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Saturday, December 3, 2016

What is Time? part 2

What is Time? Part 2


 Greetings in Christ Jesus,

What is Time?
Part 2

Sunday December 4 2016


         We are continuing to look at time as in days, years, months, and centuries as well as specific calendar dates for Christian feasts and fasts. This is in fact a personal issue with me because much of the church is split simply over calendar dates. The Body of Christ can scream as much as it wants about truth but there is much of the argument that is nothing more than ego and pride.

         In part 1 We took a quick look at the date of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and learned that it was initially not something the church concerned herself with. The resurrection was the day to celebrate because this was of course the whole reason Christianity exists. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to the right hand of God the Father. This date became important to the whole of Christianity. Eventually the church began to study the date of the birth because she wanted to celebrate it, Two dates were settled on; one Eastern and one Western. It was determined that the two would agree to disagree and left it at that. (for the time). Actually January 7 in Orthodoxy is the same as December 25 in the Western world. This is the difference in time between the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar. We’ll look at this later.

         Pascha or Easter or the Resurrection date had similar issues between East and West. The Easter/Pascha problem actually begins in the Gospels.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke identifies the Lord’s Last Supper with His disciples as a Passover meal. This would place the death of our Lord on the day after Passover. On the other hand, the tradition of the Gospel of John situates the death of our Lord at the very hour the paschal lambs were sacrificed on the day of Passover itself. This variation in the interpretation of the Scriptures led to two different practices. The one observed Pascha/Easter on the day of Passover, regardless of the day of the week and so it is a fixed date. The other observed it on the Sunday following Passover. By the time of the fourth century, the Sunday practice prevailed throughout the Church universally; yet, there were still differences.

         So a council was convened; the First Ecumenical Council, convened at Nicaea in 325 A.D., took up the issue. It determined that Pascha/Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday that follows the first full moon after the vernal equinox – the actual beginning of spring. If the full moon happens to fall on a Sunday, Pascha/Easter is observed the following Sunday. The day taken to be the invariable date of the vernal equinox is March 21. So, the determination of the date of Pascha/Easter is governed by a process dependent on the vernal equinox and the phase of the moon.

         So far so good right? A church council agreed on a method of dating the celebration of the risen Lord. Ooops, hold on, the Jews used this same method to calculate Passover and so Pascha/Easter was originally celebrated on the same day as Passover. This itself wasn’t a problem, but then something else happened; When the Jews became dispersed there was a departure from the way Passover was reckoned at the time of our Lord’s death and resurrection. This caused the Passover to precede the vernal equinox in some years. It was, in fact, this very thing that led to the condemnation reflected in Canon 1 of Antioch (ca. 330 A.D.) and Canon 7 of the Holy Apostles (late 4th century) of those who celebrate Pascha/Easter “with the Jews.” The purpose of this condemnation was to prevent Christians from taking into account the calculation of Passover in determining the date of Pascha/Easter. This date had already been fixed by the church universally.

         There were some more issues back and forth but by the sixth century, a more secure mode of calculation based on astronomical data was universally accepted. This was an alternative to calculating Pascha/Easter by the Passover date and consisted in the creation of so-called “paschal cycles.” Each paschal cycle corresponded to a certain number of years. Depending upon the number of years in the cycle, the full moon occurred on the same day of the year as at the beginning of the cycle with some exceptions. The more accurate the cycle, the less frequent were the exceptions.
In the East, a nineteen-year cycle was eventually adopted, but in the West an eighty-four-year cycle was used. The use of two different paschal cycles inevitably gave way to differences between the Eastern and Western Churches regarding the observance of Pascha/Easter.

           So, we then have another change that was made by the church in the calendar; the western church adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 to replace the Ju­lian Calendar. This was done to ad­just the discrepancy between the paschal cycle approach to calculating Pascha and the available astronomical data. The church was trying to get closer to accurate time according to the astronomical data. The Orthodox Church continues to base its calculations for the date of Pascha on the Ju­lian Calendar, which was in use at the time of the First Ecumenical Council. And so it does not take into account the thirteen-day difference between the Julian and Gregorian Calendars.

         What this means is that Pas­cha/Easter may not be celebrated before April 3, which was March 21, the date of the vernal equinox, at the time of the First Ecumenical Council. In other words, a difference of thir­teen days exists between the accepted date for the vernal equinox then and now. But understand; time and the moon cycle did not change, only a date on a calendar attempting to get closer to real time changed.
        
         Now Rome, (who was now the world power) had a lot of 
difficulties in making their calendar because of their 
superstition that even numbers were unlucky. So because of that 
their months were 29 or 31 days long, with the exception of 
February, which had 28 days. But four months of 31 days, 
and seven months of 29 days, and one month of 28.

         So the Romans invented an extra month called 
Mercedonius of 22 or 23 days. It was added every 
second year. The Roman calendar eventually became 
so far off that Julius Caesar, advised by the astronomer 
Sosigenes, ordered a major reform. The year of 46
B.C. was made 445 days long by his decree, bringing 
the calendar back in step with the seasons.
          
         Then the calendar became based on solar time (with the value of 365 days and 6 hours). The months were 30 or 31 days in length, and to take care of the 6 hours, every fourth year was made a 366-day year or a leap year. Caesar then decreed the year begin with the first day of January, not with the vernal equinox in late March. This calendar was named the Julian calendar, after Julius Caesar, and the Eastern Orthodox churches continue to use it to this day for holiday calculations. However, despite the correction, the Julian calendar is still 11 1/2 minutes longer than the actual solar year, and after a number of centuries, even 11 1/2 minutes adds up.
         
         So to help everyone understand my frustration when those who are determined to attack any and all who do not use the so-called church calendar, the church calendar was created by a pagan empire and named after a pagan emperor, this church calendar is nothing more than the pagan calendar in use at the time of the first ecumenical council. Those who continue to use it I do not speak against. However those who continue to use it and call everyone else a heretic and attack those who use the Gregorian calendar need to re-examine their Christian conscious. Now let’s take a look at the Gregorian calendar in use today.
         
         Before we begin looking at the next calendar; the Gregorian calendar, I have a question; the church is ever consumed with time, if a monastic was or is late for liturgy/mass or late for or misses the hours there is a great penalty given, the same for the laity except not so much in the modern times. If one is late for liturgy/mass/worship it is frowned upon. Every minute of every day is given by Almighty God and we are not to abuse these minutes but each minute serves a purpose. It has even been said that there will be enough time for rest in the grave we do not need the sleep that we crave because there is so much work to do.

         Considering the above statements wouldn’t you think that if we can get closer to actual time within creation then we should do so? Should we cling to something simply because it existed at some point even if it is proven to be inaccurate? How are we so concerned over every minute and yet completely ignore time itself? Think about this.




This article will continue next time.

In Christ 


   
Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas


Many Blessings!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What is Time? part 1

What is Time? Part 1



Greetings in Christ Jesus,

What is Time?

Sunday November 27, 2016


The article this morning is specifically geared toward those who claim to be a part of the Body of Christ and yet choose to argue over days and times which cause splits and divisions in the body. This article may ultimately span two or three articles in order to say what I want to say and yet keep each article cut to a decent reading time and still convey the full issue.
So on this day; Sunday November 27, 2016 according to my original tradition it is the 3rd Sunday of Advent. On the western calendar (i.e. Roman) this day is the 28th Sunday of Pentecost.
On the Eastern Orthodox New Calendar today is the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, but according to the Eastern Orthodox Old Calendar the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost was Sunday November 14, 2016 and this Sunday in November on this same Old Calendar the date is Sunday the 28th. The actual Sunday November 28, 2016 according to the Old Calendar will be the 25th Sunday after Pentecost. On a timeline of days and years, what day is it really?  According to the Hebrew Calendar Sunday, 27 November 2016 is 26th of Cheshvan, 5777.

Time; Centuries, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. We think that we have it all figured out don’t we? So why are there contradictions in the church calendar? Why does this day; today November 27, 2016 have so many different times if you will attached to it? These different concepts of time have actually caused splits within the Body of Christ with cries of heresy at one another, others crying out with accusation of certain holy days actually being pagan dates of celebration. Many who say that they are in the body refuse to celebrate the Resurrection or Easter, there are those who celebrate it on different days using different calendars and then there are those who call the celebration a pagan holiday and some even call it a pagan holy day and therefore refuse to celebrate the most holy day in all of Christendom without which there is no such thing as Christian except for a scam being perpetrated on humanity.

This same concept goes for the celebration of the birth of our Lord; Christmas. Some have no celebration at all accusing it of being a pagan holiday or a pagan holy day and some celebrate it on different days using different calendars. So the next Christian holy day will be the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ so I will begin this article with that day; Christmas.
So many people who call themselves Christian claim that the date chosen to celebrate Christmas (December 25 on the western calendar) was originally a pagan celebration. There was the Roman mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; and in 274 A.D., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, as the argument goes, is nothing more than a pagan solar festival. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday; more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.

As popular as this theory is and believe me I have heard it a lot, this idea of the origin of Christmas has some problems. It cannot be found in any ancient Christian writings. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.

It was not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts. At first Christians were not concerned with birth dates but regarding Jesus the Christ His death and resurrection was everything. Then some began to speculate on the date of our Lord’s birth. Without going into a long drawn out detail of all of the dates and times I will simply give you the final analysis from the webpage of Biblical Archaeology; “Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus died was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar. March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception. Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.”

“In the East, too, the dates of Jesus’ conception and death were linked. But instead of working from the 14th of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the easterners used the 14th of the first spring month (Artemisios) in their local Greek calendar—April 6 to us. April 6 is, of course, exactly nine months before January 6—the eastern date for Christmas. In the East, too, we have evidence that April was associated with Jesus’ conception and crucifixion. Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis writes that on April 6, “The lamb was shut up in the spotless womb of the holy virgin, he who took away and takes away in perpetual sacrifice the sins of the world.” Even today, the Armenian Church celebrates the Annunciation in early April (on the 7th, not the 6th) and Christmas on January 6.
Thus, we have Christians in two parts of the world calculating Jesus’ birth on the basis that his death and conception took place on the same day (March 25 or April 6) and coming up with two close but different results (December 25 and January 6).”

Time, dates, calendars. We can see in the above that there was actually much thought put into the dating of the birth of our Lord. I have only put a small amount of the information here. But it can be seen that picking a date was not simply using some pagan festival to attract people. This is nothing more than a smear attack on the church. So now we are out of time at the moment.

This article will continue next time.

In Christ.


   
Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas



Many Blessings!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened



Greetings in Christ Jesus,

A reflection on today's readings Sunday 11-20-2016


Old Testament Isaiah 35:1-10
Epistle: Romans 8:3-6
Psalm: 2
Gospel: Matthew 24:15-44
In the readings today we read about the land rejoicing, the desert blossoming as a lily. The people shall see the glory of the Lord and the majesty of our God. The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf shall hear, the lame shall leap like a deer, and the ears of the deaf shall hear.  There will be a pure way and it will be called a holy way. The Lord will gather His own.
The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ in the flesh was and is the beginning of the fulfillment of these things. In the gospels we read about the blind seeing, the lame walking, and the deaf who hear. As we continue in our readings today we see this pure and holy way, we begin to learn that we are to walk in the spirit, that by walking in the flesh is to walk in sin and to walk in the spirit is to follow Jesus on the pure path.
Being in the flesh is not referring to being in our skin and bones, in our body. Walking in the flesh is to be carnally minded. To be in the flesh is to be living in the ways that are against Almighty God; Carnal living; adultery, lust for riches which control our actions like greed, lying, theft, hoarding what we consider to be ours rather than sharing with those who through no fault of their own are in need.
To walk in the spirit is basically the opposite, it is to seek our Lord everyday; living in a way that reflects Him, showing love for all of creation, sharing what we have with those who no fault of their own do not have. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, caring for the widow and the orphan, healing the sick, preaching the gospel, this is walking in the spirit. We must always be praying for one another. Finally we are to continue in this way until the coming again of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.
We are living and have been living in the last days, the days of tribulation, during this whole Christian era. As mankind nears the end of these days it will become worse but we are never the less now living those last days. Love one another and be kind. By this the world will know that we are of Christ and we will know one another. There is no other way.


In Christ.


   

Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas


Many Blessings!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fear in order to enter God's rest 2

Fear in order to enter God’s rest 2



Greetings in Christ Jesus,

A reflection on today's readings Sunday 11-13-2016


Old Testament Isaiah 33:2-9
Epistle Hebrews 7:1-6
Psalm 121/122
Gospel Luke 21:20-36
Last Sunday we were looking at the fear of the Lord which raised questions as to why we should fear the Lord if He is so loving and kind. Also what does it mean to fear the Lord? What’s puzzling to me is the fact that those who call themselves Christian do not understand this already. So before we continue with today’s readings let’s take a look on fearing the Lord.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 10 verse 28 we read; do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Again in the Gospel of Luke chapter 12 verses 4 & 5 we read Jesus words again; 4I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!
I hear the question and also the statement many times; what kind of god would throw people into hell for eternity? This is not love this is a sadistic one who is a power freak, I also hear different versions of these statements. So what’s the deal? Well here’s the deal, Almighty God created all that is seen and unseen, he gave much of His creation the freewill to think for themselves.
Without freewill then love is not true, we would simply be robots, if we love someone freely using our freewill to make this decision then we have a true love, our Creator created out of love and asks for love in return, without true love we have sin; decadence, murder, rape, power control over others for our own personal gain, greed, war, famine. True love is what prevents all of these things and true love can only come through freewill.
It’s a simple matter, if we do not love our Creator, if we do not worship the one who gave us life then we do not love Him, if we do not love Him then we have removed ourselves out of His love. By removing ourselves out of His love we are dooming ourselves for an eternity. The soul never dies and the soul that has removed herself from the love of God will spend eternity suffering because of not knowing the true love of God. This is the fear of the God. At some point our physical life will end and it will end at His discretion.
This time spent here is a battle ground, a time of testing. Who do you love? Your actions will speak for themselves. Jesus said in Matthew 15:8 quoting Isaiah; 8 this people honors me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. 9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.
Here is the understanding in Isaiah 29:13; and the Lord said, because this people come near to me with their mouths, and give honor to me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, and their fear of me is false, a rule given them by the teaching of men;
God has giving us a choice to use our freewill to worship and love Him or to separate ourselves from Him. If we do not worship and worship from the heart out of love then we are fooling only ourselves and we are separating ourselves from our creator and there is no one to blame but ourselves. Lip service to God is sin; it is deceitful and fools no one but the liar who does it.
For the deception we will be cast in to eternal fire of our own freewill. It has been said that if one continually fears hell then one will not fall into it. (St. John Chrysostom). Now let’s move to this Sunday’s lesson.
Today’s Old Testament reading continues with an understanding of fearing the Lord. At the Lord’s presence the nations will flee, all who have gathered against the Lord and the Lord’s chosen shall flee before the Lord, we must wait for the Lord, all things happen in His time not ours.
In our Epistle we learn that the priesthood of the Old Testament is inadequate and that the new Priesthood of Jesus the Christ is eternal, it is from the beginning and will never end. Through the priesthood of Jesus the Christ we have a mediator between us and the Father, Jesus speaks for us if we belong to Him but as we have seen this cannot be merely lip service, Jesus said; if you love me, keep my commandments. Feed and clothe the poor and homeless, care for the widow and the orphan. Love God the Father with all your heart, with all your mind, and all your soul. Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the commandments.
In the psalm we learn that we should be glad to go into the house of the Lord, to give thanks to the name of the Lord because thrones for judgment are there. Peace and prosperity of the heart can be found there.
Today’s gospel is a dire warning to all of those who choose to believe that all is well regardless of what we do or do not do. The temple was destroyed and the Jews, God’s chosen people who decided to not believe were trampled down by the Gentiles. They were scattered throughout the world for almost 2,000 years. Jesus the Christ has ascended and sits on the right hand of God the Father and He will come again to judge the living and the dead. What do you think judging is all about.
Take heed and do not be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. It will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
The fear of the Lord is the first step towards wisdom.
 
In Christ.


   

Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas



Many Blessings!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fear in order to enter God's rest.





Greetings in Christ Jesus,

A reflection on today's readings Sunday 11-06-2016


Hebrews 4: 1-13
Psalm 120/121
Luke 20: 41 to end

      In the reading from the book of Hebrews we start by reading of the promise of living in God's rest. We can note that there will be those who do not enter into His rest and we can begin to understand that His rest is not fully upon us yet. There are a few types of rest in scripture, one is the Sabbath rest given to the Jews, Christians can also enter in to this type of rest when we worship Almighty God through the risen Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit. But this is not the final rest.

      There was a rest for the Jews when they escaped Egypt and entered in to Canaan but this was not a final rest; they still had a lot of work to do. Let us take a quick moment to see also that there was only two people from those Jews who originally fled Egypt and entered the Promised Land; these were Joshua and Caleb.

      We rest in Jesus and yet there is still a lot of work to do and much affliction in this present life. Not all will make it beyond this rest here because some will fall. Were you able to see that in this reading of Hebrews?

      Looking at today's Psalm does it not tell us that the Lord helps us and keeps us?

      In the Gospel of Luke that we read today does it not tell us that the Christ is Lord, He is the Son of David in His humanity and David's Lord in His divinity? We know that Jesus is the Son of David and the Son of God. We know that we have been promised a rest but not all will enter in to this promised rest. How is it that in this short written homily/sermon with these few verses that we can understand who enters this promised rest?

      Start again in the book of the Hebrews; are we not told from the start; therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to come short of it? I don't know about you but I do not hear this word fear very often when the preaching starts. Fear lest you fall away. There is no promise of a guarantee. We must be diligent to enter that rest. God's word is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.

      Are we not told in the Gospel of Luke to beware of the scribes ? Why? The desire of their heart is not the fear and obedience of God but to walk in pride and to be admired by men, and to rob the widows. The fear of the Lord should guide us to repentance  and obedience. Why have we forgotten to  fear and obey. Did Jesus not tell us; if you love me, keep my commandments? This is how we enter in to the rest that is promised. My friends there is no other way.

In Christ.



   
Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas

For Monk Michael's videos; http://www.youtube.com/user/HieroMonkMichael

Monk Michael's 'Spiritual Christianity for Today! on Kindle; http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009ZCIF4M

Monk Michael's 'Spiritual Christianity for Today! paperback; http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&field-author=Rev.%20Fr.%20Michael%20Valentine%20Sweet&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ARev.%20Fr.%20Michael%20Valentine%20Sweet

Many Blessings!
In Christ,
+William






   

Saturday, September 17, 2016

TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.

My Friends,

      After praying the Midnight hours thoughts of many problems in the world  came in to my heart and mind, unity of true Christians foremost. All who claim the Christ seem to have this concept that they alone are the true church and all others are in some sort of error to differing degrees and must be purged of all untruths. Many proselytize those of another group often by standing outside of their place of worship and hand out flyers telling the worshipers how wrong their group is and then become irate and feign offense when someone runs them off. After all they are only attempting to bring the truth to light and show the darkness of the group that they are now targeting in order to save their soul.

      Another problem is the Eucharist which in fact is among the first and foremost issue, the idea that it is merely a symbol and has no substance or life to it of course is all the rage of the devil which keeps the many away from this spiritually life giving food. Another issue is Holy Scripture, there is a major misunderstanding of things written, changes have been made overtime, more differing doctrines and teachings coming from the same books than one can imagine and now there are those that claim that the words are changing within the books as the Bible stands on the shelf or lies on the desk.

      Friends,
Why in the most holy name of Jesus the Christ do we add difficulty to the Christian Way? The world (which is run by the Devil, Lucifer, that Satan), is difficult enough as it is to live a true and pure Christian life, do not make it harder on one another, instead; confess, repent, fast, and pray that one should first gain true understanding within oneself before going off half cocked and saving others. Allow me please to show one simple page that demonstrates much of the way in which we as Christians should behave.

TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.
TEACHING OF THE LORD, THROUGH THE TWELVE APOSTLES, TO THE GENTILES.

CHAPTER I.                   


THERE are two ways, one of life and one of death, 2 but the difference between the two ways is great.

3 This is the way of life: First, thou shalt love God who made thee; secondly, Τhοu shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; and all things whatsoever thou wouldst not have happen to thee, do not thou do to another. Now, this is the teaching 4 of these words:

Bless them that curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for them that persecute you: for what thank have ye if ye love them that love you? Do not the Gentiles also the same? But do you love them that hate you and you shall have no enemy.

5 Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If any one give thee a blow on the right cheek, turn to him the other also, and thou shalt be perfect; if any one compel thee to go one mile, go with him two; if any one take thy cloak, give him thy tunic also; if any one take from thee what is thine, ask not for it back;6 for indeed thou canst not.

To every one that asketh thee give, and ask not back;7 for to all the Father wishes to give of His own gracious gifts.8 Blessed is he that giveth 9 according to the commandment, for 10 he is guiltless; 11 woe to him that taketh; for if, indeed, one taketh who hath need, he shall be guiltless; but 12 he who hath no need shall give account why he took, and for what end, and being in sore straits, shall be examined concerning what he did, and shall not go out thence 13 until he pay the last farthing. But 14 it hath been also said concerning this matter:

Let thine alms drop like sweat into thy hands,15 so long as thou knowest to whom thou givest.

      Friends,
This is one simple page that contains much. There of course is more to this and is easily found or one can simply contact me and I can send a pdf of this complete document. To be a true Christian is a difficult task, it requires supernatural help, we cannot do it on our own. The world is full of distractions and more continue to be invented. The pleasure of the mind and body has superseded anything else. Most believe that they somehow are deserving of some sort of life of ease and pleasure.
   
      Sorry to say that this is not the life of the Christian on earth in the flesh. The flesh, the world, must be conquered within oneself if one is to achieve eternal happiness. There is nothing wrong in pleasure, one must simply determine what that pleasure is; seeking and worshiping Almighty God through Jesus the Christ here while in the flesh is what is needed to be seen as pleasure, even with it's hardships and struggles, this is how one gains faith,strength and perseverance, remember that it is through this faith and perseverance that we achieve heaven.

      Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.

Blessings,

In Christ,
+William


For Monk Michael's videos; http://www.youtube.com/user/HieroMonkMichael

Monk Michael's 'Spiritual Christianity for Today! on Kindle; http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009ZCIF4M

Monk Michael's 'Spiritual Christianity for Today! paperback; http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&field-author=Rev.%20Fr.%20Michael%20Valentine%20Sweet&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ARev.%20Fr.%20Michael%20Valentine%20Sweet

Many Blessings!
In Christ,
+William




Friday, September 2, 2016

Priests Should be on Their Knees!

Priests Should be on Their Knees!


My friends and brethren,

The times and the church are changing rapidly. There are many rumors running around, there are lies being told, so many it is difficult to keep up with. This day of instant communication has caused much trouble. The deceiver is doing excellent work. The flock along with many ministers seem to be going crazy and running amok. It is time, the time is now, all priests, all who claim to know and to love Jesus the Christ need to be on their knees.

We do not know where we are in time according to Almighty God's plan. I can only say this; all true Christians need to be on their knees. This is not a time for complacency, this is not a time for idleness and forgetfulness. This is a time for the knees to be bent, morning and evening. There is nothing more to be said. The church appears to be wavering.

Read the prophet Joel and wonder; will we be there soon? Can we head it off? Do we want it to happen now and get it done? On your knees and seek the will of Almighty God.

Joel 1

 1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Phatuel. 2 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land: did this ever happen in your days, or in the days of your fathers? 3 Tell ye of this to your children, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. 4 That which the palmerworm hath left, the locust hath eaten: and that which the locust hath left, the bruchus hath eaten: and that which the bruchus hath left, the mildew hath destroyed. 5 Awake, ye that are drunk, and weep, and mourn all ye that take delight in drinking sweet wine: for it is cut off from your mouth. 6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong and without number: his teeth are like the teeth of a lion: and his cheek teeth as of a lion's whelp.

7 He hath laid my vineyard waste, and hath pilled off the bark of my fig tree: he hath stripped it bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white. 8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. 9 Sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of the Lord: the priests, the Lord's ministers, have mourned: 10 The country is destroyed, the ground hath mourned: for the corn is wasted, the wine is confounded, the oil hath languished. 11 The husbandmen are ashamed, the vinedressers have howled for the wheat, and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished. 12 The vineyard is confounded, and the fig tree hath languished: the pomegranate tree, and the palm tree, and the apple tree, and all the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withdrawn from the children of men.

13 Gird yourselves, and lament, O ye priests, howl, ye ministers of the altars: go in, lie in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: because sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of your God. 14 Sanctify ye a fast, call an assembly; gather together the ancients, all the inhabitants of the land into the house of your God: and cry ye to the Lord: 15 Ah, ah, ah, for the day: because the day of the Lord is at hand, and it shall come like destruction from the mighty. 16 Is not your food cut off before your eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The beasts have rotted in their dung, the barns are destroyed, the storehouses are broken down: because the corn is confounded. 18 Why did the beast groan, why did the herds of cattle low? because there is no pasture for them: yea, and the flocks of sheep are perished.

19 To thee, O Lord, will I cry: because fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness, and the flame hath burnt all the trees of the country. 20 Yea and the beasts of the field have looked up to thee, as a garden bed that thirsteth after rain, for the springs of waters are dried up, and fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness.


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Many Blessings!
In Christ,
+William