laid it to rest ” 33 on Golgotha. And it has been shown to all that the body was not the Word, but the Word’s body. …”  – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘APOLLINARLANS’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 7.5 – 8.2, Page 588)

 

or

 

“… He descended to hades in his Godhead with his soul, bravely and mightily freed the prisoners, truly ascended the third day, the divine Word with his holy soul, with the captives he had rescued; he was truly raised with body, soul and all his human nature. He spent the forty days with his disciples, truly blessed them on the Mount of Olives, and truly ascended into heaven while his disciples watched him truly taken up to the clouds. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘APOLLINARLANS’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 35.6, Page 613)

 

or

 

“… But his body was truly buried and remained lifeless for the three days without breath and motion — wrapped in the shroud, laid in the tomb, shut in by the stone and the seal of those who had imposed it. Yet the Godhead was not shut in, the Godhead was not buried; (4) it descended to the underworld with the holy soul, took the captive souls from there, broke the “sting of death,” 67 “shattered” the bars and the unbreakable “bolts,” 68 and by its own authority “loosed the pains of hades.” …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘DE FIDE’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 17.3, Pages 674 – 675)

 

Source for each quote above:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

“Shall not He take account of their toil, Who will not cast off for ever even those whom He casts off? For David says: God will not cast off for ever, and in opposition to this shall we listen to heresy asserting, He does cast off for “ever ? David says: God will not for ever cut off His mercy from generation to generation, nor will He forget to be merciful. This is the prophet’s declaration, and there are those who would maintain a forgetfulness of mercy on God’s part.” – Quote by the ‘same’ Blessed Archbishop Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD), who converted even the Champion Eternal-Hell theologian St. Augustine of Hippo.

 

Source: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-complete-works-of-the-church-fathers/id1330532081

 

Is the Quote above Biblical? Yes in the Context ‘any children of men’ (hence “all men”, implied) because ‘no one is cast off forever by God’ as His Great Mercy can cancel any forever Sentence and Points more toward this to Happen in the End after Judgment when Mercy Triumphs over & ends it eventually (James 2:13) as Discussed Prior in so many ways too, Verses in Lamentations 3:31 – 33 and Psalm 77:7 – 9 too.

 

 

The True Orthodox Faith is toward the Direction of Believing and Hopin that Christ Saves “All of Creation” from its “Defects” (sin, Romans 8:20 – 23), to quote:

 

“… And you see, servants of Christ and sons of God’s holy church and orthodox faith, that there is nothing obscure or knotty in the sacred scripture; everything has been written marvelously and marvelously fulfilled for our salvation. However, in their hostility to God’s only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, Arians, like enemies, think up all sorts of plans and subtleties, (g) But far be it from us to rely on human subtleties. We must keep our minds sound to glorify our Master and not conceive of any defect in him. For if the One who came to SAVE ALL THINGS  has any defect, how can CREATION be SAVED from its OWN DEFECTS? …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’,  (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ARLANS , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 62.8, Page 391)

 

 

 

 

Peace to You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Christianity Mysteries – The Art of Perfection
 
Does Leaving Earthly Treasures for Christ which are Few in Value are counted Great in Percentage as per Luke 21:1 – 4?
 
‘… Greater Sermons are Un-preached in Churches Today but may be found among Christ’s Best in First Christianity …’
 
“… The rich man who has despised many things will naturally expect a reward, but he who POSSESSING LITTLE resigns what he has, may fairly ask what there is in store for him; as it follows, Then Peter said, lo, we have left all. Matthew adds, What shall we have therefore? This then we say, that he who gives up all worldly and carnal things will gain for himself far greater, inasmuch as the Apostles, AFTER LEAVING A FEW THINGS, obtained the manifold gifts of grace, and were ACCOUNTED GREAT EVERY WHERE. We then shall be like to them. Now perhaps this command is irksome to the rich, yet to those who are of a sound mind, it is not unprofitable, for their treasure is the kingdom of heaven. Hence it follows, Provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, &c. ….” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)
 
Source 1:
 
https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18
 
So, the ‘Voluntary Poverty’ Contest of Faith is Fair and available all believers (to quote from the ‘other St Cyril’)::
 
“… Consider, I pray, of each nation, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Solitaries, Virgins, and laity besides; and then behold their great Protector, and the Dispenser of their gifts;—how throughout the world He gives to one chastity, to another perpetual virginity, to another almsgiving, to another VOLUNTARY POVERTY to another power of repelling hostile spirits…” – Blessed St. Cyril, ArchBishop of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church (c. 313 AD – c. 386 AD, Points 21, 22, Lecture XVI.On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spake in the Prophets, via Philip Schaff)
 
Source:
 
https://ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207/npnf207.ii.xx.html
 
Other Quotes either from the sources above or below (sometimes mixed):
 
https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19
 
or
 
https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12
 
“… But if a man wishes to be adorned with precious raiment, let him observe closely how even down to the flowers which spring from the earth God extends His manifold wisdom, adorning them with divers colors, so adapting to the delicate membranes of the flowers dyes far superior to gold and purple, that under no luxurious king, not even Solomon himself, who was renowned among the ancients for his riches as for his wisdom and pleasures, has so exquisite a work been devised; and hence it follows, But I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. For every man naturally dwells upon that which is the object of his desire, and thither he directs all his thoughts, where he supposes his whole interest to rest. If any one then has his whole mind and affections, which he calls the heart, set on things of this present life, he lives in earthly things. But if he has given his mind to heavenly things, there will his mind be; so that he seems with his body only to live with men, but with his mind to have already reached the heavenly mansion….” – Blessed Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, Father of Church History (AD 260—340)
 
“… Now it were strange for the disciples, who ought to set before others the rule and pattern of life, to fall into those things, which it was their duty to advise men to renounce; and therefore our Lord adds, And seek not what you shall eat, &c. Herein also our Lord strongly recommends the study of holy preaching, bidding His disciples to cast away all human cares….” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)
 
“… For when we despise the world, we must not imagine we have resigned any thing great, for the whole earth in comparison of the heaven is but a span long; therefore even should they who renounce it be lords of the whole earth, yet still it would be nothing worth in comparison of the kingdom of heaven. …” – St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy and Champion of Trinity (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD)
 
“… There is no profit in riches while the soul suffers poverty, no hurt in poverty, while the soul abounds in wealth. But if the sign of a man waxing rich is to be in need of nothing and of becoming poor to be in want, it is plain that the poorer a man is, the richer he grows. For it is far easier for one in poverty to despise wealth, than for the rich …”- Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)
 
“… Seeing that there is an incomparably greater number of poor which might be saved by forsaking their riches, they understood that all who love riches, even though they cannot obtain them, were to be counted among the number of the rich. Nor need it be made a scruple in what monasteries, or to the indigent brethren of what place, any one gives those things that he has, for there is but one commonwealth of all Christians. Therefore wheresoever any Christian has laid out his goods, in all places alike he shall receive what is necessary for himself, shall receive it of that which is Christ’s. Nor are such only partakers in the kingdom of heaven, who, to the end they may be perfect, sell or part with all that they have; but in these Christian ranks are numbered by reason of a certain communication of their charity a multitude of hired troops; those to whom it shall be said in the end, “I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat;” [Matt 25:35] whom be it far from us to consider excluded from life eternal, as they who obey not the commands of the Gospel. …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)
 
“… The young man speaks false, for if he had fulfilled that which was afterwards placed among the commandments, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, how was it that when he heard, Go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, he went away sorrowful? …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)
 
“… Our Lord next declares, that though a man has kept the old covenant, he is not perfect, since he lacks to follow Christ. You yet lack one thing, Sell all that you have, &c. As if He says, you ask how to possess eternal life; scatter your goods among the poor, and you shall obtain it. A little thing is that you spend, you receive great things….” – Blessed Titus, Bishop of Bostra whom St. Jerome of the Vulgate himself names Titus among writers whose secular erudition is as marvellous as their knowledge of Scripture;(died c. 378 AD)
 
“… The Lord then, desiring to convict this rich man, says to him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor;” for so it will be seen if thou dost indeed love thy neighbour as thyself. But if he is perfect who has all the virtues, how does he become perfect who sells all that he has and gives to the poor? For suppose one to have done this, will he thereby become forthwith free from anger, desire, having every virtue, and abandoning all vice? Perhaps wisdom may suggest, that he that has given his goods to the poor, is aided by their prayers, receiving of their spiritual abundance to his want, and is made in this way perfect, though he may have some human passions. Or thus; He that thus exchanged his riches for poverty, in order that he might become perfect, shall have assistance to become wise in Christ, just, chaste also, and devoid of all passion; but not so as that in the moment when he gave up all his goods, he should forthwith become perfect; but only that from that day forward the contemplation of God will begin to bring him to all virtues…” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)
 
Conclusion – God Provides Necessities only and not Luxury and the Rest is a Voluntary Participation in the Great Contests of Faith
 
“… But the little flock, our Lord signifies those who are willing to become His disciples, or because in this world the Saints seem little because of their VOLUNTARY POVERTY, or because they are outnumbered by the multitude of Angels, who incomparably exceed all that we can boast of. The name little our Lord gives to the company of the elect, either from comparison with the greater number of the reprobate, or rather because of their devout humility. …” – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)
 
“… As if He says, Fear not lest they who warfare for the kingdom of God, should be in want of the necessaries of this life. But sell that you have for alms’ sake, which then is done worthily, when a man having once for his Lord’s sake forsaken all that he has, nevertheless afterwards labors with his hands that he may be able both to gain his living, and give alms. Now this must not only be felt concerning love of money, but all the passions. Luxurious feasts are treasures; also the sports of the gay and the desires of the lover. …” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)
 
“… But with respect to the necessaries of life, He adds, And your Father knows that you have need of these things. But some one will ask, upon what grounds ought we to sell that which we have? Is it that these things are by nature hurtful, or because of the temptation to our souls? To this we must answer, first, that every thing existing in the world if it were in itself evil, would be no creation of God, for every creation of God is good. And next, that our Lord’s command teaches us not to cast away as evil what we possess, but to distribute, saying, and give alms….” – Blessed St. Basil the Great, Titles: Great Hierarch, Doctor of the Church (c. 330 AD – c. 379 AD)
 
How Worthy are we?
 
“… But He goes on to show, that neither at the present time, nor hereafter, will grace be lacking to the faithful, if only they who desire heavenly things seek not earthly; for it is unworthy for men to care for meats, who fight for a kingdom. The king knows wherewithal he shall support and clothe his own family. Therefore it follows, Bu seek you first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you….” – Blessed Archbishop Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD
 
God Said ‘Seek ye First His Kingdom, so that these (earthly blessings) may be given to us’ so that we may “Practice” forgoing it as much as possible by ‘selling it and giving it to the poor’ – as this is the Correct Meaning in Holy Scripture which is seen only when these ‘Consecutive Verses’ are quoted in ‘full’ (please read the Verses below ‘carefully’ before falsely calling those who Preach this Truth a liar. Indeed, No Preaching is Greater than Christ’s Own Most Blessed Words, to quote:
 
““But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Selfless One Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:31 – 34, NASB)
 
‘… What Christ has Called Perfect Let no man call small …’ – Anonymous
 
“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.”.” (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)
 
The Doctrine of Perfection in Voluntary Poverty is True despite the fact that I can’t seem to be able to do it (as I must have a very small measure of faith as compared to these Great Christians who have Done it for Christ, Romans 12:3).
 
Also, it is actually a duty of the Church to support such ‘Voluntary Poverty Saints’ of God as it was in Jerusalem too as Holy Scripture Instructed via Apostle Paul himself as this is the ‘Real Giving to a Real Man of God in Its Fullest Meaning’ (Romans 15:26).
 
Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hardworking Like an Ant

 

Being Hardworking is a good trait as per the Verses in Image (Proverbs 6:6 – 8). But, here’s a deeper point to consider:

 

  1. i) Are we hardworking to earn more money?

 

Or

 

  1. ii) Are we hardworking in spiritual pursuits?

 

We cannot be hardworking in both as our Time gets spread out in either one more than the other. Indeed, if we are hardworking here on earth, we may enjoy a luxurious life here. Likewise, if we are hardworking in spiritual things, we will likewise reap great unseen and unheard rewards in His Kingdom.

 

Conclusion – Let us be Wise in how we Spend our Time especially for God Daily in our Spiritual Pursuits

 

The Life we choose is in our hands. Indeed, by seeking lesser earthly work, we may earn less and suffer in sickness or poverty with none to help. But if it’s done due to obedience to His Word by pursuing Voluntary Poverty to some extent, won’t these horrible sufferings finally become a Greater Glory in His Kingdom by His Grace? (Acts 2:44 – 46, Hebrews 11:37 – 38, Matthew 19:27 – 30, Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:33)

 

Apart from those “New Testament Verses” above, please consider this First Christianity Quote below:

 

“… And like as the hired labourer looks first to his task, and after to his daily food, so ought we to mind first those things which concern the glory of God, then those which concern our own profit. Also as the hired labourer occupies the whole day in his Lord’s work, and takes but a [p. 680] single hour for his own meal; so ought we to occupy our whole life in the glory of God, taking but a very small portion of it for the uses of this world …” – Pseudo-Chrysosthom (4th to 5th Century)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20

 

Here’s His Unchangeable Truth (in His Own Most Blessed Words) Agreeing to all these:

 

“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:21, NASB)

 

‘… An ant is only hardworking for its needs, not for its wants … ‘

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

Apostle Paul – The Last but First of the Great Ones

 

Here’s an interesting First Christianity Explanation of the Verse In Image Allegorically by the Great Eastern Exgete (as a few interpretations may be true simultaneously as God Alone Knows), to quote:

 

“… Perhaps it is to Adam He says, “Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a denarius? Take that thine is, and go thy way.” Salvation is thine, that is, the denarius. “I will give unto this last also as unto thee.” A person might not improbably suppose, that this last was the Apostle Paul, who wrought but one hour, and was made equal with all who had been before him. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sodom and Gomorrah – The Timelss Example of Aeonian Fire Judgment

 

Sodom and Gomorrah Judged = Jude 1:7

 

Sodom and Gomorrah Restored after Punishment = Ezekiel 16:52 – 55

 

Example of a First Christianity Quote Describing this:

 

“… Let them learn, therefore, by searching the holy Scriptures, what are the individual virtues, and not deceive themselves by saying that that God who rewards every one according to his merits, does, through hatred of evil, recompense the wicked with evil, and not because those who have sinned need to be treated with severer remedies, and because He applies to them those measures which, with the prospect of improvement, seem nevertheless, for the present, to produce a feeling of pain. They do not read what is written respecting the hope of those who were destroyed in the deluge; of which hope Peter himself thus speaks in his first Epistle: “That Christ, indeed, was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which He went and preached to the spirits who were kept in prison, who once were unbelievers, when they awaited the long-suffering of God in the days of Noah, when the ark was preparing, in which a few, i.e., eight souls, were saved by water. Whereunto also baptism by a like figure now saves you.” And with regard to Sodom and Gomorrah, let them tell us whether they believe the prophetic words to be those of the Creator God–of Him, viz., who is related to have rained upon them a shower of fire and brimstone. What does Ezekiel the prophet say of them? “Sodom,” he says, “shall be restored to her former condition.” But why, in afflicting those who are deserving of punishment, does He not afflict them for their good?–who also says to Chaldea, “Thou hast coals of fire, sit upon them; they will be a help to thee.” And of those also who fell in the desert, let them hear what is related in the seventy-eighth Psalm, which bears the superscription of Asaph; for he says, “When He slew them, then they sought Him.” He does not say that some sought Him after others had been slain, but he says that the destruction of those who were killed was of such a nature that, when put to death, they sought God. By all which it is established, that the God of the law and the Gospels is one and the same, a just and good God, and that He confers benefits justly, and punishes with kindness; since neither goodness without justice, nor justice without goodness, can display the (real) dignity of the divine nature. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD, DE PRINCIPIIS, BOOK II, Chapter V.–ON JUSTICE AND GOODNESS, Point 3)

 

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen123.html

 

Please note that Origen quotes a lot of Scripture in support of this particular exegesis. Interesting, isn’t it? So, since God does not change just like the ‘former unbelievers who rejected repentance during the Preaching of Noah’, they were sent into Aeonian (age-during) Judgment in Hades first to endure their Judgment Sentences accordingly & thereafter waited in afterlife Prisons till Christ came and Preached (a second time/chance but only post-Judgment) for them to repent & be saved as Origen’s words from the above mean, to quote (below, highlighted):

 

“… They do not read what is written respecting the hope of those who were destroyed in the deluge; of which hope Peter himself thus speaks in his first Epistle: “That Christ, indeed, was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which He went and preached to the spirits who were kept in prison, who once were unbelievers, when they awaited the long-suffering of God in the days of Noah, …” – Origen of Alexandria

 

Note: It is well known that Origen’s Universalism part (numerous such as in his writings above) has not been condemned even in the later councils of the church except by ‘individuals’ but only his pagan ideas of ‘pre-existence of souls & its derivations such as certain type of reincarnation/transmigration of souls into becoming angels or demons or something like that’, to quote:

 

“… Origen is a Church Father[15][16][17][18] and is widely regarded as one of the most important Christian theologians of all time.[19] His teachings were especially influential in the east, with Athanasius of Alexandria and the three Cappadocian Fathers being among his most devoted followers.[20] Argument over the orthodoxy of Origen’s teachings spawned the First Origenist Crisis in the late fourth century AD, in which he was attacked by Epiphanius of Salamis and Jerome, but defended by Tyrannius Rufinus and John of Jerusalem. In 543, the emperor Justinian I condemned him as a heretic and ordered all his writings to be burned. The Second Council of Constantinople in 553 may have anathemized Origen, or it may have only condemned certain heretical teachings which claimed to be derived from Origen. His teachings on the pre-existence of souls were rejected by the Church.[21] … Both orthodox and heterodox theologians claimed to be following in the tradition Origen had established.[159] Athanasius of Alexandria, the most prominent supporter of the Holy Trinity at the First Council of Nicaea, was deeply influenced by Origen,[206][20][155] and so were Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the so-called “Cappadocian Fathers”) …”

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen

Note: It is well known that Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (of Alexandria, the ‘Great Father of Orthodoxy’) himself never condemned Origen and even was influenced by him on the parts where Origen was with Scripture.

 

So, just like even the Great Names of Christianity who did not condemn him fully, I follow likewise and consider only quotes where he quotes ‘Holy Scripture’ and ‘not Greek Philosophy’. Perhaps that’s why even St. Hilary of Poictiers must have understood this Concept of God’s Righteous Judgment likewise when he declared in his writing a similar understanding, to quote:

 

“… even Sodom and Gomorrah, their punishment in history having satisfied the righteousness of God, shall ultimately be saved …” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, ‘The Theology of Hilary of Poictiers*’, Page 122)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/StHilaryOfPoitiersSelectWorks/St%20Hilary%20of%20Poitiers%20Select%20Works_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambrose Ambrosiaster Athanasius Hilary Epiphanius – Context for the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to the Impossible to Renew them to Repentance and Universalism Verses

 

What did Ambrosiaster say regarding the Rich and Poor Mystery – on Earth or in Heaven?

 

To Quote:

 

“… The truly rich men in the eyes of God are those whose lives are pure, and the more they look despicable in the world, the more they are worthy of honor in heaven. Those whom the favors of the present life have made possessors of immense wealth, if they know each other well and understand the will of God who gave the earth to all men, which raises his sun for all and spreads indiscriminately on all the dew of heaven (Matt 5:45), seeing that the injustice of the times, or an unforeseen misfortune, or the indigence deny some what God has given to all, will tell them of what they possess, and thus fulfilling the will of God, they will be rich not only on earth, but in heaven, and these transient riches will not exclude them from the possession of eternal riches. As for those whom poverty seems worthy of contempt, if they meditate on the future judgment of God, they will see that they will be eternally rich, where the rich of the age will be reduced to extreme indigence, and will repent of having not been poor on earth….” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (c. 366 and c. 384 AD, Comments on Proverbs 22:2)

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/proverbs/ambrosiaster-q-a-on-proverbs

 

Ambrosiaster is not a work of a heretic but a Formal Priest of the True Latin Christianity before St. Augustine himself where even St. Augustine quoted from it even referencing it to someone names ‘Hilary’, to quote:

 

“… Ambrosiaster is the name given to the writer of a commentary on St Paul’s epistles, “brief in words but weighty in matter,” and valuable for the criticism of the Latin text of the New Testament.[1] The commentary itself was written during the papacy of Pope Damasus I, that is, between 366 and 384, and is considered an important document of the Latin text of Paul before the Vulgate of Jerome, and of the interpretation of Paul prior to Augustine of Hippo. … This commentary was erroneously attributed for a long time to St Ambrose [or Milan]. … the name “Ambrosiaster” (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”) to describe its author … Attempts to identify this Ambrosiaster with known authors has continued, but with no success. Because Augustine cites Ambrosiaster’s commentary on Romans 5.12 under the name of “Hilary”, many critics have attempted to identify Ambroasiaster with one of the many writers named “Hilary” active in the period. In 1899, Germain Morin suggested that the writer was Isaac,[4] a converted Jew and writer of a tract on the Trinity and Incarnation, who was exiled to Spain in 378-380 and then relapsed to Judaism; but he afterwards abandoned this theory of the authorship in favour of Decimus Hilarianus Hilarius, proconsul of Africa in 377.[1] Alternatively, Paolo Angelo Ballerini attempted to sustain the traditional attribution of the work to Ambrose, in his complete edition of that Father’s work. This is extremely problematic, though, since it would require Ambrose to have written the book before he became a bishop, and then added to it in later years, incorporating later remarks of Hilary of Poitiers on Romans.[5] No identifications, therefore, have acquired lasting popularity with scholars, and his identity remains a mystery. … Despite the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster, several facts about him can be established. Internal evidence suggests he was active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (366–384), and almost certainly a member of the Roman clergy. There are strong indications he objected to Jerome’s efforts to revise the Old Latin versions of the Gospels, and that he was critical of Jerome’s activity among ascetic women at Rome. Ambrosiaster shows a deep interest in Judaism and often notes that Christian practices derive from Jewish tradition. …”

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosiaster

 

Conclusion – The Context and Meaning for 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28 and Hebrews 2:8’s Prophecies in First Christianity

 

This is the ‘same Ambrosiaster’ (Roman Clergy, i.e. Priest under Pope Damasus’ time whose writings are widely read in Latin Christianity even after his time by St. Augustine too) who wrote very clear ‘Christ Centered Universlism Passages’ which Reflect the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’s Inclusion in the First/Oldest Roman Cannon called the Muratorian Cannon’ regarding the Wicked being finally Saved by Lord Jesus Christ from ‘Gehenna/Lake of Fire’ as this Prophecy is likewise Represented in Blessed Ambrosiaster too in several ways, say in quotes below (examples):

 

Yes, The Earliest Authoritative Commentary of the New Testament in Latin before St. Augustine also reflects this Prophecy that the Righteous may ask for Anything including the Salvation of the Damned “on that Day” toward Christ Centred Universalism as shown below, to quote

 

“… and yet to recognize that His kingdom is ETERNAL, that is to say, the kingdom of the Son, for in the Name of Jesus EVERY KNEE shakes in HEAVEN, on the EARTH, and IN HELL. (Philip. 2) The Apostle St. Peter confirms this truth when he says:” No other name under heaven was given to MEN by which we were to BE SAVED.” (Acts 4) And did not the Lord Himself say to His disciples, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name, ask and I will answer you?” (Jn. 16:24) The REIGN of the Son therefore consists in the fact that it is in HIS NAME that ALL MEN are SAVED, and that ALL the PRAYERS addressed to Him until the end of the world are ANSWERED. But when ALL CREATURES have confessed Jesus Christ WILLINGLY or by FORCE, and have been subjected to the power against which they have resisted, then the MYSTERY of ONE GOD will be REVEALED to ALL MEN, and all thanksgivings will go back to God the Father, the principle of all things, that ALL PREACHING CEASE, ONE GOD be recognized in the MYSTERY of the TRINITY. … ” – Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 26, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

 

“In THAT DAY you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:23 – 24, NASB)

 

Comment: Please notice carefully that Ambrosiaster quotes John 16:24 where in John 16:23 (see these Verses above), it is clear that the Context is “in THAT DAY” (probably the Seventh or Eighth Day onward in the Messianic Prophecies Timeline), all prayer requests especially for the Salvation of the Damned [that the ‘Eternal Hell Sentence’ may be Cancelled by His Mercy which can Triumph Over & End any Judgment Sentence, James 2:13] will be Answered causing this Universal Salvation of ‘All Men in heaven, Earth or Hell’ (Context: Please read the above ‘carefully’) agreeing to the Prophecies of the Apocalypse of Peter, Apocalypse of Elijah, Apocalypse of Zephaniah, the Christian-Jewish Sibyline Oracles, the Epistle of the Apostles, St. Julian of Norwich’s Visions & even the Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh as it was Discussed in Previous posts.

 

who is he?

 

“Ambrosiaster is the name given to the writer of a commentary on St Paul’s epistles, “brief in words but weighty in matter,” and valuable for the criticism of the Latin text of the New Testament.[1] The commentary itself was written during the papacy of Pope Damasus I, that is, between 366 and 384, and is considered an important document of the Latin text of Paul before the Vulgate of Jerome, and of the interpretation of Paul prior to Augustine of Hippo.[2] This commentary was erroneously attributed for a long time to St Ambrose.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosiaster

 

Christ’s Will to Save All Men (All Human Beings ever Created) is Clearly Revealed

 

“… So that the unbelieving Jews would remain wrapped up in an eternal night, and that the day would not appear the author of so great a crime, of so enormous sacrilege, but of the night; the day against the natural order of things is submitted to the preceding night, just as the God and Lord of all things is subject to the prince of death, in order to DELIVER ALL MEN from the CHAINS of DEATH…” – Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 64, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

Some may argue that it is a little vague in the above.

 

Christ Saves from Hell in the End after His Second Advent/His Second Coming

 

“… The prophet Joel also predicted this phenomenon so that one cannot doubt the fulfillment of a fact attested by several witnesses. “And the sun,” he says, “will be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible DAY of the LORD’s COMING.” (Joel 2:31) . As far as the literal meaning of these words indicates, they seem to be more fitting for the SECOND ADVENT, for then the Lord will manifest himself publicly to ALL MEN, to the testimony of Scripture: “Then every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth and those who have crucified him will strike their breast.” (Rev. 1:7) … So the prophet foretold that the Savior would take care of their infirmities, and this prophecy is fulfilled in his time, as we see in the Gospel: “He really has borne our torpor, of our sufferings.” (Isa. 1:4) All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL*, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL* THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. This is why Zechariah says: “To fulfill His mercies toward our fathers.” (Luke 1:72) But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION must also come in the SECOND ADVENT, … ” – Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 105, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

 

This Proves that Christ Centered Universalism was also the First Latin Christianity prior to St. Augustine’s eternal hell tendencies probably due to not realizing nor understanding these ancient mysteries/secrets of the Gospel. For if Blessed Ambrosiaster was a heretics work, it could not have survived this long especially since it was ‘widely read & its contents known across Latin Christianity both at that time & thereafter’.

 

Please allow me to quote Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan (the one who taught & converted St. Augustine) and Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers (who is about the greatest saint in Latin/Western Christianity together with St. Ambrose of Milan prior to St. Augustine excluding only the apostles) who also Expressed these same Beliefs in Christ Centered Universalism proving our Claim Irrefutably, to quote:

 

How about the aeonian fire in Jude 1:7 as the Example of Sodom and Gomorrah shows?

 

 

To Quote:

 

“… even Sodom and Gomorrah, their punishment in history having satisfied the righteousness of God, shall ultimately be saved …” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, ‘The Theology of Hilary of Poictiers*’, Page 122)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/StHilaryOfPoitiersSelectWorks/St%20Hilary%20of%20Poitiers%20Select%20Works_djvu.txt

 

And

 

Please note ‘carefully’ that the Illustrious Saint below from First Christianity quotes Romans 11:32’s ‘Mercy to All’ to include ‘All His Enemies too’ (Romans 11:30 – 31) because the ‘Election of God toward these enemies as beloved’ cannot be Revoked (Romans 11:28) and so after these Enemies are Subjected by Christ Eventually (1 Corinthians 15:25), “life Immortal follows” to them (implied below), to quote:

 

“… When authorities and powers are abolished, His enemies shall be subjected under His feet. The same Apostle tells who are these enemies, As touching the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers’ sake . We remember that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; let us remember also that, because they are beloved for the fathers’ sake, they are reserved for the subjection, as the Apostle says, I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved, even as it is written, There shall come out of Sion a Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: and this is the covenant firm Me to them, when I have taken away their sins . So His enemies shall be subjected under His feet. But we must not forget what follows the subjection, namely, Last of all is death conquered by Him 1284 . This victory over death is nothing else than the resurrection from the dead: for when the corruption of death is stayed, the quickened and now heavenly nature is made eternal, as it is written, For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in strife. O death, where is thy sting? O death, where is thy strife ? In the subjection of His enemies death is conquered; and, death conquered, life immortal follows…” Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, Book XI ‘On the Trinity’, Points 34 – 35, Page 481**)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/StHilaryOfPoitiersSelectWorks/StHilaryofPoitiersSelectWorks_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

“… Let us then shortly sum up our CONCLUSION on the whole matter. A unity of power puts aside all idea of a degrading subjection. His giving up of power, and His victory as conqueror won over death, have not lessened His power. Obedience works out subjection. Christ has taken obedience upon Himself, obedience even to taking on Him our flesh, the cross even to gaining our salvation. Thus where the work lies, there too is the Author of the work. When therefore, all things have become subject to Christ, through Christ’s obedience, so that ALL bend their knees in His name, then He Himself will be ALL in ALL. For NOW, since ALL do NOT BELIEVE, ALL do NOT seem to be in SUBJECTION. But WHEN ALL have BELIEVED and DONE the will of God, then Christ will be ALL and in ALL. And when Christ is all and in all, then will God be all and in all; for the Father abides ever in the Son. How, then, is He shown to be weak, Who redeemed the weak? …” – Blessed Archbishop Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Selected Works and Letters, Page 726, Chapter 15, Point 182)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

 

Context for God overcoming the Unbelief of Men as it is Written in Romans 3:3 – 4?

 

The Unbelief of All Men may be Solved and these may believe as it is Written above till God becomes all in all after the third shaking of the Heavens, Earth, Sea when ‘All Principalities, Powers (of Evil, Devil, Demons, Darkness) shall be Destroyed, implied’, as St. Ambrose explains:

 

“… This is that peace above all peace which shall be granted AFTER the THIRD SHAKING of the heaven, the sea, the earth and the dry land, when He shall DESTROY ALL PRINCIPALITIES and POWERS [Ephesians 6:12, Colossians 2:15, Isaiah 24:21]. For HEAVEN and EARTH shall PASS AWAY [Revelation 21:1],306 and ALL the FASHION of this WORLD [1 Corinthians 7:31, 1 John 2:17]; … And thus there will be peace over all, the passions of the body offering no resistance, and the UNBELIEVING mind NO OBSTACLE [Romans 3:3 – 4], that CHRIST may be ALL in ALL [1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28], offering in SUBJECTION to the Father the HEARTS of ALL MEN [1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10] …” – Blessed Archbishop Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, LETTER XXX, AMBROSE TO IRENAEUS, GREETING, Point 14)

 

Source:

 

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/ambrose_letters_03_letters21_30.htm

Note: They are not stupid to blindly follow after ‘Origenism’ as so called ‘modern scholars have claimed’. Any similarity of Doctrine between Origen of Alexandria’s and their is a further sign that ‘this part of Doctrine’ was a Truth Preserved from Ancient Times in both the Eastern and Western First Christianity.

 

Last but not least, 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:

 

  1. i) 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 …” – Blessed St. Justin Martyr (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, CHAPTER XLI & CHAPTER XLII, ‘Dialogue with Trypho’)

 

  1. ii) 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,…” – Blessed St. Justin Martyr (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, CHAPTER XLI & CHAPTER XLII, ‘Dialogue with Trypho’)

 

 

Source for both quotes above:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html

 

So, was Blessed St. Justin Martyr too (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD) influenced by Blessed Origen of Alexandria’s “Origenism” too? (How can this be as the latter was born much later only, c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)? So, we didn’t do any Private Interpretation of any Prophecy in Holy Scripture but believe these Great Ancient Christians of the True Faith in First Christianity (2 Peter 1:20).

 

  1. i) Reconciliation of All Mystery

 

Note: (John 12:32 only contains the Phrase ‘Draw All’ but translators have added the word ‘men’ to mean ‘Draw All Men’ which is a Subset only if understood literally).

 

What is the Context for Colossians 1:16, 20 (Verse in Image)?

 

Context for Colossians 1:16, 20 from this First Christianity Champion of Faith, to quote:

 

“… In this people there dwells one infinite Godhead, one imperishable Godhead, one incomprehensible Godhead, unfathomable, inexpressible, invisible. It alone knows itself; it reveals itself to whom it will It raises up its witnesses, calls, predestines and glorifies them, lifts them up from hades, hal-

lows them. (8) … In a word, it [the GodHead] purifies all things for itself, things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities authorities, powers. But in all is the same holy voice crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” from glory to glory, < to glorify > the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father with the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory and might unto the ages of ages. Amen. And he who so believes will say “So be it! So be it. ” …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘PNEUMATOMACHI’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 10.7 – 10.9, Pages 498 – 499)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

St. Epiphanius understands Colossians 1:20 as being Prophetic toward God Who “purifies all things for itself” where the “all” refers not to Christians things only but certainly includes them first as he defines this “all” in verse Colossians 1:20 to refer to exactly the same as the Holy & Blessed Apostle Paul did in Colossians 1:16 prior which is in his words, “things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities authorities, powers.” (the phrase visible & invisible itself refers to both good & evil rational beings) to the end that all these will eventually Submit to God Finally crying out as “in all is the same holy voice crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,”.

 

 

Note: The three “Holy” is indication of the Most Holy Trinity, i. e. “Holy, Holy, Holy” refers to “Holy to God the Father”, “Holy to God the Son” and “Holy to God the Holy Spirit” as some ancient Writers have pointed out.

 

  1. ii) Faith of Jesus Christ Mystery

 

“Even the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” – apostle Paul (Romans 3:22, KJV)

 

This Context is further strengthened by St. Epiphanius’ own quote above regarding the “Faith of Jesus Christ” (Christ’s Faith to Justify all, Romans 3:22, not our ‘faith in Christ’, in contrast Romans 3:3 – 4) in quote below:

 

“… For its [GodHead’s] Own Glory and faith It [GodHead] makes these three one: things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth [Gehenna/Lake of Fire/Hell]; …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

Note: the phrase “under the earth” is Gehenna or the Lake of Fire (Hell) at that time on Judgment Day, to quote:

 

“… according to the will of the invisible Father, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and THINGS UNDER THE EARTH [Gehenna/Lake of Fire/Hell], and that every tongue should confess” to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send “spiritual wickednesses,” and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting [Singular-age during] fire; …” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Book I, Chapter X, Point 1)

 

 

Translation Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book1.html

 

 

Where

 

The phrase “For its own glory and faith” implies that “its own Faith” = “Christ’s Faith” = the “Faith of Jesus Christ” in Romans 3:22-KJV (not by our faith we are justified but by His Faith where we become the first recipients of It when we believe first reaping Imperishable Rewards, Romans 3:26).

 

So, St. Epiphanius writes that by “His Faith” Christ makes even the “things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (Hell)” as one, yes as He “makes these three one” and “For its [His] own glory and faith”. So, each of the “Justification of faith for all men (all mankind)” eventually must thus refer to “His Faith” which is the Free Gift of God to all (Romans 3:22 – 24) and ‘not our faith as popularly assumed.

 

P/S: What about the seeming ‘Eternal Hell’ quotes by these same saints?

 

Here are some interesting First Christianity Quotes to explain that:

 

“… But third it gives the ordinances of the spirit, as though, in the Gospels, arranging the mercy seat and Holy of Holies for its dwelling, but as its holy tabernacle a holy people < who * > have none but the righteous as their companions.10,7 In this people there dwells one infinite Godhead, one imperishable Godhead, one incomprehensible Godhead, unfathomable, inexpressible, invisible. It alone knows itself; it reveals itself to whom it will It raises up its witnesses, calls, predestines and glorifies them, lifts them up from hades, hallows them. (8) For its own glory and faith it makes these three one: things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; spirit, soul and flesh; faith, hope and charity; past, present and future; the AGES, the ETERNAL AGES, and the AGES of AGES; Sabbaths of Sabbaths; the circumcision of the flesh, the circumcision of the heart, and “the circumcision of Christ by the putting off of the body of the sins .’’ 202 (9) In a word, it PURIFIES ALL THINGS for itself, things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities authorities, powers. But IN ALL is the same holy voice crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” from glory to glory, < to glorify > the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father with the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory and might unto the AGES of AGES. Amen. And he who so believes will say “So be it! So be it. ” …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘PNEUMATOMACHI’, “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 7.1 – 7.3, Pages 498 – 499)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

From Certain Focus points in the Quote above we see the Ages or Aeons Mystery as follows:

 

There are at least three types of Ages [Aeons-plural] Time Periods:

 

“… past, present and future; the ages, the eternal ages, and the ages of ages; …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

I think that the phrase “eternal ages” means that the “ages or Aeons” continue into eternity.

 

Note: Men’s Final Punishment in Gehenna or the Lake of Fire has never been mentioned to the Aeons-plural to come but only to the lesser maximum sentence which is to the next Aeon-singular to come (Matthew 25:46, Matthew 12:31 – 32) in the Bible giving a strong case that it’s not eternal but age-during to the next age only (though severe & a long time).

 

It cannot be that each of the phrases “the ages” (Ephesians 2:7), “the eternal ages” (no such phrase exists in the Bible but may be inferred to the overall creation of all ages as per the context of Hebrews 11:3) and “ages of Ages” (Revelation 20:10) all describe eternity.

The word eternal in front of the word ages (Aeons) itself proves that the word “ages-plural” itself does not mean eternity by itself but is a limited succession of ages to come by God’s Will as St. Epiphanius says, “eternal ages” to imply an eternal sequence of ages to come, right?

It is obvious that St. Epiphanius is revealing that eternity is a ‘long series of ages (aeons)’ as his phrase “eternal ages” means which is further broken up to some special highlight of certain focus ages such as the “ages of Ages” and the general succession of one age which terminates and is followed by another is exemplified in the phrase “ages” as it was with the “past ages” (Colossians 1:26, Ephesians 3:5) & so it will be into the future too always toward all created things as this is confirmed further in agreement of definition to the First Christianity quote below too:

 

 

“… But ALL THINGS which proceed from Him, WHATSOEVER have been MADE, and are made, do indeed receive their own beginning of generation, and on this account are INFERIOR to Him who formed them, inasmuch as they are not unbegotten. Nevertheless THEY ENDURE, and EXTEND their EXISTENCE into a LONG SERIES of AGES [Aeons, Aeon1, Aeon2, Aeon3, …] in accordance with the WILL of GOD their Creator; so that He GRANTS them that they should be thus formed at the beginning, and that they should so exist afterwards.” – Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Book II, Chapter XXXIV, Point 2)

Translation Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book2.html

Indeed,

 

The Biblical Concept that there are AGES to COME literally (Ephesians 2:7) is supported by St. Irenaeous himself (who was a direct Disciple of St. Polycarp who in turn was a Disciple of the Blessed St. John the apostle himself) apart from the Blessed ArchBishop St. Ambrose of Milan too Affirming it from Western Christianity, to quote:

 

“… we [True Christians] ourselves, when at the giving of thanks we pronounce the words, “To Aeons of Aeons” [Revelation 20:10] do set forth these Aeons. And, in fine, wherever the words Aeon or Aeons occur, they at once refer them to these beings.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (c. 130 AD – c. 202 AD, ‘Against Heresies’, Chapter III, Book I)

 

Translation Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book1.html

 

Comment: St. Irenaeous clearly refers to time as the “Aeon” (singular) and “Aeons” (Plural) in his last quote above & dispels the Gnostic Myth that these refer to some creatures (beings).

 

Yes, it’s not a figure of speech as some claim but a literal meaning whose definition extends into the future too as St. Irenaeous points above and is sealed as Truth by St. Ambrose below too from First Christianty, to quote:

 

 

“… yet that I may satisfy thee on Scriptural grounds, learn that He made not only what is past, but also what is future, as it is written: “Who made things to come.” Elsewhere too Scripture says: “By whom also He made the ages, who is the brightness of His glory and the express Image of His Person.” Now the ages are past and present and future. How then were those made which are future, unless it is that His active power and knowledge contains within itself the number of all the ages? For just as He calls the things that are not as though they were, s so has He made things future as though they were. It cannot come to pass that they should not be. Those things which He has directed to be, necessarily will be. Therefore He who has made the things that are to be, knows them in the way in which they will be. If we are to believe this about the ages, much more must we believe it about the day of judgment, on the ground that the Son of God has knowledge of it, as being already made by Him. For it is written: “According to Thine ordinance the day will continue.” He did not merely say “the day continues,” but even “will continue,” so that the things which are to come might be governed by His ordinance. Does He not know what He ordered? “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye shall He not see?” …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Ambrose: Selected Works and Letters, Point 197 – 198 Chapter 4 Pages 730 – 731)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

 

Four phrases from the above proving this Doctrine of the Ages (Aeons/Olams) to be True: “… By whom also He made the ages … Now the ages are past and present [Aeon1] and future [Aeon2, Aeon3, ….] … unless it is that His active power and knowledge contains within itself the number of all the ages … If we are to believe this about the ages…”

 

P/S 2: How about the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit then?

 

Note that the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit may not be forgiven in this present singular-age (AEON1) or until the future next-singular-age (AEON2) only (as it is Written in Matthew 12:31 – 32) and Ephesians 2:7 with St. Ambrose’s quote proves that there are “Ages [Plural] to Come” (AEON2, AEON3, … at least) where Forgiveness can be Attained in AEON3 as God Wills.

 

If these most Orthodox Authorities of Doctrine understood the ‘next Aeon to be Eternal’ (Contradicting the literal at least two Aeons to come in Ephesians 2:7 which proposes that the ‘next Aeon is NOT eternal’), then how can St. Athanasius (the ‘Great Faither of Orthodoxy’) or even St. Ambrose of Milan Preach hope for such who ‘committed those sins’? to quote:

 

  1. How about the Unpardonable Sin to Two Ages (Matthew 12:31 – 32)?

Is there Hope for them thereafter? Yes:

“… They then that depreciate the Only-begotten Son of God blaspheme God, defaming His perfection and accusing Him of imperfection, and render themselves liable to the severest chastisement. For he that blasphemes any one of the Subsistences [Persons of the Trinity] shall have remission neither in this world [AGE/AEON] nor in that which is to come. But God is able to open the eyes of their heart to contemplate the Sun of Righteousness, in order that coming to know Him whom they formerly set at nought, they may with unswerving piety of mind together with us glorify Him, because to Him belongs the kingdom, even to the Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, ‘On Luke 10:22 and Matthew 11:27’, Section 6)

Source: www.newadvent.org/fathers/2805.htm

  1. Yes, St. Ambrose Declares the this Sin can be Forgiven post Judgment as he quotes the example of Simon to have committed this sin first (Acts 8:17 – 24), in his own words below, to quote:

 

“… But we have heard that you are accustomed to bring forward as an objection that which is written: “Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but blasphemies against the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [age], nor in that which is to come.” [Matthew 12:31 – 32] By which quotation the whole of your assertion is destroyed and done away, for it is written: “Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” Why, then, do you not remit them? Why do you bind chains which you do not loose? Why do you tie knots which you do not unfasten? Forgive the others, and deal with those who you think are bound for ever by the authority of the Gospel for sinning against the Holy Spirit… Then, when Simon, depraved by long practice of magic, had thought he could gain by money the power of conferring the grace of Christ and the infusion of the Holy Spirit, Peter said: “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this faith, for thy heart is not right with God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if per-chance this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee, for I see that thou art in the bond of iniquity and in the bitterness of gall.” [Acts 8:22 – 23] We see that Peter by his apostolic authority condemns him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit through magic vanity, and all the more because he had not the clear consciousness of faith. And yet he did not exclude him from the hope of forgiveness, for he called him to repentance [Acts 8:22, 24]… – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Ambrose: Selected Works and Letters, Point 20, 23 , Chapter 4 Pages 815, Book II Concerning Repentance)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

 

 

Comment: What if the Word Aeon for the next age (Aeon2) means Eternal & that ‘ages to come’ is just idiomatic, and so this must be an Eternal Sin with no forgiveness, right (Matthew 12:31 – 32, Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10)?

 

 

 

 

Indeed, but please notice how St. Ambrose explains above in his own words above that:

 

 

1) The ‘Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit’ is not forgiven eternally in the sense that for such persons

 

” … Thou hast neither part nor lot in this faith ….” – the Blessed Apostle Peter quoted by ArchBishop St. Ambrose of Milan (highlighted)

 

That is, such ones cannot ever become His Bride in Participating in the First Resurrection & the Highest Rewards of the Heavens, Revelation 20:4 – 6, Matthew 5:20 – 23) as the phrase “… neither part nor lot in this faith…” eternally shuts them out of this hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 18).

 

 

2) However a Hope of Forgiveness still remains

 

Because in the same breath St. Ambrose reminds them that apostle Peter himself reveals the Mystery that such ones may be forgiven (implying a General Salvation eventually) , in his words above as follows:

 

“… Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if per-chance this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee, for I see that thou art in the bond of iniquity and in the bitterness of gall.” [Acts 8:22 – 23]…”

 

and

 

“… We see that Peter by his apostolic authority condemns him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit … And yet he did not exclude him from the hope of forgiveness, for he called him to repentance…” [Acts 8:22, 24]

 

 

 

One final point, please consider the Verse:

 

“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.” – the Blessed Apostle Peter to Simon (Acts of the Apostles 8:22, NASB)

 

Please notice carefully that the phrase ‘… pray the Lord that, if possible, … may be forgiven you…’ strongly points that St. Ambrose is right in pointing out that this is a Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (example) which Simon has Committed as if it was any other sins, apostle Peter would not have said “if possible”.

 

So, is Blessed ArchBishop St. Ambrose of Milan going to Hell for Preaching like this or is he Revealing Deep Ancient Doctrinal Truths Accurately which we have missed greatly?

 

 

P/S 3: How about those to whom it is said to be Impossible to repent (Hebrews 6:6)?

 

Both St. Epiphanius and St. Ambrose give a similar explanation that his does NOT imply any ‘eternal condemnation’ at all as commonly erred in modern Christianity too as they point out (interestingly) that such ‘impossible repentance theology’ was taught by some ‘heretics’ whom they are refuting as follows, to quote:

 

  1. St. Epiphanius on Hebrews 6:6

 

“… He says, “It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame [Hebrews 6:6]. (2) For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing. But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” 7 (3) And it is in fact impossible to renew those who have been renewed once and have fallen away. Christ cannot be born any more to be crucified for us, nor can anyone crucify again the not yet crucified Son of God. Nor can anyone receive a second baptism; there is one baptism, and one renewal. (4) But in order to heal the church and care for its members, the holy apostle at once prescribes their cure and says, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your good work.” 8 2.5 And you see how he has declared once and for all that there can be no second renewal; but he has not cut those who are still penitent off from salvation. Indeed, he has shown them the accompaniments to salvation, and that God is their helper because of their good works, and that he is the Lord of those who, even after transgressions, perform full penance and turn and reform. 2.6 The holy word and God’s holy church always accept repentance, though not to weaken those who are finishing their course, or to make them lax; still, she does not block God’s grace and lovingkindness, but knows the nature of every case. (7) For as one who has lost his virginity cannot < recover > it physically since nature does not permit this, so it is with one who has fallen into major sins after baptism. (8) And as one who has fallen from virginity has continence for a second dignity, so he who has fallen into major sin after baptism has < reform > for a second healing — not as virtuous as the first, but he has the second healing he has received, one not thrust out from life. God’s word, then, does not deny the reward of those who labor in penance. And next, the same people have pressed on from this and invented some other things. For they too say that they have the same faith which we do, but they will not communicate with the twice-married. 9 For if someone marries a second wife after baptism, they never admit him again. 3.2 But this is perfectly silly. … The Purists have similarly lost everything by confusing everyone’s duties. From not understanding the exact nature of God’s teaching they have mistakenly taken another path, unaware that this 10 is not the tradition and following of the sacred scripture. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘CATHARI’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 2.1 – 2.8, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6, Page 105 – 106)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

  1. St. Ambrose on Hebrews 6:6

 

The Translator of St. Ambrose’s Work first comments as follows before translating St. Ambrose’s words (next):

 

“… A passage quoted by the heretics against repentance is explained in two ways, the first being that Hebrews 6:4 refers to the impossibility of being baptized again; the second, that what is impossible with man is possible with God. …” – Translator (in same source below, Page 810)

 

To Quote:

“… Being then refuted by the clear example of the Apostle and by his writings, the heretics yet endeavor to resist further, and say that their opinion is supported by apostolic authority, bringing forward the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “For it is impossible that those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, should if they fall away be again renewed unto repentance, crucifying again the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” [Hebrews 6:6] 7. Could Paul teach in opposition to his own act? He had at Corinth forgiven sin through penance, how could he himself speak against his own decision? Since, then, he could not destroy what he had built, we must assume that what he says was different from, but not contrary to, what had gone before. For what is contrary is opposed to itself, what is different has ordinarily another meaning. Things which are contrary are not such that one can support the other. Inasmuch, then, as the Apostle spoke of remitting penance, he could not be silent as to those who thought that baptism was to be repeated. And it was right first of all to remove our anxiety, and to let us know that even after baptism, if any sinned their sins could be forgiven them, lest a false belief in a reiterated baptism should

lead astray those who were destitute of all hope of forgiveness. And secondly, it was right to set forth in a well-reasoned argument that baptism is not to be repeated. 8. And that the writer was speaking of baptism is evident from the very words in which it is stated that it is impossible to renew unto repentance those who were fallen, inasmuch as we are renewed by means of the layer of baptism, whereby we are born again, as Paul says himself: “For we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that, like as Christ rose from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we, too, should walk in newness of life.” And in another place: “Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man which is created after God.” And elsewhere again: “Thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle,” because the eagle after death is born again from its ashes, as we being dead in sin are through the Sacrament of Baptism born again to God, and created anew. So, then, here as elsewhere, he teaches one baptism. “One faith,” he says, “one baptism.” 9. This, too, is plain, that in him who is baptized the Son of God is crucified, for our flesh could not do away sin unless it were crucified in Jesus Christ. And then it is written that: “All we who were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death.” And farther on: “If we have been planted in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing that our old man was fastened with Him to His cross.” And to the Colossians he says: “Buried with Him by baptism, wherein ye also rose again with Him.” Which was written to the intent that we should believe that He is crucified in us, that our sins may be purged through Him, that He, Who alone can forgive sins, may nail to His cross the handwriting which was against us. In us He triumphs over principalities and powers, as it is written of Him: “He made a show of principalities and powers, triumphing over them in Himself.” 10. So, then, that which he says in this Epistle to the Hebrews, that it is impossible for those who have fallen to be “renewed unto repentance, crucifying again the Son of God, and putting Him to open shame,” must be considered as having reference to baptism, wherein we crucify the Son of God in ourselves, that the world may be by Him crucified for us, who triumph, as it were, when we take to ourselves the likeness of His Death, who put to open shame upon His cross principalities and powers, and triumphed over them, that in the likeness of His death we, too, might triumph over the principalities whose yoke we throw off. But Christ was crucified once, and died to sin once, and so there is but one, not several baptisms. 11. But what of the passage wherein the doctrine of baptisms is spoken of? Because under the Law there were many baptisms or washings, he rightly rebukes those who forsake what is perfect and seek again the first principles of the word. He teaches us that the whole of the washings under the Law are done away with, and that there is one baptism in the sacraments of the Church. But he exhorts us that leaving the first principles of the word we should go on to perfection. “And this,” he says,

“we will do, if God permits,” for no one can be perfect without the grace of God. 12. And indeed I might also say to any one who thought that this passage spoke of repentance, that things which are impossible with men are possible with God; and God is able whensoever He wills to forgive us our sins, even those which we think cannot be forgiven. And so it is possible for God to give us that which it seems to us impossible to obtain. For it seemed impossible that water should wash away sin, and Naaman the Syrian thought that his leprosy could not be cleansed by water. But that which was impossible God made to be possible, Who gave us so great grace. In like manner it seemed impossible that sins should be forgiven through repentance, but Christ gave this power to His apostles, which has been transmitted to the priestly office. That, then, has become possible which was impossible. But, by a true reasoning, he convinces us that the reiteration by any one of the Sacrament of Baptism is not permitted. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Ambrose: Selected Works and Letters, Points 6 – 12 , Chapter 2, Pages 810 – 812, Book II Concerning Repentance)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

More Reading:

 

https://www.anonymouschristian.org/blog/lake-of-fire-hope-for-the-wicked-one-day/

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universalism is Condemned by later Church Councils?

Now, to Quote from the article:

 

“In the sixth century, there was a big ecumenical council where leaders from across the Church got together and decided on various issues… there is an appendix with a list of curses against those who believe in Apocatastasis… The reason this is important—particularly if you’re a Catholic or Orthodox Christian—is if an ecumenical council declared universalism to be a heresy, then it is a heresy and that’s that.”—Robin Parry

 

https://reforminghell.com/2020/01/11/is-universalism-heresy-robin-parry/

Note: Later Councils only Condemned certain forms of Universalism but also note that these later councils also endorsed ‘prayers to Mary’ too.

 

Please also remember that even St. Augustine did not call those who believe in Christ Centered Universalism as ‘heretics’ but as ‘those who do not deny Holy Scripture’ (hence still Christians even in his authoritative view), to quote:

 

“… It is quite in vain, then, that some–indeed very many–yield to merely human feelings and deplore the notion of the eternal punishment of the damned and their interminable and perpetual misery. They do not believe that such things will be. Not that they would go counter to divine Scripture–but, yielding to their own human feelings, they soften what seems harsh and give a milder emphasis to statements they believe are meant more to terrify than to express the literal truth. “God will not forget,” they say, “to show mercy, nor in his anger will he shut up his mercy.” …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Point 112, Enchidrion).

 

Source:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm

 

 

 

 

P/S: Even St. Augustine ‘Prayed to Mary’ and so they think that this Practice was passed on from ancient times, example in link below:

 

https://www.christian-faith.com/did-saint-augustine-pray-to-mary/

 

Here’s something interesting: Neither Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria nor the Great Exegete Origen (whom they declare as heretic) despite his numerous works has ‘any prayer to Mary’. Both of them only state that those in heaven pray with us and NOT that ‘we pray to saints’ (please read ‘carefully’ in example link below), to quote:

 

“In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]” (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]). – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD)

 

 

“But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep” (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]).” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

 

Source:

 

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/teachings/praying-to-mary-and-the-saints-166

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Christianity – The Perfect Church

 

Question

 

What is the Perfect Church?

 

Reply

 

The Church which Practices “Love God First and then your neighbour (fellow men) as yourself” (Matthew 22:36 – 40). We also know that the definition of ‘neighbour’ here includes even the ‘enemies as Jews & Samaritans were enemies at that time’ as Christ Answered in Luke 10:29 – 37.

 

Now, how much the Love of God Dwells in a Person is Measured based on ‘how much of earthly possessions we part with’ as the following Verse implies:

 

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” – Blessed Apostle St. John (1 John 3:17, NASB)

 

Did the Earliest Church understand & do this ‘unpractical’ Lifestyle? Yes, because they truly did not seek to save their life on earth & took this ‘Perfect Risk’ (Matthew 16:25), to quote:

 

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. … 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. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, ” (Acts 2:1, 44 – 46, NASB)

 

Note: This was the True Purest Effect of the Day of Pentecost in regards to the Social Well being of the Command to Love your neighbour as yourself in the “Perfection” Context where these ‘zero possessions lifestyle occurred not just among the apostles but to the common believer in the church too’ where this happened after these ones were filled with the Holy Spirit of God during the First Great Out-Pouring of His Anointing (Acts 2:1).

 

Also, this is the True Biblical Definition of ‘Unity in the Church as One Heart and Soul’ (and so, how far we depart from it reflects how not united Christianity really is even within one’s church – please remember that these are “Verses”, and not ‘weak men’s opinions’):

 

“And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” – Acts of the Apostles (4:32, NASB)

 

Conclusion

 

Indeed after reading all this, I realized ‘how weak a Christian with so little of the Love of God in action (not words only) and how not united even with my fellow Christians I really am’ when compared with the ‘Actual Required Perfection Actions set forth in these Bible Verses’.

 

Please remember that doing this “Perfection” (as Christ Defined it in Matthew 19:26) is not required for Salvation but a Voluntary Challenge toward Greater Incomparable Rewards in His Coming Glorious Kingdom (Matthew 5:19).

 

Note: Ananias and Sapphira both died because they lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:4 – 5) and as Noble Apostle St. Peter himself explains in Verse below, this is not a must but when one claims to do it, it must be done ‘without lying or pretense’ or else the ‘consequences of Judgment could be really serious’ (Acts 5:9 – 11):

 

“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” (Acts of the Apostles 5:4, NASB)

 

Now here are some First Christianity Quotes agreeing to this once Perfect Church which literally existed under the Rule of the Apostles:

 

“… that, when the Lord said, “Go, and sell all that thou hast,” the rich man began to scratch his head, being displeased with the saying. Then the Lord said unto him, How sayest thou, I have kept the Law, and the Prophets, since it is written in the Law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself?” For how many of thy brethren sons of Abraham, clothed in filth, perish for hunger? Thy house is full of many good things, and nothing goes thereout to them. The Lord then, desiring to convict this rich man, says to him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor;” for so it will be seen if thou dost indeed love thy neighbour as thyself. But if he is perfect who has all the virtues, how does he become perfect who sells all that he has and gives to the poor? For suppose one to have done this, will he thereby become forthwith free from anger, desire, having every virtue, and abandoning all vice? Perhaps wisdom may suggest, that he that has given his goods to the poor, is aided by their prayers, receiving of their spiritual abundance to his want, and is made in this way perfect, though he may have some human passions. Or thus; He that thus exchanged his riches for poverty, in order that he might become perfect, shall have assistance to become wise in Christ, just, chaste also, and devoid of all passion; but not so as that in the moment when he gave up all his goods, he should forthwith become perfect; but only that from that day forward the contemplation of God will begin to bring him to all virtues. … – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19

 

“… (Acts 2:42) And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, etc. As those who had converted continued devoutly in the doctrine that they had embraced, and as the apostles frequently performed great miracles, the fear of the Lord and the number of the faithful people increased daily. There was great concord among the believers, such that everyone would sell their own possessions and a brother would unfailingly be provided with whatever he stood in need of. Great also was their devotion to meeting in the temple. They would, too, take their food in simplicity of heart and with thanksgiving. That is why the Lord, favorably inclined towards them, always increased their number. Once, when Peter and John went up to the temple for prayer, they took the hand of a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb and made him walk with firm steps. The people, seeing this, were filled with inexpressible wonder, and their eagerness to see more grew greater and greater, with vehement devotion. …” – Blessed Cassiodorus, Roman statesman, renowned scholar of antiquity, and writer serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, Founder of a Monastery where he spent the last years of his life (c. 485 AD – c. 585 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/acts-of-the-apostles/cassiodorus-complexiones-on-the-acts-of-the-apostles

 

“… Acts 2:44 Consider what an advance was here immediately! For the fellowship was not only in prayers, nor in doctrine alone, but also in (πολιτεία) social relations. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. See what fear was wrought in them! And they parted them, he says, showing the (τὸ οἰκονομικὸν) wise management: As every man had need. Not recklessly, like some philosophers among the Greeks, of whom some gave up their land, others cast into the sea great quantities of money; but this was no contempt of riches, but only folly and madness. … and to see that this does not mean that they were together in place, observe what follows [And had all things common]. All, it says: not one with the exception of another. This was an angelic commonwealth, not to call anything of theirs their own. Forthwith the root of evils was cut out. By what they did, they showed what they had heard: this was that which he said, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. … ” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/acts-of-the-apostles/st-john-chrysostom-on-acts/chapter-2

 

P/S: But if we are poor and only give up something which is of little value, will we be considered in such a Great Contest of Faith?

 

Yes, as even the Blessed Apostle St. Peter himself only gave away ‘little possessions’ which they had as ‘poor fishermen’ (and they were not rich business owning fishermen as ‘prosperity gospel preachers assert with no proof from Christian Antiquity’s Greatest’), to quote:

 

“… Peter had heard the word of Christ when He said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast.” Then he observed that the young man had departed sorrowful, and considered the difficulty of riches entering into the kingdom of heaven; and thereupon he put this question confidently as one who had achieved no easy matter. For though what he [Peter] with his brother HAD LEFT BEHIND them were but LITTLE THINGS, yet were they NOT ESTEEMED AS LITTLE WITH GOD, who considered that out of the fulness of their love they had so forsaken those LEAST THINGS, as they would have forsaken the GREATEST THINGS IF THEY HAD HAD THEM. So Peter, thinking RATHER of HIS WILL THAN of the INTRINSIC VALUE of the SACRIFICE, asked Him confidently [p. 672] “Behold, we have LEFT ALL … It may be said, In all things which the Father revealed to Peter that the Son was, righteousness, sanctification, and the like, in all we have followed Thee. Therefore as a victorious athlete, he now asks what are the prizes of his contest.” …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19

 

“… Or, it is given to him who had gained five talents, that we may understand that though the Lord’s joy over the labour of each be equal, of him who doubled the five as of him who doubled the two, yet is a greater reward due to him who laboured more in the Lord’s money. The servant who of five talents had made ten, and he who of two had made four, are received with equal favour by the Master of the household, who looks NOT to the LARGENESS of THEIR PROFIT, but to the DISPOSITION of THEIR WILL ….” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

“… so if a man were lord of all the earth and were to renounce it, that which he gives up is little, and he receives a hundredfold. But if not even the whole earth is equal in value to the heavens, then he who has given up a few acres leaves as it were nothing; and even if he have given up a house or much gold he ought not to boast nor be low-spirited. Further, we should consider that even if we do not relinquish them for virtue’s sake, still afterwards when we die we shall leave them behind—very often, as the Preacher saith, to those to whom we do not wish…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy, Patriarch of Alexandria and Champion of Trinity, Doctor of the Church and Confessor (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Point 17, Life of Antony via Philip Schaff, Page 423)

 

Source: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1819-1893,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_04_Athanasius,_EN.pdf

 

 

“… Our Lord next declares, that though a man has kept the old covenant, he is not perfect, since he lacks to follow Christ. You yet lack one thing, Sell all that you have, &c. As if He says, you ask how to possess eternal life; scatter your goods among the poor, and you shall obtain it. A LITTLE THING is that you SPEND, you RECEIVE GREAT THINGS….” – Blessed Titus, Bishop of Bostra whom St. Jerome of the Vulgate himself names Titus among writers whose secular erudition is as marvellous as their knowledge of Scripture; (died c. 378 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

“… But the LITTLE FLOCK, our Lord signifies those who are willing to become His disciples, or because in this world the Saints seem LITTLE because of their VOLUNTARY POVERTY, or because they are outnumbered by the multitude of Angels, who incomparably exceed all that we can boast of. The name LITTLE our Lord gives to the company of the ELECT, either from comparison with the greater number of the reprobate, or rather because of their devout humility. …” – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12

 

“… The rich man who has despised many things will naturally expect a reward, but he who POSSESSING LITTLE resigns what he has, may fairly ask what there is in store for him; as it follows, Then Peter said, lo, we have left all. Matthew adds, What shall we have therefore? This then we say, that he who gives up all worldly and carnal things will gain for himself far greater, inasmuch as the APOSTLES, AFTER LEAVING A FEW THINGS, obtained the manifold gifts of grace, and were ACCOUNTED GREAT EVERY WHERE. We then shall be like to them. Now perhaps this command is irksome to the rich, yet to those who are of a sound mind, it is not unprofitable, for their treasure is the kingdom of heaven. Hence it follows, Provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, &c. ….” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

 

Source :

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

Lord Jesus Christ Himself states that when ‘these things (the riches of this world) are added to you (Christians)’, we ought to ‘sell them and give to the poor/charity’ as His Art of Perfection means in Holy Scripture, to quote:

 

“But SEEK HIS KINGDOM, and THESE THINGS will be ADDED to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS and GIVE TO CHARITY; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Selfless One Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:31 – 34, NASB)

 

‘… What Christ has Called Perfect Let no man call small …’ – Anonymous

 

“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.”.” (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)

 

The Doctrine of Perfection in Voluntary Poverty is True despite the fact that I can’t seem to be able to do it (as I must have a very small measure of faith as compared to these Great Christians who have Done it for Christ, Romans 12:3). We do not deny an existence of a Doctrine of Perfection in the Gospels even though we may not be able to obtain it due to our own selfishness and weaknesses.

 

“… See two kinds [p. 666] of life which we have heard set before men; the Active, to which pertains, “Thou shalt not kill,” and the rest of the Law; and the Contemplative, to which pertains this, “If thou wilt be perfect.” The active pertains to the Law, the contemplative to the Gospel; for as the Old Testament went before the New, so good action goes before contemplation. But though there be a difference between having and loving riches, yet it is safer neither to have nor to love them. But because many with what zeal they take up the pursuit of virtue, do not with the same complete it; but either grow cool, or fall away rapidly; it follows, “But many that are first shall be last, and the last first.” …” – Blessed Rabanus Maurus Magnentius (c. 780 AD – 856 AD), also known as Hrabanus or Rhabanus, was a Frankish Benedictine monk, theologian, poet, encyclopedist and military writer who became archbishop of Mainz in East Francia.

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales in Christianity – First Christianity Secrets – Did St. Augustine Believe in Eternal Hell 100%?

 

The answer set forth in this article in ‘St. Augustine’s own words’ when ‘quoted in full’ might surprise you. Before we get to that please consider first these common FAQs:

 

1) Origen’s View of Eternal Hell

 

If Eternal Hell was a false Doctrine, why didn’t Origen of Alexandria (a Universalist Christian) oppose it as heresy during his time?

 

Truth is, Origen of Alexandria knew of the allegorical ‘Eternal Hell’ rendering of say Matthew 25:46 but allows it quoting some ancient tradition citing that it’s a ‘beneficial deception’ for some as without such a doctrine some Christians might just sin & not be holy (bringing greater condemnation to themselves), to quote:

 

“… In answer to which, it might be said that from the power which shows itself in those who are converted to Christianity, it is not at all the “wicked” who are won over to the Gospel, as the more simple class of persons, and, as many would term them, the “unpolished.” For such individuals, through fear of the punishments that are threatened, which arouses and exhorts them to refrain from those actions which are followed by punishments, strive to yield themselves up to the Christian religion, being influenced by the power of the word to such a degree, that through fear of what are called in the word “everlasting punishments,” they despise all the tortures which are devised against them among men,–even death itself, with countless other evils,–which no wise man would say is the act of persons of wicked mind. How can temperance and sober-mindedness, or benevolence and liberality, be practised by a man of wicked mind? Nay, even the fear of God cannot be felt by such an one, with respect to which, because it is useful to the many, the Gospel encourages those who are not yet able to choose that which ought to be chosen for its own sake, to select it as the greatest blessing, and one above all promise; for this principle cannot be implanted in him who prefers to live in wickedness. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

Source (‘Contra Celcus’, Book III, CHAP. LXXVIII):

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen163.html

 

Note: Origen of Alexandria is confident that ‘everlasting punishment’ rendering is not an accurate translation in his quote above and does not doubt it at all but also states that even if someone preaches that, it may be good toward them if ‘it keeps the new converts to continue in faith’. In short, preaching ‘eternal hell’ is not a heresy in his own words.

 

2) St. Augustine’s view against Universalism

 

“… It is quite in vain, then, that some–indeed very many–yield to merely human feelings and deplore the notion of the eternal punishment of the damned and their interminable and perpetual misery. They do not believe that such things will be. Not that they would go counter to divine Scripture–but, yielding to their own human feelings, they soften what seems harsh and give a milder emphasis to statements they believe are meant more to terrify than to express the literal truth. “God will not forget,” they say, “to show mercy, nor in his anger will he shut up his mercy.” . This is, in fact, the text of a holy psalm.237 But there is no doubt that it is to be interpreted to refer to those who are called “vessels of mercy,”238 those who are freed from misery not by their own merits but through God’s mercy. Even so, if they suppose that the text applies to all men, there is no ground for them further to suppose that there can be an end for those of whom it is said, “Thus these shall go into everlasting punishment.”239 Otherwise, it can as well be thought that there will also be an end to the happiness of those of whom the antithesis was said: “But the righteous into life eternal.” …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Point 112, CHAPTER XXIX. “The Last Things”, Enchiridion).

 

Source:

 

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm

 

Note: Please remember that even St. Augustine did not call those who believe in Christ Centered Universalism as ‘heretics’ but as ‘those who do not deny Holy Scripture’ (hence still Christians even in his authoritative view) as evidenced clearly ‘in his own words above’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Origen vs Augustine

 

  1. i) Augustine’s view on the Vessels of Wrath

 

Augustine views that those ‘Vessels of Wrath’ are of Permanent Doom, to quote:

 

“… But let them suppose, if it pleases them, that, for certain intervals of time, the punishments of the damned are somewhat mitigated. Even so, the wrath of God must be understood as still resting on them. And this is damnation–for this anger, which is not a violent passion in the divine mind, is called “wrath” in God. Yet even in his wrath–his wrath resting on them–he does not “shut up his mercy.” This is not to put an end to their eternal afflictions, but rather to apply or interpose some little respite in their torments. For the psalm does not say, “To put an end to his wrath,” or, “After his wrath,” but, “In his wrath.” …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Point 112, CHAPTER XXIX. “The Last Things”, Enchiridion).

 

Source:

 

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm

 

Note: St. Augustine argues prior that God’s Wrath must be Eternal due to the antithesis between ” everlasting punishment” for the wicked vs “everlasting life” [in Matthew 25:46] for the righteous. Next, he continues in his quote here (strangely) that some (‘Christian Universalists’) may argue that since if the Verses such as “In Wrath, remember Mercy” (e.g. Habakkuk 3:2) applies to ‘all men’, then perhaps there are some ‘time off from Punishments toward the Damned’ as the Verse implies, to quote:

 

“… But let them suppose, if it pleases them, that, for certain intervals of time, the punishments of the damned are somewhat mitigated. Even so, the wrath of God must be understood as still resting on them. …” – St. Augustine

 

What St. Augustine is saying is reflected in certain early Christian Beliefs where some believed that the Wicked are eternally damned but ‘God’s Mercy gives them some time off from punishments’.

 

 

  1. ii) Origen of Alexandria’s View regarding the ‘Vessels of Wrath’

 

 

Origen of Alexandria argues using Holy Scripture’s Prophecy in Zephaniah 3:8 – 9 regarding God’s “All My Fierce [Burning] Anger” which seems to lead to the final end of the ones upon whom “His Full Wrath” is Poured Upon “call upon the Name of the Lord” (Final Result, “be saved” in ‘His Name’, Romans 10:13, Joel 2:32), to quote:

 

 

“… But our belief is, that the Word shall prevail over the entire rational creation, and change every soul into His own perfection; in which state every one, by the mere exercise of his power, will choose what he desires, and obtain what he chooses. For although, in the diseases and wounds of the body, there are some which no medical skill can cure, yet we hold that in the mind there is no evil so strong that it may not be overcome by the Supreme Word and God. For stronger than all the evils in the soul is the Word, and the healing power that dwells in Him; and this healing He applies, according to the will of God, to every man. The consummation of all things is the destruction of evil, although as to the question whether it shall be so destroyed that it can never anywhere arise again, it is beyond our present purpose to say. Many things are said obscurely in the prophecies on the total destruction of evil, and the restoration to righteousness of every soul; but it will be enough for our present purpose to quote the following passage from Zephaniah: “Prepare and rise early; all the gleanings of their vineyards are destroyed. Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the LORD, on the day that I rise up for a testimony; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kings, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent [Zephaniah 3:8 – 9]. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My suppliants, even the daughter of My dispersed, shall bring My offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against Me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride; and thou shalt no more be haughty because of My holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” I leave it to those who are able, after a careful study of the whole subject, to unfold the meaning of this prophecy, and especially to inquire into the signification of the words, “When the whole earth is destroyed, there will be turned upon the peoples a language according to their race,” as things were before the confusion of tongues. Let them also carefully consider the promise, that all shall call upon the name of the Lord, and serve Him with one consent [Zephaniah 3:9]; also that all contemptuous reproach shall be taken away, and there shall be no longer any injustice, or vain speech, or a deceitful tongue. …” – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

Source (‘Contra Celcus’, BOOK VIII, CHAP. LXXII):

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen168.html

Note: This Exegesis of Origen’s is Similar to the one Found in ‘Ambrosiaster’s Commentary in Mainstream Latin Christianity prior to Augustine and Jerome’, to quote:

“… and yet to recognize that His kingdom is ETERNAL, that is to say, the kingdom of the Son, for in the Name of Jesus EVERY KNEE shakes in HEAVEN, on the EARTH, and IN HELL. (Philip. 2) The Apostle St. Peter confirms this truth when he says:” No other name under heaven was given to MEN by which we were to BE SAVED.” (Acts 4) And did not the Lord Himself say to His disciples, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name, ask and I will answer you?” (Jn. 16:24) The REIGN of the Son therefore consists in the fact that it is in HIS NAME that ALL MEN are SAVED, and that ALL the PRAYERS addressed to Him until the end of the world are ANSWERED. But when ALL CREATURES have confessed Jesus Christ WILLINGLY or by FORCE, and have been subjected to the power against which they have resisted, then the MYSTERY of ONE GOD will be REVEALED to ALL MEN, and all thanksgivings will go back to God the Father, the principle of all things, that ALL PREACHING CEASE, ONE GOD be recognized in the MYSTERY of the TRINITY. … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 26, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

and

“… The prophet Joel also predicted this phenomenon so that one cannot doubt the fulfillment of a fact attested by several witnesses. “And the sun,” he says, “will be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible DAY of the LORD’s COMING.” (Joel 2:31) . As far as the literal meaning of these words indicates, they seem to be more fitting for the SECOND ADVENT, for then the Lord will manifest himself publicly to ALL MEN, to the testimony of Scripture: “Then every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth and those who have crucified him will strike their breast.” (Rev. 1:7) … So the prophet foretold that the Savior would take care of their infirmities, and this prophecy is fulfilled in his time, as we see in the Gospel: “He really has borne our torpor, of our sufferings.” (Isa. 1:4) All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL*, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL* THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. This is why Zechariah says: “To fulfill His mercies toward our fathers.” (Luke 1:72) But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION must also come in the SECOND ADVENT, … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 105, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

4) The Original Word in Holy Scripture only Means a Singular Age [Aeon] only and not Eternal but the Best of the Earliest Christian Leaders allow it to be Translated as ‘Eternal’ for the ‘Benefit of the Converted Masses’ to keep them in the faith, to quote:

 

  1. i) – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

 

“… But the remarks which might be made on this topic are neither to be made at all, … [but] for the sake of those who are with difficulty restrained, even by fear of eternal [aeternum] punishment, from plunging into any degree of wickedness, and into the flood of evils which result from sin. …” – Origen (Against Celsus, 6:26)

 

Source:

http://www.askelm.com/news/n020820.htm

 

 

 

  1. ii) Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

 

“… Like Origen, Jerome too felt that belief in universal reconciliation should not be promoted. Concerning the judgment, Jerome writes, in his Commentary on Isaiah (Book 18, cap. 66),“All of which nevertheless they allow should not now be openly told to those with whom fear yet acts as a motive, and who may be kept from sinning by the terror of punishment. But this question we ought to leave to the wisdom of God alone, whose judgments as well as mercies are by weight and measure, and who, well knows whom and how long, He ought to judge.”• Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, Book 18, cap. 66

 

Although this vaguely hints at an end to punishment, Jerome himself admits,

 

“I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its king, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures.” • Jerome, Commentary on Jonah …”

Source:

 

http://www.askelm.com/news/n020820.htm

 

Conclusion – St. Augustine believed in a Little Christ Centered Universalism Hope Regardless

 

Really?

 

Yes, as his arguments on Point 112 did NOT end there with those words only but as follows too toward point 113 (as usual, these truths are only seen when ‘quoted in full’), to quote ‘in his own words’:

 

“… Yet even in his wrath–his wrath resting on them–he does not “shut up his mercy.” This is not to put an end to their eternal afflictions, but rather to apply or interpose some little respite in their torments. For the psalm does not say, “To put an end to his wrath,” or, “After his wrath,” but, “In his wrath.” Now, if this wrath were all there is in man’s damnation, and even if it were present only in the slightest degree conceivable–still, to be lost out of the Kingdom of God, to be an exile from the City of God, to be estranged from the life of God, to suffer loss of the great abundance of God’s blessings which he has hidden for those who fear him and prepared for those who hope in him240 –this would be a punishment so great that, if it be eternal, no torments that we know could be compared to it, no matter how many ages they continued. 113. The eternal death of the damned–that is, their estrangement from the life of God–will therefore abide without end, and it will be common to them all, no matter what some people, moved by their human feelings, may wish to think about gradations of punishment, or the relief or intermission of their misery. In the same way, the eternal life of the saints will abide forever, and also be common to all of them no matter how different the grades of rank and honor in which they shine forth in their effulgent harmony. …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Points 112 – 113, CHAPTER XXIX. “The Last Things”, Enchiridion).

 

Source:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm

 

Please read ‘carefully’ an note that St. Augustine himself ‘in his own words’ puts forth the following hope even if the words in Matthew 25:46 means ‘eternal’ (allegorically, idiomatically) and ‘not age-during’ (literally):

 

  1. God’s Wrath and Punishment upon Sinners is Eternal

 

“… For the psalm does not say, “To put an end to his wrath,” or, “After his wrath,” but, “In his wrath.” …” – St. Augustine

  1. St. Augustine Puts forth a Hope where the Wicked might live ‘Outside the City of God eternally’ where the ‘Mercy part of God’ in ‘In Wrath, Remember Mercy’ (e.g. Habakkuk 3:2) means that they may be saved (implied) but are cut off eternally from the ‘Greatest Life within the Heavens’, to quote:

 

“… Yet even in his wrath–his wrath resting on them–he does not “shut up his mercy.” This is not to put an end to their eternal afflictions, but rather to apply or interpose some little respite in their torments. … Now, if this wrath were all there is in man’s damnation, and even if it were present only in the slightest degree conceivable–still, to be lost out of the Kingdom of God, to be an exile from the City of God, to be estranged from the life of God, to suffer loss of the great abundance of God’s blessings which he has hidden for those who fear him and prepared for those who hope in him240 –this would be a punishment so great that, if it be eternal, no torments that we know could be compared to it, no matter how many ages they continued. …” – St. Augustine

 

Focus Phrases: He believes or Hopes it a little, his phrase:

 

“… Yet even in his wrath–his wrath resting on them–he does not “shut up his mercy.” This is not to put an end to their eternal afflictions, but rather to apply or interpose some little respite in their torments. … even if it were present only in the slightest degree conceivable–still, …” – St. Augustine

 

 

 

  1. St. Augustine considers the ‘Eternal Death of the Damned, without End’ in the Context of “gradations of punishment” (of the wicked) vs “grades of rank and honor” (of the righteous) may still be believed by those “Christians” (not heretics) whom he thinks are “… moved by their human feelings, may wish to think about gradations of punishment, or the relief or intermission of their misery. …”, to quote:

 

“… 113. The eternal death of the damned–that is, their estrangement from the life of God–will therefore abide without end, and it will be common to them all, no matter what some people, moved by their human feelings, may wish to think about gradations of punishment, or the relief or intermission of their misery. In the same way, the eternal life of the saints will abide forever, and also be common to all of them no matter how different the grades of rank and honor in which they shine forth in their effulgent harmony. …” – St. Augustine

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Concept of Ages [Aeons] to come

 

St. Augustine seems to see that the future “ages to come” (Ephesians 2:7) may be literal probably causing him to consider this possibility as if there are ages [Aeons] to come, the next age [maximum Punishment is only to the Singular-next Age/Aeon only, Matthew 12:31 – 32, Matthew 25:46 for men] as he Emphasizes that the Loss of the ‘Kingdom of God’s Gradation of the Highest Salvation’ is Eternal

 

“… to be lost out of the Kingdom of God, to be an exile from the City of God, to be estranged from the life of God, to suffer loss of the great abundance of God’s blessings which he has hidden for those who fear him and prepared for those who hope in him240 –this would be a punishment so great that, if it be eternal, no torments that we know could be compared to it, no matter how many ages they continued. …” – St. Augustine , to quote:

 

  1. He also hopes for it though a little proving irrefutably in his own words that ‘he didn’t believe in an Eternal Hell 100%’, to quote:

 

“… even if it were present only in the slightest degree conceivable–still, …” – St. Augustine

 

P/S: God didn’t Put the Acceptance or Rejection of Some Doctrine as the Basis of being “Save” vs “Unsaved” as per the case of “Christian Universalism” vs “Eternal Hell” above demonstrates.

 

Indeed, Christians are allowed differences in Opinions regarding such ‘end prophecies’ as even the Infamous Example of “Chiliasm Doctrine” also proves where those who believe either way are still Christians & Saved, to quote (a difference being only possibly in rewards, Matthew 5:19):

 

  1. i) The Catholic Church strongly condemns millennialism as the following shows:

 

“… The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. …” — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995

 

and

“… During the first centuries after Christ, various forms of chiliasm (millennialism) were to be found in the Church, both East and West.[4] It was a decidedly majority view at that time, as admitted by Eusebius, himself an opponent of the doctrine: The same writer (that is to say, Papias of Hierapolis) gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings of the Saviour, and some other more mythical things. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, as one can see from his discourses. But it was due to him that so many of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man; as for instance Irenaeus and any one else that may have proclaimed similar views. — Eusebius, The History of the Church, Book 3:39:11-13[5] . Nevertheless, strong opposition later developed from some quarters, most notably from Augustine of Hippo….”

 

and

 

“… Jerome and Augustine vigorously opposed chiliasm by teaching the symbolic interpretation of the Revelation of St. John, especially chapter 20 …”

 

Source for each quote above:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennialism

 

The Official Position of the Roman Catholic Church is AGAINST the “Millennialism” or “Chiliasm” Doctrine because St. Augustine, Eusebius or even possibly Origen all opposed it as evidenced above (a well known fact).

 

  1. ii) What is not well known is that ALL of the ‘other’ Ancient Writers before St. Augustine or even Origen BELIEVED in it, to quote:

 

“… Millennialism was taught by various earlier writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Commodian, Lactantius, Methodius, and Apollinaris of Laodicea in a form now called premillennialism.[9] According to religious scholar Rev. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee,[10] “Justin’s ‘Occasional Chiliasm’ sui generis which was strongly anti-pretribulationistic was followed possibly by Pothinus in A.D. 175 and more probably (around 185) by Irenaeus”. … Melito of Sardis is frequently listed as a second century proponent of premillennialism.[12] The support usually given for the supposition is that “Jerome [Comm. on Ezek. 36] and Gennadius [De Dogm. Eccl., Ch. 52] both affirm that he was a decided millenarian.”[13] In the early third century, Hippolytus of Rome … Around 220, there were some similar influences on Tertullian, although only with very important and extremely optimistic (if not perhaps even postmillennial) modifications and implications. On the other hand, “Christian Chiliastic” ideas were indeed advocated in 240 by Commodian; in 250 by the Egyptian Bishop Nepos in his Refutation of Allegorists; in 260 by the almost unknown Coracion; and in 310 by Lactantius. Into the late fourth century, Bishop Ambrose of Milan had millennial leanings (Ambrose of Milan. Book II. On the Belief in the Resurrection, verse 108). Lactantius is the last great literary defender of chiliasm in the early Christian church. …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennialism

 

My bet is on the “Millennialism” or “Chiliasm” Doctrine being True and I don’t condemn Christians who don’t believe in it because:

 

“… I admitted to you formerly, that I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise. …” – Blessed St. Justin Martyr (c. 100AD – c. 160 AD, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Chapter 110)

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennialism

 

Please note that the ‘Wikipedia’ comment is biased against St. Justin where it clear from St. Justin’s own quote above that “Millennialism” or “Chiliasm” is the True First Christianity Doctrine but they are ‘those pious faith-Christians who think differently’ as his quote below hen quoted ‘in full reflect this not as his opinion only’ but of ‘Apostle John himself who wrote the Book of Revelation (Revelation 20:4 – 6 Containing this Prophecy)’:

 

“… For as Adam was told that in the nay fie ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, ‘The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,’ is connected with this subject. And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem [Revelation 20:4 – 6]; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place. Just as our Lord also said, ‘They shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, the children of the God of the resurrection.’ …” – Blessed St. Justin Martyr (c. 100AD – c. 160 AD, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, CHAPTER LXXXI)

 

Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambrosiaster – First Latin Christianity Mysteries – Christ Centered Universalism?

 

In this post, please allow me to quote Blessed Ambrosiaster only regarding Latin/Western Christianity’s Wisdom in Holy Scripture before ‘Jerome and Augustine’.

 

1) Who was he?

Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD).

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosiaster

 

 

2) Ransom for Many Mystery

 

Verse in Image: How did First Christianity understand Matthew 26:28’s Ransom for Many and not for all?

 

“… QUESTION 54. THE APOSTLE TEACHES THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR ALL MEN. “ALL ARE THEREFORE DEAD,” SAID HE, “AND HE DIED FOR ALL.” THE SAVIOR SAYS, ON THE CONTRARY: THE SON OF MAN HAS COME TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR THE REDEMPTION OF MANY. (MATT 20:28) THERE IS HERE A CONTRADICTION. — The words are different, it is true, but the meaning is the same; at other times, on the other hand, words that seem the same have quite a different meaning, such as these: “All that is not done in good faith (ex fide) is a sin.” (Rom. 14:23) and these others: “The law does not come from faith,” (Gal. 3:12) although the law is not a sin. This great number of which the Savior speaks is all the men of whom St. Paul speaks: They are in great numbers, because the greater part of all peoples and all nations ought to believe in the Savior. It is this great number of those who must believe that the Apostle calls all men. “He is dead for all,” he says, “that is, for those who believe and must believe.” He died also for those who refused to believe, but by refusing the grace he offers them, they do not want Jesus Christ to be dead for them, and by the same he seems not to have died for those to that his death was much more harmful than useful. On the contrary, he truly died for those who won, and who understand the mystery of the redemption give thanks to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order

Comments (quoting parts from the above for ‘highlight’):

 

  1. i) Majority of Mankind is the “Many” who will be Saved after believing in Him

 

” … They are in great numbers, because the greater part of all peoples and all nations ought to believe in the Savior. It is this great number of those who must believe that the Apostle calls all men. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

  1. ii) How can this be when most of mankind don’t believe him on earth?

 

“… “He is dead for all,” he says, “that is, for those who believe and must believe.” …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

Where,

 

“those who believe” = Christians who believe in Him on earth (Sheepfold1) = the “few” , the Elect (Matthew 7:14)

 

and

 

“for those who … must believe” = Good non-Christians who believe in Him either in Hades now or by the Last Day on Judgment Day? (Sheepfold2) . We will explore this Mystery later using Ambrosiaster’s own words to try to understand why he made such a distinction as he might be referring to God’s Will which is inclusive of anyone who chooses to believe in Him literally ‘after seeing Him’ (John 6:40) as even the Visions of Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh has confirmed.

 

iii) How about the unbelievers?

 

“… He died also for those who refused to believe, but by refusing the grace he offers them, they do not want Jesus Christ to be dead for them, and by the same he seems not to have died for those to that his death was much more harmful than useful. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

 

Comment: This ‘refused to believe’ is not necessarily those who refuse on earth among good non-Christians but those till Judgment Day who refuse to believe. As Sadhu Sundar Singh has pointed out, the ‘wicked dead’ seems not to be able to believe in the afterlife due to their lives sealing them as ‘remaining as unbelievers’ till being cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8). Is there Hope for them? Later we will see Ambrosiaster’s other quotes.

 

3) The Passover Mystery – Does it Apply to All Men or Believers only?

 

The Hope seems to be Pointed to “All Men” in the Context Definition of “All Men who became sinners due to Adam” hence “All Humankind including the wicked without exception” (1 Corinthians 15:20 – 23, Romans 5:18 – 19, 1 Timothy 2:1, 4, 6, 4:10), to quote:

 

“… QUESTION 116. THE REASON FOR THE PASSOVER. — The word Passover, my dear brothers, comes from the word passion, as we learn from the figure of this mystery which was celebrated in Egypt by Moses, the faithful servant of God, to the testimony of Scripture: “Here is the Passover of the Lord’s sacrifice.” (Exod. 12:11) … that is to say, as I have recalled, that the author of death who is the devil, having been convicted of a crime in the death of the Savior, lost all rights over his blood and blood to us all; for just as by the sin of the one Adam alone did he hold ALL MEN under the bondage of death, he saw himself carried off ALL MEN by the innocence of One. The blood of the Savior poured out unjustly had the reward of victoriously saving the blood to which it owed its origin, and of restoring it to its former state by elevating it to a greater perfection. Conquered death dares not contradict its conqueror. Blessed, then, is the mystery of the Passover, which redeems us by blood, triumphing over death by death, just as it is customary to triumph by the poison of the very action of poison. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

Focus Phrase from the above:

 

“… for just as by the sin of the one Adam alone did he hold ALL MEN under the bondage of death, he saw himself carried off ALL MEN by the innocence of One [Christ] …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

 

4) Is there Purgatory for Unsaved Christians?

 

Yes:

 

“… “And we will wear our clothes,” that is to say, we will bear the name of our Creator, for each one is as clothed in the profession of his faith. It is to their clothes that the representatives and the magistrates are known. But it was not enough to be worthy of God; he has therefore established that it is through the knowledge of one God that man would become heir to the kingdom of heaven. The law purges him of his sins, delivers him from the second death which, according to the sentence pronounced against Adam, kept the men in the underworld, and thus free of all ties he goes to the paradise of God the Father, where the Lord promised at the right time that he would be with him. (Luke 23:43) Although the people of whom we have just spoken, and whose seven churches are the figure under the law of God, he was guilty of both his own sins and the sin of his first father; “For,” says St. Paul, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) . These churches therefore ask God to deliver them from their reproach by the invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, because those who bear the sign by which he has conquered the dead, cannot be held under the power of his enemy. And it is not only these churches of the earth, but the spiritual powers who dwell in heaven, who ask that the name of Jesus Christ be invoked upon them. For all spiritual and celestial they are, these powers do not fail to be subject to contempt if they remain distant from their Creator, and failing to know their leader they go astray and cannot be members of his body. … Is it not evident that in this day that is to say, on this day when the promises of God will be fulfilled, and the mysteries of faith revealed to men, those who were subject to the death sentence have been enlightened, purified by the knowledge of their Creator, and became heirs of eternal life! The prophet, therefore, spoke generally here to signify that all needed the grace of God, and to establish that all just or sinners had to wait for His mercy: sinners, to be cleansed of their personal sins and delivered from death; the righteous, to be free from the sin of their first father, and from the sentence pronounced against Adam, who held all men under the bondage of death, and to recover freedom and their rights to the kingdom of God, from which they are no longer servants but children. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

Note: The Context of ‘all men’ in the above seems to point to the hope of ‘fallen Christians only (sinners)’.

 

4) Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit Sin

 

How about the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit Sin Unforgiven for Two Ages [Aeons], Matthew 12:31 – 32?

 

“… But at home, Novatian, this confession is not sincere, and it is for you to play the minds of men that you say that we must do penance. You know perfectly well that this truth cannot be denied; you then resort to subtleties to cancel the penance not of mouth, but in reality. You [Nocations-Heretics] declare that every man who sacrificed to idols commits sin against the Holy Spirit, a sin which, according to the words of the Gospel, you claim to have to be handed over neither in this world [AGE/AEON, Matthew 12:31 – 32] nor in the other. Why then say that we must do penance for this sin? Is it not obviously to make illusion. as I demonstrated. You are still trying to hide your character under other artifacts; you say that it is in the same sense that the Apostle St. Peter said to Simon: “and do penance for such a great sin, that God may forgive you, if it be possible.” (Acts 8:22) But Peter considered the hardened malice, full of venom and bitterness of this man, and that is why he does not give him a certain promise. For what man has ever been so far as to want to buy the gift of God for money? This answer was therefore made to malignity rather than error. This malignity is without remedy because it cannot be excused either for error or for the necessity of being pardoned by the tears of penance. Let those who are guilty of the same crime hear the words that Peter addresses to Simon. That is why he gives him a dubious answer, because, he adds, “I see that you are full of a bitter affair, and bound to iniquity.” So if after such a huge crime, Peter, however, gives a dubious answer, and no doubt God forgives those who have been dragged into sin by error or necessity, if they do a proper penance. He has given his Church the right of admitting to penance and after penance to reconciliation. Novatian still blames us. Why, he says, is the body of the Lord given to those who are known to be sinners? … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic-1

 

Note: Ambrosiaster seems to point to a Hope of forgiveness for Christians who may have Blasphemed the Holy Spirit if they repent on earth (as a similar hope is echoed by St. Athanasius the Great, Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan as discussed in a previous post) where this seems to point that the Punishment might just be for ‘two ages/aeons’ only [if the don’t repent] & if they convert and become Christians, lesser punishments?

 

 

5) Is Mercy for All Men or those who repent only?

 

Firstly, the Mystery of the Trinity is closely tied up with the Salvation of “All Men”, to quote:

 

“… QUESTION 125. AGAINST EUSEBIUS … We cannot deny the nature of God; he necessarily knows what is inaccessible to the creature. Those who give the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, an inferior rank, shake the divine decree which makes the salvation of ALL MEN dependent on the mystery of the divine Trinity, …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic-1

 

Now, who is the “All Men”? Is His Mercy for Anyone?

 

“… QUESTION 102. AGAINST NOVATIAN … God does NOT want ANYONE to PERISH. “The Lord,” said Solomon, “pities those who repent.” (Eccl. 12:3) And in another place: “You have MERCY on ALL MEN, because you can do anything, and you hide their sins because of repentance.” (Wis. 11:24) ..” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic-1

 

The phrase God “pities those who repent” applies to those whose are saved without Judgment (John 5:24) as the phrase ” and you hide their sins because of repentance” means in the above distinctly from the Hope of Mercy to All Men, i.e. “… “You have MERCY on ALL MEN, because you can do anything, …” (Wis. 11:24).

 

 

 

6) Can God Save from Hell (Hades, Underworld) now?

 

“… QUESTION 83. IF IT IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST THAT WE HAVE SALVATION, THE TRUE AND PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, WHY DID NOT HE COME SOONER SO THAT OUR FATHERS WHO WERE IN IGNORANCE SHOULD LEARN THE TRUTH? SINCE THE ADVENT OF CHRIST, MEN HAVE BEEN SAVED IN FAR GREATER NUMBERS THAN BEFORE. IF, THEREFORE, HE HAD COME EARLIER, THE NUMBER OF THE ELECT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH GREATER. IT IS THEREFORE REPREHENSIBLE NOT TO HAVE DONE SO …. Now, as the nations scorned this law, refusing to submit to it, and those who received it did not observe it, the Lord, touched with compassion, sent his Son to immolate himself for them, destroying the empire of death, and giving to all men the remission of their sins, to offer them thus justified to God his Father. Indeed, he could only descend into hell by his death. Neither order nor reason allowed anyone to cross the threshold of iron without passing through death. If anyone wants to surprise the barbarians in their own country, does he not disguise himself under their clothing, so that they take him for one of them and so he can more surely find the means to destroy them? This is what God did for the devil; he had lost man by his guilty insinuations; God, in order to save him from death, found a remedy to take from the devil the victims whom he retained unjustly, to secretly enter his empire, and to make him feel like God in the underworld, the one in whom he thought he was to have killed man. From then on his wickedness was revealed, he lost all those whom he held captive, and the way to heaven was from then on open to all men. Such were the fruits of the coming of the Savior; he made known to men that their danger was liberated, and thus gave them a subject of continual thanksgiving. But perhaps this objection will be made to me: If many before the law and after the law, burdened by the burden of their sins, have plunged into the flesh and deserve to remain forever in hell, it is certainly, who, full of religion and respect for the Creator, have given to their life the natural law; however, were they not so restrained in limbo after this life? Now, if Christ had come immediately at the death of Adam, the deliverance of Adam who had made himself the first guilty, would have opened to other men the way to heaven, and those who would have lived well in the knowledge of the Creator would have been received in heaven after their death. The late coming of Christ has been a real prejudice here? Yes, the damage is obvious; but examine whether it is right or unjust. there are prejudices which are of all justice, and of which it is not permitted to complain. Is a thief caught in a flagrant crime, and sentenced to a quadruple, dare to complain? Now, the harm done to the human race was only right, that’s why God allowed it. The Savior therefore did not come from the beginning of the world. The devil having allowed himself to be dominated by pride, God created man to oppose him to the devil, so that, with the help of God, who was able to absorb his natural impotence, he could resist him by remaining faithful to the command which it was given to him. Now the devil resorted to his ordinary ploys; he feigned to ignore the commandment that God had given to man, and he found Eve’s will faltering. He then promised them for their disobedience that they would be like gods, and he managed to seduce them. The demon won over the man and the triumph he desired, and the man shamefully conquered, subjected all his posterity to sin. It was not right, therefore, to violently remove the remains of the victor, for God can only act in a supremely just manner. Moreover, the man had committed a most serious fault by being persuaded that disobedience to the divine precept would make him a god, and he fell by the same into idolatry, another crime against God. It was not right, therefore, that God should come to his help immediately, since he showed no repentance, and the mercy of God would have been of little value to him if he had not known the punishment he deserved. In fact, although everything is possible with the power of God, he always acts in a manner consistent with reason, and his conduct is always safe from reproach. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic

 

Focus Phrases from the above proving our Claim:

 

“:… Now, as the nations scorned this law, refusing to submit to it, and those who received it did not observe it, the Lord, touched with compassion, sent his Son to immolate himself for them, destroying the empire of death, and giving to ALL MEN the remission of their sins, to offer them thus JUSTIFIED to God his Father. Indeed, HE could only DESCEND into HELL by His death. … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

and notice that it’s not only in the Limbo regions but all regions His Salvation is available even toward those who ‘deserve to be forever in Hell’:

 

“…  and giving to all men the remission of their sins, to offer them thus justified to God his Father. Indeed, he could only descend into hell by his death. … he [the Devil] lost all those whom he held captive, and the way to heaven was from then on open to all men … But perhaps this objection will be made to me: If many before the law and after the law, burdened by the burden of their sins, have plunged into the flesh and deserve to remain forever in hell, it is certainly, who, full of religion and respect for the Creator, have given to their life the natural law; however, were they not so restrained in limbo after this life? … Moreover, the man had committed a most serious fault by being persuaded that disobedience to the divine precept would make him a god, and he fell by the same into idolatry, another crime against God. It was not right, therefore, that God should come to his help immediately, since he showed no repentance, and the mercy of God would have been of little value to him if he had not known the punishment he deserved. In fact, although everything is possible with the power of God, he always acts in a manner consistent with reason, …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

  1. There are Three Kinds of Men

 

“… The Psalmist represents here THREE KINDS OF MEN, the UNGODLY, the SINNERS, and the JUST, in the order followed by the error. As for the ungodly, they are quite foreign to the righteous, because as we said, they did not want to live under the law of God. The wretches who live under the law of God will be cited before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, and separated from the righteous to give account of the commandments of the law which they have received, and that they did not put into practice to obtain the approval of God and to avoid his reproaches. For the righteous who have applied themselves with holy activity to the fulfillment of the law, they will obtain the reward. “For God knows the paths of the righteous. (Ibid. 6) In the language of Scripture, God knows those who remember his precepts, and engage in the practice of good works to obtain the crown he reserves for the righteous. As for those who have made a game of forgetting God and neglecting the salvation of their soul, he will say to them: “Depart, I do not know you, workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27) “And the way of the wicked will perish.” This psalm ends as it began, and it teaches us that the wicked whose actions it has made known, have to wait for an eternal loss. As I have pointed out, it is said of God that he knows the paths of the righteous, because they walk in his law, and that the way of the wicked shall perish because it is outside the law of God; for, says Solomon, all the ways of the ungodly are covered with darkness (Prov. 4:19), while the way of the righteous shines with a glowing light, under the guidance of Our Lord Jesus Christ. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

Where possibly,

 

the UNGODLY = The Wicked (The Evil ones among Christians and non-Christians)

or

 

the SINNERS = Good non-Christians and some fallen Christians (Sheepfold2)

and

 

the JUST = Christians (Sheepfold1)

 

Now,

 

  1. What happens to the wicked?

 

“… As for those who have made a game of forgetting God and neglecting the salvation of their soul, he will say to them: “Depart, I do not know you, workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27) “And the way of the wicked will perish.” This psalm ends as it began, and it teaches us that the wicked whose actions it has made known, have to wait for an eternal loss …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

Note: The Phrase “eternal loss” seems to point to though if they are Saved by God’s Mercy they lose the Greatest Blessings eternally [if not age-duringly, if the Original Word in Holy Scripture is taken literally].

 

  1. Words of Hope from Ambrosiaster regarding “all men” (including the Wicked) being Saved from “Hell” due to the Prayers of the Righteous as per the Apocalypse of Peter Prohecy & many others?

 

To Quote:

 

“… and yet to recognize that His kingdom is ETERNAL, that is to say, the kingdom of the Son, for in the Name of Jesus EVERY KNEE shakes in HEAVEN, on the EARTH, and IN HELL. (Philip. 2) The Apostle St. Peter confirms this truth when he says:” No other name under heaven was given to MEN by which we were to BE SAVED.” (Acts 4) And did not the Lord Himself say to His disciples, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name, ask and I will answer you?” (Jn. 16:24) The REIGN of the Son therefore consists in the fact that it is in HIS NAME that ALL MEN are SAVED, and that ALL the PRAYERS addressed to Him until the end of the world are ANSWERED. But when ALL CREATURES have confessed Jesus Christ WILLINGLY or by FORCE, and have been subjected to the power against which they have resisted, then the MYSTERY of ONE GOD will be REVEALED to ALL MEN, and all thanksgivings will go back to God the Father, the principle of all things, that ALL PREACHING CEASE, ONE GOD be recognized in the MYSTERY of the TRINITY. … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 26, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

and

 

“… The prophet Joel also predicted this phenomenon so that one cannot doubt the fulfillment of a fact attested by several witnesses. “And the sun,” he says, “will be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible DAY of the LORD’s COMING.” (Joel 2:31) . As far as the literal meaning of these words indicates, they seem to be more fitting for the SECOND ADVENT, for then the Lord will manifest himself publicly to ALL MEN, to the testimony of Scripture: “Then every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth and those who have crucified him will strike their breast.” (Rev. 1:7) … So the prophet foretold that the Savior would take care of their infirmities, and this prophecy is fulfilled in his time, as we see in the Gospel: “He really has borne our torpor, of our sufferings.” (Isa. 1:4) All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL*, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL* THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. This is why Zechariah says: “To fulfill His mercies toward our fathers.” (Luke 1:72) But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION must also come in the SECOND ADVENT, … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (Written c. 366 – c. 384, Reply to Question 105, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke)

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambrosiaster – Great White Throne of Judgment Mystery – Will God Save Anyone from Eternal Punishment?

 

In this write up, please allow me to quote the Ancient Orthodox Quotes of Blessed Ambrosiaster who wrote down the First Christianity Orthodox Beliefs in Latin/Western Christianity before Blessed Jerome and Blessed Augustine.

 

This write up is important as there are Universalism Quotes as well as Eternal Hell quotes in the Bible depending on the Translations and/or the ‘Context Arguments’ Proposed by various scholars & Saints throughout the history of the Christian Church. Let’s Begin as follows:

 

1) Apocalypse of Peter Mystery

 

As discussed in Essays prior, the Apocalypse of Peter (that we speak about & not the heretical ‘Coptic Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter’ sharing the same name) which was believed by many earliest orthodox Christians in the earliest centuries was rediscovered only recently (19th & 20th Century) in only two Manuscripts where both Manuscripts have the ‘Christ Saving the Wicked from the Final Hell/Gehenna/Lake of Fire’ Prophecy in it, to quote:

 

” … The Apocalypse of Peter (or Revelation of Peter) is an early Christian text of the 2nd century … The Greek manuscript was unknown until it was discovered during excavations initiated by Gaston Maspéro during the 1886–87 season in a desert necropolis at Akhmim in Upper Egypt. The fragment consisted of parchment leaves of the Greek version that was claimed to be deposited in the grave of a Christian monk of the 8th or 9th century.[3] The manuscript is in the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo. The Ethiopic version was discovered in 1910. … . It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men… ” Thus, in this additional story, sinners will finally be saved by the prayers of those in heaven. Peter then orders his son Clement not to speak of this revelation since God had told Peter to keep it secret: [and God said]”… thou must not tell that which thou hearest unto the sinners lest they transgress the more, and sin”.” …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Peter

 

Here are some further facts regarding it:

 

  1. i) First Western Christianity

 

This Apocalypse of Peter is listed as Canonical Scripture in the Oldest First Bible Canon, to quote:

 

“… The Muratorian fragment, also known as the Muratorian Canon[1](18:02) or Canon Muratori, is a copy of perhaps the oldest known list of most of the books of the New Testament. … In addition to receiving the Apocalypse of John into the church canon, the author remarks that they also receive the Apocalypse of Peter, although “some of us will not allow the latter to be read in church” …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muratorian_fragment

 

The phrase “some of us will not allow the latter [Apocalypse of Peter] to be read in church” is NOT because they doubted its authenticity but because of the Reason that ‘it was to be kept a Secret from sinners (not righteous Christians) as the prophecy prior Reveals’. In Church, there could be ‘sinners + new converts + righteous’ and thus it is not to be read there.

 

If these First Christians Doubted the Authenticity of the Apocalypse of Peter (as some biased scholars claim), then it would NOT have been listed by them as Canonical Scripture. So, the fact that they listed it as Canonical Scripture Proves Its Authenticity and their Full Acceptance of It with additional rules to it, that’s all.

 

A similar phrase [ to ‘not read it publicly’ ] was also given to the ‘Shepherd of Hermas Scripture’ in this same Muratorian Canon as follows:

 

“… The text of the list [Muratorian Canon] itself is traditionally dated to about 170 because its author refers to Pius I, bishop of Rome (140—155), as recent: But Hermas wrote The Shepherd “most recently in our time”, in the city of Rome, while bishop Pius, his brother, was occupying the chair of the church of the city of Rome. And therefore it ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly to the people in church either among the Prophets, whose number is complete, or among the Apostles, for it is after their time. …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muratorian_fragment

 

Please notice that ‘the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture’ though accepted as True by all of them is NOT even listed as Canonical Scripture as the Apocalypse of Peter in this same Muratorian Canon. So, the Apocalypse of Peter is MORE AUTHENTIC than even the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture based on this First Christian Muratorian Canon.

 

Every Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians know that the ‘Shepherd of Hermas is Scripture Level’ but just that it should not be listed among the Greater Books of the New Testament as mentioned in the Muratorian Canon as the Shepherd was called Scripture by these Blessed saints too: St. Irenaeous, St. Clement of Alexandria, Pope Callixtus I and Tertullian. Hence, if the Apocalypse of Peter is of Greater Canonical Endorsement in this same Muratorian Canon being listed among the New Testament Books, can you see how True Its Prophecy must be?

 

Also, the dating of the Apocalypse of Peter must be before 170 AD because the Muratorian Canon which lists It was wrote around that time (and so the Apocalypse of Peter must have existed before it) where the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture was Written around c. 140 – c. 170 AD as per the last quote above itself proves.

 

The bogus claim of the Wikipedia that they’re not sure if it refers to the ‘Gnostic Heretical Apocalypse of Peter’ is a true joke to scholarship because there is no evidence for such a claim and no Orthodox Christians in antiquity listed any Gnostic-Heretic Books in their Canons as Scripture.

 

Note: All Books listed as Holy New Testament Scripture in this First Muratorian Canon are in all Bibles Today except for the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ due to some latter Christians either not fully accepting it based on ‘personal bias’ and because this Mysterious book was not available to their ancient leaders prior. A similar scenario is observed also regarding the ‘Shepherd of Hermas’ Writing where it was not mentioned at all by some great Western writers such as St, Cyprian of Carthage which might help us understand why he believed in eternal hell due to not being Exposed Fully to such parts of the Fullest First Christian Canon, to quote:

 

“… Cyprian makes no reference to this work, so it would seem to have gone out of use in Africa during the early decades of the 3rd century. Somewhat later it is quoted by the author of the pseudo-Cyprianic tract Adversus aleatores as “Scriptura divina”, but in Jerome’s day it was “almost unknown to the Latins”. Curiously, it went out of fashion in the East, so that the Greek manuscripts of it are but two in number; whereas in the West it became better known and was frequently copied in the Middle Ages. …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shepherd_of_Hermas

 

  1. ii) First Eastern Christianity

 

Again the Earliest Known Canon in Eastern Christianity (and ‘not the opinion of some individual Church leaders’) called the ‘The Codex Claromontanus ,[87] c. 303 AD – 306 AD’ also contained this same ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ (with the Christ Saving the Wicked from the Lake of Fire Prophecy) as “Canonical Scipture”, to quote:

 

“… The Codex Claromontanus ,[87] c. 303–67,[88] a page found inserted into a 6th-century copy of the Epistles of Paul and Hebrews, has the Old Testament, including Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, 1–2,4 Maccabees, and the New Testament, plus Acts of Paul, Apocalypse of Peter, Barnabas, and Hermas, but missing Philippians, 1–2 Thessalonians, and Hebrews. Zahn and Harnack were of the opinion that the list had been drawn up originally in Greek at Alexandria or its neighborhood ~300 AD. According to Jülicher the list belongs to the 4th century and is probably of western origin ..”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Claromontanus

 

Comment: Some will say that the Codex Claromontanus is not reliable because it contains several works that are no longer canonical, to quote:

 

“… but includes several works no longer considered canonical: Epistle of Barnabas, The Shepherd of Hermas, Acts of Paul, and Revelation of Peter. …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Claromontanus

 

Please note carefully that even the Shepherd of Hermas is listed there and just because the ‘Acts of Paul & Epistle of Barnabas’ are no longer Canonical, it does not mean that the other two books also are as the Codex Claromontanus contains a lot of the other New Testament Books too.

 

I look at the Overlap between these Two First known Canons in Christianity (namely the Muratorian Cannon-West & Codex Claromontanus-East) and see that the ‘current excluded’ Books in which they Overlap includes both the Shepherd of Hermas and Apocalypse of Peter only and thus I believe in both to be Scripture as these First Most Orthodox Christians did too (and that’s why they could write these Canons as they were in “authority first”).

 

iii) Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria

 

Now, Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD), Head of the Oldest Christian Theological School in Alexandria himself called both the Shepherd of Hermas and the Apocalypse of Peter as Holy Scripture & he was not the only one as it was ‘widely accepted as thus & read in Early Mainstream Christianity’, to quote:

 

“… Clement of Alexandria appears to have considered the Apocalypse of Peter to be holy scripture. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae (VI.14.1) describes a lost work of Clement’s, the Hypotyposes (Outlines), that gave “abridged accounts of all the canonical Scriptures, not even omitting those that are disputed, I mean the book of Jude and the other general epistles. Also the Epistle of Barnabas and that called the Revelation of Peter.”[13] So the work must have existed in the first half of the 2nd century.[14] Although the numerous references to it attest that it was once in wide circulation, the Apocalypse of Peter was ultimately not accepted into the Christian canon. …”:

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Peter

 

His accuracy in noting which is “inspired” vs which is “canonical Scripture” is different & he has noted that the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ is ‘Canonical New Testament Scripture’ (which is Greater as per both the Muratorian Canon-West & Codex Claromontanus-East), to quote:

 

 

” … Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) made use of an open canon. He seemed “practically unconcerned about canonicity. To him, inspiration is what mattered.”[79] In addition to books that did not make it into the final 27-book NT but which had local acceptance (Barnabas, Didache, I Clement, Revelation of Peter, the Shepherd, the Gospel according to the Hebrews), he also used the Gospel of the Egyptians, Preaching of Peter, Traditions of Matthias, Sibylline Oracles, and the Oral Gospel. He did, however, prefer the four church gospels to all others, although he supplemented them freely with apocryphal gospels. He was the first[citation needed] to treat non-Pauline letters of the apostles (other than II Peter) as scripture-he accepted I Peter, I and II John, and Jude as scripture. …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

 

Note: Some church leaders at that time did not even accept “I Peter, I and II John, and Jude as scripture” and Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria was apparently the “first” to list their acceptance as Scripture as it is in all Bibles today (last quote above).

 

Regardless you cannot be condemned for believing it as a Christian as NO CHRISTIAN COUNCIL of the CHURCH of the past or present has ever CONDEMNED the Apocalypse of Peter as heretical as it was Canonical Scripture in the First Canons of the East and West Respectively as we have demonstrated. Can you see it?

 

The above is important because the Apocalypse of Peter (being in the Muratorian Canon) has clear-cut God Saving the Wicked from the Lake of Fire Prophecy after God Receives numerous Prayers of the Saved Righteous Christians and thus it may help us understand Blessed Ambrosiaster who might have had a Tendency to believe likewise in such as Prophecy as his quotes point to that as we shall see.

 

2) Final Judgment – Three Types of Men – The Righteous, The Sinners and The Wicked

 

Each quote next is from the Roman Catholic Bible Commentary Source below unless stated otherwise (“QUESTION 110. ON THE FIRST PSALM.”):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

  1. i) Day of Judgment Definition

 

“… The Psalmist represents here THREE KINDS OF MEN, the UNGODLY, the SINNERS, and the JUST, in the order followed by the error. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Where possibly,

 

the UNGODLY = The Wicked (The Evil ones among Christians and non-Christians)

or

 

 

the SINNERS = Good non-Christians and some fallen Christians (Sheepfold2)

 

and

 

the JUST = The Righteous = Saved Christians (Sheepfold1)

 

Note: I will explain in Blessed Ambrosiaster’s own words later in conclusion why I propose the definition above as most accurate in his meaning or context in regards to this Final “Judgment Day”.

 

  1. ii) The Fate of the Righteous – Glorious Hope

 

 

“… so he who obeys the law of God will also produce fruit at the appointed time, and will receive the fruit of his zeal and devotion when Our Lord Jesus Christ will begin to judge the living and the dead, and the Psalmist adds, “And his leaves will not fall.” This tree whose leaves do not fall clearly signifies the sap of life of which it is full. It is the running water that sprinkles and feeds him that he must keep his leaves. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “If you treat green wood like this, what will dry wood be made of?” (Luke 23:31) Green wood is here the symbol of life and the fruits it produces. Just as a tree, thanks to the running water that feeds its roots, does not feel the drought, so that which applies to the meditation of the law of God, even when temptation comes to test him, strong in the help of God, far from losing, he obtains eternal salvation, according to these words of the Apostle: “It is by many tribulations that we must enter in the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:21) “And all he does will prosper.” These words are clear, that he who remains faithful to the law of God, and who puts his delights to fulfill his commandments, will see success crowning all his actions; so that all that Joseph did was prosperous, as a reward for his having preferred the fear of God to life itself; it is not so, no, it is not so with the wicked. (Ps 1:4) … For the righteous who have applied themselves with holy activity to the fulfillment of the law, they will obtain the reward. “For God knows the paths of the righteous. (Ibid. 6) In the language of Scripture, God knows those who remember his precepts, and engage in the practice of good works to obtain the crown he reserves for the righteous. … As I have pointed out, it is said of God that he knows the paths of the righteous, because they walk in his law, … while the way of the righteous shines with a glowing light, under the guidance of Our Lord Jesus Christ …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

 

iii) The Fate of the Sinners – Hope after Punishment?

 

“… “Blessed is the man who did not stop in the way of sinners.” If he stops there, he stops being blessed to become guilty and worthy of punishment. Yet he still retains some hope of amendment, because he is not impious, but simply sinful. If a man is found who has not entered the council of the wicked and has not stopped in the way of sinners, he is doubly blessed. For he cannot be blessed, if without entering into the counsel of the wicked, he stops in the path of sinners, because if he does not then have a complete ruin, he is nevertheless worthy of punishment. The Psalmist adds: “nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” Happiness, according to him, consists of these three degrees together, and is based on a triple reason, not to enter the counsel of the ungodly, not stopping in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but, as we see in the first two degrees only two kinds of people, the ungodly and the sinners to whom this third degree applies: “Nor sits in the seat of scoffers?” Is it to the impious or the sinners? … The wretches who live under the law of God will be cited before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, and separated from the righteous to give account of the commandments of the law which they have received, and that they did not put into practice to obtain the approval of God and to avoid his reproaches. … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Hope after Punishment focus Phrases from the above:

 

“… If he stops there, he stops being blessed to become guilty and worthy of punishment. Yet he still retains some hope of amendment, because he is not impious, but simply sinful. … because if he does not then have a complete ruin, he is nevertheless worthy of punishment. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

  1. iv) The Fate of the Wicked – Eternal Loss

 

“… This repetition means that the fate which he predicts to the ungodly will be invariable; they have no happiness to expect for the future, and will only receive misfortunes until death. This is why the Psalmist adds: “They will be like the dust that the wind scatters from the face of the earth.” (Ibid. 4) Thus the wicked will perish like the dust that the wind carries off from above the face of the earth, to annihilate it: in fact, the dust carried off from the earth, which was its support, disperses through the air and annihilates itself insensibly, thus the impious rejected by the angels before the face of God, their Creator, the only principle of life, perished forever. “And the wicked will not be raised in the day of judgment.” (Ibid. 5) These words are worthy of attention. Judgment, they who did not want to be given any work of God which they could account for the law of God was for them an object of contempt and denial, they cannot therefore before the court of God render any according to the law given to them, so convinced of arrogance and revolt against God, they will rise only to see the truth of what they did not want to believe, and to perish forever, because they dared to accuse God of falsehood. “Neither the sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” … As for the ungodly, they are quite foreign to the righteous, because as we said, they did not want to live under the law of God. … As for those who have made a game of forgetting God and neglecting the salvation of their soul, he will say to them: “Depart, I do not know you, workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27) “And the way of the wicked will perish.” This psalm ends as it began, and it teaches us that the wicked whose actions it has made known, have to wait for an eternal loss. … and that the way of the wicked shall perish because it is outside the law of God; for, says Solomon, all the ways of the ungodly are covered with darkness (Prov. 4:19), … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

or

 

 

“… QUESTION 1. AGAINST THOSE WHO DENY THAT GOD IS INTERESTED IN THE ACTIONS OF MEN … Let no one, therefore, blame himself that the crimes he has committed will go unpunished. The reward of a holy life is great; his eternal torments are the punishment of a guilty life. To us, therefore, who believe that God knows all things, who runs to martyrdom with holy eagerness, God reserves an inappreciable reward, an eternally happy life; but for the wicked who taught that God knew neither their crimes nor their undisclosed and secret depravities, they have to wait for a devouring fire, and a fire that will not cease to consume them. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic-1

 

or

 

“… QUESTION 111. ON PSALM 23. … This is he whom he declares worthy to ascend on the mountain of the Lord, that is to say in heaven, or to stop in his holy place, the one whose works are innocent and the pure heart in the cause of God, that is, in faith. It can rise in the sky and stop in its holy bond. Indeed, as soon as he has left this life, he will ascend into heaven. And when the city of Jerusalem comes down from heaven for the coming of the Lord, he will be worthy to stop because of his innocence in the place where the Lord must judge the living and the dead; while the wicked and the sinners will be unworthy to stop in the holy place where God pronounces his judgments, because the ungodly ones will rise again for their loss and the sinners for an eternal punishment. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

ConclusionIs there Hope for the Sinners and Wicked by Blessed Ambrosiaster’s Explanation regarding the First Christianity Understanding of Holy Scripture?

 

 

  1. i) Mystery of Mysteries for Christians to Know

 

Blessed Ambrosiaster seems to Point that the “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Mystery (1 Corinthians 2:9) includes the Saved-Christians asking for the Salvation of ALL MANKIND, to quote:

 

“… QUESTION 112. ON PSALM FIFTY. … so that at this sight, God, sensitive to his complaints, extends his hand to him in the midst of the difficulties which besiege him. “Because you loved the truth.” (Ps. 50:8) Since you have loved the truth, he said to God, come to my aid, I beg you, for you know that I have explained to you the true weaknesses of my soul, and you have resolved in your mercy to save the sinner by healing by a heavenly providence the wounds that sin has made to him on the earth. That’s why he adds, “You have revealed to me the secrets and mysteries of your heart.” These SECRETS and these MYSTERIES are the HELP that GOD has PREPARED for the HUMAN RACE, of which the Apostle said: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,”1 Cor. 2:9) Who are those who love God? those who accept his law without trying to disguise or excuse their faults. These secrets of the heart are thus revealed to those who love God. The multitude of sins with which they deplore the sad influence could have made them question the justice of punishment, reject their faults on their origin, and make God their creator responsible for their sins. Their hearts were enlightened with a spiritual light and they discovered the providence of God in the coming of Christ who was to come to destroy the sin that had exercised the tyranny on mankind since the evasiveness of Adam. King David therefore asks God that, since He has resolved to SAVE THE HUMAN RACE ONE DAY from the SAD STATE in which he sees him reduced, he anticipates for himself, the victim of the same misfortune, the SALVATION HE [God] MUST GIVE TO ALL ONE DAY, and that he should give to his prayers and tears the free gift which he held in reserve and which he could NOT GRANT BEFORE THE MARKED TIME. How will it be done? He indicates it with the following words: “You will water me with the hyssop and I will be purified.” (Ps. 50:9) He rightly asks to be purified by sprinkling with the hyssop. The children of Israel sprinkled the poles of their house with this sprinkling to escape the exterminating angel (Exod. 20:22), and David also asks to be purified of his sins by the sprinkling of the hyssop, also to escape from death. “You will wash me and I will become whiter than the snow.” Now it is evident that God’s action is at a great distance from the action of man, which is why David says, “And I will be whiter than snow,” because the work of God has a character of perfection which the work of man cannot have. It therefore requires to be purified by sprinkling with hyssop, that is, just as the body is purified by water from its material soils, so the hyssop is the PURIFIED FIGURE of a spiritual operation of the souls by the defilements of sin. Sprinkling with the hyssop is a kind of purification whose visible action indicates the inner and invisible purification. “You will make me hear words of comfort and joy.” (Ps. 50:10) There is no doubt that the voice of one who ANNOUNCES the REMISSIONS of SINS does not SPREAD JOY in the SOULS of SINNERS. Who would NOT REJOICE, indeed, at the NEWS of the FORGIVENESS granted to him? For the FORGIVENESS of GOD gives all security for the PRESENT and for the FUTURE. … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

 

 

Focus Phrase from the above proving our claim:

 

“… These SECRETS and these MYSTERIES are the HELP that GOD has PREPARED for the HUMAN RACE, of which the Apostle said: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,”1 Cor. 2:9) Who are those who love God? those who accept his law without trying to disguise or excuse their faults. These secrets of the heart are thus revealed to those who love God. … King David therefore asks God that, since He has resolved to SAVE THE HUMAN RACE ONE DAY from the SAD STATE in which he sees him reduced … the SALVATION HE [God] MUST GIVE TO ALL ONE DAY, and that he should give to his prayers and tears the free gift which he held in reserve and which he could NOT GRANT BEFORE THE MARKED TIME. … so the hyssop is the PURIFIED FIGURE of a spiritual operation of the souls by the defilements of sin. Sprinkling with the hyssop is a kind of purification whose visible action indicates the inner and invisible purification. … There is no doubt that the voice of one who ANNOUNCES the REMISSIONS of SINS does not SPREAD JOY in the SOULS of SINNERS. Who would NOT REJOICE, indeed, at the NEWS of the FORGIVENESS granted to him? For the FORGIVENESS of GOD gives all security for the PRESENT and for the FUTURE. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

  1. ii) Salvation from Hell is Promised both now and after His Second Coming (Advent) too in Holy Scripture Pointing further to the accuracy of the Apocalypse of Peter Prophecy likewise?

 

“… The prophet Joel also predicted this phenomenon so that one cannot doubt the fulfillment of a fact attested by several witnesses. “And the sun,” he says, “will be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible DAY of the LORD’s COMING.” (Joel 2:31) . As far as the literal meaning of these words indicates, they seem to be more fitting for the SECOND ADVENT, for then the Lord will manifest himself publicly to ALL MEN, to the testimony of Scripture: “Then every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth and those who have crucified him will strike their breast.” (Rev. 1:7) … So the prophet foretold that the Savior would take care of their infirmities, and this prophecy is fulfilled in his time, as we see in the Gospel: “He really has borne our torpor, of our sufferings.” (Isa. 1:4) All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. This is why Zechariah says: “To fulfill His mercies toward our fathers.” (Luke 1:72) But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION MUST ALSO COME in the SECOND ADVENT, … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD, Quote)

 

Source (Written c. 366 AD – c. 384 AD, Reply to Question 105, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

Focus Phrases Proving our Claim:

 

“… All these predictions have received their consummation and fulfillment in the Savior’s passion, and thus the SALVATION of the HUMAN RACE has been done in a true way for those who were on EARTH or in HELL, for the prophecy of Zachariah embraces both of them at once. On earth, men have been freed from the oppression of their enemies by the intervention of the mercy of God, and in HELL THEY were DELIVERED from the SORROWS THEY ENDURED. Indeed, all those who hoped in Christ who had been Promised to them awaited the coming of Him Who was to triumph over DEATH and DELIVER THEM from HELL. … But if it is understood that THIS SALVATION MUST ALSO COME in the SECOND ADVENT …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

iii) Apocalypse of Peter’s Prayer of the Righteous Christians Asking for ‘anything in His Will’ (2 Peter 3:9, John 16:24) which includes the Salvation of All Mankind (1 Timothy 2:1, 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10) Requested on “that Day” (John 16:23) Mystery as the Meaning of Christ’s Eternal Reign too (1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28)

 

“… and yet to recognize that His kingdom is ETERNAL, that is to say, the kingdom of the Son, for in the Name of Jesus EVERY KNEE shakes in HEAVEN, on the EARTH, and IN HELL. (Philippians. 2) The Apostle St. Peter confirms this truth when he says:” No other name under heaven was given to MEN by which we were to BE SAVED.” (Acts 4) And did not the Lord Himself say to His disciples, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name, ask and I will answer you?” (John. 16:23 – 24) The REIGN of the Son therefore consists in the fact that it is in HIS NAME that ALL MEN are SAVED [Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13], and that ALL the PRAYERS addressed to Him until the end of the world are ANSWERED [1 Timothy 2:1, 4, 6, 1 Timothy 4:10]. But when ALL CREATURES have confessed Jesus Christ WILLINGLY or by FORCE, and have been subjected to the power against which they have resisted, then the MYSTERY of ONE GOD will be REVEALED to ALL MEN, and all thanksgivings will go back to God the Father, the principle of all things, that ALL PREACHING CEASE, ONE GOD be recognized in the MYSTERY of the TRINITY. … ” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

 

Source (Written c. 366 AD – c. 384 AD, Reply to Question 26, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

  1. iv) Saved from the Lake of Fire or Basic Salvation by His Name Hope?

 

Verses: Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13.

 

” … QUESTION 126. FROM THE ONE WHO RECEIVED THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST. … In fact, the knowledge of God must inspire the fear of the just judge, in whose court he teaches us that the faithful will receive the reward of their righteousness, and the ungodly, that is to say the unbelievers, the just punishment of their infidelity. It is of all justice, indeed, that the good ones be filled with joy in the future life in which Jesus Christ must reign with his chosen ones. They have been exposed to scorn, outrages in this world where the devil reigns, they will appear surrounded by glory in the kingdom of Jesus Christ for which they have borne the contempt of the worldly. SINNERS, on the contrary, who seemed to shine here below a false brilliance, opposing falsehood to truth, have to wait for tribulation and an imaginary glory to succeed for them a contempt, a humiliation too real. The righteous will rejoice in having believed, when they witness the chastisements of the unbelieving, and THE UNFAITHFUL WILL REPENT of THEIR UNBELIEF ONLY when THEY SEE BOTH THEIR OWN CHASTISEMENT and the glory of those WHOSE FAITH THEY HAD REGARDED as an ACT of MADNESS, which was only worthy of their contempt. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic

 

Focus Phrases Proving our Claim:

 

“… SINNERS, on the contrary, who seemed to shine here below a false brilliance, opposing falsehood to truth, have to wait for tribulation and an imaginary glory to succeed for them a contempt, a humiliation too real. … and THE UNFAITHFUL WILL REPENT of THEIR UNBELIEF ONLY when THEY SEE BOTH THEIR OWN CHASTISEMENT and the glory of those WHOSE FAITH THEY HAD REGARDED as an ACT of MADNESS, which was only worthy of their contempt. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

Since these “sinners” or the “unfaithful” who “repent of their unbelief” on this Judgment Day (according to Blessed Ambrosiaster above) are said to have been those who regarded the Faith of True-Christians as “Madness”, thus these must refer to the ‘Sinners’ (Good non-Christians) and/or ‘Wicked only’ being ‘unbelievers’ who must first endure their Judgment/Chastisement first accordingly (Luke 12:46 – 48) making our definition earlier accurate in Blessed Ambrosiaster’s own words in this ‘Judgment Day Context’.

 

This agrees not only to the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ visions alone but others too such as the Apocalypse of Elijah, Apocalypse of Zephaniah, the Christian-Jewish Sibyline Oracles, the Epistle of the Apostles, St. Julian of Norwich’s Visions & even the Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh as it was Discussed in Previous essays and the Book of Enoch too, to quote as edification:

 

Note: Such a final chance given by God is uttered Mysteriously in the Prophecy of the Book of Enoch too where such may be ‘Saved with no honour’ (hence not referring to the Christian Salvation or ‘the Elect’ in Verse below) and by His Great Name ( Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Matthew 12:21) on Judgment Day either toward those in the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) or prior or both, to quote:

 

 

“1 And in those days a change shall take place for the holy and elect, And the light of days shall abide upon them, And glory and honour shall turn to the holy, 2 On the day of affliction on which evil shall have been treasured up against the sinners.And the righteous shall be victorious in the name of the Lord of Spirits: And He will cause the others to witness (this) That they may repent And forgo the works of their hands. 3 They shall have no honour through the name of the Lord of Spirits, Yet through His name shall they be saved [Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Matthew 12:21], And the Lord of Spirits will have compassion on them, For His compassion is great. 4 And He is righteous also in His judgement, And in the presence of His glory unrighteousness also shall not maintain itself: At His judgement the unrepentant shall perish before Him. 5 And from henceforth I will have no mercy on them, saith the Lord of Spirits.” (Book of Enoch, Chapter 50)

 

 

Translation Source:

 

 

http://wesley.nnu.edu/index.php?id=2126

 

 

Focus Phrase: “… And He will cause the others [the sinners and/or Wicked] to witness (this) That they may repent And forgo the works of their hands. 3 They shall have NO HONOUR through the NAME of the LORD of SPIRITS, Yet THROUGH HIS NAME [John 14:6] SHALL THEY BE SAVED [Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Matthew 12:21], And the Lord of Spirits will have compassion on them …” – Book of Enoch.

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

Secrets of Biblical Perfection – Bible Verses and First Christianity Quotes for Each Claim

 

Fact 1: Even if we keep all the Old Testament Laws, we are still not Perfect. Says who? Christ Himself

 

“16Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[d] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17So He said to him, [e]“Why do you call Me good? [f]No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” .” – The Perfect One, Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:16 – 20, NKJV)

 

“… Our Lord next declares, that though a man has kept the old covenant, he is not perfect, since he lacks to follow Christ. You yet lack one thing, Sell all that you have, &c. As if He says, you ask how to possess eternal life; scatter your goods among the poor, and you shall obtain it. A LITTLE THING is that you SPEND, you RECEIVE GREAT THINGS….” – Blessed Titus, Bishop of Bostra whom St. Jerome of the Vulgate himself names Titus among writers whose secular erudition is as marvellous as their knowledge of Scripture; (died c. 378 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

 

Fact 2: Absolute Perfection is Giving all away to the Poor

 

“21Jesus 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.”22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:21 – 22, NKJV)

 

” The rich man who has despised many things will naturally expect a reward, but he who POSSESSING LITTLE resigns what he has, may fairly ask what there is in store for him; as it follows, Then Peter said, lo, we have left all. Matthew adds, What shall we have therefore? This then we say, that he who gives up all worldly and carnal things will gain for himself far greater, inasmuch as the APOSTLES, AFTER LEAVING A FEW THINGS, obtained the manifold gifts of grace, and were ACCOUNTED GREAT EVERY WHERE. We then shall be like to them. Now perhaps this command is irksome to the rich, yet to those who are of a sound mind, it is not unprofitable, for their treasure is the kingdom of heaven. Hence it follows, Provide for yourselves bags which wax not old, &c. ….” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

 

Source :

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

Fact 3: We can be Saved without being Perfect and there are Gradation in the Heavens based on how much we have Truly Given which is counted based on what we are given first

 

“… 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.” – The Greatest Giver, The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:48, NASB)

 

“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.” – The Perfect One, Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:19, NKJV)

 

“27Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”28So 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. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother [h]or wife or children or [i]lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:27 – 30, NKJV)

 

“… Or, it is given to him who had gained five talents, that we may understand that though the Lord’s joy over the labour of each be equal, of him who doubled the five as of him who doubled the two, yet is a greater reward due to him who laboured more in the Lord’s money. The servant who of five talents had made ten, and he who of two had made four, are received with equal favour by the Master of the household, who looks NOT to the LARGENESS of THEIR PROFIT, but to the DISPOSITION of THEIR WILL ….” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

 

Fact 4: Giving is not measured by amount nor effect but just your heart’s love and percentage

 

“1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3And He [Lord Jesus Christ Himself] said, “TRULY I say to you, this poor widow put in MORE than ALL of THEM; 4for 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)

 

… She offered two oboli, which with the sweat of her brow she had earned for her daily living, or what she daily begs for at the hands of others she gives to God, showing that her poverty is fruitful to her. Therefore does she surpass the others, and by a just award receives a crown from God; as it follows, Of a truth I say to you, that this poor widow has cast in more,…” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

or

 

“… For God regarded not the scantiness of the offering, but the overflowing of the affection. Almsgiving is not the bestowing a few at things out of many, but it is that of the widow emptying herself of her whole substance. But if you cannot offer as much as the widow, at least give all that remains over….” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

or

“… For whatever we offer with an honest heart is well pleasing to God, who has respect to the heart, not the substance, nor does He weigh the amount of that which is given in sacrifice, but of that from which it is taken as it follows, For all these have cast in of their abundance, but she all that she had…” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)

 

Source for the last three Quotes above (‘Commentary on Luke 21:1 – 4’):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21

 

Fact5: Is any giving lost if someone cheats us or uses or giving for wrong reasons?

 

No, not at all. 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[27]: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[27]: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[27]: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)

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

 

Summary

 

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.

 

 

Fact 6: Until we have Given our best Gifts Freely, we have not Given much yet

 

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 [sister-] 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)

 

Conclusion

 

” … there are some who, under the impression of the fear of God, despise the pleasures of the senses, flee the lavishness of life, do not turn away the eyes of the poor and the needy, and thus accumulate real treasures, …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source [QUESTION 34. HOW DOES THE SAME SOLOMON SAYS ON ONE SIDE: “GOD DID NOT KILL,” AND IN ANOTHER: “THE GOODS AND THE EVILS, THE LIFE AND THE DEATH, THE POVERTY AND THE LUXURY COME FROM GOD?” ]:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order-old-testament

Here’s Life’s “Haunting Question” or Life’s Real Question – What are we doing more than others?

 

Who Asks that? The Only Perfect One Himself, Bible Verses:

 

Now, 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, 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 tax collectors do so? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – The Wisest, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:42 – 48, NKJV)

 

Let’s be Prepared to Hear Our Lord and Savior Asking this to us on Judgment Day:

 

“… WHAT DO YOU DO MORE THAN OTHERS? …” – The Greatest, Lord Jesus Christ

So, nothing that great if we are doing those deeds to our family members, loved ones and our own church or race only. It is only Great if we do it to “our enemies too” as Christ’s Most Blessed Words Imply above as it is Echoed Likewise in the Ancient Most Authoritative First Christianity Quote below too:

 

“… 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.” –Blessed St. Justin Martyr (100 AD – 165 AD, On the Resurrection, Chapter VIII)

Source:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-resurrection.html

 

 

 

 

 

‘… What God has not called Great we don’t call great and Vice Versa. Yes, it may be Good but not Great till it reaches nearly the Perfection Levels He has Commanded  …’

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satyr and the Reconciliation of All Mystery in First Christianity

 

Bible Verses for the Existence of “Satyrs”:

 

“But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.” (Isaiah 13:21, KJV)

 

“The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.” (Isaiah 34:14, KJV)

 

Source:

 

https://www.biblestudy.org/bible-study-by-topic/mythical-animals-in-the-bible/satyr.html

 

Note: Other translations of the Bible are inaccurate as they state things like ‘wild goats etc.’ in place of the accurate “Satyr” rendering in the KJV (King James Bible Translation Verses above) because there are other proper Hebrew words to mean say, ‘wild goats’ & because the translators themselves have problems believing in spiritual creatures such as these even though the Bible Mentions them clearly in the Rare Verses above.

 

Now, Blessed St. Anthony the Great encountered these “Satyrs” as per Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate’s writing later preserving that incident as follows:

 

“… Saint Anthony was on a journey in the desert to find Saint Paul of Thebes, who according to his dream was a better Hermit than he.[29] Saint Anthony had been under the impression that he was the first person to ever dwell in the desert; however, due to the dream, Saint Anthony was called into the desert to find his “better”, Saint Paul. On his way there, he ran into two creatures in the forms of a centaur and a satyr. Although chroniclers sometimes postulated they might have been living beings, Western theology considers to have been demons.[.Vitae Patrum, Book 1a- Collected from Blessed St. Jerome. Ch. VI] .. [Again, Blessed St. Jerome Records that, inVitae Patrum, Book 1a- Collected from Jerome. Ch. VI ] Saint Anthony found next the satyr, a “a manikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’s feet.” This creature was peaceful and offered him fruits, and when Saint Anthony asked who he was, the satyr replied, “I’m a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favor of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.'” Upon hearing this, Saint Anthony was overjoyed and rejoiced over the glory of Christ. He condemned the city of Alexandria for worshipping monsters instead of God while beasts like the satyr spoke about Christ …”

 

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_the_Great

 

Isn’t it strange that Blessed St. Jerome is recording that St. Anthony the Great is Testifying that some “Satyrs” are “rejoicing”in Christ as Savior of the World? (making sense of the Context for 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14, John 1:28, 1 Timothy 2:6, Colossians 1:16, 20, 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28)

 

Please allow me to quote that last part again from Blessed St. Jerome’s own Writing:

 

“… This creature was peaceful and offered him fruits, and when Saint Anthony asked who he was, the satyr replied, “I’m a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favor of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.'” Upon hearing this, Saint Anthony was overjoyed and rejoiced over the glory of Christ. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate

 

So, how many Orthodox Christians dare charge Blasphemy against Blessed St. Anthony the Great (c. 251 AD – c. 356 AD) or Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)?

I’m not agreeing fully with it because sometimes I see Scripture Implying that the Demons and Devil may be Annihilated but we may never know as the Context of those listed Verses regarding “all” or “all things” often referring or inclusive of “all rational creatures” may thus Point to such a Hope. Thus I keep an Open Mind especially since this Testimony comes from one of the greatest saints ever to have lived for Lord Jesus Christ after the time of the Apostles themselves.

 

Indeed, a Prophecy that even the “Dragons” (Devils/Demons) will Honour God regardless if they are to be ‘tormented forever or annihilated’ (as God Decides) is Prophesied in the Mysterious Verse below too:

 

“The beast of the field SHALL HONOUR ME, the DRAGONS [Hebrew:tannin] and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” – God Speaks via Blessed Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 43:20, KJV)

 

The above is the ‘Same Dragon [or Hebrew:tannin]’ Word in the Terrifying Judgment Prophecy below:  “In that Day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the DRAGON [or Hebrew:tannin] that is in the sea.” (Isaiah 27:1, KJV)

 

The strangest thing is that the “Satyr’s quote” above sounds very similar to Blessed St. Justin Martyr’s (below listed for comparison – quoting the Context for Psalm 19:4, Romans 10:18):

i. The Satyr

 

“…the satyr replied, “I’m a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favor of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.'” Upon hearing this, Saint Anthony was overjoyed and rejoiced over the glory of Christ…”  – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate

  1. Blessed St. Justin Martyr“… 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… 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. But since what I have now enumerated appears to me to be sufficient, I revert again to the order of the discourse.” – Blessed St. Justin Martyr (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD, CHAPTER XLI & CHAPTER XLII, ‘Dialogue with Trypho’)

 

Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Commission – Making Disciples and the Worm that does not Die Mystery

 

Please allow me to Present the Facts with “Bible Verses” and First Christianity Quotes stating the ‘same meaning’ & slight variations and you can decide for yourselves which is the “Christian Truth”.

 

1) The Great Commission Command to Make “Disciples”

 

“Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” – The Lord God, Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:20, NASB)

 

2) Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) – Who is a DISCIPLE of Christ?

 

 

Lord Jesus Christ Himself Defines the following Requirement regarding ‘who can be His Disciple or not’, to quote the “Bible Verse” Luke 14:33 below in a few translations:

 

Berean Literal Bible

So therefore every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses, is not able to be My disciple.

 

New American Standard Bible

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

 

New King James Version

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

 

King James Bible

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

 

Christian Standard Bible

In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

 

New International Version

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

 

New Living Translation

So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

 

English Standard Version

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

 

Isn’t those Verses pretty Serious and Scary knowing that the Lord Himself Uttered it?

 

So, how many “Disciples” have we really made based on the “Disciple-Rule” above especially if we teach the ‘self pampering false Prosperity Gospel’ which is directly set against these Verses?

 

3) Cannot be His Disciple Verses in Full

 

” 25Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29“Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32“Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:25 – 33, NASB)

 

There are Three Distinct Rules regarding how a person ‘cannot be His Disciple’ based on Verses 26, 27 and 33.

 

 

 

(i) Context Example for Luke 14:26

“… For He Who commands even those who are violent enemies to be gentle, and forgiving to all who would do them wrong: for, “Love, He says, your enemies: and pray for them that spoil you:” how could He wish us to hate those who are born of the same family, and to disregard the honour due to parents, and think nothing of despising our brethren; yes! and our own children also, and even our own self? For He, Who has pronounced condemnation even upon those who disregard the law of mutual love, could not wish His friends to cherish a savage, and so to speak, a desperate state of minds. What however He does wish to teach in these commands is plain to those who can understand from what is said in another place expressly upon the same subject. “For he that loves, He says, father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more Me, is not worthy of Me.” By adding then “more than Me,” it is plain that He permits us to love, but not more than we do Him. …” – Blessed St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, Titles: Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers (c. 376 AD – c. 444 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/cyril-on-luke-14

 

(ii) Context Example for Luke 14:27

 

“… By the following words, the Truth shows us what kind of hatred we must have for our souls: “He who does not bear his cross and come after me can not be my disciple.” The word “cross” [ crux] comes from cruciatus [torment]. And we carry the cross of the Lord in two ways: either by mortifying our flesh by abstinence, or by making ours the woes of the neighbor through compassion. For he who feels pain for the woes of the neighbor carries his cross in spirit. One must know that there are some who do not practice the abstinence of the flesh for the sake of God, but by vain glory. And many are not animated for their neighbor with a spiritual compassion, but a carnal compassion, showing him a pity that encourages him to sin instead of favoring his virtue. These seem to bear the cross, but they do not follow the Lord. So the Truth rightfully declares: “He who does not bear his cross and come after me can not be my disciple.” Carrying his cross and going after the Lord is practicing the same. abstinence from the flesh or compassion to one’s neighbor for eternity. Indeed, he who performs such actions to obtain a transitional reward, probably carries his cross, but refuses to go after the Lord. …” – Blessed Roman Catholic Pope St. Gregory the Great, Saint Gregory the Dialogist in Eastern Christianity, the Father of Christian Worship, and John Calvin declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good Pope (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD, ‘Homily 37 on the Gospels, Point 5)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/gregory-the-great-homily-37-on-the-gospels

(iii) Context Example for Luke 14:33

 

“… But as with respect to the unfinished tower, he alarms us by the reproaches of those who say, The man began to build, I and was not able to finish, so with regard to the king with whom the battle was to be, he reproved even peace, adding, Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassage, and desires conditions of peace; signifying that those also who forsake all they possess cannot endure from the devil the threats of even coming temptations, and make peace with him by consenting to him to commit sin. Now to what these comparisons refer, He on the same occasion sufficiently explained, when he said, So likewise whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. The cost therefore of building the tower, and the strength of the ten thousand against the king who has twenty thousand, mean nothing else than that each one should forsake all that he has. The foregoing introduction tallies then with the final conclusion. For in the saying that a man forsakes all that he has, is contained also that he hates his father and mother, his wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own wife also. For all these things are a man’s own, which entangle him, and hinder him from obtaining not those particular possessions which will pass away with time, but those common blessings which will abide for ever. …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14

 

4) Other Authoritative First Christianity Quotes Explaining Luke 14:33

 

“… But there is a difference between renouncing all things and leaving all things. For it is the way of few perfect men to leave all things, that is, to cast behind them the cares of the world, but it is the part of all the faithful to renounce all things, that is, so to hold the things of’ the world as by them not to be held in the world. …” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)

 

or

 

 

“… He makes us see what crime we commit by scorning him, when he declares to us: “Thus, whoever among you does not renounce all that he possesses can not be my disciple”; he gives us, however, a remedy capable of procuring for us the hoped-for salvation, for he whose anger can not be tolerated will be allowed to be softened by an embassy of peace. So wash with your tears, dear brethren, the stains of your sins; erase them by your alms, expiate them with holy sacrifice. May your heart be no longer attached to things you have not yet abandoned. Fix your hope in the only Redeemer, go into spirit in the eternal homeland. For if you know that you have nothing to do with love in this world, you can say that you have already abandoned all things, even if you continue to possess them. May Jesus Christ our Lord, who has given us remedies for eternal peace, also grant us the joys we desire, who, being God, lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit in all ages of ages. Amen. …” – Blessed Roman Catholic Pope St. Gregory the Great, Saint Gregory the Dialogist in Eastern Christianity, the Father of Christian Worship, and John Calvin declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good Pope (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD, ‘Homily 37 on the Gospels, Point 10)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/gregory-the-great-homily-37-on-the-gospels

 

or

 

“… The Apostle resolves this difficulty in this few words: “Let those who have the goods of this world be as if they did not have them, those who use things of this world as if they did not use them, and those who buy as if they did not possess.” (1 Cor. 7:30) So whoever has the goods of the earth as if he did not have them, actually seems to have abandoned them. He does not seek to avail himself of them, nor to glorify them: his whole exterior is as humble and modest as his soul, he understands that he is only the steward and the dispenser of his goods; is it not leaving all that we have? for we leave what we no longer desire, and which ceases to be agreeable. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

Source [QUESTION 27. THE SAVIOR SAYS, “IF ANYONE DOES NOT LEAVE ALL THAT HE HAS, THAT IS, HIS HOUSE, HIS FIELDS, AND THE REST, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.” NOW, EVANGELIST SAYS IN ANOTHER PLACE, “HERE IS A SENATOR NAMED JOSEPH, A RICH MAN, WHO WAS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS AND WAS WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, APPROACHED PILATE, ETC.” (MARK 15, LUKE 23) HOW DOES THE EVANGELIST PRESENT AS A DISCIPLE THE ONE WHOM THE SAVIOR REJECTS? BESIDES, ZACCHAEUS WAS ALSO RICH, AS WELL AS CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, AND THE WOMEN WHO ASSISTED HIM WITH THEIR PROPERTY]:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

or

 

“… Having heard of the celebrated name of Antony, which was being noised abroad among all the peoples of Egypt, he was seized with a desire to live like him and made his way to the desert. Once he had seen him he changed his lifestyle completely. He stayed with Antony for two months, observing his way of life and the integrity of his character. How instant in prayer he was, how humble in his dealings with the brothers, how severe in reproof, how eager in giving encouragement! Not even illness could make him break the accustomed severity of his abstinence from food. But then Hilarion found himself unwilling to put up any longer with the numbers of people coming to Antony seeking help to overcome their passions and various attacks of the demons. He said that as he was a desert dweller it was not right that he should be surrounded by crowds of city people. So Hilarion all the more decided that just as Antony was now a strong man enjoying the rewards of victory, so it behoved him to start as Antony had done. He had not yet done any military service, so he returned to his native land with one or two monks. His parents were now dead, and he gave part of his inheritance to his brothers, setting aside some for the poor, but keeping back nothing for himself, fearing the example of the punishment given to Ananias and Sapphira in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5.1-5). And he was even more mindful of the words of the Lord: ‘He who has not renounced everything he has cannot be my disciple’ (Luke 14.33). He was fifteen years old. Stripped of his possessions, clothed only in the armour of Christ, he went along the coast into the desert which begins on the left of the seventh milestone from Maiuma, the market town of Gaza, as you go down to Egypt. This was a dangerous place because of robbers, and his friends and relations had warned him about it, but his way of avoiding death was simply to despise death. Such bravery at such a young age would have been quite unbelievable had it not been for the flame burning in his breast which showed itself in the light of faith sparkling in his eyes. His cheeks were smooth, his body slender and delicate, but he cared not for any discomforts either of cold or of heat. …” – [Life No 3, The Life of Saint Hilarion, Monk, Chapter II, The Vitae Patrum (literally Lives of the Fathers) ], Translated into Latin by Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

Source:

 

 

http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page6.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) The Unsaved

 

What Happens to those who are Unsaved in the ‘Outer Darkness’ [Matthew 8:12], the ‘Unquenchable Fire’ [Matthew 3:12] & the ‘Worm that does not Die’ [Mark 9:48]?

 

“… It is not enough, however, to come if one is invited: one must have the wedding dress, that is to say have faith and charity. Whoever therefore does not bring peace and charity to the altars of Christ will be seized by the feet and the hands, and thrown into the darkness from without. “There will be tears and gnashing of teeth. What are the darkness of the outside? Will there also be prisons and latomias? In no way; but whoever is excluded from the promises of the heavenly commandments is in outer darkness, because the commandments of God are light (Jn, xii, 35); and whoever is without Christ is in darkness, because the inner light is Christ. So it is not a question of the creaking of the material teeth, nor of some eternal fire of material flames, nor of a material worm. But this is to note that, as excess food causes fevers and worms, so too, if one does not somehow cook one’s sins by using sobriety and abstinence, but if, piling up sins on sins, one contracts as indigestion old and new faults, one will be burned by his own fire and devoured by his verses. So Isaiah says, “Walk in the light of your fire and the flame that you have lit” (Is., L, 11). The fire is the one engendered by the sadness of faults; the worm comes from the fact that the insane sins of the soul attack the mind and the senses of the guilty, and gnaw at the entrails of his conscience (Sag., XII, 5); as the worms are born of each, so to speak of the body of the sinner. So the Lord said it through Isaiah, saying, “And they shall see the members of men who have averred against me; and their worm will not die, and their fire will not be extinguished “(Is., LXVI, 24). The grinding of teeth also expresses a feeling of indignation, because too late we repent, too late we moan, too late we take it upon ourselves to have sinned with a perversity so tenacious. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrose-on-luke-14

So, the Eternal (or ‘age-during’ shame/punishment) as Blessed St. Ambrose of Milan sees it as that they lose these Great Rewards in Comparison to those who attain it and are Sad permanently due to it.

 

Blessed St. Ambrose doesn’t seem to see that they’re unsaved (because they are NOT in “prisons” anymore, “nor” will be placed there thereafter) but may be dwelling in the other darkness regions, to quote:

 

“… What are the darkness of the outside? Will there also be prisons and latomias? In no way; but whoever is excluded from the promises of the heavenly commandments is in outer darkness, because the commandments of God are light …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

ConclusionRenouncing or Forsaking All Meaning of Luke 14:33 in Full

 

Here are the Important Points:

 

1) The Saved have Different Abodes in His Kingdom

 

Context for 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 10 too – as Explained in the Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold Mystery (Matthew 13:8) too, among the Christians themselves, there are Great Differences in the ‘Saved Domains in which one is worthy to Inherit according to our Works’, to quote:

 

“… Finally, as to a veteran who has finished his service, this bonus is offered, the contempt of riches. For whoever, absorbed by the lower worries, obtains terrestrial domains, can not obtain the kingdom of heaven, since the Lord says: “Sell all your goods, and follow me” (Matt., XIX, 21); no more he who buys oxen, since Elisha killed those he had and shared them with the people (I Kings, XIX, 21); as for the one who takes a wife, he thinks of the things of the world, not of God. This is not to condemn marriage, but because virginity is called to a greater honor; for “the unmarried woman and the widow think of the things of the Lord, so that she is holy in body and spirit; for she who is married thinks of the things of the world, and how to please her husband “(I Cor. VII, 34). But to return to grace, as we have done above for widows, with wives, we do not reject the opinion followed by many, in the thought of which three kinds of people are excluded from the society of this great feast : Gentiles, Jews, heretics. This is why the Apostle tells us to flee from greed (Rom., I, 29), lest they be hindered, in the manner of the Gentiles, by injustice, malice, impurity, avarice we can not reach the Kingdom of Christ: for “every miser, every unclean person – he is a slave to idols – can not be heir to the kingdom of Christ and to God” (Ephesians 5: 5) … (The guests) therefore apologize, because the Kingdom is not closed to anyone who has not excluded himself by the testimony of his word; the Lord in his clemency invites everyone, but it is our cowardice or our misguidance that separates us. So whoever buys a farm is a stranger to the Kingdom: for in Noah’s day you have read it, buyer and seller have been swallowed up by the flood (Matt., XXI, 21); likewise he who prefers the yoke of the Law to the benefit of grace, and the one who apologizes because he takes a wife: for it is written, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and his mother, his wife, or can not be my disciple “(Lk, XVII, 27). So indeed that the Lord because of us gives up his Mother when He says, “Who are my mother, or who are my brothers? (Matt. Xii. 48) Why would you prefer them to your Master? But the Lord commands neither to misunderstand nature nor to be a slave to it: simply to condescend to nature while venerating its Author, and without failing God for the sake of the parents. So, after the proud disdain of the rich, He turned to the Gentiles; He made good and bad come in, to make the good grow, to change the dispositions of the wicked well, to realize what was read today: “Then wolves and lambs will have common pasture” (Is., LXV, 25 ). He invites the poor, the infirm, the blind: which shows us that bodily infirmity excludes no one from the Kingdom, and that sins are rarer when there is no invitation to sin; or that the infirmity of sins is forgiven by the mercy of the Lord, so that being redeemed from his fault not by works, but by faith, if one glorifies oneself it will be in the Lord (Rom. IX, 32, I Cor., 1,31). …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrose-on-luke-14

Please note ‘carefully’ the following phrases from above:

 

2) The Money Factor

 

Those who Finish the Race by Forsaking All or Most of his Earthly Possessions (i.e. ‘the contempt of riches’ Contest of Faith) get the ‘Kingdom of Heaven Reward’ while those who don’t get only the ‘lower terrestrial domains’.

 

“… Finally, as to a veteran who has finished his service, this bonus is offered, the contempt of riches. For whoever, absorbed by the lower worries, obtains terrestrial domains, can not obtain the kingdom of heaven, since the Lord says: “Sell all your goods, and follow me” (Matt., XIX, 21); …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

So, do we want to be in the ‘lower terrestrial domains’ or the ‘Highest Kingdom of Heaven Reward’?

and some who are too deep into ‘Money Pursuits’ of this life are entirely rejected from His Kingdom too [hence please beware of the ‘Prosperity Gospel Message’ lest you lose much or even lose your Salvation in the end], to quote:

 

“… (The guests) therefore apologize, because the Kingdom is not closed to anyone who has not excluded himself by the testimony of his word; the Lord in his clemency invites everyone, but it is our cowardice or our misguidance that separates us. So whoever buys a farm is a stranger to the Kingdom: for in Noah’s day you have read it, buyer and seller have been swallowed up by the flood (Matt., XXI, 21); …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

3) The Marriage Factor

 

Even Blessed St. Ambrose Preaches this Same ‘Higher and Lower Ranking/Reward Level in His Kingdom’ based on ‘our choice to marry or not’ agreeing Perfectly to all the saints we have quoted prior from First Christianity too likewise earlier posts, to quote:

 

“… as for the one who takes a wife, he thinks of the things of the world, not of God. This is not to condemn marriage, but because virginity is called to a greater honor; for “the unmarried woman and the widow think of the things of the Lord, so that she is holy in body and spirit; for she who is married thinks of the things of the world, and how to please her husband “(I Cor. VII, 34). …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

and those who treat their wives or parents more important than God are not worthy of His Kingdom:

 

“… likewise he who prefers the yoke of the Law to the benefit of grace, and the one who apologizes because he takes a wife: for it is written, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and his mother, his wife, or can not be my disciple “(Lk, XVII, 27). So indeed that the Lord because of us gives up his Mother when He says, “Who are my mother, or who are my brothers? (Matt. Xii. 48) Why would you prefer them to your Master? But the Lord commands neither to misunderstand nature nor to be a slave to it: simply to condescend to nature while venerating its Author, and without failing God for the sake of the parents. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

iii. Who are Rejected from this Marriage Feast of the Lamb & Celebration of Entering His Kingdom and/or the ‘lower terrestrial domains’ for those Saved?

 

“… we do not reject the opinion followed by many, in the thought of which three kinds of people are excluded from the society of this great feast : Gentiles, Jews, heretics. This is why the Apostle tells us to flee from greed (Rom., I, 29), lest they be hindered, in the manner of the Gentiles, by injustice, malice, impurity, avarice we can not reach the Kingdom of Christ: for “every miser, every unclean person – he is a slave to idols – can not be heir to the kingdom of Christ and to God” (Ephesians 5: 5) …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

 

 

 

4) Hope for the Wicked?

 

One Last Chance on Judgment Day to attain Basic Salvation probably into the ‘lower terrestrial domains’ (or ‘Outer Darkness’) Regions?

 

to quote from above too:

 

“… He made good and bad come in, to make the good grow, to change the dispositions of the wicked well, to realize what was read today: “Then wolves and lambs will have common pasture” (Is., LXV, 25 ). He invites the poor, the infirm, the blind: which shows us that bodily infirmity excludes no one from the Kingdom, and that sins are rarer when there is no invitation to sin; or that the infirmity of sins is forgiven by the mercy of the Lord, so that being redeemed from his fault not by works, but by faith, if one glorifies oneself it will be in the Lord (Rom. IX, 32, I Cor., 1,31). …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

Focus Phrase Proving our Claim:

 

” … He made good and bad come in, to make the good grow, to change the dispositions of the wicked well …” where the phrase “change the dispositions of the wicked well” may mean Repentance and Chance to attain to Faith on His Second Coming as Blessed St. Ambrose continues, “… that the infirmity of sins is forgiven by the mercy of the Lord, so that being redeemed from his fault not by works, but by faith, …”.

 

This “Repentance Hope’ for ‘Basic Salvation Hope’ (not without Judgment first of course) is similarly echoed in both Blessed Ambrosiaster as well as the Book of Enoch too, to quote (again) for comparison:

 

” … QUESTION 126. FROM THE ONE WHO RECEIVED THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST. … In fact, the knowledge of God must inspire the fear of the just judge, in whose court he teaches us that the faithful will receive the reward of their righteousness, and the ungodly, that is to say the unbelievers, the just punishment of their infidelity. It is of all justice, indeed, that the good ones be filled with joy in the future life in which Jesus Christ must reign with his chosen ones. They have been exposed to scorn, outrages in this world where the devil reigns, they will appear surrounded by glory in the kingdom of Jesus Christ for which they have borne the contempt of the worldly. SINNERS, on the contrary, who seemed to shine here below a false brilliance, opposing falsehood to truth, have to wait for tribulation and an imaginary glory to succeed for them a contempt, a humiliation too real. The righteous will rejoice in having believed, when they witness the chastisements of the unbelieving, and THE UNFAITHFUL WILL REPENT of THEIR UNBELIEF ONLY when THEY SEE BOTH THEIR OWN CHASTISEMENT and the glory of those WHOSE FAITH THEY HAD REGARDED as an ACT of MADNESS, which was only worthy of their contempt. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic

 

Focus Phrases Proving our Claim:

 

“… SINNERS, on the contrary, who seemed to shine here below a false brilliance, opposing falsehood to truth, have to wait for tribulation and an imaginary glory to succeed for them a contempt, a humiliation too real. … and THE UNFAITHFUL WILL REPENT of THEIR UNBELIEF ONLY when THEY SEE BOTH THEIR OWN CHASTISEMENT and the glory of those WHOSE FAITH THEY HAD REGARDED as an ACT of MADNESS, which was only worthy of their contempt. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

Since these “sinners” or the “unfaithful” who “repent of their unbelief” on this Judgment Day (according to Blessed Ambrosiaster above) are said to have been those who regarded the Faith of True-Christians as “Madness”, thus these must refer to the ‘Sinners’ (Good non-Christians) and/or ‘Wicked only’ being ‘unbelievers’ who must first endure their Judgment/Chastisement first accordingly (Luke 12:46 – 48) making our definition earlier accurate in Blessed Ambrosiaster’s own words in this ‘Judgment Day Context’.

 

This agrees not only to the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ visions alone but others too such as the Apocalypse of Elijah, Apocalypse of Zephaniah, the Christian-Jewish Sibyline Oracles, the Epistle of the Apostles, St. Julian of Norwich’s Visions & even the Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh as it was Discussed in Previous essays and the Book of Enoch too, to quote as edification:

 

Note: Such a final chance given by God is uttered Mysteriously in the Prophecy of the Book of Enoch too where such may be ‘Saved with no honour’ (hence not referring to the Christian Salvation or ‘the Elect’ in Verse below) and by His Great Name ( Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Matthew 12:21) on Judgment Day either toward those in the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) or prior or both, to quote:

 

“1 And in those days a change shall take place for the holy and elect, And the light of days shall abide upon them, And glory and honour shall turn to the holy, 2 On the day of affliction on which evil shall have been treasured up against the sinners.And the righteous shall be victorious in the name of the Lord of Spirits: And He will cause the others to witness (this) That they may repent And forgo the works of their hands. 3 They shall have no honour through the name of the Lord of Spirits, Yet through His name shall they be saved [Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Matthew 12:21], And the Lord of Spirits will have compassion on them, For His compassion is great. 4 And He is righteous also in His judgement, And in the presence of His glory unrighteousness also shall not maintain itself: At His judgement the unrepentant shall perish before Him. 5 And from henceforth I will have no mercy on them, saith the Lord of Spirits.” (Book of Enoch, Chapter 50)

 

Translation Source: http://wesley.nnu.edu/index.php?id=2126

 

Focus Phrase: “… And He will cause the others [the sinners and/or Wicked] to witness (this) That they may repent And forgo the works of their hands. 3 They shall have NO HONOUR through the NAME of the LORD of SPIRITS, Yet THROUGH HIS NAME [John 14:6] SHALL THEY BE SAVED [Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Matthew 12:21], And the Lord of Spirits will have compassion on them …” – Book of Enoch.

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disciples of Christ in the three Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience – How to Renounce All without Selling All?

 

Let’s Consider Bible Verses and First Christianity Doctrinal Quotes in Points below for further accurate Knowledge & Practice:

 

1) Is Renouncing “All” (not some) a must for all Christians?

Yes:

 

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” – The Selfless One Who gave up all the Heavens for us, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33, NASB)

 

2) What’s the Difference between ‘Renouncing All’ vs ‘Selling All’?

 

“… But there is a difference between renouncing all things and leaving all things. For it is the way of few perfect men to leave all things, that is, to cast behind them the cares of the world, but it is the part of all the faithful to renounce all things, that is, so to hold the things of’ the world as by them not to be held in the world. …” – St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14

 

 

3) What does ‘Renouncing All’ mean then?

“… The Apostle resolves this difficulty in this few words: “Let those who have the goods of this world be as if they did not have them, those who use things of this world as if they did not use them, and those who buy as if they did not possess.” (1 Cor. 7:30) So whoever has the goods of the earth as if he did not have them, actually seems to have abandoned them. He does not seek to avail himself of them, nor to glorify them: his whole exterior is as humble and modest as his soul, he understands that he is only the steward and the dispenser of his goods; is it not leaving all that we have? for we leave what we no longer desire, and which ceases to be agreeable. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

Source [QUESTION 27. THE SAVIOR SAYS, “IF ANYONE DOES NOT LEAVE ALL THAT HE HAS, THAT IS, HIS HOUSE, HIS FIELDS, AND THE REST, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.” NOW, EVANGELIST SAYS IN ANOTHER PLACE, “HERE IS A SENATOR NAMED JOSEPH, A RICH MAN, WHO WAS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS AND WAS WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, APPROACHED PILATE, ETC.” (MARK 15, LUKE 23) HOW DOES THE EVANGELIST PRESENT AS A DISCIPLE THE ONE WHOM THE SAVIOR REJECTS? BESIDES, ZACCHAEUS WAS ALSO RICH, AS WELL AS CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, AND THE WOMEN WHO ASSISTED HIM WITH THEIR PROPERTY]:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrosiaster-questions-and-answers-on-the-gospel-of-luke

 

 

4) Christian Monasticism

Definition:

” … Christian monasticism has varied greatly in its external forms, but, broadly speaking, it has two main types (a) the eremitical or secluded, (b) the cenobitical or city life. St. Anthony the Abbot may be called the founder of the first and St. Pachomius of the second.[7] The monastic life is based on Jesus’s amen to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This ideal, also called the state of perfection, can be seen, for example, in the Philokalia, a book of monastic writings. Their manner of self-renunciation has three elements corresponding to the three evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience. …”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_monasticism

Conclusion – Christian Monasticism for All Believers

 

  1. Mandatory or Choice?

 

Is ‘Christian Monasticism’ Biblical and a must for every believer?

 

The ‘Perfection part of Selling All you have or close to that Levels’ is NOT a must for every Christians as the authoritative First Christianity commentators and Christ’s Most Blessed Words (in Matthew 19:21, 27 – 30) implies it as ‘a choice’ but the ‘Renouncing All our possessions’ in some way is a must for every Disciple of Christ (Luke 14:33). Thus this Biblical Truth must be taught as a doctrine in all true churches of Christ obedient to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) because without it ‘one cannot become a Disciple of Christ’ as the Lord Himself Said (in Luke 14:33).

 

So, to some degree, each Christian must participate in a Christian Monasticism lifestyle regarding the ‘Renouncing All’ aspect in some way ‘according to the measure of faith given as God’s Gift to him’ (Romans 12:3).

 

 

  1. Monk

 

 

Does it mean that we must all be Christian Monks?

 

No, as both lifestyles are endorsed in Holy Scripture by Christ’s Own Most Inspiring Words, in Verses below:

 

“31“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32“They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ 33“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35“Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” – Our Inspiration, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 7:31 – 35, NASB)

where

 

  1. Some Christians ‘Renounce All’ by Owning no Possessions and Keeping away from even the non-sin pleasures of this life in Continence

 

“… For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine …” – Lord Jesus Christ

 

 

  1. Others may eat and drink moderately without the need of any Perfect Abstinence

 

 

“… The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard … Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children …” – Lord Jesus Christ

 

 

  1. Renouncing All Possessions without Selling them by Putting it to Common Use or Sharing with others

 

Bible Verses:

 

“44And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” (Acts of the Apostles 2:44 – 45, NASB)

 

Comment: This Christian Ideal was Practiced accurately especially in ‘Cenobitic monasticism’ [Communal Monasticism], to quote:

 

“… Cenobitic monks were also different from their eremitic predecessors and counterparts in their actual living arrangements. Whereas the eremitic monks (“hermits”) lived alone in a monastery consisting of merely a hut or cave (“cell”), the cenobitic monks (“cenobites”) lived together in monasteries comprising one or a complex of several buildings. In the latter case, each dwelling would house about twenty monks, and within the house there were separate rooms or cells that would be inhabited by two or three monks.[7] This structure of living for the cenobitic monks has been attributed to the same man that is usually hailed as the “father of cenobitic monasticism,” St. Pachomius. Pachomius is thought to have got the idea for living quarters like these from the time he spent in the Roman army, as the style is very “reminiscent of army barracks.” Though Pachomius is often credited as the “father of cenobitic monasticism,” it is more accurate to think of him as the “father of organized cenobitic monasticism”, as he was the first monk to take smaller communal groups that often already existed and bring them together into a larger federation of monasteries. …”

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenobitic_monasticism

 

Can we see how Biblical and Wise these early Church Leaders really are?

 

“… — (Acts 2:42) And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, etc. As those who had converted continued devoutly in the doctrine that they had embraced, and as the apostles frequently performed great miracles, the fear of the Lord and the number of the faithful people increased daily. There was great concord among the believers, such that everyone would sell their own possessions and a brother would unfailingly be provided with whatever he stood in need of. Great also was their devotion to meeting in the temple. They would, too, take their food in simplicity of heart and with thanksgiving. That is why the Lord, favorably inclined towards them, always increased their number. Once, when Peter and John went up to the temple for prayer, they took the hand of a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb and made him walk with firm steps. The people, seeing this, were filled with inexpressible wonder, and their eagerness to see more grew greater and greater, with vehement devotion. …” – Blessed Cassiodorus, Roman statesman, renowned scholar of antiquity, and writer serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, Founder of a Monastery where he spent the last years of his life (c. 485 AD – c. 585 AD)

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/acts-of-the-apostles/cassiodorus-complexiones-on-the-acts-of-the-apostles

 

Likewise, one may practice a lighter version of it by inviting others (apart from your own family members which is mandatory, 1 Timothy 5:8) to live or share your house or money as a way to ‘Renounce all possessions’ which we own as per His Command of True Discipleship in Luke 14:33.

 

Comment: The Requirement for a Church of Christ to be ‘One Heart and One Soul’ is to ‘Share all their Possessions calling none their own’ as the “Bible Verse” (not opinion – please take note carefully) below describes agreeing with the ‘Renouncing All Possessions Doctrinal Requirement in all True Churches of Christ for Disciple-Ship Mandate’ Agrees as Required in the ‘Great Commission Mandate thus’ (Luke 14:33, Matthew 28:19):

 

“And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” (Acts of the Apostles 4:32, NASB)

Do any such Great Churches Exist today Practicing these to obtain the Highest Incomparable Rewards in His Coming Kingdom?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The Three Evangelical Counsels Mystery – Obedience, Poverty and Chastity

 

  1. Obedience

“17And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 20The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. 23And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:17, 20 – 23, NASB)

“… Our Lord next declares, that THOUGH A MAN HAS KEPT the OLD COVENANT, he is NOT PERFECT, since he lacks to follow Christ. You yet lack one thing, SELL ALL that you have, &c [Matthew 19:20 – 21]. As if He says, you ask how to possess eternal life; SCATTER YOUR GOOD AMONG THE POOR [Luke 12:33], and you shall obtain it. A LITTLE THING is that you SPEND, you RECEIVE GREAT THINGS….” – Blessed Titus, Bishop of Bostra whom St. Jerome of the Vulgate himself names Titus among writers whose secular erudition is as marvellous as their knowledge of Scripture; (died c. 378 AD)

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/catena-aurea-on-luke/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-5/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18

 

or

“… And as to the argument of those who say, in turn, that virtue is the image — there can be no virtue without the observance of the commandments, but many people differ from each other in virtue. For there are many kinds of virtue. I myself know some who are confessors, who have given their bodies and souls for their Master in the confession of him; who have persevered in purity and held the truest faith; who are outstanding in godliness, kindliness and piety and have persevered in fasting, and in every kind of goodness and the marks of virtue. (4) But they happen to have some failing — < they are > abusive, swear by God’s name, are story- tellers or irritable, lead a life < covetous* > of gold, silver and the rest — all things which lessen the measure of virtue. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘AUDLANS ‘ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 5.3 – 5.4, Pages 416 – 417)

Source: https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

  1. Poverty

 

Bible Verses for the ‘Voluntary Poverty’ Doctrine:

 

“30and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.” – The Self Sacrificing St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 7:30 – 31, NASB)

 

Lord Jesus Christ Himself states that when ‘these things (the riches of this world) are added to you (Christians)’, we ought to ‘sell them and give to the poor/charity’ as His Art of Perfection means in Holy Scripture, to quote:

 

“But SEEK HIS KINGDOM, and THESE THINGS will be ADDED to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS and GIVE TO CHARITY; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Selfless One Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:31 – 34, NASB)

 

This Lifestyle of Working to Earn and then Giving it to support the poor & others with you (beyond the basic ‘family members’) is Practiced by Apostle Paul himself too, to quote:

 

” 32“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35“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.’” – The Holy and Noble Blessed St. Paul the Apostle of Christ (Acts of the Apostles 20:32 – 35, NASB)

 

or

 

“… For if the enjoyment and inheritance of the kingdom of heaven are [only] the soul’s, let the body have what it wants! Gideon and his men may live at ease and not be afflicted “in sheepskins and goatskins.” [Hebrews 11:37] 297 John, with his garment of camel’s hair, need not labor in vain. Nor need we mortify the flesh in holy retirement, master our bodies through purity. (8) But if the body is the soul’s partner in its disciplines, purity, fasting and other virtues, “God is not” [so] “unrighteous” 298 [as] to deprive the laborer of the fruit of his labor, and award no recompense to the body which has labored with the soul. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘ORIGEN’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 71.7 – 71.8, Page 211)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

Please take note that your reward level in His Kingdom is based on ‘how much you give out from your own hard earnings’ (counted in percentage & not in amount, which makes it even harder), to quote:

 

“… Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, ( Matthew 13:18 ) says He; and He speaks what we before mentioned, of carelessness and attention, of cowardice and fortitude, of wealth and VOLUNTARY POVERTY; pointing out the hurt from the one, and the benefit from the other. Then of virtue also He brings forward different forms. For being full of love to man, He marked out not one only way, nor did He say, unless one bring forth an hundred, he is an outcast; but he that brings forth sixty is saved also, and not he only, but also the producer of thirty. And this He said, making out salvation to be easy. 3. And thou then, are you unable to practise VIRGINITY? Be chaste in marriage. Are you unable to strip yourself of your possessions? Give of your substance. Can you not bear that burden? Share your goods with Christ. Are you unwilling to yield Him up ALL? Give Him but the half, but the third part. He is your brother, and joint-heir, make Him joint-heir with you here too. Whatsoever you give Him, you will give to yourself…” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘St. John Chrysostom on Matthew‎’, Point 2)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

 

iii. Chastity

 

The Basic Idea is that the ‘Secrets of the Kingdom’ is not given to everyone (and hence it is not written in the Bible, Matthew 13:11) regarding the Meaning of the ‘Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold’ Mystery (Context: Matthew 13:8 first) where it makes a difference of the Final abode in the ‘New Jerusalem City, Paradise or Heavens’ respectively according to whether one Sacrifices for Christ to Live a Holy Marriage, a Holy Widowhood or a Holy Unmarried Life Respectively (agreeing to 1 Corinthians 7:38 too) as First Christianity’s Best Saints have said that this Truth Comes from the Most Blessed Saviour Himself taught through His Apostles and their direct Presbyters, for example:

 

“… Now any one may object to this interpretation, and may give another which harmonizes with the rule of faith. For as the ark was to have rooms not only on the lower, but also on the upper storeys, which were called ” third storeys,” that there might be a habitable space on the third floor from the basement, some one may interpret these to mean the three graces commended by the apostle, — ^faith, hope, and charity. Or even more suitably they may be supposed to represent those three harvests in the gospel, thirtyfold, sixtyfold, an hundredfold, — chaste marriage dwelling in the ground floor, chaste widowhood in the upper, and chaste virginity in the top storey. Or any better interpretation may be given, so long as the reference to this city is maintained…” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD, Book XV, ‘City of God’, Page 99)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp/cityofgodvolumet009439mbp_djvu.txt

 

Can non-Virgins Participate in these Contests of Chastity?

 

Yes, as a “Second Dignity” if they repent now:

Repentance to Return to these Most Noble Races of Faith is still available now (even as a “Second Dignity” toward Repentance of Great Sins committed after Baptism):

 

“… The holy word and God’s holy church always accept repentance, though not to weaken those who are finishing their course, or to make them lax; still, she does not block God’s grace and lovingkindness, but knows the nature of every case. (7) For as one who has lost his virginity cannot < recover > it physically since nature does not permit this, so it is with one who has fallen into major sins after baptism. (8) And as one who has fallen from virginity has continence for a second dignity, so he who has fallen into major sin after baptism has < reform > for a second healing — not as virtuous as the first, but he has the second healing he has received, one not thrust out from life. God’s word, then, does not deny the reward of those who labor in penance …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘CATHARI’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Points 2.6 – 2.8, Pages 105 – 106)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

Note: Neither Blessed St. Augustine nor Blessed St. Jerome were virgins either and furthermore, St. Jerome says this Bold Declaration in that as a Repentant non-Virgin, he stands a chance to attain even the highest HUNDREDFOLD rewards too, to quote:

 

“… My seed shall produce fruit a hundredfold – the reward of virginity is hundredfold; of widowhood, sixtyfold, and of married life, thirtyfold. “All cannot receive the Word of God but only they to whom it is given” (Mt 19:11). Let others be eunuchs of necessity, but I [am chaste] of my own will. … Let them sew robes who have previously lost the unsown robe…” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Quotes on Marriage & Viginity’)

 

Source:  https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/n093_Virginity.htm

 

This Aspect is Discussed in great detail in the free ebook below:

 

(i) Direct Link:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dpitw0fv7h5rfvi/First-Christianity-Thirty-Sixty-and-Hundred-fold-Fruit-Mystery-book-by-Jonathan-Ramachandran.pdf?dl=1

 

Or

 

(ii) Google Play Download Link:

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=9lnIDwAAQBAJ

 

 

5) Repentance

 

Can we Repent after we die and then be re-admitted into such Great Prizes and Contests of His Kingdom?

 

No, to quote:

 

“… For in the world [AGE/AEON] to come, after a man’s departure, there is no opportunity to fast, no call to repentance, no giving of alms. There are no blameworthy deeds either — no war, adultery, licentiousness — but neither is there righteousness and repentance. (2) As the seed cannot thicken or be blasted by the wind after the reaping of the ear, so < after a man’s death there can be no increase of his store* > and nothing else of benefit to him. (3) But don’t tell me about the things that spoil the store, that is, the worms and moths. Scripture does say this of things in eternity; but the point of comparison, and what we lock away behind gates and store safely in a barn, is a symbol and type of faith, [which is kept] “where neither thieves break through nor moths corrupt,” 43 as God’s word says. Thus < there is no decrease of our store* > after death, but neither, certainly, is there opportunity for godliness, nor, as I said, < call > to repentance. (4) For Lazarus does not go to the rich man in the next world, nor does the rich man go to Lazarus. Nor does Abraham inconvenience the poor man who has since become rich, and send him [to the rich man]. And the rich man who has become poor does not obtain his request, though he

begs and pleads with the merciful Abraham. (5) The storehouses had been sealed, the time was up, the contest finished, the ring emptied, the prizes awarded, and the contestants at ease. Those who have failed have left, those who did not fight have no more chance, those who were worsted in the ring have been ejected. All is plainly over after our departure. 10,6 But while all are in the world there is arising even after a fall, there is still hope, still a remedy, still confession — even if not for everyone, still < by those who are repenting for the second time* >. And surely < even > the salvation of the others is not ruled out. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘CATHARI’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 10.1 – 10.6, Pages 112 – 113)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

 

6) Summary

 

Was the ‘Renunciation of All Possessions’ (Luke 14:33) even in the context of the three evangelicals of “Poverty, Chastity and Obedience” Contests of Faith as we have discussed a Doctrine of all the Churches from Ancient Times?

 

Yes, to quote:

 

“… The CHURCH too BELIEVES in RENUNCIATION, but it does not consider marriage unclean, it also BELIEVES in VOLUNTARY POVERTY, but it does not look down on those who are in righteous possession of property, and have inherited enough from their parents to suffice for themselves and the needy. (2) Many [Christians] have enough to eat, but they are not contemptuous of those who do not. “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not, and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth. For to the Lord he eateth and drinketh, and to the Lord he eateth and drinketh not.” 7 (3) And you see that there is one harmony, ONE HOPE in the CHURCH and ONE FAITH, granted each in accordance with HIS ABILITY and HIS OWN LABORIOUS STRUGGLE. 3,4 God’s holy church is like a ship. However, a ship is not made of one kind of wood, but of different kinds. Its keel is made of one kind of wood, though not all in one piece, and its anchors < of > another. Its beams, planks and ribs, its frame-timbers, the stern, sides and cross-rods, the mast and the steering paddles, the seats and the oar-handles, the tillers and all the rest, are an assemblage of different kinds of wood. (5) But since each is made of only one kind of wood, none of these sects exhibits the character of the church. God’s holy church holds marriage sacred and honors married persons, for “Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled.” 8 (6) < But > IT REGARDS CONTINENCE as the MOST ADMIRABLE, and COMMENDS IT because it is engaged in the CONTEST and has DESPISED the WORLD, as being still MORE POWERFUL [than the world]. And the CHURCH BELIEVES in VIRGINITY and accords it the HIGHEST HONOR, because it is a thing of virtue and is fitted with the lightest wing. (7) The CHURCH has members who have RENOUNCED the WORLD and yet are not contemptuous of those who are still in the world; they rejoice in the VERY GREAT PIETY of such persons, as did the APOSTLES who OWNED NOTHING themselves, < and yet did not look down on the others* >. (8) And the SAVIOR HIMSELF OWNED NO EARTHLY POSSESSIONS when he came in the flesh, though he was Lord of all — and yet HE did NOT REJECT the women who ASSISTED his disciples and himself. The Gospel says, “women which followed him from Galilee, ministering unto him of their substance.” 9 4,1 [If no one may own property], what is the point of “Hither to my right hand, ye blessed, for whom my heavenly Father hath prepared the kingdom before the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was naked, and ye clothed me?” 10 (2) How could they do these things except with [the fruits of] their honest labor, and their righteously acquired possessions? 4,3 And if these people < who > have MADE THEIR OWN RENUNCIATION and live like the apostles would mix with the rest [of us], their ways would NOT seem strange, or foreign to GOD”S ORDINANCE. (4) And if they RENOUNCED WIVES for the SAKE of CONTINENCE THEIR CHOICE would be PRAISEWORTHY, provided that they did not call marriage unclean, and provided that they treated the < still > married as comrades, KNOWING the LIMITATION and the RANK of EACH. 4,5 For God’s ship takes any passenger except a bandit. If it finds that someone is a robber and bandit it does not take him on board — or one who is a fugitive and in rebellion against his owners. (6) Thus God’s holy church does not accept fornication, adultery, the denial of God, and those who defy the authority of God’s ordinance and his apostles. (7) But it takes the man on important business, the experienced seaman — the pilot and < helmsman* >, the bow lookout, the man in the stern (the one most used to command), the one who knows something of cargo and lading — and someone who simply wants to cross the ocean without drowning. (8) And there is no question of the ship’s not providing safety for someone who does not have a particular amount of property; it knows how to save all, and each in his own profession. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘APOSTOLICS’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 3.1 – 4.8, Pages 117 – 119)

 

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

As Blessed St. Epiphanius says above, our choice in these Contests of Faith without despising or looking down on others is most vital for a Successful Completion of these Races of Faith, to quote again from the above for edification:

 

“… The CHURCH too BELIEVES in RENUNCIATION, but it does not consider marriage unclean, it also BELIEVES in VOLUNTARY POVERTY, … ONE HOPE in the CHURCH and ONE FAITH, granted each in accordance with HIS ABILITY and HIS OWN LABORIOUS STRUGGLE. … IT REGARDS CONTINENCE as the MOST ADMIRABLE, and COMMENDS IT because it is engaged in the CONTEST and has DESPISED the WORLD, as being still MORE POWERFUL [than the world]. And the CHURCH BELIEVES in VIRGINITY and accords it the HIGHEST HONOR, because it is a thing of virtue and is fitted with the lightest wing. (7) The CHURCH has members who have RENOUNCED the WORLD and yet are not contemptuous of those who are still in the world; they rejoice in the VERY GREAT PIETY of such persons, as did the APOSTLES who OWNED NOTHING themselves, < and yet did not look down on the others* >. (8) And the SAVIOR HIMSELF OWNED NO EARTHLY POSSESSIONS when he came in the flesh, though he was Lord of all — and yet HE did NOT REJECT the women who ASSISTED his disciples and himself. … And if these people < who > have MADE THEIR OWN RENUNCIATION and live like the apostles would mix with the rest [of us], their ways would NOT seem strange, or foreign to GOD”S ORDINANCE. (4) And if they RENOUNCED WIVES for the SAKE of CONTINENCE THEIR CHOICE would be PRAISEWORTHY, provided that they did not call marriage unclean, and provided that they treated the < still > married as comrades, KNOWING the LIMITATION and the RANK of EACH. 4,5 For God’s ship takes any passenger except a bandit. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dubious Faith

 

What is a type of “Dubious Faith”?

 

Blessed Ambrosiaster explains what are the traits of a “Dubious Faith” (his wording, not mine) below, to quote:

 

 

“… Oh! that their WEAKNESS is GREAT! and that because they are CHRISTIANS of DUBIOUS FAITH. They doubt divine promises, and do not think of the facts that have been accomplished. If they considered all that the prophets and apostles had done, they would add no faith to the fables of astrologers. They would know that everything is subject to the power of God, and they will not fail at the misfortunes that come to the righteous, remembering that they will receive their reward in the last judgment, in the testimony of the Apostle: by many tribulations, he tells us, that we must enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Acts 14:21) What do Christians hope for by listening to astrologers when they hear the apostle Saint John say to them and shout to them: “Do not love this world or what is in this world?” (1 Jn. 2:15) If, then, our faith and Christian law makes us an obligation to love neither the world nor what is in the world, why do we see some of us saddened? and to complain of the temporal prosperity of others, a prosperity which in the eyes of God is perhaps a great misfortune? Should not they rather rejoice that the world has not chained them in bonds that would keep them enslaved to the things of the earth? This bliss which produces in the soul, I know not what security, makes it completely indifferent to divine things. Yes, negligence for the divine oracles is the necessary consequence of the abundance of the goods of the earth, because one then seems to have no more reason for attentiveness. Or rather, the rich of the century are worked by other worries, it is to increase their fortune in this world and to rise even higher, which cannot be done without sin. If we examine things more closely, we shall see that the world is rather the enemy of those whom it seems to make happy. Indeed, there is hardly one among them who thinks of the goods of heaven. Christians must therefore rejoice when, despite an irreproachable life, they are unhappy in this world. He who truly triumphs over the world, who is content with all that happens to him below, never ceases to thank God for it; if he does not have all he can desire of the goods of the earth, he hopes that God reserves for him the goods of heaven. Why in fact did God establish the last judgment? It is to eternally reward those who have been unjustly oppressed for a time, and to lower and punish those who, by the abuse of their power, professed only contempt, even disbelief for the judgment of God, and hoped that their crimes would go unpunished. But the supporters of destiny deny future judgment. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source (QUESTION 115. CONCERNING DESTINY.):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic

So, let us strive to keep our Faith in accordance to Bible Verses and First Christianity Quotes of It and not modern ‘love of money heresies’.

 

Here are some further edifying First Christianity comments:

 

“… Love not the world. Use the world for what is necessary, but do not love it for excess. And make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences (Rom. 13.14). Love not the world. One heart cannot take two loves that are opponents between themselves. Having taken root in charity, do not build anything upon this root, except what is in agreement with charity, because you cannot serve two lords. As the love of God is the source of all virtues, so the love of the world is the source of all vices. Whence it follows, for all that is in the world. All that is in the world. All lovers of the world have nothing but these three things, in which all kinds of vices are included. The concupiscence of the flesh is the longing for all things that pertain to pleasures and delights of the body, like food, drink, sexual intercourse, and things of the kind. *The concupiscence of the eyes is all curiosity that is in learning magical arts, in watching spectacles, in acquiring unnecessary temporal things, in discerning and criticizing the vices of your neighbours. The pride of life is when someone boasts about their honors and seeks to obtain great numbers of slaves. Through these three things was Adam overcome: because he desired a forbidden food, he wanted to know good and evil, and he wanted to be like God. These three things Christ has overcome: because he did not fall in love with the bread of the body. He did not descend from the pinnacle of the temple because it would be like tempting the strength of God. He didn’t want to be elevated above the realms of the world. Concupiscence. This concupiscence and pride is not of the Father the battle of vices is not of God, the Father and Creator, but of the love of the world which we prefer to God. God made men right, they themselves mixed themselves with endless questions. God is not a tempter of evils, but each man is tempted by his own concupiscence. …” – Blessed St. Bede the Venerable, English Monk & Doctor of the Church (c. 673 AD – c. 735 AD, ‘Bede Expo. On 1 John’)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/1-john/glossa-ordinaria-on-1-john

 

or

 

“…God does not will to hinder temptations from attacking us, to the end that by resistance our charity may be more exercised, that by fighting we may gain the victory, and by victory obtain the triumph. But for us to have any kind of inclination to delight ourselves in the temptation—this rises from the condition of our nature, which so earnestly loves good that it is subject to be enticed by anything that has a show of good, and temptation’s hook is ever baited with this kind of bait: for, as holy Writ teaches, there is either some good honourable in the world’s sight to move us to the pride of a worldly life, or a good delightful to sense to carry us to concupiscence of the flesh, or a good tending towards wealth, to incite us to the concupiscence and avarice of the eyes.190 But if we kept our faith, which can discern between the true good we are to pursue and the false which we are to reject, sharply attentive to its office, without doubt it would be a trusty sentinel to charity, and would give intelligence of that evil which approaches the heart under pretext of good, and charity would immediately repulse it. …” – Blessed St. Francis de Sales,”the Gentleman Saint”, Doctor of the Church (c. 1567 AD – c. 1622 AD)

 

Source: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/desales/love.v.iii.html#v.iii-p4.2

 

or

 

“… Vers. 12-14. He then indicates the stages of advancement and progress of souls that are still located in the flesh; and calls those whose sins have been forgiven, for the Lord’s name’s sake, little children, for many believe in account of the name only. He styles fathers the perfect, who have known what was from the beginning, and received with understanding—the Son, that is, of whom he said above, that which was from the beginning. I write, says he, to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. Young man strong in despising pleasures. The wicked one points out the eminence of the devil. The children, moreover, know the Father; having fled from idols and gathered together to the one God. Ver. 15. For the world, he says, is in the wicked one. Is not the world, and all that is in the world, called God’s creation and very good? Yes. But, Ver. 16. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the ambition of the world, which arise from the perversion of life, are not of the Father, but of the world, and of you. Ver. 17. Therefore also the world shall pass away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God and His commandments abides for ever. Ver. 19. They went out from us; but they were not of us— neither the apostate angels, nor men falling away—but that they may be manifested that they are not of us. With sufficient clearness he distinguishes the class of the elect and that of the lost, and that which remaining in faith has an unction from the Holy One, which comes through faith. He that abides not in faith. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/1-john/clement-of-alexandria-on-1-john

 

or

 

” … “Love not the World, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. . . They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” [1 John 2:15 and 4:5.] “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. . . If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the Servant is not greater than the Lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” [John 18:15, 19, and 20.] …” – Blessed St. Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons, a high-born and high-ranking ecclesiastic in the Christian Church of Gaul who is remembered for his letters advocating extreme self-abnegation. Henry Wace ranked him “except perhaps St. Irenaeus the most distinguished occupant of that see [in Lyons]” (c. 380 AD – c. 449 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/eucherius/contempt.ii.ii.html?scrBook=1John&scrCh=2&scrV=15#ii.ii-p2.1

or

 

“… The bridegroom is Christ, the reason being that he was promised by the Father from the beginning; in the psalm: and he himself is like a bridegroom proceeding from the bridal chamber. [Ps. 18(19):6(5)] … The bride is the church, which is promised to the divine bridegroom; in the song of songs: I came from Lebanon, my bride, I came from Lebanon. [Cant. 4:8] … The neighbors are those who are close in faith; in Solomon: come, eat, drink, and be merry, neighbors. [Cant. 5:1] … The hired servants are those who serve the Lord not so much from divine love as for temporal rewards; in the gospel: how many hired servants at my father’s have abundant bread! [Luke 15:17] … The rich man is faithful, abounding in spiritual good; in the apostle: because you have been made rich in all knowledge and in all words. And in a bad part of the gospel: woe to you who are rich! [I Cor. 1:5; Luke 6:24] … The poor man is humble; in the gospel: and Lazarus was a beggar. The same: blessed are the poor in spirit. And in a bad part of the psalm: because we have become very much like beggars. [Luke 16:20; Matt. 5:3; Ps. 78(79):8] … ” – Blessed St. Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons, a high-born and high-ranking ecclesiastic in the Christian Church of Gaul who is remembered for his letters advocating extreme self-abnegation. Henry Wace ranked him “except perhaps St. Irenaeus the most distinguished occupant of that see [in Lyons]” (c. 380 AD – c. 449 AD)

 

Source: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/eucherius/formulae.vii.html#vii-p19.1

 

Special Focus phrase from St. Eucherius below implies that ‘temporal rewards’ (i.e. primarily meaning getting ‘rich or blessed materialistically on earth’) may be an indicator of a ‘hired servant’, to quote (again):

 

“… The hired servants are those who serve the Lord not so much from divine love as for temporal rewards; in the gospel: how many hired servants at my father’s have abundant bread! [Luke 15:17] …” – Blessed St. Eucherius

 

or

 

“… Pour out what you have, that you may receive what you have not. … I say then, all lovers of the world are called the world. The same have only these three things, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, vain glory of life. For they lust to eat, drink, cohabit: to use these pleasures. Not surely, that there is no allowed measure in these things, or that when it is said, Love not these things, it means that you are not to eat, or not to drink, or not to beget children? This is not the thing said. Only, let there be measure, because of the Creator, that these things may not bind you by your loving of them: lest you love that for enjoyment, which you ought to have for use. But you are not put to the proof except when two things are propounded to you, this or that: Will you righteousness or gains? I have not wherewithal to live, have not wherewithal to eat, have not wherewithal to drink. But what if you can not have these but by iniquity? Is it not better to love that which you lose not, than to lose yourself by iniquity? You see the gain of gold, the loss of faith you see not. …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/1-john/st-augustine-on-1-john/st-augustine-on-1-john-2

 

Focus from St. Augustine’s interesting quote above:

“… Pour out what you have, that you may receive what you have not. … You see the gain of gold, the loss of faith you see not. …” – Blessed St. Augustine

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voluntary Poverty – a Doctrine by Lord Jesus Christ

 

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the Biblical Doctrine of Voluntary Poverty:

 

1) Claim: King David was rich

 

The Rules for the New and Old Testament Races of Faith are significantly different ever since the Advent of Christ. We also see that Blessed Patriarch David does not eat pork.

 

A common fallacy is to quote ‘what was allowed in the Old Covenant’ and use it ‘in the New Covenant’ without realizing that this holds to be doctrinally true if and only if no New Testament Verses Speak against it. In the case of ‘being rich’, there are plenty of New Testament Verses Speaking ‘against It’ and/or ‘Limiting It’, making such a pursuit unbiblical if not restrained.

 

We will discuss these “Verses” (not opinions of early church leaders only) next.

 

As an analogy please consider ‘polygamy’ (marrying more than one wife) which was allowed and practiced by Blessed Patriarch David too but only monogamy is allowed in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 7:2) except in cases where a person has already married more than one wife before he believed in Christ where he is to remain in that state not transgressing more (1 Corinthians 7:20) as ‘no one can trick God’ (He Knows).

 

It is also only Revealed in the New Testament that though ‘Marrying is good’, being ‘unmarried’ or ‘not marrying is even more better’ spiritually (1 Corinthians 7:38) as you will spend more time (of your life sacrificed) for God instead (1 Corinthians 7:32) as the apostles themselves did by renouncing their own wives to have sexual relations no more and only taking them along as ‘sister-wives’ ( ‘adelphaen gynaika ‘ literally in Greek, in 1 Corinthian 9:5) as explained even in detail in the scholarly post below:

 

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7052

 

2) Claim: God wants to Give Abundant Life including being Rich with Money (John 10:10)

 

If that’s the case, all the apostles and the earliest Church was not given that lifestyle of luxury and comfort as even the rich among them ‘sold all’ (not some) and put it to common use (Acts 2:44 – 45, Acts 4:32) as a manner of ‘renouncing all of one’s possessions including money’ without which one ‘cannot be a disciple of Christ’ (Luke 14:33). So, they ‘missed the greater abundant life that you speak of’ while ‘God gave it to you’?

Please note that not once even in John 10 Christ Spoke anything related to ‘earning more money’ or ‘having more luxury/possessions in life’ as what He meant in Context in John Chapter 10 itself. So, how can you falsely claim such things without any fear of God because not even in any other place has Christ ever Spoke highly of being rich even once (if you claim otherwise, please show me the Verse and I’m talking about Christ’s Own Quote, none else).

 

Truth is, Lord Jesus Christ Himself Answers in His Own Most Blessed Words that the ‘Abundant Life’ he referred to is ‘Spiritual’ and has NOTHING to do with being RICH with MONEY or POSSESSIONS, to quote:

 

“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” (Luke 12:15, NKJV)

 

Other Verses quoted above:

 

“44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided[p] them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts of the Apostles 2:44 – 45, NKJV)

 

“32Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts of the Apostles 4:32, NKJV)

 

3) Claim: God never said that it’s a Sin to be Rich. Maybe you are jealous that we are rich.

 

It’s certainly not a sin to be rich but it is also certainly a sin to ‘desire to be rich’ (working toward being rich as a ambition), Verse below:

 

“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.” – Blessed and Holy St. Paul the Apostle (.1 Timothy 6:9, NKJV)

 

Christians must just do what they do and if they become rich so be it without hoping or aiming for it as ‘Contentment’ is a Command (Philippians 4:12, 1 Timothy 6:6). However it doesn’t end there because the Bible (through Christ’s Own Most Powerful Words, not mine) call such a one who ‘saved for himself’ (in the context of ‘abundant life of luxury & enjoyment & security’ a “fool”), to quote:

 

“15And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of [c]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” 16Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15 – 21, NKJV)

 

So, the night that rich man dies, he did not get to ‘enjoy the abundant life’ which he was ‘saving up for himself to enjoy’ as he died and that’s the Context of the passage above and Christ Ends by a General Warning that, So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21) implying that there is some loss in our richness toward God (in His Kingdom) according to ‘how much we save for ourselves’.

 

It is true that we (including me) attempt to save some money for emergency and all that but nevertheless there are some of the Perfect Faith who don’t even do that as they “Sell all” and “carry no money at all” in Ministry, Verses:

 

“21Jesus 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.” 27Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28So 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. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother [h]or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:21, 27 – 30, NKJV)

 

4) Claim: There is not Command or Bible Verse against being rich on earth.

The Verses below Speak of ‘Giving away your earthly money to obtain a greater treasure in the Heavens’ (hence implying a Greater Abode/Rewards in His Kingdom, so do we want to miss that?):

 

“19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:19 – 21, NKJV)

Please notice carefully that Christ did NOT say that you can have treasure both here on earth or in heaven but rather that the only way to have a treasure in heaven (or how much) is based on how much one gives away (not in amount but percentage, all other factors held constant) as His Own Words below confirm that detail:

 

“1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” (Luke 21:1 – 4, NKJV)

 

5) Claim: We must work hard to be rich (Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 6:6)

 

The Bible does not teach over-working as a Virtue where choosing a lifestyle where you have enough sleep is said to be Preserved for ‘His Beloved’, Verse:

 

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those He [God] loves.” (Psalm 127:2, NIV)

 

If ever you should work hard, it’s not so that you can give to your family only (1 Timothy 5:8), i.e. ‘loving those who love you only?’ (Matthew 5:46) but also toward your neighbour & enemies too (Matthew 5:44) to become ‘the sons of the Highest’ (Matthew 5:45) without which Christ is NOT impressed as He Asks, ‘What are you doing more than others?’ (Matthew 5:47) as the True Perfection Doctrine (talking about ‘real spiritual growth’ which must be thus by practicing these Commands’, Matthew 5:48), Verses below:

 

“43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44[o]But I say to you, love 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 [p]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.” – The Humblest and Perfect One, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:43 – 48, NKJV)

 

A person can say he works hard if he earns money and gives it away toward others (by percentage count, not amount), to quote this as the True Context of Christ’s Promise when He said that ‘these things (riches of this world) are added to you’, we must thus ‘sell it (as much as we are able)’ to ‘obtain true permanent Heavenly Riches in His Kingdom’, to quote:

 

“But SEEK HIS KINGDOM, and THESE THINGS will be ADDED to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS and GIVE TO CHARITY; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – The Perfect Selfless One Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:31 – 34, NASB)

 

Note: Prosperity Gospel Teachers often quote a half truth only (Luke 12:31 above) and ‘hoard their treasures enjoying & promoting luxurious living’ without quoting the next Verses in “full” (especially Luke 12:33) where “Christ Commands also” to SELL those ‘earthly riches/possessions you obtained’ to obtain ‘a greater permanent heavenly treasure’. Can you see it as It is Written?

 

This Lifestyle of Working to Earn and then Giving it to support the poor & others with you (beyond the basic ‘family members’) is Practiced by Apostle Paul himself too in his Perfection, to quote:

 

” 32“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35“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.’” – The Holy and Noble Blessed St. Paul the Apostle of Christ (Acts of the Apostles 20:32 – 35, NASB)

 

6) Claim: Regardless I will be Saved as a rich Christian as all these teaching does not affect my Salvation.

 

You may be saved as a rich Christian which is “possible” but that ‘possibility’ requires a Greater Level of Faith/Miracle required to “a camel to go through the eye of a needle” as Christ Himself Says in “Verses” below:

 

“23Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24And 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.” 25When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”.” (Matthew 19:23 – 26, NKJV)

 

Apostle James himself makes it very clear of ‘how easily the rich may be unsaved on that day’ or ‘saved but lose to become much smaller in His Kingdom’ when he writes inspired-ly regarding these three separate WRONG/SINFUL LIFESTYLES of the RICH CHRISTIANS (in Verses quoted later below):

 

  1. Saving Up too Much Earthly Treasure Attitude (How much is too much? God Alone Knows)

 

“… 2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. …” – Blessed Apostle St. James the Just

The phrase “will eat your flesh like fire” sounds like being tossed into the Lake of Fire, nay? Why take the Risk?

 

  1. Not paying those who work for you fair rates (not as per earthly fake/biased market rates) but according to what will you pay yourself if you worked that job? (The ‘do unto others what you want to be done/paid to you command’, Matthew 7:12)

“… 4Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. …” – Blessed Apostle St. James the Just

 

iii. Living in Luxury is a Sin for True Christians

 

“… 5You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” …” – Blessed Apostle St. James the Just

 

“1Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” – Blessed Apostle St. James the Just, First Bishop of Jerusalem (James 5:1 – 5, NKJV)

 

So, is apostle James jealous that you are rich and luxurious?

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

‘… The Prosperity Gospel is the Most Harmful Christian Heresy of All Time but yet it is the Easiest to Refute with Holy Scripture too …’

 

So, we cannot be rich both in heaven and on earth. We must Choose one as the only way to accumulate treasure in heaven is to give away our treasure on earth to the poor & needy (e.g. Matthew 6:19 – 20, Luke 12:31 – 34).

 

Can you see how the Verses mean that only? Also, I understand that not many of us are perfect to ‘give away all’ and ‘do ministry’ like the apostles but it is clear by these proportionate measures set forth in these Verses Itself that ‘the amount of riches we can part with in our life’ may determine ‘how rich or great we will be in His Kingdom too’ (2 Corinthians 9:7).

 

So, our VOLUNTARY POVERTY level may also determine our final abode in His Kingdom as the ‘Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold’ Mystery of the Gospel (Matthew 13:8) means as this explanation is NOT found in the Bible as Christ Chose to Hide it (Matthew 13:11) but we have learnt this Context from the First Christianity Quotes by the Most Authoritative and Faithful Christians if Antiquity, to quote:

 

“A fragment from the early 2nd century of one of the lost volumes of Papias, a Christian bishop, expounds that “heaven” was separated into three distinct layers. He referred to the first as just “heaven”, the second as “paradise”, and the third as “the city”. Papias taught that “there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold”. In the 2nd century AD, Irenaeus (a Greek bishop) wrote that not all who are saved would merit an abode in heaven itself.”

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_in_Christianity

 

and

 

“… And yet if both the land be good, and the Sower one, and the seed the same, wherefore did one bear a hundred, one sixty, one thirty? Here again the difference is from the nature of the ground, for even where the ground is good, great even therein is the difference. Do you see, that not the husbandman is to be blamed, nor the seed, but the land that receives it? Not for its nature, but for its disposition. And herein too, great is His mercy to man, that He does not require one measure of virtue, but while He receives the first, and casts not out the second, He gives also a place to the third… Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, says He; and He speaks what we before mentioned, of carelessness and attention, of cowardice and fortitude, of wealth and VOLUNTARY POVERTY; pointing out the hurt from the one, and the benefit from the other… Then of virtue also He brings forward different forms. For being full of love to man, He marked out not one only way, nor did He say, unless one bring forth an hundred [HUNDREDFOLD], he is an outcast; but he that brings forth sixty [SIXTY FOLD] is saved also, and not he only, but also the producer of thirty [THIRTY-FOLD]. And this He said, making out salvation to be easy. And thou then, are you unable to practise virginity? Be chaste in marriage. Are you UNABLE to strip yourself of YOUR POSSESSIONS? Give of YOUR SUBSTANCE. Can you NOT BEAR that BURDEN? SHARE YOUR GOOD with Christ. Are YOU UNWILLING to YIELD Him UP ALL? GIVE HIM but THE HALF, but the THIRD PART [of your Money/Possessions]. He is your brother, and joint-heir, make Him joint-heir with you here too. WHATSOEVER YOU GIVE HIM, YOU WILL GIVE TO YOURSELF … ” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘Commentary on Matthew’, Chapter 13)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

Yes, the Earliest Church believes in the VOLUNTARY POVERTY Doctrine too as even Blessed St. Epiphanius has Testified clearly & hence it should be taught in every Church now too to encourage others to attain to the best they can in this Contest of Faith too, to quote:

 

“… The CHURCH too BELIEVES in RENUNCIATION, but it does not consider marriage unclean, it also BELIEVES in VOLUNTARY POVERTY, … ONE HOPE in the CHURCH and ONE FAITH, granted each in accordance with HIS ABILITY and HIS OWN LABORIOUS STRUGGLE. … IT REGARDS CONTINENCE as the MOST ADMIRABLE, and COMMENDS IT because it is engaged in the CONTEST and has DESPISED the WORLD, as being still MORE POWERFUL [than the world]. And the CHURCH BELIEVES in VIRGINITY and accords it the HIGHEST HONOR, because it is a thing of virtue and is fitted with the lightest wing. (7) The CHURCH has members who have RENOUNCED the WORLD and yet are not contemptuous of those who are still in the world; they rejoice in the VERY GREAT PIETY of such persons, as did the APOSTLES who OWNED NOTHING themselves, < and yet did not look down on the others* >. (8) And the SAVIOR HIMSELF OWNED NO EARTHLY POSSESSIONS when he came in the flesh, though he was Lord of all — and yet HE did NOT REJECT the women who ASSISTED his disciples and himself. … And if these people < who > have MADE THEIR OWN RENUNCIATION and live like the apostles would mix with the rest [of us], their ways would NOT seem strange, or foreign to GOD”S ORDINANCE. (4) And if they RENOUNCED WIVES for the SAKE of CONTINENCE THEIR CHOICE would be PRAISEWORTHY, provided that they did not call marriage unclean, and provided that they treated the < still > married as comrades, KNOWING the LIMITATION and the RANK of EACH. 4,5 For God’s ship takes any passenger except a bandit. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘APOSTOLICS’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Consecutive Points 3.1 – 4.8, Pages 117 – 119)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

 

Risky Lifestyle? That’s the “True Faith Challenge” as these “Bible Verses” & First Christianity has Taught as we have seen in earlier essays too:

 

“… It is therefore not without reason that this brother, who claimed to occupy perishable goods the dispenser of heavenly goods, is rejected, whereas among brothers it is not through the intermediary of a judge, but at the affection to mediate and distribute the patrimony. Besides, it is the heritage of immortality, not money, that we must seek: for it is useless to amass wealth without knowing whether it will be used: such as the one whose granaries filled with crispness under the new harvest and who prepared stores for this abundance of crops, without knowing for whom he was gathering (Ps. 38, 7). For we leave in the world all that is in the world, and we see all that we amass for our heirs escape; we do not have what we can not carry with us. Only virtue accompanies the deceased, only mercy follows us, who, leading us and preceding the abodes of heaven, acquires to the dead, at the price of a mean money, the eternal tabernacles: witnesses the precepts of the Lord, who tells us: “Make friends with the riches of iniquity, that they may welcome you into everlasting tabernacles” (Lk 16: 9). This, then, is a good and salutary precept, capable of animating the misers themselves to take care to exchange the perishable for the eternal, the terrestrial for the divine. But as devotion is often hindered by the weakness of faith, and when giving up one’s heritage one is held back by the preoccupation with living, the Lord adds these words: “Do not worry about your life eating. nor for your body of clothing. Life is more than food, and the body is clothing. Nothing in reality is better done to give confidence to those who believe that God can grant everything, that this breath of air prolonging the vital union of the soul and body associates and spouses, without work on our part and the resource of healthful food is scarce only when the supreme day of death has arrived. Then, since the soul is clothed with the body’s envelope, and the body animated by the energy of the soul, it is absurd to believe that the means of living will be lacking, when we have the permanent reality of life . “Consider,” he says, “the birds of the sky. ” Great example, for sure, and worthy of being imitated by faith. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, Converter/Baptizer/Teacher of St. Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

 

Source [Luke, XII, 13-34. Detachment of wealth]:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrose-on-luke-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parable of the Pearl of Great Price and Hidden Treasure

 

1) Bible Verses

 

“44“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” – The Only Begotten God-Incarnate in the Flesh, Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1344 – 45, NKJV)

 

 

2) Source of Interpretation

 

Since there is no interpretation of this Parable in the Bible, we must look for it in First Christianity. Why is there many “beautiful pearls” and only “one Pearl of Great Price”? What must one do as a Christian to obtain it? Why does Holy Scripture Say that one must “sell all that he has in order to buy the Pearl of Great Price”?

 

We will quote the Most Authoritative and Orthodox Quotes from First Christianity as the Earliest Christians must surely have known Its Meaning especially if ‘they all agree to the same meaning’ which are from the Sources below:

 

  1. Source I (Catena Aurea on Matthew 13):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

  1. Source II (Gregory the Great Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, Mt 13, 44-52):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/gregory-the-great-homily-11-on-the-gospels

 

iii. Source III (Origen on Matthew):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/origen-on-matthew/chapter-13

 

  1. Source IV (St. Hippolytus Fragment on Matthew):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-hippolytus-fragment-on-matthew

 

  1. Source V (St. Cyprian on the Our Father, Chapter 20):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-cyprian-on-the-our-father

 

  1. Source VI (St. John Chrysostom on Matthew):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

vii. Source VII (Theophylact on Matthew):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/theophylact-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

viii. Source VIII (17 Questions on Matthew by Augustine, QUESTION 13. THE PRECIOUS PEARL.):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/17-questions-on-matthew-by-augustine

 

3) First Christianity Exegesis – What Gift is Represented by the Pearl of Great Price?

 

  1. Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His Kingdom of the Heavens

 

“… The sea is the present life. The merchants are those who traverse it in search of some knowledge. Many think that the pearls are the opinions of the multitude of philosophers. But one is of great price. For there is One Truth, which is Christ. …” [ Source VII ], – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)

 

“… “It resembles the kingdom of heaven to a merchant who is looking for fine pearls. And when he found one of great value, he went to sell everything he had and bought it.” The question is why one goes from the plural number to the singular: the merchant looked for quality pearls, and he finds one of great value, selling all he had to buy it. It could be someone who looking for good men, with whom to live life in a laudable way, meets the one who overcomes them all, the sinless, (Cf. 2 Cor. 5:21) mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (Cf. 1 Tim. 2:5) …” [ Source VIII ] – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

“… But another might say that the field is that which is verily full, which the Lord blessed, the Christ of God; but the treasure hidden in it is the things said to have been hidden in Christ by Paul, who says about Christ, in whom are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden. The heavenly things, therefore, even the kingdom of heaven, as in a figure it is written in the Scriptures— which are the kingdom of heaven, or Christ— Himself the king of the ages, are the kingdom of heaven which is likened to a treasure hidden in the field. …” [ Source III ] – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

  1. A Twofold Meaning Proposed – Wisdom of Christ and Knowledge of Holy Scripture in the Gospel too

 

“… The field is the world, the treasure is the preaching and knowledge of Christ. It is hidden in the world. For as St. Paul says, We preach a wisdom that is hidden (I Cor. 2:7). He who seeks knowledge of God, finds it. And all that he has, be it pagan doctrines, wicked practices, or money, he immediately throws away and buys the field, that is, the world. For he who has knowledge of Christ has the world as his own possession. For having nothing he possesses everything, and has the elements as his servants and commands them, as did Joshua and Moses. …” [ Source VII ] – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)

 

“… And at this point you will inquire, whether the kingdom of heaven is likened only to the treasure hidden in the field, so that we are to think of the field as different from the kingdom, or is likened to the whole of this treasure hidden in the field, so that the kingdom of heaven contains according to the similitude both the field and the treasure hidden in the field. Now a man who comes to the field, whether to the Scriptures or to the Christ who is constituted both from things manifest and from things hidden, finds the hidden treasure of wisdom whether in Christ or in the Scriptures. For, going round to visit the field and searching the Scriptures and seeking to understand the Christ, he finds the treasure in it; and, having found it, he hides it, thinking that it is not without danger to reveal to everybody the secret meanings of the Scriptures, or the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ. And, having hidden it, he goes away, working and devising how he shall buy the field, or the Scriptures, that he may make them his own possession, receiving from the people of God the oracles of God with which the Jews were first entrusted. Romans 3:2 …” [ Source III ] – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

“… The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hid in a field, the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Much as in the other place, the mustard seed and the leaven have but some little difference from each other, so here also these two parables, that of the treasure and that of the pearl. This being of course signified by both, that we ought to value the gospel above all things. And the former indeed, of the leaven and of the mustard seed, was spoken with a view to the power of the gospel, and to its surely prevailing over the world; but these declare its value, and great price. …” [ Source VI ] – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

“…Or it could be one who searches for commandments, observes them and has a good behavior with men, and finds love for his neighbor, which in the words of the Apostle, he only sums up all the commandments. Because you will not kill, you will not commit adultery, you will not steal, you will not give false testimony and any other commandment is like pearls that are all contained in this single sentence: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Rom. 13:9) Or perhaps it is someone who is in search of good concepts, and meets the one who contains them all: the Word that existed in the beginning, that was with God, that was God; (Cf. Jn. 1:1) the luminous Word with the splendor of truth, solid with the firmness of eternity, and in everything similar to itself by the beauty of divinity; that Word that is God for those who manage to penetrate beyond the shell of the flesh. The man in the parable had already obtained the pearl, which for a time was hidden under the cover of mortality, as under a hard shell obstacle, deep in this world, and hidden among the stony hardness of the Jews. This man, I say, had already obtained the possession of the pearl, when he says: “And although we had known Christ according to the flesh, now we do not know him like that.” (2 Cor. 5:16) Because no conception deserves the pearl name at all, if it is not possible to eliminate from it all the earthly envelopes that are covering it, be it by the human word or by the similarities with which it is wrapped. Only then can you come to see this concept with purity, solidity, in nothing different from itself and with total certainty. All other true, stable, perfect concepts are contained in that one single one, by means of which all things were created, that is, the Word of God. (Cf. Jn. 1:3) …” [ Source VIII ] – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

“… By the goodly pearls may be understood the Law and the Prophets. Hear then Marcion and Manichaeus; the good pearls are the Law and the Prophets. One pearl, the most precious of all, is the knowledge of the Saviour and the sacrament of His passion and resurrection, which when the merchantman has found, like Paul the Apostle, he straightway despises all the mysteries of the Law and the Prophets and the old observances in which he had lived blameless, counting them as dung that he may win Christ. [margin note: Phil 3:8] Not that the finding of a new pearl is the condemnation of the old pearls, but that in comparison of that, all other pearls are worthless. … That he hides it, does not proceed of envy towards others, but as one that treasures up what he would not lose, he hides in his heart that which he prizes above his former possessions. … Or, That treasure “in which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” is either God the Word, who seems hid in Christ’s flesh, or the Holy [p. 513] Scriptures, in which are laid up the knowledge of the Saviour. …” [ Source I ] – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

 

Conclusion – How to Obtain the Pearl of Great Price?

 

The Bible does not say that the ‘Pearl of Great Price Level of Salvation in Christ’ is ‘free or available to all but only to those who have sold all to have bought it’. What does it mean?

 

Please consider these First Christianity Quotes:

 

  1. Buying refers to our ‘Good Works’ based on how much we leave our Possessions (Money/Riches) on Earth to Give to others as well as to how much we give up earthly pleasures of the flesh

 

“… And evil spirits are like thieves in ambush on this road. It is therefore wanting to be stripped of carrying treasure uncovered on the way. I do not say that our loved ones should not see our good works, since it is written, “Let them see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:16), but we must not look for praise outside for what we do. That the work be public, but that the intention remains secret, so that we give to our loved ones the example of a good action without never ceasing to desire the secret by our intention to please God alone. … The treasure is the heaven to which we aspire, and the field in which the treasure is hidden is our sustained application to obtain Heaven. It is good to sell everything to buy this field, to give up the pleasures of the flesh and to trample on all our earthly desires by keeping a celestial conduct, so that nothing that flatters the flesh will please him, and that the mind does not fear anything that destroys carnal life. … The kingdom of heaven is still declared like a merchant looking for fine pearls. He finds one of great value; he also sells everything to buy that pearl he has found. For whoever knows the sweetness of heavenly life, as perfectly as possible, willingly abandons all that he loved on earth. Everything seems to him valueless in comparison with this blessed life: he leaves what he possesses and distributes what he has amassed; his soul is inflamed for the things of heaven; nothing of those of the earth appeals to him; all that beauty charmed him in this world seemed deformed to him, because only the brilliance of the precious pearl sparkled in his mind. It is with such love that Solomon rightly asserts: “Love is as strong as death” (Ct 8, 6). In fact, just as death destroys the body, the love of eternal life destroys the passion for bodily things, and the one he possesses as a whole, makes him insensitive to the desires of the earth. …” [ Source II ] – Blessed Roman Catholic Pope St. Gregory the Great, Saint Gregory the Dialogist in Eastern Christianity, the Father of Christian Worship, and John Calvin declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good Pope (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

  1. Buying refers to selling our earthly possessions as the Works required for our faith to be alive, not dead (James 2:17)

 

“… And when the man taught by Christ has bought the field, the kingdom of God which, according to another parable, is a vineyard, is taken from them and is given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof, Matthew 21:43 — to him who in faith has bought the field, as the fruit of his having sold all that he had, and no longer keeping by him anything that was formerly his; for they were a source of evil to him. And you will give the same application, if the field containing the hidden treasure be Christ, for those who give up all things and follow Him, have, as it were in another way, sold their possessions, in order that, by having sold and surrendered them, and having received in their place from God— their helper— a noble resolution, they may purchase, at great cost worthy of the field, the field containing the treasure hidden in itself. …” [ Source III ] – Blessed Origen of Alexandria, the Great but surprisingly Modest Exegete of the Eastern Church, “Nicknamed: Admantius or Man of Steel”, Tortured and Martyred for Christ (c. 184 AD – c. 253 AD)

 

iii. The Pearl of Great Price is only Purchasable with one Renouncing all his Possessions (Wealth/Riches) is some Way (Luke 14:33)

 

“… For as it extends itself like mustard seed, and prevails like leaven, so it is precious like a pearl, and affords full abundance like a treasure. We are then to learn not this only, that we ought to strip ourselves of everything else, and cling to the gospel, but also that we are to do so with joy; and when a man is dispossessing himself of his goods, he is to know that the transaction is gain, and not loss. Do you see how both the gospel is hid in the world, and the good things in the gospel Except thou sell all, you buy not; except thou have such a soul, anxious and inquiring, you find not. Two things therefore are requisite, abstinence from worldly matters, and watchfulness. For He says One seeking goodly pearls, who when he had found one of great price, sold all and bought it. For the truth is one, and not in many divisions. …” [ Source VI ] – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

“… And as a man who has a pearl turns it over and over in his hands, and he knows what great wealth he possesses, while others are ignorant, so too the preaching is hidden among the unnoticed and the simple. To obtain this pearl one must give all. …” [ Source VII ] – Blessed Theophylact, Byzantine Archbishop of Ohrid (c. 1050 AD – c. 1107 AD)

 

“… Each one of these three interpretations, or any other one that can occur to us, and that is well signified with the name of the unique and precious pearl, has the price of ourselves. And we are not able to come to possess it, if it is not achieving our liberation through the contempt of all the temporality that we possess. Selling all our things, no higher price we receive for them than for ourselves. When we were involved in all of them, we were not owners of us. Let’s surrender, then, in exchange for such a pearl, not because that is its value, but because we cannot give it anymore. …” [ Source VIII ] – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

 

“… The Gospel preaching not only offers manifold gain as a treasure, but is precious as a pearl; wherefore after the parable concerning the treasure, He gives that concerning the pearl. And in preaching, two things are required, namely, to be detached from the business of this life, and to be watchful, which are denoted by this merchant- man. …” [ Source I ] – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

“… Quaest. in Ev., i, 13: Or, He speaks of the two testaments in The Church, which, when any hath attained to a partial understanding of, he perceives how great things lie hid there, and “goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that;” that is, by despising temporal things he purchases to himself peace, that he may be rich in the knowledge of God. …” [ Source I ] – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD).

 

“… Hom. in Ev., xi, 2: Or by [p. 514] the pearl of price is to be understood the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom, which, he that hath found it, selleth all and buyeth. For he that, as far as is permitted, has had perfect knowledge of the sweetness of the heavenly life, readily leaves all things that he has loved on earth; all that once pleased him among earthly possessions now appears to have lost its beauty, for the splendour of that precious pearl is alone seen in his mind. …” [ Source I ] – Blessed Roman Catholic Pope St. Gregory the Great, Saint Gregory the Dialogist in Eastern Christianity, the Father of Christian Worship, and John Calvin declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good Pope (c. 540 AD – c. 604 AD)

 

P/S: Is it dangerous to be a Rich Christian with a lot of Earthly Possessions, Luxurious living and Abundance of Money Stored up for the Far Future Ahead?

 

“Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” – Blessed Apostle St. James the Just, First Bishop of Jerusalem (James 5:3, NKJV)

 

Is this Context Correct? Please consider the two quotes below:

 

“… For this reason we are enjoined to ask what is sufficient for the preservation of the substance of the body: not luxury, but food, which restores what the body loses, and prevents death by hunger; not tables to inflame and drive on to pleasures, nor such things as make the body wax wanton against the soul; but bread, and that, too, not for a great number of years, but what is sufficient for us today. …” [ Source IV ] – Blessed St. Hippolytus of Rome, Disciple of Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons, who daringly opposed the Roman Popes who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts, Martyr for Christ (c. 170 AD – c. 235 AD)

 

and

 

“… He teaches that not only are riches to be contemned but are also dangerous, that in them is the root of enticing evils, that device the blindness of the human mind with hidden deception. So God rebukes the foolish rich man who ponders on his worldly wealth and boasts of the abundance of his overflowing harvests, saying: ‘Thou fool, this night do they demand thy soul of thee; and the things thou hast provided, whose will they be?’ The fool was rejoicing in his stores in the night when he was about to die and he whose life was now ebbing pondered on the abundance of his sustenance. However, on the other hand, the Lord teaches that he becomes perfect and complete who by selling all his possessions and distributing them for the use of the poor lays up for himself a treasure in heaven. He says that that man can follow Him and imitate the glory of the Lord’s passion, who unencumbered and with his loins girded is not involved in the entanglements of personal property, but unentangled and free he himself also accompanies his possessions sent on before to the Lord. That each one of us may be able to prepare himself for this, thus he learns to pray and from the principle of prayer to know what sort of man he ought to be. …” [ Source V ] – Blessed St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, a pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine, Martyr for Christ (c. 200 AD – c. 258 AD)

 

 

“… If you are merciful and lenient to the poor in your judgment, you will have nothing to fear from the judgment of God. … Works give life to faith, faith gives life to the soul, and the soul gives life to the body. … Those who believe but who do not fear God are even worse than the devils. And those who believe and tremble but who do not practice what they preach are just like the devils. …” – Blessed St. Hilary, Bishop of Arles, he is said to have organized his cathedral clergy into a “congregation,” devoting a great part of their time to social exercises of asceticism, Martyr for Christ (c. 403 AD – c. 449 AD)

 

Source [ Introductory Tractate on the Letter of James ]:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/james/ancient-christian-commentary-james-2

 

 

So, let us examine our lives whilst there is still time and make amendments hoping that by God’s Mercy we can attain to the Best Pearls in His Kingdom of the Heavens:

 

“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” – King of the Heavens, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33, NKJV)

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Saved but only a Few Enter His Kingdom of the Heavens – First Christianity Exegesis

 

1) Bible Verses – Many Saved

 

“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” – The Merciful One, Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:28, NKJV)

 

2) Bible Verses – Many Christians themselves will be Rejected and only a Few are Saved referring to those Who do His Will and Enter His Kingdom of the Heavens

 

“13“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and [d]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – The Perfect One, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13 – 23, NKJV)

 

3) Few Christians vs the Many Christians too

 

The Fruit (referred to in Matthew 7:16 – 20) refers to the ‘Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold Mystery’ (Matthew 13:23) and only a Few Christians attain this (Matthew 7:13) while the ‘Majority’ or “Many” (despite doing numerous ‘conversion works for the Gospel’, hence ‘many’ based on these signs: ‘have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?, Matthew 7:22’) are still not numbered among the few nor are these works considered as ‘the fruit Spoken of’ (Matthew 7:13 – 23).

 

 

 

4) The “Many” Rejected Christians

 

Please note that the word “fruit” and “kingdom of the Heavens” in Matthew 7:15 – 20 links the context to the “Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold Fruit” found in Matthew 13:18 – 23 regarding the ‘few who Enter into His Kingdom of the Heavens’ vs ‘Many who may be Saved after their Judgments only’ (as we shall understand this further with some Earliest Authoritative First Christianity & Shepherd of Hermas quotes too regarding this Mystery of the Gospel).

 

No Rich Christians who have not Given away much (in Percentage, God Alone knows how much one must give out) being “choked by the deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew 13:22) Nor any Christian with Lawlessness (Matthew 7:23) Nor any Christian who did NOT Understand the ‘Thirty, Sixty & Hundredfold Mystery to Act on it’ are Saved (Matthew 13:19, 23). Please note that these are not only Bible Verses (quoted above & below next) but are Uttered by our Greatest Saviour Himself (so please don’t take it lightly and be deceived).

 

Yes, the “Few Saved Christians” only refer to those ‘who understood the Word’ (Matthew 13:19) and ‘those not choked by the deceitfulness of riches’ (Matthew 13:22) who bear the ‘Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold Fruit’ (Matthew 13:23) being Overcomers (Revelation 21:7) :

 

“18“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside… 22Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” – King of Heavenly Mysteries, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:18 – 19, 22 – 23, NKJV)

 

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”” – King of the Everything, Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:7 – 8, NKJV)

 

Please note carefully that Christians who do not ‘Renounce all their Possessions in some way’ (Luke 14:33) as we have discussed in earlier essays may be considered as “the cowardly” who are tossed in the Lake of Fire too (Revelation 21:8).

 

Also, in Verses prior, it is clearly stated that those who “don’t understand” (Matthew 13:19) the Word regarding the “Thirty, Sixty and HundredFold Fruit” are ‘unsaved’ (Matthew 13:23). We know that the Three Evangelicals concerning this ‘Thirty, Sixty and Hundredfold’ Fruit revolves around Teaching and Practicing (Matthew 5:19) these in the manner of ‘Renouncing All that one has to be a Disciple of Christ’ (Luke 14:33), to quote:

 

“… Their manner of self-renunciation has three elements corresponding to the three evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience …”

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_monasticism

 

5) Saved vs Entering His Kingdom

 

Christ Himself Said that the ‘Law Abiding Obedient Rich Man’ may be Saved (Matthew 19:25 – 26) but He didn’t say that a Rich Man can Enter the Kingdom of the Heavens easily (Matthew 19:23 – 24) in the Context of ‘Renouncing Money and one’s Possessions’, Context first in Matthew 19:20 – 23 in some way or perfectly by giving away all.

 

Also, please note that this is not a sinful rich man but one who has kept ‘all Laws of the Old Covenant’, Matthew 19:16 – 19) except the ‘Renouncing of All his possessions’ which he could not do (Matthew 19:20 – 22) to become Christ’s Disciple (Luke 14:33).

 

To Understand the Difference being ‘Saved only’ vs ‘Saved & Entering His Kingdom’, please allow me to quote an Ancient Commentary as it is found in the Catholic Bible as follows:

 

“… The righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees are the commandments of Moses; but the commandments of Christ are the fulfilment of that Law. This then is His meaning; Whosoever in addition to the commandments of the Law shall not fulfil My commandments, shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. For those indeed save from the punishment due to transgressors of the Law, but do not bring into the kingdom; but My commandments both deliver from punishment, [p. 174] and bring into the kingdom. But seeing that to break the least commandments and not to keep them are one and the same, why does He say above of him that breaks the commandments, that “he shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven,” and here of him who keeps them not, that he “shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven?” See how to be the least in the kingdom is the same with not entering into the kingdom. For a man to be in the kingdom is not to reign with Christ, but only to be numbered among Christ’s people; what He says then of him that breaks the commandments is, that he shall indeed be reckoned among Christians, yet the least of them. but he who enters into the kingdom, becomes partaker of His kingdom with Christ. Therefore he who does not enter into the kingdom of heaven, shall not indeed have a part of Christ’s glory, yet shall he be in the kingdom of heaven, that is, in the number of those over whom Christ reigns as King of heaven…” – from a Pseudo-Chrysostom Manuscript (c. 4th – 5th Century)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5

 

Comments:

 

  1. i) The phrases “For a man… only to be numbered among Christ’s people … indeed be reckoned among Christians, yet the least of them …” is certainly referring to a ‘man’ who is NOT considered as a Christian but is Saved after the Lake of Fire Judgment. Why can’t this refer to a Christian? Please read the comments next.

 

  1. ii) Every Christian is a Good Soil bearing either a ‘thirty, sixty or a hundred fold’ (Matthew 13:8) which earns their respective Mansion-Abode in the ‘Heavens, Paradise or the New Jerusalem City’ respectively (as expounded in First Christianity in St. Irenaeous of Lyons & Bishop Papias’ Writings) and thus each Christian will Indeed ‘enter into His Kingdom’.

 

So ‘no Christian’ (i.e. the Saved ones who do not undergo the Lake of Fire Judgment, John 5:24) can it refer to the Pseudo-Chrysostom’s phrases of “… [who] shall not indeed have a part of Christ’s glory…”. Indeed, ‘Every Christian’ will ‘Partake of Christ’s Glory according to his works/merit’. Even St. Clement of Alexandria’s quote agrees with this Mystery:

“… Conformably, therefore, there are various abodes, according to the worth of those who have believed… . These chosen abodes, which are three, are indicated by the numbers in the Gospel — the thirty, the sixty, the hundred. And the perfect inheritance belongs to those who attain to “a perfect man,” according to the image of the Lord. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD, CHAPTER XIV, Stromata Book 6)

Source:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/clement-stromata-book6.html

 

iii) The ‘Fallen Believers’ whom Christ Rejects as Stating that ‘He never knew them’ (Matthew 7:21 – 23) itself proves that these are not Considered to be His Bride (Christians) anymore and the Pseudo-Chrysostom thus refers to such ones together with the unbelievers (implied) to be in some ‘outer regions’ within the kingdom of the heavens (not heavens*) in some common meeting place areas being among Christians.

 

*The Kingdom of Heavens may thus be seen to include separate regions of the Heavens, Paradise, the New-Jerusalem-City and the ‘Outside the City Regions’ which it eventually Conquers in Christ.

 

  1. iv) Again the phrase “… the number of those over whom Christ reigns as King of heaven…” referring to those “… For a man to be in the kingdom is not to reign with Christ, but only to be numbered among Christ’s people; …” refers to the rest of Mankind who will clearly be Saved but be Least in His Kingdom.

 

Indeed, every Christian is a Co-Heir with Christ (Romans 8:17) and will Reign with Christ over them too (2 Timothy 2:12) as ‘kings & priests in His Imperishable Kingdom beginning with the next age’ (Revelation 5:10) and into the ‘Ages to Come’ (Ephesians 2:7) of whose Increase is Truly Eternal and has ‘no end’ (Luke 1:33).

 

  1. v) Christ Spoke in Parables regarding the Topic of His Kingdom

 

“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. … Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:10, 11, 13, NASB)

 

It is clear that the “Pseudo-Chrysostom Manuscript” reveals an understanding in First Christianity that ‘entering His Kingdom’ means ‘to Reign with Him and Share His Glory’ while ‘not entering His Kingdom refers to being Saved with a Basic Salvation and being Ruled Over being least in His Kingdom’.

 

 

 

 

 

6) Scripture for Saved vs Not Entering His Kingdom Distinction

 

We quote from the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture* as discussed next. Indeed, the rest of the “unsaved” (just like the ‘Lawless fallen Christians’) may attain to their much lower abodes even some toward Basic Salvation only after they repent in post-afterlife Judgment to the last penny accordingly where some of the most wicked must endure into the Final Lake of Fire Judgment as well, i.e. being ‘Saved after Judgment only’ when God’s Mercy Triumphs over it (James 2:13):

 

First Christianity’s Scripture Level Quote agreeing with this from the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture:

 

“Hermas 5[13]:1 But wouldst thou know about them that are broken in pieces, and cast away far from the tower? These are the sons of lawlessness. They received the faith in hypocrisy, and no wickedness was absent from them. Therefore they have not salvation, for they are not useful for building by reason of their wickednesses. Therefore they were broken up and thrown far away by reason of the wrath of the Lord, for they excited Him to wrath…. Hermas 7[15]:4 So she finished the explanation of the tower. Hermas 7[15]:5 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower. Hermas 7[15]:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins. And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated in the Righteous Word; and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; but if these come not into their heart, they are not saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.” – Shepherd of Hermas (2nd Century)

 

Source for Translation:  https://carm.org/shepherd-of-hermas

 

Comment: Please notice carefully that the ‘unsaved ones’ as quoted to as “They received the faith in hypocrisy, and no wickedness was absent from them. Therefore they have not salvation” were also later said to be saved as the Shepherd Reveals, “I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower that was repentance, and they had a place in this tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fitted into this tower. Hermas 7[15]:6 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins.”

 

Note: To ‘remain unsaved’ or ‘not be saved’ whilst being punished is only applicable as long a they don’t repent when they’re punished in the afterlife Judgments

Here’s another point to ponder: In the Shepherd of Hermas’ quote above, it’s obvious that some of the ‘rejected stones (people parabolically)’ are only saved in the ‘afterlife after Judgment’ and cannot be numbered among the righteous to be part of the ‘Tower of Repentance’ and are placed in ‘more humble places as the cases of these fallen Christians show’. Since these are fallen Christians some of whose faith has been told to be ‘in hypocrisy & wickedness’ (hence these have not Salvation or the faith in Christ), thus when they are Saved, by whose Faith are they Justified by? Surely they can only be Justified by the ‘Faith of Jesus Christ’ (Christ’s Faith Alone) since they have shipwrecked their own faith, right? Notice that of their faith in Christ remained, they would not have come under any afterlife Judgment (John 5:24).

 

*Every Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians know that the ‘Shepherd of Hermas is Scripture Level’ but just that it should not be listed among the Greater Books of the New Testament as mentioned in the Muratorian Canon as the Shepherd was called Scripture by these Blessed saints too: St. Irenaeous of Lyons, St. Clement of Alexandria, Pope Callixtus I and Tertullian. Example, as discussed in link below:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shepherd_of_Hermas

 

7) God’s Mercy to the Unsaved Hope

 

Can God’s Mercy be applied to the “Unsaved” to Save them Eventually or only to the ‘Vessels of Mercy’?

 

Here is Scripture below Stating that with “God’s Mercy” nothing is Impossible hence it is a heresy to Limit God’s Mercy to anyone except that we have to let God Alone Decide whether He Wills to have Mercy on All (Possible according to Romans 11:32 including the Disobedient too**), to quote:

 

“23 But thou hast mercy upon all [Compare:Romans 11:32]; for thou canst do all things, and winkest at the sins of men, because they should amend. 24 For thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast made: for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hadst hated it. 25 And how could any thing have endured, if it had not been thy will? or been preserved, if not called by thee? 26 But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls.” (Wisdom of Solomon 11:23 – 26, King James Bible Version, KJV)

Source:

 

https://m.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Wisdom-of-Solomon-Chapter-11/

 

This is Accurately Taught by this Great First Latin Doctor of the Church too below:

 

“Shall not He take account of their toil, Who will not cast off for ever even those whom He casts off? For David says: God will not cast off for ever, and in opposition to this shall we listen to heresy asserting, He does cast off for “ever ? David says: God will not for ever cut off His mercy from generation to generation, nor will He forget to be merciful. This is the prophet’s declaration, and there are those who would maintain a forgetfulness of mercy on God’s part.” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, Converter/Baptizer/Teacher of St. Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

 

[Excerpt From The Complete Works of the Church Fathers Philip Schaff]

 

Source: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-complete-works-of-the-church-fathers/id1330532081

 

This Context for Romans 11:32’s Mercy to All Men eventually is also echoed by these two First Christianity’s Finest from Latin Christianity too, to quote:

 

and

 

Now, who is the “All Men”? Is His Mercy for Anyone?

 

“… QUESTION 102. AGAINST NOVATIAN … God does NOT want ANYONE to PERISH. “The Lord,” said Solomon, “pities those who repent.” (Eccl. 12:3) And in another place: “You have MERCY on ALL MEN, because you can do anything, and you hide their sins because of repentance.” (Wis. 11:24) ..” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic-1

 

 

The phrase God “pities those who repent” applies to those whose are saved without Judgment (John 5:24) as the phrase ” and you hide their sins because of repentance” means in the above distinctly from the Hope of Mercy to All Men, i.e. “… “You have MERCY on ALL MEN, because you can do anything, …” (Wis. 11:24).

 

**Note: Is the Wisdom of Solomon Holy Scripture? It has always been Holy Scripture in First Christianity as Evidenced (being listed in the First Oldest Muratorian Canon too), to quote:

 

“… Melito of Sardis[7] in the 2nd century AD, Augustine[8] (c. 397 AD) and Pope Innocent I (405 AD)[9][10] considered Wisdom of Solomon as part of the Old Testament. Athanasius writes that the Book of Wisdom along with three other deuterocanonical books, while not being part of the Canon, “were appointed by the Fathers to be read”.[11] Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 385 AD) mentions that the Wisdom of Solomon was of disputed canonicity.[12] According to the monk Rufinus of Aquileia (c. 400 AD) the Book of Wisdom was not called a canonical but ecclesiastical book.[13]. The Book of Wisdom was listed as canonical by the Council of Rome (382 AD),[14] the Synod of Hippo (393),[15] the Council of Carthage (397) and the Council of Carthage (419),[16][17] the Council of Florence (in 1442)[18] and the Council of Trent (in 1546).[19]…”

 

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Wisdom

 

 

8) God’s Mercy to His Enemies too – Hope

 

 

God’s Enemies will be Saved from All Evil Post-Final Judgment and after they Confess to Him (Philippians 2:9 – 11, Isaiah 45:23) Who is Saviour of All eventually (1 Timothy 4:10) as He is the ‘Saviour of All’ Context including ‘His Enemies’ is Echoed in “Scripture” below:

 

“For he that turned himself toward it was not saved by the thing that he saw, but by Thee, that art the Saviour of all. And in this thou madest Thine enemies confess, that it is thou who deliverest from all evil:” (Wisdom of Solomon 16:7 – 8, KJV Compare with ‘Saviour of All Men especially believers in 1 Timothy 4:10)

 

Source: https://m.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Wisdom-of-Solomon-Chapter-16/

 

 

First Christianity Quotes Agreeing to this (Two Great Examples in Western Christianity before St. Augustine himself):

  1. i) First Quote with “Sodom & Gomorrah” as the Example

“… Man has a natural proclivity to evil, an inherited weakness which has, as a matter of experience, betrayed ALL MEN into actual sin, with the exception of Christ . Elsewhere, however, Hilary recognises the possibility, under existing conditions, of a sinless life. For David could make the prayer, ‘Take from me the way of iniquity;’ of iniquity itself he was guiltless, and only needed to pray against the tendency inherent in his bodily nature . But such a case is altogether exceptional; ordinary men must confide in the thought that God is indulgent, for He knows our infirmity. He is propitiated by the wish to be righteous, and in His judgment the merits of good men outweigh their sins . Hence a prevalent tone of hopefulness about the future state of the baptized; EVEN SODOM and GOMORRAH, THEIR PUNISHMENT in history having satisfied the righteousness of God [Jude 1:7], shall ULTIMATELY BE SAVED. Yet God has a perfect, immutable goodness of which human goodness, though real, falls infinitely short, because He is steadfast and we are driven by varying impulses . This DIVINE GOODNESS is the STANDARD and the HOPE set before us. It can only be attained by GRACE, and GRACE is FREELY OFFERED. But just as the SOUL, being free, advances to meet sin, so it MUST ADVANCE to MEET GRACE…” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, ‘The Theology of Hilary of Poictiers*,Page 122)

 

* in the Book ‘Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 01 The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus To Ante Nicene Fathers Volume 10 Bibliographic Synopsis General Index’ by Schaff, Philip (1819-1893).

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/AnteNiceneFathersVolume10BibliographicSynopsisGeneralIndex/NicenePostNiceneFathersSeries2Volume09HilaryofPotiersJohnofDamascus_djvu.txt

 

 

  1. ii) Please note ‘carefully’ that the Illustrious Saint below from First Christianity quotes Romans 11:32’s ‘Mercy to All’ to include ‘All His Enemies too’ (Romans 11:30 – 31) because the ‘Election of God toward these enemies as beloved’ cannot be Revoked (Romans 11:28) and so after these Enemies are Subjected by Christ Eventually (1 Corinthians 15:25), “life Immortal follows” to them (implied below), to quote:

 

 

“… When authorities and powers are abolished, His enemies shall be subjected under His feet. The same Apostle tells who are these enemies, As touching the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers’ sake . We remember that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; let us remember also that, because they are beloved for the fathers’ sake, they are reserved for the subjection, as the Apostle says, I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved, even as it is written, There shall come out of Sion a Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: and this is the covenant firm Me to them, when I have taken away their sins . So His enemies shall be subjected under His feet. But we must not forget what follows the subjection, namely, Last of all is death conquered by Him 1284 . This victory over death is nothing else than the resurrection from the dead: for when the corruption of death is stayed, the quickened and now heavenly nature is made eternal, as it is written, For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in strife. O death, where is thy sting? O death, where is thy strife ? In the subjection of His enemies death is conquered; and, death conquered, life immortal follows…” – Blessed St. Hilary of Poictiers, the “Athanasius of the West”, Doctor of the Church, The Champion of Trinity in the West (c. 310 AD – c. 368 AD, Book XI ‘On the Trinity’, Points 34 – 35, Page 481**)

Source:

https://archive.org/stream/StHilaryOfPoitiersSelectWorks/StHilaryofPoitiersSelectWorks_djvu.txt

9) Unsaved Rich Christians vs the Saved Rich Christians

Until and Unless Rich Christians give away a substantial part of their wealth away, they cannot be numbered among the “few saved ones” as this Scripture Reveals this Mystery further:

 

“… 5[13]: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[13]: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

Source:  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/shepherd-lightfoot.html

10) First Christianity Authoritative Quote Context for the Few who are Saved according to this Context

 

Please note that even the ‘heretics, wolves and false prophets’ know of these Biblical precepts of “voluntary poverty, chastity and obedience” though they do not do it ‘rightly’ which makes this Context even more true as these First Christianity quotes reveal:

 

“… Otherwise; This third precept again is connected with the right method of fasting, and the order of discourse will be this; “But thou [p. 279] when thou fastest anoint thy head;” and after comes, “Enter ye in at the strait gate.” For there are three chief passions in our nature, that are most adhering to the flesh; the desire of food and drink; the love of the man towards the woman; and thirdly, sleep. These it is harder to cut off from the fleshly nature than the other passions. And therefore abstinence from no other passion so sanctifies the body as that a man should be chaste, abstinent, and continuing in watchings. … The fruits of a man are the confession of his faith and the works of his life; for he who utter according to God the words of humility and a true confession, is the sheep; but he who against the truth howls forth blasphemies against [p. 283] God is the wolf. … And what the will of God is the Lord Himself teaches, “This is,” He says, “the will of him that sent me, that every man that seeth the Son and believeth on him should have eternal life.” [John 6:40] The word believe has reference both to confession and conduct. He then who does not confess Christ, or does not walk according to His word, shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. …” -Pseudo-Chrysostom Manuscript (c. 4th – 5th Century)

 

or

 

“… Though love be wide, yet it leads men from the earth through difficult and steep ways. It is sufficiently difficult to cast aside all other things, and to love One only, not to aim at prosperity, not to fear adversity. …” – Ancient Gloss of Scripture

 

or

 

“… But seeing He declares below, “My yoke is pleasant, and my burden light,” how is it that He says here that the way is strait and narrow? Even here He teaches that it is light and pleasant; for here is a way and a gate as that other, which is called the wide and broad, has also a way and a gate. Of these nothing is to remain; but all pass away. But to pass through toil and sweat, and to arrive at a good end, namely life, is sufficient solace to those who undergo [p. 280] these struggles. … When He says, “Few there be that find it,” He points to the sluggishness of the many, and instructs His hearers not to look to the prosperity of the many, but to the toils of the few. … And the hypocrite is easily discerned; for the way they are commanded to walk is a hard way, and the hypocrite is loth to toil. And that you may not say that you are unable to find out them that are such, He again enforces what He had said by example from men, saying, “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” …” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

or

“… Serm. in Mont., ii, 24: Wherefore it is justly asked, what fruits then He would have us look to? For many esteem among fruits some things which pertain to the sheep’s clothing, and in this manner are deceived concerning wolves. For they practise fasting, almsgiving, or praying, which they display before men, seeking to please those to whom these things seem difficult.

These then are not the fruits by which He teaches us to discern them. Those deeds which are done with good intention, are the proper fleece of the sheep itself, such as are done with bad intention, or in error, are nothing else than a clothing of wolves; but the sheep ought not to hate their own clothing because it is often used to hide wolves. What then are the fruits by which we may know an evil tree? The Apostle says, “The works of the flesh are manifest, which are, fornication, uncleanness, &c.” [Gal 5:19] And which are they by which we may know a good tree? The same Apostle teaches, saying, “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace.” … Serm. in Mont., ii, 25: Here it also pertains that we be not deceived by the name of Christ not only in such as bear the name and do not the deeds, but yet more by certain works and miracles, such as the Lord wrought because of the unbelieving, but yet warned us that we should not be deceived by such to suppose that there was invisible wisdom where was a visible miracle; wherefore He adds, saying, “Many shall say to me in that day.” …” – Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, who influenced virtually all of subsequent Western philosophy and Catholic theology, as well as a significant amount of Protestant theology (c. 354 AD – c. 430 AD)

or

“… What is here spoken of false prophets we may apply to all whose dress and speech promise one thing, and their actions exhibit another. But it is specially to be understood of heretics, who by observing temperance, chastity, and fasting, surround themselves as it were with a garment of sanctity, but inasmuch as their hearts within them are poisoned, they deceive the souls of the more simple brethren. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD)

Source for Each quote above:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7

 

Conclusion

 

Few are Saved into the Kingdom of the Heavens (Matthew 7:13 – 23) without any afterlife Judgments (John 5:24) while Many may be Saved into Lower Terrestrial Abodes (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45) but only after afterlife Judgments as even the Shepherd of Hermas Scripture has Revealed (Luke 12:59, Matthew 5:21 – 26) in the Context of ‘Gehenna/Lake of Fire too’ (Matthew 5:22) as the Most Authoritative First Christianity Quotes below Reveal:

 

  1. i) Ransom for Many Mystery – Will Majority of Mankind be Saved after Judgments?

 

How did First Christianity understand Matthew 26:28’s Ransom for Many and not for all?

 

“… QUESTION 54. THE APOSTLE TEACHES THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR ALL MEN. “ALL ARE THEREFORE DEAD,” SAID HE, “AND HE DIED FOR ALL.” THE SAVIOR SAYS, ON THE CONTRARY: THE SON OF MAN HAS COME TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR THE REDEMPTION OF MANY. (MATT 20:28) THERE IS HERE A CONTRADICTION. — The words are different, it is true, but the meaning is the same; at other times, on the other hand, words that seem the same have quite a different meaning, such as these: “All that is not done in good faith (ex fide) is a sin.” (Rom. 14:23) and these others: “The law does not come from faith,” (Gal. 3:12) although the law is not a sin. This great number of which the Savior speaks is all the men of whom St. Paul speaks: They are in great numbers, because the greater part of all peoples and all nations ought to believe in the Savior. It is this great number of those who must believe that the Apostle calls all men. “He is dead for all,” he says, “that is, for those who believe and must believe.” He died also for those who refused to believe, but by refusing the grace he offers them, they do not want Jesus Christ to be dead for them, and by the same he seems not to have died for those to that his death was much more harmful than useful. On the contrary, he truly died for those who won, and who understand the mystery of the redemption give thanks to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/scriptural-order

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (quoting parts from the above for ‘highlight’):

 

 

  1. Majority of Mankind is the “Many” who will be Saved after believing in Him

 

” … They are in great numbers, because the greater part of all peoples and all nations ought to believe in the Savior. It is this great number of those who must believe that the Apostle calls all men. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

 

  1. How can this be when most of mankind don’t believe him on earth?

 

“… “He is dead for all,” he says, “that is, for those who believe and must believe.” …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

 

Where,

 

 

“those who believe” = Christians who believe in Him on earth (Sheepfold1) = the “few” , the Elect (Matthew 7:14)

 

and

 

“for those who … must believe” = Good non-Christians who believe in Him either in Hades now or by the Last Day on Judgment Day? (Sheepfold2) . We will explore this Mystery later using Ambrosiaster’s own words to try to understand why he made such a distinction as he might be referring to God’s Will which is inclusive of anyone who chooses to believe in Him literally ‘after seeing Him’ (John 6:40) as even the Visions of Blessed Sadhu Sundar Singh has confirmed.

 

 

iii. How about the unbelievers?

“… He died also for those who refused to believe, but by refusing the grace he offers them, they do not want Jesus Christ to be dead for them, and by the same he seems not to have died for those to that his death was much more harmful than useful. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

Comment: This ‘refused to believe’ is not necessarily those who refuse on earth among good non-Christians but those till Judgment Day who refuse to believe. As Sadhu Sundar Singh has pointed out, the ‘wicked dead’ seems not to be able to believe in the afterlife due to their lives sealing them as ‘remaining as unbelievers’ till being cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8). Is there Hope for them? Later we will see Ambrosiaster’s other quotes.

 

  1. ii) Worm that Does not Die (Mark 9:48) Literally – Can Resurrection to Life in a ‘General/Basic Salvation’ spring up again after this Judgment?

 

This Idea of after the Millennial Reign & Judgment 1000 years period of time as ‘pertaining to the complete resurrection of all men’ is mysteriously echoed in the quote below too (where st. Ambrose alludes to a mythical bird called the Phoenix which rises to life every 500 years as the ‘worms that do not die’ seem to help this process by the end of 500 years whilst for us or ‘Man’ in General its within 1000 years – Coincidence or Mystery? you decide), to quote:

 

“… That bird in the country of Arabia, which is called the Phoenix, restored by the renovating juices of its flesh, after being dead comes to life again: shall we believe that men alone are not raised up again? … Then from its juices a worm comes forth, and grows by degrees into the fashion of the same bird, and its former habits are restored, and borne up by the oarage of its wings it commences once more the course of its renewed life, and discharges a debt of gratitude. For it conveys that casket, whether the tomb of its body or the cradle of its resurrection, in which quitting life it died, and dying it rose again, from Ethiopia to Lycaonia; and so by the resurrection of this bird the people of those regions understand that a period of five hundred years is accomplished. So to that bird the five hundredth is the year of resurrection, but to us the thousandth: it has its resurrection in this world, we have ours at the end of the world. Many think also that this bird kindles its own funeral pile, and comes to life again from its own ashes…” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Selected Works and Letters, Book II ‘On the Belief in the Resurrection’, Point 59 Page 459)

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

iii) Worm that Does not Die (Mark 9:48) Allegorically – Are they Saved into Lower Abodes with Basic Salvation?

 

What Happens to those who are Unsaved in the ‘Outer Darkness’ [Matthew 8:12], the ‘Unquenchable Fire’ [Matthew 3:12] & the ‘Worm that does not Die’ [Mark 9:48]?

 

“… It is not enough, however, to come if one is invited: one must have the wedding dress, that is to say have faith and charity. Whoever therefore does not bring peace and charity to the altars of Christ will be seized by the feet and the hands, and thrown into the darkness from without. “There will be tears and gnashing of teeth. What are the darkness of the outside? Will there also be prisons and latomias? In no way; but whoever is excluded from the promises of the heavenly commandments is in outer darkness, because the commandments of God are light (Jn, xii, 35); and whoever is without Christ is in darkness, because the inner light is Christ. So it is not a question of the creaking of the material teeth, nor of some eternal fire of material flames, nor of a material worm. But this is to note that, as excess food causes fevers and worms, so too, if one does not somehow cook one’s sins by using sobriety and abstinence, but if, piling up sins on sins, one contracts as indigestion old and new faults, one will be burned by his own fire and devoured by his verses. So Isaiah says, “Walk in the light of your fire and the flame that you have lit” (Is., L, 11). The fire is the one engendered by the sadness of faults; the worm comes from the fact that the insane sins of the soul attack the mind and the senses of the guilty, and gnaw at the entrails of his conscience (Sag., XII, 5); as the worms are born of each, so to speak of the body of the sinner. So the Lord said it through Isaiah, saying, “And they shall see the members of men who have averred against me; and their worm will not die, and their fire will not be extinguished “(Is., LXVI, 24). The grinding of teeth also expresses a feeling of indignation, because too late we repent, too late we moan, too late we take it upon ourselves to have sinned with a perversity so tenacious. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrose-on-luke-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edifying Comments:

 

From the above, Blessed St. Ambrose does NOT see that the ‘Final Lake of Fire is literal (material, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 20:11 – 15)’ nor that the ‘Worm is literal’ (Mark 9:48) and Neither that the ‘Gnashing of teeth as literal either’ (Matthew 13:42, Luke 13:28):

 

“… So it is not a question of the creaking of the material teeth, nor of some eternal fire of material flames, nor of a material worm. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

So, the Eternal (or ‘age-during’ shame/punishment) as Blessed St. Ambrose of Milan sees it as that they lose these Great Rewards in Comparison to those who attain it and are Sad permanently due to it.

 

Blessed St. Ambrose doesn’t seem to see that they’re unsaved (because they are NOT in “prisons” anymore, “nor” will be placed there thereafter) but may be dwelling in the other darkness regions, to quote:

 

“… What are the darkness of the outside? Will there also be prisons and latomias? In no way; but whoever is excluded from the promises of the heavenly commandments is in outer darkness, because the commandments of God are light …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

  1. iv) Saved vs Entering His Kingdom of the Heavens – Differences

 

“… Finally, as to a veteran who has finished his service, this bonus is offered, the contempt of riches. For whoever, absorbed by the lower worries, obtains terrestrial domains, can not obtain the kingdom of heaven, since the Lord says: “Sell all your goods, and follow me” (Matt., XIX, 21); no more he who buys oxen, since Elisha killed those he had and shared them with the people (I Kings, XIX, 21); as for the one who takes a wife, he thinks of the things of the world, not of God. This is not to condemn marriage, but because virginity is called to a greater honor; for “the unmarried woman and the widow think of the things of the Lord, so that she is holy in body and spirit; for she who is married thinks of the things of the world, and how to please her husband “(I Cor. VII, 34). But to return to grace, as we have done above for widows, with wives, we do not reject the opinion followed by many, in the thought of which three kinds of people are excluded from the society of this great feast : Gentiles, Jews, heretics. This is why the Apostle tells us to flee from greed (Rom., I, 29), lest they be hindered, in the manner of the Gentiles, by injustice, malice, impurity, avarice we can not reach the Kingdom of Christ: for “every miser, every unclean person – he is a slave to idols – can not be heir to the kingdom of Christ and to God” (Ephesians 5: 5) … (The guests) therefore apologize, because the Kingdom is not closed to anyone who has not excluded himself by the testimony of his word; the Lord in his clemency invites everyone, but it is our cowardice or our misguidance that separates us. So whoever buys a farm is a stranger to the Kingdom: for in Noah’s day you have read it, buyer and seller have been swallowed up by the flood (Matt., XXI, 21); likewise he who prefers the yoke of the Law to the benefit of grace, and the one who apologizes because he takes a wife: for it is written, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and his mother, his wife, or can not be my disciple “(Lk, XVII, 27). So indeed that the Lord because of us gives up his Mother when He says, “Who are my mother, or who are my brothers? (Matt. Xii. 48) Why would you prefer them to your Master? But the Lord commands neither to misunderstand nature nor to be a slave to it: simply to condescend to nature while venerating its Author, and without failing God for the sake of the parents. So, after the proud disdain of the rich, He turned to the Gentiles; He made good and bad come in, to make the good grow, to change the dispositions of the wicked well, to realize what was read today: “Then wolves and lambs will have common pasture” (Is., LXV, 25 ). He invites the poor, the infirm, the blind: which shows us that bodily infirmity excludes no one from the Kingdom, and that sins are rarer when there is no invitation to sin; or that the infirmity of sins is forgiven by the mercy of the Lord, so that being redeemed from his fault not by works, but by faith, if one glorifies oneself it will be in the Lord (Rom. IX, 32, I Cor., 1,31). …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrose-on-luke-14

Please note ‘carefully’ the following phrases from above:

  1. a) Will the Wolf [Formerly Wicked] and Lamb [Righteous] meet in some Common Pasture [Regions] after being Saved?

One Last Chance on Judgment Day to attain Basic Salvation probably into the ‘lower terrestrial domains’ (or ‘Outer Darkness’) Regions?

to quote from above too:

“… He made good and bad come in, to make the good grow, to change the dispositions of the wicked well, to realize what was read today: “Then wolves and lambs will have common pasture” (Is., LXV, 25 ). He invites the poor, the infirm, the blind: which shows us that bodily infirmity excludes no one from the Kingdom, and that sins are rarer when there is no invitation to sin; or that the infirmity of sins is forgiven by the mercy of the Lord, so that being redeemed from his fault not by works, but by faith, if one glorifies oneself it will be in the Lord (Rom. IX, 32, I Cor., 1,31). …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

Focus Phrase Proving our Claim:

” … He made good and bad come in, to make the good grow, to change the dispositions of the wicked well …” where the phrase “change the dispositions of the wicked well” may mean Repentance and Chance to attain to Faith on His Second Coming as Blessed St. Ambrose continues, “… that the infirmity of sins is forgiven by the mercy of the Lord, so that being redeemed from his fault not by works, but by faith, …”.

 

 

This “Repentance Hope’ for ‘Basic Salvation Hope’ (not without Judgment first of course) is similarly echoed in both Blessed Ambrosiaster as well as the Book of Enoch too, to quote (again) for comparison:

 

 

” … QUESTION 126. FROM THE ONE WHO RECEIVED THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST. … In fact, the knowledge of God must inspire the fear of the just judge, in whose court he teaches us that the faithful will receive the reward of their righteousness, and the ungodly, that is to say the unbelievers, the just punishment of their infidelity. It is of all justice, indeed, that the good ones be filled with joy in the future life in which Jesus Christ must reign with his chosen ones. They have been exposed to scorn, outrages in this world where the devil reigns, they will appear surrounded by glory in the kingdom of Jesus Christ for which they have borne the contempt of the worldly. SINNERS, on the contrary, who seemed to shine here below a false brilliance, opposing falsehood to truth, have to wait for tribulation and an imaginary glory to succeed for them a contempt, a humiliation too real. The righteous will rejoice in having believed, when they witness the chastisements of the unbelieving, and THE UNFAITHFUL WILL REPENT of THEIR UNBELIEF ONLY when THEY SEE BOTH THEIR OWN CHASTISEMENT and the glory of those WHOSE FAITH THEY HAD REGARDED as an ACT of MADNESS, which was only worthy of their contempt. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster (literally in Latin: “would-be Ambrose”), Roman Clergy active at Rome during the reign of Pope Damasus (c.366 AD – c. 384 AD)

 

Source:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/ambrosiaster-questions-on-the-old-and-new-testaments/polemic

 

 

 

Focus Phrases Proving our Claim:

 

“… SINNERS, on the contrary, who seemed to shine here below a false brilliance, opposing falsehood to truth, have to wait for tribulation and an imaginary glory to succeed for them a contempt, a humiliation too real. … and THE UNFAITHFUL WILL REPENT of THEIR UNBELIEF ONLY when THEY SEE BOTH THEIR OWN CHASTISEMENT and the glory of those WHOSE FAITH THEY HAD REGARDED as an ACT of MADNESS, which was only worthy of their contempt. …” – Blessed Ambrosiaster

 

Since these “sinners” or the “unfaithful” who “repent of their unbelief” on this Judgment Day (according to Blessed Ambrosiaster above) are said to have been those who regarded the Faith of True-Christians as “Madness”, thus these must refer to the ‘Sinners’ (Good non-Christians) and/or ‘Wicked only’ being ‘unbelievers’ who must first endure their Judgment/Chastisement first accordingly (Luke 12:46 – 48) making our definition earlier accurate in Blessed Ambrosiaster’s own words in this ‘Judgment Day Context’.

 

 

This agrees not only to the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ visions alone but others too such as the Apocalypse of Elijah, Apocalypse of Zephaniah, the Christian-Jewish Sibyline Oracles, the Epistle of the Apostles, St. Julian of Norwich’s Visions & even the Visions of Sadhu Sundar Singh as it was Discussed in Previous essays and the Book of Enoch too.

 

  1. b) The Marriage Factor

 

Even Blessed St. Ambrose Preaches this Same ‘Higher and Lower Ranking/Reward Level in His Kingdom’ based on ‘our choice to marry or not’ agreeing Perfectly to all the saints we have quoted prior from First Christianity too likewise earlier posts, to quote:

 

“… as for the one who takes a wife, he thinks of the things of the world, not of God. This is not to condemn marriage, but because virginity is called to a greater honor; for “the unmarried woman and the widow think of the things of the Lord, so that she is holy in body and spirit; for she who is married thinks of the things of the world, and how to please her husband “(I Cor. VII, 34). …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

 

and those who treat their wives or parents more important than God are not worthy of His Kingdom:

 

“… likewise he who prefers the yoke of the Law to the benefit of grace, and the one who apologizes because he takes a wife: for it is written, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and his mother, his wife, or can not be my disciple “(Lk, XVII, 27). So indeed that the Lord because of us gives up his Mother when He says, “Who are my mother, or who are my brothers? (Matt. Xii. 48) Why would you prefer them to your Master? But the Lord commands neither to misunderstand nature nor to be a slave to it: simply to condescend to nature while venerating its Author, and without failing God for the sake of the parents. …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

  1. c) The Money Factor

 

Those who Finish the Race by Forsaking All or Most of his Earthly Possessions (i.e. ‘the contempt of riches’ Contest of Faith) get the ‘Kingdom of Heaven Reward’ while those who don’t get only the ‘lower terrestrial domains’.

 

“… Finally, as to a veteran who has finished his service, this bonus is offered, the contempt of riches. For whoever, absorbed by the lower worries, obtains terrestrial domains, can not obtain the kingdom of heaven, since the Lord says: “Sell all your goods, and follow me” (Matt., XIX, 21); …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

So, do we want to be in the ‘lower terrestrial domains’ or the ‘Highest Kingdom of Heaven Reward’?

 

and some who are too deep into ‘Money Pursuits’ of this life are entirely rejected from His Kingdom too [hence please beware of the ‘Prosperity Gospel Message’ lest you lose much or even lose your Salvation in the end], to quote:

 

“… (The guests) therefore apologize, because the Kingdom is not closed to anyone who has not excluded himself by the testimony of his word; the Lord in his clemency invites everyone, but it is our cowardice or our misguidance that separates us. So whoever buys a farm is a stranger to the Kingdom: for in Noah’s day you have read it, buyer and seller have been swallowed up by the flood (Matt., XXI, 21); …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan

 

Final Summary

 

 

 

The General Salvation of All Men (1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10) referring to the being Sinless Glorious Liberty of the ‘sons of God’ (this part of the Christian Salvation is promised toward All Creation too eventually as Prophesied in Romans 8:19 – 22), is contrasted from the ‘Good Soil believers Salvation of the thirty, sixty & hundred fold’, to quote:

 

 

 

“… The Divine grace variously distributed… Further also, when the word is sown, it does not yield a uniform produce of fruit in this human life, but one various and rich ; for it bringeth forth, some an hundred j^nd some Matt.] 3, 8. sixty, and some thirty 7 , as the Saviour teaches — that Sower of grace, and Bestower of the Spirit … Nor is the grace confined to the perfect alone; but it is sent down also among those who occupy the middle and the third ranks, so that He might RESCUE ALL MEN GENERALLY to SALVATION…” – Blessed St. Athanasius the Great, the Father of Orthodoxy, Patriarch of Alexandria and Champion of Trinity, Doctor of the Church and Confessor (c. 296 AD – c. 373 AD, Festal Letter 70 – 71)

 

 

 

Source:

 

 

https://archive.org/stream/FestalEpistlesOfStAthanasiusEnglishTranslation/The_festal_epistles_of_S_Athanasius_Engl-Transl_djvu.txt

 

 

 

Comment: In the last quote above, St. Athanasius is revealing that the Grace of God Works in different Ways beginning with the Perfect (Hundredfold Seed) to the Second Rank (Sixty Fold Seed) to the Third Rank (Thirty Fold Seed) and lastly toward a ‘General Salvation which Rescues ALL MEN to be sinless again (implied)’. Right?

 

Is it Dangerous to Philosophize regarding these Topics? Not at all, to quote:

 

“Philosophize about the world or worlds; about matter; about soul; about natures endowed with reason, good or bad; about resurrection, about judgment, about reward, or the Sufferings of Christ. For in these subjects to hit the mark is not useless, and to miss it is not dangerous.” – Blessed St. Gregory the Theologian (Oration 27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illusion vs Truth – Renewing our Mind as Christians – The Romans 12:2 Mystery

 

Example First Christianity Commentary on Romans 12:2:

 

“… 12:2. And follow not the fashions16 of this world. He speaks of the things of this present world, such as wealth, and power, and other like pomps, by fashions, future things being substances, as alone permanent and satisfying; for so in another place also, (1 Cor. vii. 31,) “for the fashion of this world passeth away.” For many from the height of abundance have fallen into the extremest poverty, and others sprung from the lowest parents become entrusted with the noblest offices of authority; and some again who elevated an haughty brow, and enlarged themselves in pride, conceiving themselves superior to everybody, being suddenly carried off, have become ill-savoured dust. The holy apostle therefore desires us not to gape after these things, nor to love the fashion of this world, but to seek those things which advance the life eternal. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. He exhorts here those also who were inclining to the worse to return again to the better, as the word transformed shews. And he teaches how great is the difference between virtue and mere present objects, by calling them fashions, but virtue a form, for a form indicates actually existing objects, but a fashion that which quickly melts away. And he points out the freedom of will which the soul possesses, by commanding it both to renew the mind, and to discriminate the better from the worse; for these things are what he says serve God; and he marks out what these are; and first of all he denounces arrogance, and enjoins humility. …” – Blessed St. Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus (c. 393 AD – c. 458/466 AD) was an influential theologian of the School of Antioch, biblical commentator, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus (423 AD – 457 AD). He played a pivotal role in several 5th-century Byzantine Church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/romans/theodoret-of-cyrus-on-romans

 

Conclusion

 

The Renewing of our Mind as Christians points to a Renunciation of all that one has for Christ in some way as Luke 14:33 Commands toward the Three Evangelical Counsels of the Gospel which are toward “Voluntary Poverty” (Matthew 19:21, 27 – 30), “Chastity” (1 Corinthians 7:38, Matthew 19:12) and “Obedience” (Matthew 5:19, John 14:15). In short, there is ‘no room for any Prosperity Gospel’ at all as these Verses Imply as Evidenced in the First Christianity quote below too regarding the Context of Romans 12:2 in reference to the “Will of God” (Warning: Matthew 7:20 – 23), to quote:

 

“… And who, it may be said, is ignorant of what is expedient, and what is the will of God? They that are flurried with the things of this world, they that deem riches an enviable thing, they that make light of poverty, they that follow after power, they that are gaping after outward glory, they that think themselves great men when they raise fine houses, and buy costly sepulchres, and keep herds of slaves, and carry a great swarm of eunuchs about with them; these know not what is expedient for them, or what the will of God is. For both of these are but one thing. For God wills what things are expedient for us, and what God wills, that is also expedient for us. What then are the things which God wills? To live in poverty, in lowliness of mind, in contempt of glory; in continency, not in self-indulgence; in tribulation, not in ease; in sorrow, not in dissipation and laughter; in all the other points whereon He has given us laws. …” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/romans/st-john-chrysostom-on-romans/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12

 

Note: Why do we call these Ancient Christians as “Blessed”?

 

Because the Lord Himself Commands us to ‘Bless’ even those who curse us (Verse below), now how much more such Pivotal Early Christians?

 

“bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – The Source of All Real Blessedness, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:29, NKJV)

 

Please read carefully what Blessed St. John Chrysostom (not my opinion) says in regards to ‘what God’s Will actually is for a True Christian’ in his last quote above, to repeat it here (again) which clearly seems to point to the ‘Prosperity Gospel as a Dangerous Opinion’ especially since ‘only those who do the Will of God Enter into the kingdom of the heavens’ (Matthew 7:20 – 23), to quote:

 

“20Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – The God of the Heavens, Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:20 – 23, NKJV)

 

“… What then are the things which God wills? To live in poverty, in lowliness of mind, in contempt of glory; in continency, not in self-indulgence; in tribulation, not in ease; in sorrow, not in dissipation and laughter; in all the other points whereon He has given us laws. …” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Comment: This Summary by Blessed St. John Chrysostom agrees to all other early Christian leaders of First Christianity regarding this Topic. Here’s an interesting Fact: Not one (yes, I repeat: “not one”) early Christian leader from First Christianity taught ‘Prosperity Gospel as a Will of God’ . If anyone claims otherwise, please show me the proof which source, thank you.

 

The logic is this: on topics where these earliest Church leaders utter more than one distinctly differing opinions (e. g. Christ Centered Universalism vs Eternal Hell), we may be forgiven to err either way as even some of these great saints erred (as both can’t be right). However, on Topics such as these (e. g. “Voluntary Poverty”) and Renunciation of all that one possesses in some way to become Christ’s Disciple (Luke 14:33), they never have seemed to have contradicted each other and hence this Context regarding the “Will of God” must be true as the Bible clearly reveals that God’s Will is against “hoarding up money or savings for oneself into a very long time”, Verses below:

 

(i) Liable for Possible Punishment in Fire Verse

 

“Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” – Blessed St. James the Just, First Bishop of Jerusalem (James 5:3, NASB)

 

(ii) Not Rich nor Great in His Kingdom even if a rich Christian makes it

 

“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:21, NASB)

 

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” – The Selfless One Who gave up all the Heavens for us, Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 14:33, NASB)

 

How Serious is it?

 

“… He teaches that not only are riches to be contemned but are also dangerous, that in them is the root of enticing evils, that device the blindness of the human mind with hidden deception. So God rebukes the foolish rich man who ponders on his worldly wealth and boasts of the abundance of his overflowing harvests, saying: ‘Thou fool, this night do they demand thy soul of thee; and the things thou hast provided, whose will they be?’ The fool was rejoicing in his stores in the night when he was about to die and he whose life was now ebbing pondered on the abundance of his sustenance. However, on the other hand, the Lord teaches that he becomes perfect and complete who by selling all his possessions and distributing them for the use of the poor lays up for himself a treasure in heaven. He says that that man can follow Him and imitate the glory of the Lord’s passion, who unencumbered and with his loins girded is not involved in the entanglements of personal property, but unentangled and free he himself also accompanies his possessions sent on before to the Lord. That each one of us may be able to prepare himself for this, thus he learns to pray and from the principle of prayer to know what sort of man he ought to be. …” – Blessed St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, a pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine, Martyr for Christ (c. 200 AD – c. 258 AD)

 

Source (St. Cyprian on the Our Father, Chapter 20):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-cyprian-on-the-our-father

 

And

 

“… For this reason we are enjoined to ask what is sufficient for the preservation of the substance of the body: not luxury, but food, which restores what the body loses, and prevents death by hunger; not tables to inflame and drive on to pleasures, nor such things as make the body wax wanton against the soul; but bread, and that, too, not for a great number of years, but what is sufficient for us today. …” – Blessed St. Hippolytus of Rome, Disciple of Blessed St. Irenaeous of Lyons, who daringly opposed the Roman Popes who softened the penitential system to accommodate the large number of new pagan converts, Martyr for Christ (c. 170 AD – c. 235 AD)

 

Source (St. Hippolytus Fragment on Matthew):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-hippolytus-fragment-on-matthew

 

‘… Please Don’t lose the Highest Rewards of the Kingdom of the Heavens especially because of Money or other earthly desires … ‘

 

So, let us be Wise Biblically in regards to this lest we miss out greatly, to quote:

 

“… Or, The “oil” denotes charity, alms, and every aid rendered to the needy; the lamps denote the gifts of virginity; and He calls them “foolish,” because after having gone through the greater toil, they lost all for the sake of a less; for it is greater labour to overcome the desires of the flesh than of money….” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD)

 

Source:

 

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/catena-aurea-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13/chapter-14/chapter-15/chapter-16/chapter-17/chapter-18/chapter-19/chapter-20/chapter-21/chapter-22/chapter-23/chapter-24/chapter-25

 

One thing is for sure: As these First Christianity Saints all both Practiced and Preached these Greatest Truths regarding the Reward of the Kingdom of the Heavens, those who follow Christ Likewise and Preach and Practice these somewhat to the best of their ability as Christians will get their Reward Fairly too, to quote:

 

” … And yet if both the land be good, and the Sower one, and the seed the same, wherefore did one bear a hundred, one sixty, one thirty? Here again the difference is from the nature of the ground, for even where the ground is good, great even therein is the difference. Do you see, that not the husbandman is to be blamed, nor the seed, but the land that receives it? Not for its nature, but for its disposition. And herein too, great is His mercy to man, that He does not require one measure of virtue, but while He receives the first, and casts not out the second, He gives also a place to the third… Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, says He; and He speaks what we before mentioned, of carelessness and attention, of cowardice and fortitude, of wealth and VOLUNTARY POVERTY; pointing out the hurt from the one, and the benefit from the other… Then of virtue also He brings forward different forms. For being full of love to man, He marked out not one only way, nor did He say, unless one bring forth an hundred [HUNDREDFOLD], he is an outcast; but he that brings forth sixty [SIXTY FOLD] is saved also, and not he only, but also the producer of thirty [THIRTY-FOLD]. And this He said, making out salvation to be easy. And thou then, are you unable to practise virginity? Be chaste in marriage. Are you UNABLE to strip yourself of YOUR POSSESSIONS? Give of YOUR SUBSTANCE. Can you NOT BEAR that BURDEN? SHARE YOUR GOOD with Christ. Are YOU UNWILLING to YIELD Him UP ALL? GIVE HIM but THE HALF, but the THIRD PART [of your Money/Possessions]. He is your brother, and joint-heir, make Him joint-heir with you here too. WHATSOEVER YOU GIVE HIM, YOU WILL GIVE TO YOURSELF … ” – Blessed St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church (c. 349 AD – c. 407 AD, ‘Commentary on Matthew’, Chapter 13)

 

 

Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/matthew-commentary/st-john-chrysostom-on-matthew/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9/chapter-10/chapter-11/chapter-12/chapter-13

 

Please remember that if you practice it by yourself secretly as a Christian without preaching these Biblical Truths to others, we might not be that great either as the Lord Himself wants us to both Practice (“do”) and Preach (“teach”) it toward others, to quote:

 

“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)

 

“… A Church pure and untouched by the harshness of our times is not easily found and from now on rarely to be seen – a Church that has preserved the apostolic doctrine unadulterated and inviolate! . . . Beloved brethren, we are small and humble, but we have not accommodated our faith according to changing events. … [Letter to Evaisenians], ” – Blessed St. Basil the Great, (c. 329 AD – c. 379 AD), was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labor. Together with Pachomius, he is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity.

*Info Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_of_Caesarea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes of Perfect Faith in First Christianity

 

Focus: Good Works only Remains with the Love of God Mystery.

 

Why? – What is our Intention in our Good Works?

 

The Quote in Image highlights a deep reason regarding ‘doing a Good Work in order to spare oneself from Judgment or fear of Hell’ (i. e. ‘What will happen to me if I don’t do it? ‘) vs ‘doing a Good Work out of the Love of God as the Greater Motivation’ (i. e. ‘What will happen to that person if I don’t help him/her’?) as the “Bible Verse” (and ‘not opinion’, in two translations) & a First Christianity Quote below agrees Perfectly:

 

“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.” – The Holy and Noble, Blessed St. Paul the Apostle of Christ (1 Corinthians 13:3, NASB)

 

or

 

“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.” The Holy and Noble, Blessed St. Paul the Apostle of Christ (1 Corinthians 13:3, NKJV)

 

And

 

“… the profit is thin, and the merit is low, when it is the fear of the punishment which prevents from going astray, since the charity and the love have a superior dignity …” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine

 

Conclusion

 

In what Judgment Context did Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan quote the Warning above?

 

Please consider his quote in full below for edification:

 

“… I came to set the earth on fire, and what is my will, if not that finally it lights up? [Luke 12:49] I must be baptized with a baptism, and what is my torment as long as it is not accomplished! ” Higher up, He has kept us vigilant, waiting at all times for the coming of the Lord Savior, lest by slackening, by negligence, by differing from day to day his work, such, preceded by the day of the future judgment or by his own death, lose the reward of his management. It was addressed to all, in the form of a general precept; but the theme of the following comparison seems to be proposed to the bishops, that is to say, to the bishops, to let them know that they will have to undergo a severe punishment later, if, occupied with the pleasures of the century, they neglected to govern the house of the Lord and the people entrusted to them. But as the profit is thin, and the merit is low, when it is the fear of the punishment which prevents from going astray, since the charity and the love have a superior dignity, the Lord sharpens our zeal to deserve its favor and we are inflamed with the desire to acquire God, saying, “I have come to set fire to the earth,” not certainly the fire that consumes the goods, but the one that produces the good will, which makes the vases of and from the house of the Lord, consuming the hay and the straw (I Cor. iii. 12ff., 1 Corinthians 3:11 – 15), devouring all the gangue of the age, amassed by worldly pleasure, the work of the flesh that is to perish;… They have thus taught with evidentness what is the action of this fire, which enlightens the intimate of the heart. For this reason perhaps the Lord will come into the fire (see Is., LXVI, 15; 16): to consume all the vices at the moment of the resurrection, to fill by his presence the desires of each one, and to project the light on merits and mysteries….” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of Augustine (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Commentary on Luke XII, Verses Luke 12:49 – 50)

 

Source:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/luke-commentary/ambrose-on-luke-12

 

Now did Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan’s own life live up to the Gospel Teaching? To quote, please consider these Amazing Facts regarding his life in Christ:

 

  1. Not one Prayer to Mary exists despite St. Ambrose’s numerous works

Please the Roman Catholic Quotes of him regarding Virgin Mary to realize that ‘he respected Virgin Mary’ but did ‘not pray to her’ (entirely different meaning), example quotes in Roman Catholic link below:

 

https://tomperna.org/2015/12/07/mondays-with-mary-st-ambrose-of-milan-and-western-marian-doctrine/

 

  1. St. Ambrose was a wealthy Governor of Milan who was surprisingly Voted as Bishop even before he was Baptized (yes, Bishops were Voted in by Majority Democracy, unlike today)

 

:… In 374, the Archbishop of Milan died. The people at that time elected the bishops, but there was a great division among them as to who the new bishop should be. The crowd became disorderly, and it appeared riots were about to break out. Governor Ambrose came to encourage the people to conduct themselves in an orderly and Christian manner. A little child cried out, “Let Ambrose be our bishop,” and the crowd picked up the cry. Ambrose was chosen. Up to this point in his life, Ambrose was only a nominal Christian, but he was obviously changed after his election. In a little more than a week he was baptized, taken into Christian ministry, and made a bishop. …”

 

Source:

 

https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/ambrose-11629677.html

 

iii. St. Ambrose fulfilled Christ’s Perfect Command to ‘Sell all your Possessions and Give to the Poor if you want to be Perfect, and then Come and Follow Me’ (Matthew 19:21)

 

“… Once Ambrose took office, he parted with all of his fortune and distributed it to the poor. This was in keeping with the ideal of practical Christianity of that time–unbounded charity and personal poverty. Throughout his life, Ambrose was known for his charity, justice, and humanity. …”

 

Source:

 

https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/ambrose-11629677.html

 

Note: First Christianity does not have “Bishops amassing Private Fortunes in the Name of God” as each of them ‘lived penniless by Faith’ and never became rich by collecting money in the Name of God. All Money collected in the Church went to Church Maintenance, Food and to the Poor (no Bishops in First Christianity ever stored up any money for themselves, in case you didn’t know). This latter heresy was building up in the Time of Blessed St. Jerome where he writes:

 

“… Under Christ’s banner seek for no worldly gain, lest having more than when you first became a clergyman, you hear men say, to your shame, “Their portion shall not profit them.” Welcome poor men and strangers to your homely board, that with them Christ may be your guest. A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague. … Many build churches nowadays; their walls and pillars of glowing marble, their ceilings glittering with gold, their altars studded with jewels. Yet to the choice of Christ’s ministers no heed is paid, And let no one allege against me the wealth of the temple in Judaea, its table, its lamps, its censers, its dishes, its cups, its spoons,1363 and the rest of its golden vessels. If these were approved by the Lord it was at a time when the priests had to offer victims and when the blood of sheep was the redemption of sins. They were figures typifying things still future and were “written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 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? Or if we insist on keeping to the letter and find the mention of gold and wealth so pleasing, let us keep to everything else as well as the gold. … 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. …” – Blessed St. Jerome of the Vulgate, Doctor of the Church who did the First Official Translation of the Bible out of Its Original Languages into Latin (c. 347 AD – c. 420 AD, ‘Letter LII. To Nepotian’, Points 4, 5, 6, 10 in some order)

 

Source:

 

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2/NPNF2-06/Npnf2-06-03.htm#P1872_458890

 

  1. St. Ambrose revolutionized Christian Charity Works to the extent that he even sold off Church Property sometimes to attend to the needs of the poor

 

“… Once he took the valuable communion vessels of the cathedral and converted them into money to redeem some Illyrian captives. When he was criticized for this he asked: Is it better to preserve our gold or the souls of men? Has the Church no higher mission to fulfill than to guard the ornaments made by men’s hands, while the faithful are suffering in exile? Ambrose knew the Church had a spiritual mission and it was not to be tied down by the things of this world. Such was the man the Roman Empress soon found herself up against. …”

 

Source:

 

https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/ambrose-11629677.html

 

and

 

“… Ambrose became a statesman and a counsellor to emperors in a time when the Roman empire was under huge pressure. Among the stories told of him is how, during the warfare with the barbarian Goths and Huns, he would ransom the prisoners they took. On running out of money, he had the precious gold chalices used at communion melted down and used to free even more people. When his Arian enemies accused him of sacrilege, he replied they had forgotten the meaning of the eucharist – the vessels were made of gold because they contained the precious blood of Christ, shed for a ransom. And, he said: ‘If the church possesses gold it is to use it for the needy, not to keep it.’ …”

 

Source:

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/ambrose-of-milan-the-bishop-who-made-an-emperor-kneel/128083.htm

 

  1. St. Ambrose Converted the other Greats of Christianity from their previous Barbaric behaviour and Heresies

 

“… A defining moment for the Bishop comes in a famous encounter between him and the Roman Emperor Theodosius. The Emperor had exacted a horrific massacre of civilians, killing 7,000 in a vengeful response to a public uprising. ‘It is grief to me that the perishing of so many innocent is no grief to you,’ wrote Ambrose to Theodosius, demanding that the emperor repent. He refused him access to worship services until the leader showed contrition for his sin. Theodosius eventually did repent, showing, the remarkable influence that the Church could have on the State, prophetically speaking truth to power. The pair remained close, and Theodosius is attributed (perhaps apocryphally) as saying: ‘I know no bishop worthy of the name, except Ambrose.’ Milan’s bishop would have a major impact on another icon of history: Augustine of Hippo. Augustine, once a wayward and impious rhetorician, was famously moved after visiting Milan and hearing the preaching of Ambrose. He admired the Bishop’s virtue and exposition of Scripture, and Ambrose helped dismantle Augustine’s intellectual objections to Christianity. Following a later profound spiritual encounter, Augustine converted, and it was Ambrose who baptised him. …”

Source:

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/speaking-to-truth-to-power-the-bold-christian-legacy-of-ambrose-of-milan/120807.htm

 

Please note how the Emperor Theodosius whom Blessed St. Ambrose Rebuked sharply till he repented spoke well of the latter as follows (to quote from the above again):

“…. I know no bishop worthy of the name [“Bishop”], except Ambrose [of Milan] …’ – Emperor Theodosius the Great (c. 379 AD – c. 395 AD, King of All of Rome), the last emperor to rule over both the Eastern and the Western halves of the Roman Empire

 

P/S: Here are some further First Christianity Quotes for further Edification regarding this True ‘Christian Lifestyle’

  1. It is not Wrong to do Good Works or attempt to Live Righteously for Christ for the reason of attaining Heavenly Treasures as opposed to earthly Treasures (based on Christ’s Most Blessed Words in Matthew 6:19 – 20 and Luke 12:30 – 33 describing this Transaction)

 

“… 8,6 And the most holy apostle Paul prophesied, “Now the Spirit saith expressly that in the last days harsh times shall come,” 40 and so on. (7) And again, in another place, “Some shall fall away from sound doctrine, giving heed to seducing < spirits > and doctrines of devils, forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be partaken of by us < who receive them > with thanksgiving.” The material before this < will > itself < make it plain > that < this > has clearly come true, in you and in others like you. Most of these sects forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods, though they do not do this for discipline’s sake or for greater virtue with its rewards and crowns, but because they regard these creatures of the Lord as abominations. g,i Now the holy catholic church reveres virginity, monogamy and purity, commends widowhood, and honors and accepts lawful wedlock; but it forbids fornication, adultery and unchastity. (2) This will show the character of the holy catholic church and the false customs of the others — [show], < likewise >, who has seen fit to avoid every imposture, crooked path and uphill track. (3) For I have said before — as has just been said by the most holy apostle and I shall now repeat — that it was to make us secure and distinguish the character of the holy catholic church from the imposture of the sects, that Paul said how arrogantly the sects which forbid matrimony and prescribe abstinence from foods prohibit God’s good ordinances by law. 9,4 For it was < with > a certain fitness that the divine Word said, “Wilt thou be perfect?” 42 in the Gospel. Although he makes allowances for human clay and its frailty, he rejoices in those who can show the marks of piety and choose to practice virginity, purity and continence. Still, he honors marriage to one spouse, (5) even though he prefigures the gifts of the priesthood chiefly by means of persons who stayed continent after one marriage, and persons who remained virgin, and his holy apostles so established the canonical rule of the priesthood, with decency and holiness…” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’, (c. 310 AD – c. 403 AD, ‘MONTANISTS’ , “Panarion or Medicine-Chest”, Point 8.6 – 9.5, Page 14)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/EpiphaniusPanarionBksIIIII1/Epiphanius%20-%20_Panarion_%20-%20Bks%20II%20%26%20III%20-%201_djvu.txt

Focus Phrase Proving our Claim and the Wrong vs Right Reasons highlighted from Quote above as follows:

“… though they [the Heretics] do not do this for discipline’s sake or for greater virtue with its rewards and crowns, but because they regard these creatures of the Lord as abominations. …” – Blessed St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and the ‘Hammer of Heretics’

 

 

  1. Other First Christianity Quotes Proving this True ‘Christian Lifestyle’

 

Note: Each quote below is from Source in link below unless otherwise Stated:

https://www.christian-history.org/possessions-quotes.html

 

“… You shall not turn away from him that is in need, but you shall share all things with your brother and shall not say that they are your own. For if you share what is immortal, how much more things which are temporary? (ch. 4) …” – The Didache, (A.D. 80 – 160)

 

“… You shall share all things with your neighbor; you shall not call things your own; for if you are partakers in common of things which are incorruptible, how much more of those things which are corruptible! (Letter of Barnabas 19) …” – Pseudo-Barnabas, (A.D. 100-130)

 

“… We who valued above all things the acquisition of wealth and possessions now bring what we have into a common treasury and share with everyone in need; … ” (First Apology 14) – Blessed St. Justin Martyr, a Great Early Christian Apologist who is a Foremost Exponent of the Divine Word, who Influenced Virtually all of subsequent Christian philosophy and Catholic theology, Martyr for Christ (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD)

 

“… The mind is lulled to sleep by luxury, but it is strengthened by frugality. Besides, who can be poor if he does not want? Is a person poor if he doesn’t want the possessions of others? Can he be poor if he is rich towards God? No, the person who is poor is the one who desires more even though he has much. And consider this. Who can be as poor as the day he is born? Birds live without any income. Every day the cattle are fed. Just as the person who travels on a road is happier the lighter he walks, so is he happier who carries himself along in poverty in this life and does not breathe heavily under the burden of riches. Let me be clear, though, that if we thought wealth was useful for us, we would ask God for it. We are confident that God would answer us in some measure, because he possesses everything. But we would rather despise riches than possess them. What we want is innocence, and what we pray for is patience. We prefer being good to being lavish…” (The Octavius) – Blessed Marcus Minucius Felix, one of the earliest of the Latin apologists for Christianity, (Died c. 250 AD)

 

“… If you have worldly wealth; if you have brothers allied by blood and other pledges; then abandon the whole wealth of these, which leads to evil. … For each of us [Jesus] gave his life–the equivalent for all. This he demands from us in return for one another. And if we owe our lives to the brethren and have made such a compact with the Savior, why should we hoard anymore and lock up worldly goods, which are beggarly, foreign to us, and transitory? Shall we lock up from each other what after a little while shall be the property of the fire? Divinely and weightily, John says, “He that does not love his brother is a murderer,” the seed of Cain, a nursling of the devil [1 Jn. 3:14-15]. He does not have God’s compassion. He has no hope of better things. He is sterile; he is barren; he is not a branch of the ever-living celestial vine from above. He is cut off; he awaits the perpetual fire. ,,,” (Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved, 35 & 37) – Blessed St. Clement of Alexandria, Head of the Cathecathical School At Alexandria, Teacher of Origen (c. 150 AD – c. 215 AD)

 

“… There is no buying and selling of any sort in the things of God. Though we have our treasure chest, it is not made up of purchase money, as of a religion that has its price. … On the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation, but only if it be his pleasure and only if he be able. For there is no compulsion, all is voluntary. … that the family possessions, which generally destroy brotherhood among you, create fraternal bonds among us. One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another. All things are common among us but our wives. (Apology 39) …” Blessed Tertullian, the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature, the father of Latin Christianity (c. 155 AD – c. 240AD)

 

“… On the day called Sunday … They who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit, and what is collected is deposited with the president, who helps the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in need. [He helps] those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us. In a word [he] takes care of all who are in need. …” (First Apology 67) – Blessed St. Justin Martyr, a Great Early Christian Apologist who is a Foremost Exponent of the Divine Word, who Influenced Virtually all of subsequent Christian philosophy and Catholic theology, Martyr for Christ (c. 100 AD – c. 160 AD)

 

In the eyes of the World, they sound foolish, right? That’s why they are right according to the Verse below:

 

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;” – The Holy and Wise St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 3:19, NKJV)

 

The Great St. Paul, the Apostle of Christ himself Practiced this Lifestyle of Working to Earn and then Giving it to support the poor & others with you (beyond the basic ‘family members’) in his Perfection, to quote:

 

” 32“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35“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.’” – The Holy, Noble and Selfless Blessed St. Paul the Apostle of Christ (Acts of the Apostles 20:32 – 35, NASB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unsaved Christians Mystery – Who are the Many Rejected?

 

Please consider the following Secrets from a set of Ancient Christian Literature called ‘1 Clement’ and ‘2 Clement’ respectively as follows:

 

1) Who is Blessed St. Clement of Rome?

 

“… Pope Clement I (Latin: Clemens Romanus; Greek: Κλήμης Ῥώμης; died 99), also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99.[2] He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch. … A tradition that began in the 3rd and 4th century,[2] has identified him as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians 4:3, a fellow laborer in Christ.[15] … The 2nd-century Shepherd of Hermas mentions a Clement whose office it was to communicate with other churches; most likely, this is a reference to Clement I … The Liber Pontificalis, which documents the reigns of popes, states that Clement had known Peter. …The Liber Pontificalis states that Clement wrote two letters (though the second letter, 2 Clement, is no longer ascribed to him by many modern scholars) …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Clement_I

 

2) What is the ‘1 Clement’ writing?

 

“… The First Epistle of Clement (Ancient Greek: Κλήμεντος πρὸς Κορινθίους, romanized: Klēmentos pros Korinthious, lit. ‘Clement to Corinthians’) is a letter addressed to the Christians in the city of Corinth. The letter was composed at some time between AD 70 and AD 140, most likely around 96. It ranks with Didache as one of the earliest—if not the earliest—of extant Christian documents outside the canonical New Testament. As the name suggests, a Second Epistle of Clement is known, but this is a later work by a different author. Neither 1 nor 2 Clement are part of the canonical New Testament, but they are part of the Apostolic Fathers collection. … The epistle was publicly read from time to time in Corinth, and by the 4th century this usage had spread to other churches. It was included in the 5th century Codex Alexandrinus, which contained the entire Old and New Testaments.[13] It was included with the Gospel of John in the fragmentary early Greek and Akhmimic Coptic papyrus designated Papyrus 6. First Clement is listed as canonical in “Canon 85″ of the Canons of the Apostles, showing that First Clement had canonical rank in at least some regions of early Christendom. Ibn Khaldun also mentions it as part of the New Testament, suggesting that the book may have been in wide and accepted use in either 14th century Spain or Egypt. …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_Clement

 

3) What is the ‘2 Clement’ writing?

 

“… The Second Epistle of Clement (Ancient Greek: Κλήμεντος πρὸς Κορινθίους, romanized: Klēmentos pros Korinthious, lit. ‘from Clement to Corinthians’) often referred to as 2 Clement (pronounced “Second Clement”), is an early Christian writing. It is considered canon by the Coptic Orthodox Church. … 2 Clement was traditionally believed to have been an epistle to the Christian Church in Corinth written by Clement of Rome sometime in the late 1st century.[3] However, 4th-century bishop Eusebius, in his historical work, says that there was one recognized epistle of Clement (namely the so-called First Epistle of Clement).[4] He expresses doubt about the authenticity of a second epistle …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Epistle_of_Clement

 

and

 

“… The Codex Alexandrinus (London, British Library, Royal MS 1. D. V-VIII; Gregory-Aland no. A or 02, Soden δ 4) is a fifth-century Christian manuscript of a Greek Bible,[n 1] containing the majority of the Greek Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. … In addition, the codex contains 1 Clement (lacking 57:7-63) and the homily known as 2 Clement (up to 12:5a) …”

 

Source:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alexandrinus

 

Please note that there is no dispute that ‘1 Clement’ is Written by Blessed St. Clement of Rome but some dispute whether the ‘2 Clement’ was written by him or not. Nevertheless, ‘2 Clement’ was not a heretical manuscript but an orthodox one which even was listed as late as the 5th Century in the Codex Alexandrinus and is even Holy Canonical Scripture in the Ancient ‘Coptic Orthodox Church’ till today proving that even if St. Clement of Rome is not its author (for argument’s sake), it still reflects the Orthodox Mainstream Belief of the Church in its Contents. Here, we will quote ‘2 Clement’ assuming that it was written by St. Clement of Rome too.

 

4) Christ Centered Universalism

 

Christ Centered Universalism Type of Theology is NOT a Heresy but Honoured if it’s based on Love of God (‘Agape’) because there is ‘no Law against Love (‘Agape’) of God’ (Galatians 5:23) even toward Sinners in the Context of wanting them not to perish eternally, to quote [Context for Exodus 32:32 – 33]:

 

“… And the Lord said to him [Moses], “I have spoken to you once and again, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: let Me destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make you a great and wonderful nation, and one much more numerous than this.” But Moses said, “Far be it from You, Lord: pardon the sin of this people; else blot me also out of the book of the living.” O marvellous love! O insuperable perfection! The servant speaks freely to his Lord, and asks forgiveness for the people, or begs that he himself might perish along with them. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 1 Clement Chapter 53)

 

Source [Chapter 53: THE LOVE OF MOSES TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE]:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-roberts.html

 

The True Christian Attitude to keep Praying for the “… forgiveness for the people, or begs that he himself might perish along with them ..” toward whom the Lord Says First, “… stiff-necked people: let Me destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven …” is not called Speaking up against God but is Commended above as “… O marvellous love! O insuperable perfection! ..” to the request of “… Far be it from You, Lord: pardon the sin of this people; else blot me also out of the book of the living. …”, Amazing, isn’t it?

 

Comment: The Wicked can be Saved by the Prayers of the Righteous even in the Context of the Book of Life [Exodus 32:32] as St. Ambrose of Milan explains quoting this same Verse as St. Clement of Rome but only through those ‘closest to the Lord Himself’, to quote:

“… And this confession is indeed rightly made by them, for they have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.” And the vessel of divine election himself said: “If ye have forgiven anything to any one, I forgive also, for what I have forgiven I have done it for your sakes in the person of Christ.” Why, then, do they read Paul’s writings, if they think that he has erred so wickedly as to claim for himself the right of his Lord? But he claimed what he had received, he did not usurp that which was not due to him. It was the Lord’s will to confer great gifts on His disciples. Further, the Novatians confute themselves by the practices of laying on of hands and of baptism, since it is by the same power that sins are remitted in penance and in baptism. Their conduct is then contrasted with that of our Lord… It is the will of the Lord that His disciples should possess great powers; it is His will that the same things which He did when on earth should be done in His Name by His servants. For He said: “Ye shall do greater things than these. … We must then understand in the same manner, “Who shall entreat for him?” as implying: It must be some one of excellent life who shall entreat for him who has sinned against the Lord. The greater the sin, the more worthy must be the prayers that are sought. For it was not any one of the common people who prayed for the Jewish people, but Moses, when forgetful of their covenant they worshipped the head of the calf. Was Moses wrong? Certainly he was not wrong in praying, who both merited and obtained that for which he asked. For what should such love not obtain as that of his when he offered himself for the people and said: “And now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin, forgive; but if not, blot me out of the book of life.” We see that he does not think of himself, like a man full of fancies and scruples, whether he may incur the risk of some offense, as Novatian says he dreads that he might, but rather, thinking of all and forgetful of himself, he was not afraid test he should offend, so that he might rescue and free the people from danger of offense. Rightly, then, is it said: “Who shall entreat for him?” It implies that it must be such an one as Moses to offer himself for those who sin, or such as Jeremiah, who, though the Lord said to him, “Pray not thou for this people,” and yet he prayed and obtained their forgiveness. For at the intercession of the prophet, and the entreaty of so great a seer, the Lord was moved and said to Jerusalem, which had meanwhile repented for its sins, and had said: “O Almighty Lord God of Israel, the soul in anguish, and the troubled spirit crieth unto Thee, hear, O Lord, and have mercy.” And the Lord bids them lay aside the garments of mourning, and to cease the groanings of repentance, saying: “Put off, O Jerusalem, the garment of thy mourning and affliction, and clothe thyself in beauty, the glory which God hath given thee for ever.” ” – Blessed Archbishop St. Ambrose of Milan, the first Great Latin Doctor of the Church, Teacher of St. Augustine, (c. 340 AD – c. 397 AD, Ambrose: Selected Works and Letters, Point 33 – 34 Chapter 7 – 8 Pages 783 – 784, Points 42 – 4 Chapter 9, Page 787)

 

Source:

 

https://archive.org/stream/St.AmbroseSelectedWorksAndLetters/st_ambrose_selected_works_and_letters_djvu.txt

 

 

5) The Way of Agape

 

“But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way [of Agape, Love of God]. … And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ” – The Wise and Gifted St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 12:31, 1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)

 

Is Truth more Important than the Unity of the Majority of the Church?

 

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love [Agape].” – The Wise and Gifted St. Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)

 

Love of God (“Agape”) > Faith. Please let that sink in.

 

The Love of God or ‘Agape’ Attitude (1 Corinthians 13) ranks higher than even Truth or Faith itself as per Verse above, to quote:

 

“… Who then among you is noble-minded? who compassionate? who full of love? Let him declare, “If on my account sedition and disagreement and schisms have arisen, I will depart, I will go away whithersoever you desire, and I will do whatever the majority commands; only let the flock of Christ live on terms of peace with the presbyters set over it.” He that acts thus shall procure to himself great glory in the Lord; and every place will welcome him. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” These things they who live a godly life, that is never to be repented of, both have done and always will do. … ” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 1 Clement Chapter 54)

 

Source [CHAPTER 54 — HE WHO IS FULL OF LOVE WILL INCUR EVERY LOSS, THAT PEACE MAY BE RESTORED TO THE CHURCH]:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-roberts.html

 

This is the main reason why ‘we don’t believe in forming our own church even if we are right’ but as Blessed St. Clement of Rome commands in his apostolic authority, “… I will do whatever the majority commands …” even if it includes being kicked out of the church, i.e. “… If on my account sedition and disagreement and schisms have arisen, I will depart, I will go away whithersoever you desire …” as long as the Majority of Christians is happy [i.e. “… only let the flock of Christ live on terms of peace with the presbyters set over it …”] & this is not in reference of a heretic being put off from a Church but is referring to a True Christian as “… These things they who live a godly life, that is never to be repented of, both have done and always will do …” because these belong to “… Who then among you is noble-minded? who compassionate? who full of love? …” where their reward of leaving Church is not eternal hell but amazingly, “… He that acts thus shall procure to himself great glory in the Lord; and every place will welcome him …” . Are we behaving in such a manner or forming Churches in every corner causing Schisms after Schisms?

 

Are the leaders who form schisms better than St. Clement of Rome?

 

Please notice carefully that St. Clement of Rome clearly points that the ‘separated Godly believer from the Church’ did NOT necessarily follow ‘the majority Church’s doctrine’ as the phrase “… These things they who live a godly life, that is never to be repented of …” especially the line ” … never to be repented of …” means as ‘they live a godly life’ (stated first). In other words, he/she separates themselves out of the Church if the majority is wrong but never ‘repents of his godliness’ but in other aspects keeps with the ‘demand of the majority of the church’ even if the Church may be in error for the Sake of Love of God (“Agape”).

 

The Reward?

 

“… He that acts thus shall procure to himself great glory in the Lord; …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter

 

6) Context for Matthew 7:20 – 23 – Who are the “Many” Christians Rejected from Entering His Kingdom on that Day & Why?

 

Bible Verses first:

 

” … 13“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. … 20Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” …” – The King of the Heavens, God Incarnate-Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13 – 14, 20 – 23, NKJV)

 

Next, please consider:

 

“… Let us, then, not only call Him Lord, for that will not save us. For He saith, “Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall be saved, but he that worketh righteousness.” Wherefore, brethren, let us confess Him by our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, or speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but by being continent, compassionate, and good. We ought also to sympathize with one another, and not be avaricious. By such works let us confess Him, and not by those that are of an opposite kind. And it is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather God. For this reason, if we should do such [wicked] things, the Lord hath said, “Even though ye were gathered together to me in my very bosom, yet if ye were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off, and say unto you, Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.” …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter IV)

 

Source [CHAP. IV.–TRUE CONFESSION OF CHRIST]:

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/2clement-roberts.html

 

Highlight: Please notice ‘carefully’ that Christians who practice this is rejected:

 

‘… not be avaricious … ‘ – Blessed St. Clement of Rome = not loving money

 

while it is also required of them to practice ‘continence’ [e.g. Voluntary Poverty, Chastity & Obedience], remember?

 

‘… but by being continent, compassionate, and good …’ – Blessed St. Clement of Rome

 

7) Context for What is the ‘Will of God’ required to be part of the ‘few Saved’ (Matthew 7:14) on that Great Day of His Return (Matthew 7:21)?

 

“… Wherefore, brethren, leaving [willingly] our sojourn in this present world, let us do the will of Him that called us, and not fear to depart out of this world. For the Lord saith, “Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.” And Peter answered and said unto Him, “What, then, if the wolves shall tear in pieces the lambs?” Jesus said unto Peter, “The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear the wolves; and in like manner, fear not ye them that kill you, and can do nothing more unto you; but fear Him who, after you are dead, has power over both soul and body to cast them into hell-fire.” And consider, brethren, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of life everlasting. By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. …” – Blessed St. Clement of Rome, an Apostolic Father being a direct Disciple of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter (c.35 AD – c. 99 AD, 2 Clement Chapter V)

 

Source [ CHAP. V.–THIS WORLD SHOULD BE DESPISED ]: