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Friday, December 16, 2016

What is Time? part 3 conclusion

What is Time? Part 3



Greetings in Christ Jesus,

What is Time?

Sunday December 18, 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.

So on this day; Sunday December 18, 2016 according to my original tradition it is the 6th Sunday of Advent. On the western calendar (i.e. Roman) this day is the 4th Sunday of Advent.

On the Eastern Orthodox New Calendar today is the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, but according to the Eastern Orthodox Old Calendar it is December 5th, 2016 and the 26th Sunday after Pentecost. On a timeline of days and years, what day is it really?  According to the Hebrew Calendar Sunday, 18 December 2016 is 18th of Kislev, 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?

It is in fact impossible to know what the date actually is using any calendar. But those who choose to believe that every minute or moment (which can be much longer than a minute of time) should be accounted for as to doing God’s work on earth, should in fact be a little more concerned for the accuracy of time for the dates of holy days and times. However in many cases tradition is what is held as important which alludes to power and control at times.

Before anyone attacks me for that comment about tradition or on the other hand chooses to applaud it believing that I am against tradition let me assure both sides; I am not against orthodox or truthful tradition in any way but I am against tradition for the sake of tradition that is used to attack others as heretics and not being Christian simply because that particular tradition is not necessary to salvation or to the survival of a Christian community. Tradition has its place especially where moral teaching is concerned and the teaching and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

However, tradition is not the topic of this paper, the dating of traditions and holy days is the topic. I will only say this on tradition; the celebrating of the resurrection and the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ is a tradition, it is purely a Christian tradition and it has been much maligned by those who claim to be a part of the body and yet attack it ferociously. The wolves are alive and well in the church and have convinced many to follow their lead in the attack by showing the supposed error in the ways of the church and accusing the church of following Lucifer when all the while their own error, pride, arrogance, lies, and corruption go unhindered and totally ignored by those who follow them and declare these two holy days as pagan.

Now let’s get back to time itself.

Our Creator is outside of time, time exists solely for us, God created the sun and the moon which means that it was not in existence and that it was obviously not necessary since it did not exist. We only know time because we have a sun and a moon. Calendars and the tracking of time go back many centuries. The first recorded calendars that we are aware of date to the Bronze Age, dependent on the development of writing in the Ancient Near East, the Egyptian and Sumerian calendars.

The way of counting time as in days and years has changed over time, the first calendars were considered to be lunisolar whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year. This lunar calendar compensates by adding an extra month as needed to realign the months with the seasons. An example is the Hebrew calendar which uses a 19-year cycle. Some calendars had ten months, today’s modern civil calendar; the Gregorian calendar, is strictly a solar calendar with twelve months.

Man began counting time starting with significant events in their history, the Roman calendar started with the founding of Rome. Months were determined by the first sighting of the new moon which was then the new month. Months, later became a fixed number of days which also varied. Each culture created its own calendar and as cultures and society changed so did the calendar. So how do we know anything as far as time goes? How can we know how old man is or how old the earth is? Man has attempted to use what is called ‘The Bible’ and the story of creation and the generations of man to make this determination but with creationists and scientists we have a very large problem with this concept.

According to science the earth is 4.5 billion years old. According to creationists the earth is only about six thousand years old. Time; according to Joshua time stood still when the sun stopped; Joshua 10: 12Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon." 13So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

In another story in reference to Hezekiah the sun moved backwards 10 degrees which would lengthen the day. Has the sun standing still and also moving backwards played any role in the calculation of time?

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth. 2 And the Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 

In a translation in the Hebrew this same verse says; 1. in beginning he-created Elohim the heavens and the earth. 2. And the earth she-became chaos and vacancy and darkness over surfaces-of abyss and spirit of-Elohim vibrating over surfaces-of the waters.

How does the statement; the earth she became chaos and vacancy change not just time itself but our prejudiced and speculative version of time in creation? How are we to understand time when we were not around in the beginning? According to this translation above, the earth may well have existed for quite a long time and the war in the heavens destroyed it. The story in Genesis could very well be an after destruction re-creation of the heavens and the earth. How long was the war going on? We know that there was a war because the scriptures tell us it was so. When did time actually begin? What day is it really? What time is it? We say every minute counts as a minute to honor Jesus the Christ but where did the minute come from? Is it a Christian invention to honor God?

The modern convention is to divide it into 24 hours, an hour into 60 minutes, and a minute into 60 seconds. The division into 60 originated from the ancient Babylonians (1900 B.C.–1650 B.C.), who attributed mystical significance to multiples of 12, and especially to the multiple of 12 times 5, which equals 60. The Babylonians divided the portion that was lit by the Sun into 12 parts, and the dark interval into 12 more, yielding 24 divisions now called hours.

Ancient Arabic navigators measured the height of the Sun and stars in the sky by holding their hand outstretched in front of their faces, marking off the number of spans. An outstretched hand subtends an angle of about 15 degrees at eye level. With 360 degrees in a full circle, 360°divided by 15° equals 24 units, or 24 hours. Babylonian mathematicians also divided a complete circle into 360 divisions, and each of these divisions into 60 parts. Babylonian astronomers also chose the number 60 to subdivide each of the 24 divisions of a day to create minutes, and each of these minutes were divided into 60 smaller parts called seconds.

So while many are so busy attacking the church for using pagan days to celebrate Christian holy days and therefore use this sorry excuse to destroy Christian witness from within the church we find that every second of the day that they claim is dedicated to God is in fact derived from pagan ideas and concepts determining time. Yet they have no problem using them for personal pleasure, for moments of planning attack on the church, for moments of actual attack on the church, and for profit making schemes all in the name of Jesus but refuse to use a chosen day to celebrate a Christian event because of and through prejudice and hate.

Let us take a look at the names of the months that we use today;
·         January   31 days, named for Janus, two-headed god of doorways and gates
·         February 28/29 days, named for Februarius, the month of expiation (making amends for guilt or wrong doing) februa was the name of a purification feast held on the 15th of this month.
·         March 31 days, named for Mars, god of war
·         April  30 days, derived from Latin verb meaning "to open"
·         May 31 days, named for Maia, goddess of Spring and growth
·         June 30 days, named for Juno, goddess of wisdom and marriage and childbirth
·         July 31 days, named for Julius Caesar
·         August 31 days, named for Augustus Caesar
·         September 30 days, named for 7 in Latin,
·         October 31 days, named for 8 in Latin
·         November 31 days, named for 9 in Latin
·         December 31 days, named for 10 in Latin

Let’s now take a look at the days of the week;

·         Sunday, Sun's day
·         Monday, Moon's day
·         Wednesday, Woden's day, Woden is the chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is from wod "violently insane" + -en "headship". He is identified with the Norse Odin.
·         Thursday, Thor's day, Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is represented as riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer Miƶlnir. He is the defender of the Aesir, destined to kill and be killed by the Midgard Serpent.
·         Friday, Freya's day, Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in Germany with Frigg.
·         Saturday, Saturn's day, Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue.


             There are of course variations on the translations and meanings of the days but
the point is this; we have absolutely no idea how long this universe or this earth has existed, people can scream bloody murder, utter threats, place lies all over social media, attack specific Christian groups of specific Christians but this truth will not change.

            Pretty much every day name, every month name, the counting of time even down to a second is from pagan sources. These so called watch dogs of the true and pure faith have no problem using them. Then we have those who attack the church for the choice of days for the celebration of the Resurrection and the birth of our Lord Jesus as being pagan days while calling themselves pure Christians because they know the truth and will not be fooled.

            So here is the bottom line just in case anyone has not yet understood the purpose of this study of time; there are so many from within the church who attack the church for adopting pagan holidays to use as Christian holy days claiming the church became pagan when all along all names and dates on a calendar are derived from non Christian sources even to the counting of seconds. However we need not worry about the dates chosen to celebrate Christian holy days. Despite the pagan roots of names and times, who in reality created time?
           
            Almighty God created time and gave it to us. The Messiah has been expected from the beginning. Lucifer controlled the world until the coming of the Christ child, Jesus is His name and He destroyed the control of the world that Lucifer had. Christians need to stop their pantywaist crying and bellyaching about pagan days being used. It’s time now to take back the days that have been stolen from the beginning.

            Lucifer has controlled this place from the beginning and controls many in the church, the wolves, the so-called watch dogs. Lucifer has controlled the time here long enough.

            You men had better grow a set and stop being led by the nose by every wolf in the church who attacks holy days as pagan. Take time back from Lucifer and stop allowing him to control you. Stand up for Jesus and the church and stop crawling at the feet of the deceiver. Stop listening to those who whine about everything that comes around the bend as pagan unless it truly is.

 As the Lord God told Joshua, stand up and be a man.

In Christ.
 
           



   
Member of the Autocephalous Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas


Many Blessings!

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!