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Valentinian Gnosticism and the Hypostatic Union

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:52 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου   [ ενημερώθηκε 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:53 π.μ. ]

Valentinian Gnosticism and the Hypostatic Union

 

 

I am featuring some quotes on this page in order to show the similarities between valentinian gnosticism and the hypostatic union dogma of a multi component messiah. Valentinus is regarded to be the most successful gnostic and almost became bishop of Rome. Many consider him to have influenced the roman church and its dogmas to a very large degree. It was also the Valentinians that used the term "homoousion" first, "of the same substance", that found its way into the nicean creed through the pagan emperor Constantine's advise in the arian controversy and thus into the trinitarian dogma of Constantinople. The same goes for the "taking on flesh" terminology, which is not to be found in the bible, but in valentinian writings. Since a Spirit entitiy "taking on flesh" is clearly not a "flesh becoming", and since this would deny that the Word of God became flesh, 1. John 4:2-3 would be violated and the hypostatic union further proven to be gnostic and thus antichrist since it claims that The Word came in Spirit and always remained Spirit. Research into this topic begs to devote thought into the possibility of a valentinian gnostic inner core of the catholic faith.

 

Quotes:

 Now with the heresy of the Ariomaniacs, which has corrupted the Church of God... These then teach three hypostases, just as Valentinus the heresiarch first invented in the book entitled by him 'On the Three Natures'. For he was the first to invent three hypostases and three persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he is discovered to have filched this from Hermes and Plato. (Marcellus of Ancrya)

 

In like manner they assign to each of them a separate end. To the material, that is to say the carnal (nature), which they also call the left-handed, they assign undoubted destruction; to the animal (nature), which they also call the right-handed, a doubtful issue, inasmuch as it oscillates between the material and the spiritual, and is sure to fall at last on the side to which it has mainly gravitated. As regards the spiritual, however, (they say) that it enters into the formation of the animal, in order that it may be educated in company with it and be disciplined by repeated intercourse with it. For the animal (nature) was in want of training even by the senses: for this purpose, accordingly, was the whole structure of the world provided; for this purpose also did Soter (the Saviour) present Himself in the world — even for the salvation of the animal (nature). By yet another arrangement they will have it that He, in some prodigious way, clothed Himself with the primary portions of those substances, the whole of which He was going to restore to salvation; in such wise that He assumed the spiritual nature from Achamoth, while He derived the animal (being), Christ, afterwards from the Demiurge; His corporal substance, however, which was constructed of an animal nature (only with wonderful and indescribable skill) (Tertullian - Against the Vaelntinians 1:26)


They hold, accordingly, that our Lord, while preserving the type of the first-begotten and primary tetrad, was compounded of these four substances, — of that which is spiritual, in so far as He was from Achamoth; of that which is animal, as being from the Demiurge by a special dispensation, inasmuch as He was formed [corporeally] with unspeakable skill. (Irenaeus - Against heresies - 1:7:2) 

 

Flesh, according to these (heretics), is matter which is suspended from the soul of the Demiurge.(Hippolytus - Refutation of all heresies 6:32)

 

Wisdom, he says, put forth a receptacle of flesh for the Logos, the spiritual seed; clad in it the Saviour descended.(Clement - Excerpts of Theodotus 1:1)

 

Wherefore it is also said that he “received the form of a servant,” which refers not only to his flesh at the advent, but also to his substance, which he derived from its underlying reality, for substance is a slave, inasmuch as it is passive and subordinate to the active and dominating, cause. (Clement - Excerpts of Theodotus 1:19)

 

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Therefore man is in man, “psychic” in “earthly,” not consisting as part to part but united as whole to whole by God's unspeakable power. Therefore he was created in Paradise in the fourth heaven. For there earthly flesh does not ascend but it was to the divine soul as material flesh. This is the meaning of “This is now bone of my bones,” – he hints at the divine soul which is hidden in the flesh, firm and hard to suffer and very potent, – and “flesh of my flesh” – the material soul which is the body of the divine soul. Concerning these two also, the Saviour says, “That is to be feared which can destroy this soul and this body, the psychic one, in hell.” (Clement - Excerpts of Theodotus 1:51 about the flesh of mankind in general)

 

Now the psychic Christ sits on the right hand of the Creator, as David says, “Sit thou on my right hand” and so on. And he sits there until the end “that they may see him whom they pierced.” But they pierced the appearance, which is the flesh of the psychic one, “for,” it says, “a bone of him shall not be broken,” just as in the case of Adam the prophecy used bone as an allegory for the soul. For the actual soul of Christ deposited itself in the Father's hands, while the body was suffering. But the spiritual nature referred to as “bone” is not yet deposited but he keeps it. (Clement - Excerpts of Theodotus 1:62 about the flesh of mankind in general)

 

The soul held aloft by the air. The air suspended from the ether.

 

Fruits manifest themselves out of the Depth. A child emerges from the womb

 

Explanation By a Later Teacher

 

He means this: "flesh" is matter which is "hanging" from the "soul" of the Craftsman.

 

(Summer Harvest: A Psalm By Valentinus

 

This hymn was written by Valentinus during his time in Rome (139-160AD). In it Valentinus offers a brief summary of his vision of the universe, beginning from below and ending with the Aeons being produced by Depth and Silence in the Fullness. The title of the hymn uses the type of agricultural metaphor typical of Valentinian thought. A commentary by a later Roman Valentinian is appended to the hymn.)

 

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If it is true that once thou wert not in the flesh, but only took flesh at the moment when thou didst come into this world, wherefore should thou also take on flesh when thou didst come into this world, wherefore should though not also take on flesh when thou goest up to the spiritual world?

 

(Epistle to Rheginus 47,2-8)

 

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And if the perfect God is good by nature, in fact he is, for our Savior declared that there is only a single good God, his Father whom he manifested; and if the one who is the opposite nature is evil and wicked, characterized by injustice; then the one situated between the two is neither good nor evil or unjust, but can properly be called just, since he is the arbitrator of the justice which is his.

 

On the one hand, this god will be inferior to the perfect God and the lower than his justice, since he is generated and not ungenerated -- there is only one ungenerated Father, from whom are all things [1 Cor 8:6], since all things depend on him in their own ways. On the other hand, he will be greater and more powerful than the adversary, by nature, since he has a SUBSTANCE of either of them. The SUBSTANCE of the adversary is corruption and darkness, for he is material and complex, while the SUBSTANCE of the ungenerated Father of all is incorruption and self-existent light, simple and homogeneous. The SUBSTANCE of the latter produced a double power, while the Savior is an image of the greater one.

 

And now, do not let this trouble you for the present in your desire to learn how from one first principle of all, simple, and acknowledgedby us and believed by us, ungenerated and incorruptible and good, were constituted these natures of corruption and the Middle, which are different SUBSTANCEs, although it is characteristic of the good to generate and produce things which are like itself and have the same SUBSTANCE.

 

(Letter from Ptolemy to Flora)

 

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My first task as an editor of the Tractatus Tripartitus was to show that this document was a consistent whole and must have originated in the Western or Italic branch of Valentinianism, which was directed by Ptolemaeus and Heracleon. As a matter of fact, there were many parallels between this Tripartite Treatise and the preserved fragments of Heracleon's Commentary on the Gospel of John. But there were also differences. The thought of its author is characterised by a high level of abstraction which is not to be found in other writings from the Valentinian school: 1) The dyad Depth and Silence, still preserved by Ptolemaeus, has become a monas; 2) The quatemio Depth-Silence, Nots-Aletheia, of Valentinus and Ptolemaeus has become a trinity of God, the Son and the Church/Holy Ghost; 3) Sophia has lost all feminine features and is turned into an asexual Logos. Moreover the exotic character of the myth has been removed: the aeons are no longer androgyne. We are miles away from the imaginative mysticism of the bridal chamber in the Gospel of Philip or the prurient style of the Valentinian so-called Lehrbrief transmitted by Epiphanius, Panarion 31,5-6

 

(The Original Doctrine of Valentinus the Gnostic by Gilles Quispel)

 

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The kenosis of Christ was a reflexion of the Valentinian myth of the Fall of Sophia.

 

(A dictionary of the bible Vol. II - Pleiades by James Hastings)

 

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The term μοούσιος had been used before its adoption by the First Council of Nicaea. The Gnostics were the first to use the word μοούσιος, while before the Gnostics there is no trace at all of its existence.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The early church theologians were probably made aware of this concept, and thus of the doctrine of emanation, taught by the Gnostics.[11] In Gnostic texts the word μοούσιος is used with the following meanings:

 

Identity of substance between generator and generated.

 

Identity of substance between things generated of the same substance.

 

Identity of substance between the partners of a syzygy.

 

For example, Basilides, the first known Gnostic thinker to use μοούσιος in the first half of the 2nd century AD, speaks of a threefold sonship consubstantial with the god who is not.[12][13] The Valentinian Gnostic Ptolemy claims in his letter to Flora that it is the nature of the good God to beget and bring forth only beings similar to, and consubstantial with, himself.[14] The term μοούσιος was already in current use by the 2nd-century Gnostics, and through their works it became known to the orthodox heresiologists, though this Gnostic use of the term had no reference to the specific relationship between Father and Son, as is the case in the Nicene Creed.

 

(Wikipedia Homoousion)

 

[1] von Harnack, Adolf, Dogmengeschichte (in German), 1:284–85, n. 3; 2:232–34, n. 4.

 

[2] Ortiz de Urbina, Ignacio (1942), "L'homoousios preniceno" [The prenicene homoousios], Orientalia Christiana Periodica, 8: 194–209.

 

[3] Ortiz de Urbina, Ignacio (1947), El Simbolo Niceno [The Nicene symbol] (in Spanish), Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, pp. 183–202.

 

[4]  Mendizabal, Luis M (1956), "El Homoousios Preniceno Extraeclesiastico" [Ecclesiastical studies], Estudios Eclesiasticos (in Spanish), 30: 147–96.

 

[5]  Prestige, George Leonard (1952) [1936], God in Patristic Thought (2d ed.), London: SPCK, pp. 197–218.

 

[6]  Gerlitz, Peter (1963), Aufierchristliche Einflilsse auf die Entwicklung des christlichen. Trinitatsdogmas, zugleich ein religions- und dogmengeschichtlicher Versuch zur Erklarung der Herkunft der Homousie, Leiden: Brill, pp. 193–221.

 

[7]  Boularand, Ephrem (1972), L'heresie d'Arius et la ‘foi’ de Nicke [The Arius’ heresy and the ‘faith’ of Nicke] (in French), 2, La "foi" de Nicee, Paris: Letouzey & Ane, pp. 331–53.

 

[8]  Kelly, John Norman D (1972), Early Christian Creeds (3d ed.), London: Longman, p. 245.

 

[9]  Dinsen, Frauke (1976), Homoousios. Die Geschichte des Begriffs bis zum Konzil von Konstantinopel (381) (Diss) (in German), Kiel, pp. 4–11.

 

[10]  Stead, Christopher, Divine Substance, pp. 190–202.

 

[11]  Grillmeier, Aloys (1975), Christ in Christian Tradition, 1, From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451), London: Mowbrays, p. 109.

 

[12]  of Rome, Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haeresium [Refutation of all heresies] (in Latin), 7:22, Υότης τριμερής, κατ πάντα τ οκ ντι θε μοούσιος.

 

[13]  For the Gnostic use of the term, Marcovich, Miroslav (1986), Patristische Texte und Studien [Patristic texts & studies] (in German), 25, Berlin: W de Gruyter, pp. 290f. V, 8, 10 (156), V, 17, 6.10 (186 f.).

 

[14]  of Salamis, Epiphanius, Panarion (in Greek), 33:7,8, Το γαθο φύσιν χοντος τ μοια αυτ κα μοούσια γεννν τε κα προφέρειν.

 

(Wikipedia on Homoousion)

 

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Like many third-century Christian scholars, Arius was influenced by the writings of Origen, widely regarded as the first great theologian of Christianity.[17] However, while he drew support from Origen's theories on the Logos, the two did not agree on everything. Arius clearly argued that the Logos had a beginning and that the Son, therefore, was not eternal, and that the Son is clearly subordinate to the Father, the Logos being the highest of the Created Order. This idea is summarized in the statement "there was a time when the Son was not." By way of contrast, Origen taught that the Son was subject to the Father, and some of Origen's writings seem to imply that the Son is subordinate and less than the Father in some ways. However, Origen believed the relation of the Son to the Father had no beginning, and that the Son was "eternally generated".[18]

 

 

 

Arius objected to Origen's doctrine, complaining about it in his letter to the Nicomedian Eusebius, who had also studied under Lucian. Nevertheless, despite disagreeing with Origen on this point, Arius found solace in his writings, which used expressions that favored Arius's contention that the Logos was of a different substance than the Father, and owed his existence to his Father's will. However, because Origen's theological speculations were often proffered to stimulate further inquiry rather than to put an end to any given dispute, both Arius and his opponents were able to invoke the authority of this revered (at the time) theologian during their debate.[19]

 

 

 

Arius emphasized the supremacy and uniqueness of God the Father, meaning that the Father alone is infinite and eternal and almighty, and that therefore the Father's divinity must be greater than the Son's. Arius taught that the Son had a beginning, contrary to Origen, who taught that the Son was less than the Father only in power, but not in time. Arius maintained that the Son possessed neither the eternity nor the true divinity of the Father, but was rather made "God" only by the Father's permission and power, and that the Logos was rather the very first and the most perfect of God's productions, before ages.[20][21]

 

 

 

[17] Moore, Edward (2 May 2005). "Origen of Alexandria". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The University of Tennessee at Martin. Retrieved 2 May 2012.

 

[18] Origen. "On Christ". De Principiis. Retrieved 2 May 2012. Wherefore we have always held that God is the Father of His only-begotten Son, who was born indeed of Him, and derives from Him what He is, but without any beginning

 

[19] "Arius of Alexandria, Priest and Martyr". Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (Arian Catholic). Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.

 

[20] Kelly 1978, Chapter 9

 

[21] Davis 1983, pp. 52–54

 

(Origen and Arius - Wikipedia on Arius)

 

Valentinian Christology

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:47 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

Valentinian Christology

Aricle from: https://tcallenco.blogspot.com/

By Thomas Allen

 

 

    As shown below, the similarities between the Gnostic Christology and Trinity of the Valentinians and the orthodox Trinitarians are striking. The Valentinians were teaching a Christology very similar to the Christology of the Trinity Doctrine expressed in the Athanasian Creed about 350 years before the proclamation of the Athanasian Creed.
    Valentinus (c.100-c.160) was a teacher in Rome, who almost became Pope. Before coming to Rome in about 140, he had studied in Egypt. About 160, he died in Cyprus. He claimed to have received his ideas from Theodas, a disciple of Paul. Valentinianism survived into the fifth century.
    Valentinus’ teachings merged Christianity with Greek and Oriental speculation. He developed a metaphysical system that incorporated Christianity with paganism and Greek philosophy, primarily Platonism. His theology fluctuated between Gnosticism, esotericism, and orthodox Christianity of his time.
    Valentinus believed that Christ’s flesh was spiritual. Although Jesus ate and drank, he did not defecate. Because Jesus’ body received heavenly substance, it only appeared to need food. (This idea of Jesus conflicts with the New Treatment: Jesus was “like his brethren in all things” [Heb. 2:17]. Like the Valentinians, the Trinitarians also have a Jesus who is incompatible with the New Testament Jesus.)
    Fundamental to the Valentinian Christology is Christ’s deity and preexistence. Furthermore, Christ is a special emanation of God and embodies all the powers of God. They believe that the fullness of the Godhead consists of three persons: Wisdom (Sophia), Truth (Aletheia), and Word (Logos). Jesus was the manifestation of these divine powers. Thus, Christ is the fullness of the Godhead. Pressense described Valentinus’ concept of the Father and the Son as follows:

The principle of all things — the Immortal, the Ineffable, He who deserves the name of Father in the absolute sense — is an unfathomable abyss. He is linked neither to space nor time; He is above all thought, and, as it were, shut up within Himself. Around Him is eternal silence. The Father is not willing to remain in solitude, for He is all love, and love can only exist where it has an object. Thus He produced by emanation the Intellect and the Truth. The Intellect is the consciousness which the Father has of Himself; it is the only Son, His living image, who alone makes known the Father, The Intellect is at the same time the Truth, because of this identity. The Intellect and the Truth produce the Word and the Life. This is the great quaternion of the absolute. The Intellect finds its perfect expression in the Word; that expression is not a mere symbol, since it is also the Life. The Word and the Life produce Man and the Church. . . . The transcendently divine blends with the essentially human. . . . The Intellect and the Truth give birth to the Christ and the Holy Spirit (Pressense, pp. 26-27, 29)

(For further description of Valentinus’ ontological metaphysical speculation, see Pressense, pages 27-33 and Hase, pages 78-80.)
    Further, Valentinus taught that the God of the Old Testament, i.e., Yahweh, was not the Supreme God.
    Valentinians divided into two schools: the Western (or Italian or later) and the Eastern (or Oriental or earlier). According to the Western School, Jesus came down from heaven with a special incorrupted human body. The virgin Mary birthed this human Jesus. Later, either at the birth or baptism of this human Jesus, the divine Christ joined the human Jesus. Thus, Jesus possessed two persons or natures: One is fully human and the other is fully divine. According to the Eastern School, Christ, who has a purely spiritual body, is born through the virgin Mary. The divine person of Jesus absorbs the human person, and, by that, makes Jesus one person. Thus, the Eastern School was partly Docetic.
    The Valentinians were ahead of the Trinitarians in recognizing Christ, the Son of God, as consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father, which is an essential element of the Trinity Doctrine. Moreover, Valentinus may have been the first to teach the doctrine of three hypostases and three persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This notion, he got from Hermes and Plato. (Hermes was a recorder of Egyptian mythology and paganism.) Unlike the Platonists, whose “hypostases” was impersonal, Valentinus’ “hypostases” was personal.
    As the Valentinus’ notion of three persons in the Godhead was between that of the
Arians and the Sabellians, Trinitarians adopted his idea (indirectly via his techniques) to avoid and to condemn the Arians and Sabellians. (The Arians believed that the Son was a created being and subordinate to God. Sabellians believed that the Son, as well as the Father and Holy Spirit, was an aspect or manifestation of God.) Like the Valentinians, the Trinitarians adopted a trinity doctrine of a triune God of three distinct persons (or Gods) in one person (or God). (One motivation for adopting the Trinity Doctrine was to distinguish and separate Christianity from the absurdity of Jewish Monotheism, as Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395), one of the greatest Trinitarian theologians of the fourth century, stated it.)
    However, the Trinity of the Trinitarians differs significantly from the Trinity of the Valentinians in one important aspect. For the Trinitarians, God the Father and God the Son are coequal. For the Valentinians, the Son is subordinate to the Father. Another important difference between the two is that according to the Trinitarians the three persons of God are male. According to the Valentinians, the Father and Son are male, and the Holy Spirit is female.
    Another essential component of the Trinity Doctrine is the eternal Son. Valentinians taught the eternal generation of the Son, i.e., the eternal Son. God the Father is the eternal Father of the eternal Son. However, they seem to mean that the Son is eternally begotten out of the Father instead of eternally being with or in the Father.
    Similar to the Christology of the Valentinians is the Christology of the Trinitarians. Trinitarians have the preexisting God the Son coming down from heaven to earth and uniting with a human body. However, according to the Trinity Doctrine, Jesus consists of two persons: a human and God. He is 100 percent God and 100 percent human. Yet, he is one person. That is, the Trinitarian Jesus is one person with two wills and two minds. Thus, the Trinitarian Jesus is not a personal man; he is human nature without personal substance. He becomes an abstraction void of personality united with God.
    According to the Valentinians, Christ, who emanates from the Intellect, the consciousness of the Father, the Supreme God, has of Himself, is the highest anointed. Jesus, who is born of Mary is the “ensouled body” that the Savior puts on. The Savior is a lesser anointed, who is also called Jesus, Christ, Word, Son, and All. Jesus was earthly with a human body into which the heavenly Savior descended, yet the Savior’s body was apparently not material. The spiritual Christ departs just before the crucifixion — thus, Deity does not die — and the human body, Jesus, suffers and dies.
    Both the Trinitarian Christ and the Valentinian Christ are similar to the Docetic Jesus. According to Docetism, Christ is not a man; God took the form of a man to Himself. According to the Trinitarians, when God the Son became man at the incarnation, he gave up none of his divine attributes by taking manhood to himself. Like the Trinitarians, the Valentinians hold that Christ is not a true or real man because God subjected all his properties to His divine personality while He preserved a complete and functional human nature. Thus, both the Trinitarians and Valentinians agree that Jesus Christ is not “a true man”; he is God united with human qualities.
    Nearly all Trinitarians maintain that only the human bodyof Christ died on the cross. God the Son, Christ’s divine nature, left the body of Christ at the crucifixion, for God cannot die. (If he died, he would no longer be immortal or eternal.) Valentinians hold the same doctrine of the crucifixion. Christ, i.e., the divine nature, left Jesus, i.e., the human nature, before Jesse died. The primary difference between the two is that for Trinitarians, the human nature left the God nature at death whereas for Valentinians, the God nature left the human nature before the human nature died.
    According to the New Testament, the Son of God died on the cross. Propitiation is by the death of the person of Jesus. However, for Valentinians and Trinitarians, the divine person did not die; only a human image or body died. Both have the divine person experiencing death without having to die.
    Nevertheless, Valentinians and Trinitarians do differ on their view of Jesus Christ. For the Valentinians, Christ is deity and Jesus is human; that is, Christ and Jesus are two distinct persons. Therefore, Jesus dies, but Christ escapes death. (This notion that Christ did not die conflicts with Paul’s teachings: Romans 14:9.)
    For the Trinitarians, Jesus and Christ are one person, although he is two distinct persons, divine and human. According to the Trinity Doctrine, Jesus has both a divine person, the Logos, and a rational human soul. Therefore, Jesus’ human nature retains a human mind and will, and he also has a divine mind and will. Nevertheless, Jesus has only one person in himself. Thus, Trinitarians have more difficulty in explaining Christ’s death without the Son of God dying than do Valentinians.
    Like the Trinitarian Jesus, the Valentinian Jesus consists of the deity and a rational human. Both have Jesus with two souls, but with only one ego, the divine person, dominating. Both believe that the divine must dominate Jesus, or else he would sin. Basically, the difference between the Valentinian and the Trinitarian doctrine of two natures of Jesus is that the Valentinians present theirs in a clear and undeniable fashion, while the Trinitarians present theirs in a hazy and incoherent way.
    Although the Valentinian Jesus had both a human mind and will and a divine mind and will, the divine controlled. Most Trinitarians maintain the same position: Jesus’ divine mind and will controlled his human mind and will. Both have the divine suppressing, at least to some degree, the humanity of Jesus. Thus, Jesus never sinned and could never sin. One significant difference between the Valentinian Jesus and the Trinitarian Jesus is that the Valentinian Jesus is two different persons: one divine, and one human. The Trinitarian Jesus is one person in spite of having two minds and two wills.
    According to the Valentinians, the human body of Jesus descended from heaven and passed through Mary. Thus, Jesus’ human body preexisted in heaven. This Valentinian doctrine, the Trinitarians reject.
    A great problem that Trinitarians have encountered over the centuries is explaining the two natures of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus without God dying on the cross while avoiding Gnosticism. Even today, some Trinitarians, e.g., Congdon, accuse many evangelicals of preaching a Docetic and Valentinian Christology.
    So that ordinary people can understand the Christology of the Trinitarians as expressed in the Athanasian Creed, Lord Bacon, a Trinitarian, translates it:

He believes a Virgin to be a Mother of a Son; and that very Son of hers to be her Maker. He believes him to have been shut up in a narrow room, whom heaven and earth could not contain. He believes him to have been born in time, who was and is from everlasting. He believes him to have been a weak child carried in arms, who is the Almighty; and him once to have died, who only hath life and immortality in himself (Norton 82-83).

In other words, God is contained in a womb and stable but is omnipresent. He is eternal yet born in time. He is a vulnerable infant yet omnipotent. He died but is an eternal, immortal God who cannot die. This is the Christology that a good Christian believes whether he realizes it or not. Except Mary being the mother of her Maker, i.e., God, Bacon’s description of Christ fits the Christology of the Valentinians.
    The similarities between Valentinian Christology and the Trinitarian Christology are remarkable. Both hold that Christ was deity and a hypostasis [a person] of the Supreme God. Further, both have him descending from heaven and having two complete natures. While the divine nature performs the miraculous and  salvific works of the Supreme God, the human nature experiences the life of a human body capable of hunger, pain, and death.
    In developing their Christology, the Trinitarians did not copy the Valentinians. Their Christologies are similar because both used the same technique in interpreting the Holy Scriptures. Both read the Scriptures through the thick lens of Platonism. As for the differences, they primarily result from the Valentinians incorporating more paganism and Gnosticism than the Trinitarians. The notion of a God-man and even a Triad (Triune) God comes from paganism. These notions certainly did not come from the staunchly monotheistic Old Testament or the staunchly monotheistic writers of the New Testament.
    Although the teachings of the Valentinians were extremely similar to that of the Trinitarians, they are condemned as a major enemy of orthodoxy. Perhaps the similarity is a cause of the Valentinians being condemned as heretics.
    When theologians develop a doctrine and especially a dogma, they seem not only to discard Occam’s razor, but, to the contrary, they seem to adopt its inverse. (According to Occam’s razor, when two theories are competing, the simpler explanation is to be preferred as it is usually the better of the two.) Do they do so to keep the masses ignorant and depended on them and, thereby, increase their status and importance? They seem to strive to create the most complex, incomprehensible doctrines and dogmas that they can.
    Further, most theologians seem to believe that when a few passages appear to disagree or conflict with many passages in the Bible, the many should be interpreted in light of the few. The few should not be understood in light of the many. Thus, the best doctrines allow or even demand the few to govern the many. For example, 53 scriptures support the doctrine that Jesus is God, while 386 scriptures show that he is not God (Holt, p. 311).
    One of my bosses said, partially joking, that the best way to get data points to fall on the curve is to draw the curve first and then plot the data. Some doctrines of the Church seem to have been developed this way. First, the doctrine is declared, and then verses are found to support the doctrine or are forced via interpretation to support the doctrine. Better yet, is to write the doctrine so that it can void any scripture that contradicts it. An example is the doctrine of the dual nature of Jesus (Jesus is 100 percent human and 100 percent God, yet he is only one person); the doctrine itself makes everything that Jesus says that proves that he is not God irrelevant.

REFERENCES
Allen, Thomas.
“Early Church Theories of Christ.” Franklinton, North Carolina: TC Allen Co., 2009.

Brons, David. “The Gnostic Society Library: Valentinian Theology.” http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/ValentinianJTheology.htm. Accessed December 27, 2017.
           
Cash, Billy “Origen’s Trinitarian Theology.” April 21, 2010.

Chandler, Kegan A. The God of Jesus in Light of Christian Dogma: The Recovery of New Testament Theology. McDonough, Georgia: Restoration Fellowship, 2016.

Congdon, David W. The Fire and the Rose. “American Evangelicalism Christology: The Heresies of American Evangelicalism, Part III: Christology: Part III: A Docetic Christ.” July 28, 2006. https://fireandrose.blogspot.com/2006/07/heresies-of-american- evangelicalism_28.html. Accessed December 27, 2017.

“A Correct Christology.” http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/aboutauthor/189-correct-christology.html. Accessed Dec 27, 2017

Craig, Ryann Elizabeth. “Anastasis in the Treatise on the Resurrection How Jesus’ Example Informs Valentinian Resurrection Doctrine and Christology.”

Fahy, Paul. “Early Christological Heresies.”  Understanding Ministries: 2012. http://www.understanding-ministries.com.

Hase, Charles. History of the Christian Church. Translators Charles E. Blumenthal and Conway P. Wing. New York: D. Appleton, 1870.

Healy, Patrick J. “Valentinus and Valentinians” https://www.catholic.com/index.php/encyclopedia/valentinus-and-valentinians. Accessed  Dec 27, 2017.

Holt, Brian. Jesus God or the Son of God: A Comparison of the Arguments. Mt. Juliet, Tennessee: Tell Way Publishing, 2002.

Neidhart, Ludwig. Biblical Trinity Doctrine and Christology. Augsburg: 2017.

Norton, Andrews. Statement of Reasons for Not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians, Concerning the Nature of God, and the Person Of Christ. Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck, and Company, 1833.

Pressense, E. De. The Early Years of Christianity: Heresy and Christian Doctrine. Translator Anne Harwood. New York: Nelson & Phillips, n.d.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This generation shall not pass away

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:45 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

This generation shall not pass away

 

 Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes  (2018, 8 October)                                                                                         

Biblical references from: ESV2011, AKJV, LXXE,  and others if they fit better with the Greek text

 

 

 

Let the written word of the prophets and apostles speak for itself

 

“But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” (Acts 24:14)

 

“And the LORD said to Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before me in this generation (the modern generation of Noah).” (Gen. 7:1)

 

“But to what shall I compare this generation? (the modern Jewish generation of Jesus and the apostles) It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates.” (Mat. 11:16)

 

“But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus) and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” (Mat. 12:39)

 

“Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also to this wicked generation (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Mat. 12:45)

 

“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus) how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me.” (Mat. 17:17)

 

“And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, Why does this generation seek after a sign? truly I say to you, There shall no sign be given to this generation (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Mark 8:12)

 

 “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation (the modern Jewish generation of the apostles the killed Jesus).” (Acts 2:40)

 

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (the present Jewish scribes and Pharisees who were contemporary of Jesus) because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Why you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill you up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? (Grk text: Gehenna = Valley of the children of Hinnom).

Why, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you whip in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

That on you may come (to the bystanders) all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, All these things shall come on this generation.” (the woes of the Apocalypse concerned the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Mat. 23:29-36)

 

“So likewise you, (the contemporary Jewish disciples of Jesus to whom He spoke) when you shall see all these things, (they would see everything)  know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Mat. 24:33)

 

 

The demonstrative pronoun – this

 

The grammar of the ancient Greek language says that the word “this” is a demonstrative pronoun. Pronouns are inflectional words that are used in speech primarily in place of names (nouns or adjectives). Demonstrative pronouns show something which can be felt or meant. We use them to show what is near to us or what we mentioned just before.

 

Examples

 

 “And Adam said, This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of her husband.” (Gen. 2:23  LXXE)

 

“And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him.” (Gen. 12:7)

 

“And the report of this went through all that district.” (Mat. 9:26)

 

“Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Mat. 13:54)

 

This is the great and first commandment.” (Mat. 22:38)

 

 

Effortless meanings

 

God did not promise a Third Testament nor a third temple to the Jews who were transgressors, disobedient and deniers of the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, but wrath and eternal destruction (= catastrophe, loss, death). (2 Thes. Chapter one)

 

The modern, wicked and perverse Jewish generation of Jesus and the apostles was the one that filled up the sins of the Jewish nation and was targeted by Jesus who said that this generation would receive, according to the scriptures, the seven plagues of God's wrath. (See: Lev. 26:21, Rev. chapter 15)

 

Fill up = make full

 

The complete sin of the rebellious Jewish nation was that they killed Jesus the leader of life, persecuted the first church, killed many of its members, and prevented the salvation of the nations. (Acts 3:15, Mat. 23:29-36)

 

“For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last (to the Jews who were contemporary of the apostles).” (1 Thes. 2:14-16)


But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?
They say to him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other farmers, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” (Mat. 21:38-41)

 

“Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.

But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops (the Roman army) and destroyed those murderers and burned their city (Jerusalem in 70 AD).” (Mat. 22:4-7)

 

The sinful, demoralized works of men, murders, thefts, fornications, prostitutions, homosexuality, bestialities, idolatries, patricides, drugs, wars, etc., had been taking place since the creation of the world, as the world history and the Jewish bible testify, so nothing new.

 

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1Kor. 6:9-11)

 

The executed wrath of God in 70 AD upon the disobedient Jews brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and its second earthly Temple, and marked the ending / fulfillment of the age of the Mosaic Law and its ritual. Early Christianity was the fulfillment of biblical Judaism about the promise of life for all nations which was given to Abraham. (2 Τιμ. 1:1)

 

 So, Christ, the life, is the end of the law; He is the one who abolished death which derived from the law and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel to those who repent and believe in the true God and savior Jesus Christ, regardless of biological origin. (2 Tim. 1:10)

 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Mat. 5:17)

 

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)

 

“And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.” (Acts 13:32-33)

 

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (from being dead, they became alive in Christ).” (John 1:12-13)

 

 

“And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Eph. 2:1)

 

 

The first church that worshiped the one true God "in spirit and truth" believed in the words of Jesus and his apostles and did not follow the human traditions of the Pharisees and the types of the Mosaic Law. Nor did Jesus' disciples believe in the contradictory Greek thought and the philosophers ("fathers"), or in the 19th century teachings of “Dispensationalism” and “Futurism” as the "Christians" of today believe. Their belief in eternal life through Jesus was based on the written Hebrew Bible and the teaching of the Holy Spirit, bearing fruit "by the power of the Holy Spirit" and not by the power of armed violence and threat, nor by the arguments of the Greek literature.

 

Paul's specially selected borrowings from national writers such as "for we are also his offspring" and "for in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28), emphasize that God is "One" and prove that the apostle, who was Jewish in origin and aware of the Greek wisdom, was trying to turn the Athenians towards the Jewish thought and not towards the Greek thought.

 

Sayings for the Second coming of Jesus in the generation of the apostles

 

The disciples of the first church expected their redemption, the destruction of the wicked Jews, and the demolition of the earthly Temple of Jerusalem in their generation, in the presence and appearance of the great God and savior Jesus.   (2 Thes. 1:1-10, 2 Tim. 1:14)

 

“And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? (Grk text: του αιώνος = of  the age)” (Mat. 24:3 AKJV)

 

"The sign." The use of the singular in the disciples' question makes the "coming / appearance" and "the end of the age" interrelated and interdependent events. The end of the age of the Mosaic Law of allegories and types was not going to happen without the Presence of the Son of Man on the clouds with the glory of his Father and his holy angels, the one who "would execute judgment" and "would take vengeance" on those who got drunk with the blood of the holy prophets and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

 

“And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. And I was greatly astonished when I saw her.” (Rev. 17:6)

 

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!” (Mat. 23:37)

 

“Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mat. 26:64)

 

The archpriests who were contemporary of Jesus expected the coming of Jesus on the clouds for judgment in their generation.

 

 “So also, when you see all these things, (the disciples who were contemporary of Jesus) you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place .” (Mat. 24:33-34)

 

“So that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, (the ones who were contemporary of Paul), who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:7-8)

 

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord (this concerns the twelve scattered tribes that were the recipients of the letter). See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (Jam. 5:7-9)

 

“Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22)

 

 

 “Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, (contemporary of Jesus)  which shall not taste of death, (they wouldn't experience natural death, they would be alive) till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Mat. 16:28)

 

“But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: (this concerned the Jewish disciples who were contemporary of Jesusfor truly I say to you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, (of the 1st century) till the Son of man be come.” (Mat. 10:23)

 

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants (not everybody) things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John.” (Rev. 1:1)

 

“Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1:3)

 

 

“But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come (this concerned the recipients of the letter who lived in Thyatira).”  (Rev. 2:24-25)

 

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown (this concerned the recipients of the letter who lived in Philadelphia).” (Rev. 3:11)

 

“And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” (Rev. 22:10)

 

The pillars of the true apostolic church, James, Peter, and John, were sent to the circumcised ones. (Gal. 2:9) The Book of Revelation concerned the Jewish Christians of the seven churches of Asia who were contemporary of John and for whom the coming of Jesus was imminent; it did not concern future generations. More about the Book of Revelation click here.

 

The prerequisites of the fulfillment of God's promise for the transition from the Old One to the New One

 

“For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor. 3:6)

 

For the promise of God to be finished / completed, and for the life-giving New Testament to replace the Old Testament because of its weakness and uselessness,  - that is, for the Old One / Death to leave, and for the New One / Life to come -  the following had to be done:

 

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.” (Mat.12:28)

 

a) Jesus had to defeat death and take every power in the heavens and on earth. DONE

 

“And Jesus came (resurrected),  and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” (Mat. 28:18)

 

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.” (1 Pet. 3:22)

 

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18)

 

b) God's wrath upon the violators of the Mosaic Law as defined by the terms of the Old Testament had to be fulfilled. DONE

 

The king was angry, and he sent his troops (Roman army) and destroyed those murderers and burned their city (Jerusalem in 70 AD).” (Mat. 22:7)

 

c) The first handmade, earthly tent had to be replaced by the true heavenly one, and the path leading to the true holies had to be freed. DONE

 

 

“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” (Heb. 8:1-5)

 

 

“Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” (Heb. 9:6-8)

 

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9:11-12)

 

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Heb. 9:24)

 

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God ……..” (Heb. 10:19-21)

 

d) The true heavenly temple had to have a heavenly high priest who lives forever and who would not need replacement due to death. DONE

 

“And the others who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Heb. 7:23-25 NET)

 

e) The children of the promise, the legitimate heirs of the Kingdom, and the true worshipers of God who is Spirit had to be born. DONE

 

In the earthly, handmade temple of Jerusalem, fleshly worshipers worshiped with carnal ordinances, food, drink and various baptisms until the time of reformation. In the heavenly, spiritual Temple, spiritual worshipers, new creatures worship "in spirit and truth," because God is spirit and the true worshipers have to be this kind of worshipers.

 

“But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

 

 

“But you, brothers and sisters, are children of the promise like Isaac.

But just as at that time the one born by natural descent persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so it is now. But what does the scripture say? Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.” (Gal. 4:28-31)

 

“For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation!” (Gal. 6:15)

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

 

“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)

 

 

“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5)

 

 

 No biblical support is provided by the teaching of the apostles for a forthcoming building of a third earthly temple in Jerusalem and restoration of the Leviticus or any other priesthood. These inaccuracies are spread by today's Christian Zionism that was developed on the basis of the Modern Theory of “Dispensationalism” of Anglican clergyman John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), father of the movement of "Christian Brothers" or "Plymouth Brethren". Darby was trained at Westminster School and Dublin's Trinity College, and his theory was widely accepted by Baptists in the United States when the Oxford University Press published the Bible by the American theologian Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921) that had notes promoting Darby's theory. The supporters of the theory of Dispensationalism, defend myths of rabbinical Judaism and secular geostrategic policies rather than biblical truths. 

 

f) The great command had to be fulfilled: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Mat. 24:14) DONE

 

 

End = (see finally) the fulfillment, the completion of all things, the finishing of it, the result, not the pause or the expiration of it. (Liddell-Scott Dictionary)

 

The gospel of the kingdom had been preached by the apostles to all nations for the obedience of faith in their generation. Then, the wrath of God was executed upon the arrogant Jews, and thus the age of the Mosaic Law was fulfilled. For more info about "Christ is the end of the Law" see here.

 

“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.” (Rom. 16:25-26)

 

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8)

 

 

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,

which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” (Col. 1:3-6)

 

“If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Col. 1:23)

 

 

“And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:20)

 

“But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” (Rom. 10:18)

 

 “And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17:6)

 

 

The Jewish scriptures were fulfilled, the transition from the Old One to the New One was done, the apostles of Jesus fulfilled their mission, the goal was achieved; those who envision the repetition of the original and unique apostolic work have not believed in it.

 

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” (Rom. 6:22)

 

 

 

The transformation of the original Christianity

 

The secular philosophical currents of the 2nd century, looting the spiritual wealth of the genuine Christianity, transformed it into a new state religion of types and expectations.

 

For the "Christian" philosopher Clement of the Alexandrian philosophical school, and for many others of the same period, Christianity was the supreme philosophy that the Mosaic Law and Greek philosophy prepared. This view was cultivated by the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo who lived in Alexandria in Egypt (15 BC-45 AD), a fanatical defender of the Platonic thought, and was spread by the proponents of human wisdom.

 

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” (Col. 2:8-9)

 

 

The side effect of this view was that it presented Christianity as accepting Greek thought, a view contrary to what Jesus and the apostles supported.

 

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them.” (Mat. 5:17)

 

“For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching.” (1 Cor. 1:21 NET)

 

The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple had brought national, cultural and religious judgment upon the fleshly Israel. Biblical Judaism, having fulfilled its purpose, had given its place to Christianity whose adversaries were the unbelieving Jews. Without a temple and priests, the representation of the latter was taken over by the rabbis who convened the Council of Iamnia in Palestine around 100 AD to finalize the biblical canon of the Old Testament as it was defined in the Talmud. This action established Rabbinic Judaism as the ideological continuation of Pharisaic Judaism.

 

The period of the representation of Christianity by servants of apostolic caliber had passed. The philosophical apologists, defenders of the "Christian philosophy" as they considered it, helped by the social and political circumstances, achieved the combination of Hellenism - Christianity, gradually creating the label of "Christian Hellenism."

 

Through intense controversies between the representatives of that period's philosophical trends and the prevailing of those who had the most powerful political support, a new state religion of Roman interests was finally formed in the 3rd - 4th century AD, "Patristic Platonic Christianity."

 

The contradictory Ancient Philosophy and the Patristic - type soteriology have since become the spiritual deposit of the Greek heritage.

 

This Christianity, being a variant of national polytheism, prevailed with the power of the Roman weapons and brought spiritual darkness preserved to date by the so-called Christian rival national religions.

 

Platonism as a theory of ideas had supporters mainly among the Greek religious men, and the Eastern Orthodox "Christian" Church was clothed with it. Aristotelism, as a theory of pragmatism  - if something is imperceptible it is also non-existent -  had supporters among the Jewish religious men and among the Arabs who read Aristotle's works translated into Arabic. After the schism between the Eastern and Western Church in 1054, the Catholic Western Church under the powerful influence of the Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), priest of the Roman Catholic Church and supporter of Aristotelism, incorporated the Aristotelian philosophy into its theology. Thus, "Aristotelian Christianity" was born, which also influenced the materialistic Western civilization.

 

Epilogue

 

Today's representatives and followers of the imposed and schismatic "Patristic Platonic Christianity" and the modern Protestant homologies that are connected with it (see charters of Protestant churches) refuse to accept the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law and the prophets through Jesus that took place 20 centuries ago, as well as the ensuing spiritual blessings. By paying attention to myths, they preserve the religious formalism of the Old Testament.

 

Those who expect, without any biblical support, the reconstruction of a third earthly temple in Jerusalem by "modern Jews" who cannot prove their generational continuity from Abraham fantasize about the repetition of the biblical history, thus blaming God as a transgressor.

 

“For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:18)

 

May the Lord Jesus bless you. Obedience to the truth of God brings his blessings into our lives.

The transformation of the original Christianity

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:43 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

The transformation of the original Christianity

 

 

The philosophical currents of the 2nd century

 

The secular philosophical currents of the 2nd century, looting the spiritual wealth of the genuine Christianity, transformed it into a new state religion of types and expectations.

 

For the "Christian" philosopher Clement of the Alexandrian philosophical school, and for many others of the same period, Christianity was the supreme philosophy that the Mosaic Law and Greek philosophy prepared. This view was cultivated by the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo who lived in Alexandria in Egypt (15 BC-45 AD), a fanatical defender of the Platonic thought, and was spread by the proponents of human wisdom.

 

The side effect of this view was that it presented Christianity as accepting Greek thought, a view contrary to what Jesus and the apostles supported.

 

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” (Col. 2:8-9)

  

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them.” (Mat. 5:17)

 

“For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching.” (1 Cor. 1:21 NET)

 

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes

 

 

The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple had brought national, cultural and religious judgment upon the fleshly Israel. Biblical Judaism, having fulfilled its purpose, had given its place to Christianity whose adversaries were the unbelieving Jews. Without a temple and priests, the representation of the latter was taken over by the rabbis who convened the Council of Iamnia in Palestine around 100 AD to finalize the biblical canon of the Old Testament as it was defined in the Talmud. This action established Rabbinic Judaism as the ideological continuation of Pharisaic Judaism.

 

The period of the representation of Christianity by servants of apostolic caliber had passed. The philosophical apologists, defenders of the "Christian philosophy" as they considered it, helped by the social and political circumstances, achieved the combination of Hellenism - Christianity, gradually creating the label of "Christian Hellenism."

 

Through intense controversies between the representatives of that period's philosophical trends and the prevailing of those who had the most powerful political support, a new state religion of Roman interests was finally formed in the 3rd - 4th century AD, "Patristic Platonic Christianity."

 

The contradictory Ancient Philosophy and the Patristic - type soteriology have since become the spiritual deposit of the Greek heritage.

 

This Christianity, being a variant of national polytheism, prevailed with the power of the Roman weapons and brought spiritual darkness preserved to date by the so-called Christian rival national religions.

 

Platonism as a theory of ideas had supporters mainly among the Greek religious men, and the Eastern Orthodox "Christian" Church was clothed with it. Aristotelism, as a theory of pragmatism  - if something is imperceptible it is also non-existent -  had supporters among the Jewish religious men and among the Arabs who read Aristotle's works translated into Arabic. After the schism between the Eastern and Western Church in 1054, the Catholic Western Church under the powerful influence of the Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), priest of the Roman Catholic Church and supporter of Aristotelism, incorporated the Aristotelian philosophy into its theology. Thus, "Aristotelian Christianity" was born, which also influenced the materialistic Western civilization.

 

Epilogue

 

Today's representatives and followers of the imposed and schismatic "Patristic Platonic Christianity" and the modern Protestant homologies that are connected with it (see charters of Protestant churchesrefuse to accept the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law and the prophets through Jesus that took place 20 centuries ago, as well as the ensuing spiritual blessings. By paying attention to myths, they preserve the religious formalism of the Old Testament.

 

Those who expect, without any biblical support, the reconstruction of a third earthly temple in Jerusalem by "modern Jews" who cannot prove their generational continuity from Abraham fantasize about the repetition of the biblical history, thus blaming God as a transgressor.

 

“For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:18)

 

May the Lord Jesus bless you. Obedience to the truth of God brings his blessings into our lives.

 

 

 

Jesus reigns!

 

 

The Rich Man, Lazarus, & the Afterlife

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:40 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

The Rich Man, Lazarus, & the Afterlife

By Samuel G. Dawson                                                                                                                                                                            

Article from  https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com 

September 10, 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

Jesus' teaching concerning the Rich Man and Lazarus in LK. 16:19-31 has always been provocative. It's the main passage resorted to when striving to establish the concept of endless torturous punishment of the wicked after death. This punishment is usually thought to be in hell, though the Greek word for hell, gehenna, is nowhere in the passage.

Much of this story existed before Jesus taught it. Arguments have abounded for centuries on the subject of this passage, and still flourish over whether Jesus' teaching is a parable (which he doesn't call it) or reality.

My particular interest in this essay arose in response to another essay I wrote entitled "Jesus' Teaching on Hell." It deals with the twelve passages in the Bible actually using the word gehenna, eleven of them on four or five occasions by Jesus to Jewish audiences, and also one by James to a Jewish audience. This essay is available in my book,The Teaching of Jesus: From Sinai to Gehenna, A Faithful Rabbi Urgently Warns Rebellious Israel. In that essay, I affirm that (1) hell is not a translation of the word gehenna, but a substitution, (2) gehenna should never have been translated at all (since it is a proper noun, like Jerusalem or Ephesus), and (3) the popular concept of hell as a place of endless punishment has no scriptural basis whatsoever.

 

When I first came to my present conclusions on hell, I realized that probably 80 percent of Christians obey the gospel so they won't go to a place they were never threatened with anyway. I think that demands caution in dealing with folks. I've asked a lot of people why they obeyed the gospel. Most said, "to stay out of hell;" others said, because they loved God. Still others said because they wanted to do what was right, a loving response to the love of God, etc. As a reaction to that material on hell, many readers asked, "What about Luke 16? Where does it fit in?" Most of the questions I receive concern the destiny of the wicked; more particularly with the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Concerning Luke 16, let me offer the following comments from my letter to one such questioner:

 

I have questions about Luke 16 myself. Here's my present understanding of it. (1) It doesn't contain the word gehenna, so it teaches nothing about Gehenna (and this is why I didn't discuss the passage in my original essay, "Jesus' Teaching on Hell"). (2) It doesn't teach anything about the final punishment of the wicked, and your preacher doesn't think so, either. I'm sure he believes it to be an intermediate punishment before the final judgment, doesn't he? So, whether I know what Luke 16 teaches or not, I know it doesn't support the popular concept of hell. (3) I'm pretty sure we use these verses to teach something that is far from the purpose of the entire chapter.

The purpose of this present work is to effectively set forth what I believe Jesus taught in this passage.

The Context of Luke 16:19-31

 

To begin with, I suggest that the entire chapter is dealing with greed, or the love of money. To get an overall view of Luke 16, notice the five sections in it, then we'll briefly discuss the first four sections to develop the context of the fifth, concerning the Rich Man and Lazarus.

vv. 1-8 – Commendation of the Greedy Unfaithful Steward 
vv. 9-13 – Jesus Applied the Story to His Greedy Audience 
vv. 14-15 – The Greedy Pharisees' Reaction and Jesus' Reply 
vv. 16-18 – A Faithful Steward—John the Baptist 
vv. 19-31 – The Rich Man and Lazarus

Each of these five sections contains a common theme, greed:

(1) the unfaithful steward acted out of greed, (2) Jesus applied this account to the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, and adhered to a common philosophy that riches imply righteousness, and (3) the end result of the Rich Man indicated that his wealth didn't work out like the Pharisees would have predicted. We'll now discuss these five sections in more detail and notice their common theme of greed.

vv. 1-8 – Commendation of the Greedy Unfaithful Steward

Jesus' telling of the unrighteous steward presents a troublesome story:

And he said also unto the disciples, There was a certain rich man, who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he was wasting [squandering—NAS] his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, What is this that I hear of thee? render the account of thy stew-ardship; for thou canst be no longer steward. And the steward said within himself, What shall I do, seeing that my lord taketh away the stewardship from me? I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. And calling to him each one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bond, and sit down quickly and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. He saith unto him, Take thy bond, and write fourscore. And his lord commended the unrighteous steward because he had done wisely: for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light.

I first became aware of this passage when I was riding with an older Christian in an old pickup on a country road. He asked,

"How could the Lord commend a conniving, thieving steward?"

When I looked at it closely, I nearly fell out of the truck! I thought, as many do, that Jesus commended this unrighteous man, a fraud and a trickster; it presented an insuperable difficulty.

In simple terms, this story is about a master whose manager was misappropriating his money. It was such an open-and-shut case that he just called the manager in and gave him notice—told him to get his accounts together and leave. The manager didn't even contest it. Then he wondered what he would do to earn a living. He decided to cheat his master by calling in all his debtors and marking down their debts. By doing the debtors a favor, he hoped they would take care of him when he was cast out of his job.

It would be like a dentist's receptionist, who, learning she was going to be let go, called his patients and forgave half of their debts, so they would take care of her when she's out of a job. We would expect that dentist to get upset and perhaps file legal charges against her.

The question usually arises as to how the Lord could commend the unrighteous steward and use him as an example for us to follow. Not only had he already lost money for his boss, but he also deliberately cut the debts of his master's debtors. How shall we deal with this? One commentator said that no story of the New Testament has been discussed more and received more interpretations than this one. The steward has been taken to represent Pilate, Judas, Satan, Paul, and Christ himself.

Some have probably already noticed what the solution is, that it wasn't our Lord who commended the unrighteous steward, but his lord, in verse 8. His master commended the unrighteous steward for his clever skullduggery, even if it was directed against himself. Potentially, every person in the story is a huckster to some degree. Apparently, the unrighteous steward didn't feel any guilt for discounting his master's debts. Likewise, the debtors willingly took advantage of the unrighteous steward's plot to provide for himself at his master's expense. Even the master was worldly wise enough to appreciate the scheme, even when he was the victim!

In verse 9, Jesus said, "And I say unto you…." Notice the distinction between "his lord" in verse 8 and "our Lord" in verse 9. Jesus continued: …Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles.

The mammon of unrighteousness was money. Jesus' point was this: a poor money manager finally got wise when faced with the prospect of becoming homeless. If he could use his authority over his master's money to insure that he would be provided with shelter in his old age, how much more should God's children learn how to use physical resources (though honestly) to insure that they have an eternal dwelling place? Are we that wise? Do we manage our money to God's glory, not only by looking ahead and planning for our earthly futures, but even more so in planning for our final rest in heaven?

This problem goes away quickly when we carefully read and see that it wasn't Jesus who commended the unrighteous steward, but his own master.

Some say he was granting the debtors cheap grace, forgiveness of debt that wasn't his to forgive. At least, both here and in the following section, we see that the unrighteous steward was greedy to the point of systematically stealing from his master.

In the next section, Jesus applied this story to his audience.

vv. 9-13 – Jesus Applied the Story to His Greedy Audience

 

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles. He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Jesus concluded his application in verse 13, teaching that men are incapable of serving two masters—both God and money. Literally, men don't have the power to serve two masters any more than a Volkswagen Beetle has the power to win the Indianapolis 500 Race. Obviously, the basic point of this first section is that a man shouldn't be a servant of money, which is greed; it matters not how little or much money a man might possess.

 

vv. 14-15 – The Greedy Pharisees' Reaction and Jesus' Reply

 

And the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at him. And he said unto them, Ye are they that justify yourselves in the sight of men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Luke specifically noted that the Pharisees were lovers of money. They recognized that Jesus was addressing their greed, and ridiculed his lesson, but Jesus continued to rebuke them.

The Pharisees manifested an attitude toward riches that we should notice, because the Bible addresses it in many places. They thought that one's riches necessarily implied he was righteous and in favor with God. In our day, members of the Mormon church (and many others) share this belief. In the Old Testament, Job's three friends subscribed to it. Thus, when Job, a tremendously wealthy man at the outset of the book, suffered great calamity and loss of wealth, his friends automatically assumed he was not righteous but guilty of some horrible sin. When they came to him, he expected them to comfort him. Instead, they assailed his character. They thought they had to, since he was evidently, in their opinion, a great sinner. So they made speech after speech accusing him of guilt and demanding that he repent and restore his righteous estate. God had told Satan Job was righteous, and made it clear that Job wasn't suffering because he was sinning.

The Pharisees shared in this philosophy. They were greedy and thought riches signified they were righteous.

vv. 16-18 – A Faithful Steward–John the Baptist

Jesus then said:

The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every man entereth violently into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tittle of the law to fall. Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth one that is put away from a husband committeth adultery.

Several questions naturally arise at this point: Why did John the Baptist come into this passage, and why the verse on divorce, of all things?

Several years ago, when I was studying marriage, divorce, and remarriage seriously, I noticed lk. 16:18, "Everyone that putteth away his wife and marries another committeth adultery." Most of the time we view this verse as Luke's account of Mt. 19:9 and Mt. 5:32, but this is not the case. These two teachings took place at different times, in different places, for different purposes, to different people. At first glance, it's just one verse apparently snatched out of thin air to teach something about divorce. That may be true, or it might be about something else entirely. With help from William F. Luck's book, Divorce and Remarriage: Recovering the Biblical View [New York: Harper & Row, 1987], I considered the context of LK. 16:18, and it helped me with the context of the story about the Rich Man and Lazarus.

 

Luck observed that John was used as a contemporary contrasting example of a man who wasn't greedy, who wouldn't give cheap grace like the unfaithful steward, and knew it was not his role to forgive debts to his master without permission. In a widely-known case of the time, Josephus (Antiquities, Book 18, chap. 5:1, 5:4) said that Herod made a pretense at least of living under Jewish law. His family was intermarried with Simon the High Priest's family, and Herod went to Jerusalem for feasts to offer sacrifices to God. Everybody in this story was at least claiming to live under the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law was why it wasn't lawful for Herod to have Herodias, although the Mosaic Law would have permitted her to remarry had she been scripturally divorced. However, Josephus said that Herodias hadn't been scripturally divorced, and she was his brother's wife, violating Lev. 20:10. Notice what John said: "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife."

John didn't forgive Herod; he didn't give cheap grace to his master's debtor. Herod couldn't buy him off, and his preaching cost him his life, as Herod had him beheaded. Unlike the unfaithful steward, he was faithful to his master to the point of death.

Verse 18 illustrates John's lack of greed. Divorce was the subject of John's preaching against Herod, not an abbreviated account of Jesus' teaching on divorce (i.e., Mt. 5:32, 19:9), but part of his discourse against greed.

Obviously, John wasn't a mercenary prophet, he didn't preach for money, and he wasn't greedy.

vv. 19-31 - The Rich Man and Lazarus

While Jesus gave these lessons and applications on greed, he introduced the Rich Man and Lazarus. The main controversy with these verses for ages seems to be whether they constitute a parable. I've made most of the arguments on both sides of this question, so I know you can take either side and be a fine fellow. The problem is, fine fellows can be dead wrong.

Those who argue that it's a historical account of what happens after death claim that these verses are not called a parable (although others which are clearly parables are not called such, either), or that they speak of a "certain" rich man, which indicates a historical individual.

The word "certain" is translated from the word tis, an enclitic indefinite pronoun, which may indicate some or any person or object. The word "certain" doesn't necessarily indicate a definite person or object. A number of passages illustrate the word may mean "any old one," and not a definite one at all. For example, in Mt. 18:25 ff, the parable of the talents begins with "a certain king," not speaking of any particular king, as his identity has no bearing on the story. In Mt. 22:2, the parable of the marriage feast begins with "a certain king." Who the king was matters not, nor does it matter who was getting married. The point of comparison was on something else entirely. In LK. 7:41 we read of "a certain lender." Do we wonder who he was? We never have, because the story doesn't depend on who he was, and the indefinite nature of the pronoun permits that conclusion.

William Robert West answered the argument some make that the use of Lazarus' name proves it is a historical account of real people:

The objection of others is that parables do not use proper names. "And he took up his parable, and said, 'From ARAM has BALAK brought me, the king of MOAB from the mountains of the East: come, curse me JACOB, and come, defy ISRAEL'" [Numbers 23:7]. Not one but FIVE PROPER NAMES are used in one parable. "SATAN" [Mark 4:14] "THE SON OF MAN" [Matthew 13:37]. (William Robert West, If the Soul or Spirit Is Immortal, There Can Be No Resurrection from the Dead, Third Edition, September 2006, originally published as The Resurrection and Immortality [Bloomington, IN: Author House], p. 229.)

Thus, we see that proper names don't necessarily imply real people.

In LK. 10:3ff, in the parable of the good Samaritan, a "certain" man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves. We then read of a "certain" priest passing him by. Did you ever wonder who this Samaritan was? I doubt that you did until I just mentioned it. Now that I have, you realize it doesn't matter who he was, because his identity has no pertinence to the story, does it? Wonder who the priest was? Me neither, as it has nothing to do with the point of the story, and the use of the indefinite pronoun doesn't require that it's speaking of a historic individual at all. The parable of the pounds (LK. 19:12ff) uses the indefinite pronoun to speak of a "certain" nobleman.

You might be thinking, "Well, if Sam doesn't think it's historical, he must think it's a parable teaching what happens after death."

I don't believe these verses are a parable, either. It's not a parable because it contains no comparison, which is the essence of a parable (lit., para-bole, "to throw along side" for the purpose of comparison). If we go fishing together, I'll naturally throw my fish down alongside yours to show how much better fisherman I am than you. This lack of comparison is at the basis of the plethora, no, blizzard of interpretations that people offer. Folks are trying to interpret something they think is a parable, which contains no comparison at all.

I am going to demonstrate that it's not historical, because (1) it's of pagan origin, and (2) it's not true, as we're about to see.

Some Things to Notice About This Legend

This is the main passage in the Bible used to teach conscious suffering after death.

This is not New Testament teaching. It's a Jewish story from beginning to end. Abraham is made to say, "They have Moses and the prophets," not "They have Jesus Christ and his apostles."

No allusion to its "doctrine" exists in the rest of the New Testament.

No New Testament writer ever alluded to it—"Remember what Jesus said about the Rich Man and Lazarus."

But in this legend, "they have Moses and the prophets," yet Moses and the prophets taught none of this!

These Jews knew the point of the legend was greed.

They knew it wasn't about the state of the dead, or they would have challenged Jesus' differing with the Old Testament teaching on the subject.

This is not Old Testament teaching on the state of the dead.

No such thing as Abraham's bosom exists in the Old Testament.

No great gulf fixed exists in the Old Testament, even to keep those in Abraham's bosom out of torments!

No endless torment exists in the Old Testament.

No conversations among the dead exist in the Old Testament.

No knowledge among the dead exists in the Old Testament.

No consciousness among the dead exists in the Old Testament.

No praying to Abraham exists in the Old Testament. (Perhaps we shouldn't criticize Roman Catholics for praying to Mary!)

No Abraham hearing the prayers of the wicked exists in the Old Testament, as we presume the Rich Man to be praying to.

Nowhere is Lazarus said to be righteous.

Nowhere is the Rich Man said to be wicked.

This story is not about their character, but their economic standing.

Not a word is said about the spiritual condition of either one of them. They may both have been righteous, or wicked. As far as the legend and Jesus' use of it is concerned, it's not about religious status, but riches.

It's not about the punishment of the wicked, but about the legendary fate of a legendary rich man, and the legendary fate of a legendary poor man.

Neither the soul or the spirit of either the Rich Man or Lazarus is mentioned.

The Pagan Origin of the Legend of the Rich Man and Lazarus

We'll see shortly that the Old Testament taught nothing like the Jewish concept of Hades, and we'll also see that before the intertestamental period, Jews didn't believe any stories like that of the Rich Man and Lazarus.However, before looking at those specific legends, let's notice some general legends about Hades and life after death.

Legends of Hades

 

On the origin and spread of pagan concepts of Hades into the Jewish world between the testaments, read closely the following quotations (all cited by Al Maxey in the Al Maxey-Thomas Thrasher Debate available at www.zianet.com) and note their sources:

 

The Greek word "hades" came into biblical use when the translators of the Septuagint [the Greek Old Testament— SGD] chose it to render the Hebrew "sheol." The problem is that hades was used in the Greek world in a vastly different way than sheol. Hades in Greek mythology is the underworld, where the conscious souls of the dead are divided in two major regions, one a place of torment and the other of blessedness. This Greek conception of hades influenced Hellenistic Jews, during the intertestamental period, to adopt the belief in the immortality of the soul and the idea of a spatial separation in the underworld between the righteous and the godless. (Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Immortality or Resurrection? A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny, p. 170.)

Notice that Bacchiocchi admits that we can't read anything like the two compartments of Hades in the Old Testament. The concept arose during the period between the close of the Old Testament and the coming of the New, when God was silent as far as prophets were concerned.

Look further at the finer detail of the questionable source of the doctrine of two compartments in Hades as time between the testaments went on:

The literature of the intertestamental period reflects the growth of the idea of the division of Hades into separate compartments for the godly and the ungodly. This aspect of eschatology was a popular subject in the apocalyptic literature that flourished in this period. Notable is the pseudepigraphical Enoch (written c. 200 B.C.), which includes the description of a tour supposedly taken by Enoch into the center of the earth. In another passage in Enoch, he sees at the center of the earth two places— Paradise, the place of bliss, and the valley of Gehinnom, the place of punishment. The above illustrates that there was a general notion of compartments in Hades that developed in the intertestamental period. (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p. 7.)

 

In the intertestamental period the idea of the afterlife underwent some development. In Jewish apocalyptic literature Hades was an intermediate place (1 Enoch 51:1) where all the souls of the dead awaited judgment (22:3f). The dead were separated into compartments, the righteous staying in an apparently pleasant place (vs. 9) and various classes of sinners undergoing punishments in other compartments (vv. 10-13). (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 591.)

 

Under the influence of Persian and Hellenistic ideas concerning retribution after death the belief arose that the righteous and the godless would have very different fates, and we thus have the development of the idea of spatial separation in the underworld, the first instance being found in Enoch. (Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 1, p. 147.)

 

Nowhere in the Old Testament is the abode of the dead regarded as a place of punishment or torment. The concept of an infernal "hell" developed in Israel only during the Hellenistic period. (The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 788.)

All these scholars make the point that all these doctrines originated among pagans, particularly among Egyptians and Greeks; and later, the Jews assimilated these doctrines. These Jews couldn't have found such concepts in their Old Testaments to save their lives!

In truth, the Pharisees of Jesus' time had access to all kinds of legends like these.

J. W. Hanson, universalist, which this author is not, said:

The Jews have a book, written during the Babylonish Captivity, entitled Gemara Babylonicum, containing doctrines entertained by Pagans concerning the future state not recognized by the followers of Moses. This story is founded on heathen views. They were not obtained from the Bible, for the Old Testament contains nothing resembling them. They were among those traditions which our Savior condemned when he told the Scribes and Pharisees, "Ye make the word of God of none effect through your traditions," and when he said to his disciples, "Beware of the leaven, or doctrine of the Pharisees." (J. W. Hanson, The Bible Hell [Boston: Universalist Publishing House, 1888], p. 43.)

Consider a few examples of Hanson's from the Talmud, the authoritative body of Jewish tradition (Italics used for empha-sis—SGD):

(1) In Kiddushin (Treatise on Betrothal), fol:72, there is quoted from the Juchasin, fol:75, 2, a long story about what Levi said of Rabbi Judah: "This day he sits in Abraham's bosom," i.e., the day he died.

Note that this wasn't the Bible saying anything about Abraham's bosom, but Jewish tradition. Hanson continued:

There is a difference here between the Jerusalem and the Babylonian Talmuds—the former says Rabbi Judah was "carried by angels"; the latter says that he was "placed in Abraham's bosom."

We can't find anything in the Old Testament about anyone dying and being carried by angels to Abraham's bosom, but we can certainly find it in Jewish tradition before the time of Jesus.

(2) There was a story of a woman who had seen six of her sons slain (we have it also in 2 Macc. vii.). She heard the command given to kill the youngest (two-and-a-half years old), and running into the embraces of her little son, kissed him and said, Go thou, my son, to Abraham my father, and tell him: Thus saith thy mother, Do not thou boast, saying, I built an altar, and offered my son Isaac. For thy mother hath built seven altars, and offered seven sons in one day, etc. (Midrash Echah, fol:68. 1)

 

(3) We have examples also of the dead discoursing with one another; and also with those who are still alive (Berachoth, fol. 18, 2—Treatise on Blessings). R. Samuel Bar Nachman saith, R. Jonathan saith, How doth it appear that the dead have any discourse among themselves?

 

(4) Then follows a story of a certain pious man that went and lodged in a burying place, and heard two souls discoursing among themselves. "The one said unto the other, Come, my companion, and let us wander about the world, and listen behind the veil, what kind of plagues are coming upon the world." To which the other replied, "O my companion, I cannot; for I am buried in a cane mat; but do thou go, and whatsoever thou hearest, do thou come and tell me," etc. The story goes on to tell of the wandering of the soul and what he heard, etc.

 

(5) As to "the great gulf," we read (Midrash [or Commentary] on Coheleth [Ecclesiastes], 103. 2), "God hath set the one against the other (Ecc. vii. 14) that is Gehenna and Paradise. How far are they distant? A hand-breadth." Jochanan saith, "A wall is between." But the Rabbis say "They are so even with one another, that they may see out of one into the other."

Of course, a lot of these expressions about Abraham's bosom, angels taking the righteous there, conversations between the dead, sending children to make requests of Abraham, etc., seem familiar to us now. Assuredly, had we lived under the Old Testament, we would never have heard such concepts in inspired teaching.

Alan Burns, author of The Rich Man and Lazarus, commented on these quotations:

 

The traditions set forth above were widely spread in many early Christian writings, showing how soon the corruption spread which led on to the Dark Ages and to all the worst errors of Romanism. The Apocryphal books (written in Greek, not in Hebrew, Cents.i. and ii. B.C.) contained the germ of this teaching. That is why the Apocrypha is valued by Traditionists, and is incorporated by the Church of Rome as an integral part of her Bible. (All these quotations are from Alan Burns, The Rich Man and Lazarus [Santa Clarita, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern, n.d., available at www.concordant.org].)

 

In my earlier work, "Jesus' Teaching on Hell," we comment extensively on the origin of the concept of eternal torment and the outright substitution (not translation) of the word hell for the Greek gehenna to create the Roman Catholic concept of hell which was unknown to the Old Testament, the teaching of Jesus, or the New Testament. Please see Chapter 11, "Jesus' Teaching on Hell" in The Teaching of Jesus: From Mt. Sinai to Gehenna, A Faithful Rabbi Urgently Warns Rebellious Israel [Amarillo, TX: Gospel Themes Press, 2004] or on the truthaccordingtoscripture website (click here).

Thus, between the Egyptians and Greeks originating the concept of conscious unending torment, a part of Hades, then Roman Catholicism adapting it in about the 14th century and substituting (not translating) the word "hell" for Gehenna in English translations, it's difficult to wade through all the debris and recover the Bible's teaching on the punishment of the wicked. Shortly, we'll see that Jesus took a then-current pagan legend, that of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and used it to show the greedy Pharisees that even according to their own legend, the possession of riches didn't ensure God's approval. However, first, let us consider the origins of the specific legend of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Legends Concerning the Rich Man and Lazarus

 

Concerning the origin of the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus, J. F. Witherell wrote in his 1843 book Five Pillars in the Temple of Partialism Shaken and Removed:

 

It may be proper to remark in this place, that this story was not original with the Saviour, but was simply used by him to illustrate his subject. The story was probably familiar to his hearers and our Saviour for that reason took occasion to make a practical application of it. In "Paige's Selections," we find the following from Dr. Whitby—"That this is a parable, and not a real history of what was actually done, is evident

(1) Because we find this very parable in the Gemara Babylonicum whence it is cited by Mr. Sheringham, in the preface to his Joma.

(2) From the circumstances of it, viz. The rich man's lifting up his eyes in hell, and seeing Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, his discourse with Abraham, his complaint of being tormented with flames, and his desire that Lazarus might be sent to cool his tongue; and if all this be confessedly parable, why should the rest, which is the very parable in the Gemara, be accounted history!"—end footnote Annot in loc. (J. F. Witherell, Five Pillars in the Temple of Partialism Shaken and Removed [Concord: Published at the Balm of Gilead Office, 1843], Placed into electronic format by Gary Amirault [Hermann, MO: Tentmaker Ministry, January 1997].)

 

While I doubt that "this very parable" is found in the Gemara Babylonicum, I would agree that the essential story is there, and that it had been adapted by the Greeks and Jews, and Jesus adapted it further for his use in Luke 16. Thomas B. Thayer, in his classic The Origin & History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment, ascribed the legend to the same origin:

 

It must also be remembered that this is only a parable, and not a real history; for, as Dr. Whitby affirms, "we find this very parable in the Gemara Babylonicum." The story was not new, then, not original with Christ, but known among the Jews before He repeated it. He borrowed the parable from them, and employed it to show the judgment which awaited them. He represented the spiritual favors and privileges of the Jews by the wealth and luxury of the rich man, and the spiritual poverty of the Gentiles by the beggary and infirmity of Lazarus; and while the former would be deprived of their privileges and punished for their wickedness, the latter would enjoy the blessings of truth and faith. The Jews accepted this picture of Abraham's bosom very much like many Christians accept the idea that the Apostle Peter supposedly sits at the Heavenly Pearly Gates, with the ledger of the faithful dead, and the keys of admission to bid them enter. (Thomas B. Thayer, The Origin & History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment [Boston: Universalist Publishing House, 1855], p. 57.)

 

Al Maxey, a minister in churches of Christ who has written and debated this subject extensively, cited several sources to this same effect in the Al Maxey-Thomas Thrasher Debate available online at www.zianet.com.

 

It seems appropriate to reopen this question and ask: Where should the origin of this parable be placed? (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 4, p. 267). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible informs us that "much of the study of the parable of Lazarus and Dives (Latin: 'rich man') in the 20th century has focused on possible literary antecedents." (pp. 796-797.)

This parable is not theology. It is a vivid story, not a Baedeker's guide to the next world. Such stories as this were current in Jesus' day. They are found in rabbinical sources, and even in Egyptian papyri." (The Interpreter's BibleVol. 8, p. 290.)

 

Similar stories existed in Egypt and among the rabbis; Jesus could easily have adapted this tradition to his own purpose. (The Jerome Biblical Commentary.)

 

This parable follows a story common in Egyptian and Jewish thought. This parable does not intend to give a topographical study of the abode of the dead, it is built upon and thus confirms common Jewish thought. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 94.)

 

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 (online version) states that the imagery of this parable "is plainly drawn from the popular representations of the unseen world of the dead which were current in our Lord's time."

 

Jesus told this story to reinforce the fact that the riches of the Pharisees were not necessarily a sign of God's approval. Some interpreters suggest that the kernel of the story was a popular story of those times and possibly derived from an Egyptian source. (New Commentary on the Whole Bible, based on the classic commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown.)

 

Josephus (a Jewish historian, c. 37-100 A.D.), in his work Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades (in which he notes that the concept of a soul being created immortal by God is "according to the doctrine of Plato"), presents a very similar story to that of our Lord's, including many of the same figures Jesus employed. Yes, he may have borrowed from the Lord's parable, but it is equally possible both were aware of such stories current in their culture.

 

Finally, Maxey (Ibid.) cited several other references on this point:

 

Several good reference works document and describe in some detail a good number of these stories that our Lord may have adapted to His own needs. (Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, p. 797; Dr. James Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, Vol. 2, p. 18; The Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 8, p. 289; The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 4, p. 267; Edersheim's The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Book IV, pp. 280-281; Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Immortality or Resurrection? — A Biblical Study on Human Nature and Destiny, pp. 174-176.)

Then he concluded:

My own personal conviction is that Jesus used or adapted a popular folktale well-known to His hearers for the purpose of conveying, by a means they would best comprehend and most easily remember, an eternal truth.

The obvious eternal truth was that riches do not assure a successful end. Dr. James Hastings, in his famous Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, wrote:

 

Jesus was accustomed to speak the language of His hearers in order to reach their understandings and hearts. And it is noteworthy how, when He employed Jewish imagery, He was wont to invest it with new significance (James Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, Vol. 2, p. 18.)

Sidney Hatch, in his book on conditional immortality, wrote:

In the story, then, of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus has put them down with one of their own superstitions. He used their own ideas to condemn them. It is simply a case of taking what others believe, practice, or say, and using it to condemn them. "Since the elements of the story are taken from the Pharisees' own traditions, they are judged out of their own mouths." (Sidney Hatch, Daring to Differ: Adventures in Conditional Immortality, p. 91.)

 

If the Story Were Pagan, Didn't Jesus Still Endorse Its Teaching?

If Jesus' use of this legend were the only example in his ministry, this question might have some validity to it, but consider that Jesus (and New Testament writers, as well) used a number of such allusions to pagan concepts. For example, in Mt.10:25 and 12:24-27, Jesus answered charges that he was working miracles by the power of Beelzebub, the Philistine god of flies. When Jesus mentioned Beelzebub, he said:

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household!

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons. And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

When Jesus referred to Beelzebub, do you suppose he knew the legend about Beelzebub was false, but still endorsed its teaching? Surely not. He was not trying to teach about Beelzebub to answer their argument. He was showing that even if they were right about the existence and activity of Beelzebub, they were still wrong about his miracles, and that their argument was no good.

Likewise, when Jesus spoke of the god of Mammon in Mt. 6:24, he wasn't endorsing Mammon's teaching or admitting his existence. As in the case of the Rich Man and Lazarus, he was using a legend that was popular in his time and place as an illustration we might use in our own teaching to illustrate his point.

Recall Thayer's comment earlier about the Jews' acceptance of this legend:

The Jews accepted this picture of Abraham's bosom very much like many Christians accept the idea that the Apostle Peter supposedly sits at the Heavenly Pearly Gates, with the ledger of the faithful dead, and the keys of admission to bid them enter. (The Origin &Historyof the Doctrine ofEndless Punishment [Boston: Universalist Publishing House, 1855], p. 57.)

Suppose you overheard me admonish someone in sin, "If you think Peter's going to welcome you in the pearly gates with this kind of behavior, you've got another think coming." Would you deduce that I accept and endorse the doctrine that Peter actually sits at pearly gates? Most people would recognize that I spoke in terms of a popular folktale or legend we know about Peter's admitting people to heaven.

James MacKnight, the well-known Scottish Presbyterian commentator, realized Jesus' use of pagan sources, when he wrote:

It must be acknowledged, that our Lord's descriptions (in this parable) are not drawn from the writings of the Old Testament, but have a remarkable affinity to the descriptions which the Grecian poets have given. They, as well as our Lord, represent the abodes of the blessed as lying contiguous to the region of the damned, and separated only by a great impassable river, or deep gulf, in such sort that the ghosts could talk to one another from its opposite banks. The parable says the souls of wicked men are tormented in flames; the Grecian mythologists tell us they lie in Phlegethon, the river of fire, where they suffer torments. If from these resemblances it is thought the parable is formed on the Grecian mythology, it will not at all follow that our Lord approved of what the common people thought or spake concerning those matters, agreeably to the notions of the Greeks. In parabolical discourses, provided the doctrines inculcated are strictly true, the terms in which they are inculcated may be such as are most familiar to the ears of the vulgar, and the images made use of such as they are best acquainted with. (James MacKnight, cited by Thomas B. Thayer, The Origin& History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment, p. 60.)

Notice that MacKnight said, "Our Lord's descriptions are not drawn from the writings of the Old Testament." In our essay "Jesus' Teaching on Hell," we've investigated the writings of Moses and the prophets on this subject, and they nowhere taught endless torment.

The Relationship of Jesus' Teaching to the Old Covenant

 

Jesus, a faithful rabbi correctly interpreting and applying the Law of Moses to the Jews of his age, promised he wouldn't teach them anything different from that law. In Mt. 5:19-20, in discussing the law and the prophets, he said:

 

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so [Emphasis mine—SGD], shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 

Do we think Jesus pronounced such woe on those who didn't teach what Moses and the prophets taught, and then taught differently himself? It's interesting that on the subject of divorce and remarriage, most people think he taught something just twelve verses later in Mt. 5:31-20, that was different from what Moses taught, after giving this warning in Mt. 5:20. Do we think he contradicted himself just seconds after pronouncing this woe? How about on our current subject, the state of the dead? After promising to be true to Moses and the prophets, did he then teach something directly contradictory to Moses and the prophets on our present subject?

Either the Old Testament teaching on the subject was true, or the legend of the Rich Man and Lazarus was true, but they both certainly cannot be true.

Now that we've seen the origin of legends like that of the Rich Man and Lazarus, we notice that these legends are not true, but that Jesus was merely taking a popular traditional teaching of the Pharisees, itself taken from Greek and Egyptian origins, and using this (about to be seen) false legend against them in teaching them about the perils of greed, or of trusting in riches.

The Legend of the Rich Man and Lazarus Isn't True

I affirm that it's not true for this reason: The Old Testament's teaching on the status of the dead is taught in verses like these:

For there is no activity or planning or wisdom in Sheol where you are going. (Eccl. 9:10)

 

The dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward." (Eccl. 9:5)

 

Further, it is declared of man: His breath goeth forth, He returneth to his earth. In that very day his thoughts perish. (Ps. 146:4)

and,

In death there is no remembrance of Thee. In the grave who shall give Thee thanks? (Ps.6:5)

Had we lived in the Mosaic Age, and someone asked us about the state of the dead, what would we have told them? Surely we would have told them exactly these things, would we not? We'd have said that the dead don't plan, they don't exercise wisdom, they're not active, and they don't know anything. And we'd have been correct, for that's exactly what the Bible says.

However, when we come to the Rich Man and Lazarus, should we then throw all that overboard and accept down to the smallest detail on what happens after death (even though we don't believe a lot of those details ourselves) a legend of highly dubious origin? Why not accept it as pagan teaching assimilated by the Jews between the testaments, as it contradicts everything the Old Testament taught about the consciousness, memory, etc. of the dead?

If this is true, then as we've noted, Jesus was teaching in the entire chapter, Luke 16, against greed to Pharisees who needed that very teaching. In the course of his teaching, Jesus used a story pervasive in their time to illustrate that wealth didn't indicate one was righteous, or that he would have good fortune.

 

Conclusion

 

We've seen why the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus is in Luke 16, in the context of Jesus' teaching on greed to greedy Pharisees. It has nothing to do with the fate of anyone, righteous or wicked, after death. It has nothing to do with the final destiny of the wicked. Any understanding of the chapter that doesn't account for the context of the entire chapter falls short. In the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus merely used a story current in their time to illustrate that just because one was rich (whether righteous or unrighteous), that didn't guarantee a favorable outcome. Therefore, love and trust in riches was not a wise course to choose through life.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Origin of Hell-Fire in Christian Teaching

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:36 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου   [ ενημερώθηκε 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:38 π.μ. ]

The Origin of Hell-Fire in Christian Teaching

 

 

By Edward Fudge

 

Article from  https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com 

 

September 9, 2018

 

 

 

The concept of a soul within us that cannot die first became a ‘Christian’ doctrine at the end of the second century AD. Hell had been taught in Greek philosophy long before the time of Jesus, with Plato (427-347 BC) as the important leader in this thinking.

The teaching of an everlasting place of punishment for the wicked is the natural consequence of a belief in an immortal soul. By the year AD 187, it was understood that life, once we have it, is compulsory; there is no end to it, either now or in a world to come. We have no choice as to its continuance, even if we were to commit suicide to end it.

At the end of the 2nd century Christianity had begun to blend Greek philosophy —human speculative reasoning, with the teachings of God’s Word. Such words and phrases as ‘continuance of being’, ‘perpetual existence’, ‘incapable of dissolution’ and ‘incorruptible’ began to appear in so-called Christian writings. These had come straight from Plato, the Greek philosopher, all those years before Jesus. Other phrases used were ‘the soul to remain by itself immortal’, and ‘an immortal nature’. It was taught that this is how God made us. But this idea derives from philosophy, not divine inspiration. There are no such words in the Bible. It was Athenagorus, a Christian, but whose teachings, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, were strongly tinged with Platonism, who had introduced the teaching of an immortal soul into Christianity. In this way, he paved the way for the logical introduction of eternal torment for immortal, but sinful, souls. This was a hundred years and more after the time of the apostles, and came straight from popular philosophy. The apostles had consistently taught that death is a sleep, to be followed by resurrection. The early church leaders – Clement, Ignatius, Hermas, Polycarp, and others who also believed that death is a sleep, taught that the wicked are destroyed forever by fire – their punishment was to be annihilation. These leaders did not teach of an immortal soul to be tortured by fire in hell for eternity.

About AD 240 Tertullian of Carthage took up the teaching of an immortal soul. It was he who added the further, but logical dimension. He taught the endless torment of the immortal soul of the wicked was parallel to the eternal blessedness of the saved, with no sleep of death after this life.

This came at a time when many Christians were being burned for their faith and it was natural for them to accept that their persecutors would at death be consigned to an ever-burning hell for the persecution they had inflicted on others while they went straight to eternal bliss.

From the third century the darkness of the infiltration of man-made beliefs into Christianity deepened until the Dark Ages had smothered almost all the light of God’s Word. At the beginning of this time, the first attempts were made to create a systematic set of beliefs. It is not surprising that an ever-burning hell and the immortality of the soul were prominently included.

It is at this time that such beliefs, held by most Christians today, had their origin. An ever-burning hell has remained a commonly taught doctrine of the Christian religion to this day. It was not based on the Bible but on philosophy. Bible verses were later sought to uphold the ancient philosophies of the Greeks, and added to the teaching.

Eventually under the influence of Augustine, AD 430, the concept of endless conscious torment was brought into general acceptance by the Catholic Church in the Western world. He taught that all souls were deathless and consequently the lost would experience endless fires of punishment, immediately upon the end of this life.

Purgatory and places of purification.

Other pagan philosophers, along with some of the poets of the day, were repulsed by the immorality of this teaching, and developed the idea of a place where the fleshly body was purified by fire but, at the completion of purification, would find release. It was a middle way between heaven and hell. This concept had its origin in Persian teaching. From there it passed to certain Jewish groups, and later was taken into Christian thought and teaching.

It arose out of the Gnostic idea that the body, flesh and matter, is inherently evil and must be purified and purged by fire elsewhere. But we know bodies can be exhumed for examination, so it cannot be true that the flesh goes elsewhere.

A similar view was held in Egypt, with prayers and services for the dead and payments made to priests for them to intercede for the dead. The idea of a place like purgatory did not have its beginnings in the Christian church, but in ancient pagan religions. The foundations had been established by Augustine’s teaching of eternal hell. Purgatory was added, and later fully confirmed by Pope Gregory the Great, about 582. Purgatory could not be supported by the standard canon of the Bible and it was the books of the Apocrypha that were used to justify this new idea.

A similar teaching appeared in Moslem and Jewish belief. The inhabitants of the world were seen as good, bad and ‘middling’. It was believed that, if one died with curable offences, these would be purified by pain and torment as a preparation for heavenly bliss. By 1439 the teaching of purgatory, with services and prayers for the dead, to spare them years of this pain, was fully accepted in the Western Catholic world – Italy, Spain, England, France, and was ratified by Pope Eugenius IV. It was not known or taught in Eastern Christianity, which was not influenced by Rome.

It is sometimes taught that even the righteous go to such a place for a lesser time so that the stains of sin can be burned from them, and this can be greatly hastened if certain exercises are undertaken. At the end of this time any that are incorrigible are sent to hell forever and the righteous go to a place of eternal blessedness.

Heaven and hell are seen to be existing together side by side forever and ever. This means that Jesus the Saviour can never see an end of the sin and misery He came to die for. Any teaching of the eternal co-existence of evil and good is not in the Bible, but is a teaching from Greek philosophy.

The Waldenses who had fled to the mountains to remain free from the heresies that were developing in the Catholic Church and also to escape persecution, taught the sleep of death and instant destruction by fire at the resurrection of the wicked. Their persecuting inquisitors reported that they entirely rejected the teaching of purgatory. The Cathari and the Hussites also rejected hell, thus leading the way for the teachings of the later Reformers.

The Reformers

The Reformers strongly rejected hell and purgatory, because by this time the teaching had become heavily corrupted by the sale of indulgences. These were the payments made to the priests to reduce the years of purification spent in purgatory.

Wycliffe taught that death was an unconscious sleep, as did Tyndale and Luther, (although it has to be said that Luther was not always consistent in his beliefs.) They taught neither hell or purgatory. They taught that ‘men are breath in bodies’ and not “souls in bodies”.

Calvin, however, taught that those who were sinners went to the eternal pains of hell at the time of their death and even denied a middle place or purgatory. The Reformed churches, like Calvin, have generally maintained a belief in an immortal soul and hell-fire, but do not teach purgatory.

The Resurrection and Hell.

How do the concept of an ever-burning hell and the Bible teaching of resurrection fit together? Over the centuries there has been a blending of Bible teachings with the teachings of men. It was known that the Bible speaks of resurrection, and also of death by fire. The compromise view sees the body being resurrected and rejoining its soul again and then both being tormented together by fire.

Athenagorus taught that a person can never die or come to an end; life is ours for always. He taught that we have been made intelligent just for the purpose of continuing life - even if it be in Hell. He also taught that a body is given to the soul, and we are born into this world to pass through this life as two entities. These two are separated at death but, at the resurrection, the body rejoins the soul. He taught that punishment must be given for sins committed in this body and so the body needs to suffer punishment also. During the period of separation from its soul it is said, the body is in the grave. He argued consistently that God made us to live, and therefore we live eternally even though it is a living death in torment.

What is the fate of the wicked?

The theologian Origen of Alexandria developed another, different view of the fate of the wicked. He postulated that the wicked would be forgiven and restored by God and so in the end all would be saved. There would be universal salvation. Some of his followers believe that even Satan will be saved.

But there was yet another view, that of Irenaeus, who taught that the wicked would be destroyed. All trace of wickedness would be removed from the earth by a devouring fire.

No second chance.

The Bible is clear that our choice, for Him or against Him, is made in this world, here and now. There is no mention of a second chance in the Bible, or a time when all people will be changed and restored to the Lord. This view of universal salvation is also mythology that has crept into the Christian world. It gives a more comfortable picture than judgement and death, but a second chance is false hope. Its origin is in the thinking of Greek philosophy.

In Summary

* There is no ever-burning hell with an eternity of torture.
* There is no such place as purgatory.
* There is no universal restoration of all sinners.



 

The Lord our God is One Lord

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:33 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

The Lord our God is One Lord

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes  (25/11/2016)

Bible verses from: LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011 and others if they fit better with the Greek text



“Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deut. 6:4)

 

The meaning of “The Lord our God is one (Grk: Eις) Lord,” is opposed to the meaning of “dyad or dyadic is,” “triad or triadic is,” etc.

An (Εις) = adjective of masculine gender, cardinal number: one.

Dyad = numerical noun of feminine gender: two  (= a set of two similar units).

Dyadic = adjective of masculine gender: two (= a set of two similar units).

Triad = numerical noun of feminine gender: three (= a set of three similar units).

Triadic = adjective of masculine gender which refers to the triad: three (= a set of three similar units).

Note: In Greek adjectives have gender

 

In order to understand the meaning of “The Lord our God is one Lord,” a phrase that the spirit of God, [“God is Spirit”], said to the people of Israel  through Moses, we need to know the worship habits and doctrines of that time that people devised to explain mainly the forces of nature.

The practice of worship to the devised gods was always carried out by the clergies, which strengthened each authority. The Theocratic powers always functioned as manipulators and as a means of subjugating people; and the emperors were the link between heaven and earth, resulting in their deification, since they were considered sons of gods. Peoples ignorance and fear of the unknown and mystery, which the clergies systematically cultivated, contributed to this situation.

The prestige, power, and economic robustness of an empire were seen as the result of the people’s worship to its patron gods, whom the authorities could upgrade, modify, and merge with others (theocracy) if it was in their interest to do so. 

The following excerpts can give us an idea of what was happening.

 

Mesopotamian Mythology

“Mesopotamian Mythology is the mythology of the people   -Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians - who lived in the valley of Mesopotamia.

It seems that the first phase of the Mesopotamian religion was naturalistic -that is, the worship of the forces of life. Man translated these forces of life into the spirits of euphoria and fertility represented by a couple,  just like people’s life. Man also created gods / spirits for all things necessary for people’s life, such as the spirits of grain, forest, vines, springs, etc. Their mortal gods died and were born again, just like the seasons whose productive power they represented.

Mesopotamian religion does not have a single origin but responds to the very constitution of the country. The most ancient countries of Sumer (Shinar Valley), which had their autonomy at the time of their formation, annexed the neighboring states one after another, each of which had its local clergy, which had already formed a tradition. The priesthood of each city had established its own theory of the genealogy of its gods as well as a different patron god for protection from the other cities. As the states slowly became more and more integrated, the pantheon of the one came close to the pantheon of the other.

The gods of Sumer then came in contact with the gods of the Semitic invasion -Akkades-  and were mixed. So the list of gods doubled. There were double names and tangled generations that nevertheless represented the turmoil that existed in the lives of both peoples. As the years went by, discreet processes had to be made, but the great reform came in the years of the first dynasty of Babylon. The priesthood and the leadership decided to formally unite the two concepts by proposing Marduk (a trivial god until then) as the new official, great god of the state and Babylon. With great mastery, the clergy reduced neither the number nor the value of the earlier gods; simply picked one and raised him above the others without, however, abolishing the old ones. Then the poem of Creation was written which "explains" the predominance of Mardouk and generally proposes another genealogy and mythology, the new and common pretty much for all.”

 Source

 

Anu

“In Sumerian mythology, and later in Assyrians and Babylonians, Anu or An was the god of the sky and the constellations, the king of the gods, the spirits and the demons. Anu was considered to have the power to judge those who had committed crimes. He was the father of the Anunnaki. In art, he is usually depicted as a jackal. The basic symbol of Anu is a crown with horns.

Anu was the oldest god in the pantheon of the Sumerian mythology, and he was a Triad along with Enlil, god of the sky, and Enki, god of the waters. Anu is often associated with the city of Uruk, the corresponding biblical Erech, and therefore it is believed to have been his original worship center. The deity of Inanna-Ishtar, also worshiped in Uruk, was often considered to be his companion for this reason.”

Source

 

Greek triadic deities

Indicatively, we will mention the triple goddess Hecate mentioned in Greek mythology as the queen of the sky, earth and sea, protector of justice, army, hunters, fishermen, flocks with the synergy of her lover Hermes, and protector of newborn babies, hence the name kourotrofos (= child nurturer). In the ancient statues, she was depicted with three faces and in the pots holding two torches. In her honor, people celebrated Hecatea at three way crossroads outside their cities.

 

Other than the above perceptions were that the brother gods Jupiter or Zeus, Pluto and Poseidon had distributed the kingdoms; Jupiter was the god of the sky, Pluto was the god of the underworld, and Poseidon was the god of the waters. [Justin the Philosopher, Exhortation to the Greeks (730)]

 

From the above we can see that:

·         Polytheism arose from people’s need to interpret  natural phenomena,  love, wisdom, arts, beauty, etc., by inventing gods of various specialties and responsibilities, donors of good or evil things, supposedly protecting them, their cities, their families, their flocks, their boats, their army, their occupations, etc. (cf. today)

·         The clergies always exercised power over any authority, since the emperors supported their perpetuation through the blessings and the oracles of their false prophets.

·         The authorities without the support of the clergy could not be respected by the people. (cf. today)

·         The gods always complied with the modern needs and policies of the authorities. (cf. today)

·         The inventions of the triadic gods were purely arose from polytheism, implying co-governments hierarchically structured in three similar units (three gods), in the way people-kings ruled together.

·         Biblical cities such as Erech (Uruk), Nineveh, Babylon and others, were worship centers of triadic imaginary gods.

 

The sun’s disc and its phases

 

The natural sun and its three phases, sunrise, culmination and sunset, were the reason for the creation of triadic deities as the New International Encyclopedia informs us.

“The triad became the world’s most widespread number of deity ... The worship of the sun is one of the oldest forms of religion, and the ancient man sometimes distinguished between the rising, the culminating and the setting sun. The Egyptians, for example, separated the solar god into three deities: Horus - the rising sun, Ra - the culminating sun, and Osiris - the setting sun. (Egyptian deities)

Therefore, the word of the Lord God to Israel through MosesHear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord” was made to overturn this mindset of the polytheists; a mindset which the Israelites from Chaldea also had, who, even in the time of Ezekiel’s ministry, worshiped the sun. (Ez. 8:15)

And Josiah the king of Judahe took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.” (II Kings 23:11)

Hear, Israelites, your own Lord God (unlike the others) is one Lord (not a dyad dyadic or triad - triadic).

 

It is worthwhile to observe the prayer of king Jude Hezekiah when he prays to be freed from the Assyrians:

“So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” (You are not together with others – that is, you are not dyadic or triadic). (II Ki. 19:19)

 

Agreement with the New Testament

Our Lord Jesus Christ answering a question from one of the secretaries confirms:

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (not dyad - dyadic or triad triadic). (Mark 12:29)

 

And the secretary responding also confirms: “And the scribe said to him, Well, Master, you have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.” (Mark 12:32)

 

And elsewhere he said:And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Mat. 23:9)

 

And Paul said: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:6)

 

And James also wrote: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder.”  (2:19)

 

 So whoever believes that the Lord God is not dyadic or triadic but ONE is right; besides, the demons believe the same thing, and for that reason they are horrified (they shiver from fear). If, hypothetically, God was dyadic or triadic, then the demons would not be horrified.

Therefore, the father of lies has every reason to deceive for centuries by distorting the truth that the Lord God is ONE (and not a triad - triadic or dyad - dyadic).

 

Concepts of God’s triadicity apart from the above

 

(a) Cabalistic thoughts

 

“The Truth is where Cabalists talk about the veils of the Absolute. The Truth was named in a number of ways: some named it God in general, others named it Father - God, Absolute, Unexpressed, Negative Existence, and some even more vaguely "superior power.” The variety of names and adjectives suggests that the totality of God remains incomprehensible to the human intellect. This knowledge - acceptance is ancient. The ancient peoples had realized that behind the one whom they called father - God there was "something" in which their central God remained accountable. Probably one more superior God, unintelligible even by their supreme God, let alone by themselves. That’s why they mention or hint at him but they do not deal with him, they do not try to interpret him because such an interpretation would be arbitrary. The Cabalistic approach does not escape this. It admits its ignorance and speaks of three veils that give a hint to God, but in essence, like all veils, they conceal him. These veils are Negativity, Unlimited, and Unlimited Light.

These three symbolic veils do not stand out and are not distinct from each other. As a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He is a "consubstantial and inseparable Triad," others and even the highest insider of this solar system (and others greater than him) cannot enter into their secrets.

Source

 

(b) Hermes Trismegistus

 

“There is one deity in the world”
Hermes is mentioned as an omniscient during the reign of Sostros. The following was written by John Malalas (7th - 8th century):


“Hermes Trismegistus the Egyptian, a man with incredible wisdom, said that the name of the unintelligible and creator has three hypostases in a single deity,” thus giving the triadic of God’s hypostasis, which was then integrated in Orthodoxy.

 

Source                                                                         

 

(c) Holy Trinity

 

“The Triadic God is described as a Triune Unit which is manifested by actions and works in creation and history. He has three faces, but these three faces are not three separate gods, otherwise Christianity would not be a monotheistic but a tritheistic religion. According to the doctrine, the reason that the triadic God is one, although with three hypostases, is the absence of space and time. Space and time differentiate human hypostases from each other so that different faces to be different people. But because space and time are created (God’s creations), God is not subject to them. So we have the mystery (incomprehensible to people) of the Triune Unit.”

Source

 

It follows from the above that the acceptance of the Triadic Doctrine (Triune Unit) entails the acceptance of ignorance, the unintelligible, the incomprehensible, the mystery, and the introduction of new mathematical and grammatical rules. If someone has in mind or sees three veils, three angels, or three ships in a row, this doesn’t mean that God is a triad - triadic. Also, the justification that God is triadic, because he is not subject to space and time, leaves the possibility that he is also, tetradic, pentadic, hexadic, etc.

 

What is the chaff  to the wheat? (Jer. 23:28)

                                                   

The Holy Scripture is profitable for instruction

 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” (II Tim. 16-17)

 

The words of the Lord are simple, pure, and comprehensible; they illuminate and they are able to make the man wise, and they are inconsistent with these human triadic, polytheistic perceptions. (cf. Mat. 15:9)

 

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark. 12:29)

 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105)

 

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Ps. 19:7)

 

“Lead me in your truth, and teach me: for you are the God of my salvation; on you do I wait all the day.” (Ps. 25:5)

 

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (I John 5:20 Esv2011)

 

Note: The AKJV quotes by mistake “This is the true God.” (Grk txt: Ούτος = He)

 

The apostles preached neither a triadic god nor an earthly Jesus, but they preached through the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life.

 

The prophecy of Isaiah for the Son

 

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6)

 

For unto us a child is born

 

The pronoun “us” is in the dative (giving) case of the person and indicates the person who benefits from something, the person for the sake of whom an action takes place.

Born” is the past participle of the verb “to bear,” which means that the child, Jesus, was not born by us, but by God who is Spirit, for us.

Similarly the phrase “unto us a son is given.” The Savior was not born by an earthly man so that he can give him to save the world; God who is Spirit and everlasting did that. Otherwise, the Savior would be an earthly man, unable to save, and not the heavenly Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 15:47)

 

"For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NET)

 

Only - begotten = born alone||without any others||without having any brothers or sisters. [Dictionaries: Scarlatos Vyzantios’ ancient Greek dictionary and Pantazidou Homeric dictionary]

 

The created and earthly Adam is also called son of God (Luk. 3:23/38). So if the born son of God Jesus had Adam’s earthly nature, he wouldn’t be the only-begotten Son of the Father full of grace and truth. Besides:

 

 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Gen. 1:27, Is. 1:2, John 1:14, 3:16)

 

“Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is (The Lord) from heaven.” (I Cor. 15:45-47 Esv2011)

 

The only-begotten son of God

 

An only-begotten son of God is defined as He who was born through the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, he was given birth by her “where is he that is born king of the Jews?” (Mat. 2:2), and was given the name Jesus by the Lord’s commandment through an angel. The only-begotten son of the Father that was sent to the world, Jesus, had no brothers or sisters born of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a woman, as he was, but:

 

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood (Grk txt: Bloods) nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

 

“He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)

 

 

James, Joseph, Simon, Judas and Jesus’ sisters had the same mother but a different father.

 

“Is not this the carpenter's son? “as was supposed,” is not his mother called Mary? and his brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? From where then has this man all these things? And they were offended in him.” (luk. 3:23, Mat. 13:55-57, 12:47-50)

  

The birth of Jesus

 

“And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born (of you) shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:30-35 AKJV)

 

Note: In the verse of Luke 1:35, Grk txt omits (of you). Let’s read the same verse in different Bible Versions:

 

·         “And the angel answering said to her, [The] Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of [the] Highest overshadow thee, wherefore the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God.” (Darby)

 

·         “And the Angel aunswered, & saide vnto her: The holy ghost shall come vpon thee, & the power of the hyest shall ouershadowe thee. Therefore also that holy thyng whiche shalbe borne, shalbe called the sonne of God.” (Bishops)

 

·         “And the angel responding said to her; The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, indeed, that holy thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of God.” (Godbey)

 

·         “The angel answered her, "the holy spirit shall descend upon thee, and the power of the most high shall over-shadow thee: wherefore thy holy offspring shall be called the son of God.” (Mace)

 

·         “And the angel, answering, said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of [the] Most High will overshadow you; wherefore also the Holy Thing that is begotten shall be called [the] Son of God.” (Worrell)

 

The angel did not tell Mary that the holy one who would be born of her would be called the son of God, but he told her that the holy one who would be born in her would be called the son of God.

 

The same is confirmed to her husband, Joseph, by the angel of the Lord in a dream. In Matthew chapter one and verse twenty we read:

·         And reflecting upon these things, behold a messenger of the Lord appeared to him saying, Joseph, thou son of David, thou shouldest not fear to take to thyself Mary thy wife: for that begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (SLT)

 

·         And he meditating on these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying; Joseph, son of David, do not fear to receive Mary thy wife; for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit;” (Godbey)

 

·         “And he having pondered these [things], behold— [an] angel [of the] Lord appeared [to] him in [a] dream saying “Joseph, son [of] David, do not fear to take Mary [as] your wife, for the [child] having been fathered in her is by [the] Holy Spirit.” (DLNT)

 

·         “But while he pondered on these things, behold, an angel of [the] Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take to [thee] Mary, thy wife, for that which is begotten in her is of [the] Holy Spirit.” (Darby)

 

·         “Το γαρ εν αυτή γεννηθέν εκ πνεύματος έστιν αγίου.” (Nestle-Aland Grk txt)

 

 

This was the reason he was called the only-begotten son of God, because the holy one born in the womb of Mary was from the Holy Spirit not of bloods nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will or power of man or woman.

 

Continuing, the angel said to Joseph: And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Joseph believed the angel’s message.  “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Mat. 1:21-24)

 

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21)

 

The earthly Mary neither conceived through ordinary means “And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and called his name Seth, saying, For God has raised up to me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew” (Gen. 4:25, LXXE), nor received a fertilized egg (embryo) in order to give birth to a demigod according to the customs of the Olympians in Greek mythology, nor impregnated by herself as Hera did with Hephaestus who was born through parthenogenesis and his father was the dispute and discord according to the ancient doctrines, nor gave birth to an earthly son, but she conceived miraculously and gave birth to the heavenly Jesus who was born by his Father the eternal Holy Spirit, within her; and everyone born has a beginning.

 

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Col. 1:18)

 

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (The new spiritual creation).” (Rev. 3:14)

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)

 

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Gal. 6:15)

 

Emmanuel

 

The first-century church of God which he obtained with his own bloodrecognized Jesus as the only true God and called him “Emmanuel,” that is, “God is with us.” (Acts 20:28, Ι John 5:20, Isaiah 7:14, 8:8)

This was the reason why the Jews wanted to kill him, because they thought of Jesus as the son of Joseph and Mary and did not believe that he was the only-begotten of the Holy Spirit.

“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)

 

“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:33)

 

The opposed Jews did not believe in the teaching of the apostles

 

The teaching

 

“For let this be in mind among you, which also in Christ Jesus; Who, being in the form (image) of God, thought not robbery to be equal to God. But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, born in the likeness of men: And found in fashion as man, he humbled himself, being obedient until death, and the death of the cross.” (Philip. 2:5-8 SLT)

 

Here, Paul is not talking about a pre-existing Son, but about the only-begotten of the Father (the Holy Spirit), the one who was born by Mary, who was given the name Jesus, the one who was already resurrected when Paul wrote the letters.

 

“For the impossibility of the law, in that it was weak by the flesh, God having sent his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the justification of the law be filled up in us, not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4)

 

Jesus was a Heavenly Man, from Heaven, “the  image of the  invisible God,” and not from the earth, not earthly. (Col. 1:15)

 

“Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (I Cor. 15:45)

 

What Jesus who was born by Mary testifies about himself

 

“Jesus said to them, If God were your father ye would have loved me, for I came forth from God and am come [from him] ; for neither am I come of myself, but he has sent me.” (John 8:42 Darby)

 

“No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:13)

 

For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)

 

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

 

“And Jesus said to them, You are from beneath (from earth); I am from above (from heaven): you are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)

 

 

“The bread that I will give is my flesh (Grk: Sarx 4561).”  The flesh / body of Jesus was from heaven (the manna in the wilderness was also from heaven), and when Paul, apostle of Jesus, wrote about the mystery of piety “God was manifested in the flesh” he did not disagree with Jesus neither he preached an earthly savior.

 

Paul wrote: “For the impossibility of the law, in that it was weak by the flesh, God having sent his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom. 8:3)

 

An earthly man could never assert for himself similar testimonies.

 

Actions of Jesus that were impossible to be carried out by an earthly man

 

·         “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mat. 7:29)

 

·         “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mat. 20:28)

 

 

 

·         “For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luk. 9:24)

 

·         “And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you.” (Luk. 5:20)

 

·         “Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18)

 

·         Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” (John 4:31-32)

 

·         “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)

 

·         “And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” (Mat. 17:1-2)

 

·         “And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark. 4:14)

 

 

Jesus was not an angel

 

“For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Heb. 1:5)

 

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have.” (Luk. 24:39)

 

The body of Jesus, the only-begotten son of God, was special, separate, unique, it was made in the likeness of man

 

“But made himself of no reputation, (Grk: emptied himself) and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” (Philip. 2:7-8)

 

 

The blood of Jesus

 

The bones of the heavenly man Jesus, produced a unique divine blood

 

“Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Rom. 3:25)

 

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Eph. 1:7)

 

“Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

 

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14)

 

What the apostles said and wrote

 

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”  (Col. 2:9-10)

 

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”  (Col. 1:19-20)

 

“For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.” (I Cor. 15:39-40)

 

“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being (soul) the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (I Cor. 15:44-45)

 

 

The apostles were sent neither to preach Homer or Middle Platonism, nor to preach a demigod (son of a god and a mortal woman). There were many such gods both in the Greek pantheon and in the pantheon of other tribes. But they preached Jesus Christ as the living God and true savior of the world. (I John 5:20, Rom. 9:5, Titus 2:13, Rev. 1:8)

    

More testimonies

 

(a) John the Baptist

 

John the Baptist said that Jesus was above all because He had come from heaven.

“He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.” (John 3:30-33)

 

And Jesus said that among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.

 

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Mat. 11:11)

 

If Jesus was a man according to the perception of the disagreeing Jews he wouldn't have said that John was the greatest among those born of women, but he would have said, I am the greatest among those born of women.

 

(b) The teaching of the Apostle Paul about resurrection

 

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul (natural body); the last Adam was made a quickening (live-giving) spirit (spiritual body). However, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (I Cor. 15:42-49)

 

The distinction between the earthly and the heavenly is evident, the earthly man is seeded with human sperm and is born as a psychic body "in wear, in unrighteousness, in sickness," and while living on earth, he is spiritually dead because of sin. But the first earthly Adam “was a type of the one who was to come,” that is, a pattern of the spiritual man Jesus. (Rom. 5:14)

 

The heavenly man Jesus Christ “became a Spirit that gives life” in order to rebirth, give life, resurrect, and let the spiritually dead man have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) 

“But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Mat. 8:22)

 

“And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 4:1-2)

 

“Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:5-6)

 

“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.” (Col. 2:11-13)

 

For this my son was dead and has come to life, was lost and has been found. And they began to make merry.” (Luk. 15:24, Darby)

 

“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (Rom. 6:13)

This work of salvation -the remission of sins and the resurrection of the spiritually dead earthly man- would have been impossible if Jesus had a human, earthly, perishable nature.

 

Jesus Christ is the word of life that became flesh; he is the truth, and the life, and the imperishable seed that gives eternal life.

 

James informs the Jewish Christians: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (James to Hebrews 1:18) (Beget = to create children, to give birth)

 

 

 And Peter in his first letter to the Hebrews said: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and stays for ever.” (I Peter to the Hebrews 1:23)

 

The teaching of the first church about the Word of life

 

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.” (Eph. 3:8 Esv2011)

 

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with towards God, and the Word was God God was the Word. He was in the beginning with towards God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5 Esv2011)

 

Note: Grk txt omits, with, instead is προς τον” (Nestle-Aland). Προς with accusative (τον), to, toward, denoting direction toward a thing (Liddell Scott)

 

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with  towards Father and was made manifest to us.” (I John 1:1-2)

 

Compare: “And the Word became flesh,” “God was manifest in the flesh,” “life was made manifest.” (John 1:14, I Tim. 1:16, I John 1:2)

 

 

The Jewish writer did not write about a different pre-existing god-word, but, he wrote about the word that was the eternal life, the life of the eternal God / the Father, which was manifest.

 

 Jesus addressing the Jews said to them: “For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)

 

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?” (John 11:25-26)

 

Nor did the Jewish writer abolish the scriptures that said:

 

“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” (I Cor. 8:4)

 

For ever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89)

 

“And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.” (Ex. 3:14)

 

“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Is. 42:8, 48:11)

 

“Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Is. 44:6)

 

“Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself;” (Is. 44:24)

 

“You are my witnesses, said the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.” (Is. 43:10-11)

 

“Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” (Is. 48:12)

 

 

The God-breathed scriptures and the philosophy of people

 

The apostles were not teachers of heresy  “denying  the only Master and Lord, Jesus Crist” and they knew the scriptures that said:

 

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” (I Cor. 3:19-20)

 

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Cor. 1:19-20)

 

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Cor. 1:21)

 

The writers of the New Testament letters were not in agreement with the polytheistic gentiles, who, according to the Greek theological thinking, believed in a hierarchical union of member gods where the high god does not create but gives birth to God the Word who is the cause of creation. The apostles never wrote: Brothers, just like Zeus gave birth to his son Hermes and sent him to difficult and critical missions making him the intermediary between the gods and the people, so did ours, the one god. The pagans believed these fables.

 

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” (Acts 14:11-12)

 

Nor did they perform a philosophical analysis by accepting the sophistries about the "Word" of Middle Platonism in order to spread the latest Platonic trends mixed with the teaching of Jesus. This was achieved by the fanatical Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo who lived in Alexandria, Egypt  -whose library attracted all the philosophical trends-  and considered the “Word” to be the “idea of ​​ideas,” “the firstborn son of the uncreated Father” and “second, inferior god.” He belonged to the so-called apologists, who adopted the Philonian Word of Middle Platonism, which, along with Plotinus, evolved into Neoplatonism, which post-evolved into “patristic theology”. The apologists compromised the comparative Greek theology with Christianity, teaching, like Justin, that:

 

“And the first power after God the Father and Lord of all is the Word, who is also the Son; and of Him we will, in what follows, relate how He took flesh and became man.” (Justin Philosopher A’ Apology chap. 32,10)

 

“What sober-minded man, then, will not acknowledge that we are not atheists, worshipping as we do the Maker of this universe, and declaring, as we have been taught .…   Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judæa, in the times of Tiberius Cæsar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove.” (Justin Philosopher A’ Apology chap. 13)

 

"I shall attempt to persuade you, since you have understood the Scriptures,[of the truth] of what I say, that there is, and that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things--above whom there is no other God--wishes to announce to them." (Justin Philosopher Dialogue with Tryfo chap. 56)

 

Eventually, this mixing of human earthly wisdom with the wisdom that is from above gave birth to theological battles and great heresies in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries.

The formers of the new Byzantine-type Christianity were wounded by the Philonian love to Plato, damaging the basic idea of ​​the bible that God is love, and that He is One, with the sad effect of the Hellenization of the monotheistic early Christianity, its nationalization and protection from the Roman empire, its armed enforcement, the discovery of the incomprehensible triune unit with the prevalence of the ontological equality between the Father and the Son, and the introduction of new theological terms, non-existent in the sacred biblical texts, such as: consubstantial – undivided – inseparable – two natures – first, second, third person – holy trinity, have mercy on us – blessed virgin – ever virgin – coeternal – co-everlasting – incarnation [incarnate = to give physical substance to someone// reincarnate// metempsychose (Stamatakos Grk dictionary)] etc.

 

 The Word became flesh

 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

 

Note: It doesn't say "the Word took flesh," as the apologists and philosophers were saying, but it says: "the Word became flesh."

 

Grammar says that the predicate (flesh) through the middle voice linking verb (became) attributes a property to the subject (the word).

 

That is, the flesh / man Jesus became a property (an attribute) of the word of life I am the resurrection and the life.” Mary’s biological participation is absent, otherwise it would say [the word was made flesh by Mary].

 

The body of Jesus was the temple of God. When the Jews asked for a sign and Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days," the Jews thought that he was telling them about the temple of Solomon. “But he spoke of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19-21)

 

The heavenly body of Christ is the true tent

 

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation).” (Heb. 9:11)

 

In the Old Testament, God filled with his presence the inside of the tent of the tabernacle, and from there, between the two cherubs on the mercy seat, he spoke to Moses within the people’s earshot. (Ex. 25:22)

 

In the New Testament, the temple of the body of the Son of God is the true tent “not made with hands, that is, not of this creation,” where the whole fullness of deity dwells, and through this body, the one God the Father speaks and acts. (cf. Rev. 21:22)

 

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19-22)

In this passage we see the prominent spiritual function of the heavenly flesh of Jesus, which allows us to enter in Holy Spirit into the true holies in heaven.

 

And we beheld His glory

 

“And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Is. 40:5)

 

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;” (I John 1:1-2)

 

God was manifest in the flesh.” (I Tim. 3:16)

 

 Was manifest = he made himself visible.

 In the flesh = dative. Here we have the dative of the instrument or means (manner), through which, with what, e.g.

He tells us in what way he was manifest. “The word was made flesh.” So God manifested himself in the flesh - (heavenly) body. (John 6: 51)

 

Glory as the only-begotten from the father

 

The only-begotten son is: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature …” (Heb. 1:3)

 

So, the only-begotten son was the radiance of the glory of the Father and the imprint of his hypostasis (one hypostasis), he was the living image (portrayal - imprint) of the invisible Father, the self of God who is Spirit, the one the Father commanded us to call Jesus (Savior). “For him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27)

 

Whoever saw the body of Jesus, saw the Father

 

“Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffises us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.” (John 14:8-10)

 

“And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)

 

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” (Rev. 1:4)

 

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)

 

 

The fullness of Jesus

 

The fullness of the son was his heavenly Father.For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:9)

 

 “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” (John 1:16)

 

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:19)

 

Remission of sins, salvation, cure, consolation, liberation from passions, grace, mercy, love, faith, Holy Spirit, everything was and is given by the one God, the Father, the fullness of Jesus, who was and is his body. (cf. Col. 1:19-22)

 

That is what the apostles were taught by the Lord “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (II Cor. 3:17)

 

Testimonies of Jesus and the apostles

 

“Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

 

“And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

 

“But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:17-18)

 

“Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.” (John (5:19)

 

“For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so the Son vivifies whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son, That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.” (John 5:21-23)

 

“For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)

 

“For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33)

 

“Then said they to him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also.” (John 8:19)

 

All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” (Luke 10:22)

 

“And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)

 

“Then said they to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spoke to them of the Father.” (John 8:25-27)

 

The Jews could not accept what Jesus said to them, they were resting in their religion, their biological origins, their customs and practices, their feasts, their temple, and their worship according to their traditions, and “They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.”

 

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

 

The true servants of Christ and housekeepers of the mysteries of God wrote to those who “received” him, saying:

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Cor. 4:6)

 

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (I John 5:20)

 

 

 

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Heavens

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:29 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

The Kingdom of Heavens

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes  (04/07/16)                                                                                                          

Biblical references from: ESV2011, AKJV and LXXE

 

 

 

John the Baptist

 

When the land of Israel and its people were under the occupation of the Roman Empire, which was the fourth beast of Daniel's vision (7:2-3), and while Jesus was living in Nazareth, a city of Galilee, John the Baptist came by saying that the time of the kingdom of heavens had arrived.

 

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”  (Mat. 3:1-3)

 

So did the twelve apostles in the cities of Israel, according to the commandment of the Lord Jesus.

 

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 10:5-7)

 

 

The fullness of time of the arrival of the kingdom of heavens

 

‘But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Gal. 4:4)

 

God, through his prophets, had given the people of Israel signs of when the kingdom of heavens would come.

 

One sign was the time when Daniel's vision would be fulfilled

 

“Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove on the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” (Dan. 7:2-3)

 

“These four beasts are four kingdoms [that] shall rise up on the earth (of Israel) which shall be taken away; and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever.” (Dan. 7:17-18 LXXE)

 

Note: The KJV translation for Daniel 7:17 “shall arise out of the earth” is not correct

 

The four great beasts were four kingdoms, the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman, which dominated the land of the promise and the house of Jacob. At the time of Jesus' action, the reigning kingdom was the Roman one.

 

Time of rise of the kingdom of heavens

 

In explaining to Daniel the vision he had seen, the angel of God said to him:

 

“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and his kingdom shall not be left to another people, [but] it shall beat to pieces and grind to powder all [other] kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. 2:14)

 

 

Another sign was the coming of Elijah the prophet

 

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land (of Israel) with a decree of utter destruction.” (Mal. 4:5-6)

 

“And the disciples asked him,: Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come? He answered:  Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.” (Mat. 17:10-13)

 

“For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat. 11:13-15)

 

 

Jesus' testimony for the fullness of time of the arrival of the kingdom of heavens

 

“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)

 

 

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus casts out devils, they said:

 

“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.” (Mat. 12:24-28)

 

The heads of the secular kingdoms were the world rulers of the darkness who, as well as all other powers, were subjugated to Jesus Christ and his genuine church.

 

“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If you therefore will worship me, all shall be yours.” (Luk. 4:5-7)

 

 

“Then Jesus said to the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be you come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, you stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luk. 22:52-53)

 

“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me.” (John 12:31-32)

 

Heavenly conflicts

 

The angel who visited the Jewish Daniel was fighting the enemy spiritual forces that were the heads of the secular kingdoms.

 

“Then said he, Know you why I come to you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, see, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will show you that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holds with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” (Dan. 10:20-21)

 

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke you.” (Juda 1:9)

 

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev. 12:7-9)

 

 

“And the beast (Roman empire)  that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon (he who was cast out into the earth)  gave his power and his throne and great authority.”  (Rev. 13:2)

 

Jesus Christ, the true and faithful martyr, fulfilled what God had promised through his prophets about the kingdom of heavens

 

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Mat. 28:16-18)

 

“Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” (I Pet. 3:22)

 

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:18-23)

 

“And you are complete in him (in Christ), which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col. 2:10)

 

 

The power that Jesus gave to his disciples

 

“And when he had called to him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Mat. 10:1)

 

“Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luk. 10:19-20)

 

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)

 

 

The teaching of the apostles in the primal church

 

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:11-12)

 

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (Rom. 16:20)

 

Jesus is the promised king of  “God's Israel” and of the nations

 

The angel said to Mary: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luk. 1:31-33)

 

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.” (Rev. 11:15-17)

 

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!” (Rev. 15:3)

 

 

 

Co-kings in the kingdom of heavens are those who have been bought with the blood of the lamb

 

“But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luk. 12:31-32)

 

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.” (II Tim. 2:12)

 

“John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:4-6)

 

 

“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:8-10)

 

 

 

Amen

 

The birth of the state religion of the Ecumenical Councils

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:27 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου

The birth of the state religion of the Ecumenical Councils

 

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (01/24/2018)

Biblical references from: ESV2011, AKJV and LXXE

 

 

 

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John, 8:31-32)

                                                                                                                            

 

The formed byzantine “patristic” Christianity differs in its structure from the early Christianity which was established by Jesus and the apostles, and which is the completion of Biblical Judaism.

Hellenized christianity and christianized hellenism were attained by the involvement of Plato's thinking fundamentally and the monotheistic Jewish christianity, with the hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo as a pioneer, and later with the philosophical apologists. Gradually, this blending formed a new philosophical current, which was a meta-evolution of Plotinus  Neo-Platonism, which is characterized as a patristic philosophy, the Byzantine thinking. According to this new “patristic” philosophy, the heavenly man, Jesus Christ,  has two natures, he is a perfect man and a perfect god, and so the Jewish deniers who led Jesus to the cross with deceit were half-justified.

 

“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:33)

 

The “fathers” of the new religion, who were also excited by Philo's love for the contradictory Greek philosophy, forgot the Scriptures, which say that:

 

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Cor. 1:21)

 

“However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor. 2:6-8)

 

 

Early Christianity is the manifestation of God's love and “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” and is in contradistinction to human philosophy. (II Cor. 4:6)

 

“And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (I Cor. 2:13)

 

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? ” (I Cor. 1:18-20)

 

The apologetic philosophers equated this contradistinction by, on the one hand, downgrading the “gospel of God” to the level of human philosophy and, on the other hand, by upgrading the human contradictory philosophy to a divine level. (Rom. 15:16)

 

“For Plato, with the air of one that has descended from above, and has accurately ascertained and seen all that is in heaven, says that the most high God exists in a fiery substance. But Aristotle, in a book addressed to Alexander of Macedon, giving a compendious explanation of his own philosophy, clearly and manifestly overthrows the opinion of Plato, saying that God does not exist in a fiery substance: but inventing, as a fifth substance, some kind of aetherial and unchangeable body, says that God exists in it.” (Justin’s hortatory address to the Greeks, chap. 5)

 

With this contradictory philosophy, a large portion of “Christians” walked from the 2nd century AD onwards, enticed by the apologists, who mistakenly taught that philosophy is a tutor that brings people to Christianity and a fellow-helper in the understanding of truth.

 

This teaching was in stark contrast to the teaching of the apostles who said:

 

“But, before the faith came, we were kept guarded under law, being shut up to the faith about to be revealed. So that the law has become our tutor [to lead us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But the faith having come, we are no longer under a tutor;” (Gal. 3:23-25, Worrell)

 

The very few references to Greek literature in the New Testament have simple human meaning and do not prove the parallel dissemination of philosophical currents by the apostles. This is mistakenly claimed by the adherents of the meta-evolved and processed “patristicChristianity, which, as it was mentioned above, is the result of a multi-year process of mixing philosophy with the revelation of the truth by the Holy Spirit, which was sent from heaven. (I Peter to Hebrews, 1:2)

 

Biblical testimony

 

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Cor. 2:4-5)

 

By accepting this proper strategy of the apostle Paul, the Jews of Veria were “nobler” than the Jews of Thessaloniki, and when Paul visited them at their synagogue, they accepted the word with all willingness. In order to ascertain the truth of Jesus, they “examined the Scriptures every day” without consulting the Greek philosophy, which grabbed Christ as a loot from the believers.

 

“Beware that no one rob you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8, VW)

 

 

The new religion

 

The new, Platonized, “patristicthinking, covered behind the Hebrew Bible and the personality of Jesus Christ and having hellenism as a background, eventually formed a new polytheistic religion supported by the Roman politics of the New Rome. Dressed in the cremated forms of Judaismand the elements shall melt with fervent heat (II Pet. 3:10),” such as earthly temples with symbolic arrangement and operation which intensely reminds of the burnt temple of the Jews, upgraded the “other god word of Philo and the apologist Justin and other philosophers, from “second” and “inferior” god to “co-eternal” and “co-equal” to the Father, making an ontological equation of God the Father and God the Son.

 

The misguided effort of the apologists to mix Greek thinking, which believed in complex deities with a hierarchical union of member gods, (henotheism), with biblical monotheism, gave birth to long theological philosophical battles. Finally, with the help of the philosophers, “fathers of the church” and the holding of many councils which in practice fueled new controversies and consecutive depositions and exiles of bishops of all individual factions, a god of three hypostases was created, a three-sunned godhead, thus justifying both the human philosophy and the ever-existing national polytheism. The “Triune unit” which was incomprehensible to people became fully comprehensible at the end of the 4th century AD only by the philosophers, “fathers of the church” who finalized the triadic doctrine, which was proclaimed correct by an imperial order, replacing “Christs” teaching. (Colossians, 2:8)

 

 

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Excerpt from an edict in the Byzantine-Roman Law

 

On the orthodox faith of Christians

       and that no one should dare

       to dispute about it publicly.

 

1) Read βι. ατι α chap. α και δ, which say that a Christian is someone who believes that there is one deity of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, with equal power. Anyone who believes the opposite of what has been said is a heretic.

2) No clergyman or monk or soldier or anyone else by gathering a crowd in public should talk about faith, because it will be seen as an insult to the Council of Chalcedon which adequately defined everything, which also allows all heretics to know our point of view. Therefore, if a clergyman does so, he will be expelled from the clergy association. If someone is a soldier, he will be expelled from the army. Let the rest be punished according to their social class.

 

  Source

 

 

The Roman emperors Constantine and Theodosius

 

The sun-worshiper, polytheist, mithraist, bloody emperor of the Romans, Flavius ​​Valerius Constantinus, for political reasons, sought the religious assimilation of his ethnicities, believing that he would also secure the favor of the God of “Christians” in his martial affairs, but also the willingness of themselves to pour their blood for the empire. Being an idolater, whatever knowledge he had about the Son of God was obtained from controversial prophecies by a Sibyl (= oracle, priestess of the god Apollo)  whom he extolled as blessed.

“It is evident that the virgin uttered these verses under the influence of Divine inspiration. And I cannot but esteem her blessed, whom the Saviour (sobriquet of god Apollo) thus selected to unfold his gracious purpose towards us.” (The oration of the emperor Constantine, which he addressed “to the assembly of the saints” chap. 18)

Most of Eusebius' contemporaries believed that the sibylline oracles about Jesus were forgeries as Eusebius himself testifies:

“Many, however, who admit that the Erythræan Sibyl was really a prophetess, yet refuse to credit this prediction, and imagine that some one professing our faith, and not unacquainted with the poetic art, was the composer of these verses. They hold, in short, that they are a forgery, and alleged to be the prophecies of the Sibyl on the ground of their containing useful moral sentiments, tending to restrain licentiousness, and to lead man to a life of sobriety and decorum.” (The oration of the emperor Constantine, which he addressed “to the assembly of the saints” chap. 19)

 

The emperor Constantine came from the army's ranks and had received his rank for wartime gallantry. His main concern was the proper administration, the increase and the preservation of his territorial sovereignty. Without having any knowledge of the Greek and Jewish literature and being unqualified for Judeo-Christian biblical issues, he summoned the First Ecumenical Council, which is characterized as a political act, aiming at the cohesion of the Roman state through common faith. By signing the decisions of the Council into state law with the death penalty for doubters, he set himself as the protector of the already Hellenized and schismatic Christianity, granting special privileges to the clergy as well. Influenced by his Arian bishops friends and his sister, Constantia, he leaned to Arianism. A few years later, following the condemnation by the Council of Arianism and the exile of Arius, he recalls the latter from exile and punishes in the same way the great adversary of Arius at the Council, the “father” Athanasius of Alexandria.

However, the greatest distortion of the promises of God and the teaching of the genuine Christianity, which has no flag or color, was achieved by the emperor Theodosius, who, in 380 AD, made the processed Christianity the official religion of his empire, thus attributing an ethno-religious identity to his earthly citizens as opposed to the spiritual and not-of-this-world identity recognized by the one God on the “partakers of the heavenly calling.” (Hebrews, 3:1)

 

“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:26:29)

 

 

The new state religion of the philosophers, “fathers of the church,” supported  by the anti- pagan legislation of its sole dominant protectors who outlawed all the ancient religions by imposing the punishment of beheading and other means of punishment on the dissidents, achieved its violent dominance, yielding continuous spiritual darkness in the East and the West. The excerpt from the Acts of the Apostles that is quoted depicts the complete contrast between God's good intentions towards man and the purposes and the state-served interests of the new religion, the ally of the Byzantium, and the policy of violent cleansing of those of a different faith.

 

 

Delivering you (Grk txt: εκλέγων σε = choosing you) from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:17-18, AKJV)

 

 

The side effects of the nationalization of the new religion

 

The anti-Christian impacts of Theodosius' decision to nationalize God's work for the salvation of people are perpetuated and imprinted primarily by the results of the anti-pagan policy followed by him and other Roman emperors, which resembles that of the Persian king Artaxerxes.

 

“And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.” (Ez. 7:26)

 

And secondly, they are perpetuated and imprinted by the distinct Christian perception acquired by the ByzantineChristian” citizens, as it appears in the following excerpt from an article by theologian Manolis Tzirakis:

“However, besides the emperor, the citizen of the Byzantine state is also a genuine and faithful Christian. He believes that the state he belongs to is protected by God and enjoys His favor. This belief is expressed by Cosmas Indicopleustes in the 6th century when he states that: "The State of Romans will not be torn down; it will remain unharmed forever, being the first to believe in the Lord Christ." (att. Ahrweiler, 2009). The members of Byzantine society are law-abiding citizens of the emperor and Christians committed to their faith, they are guided by monks and clergymen, they indiscriminately go by the name of Roman or Christian (identical terms in Byzantium), whom its emperor Leo VI characteristically calls the Nation of Christians, while the Byzantine people was named the Chosen People or New Israel (Ahrweiler, 2009).”

Source

 

Epilogue

 

The formed religious and subsequent political dominance of the new secular Byzantine religion points to the military, imperialistic triumphs of Rome rather than to the pure, through the Holy Spirit, heavenly destination, which was carved by the early Christianity with the persuasion of the god-inspired written word and not with the persuasion of the contradictory evolved patristic philosophy and the armed coercion that harmed and adulterated the basic truths that God is love and is One.

“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” (Acts, 28:23)

 

 

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in your sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Mat. 11:25-27)

 

 

 

Amen

 

The Birth of Pharisaic Judaism

αναρτήθηκε στις 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:24 π.μ. από το χρήστη Βασίλειος Ζαφείρογλου   [ ενημερώθηκε 21 Μαΐ 2020, 5:25 π.μ. ]

 The Birth of Pharisaic Judaism

Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes  (01/24/2018)                                                                                                                                             

Bible verses from LXXE, AKJV, ESV2011 and others if they fit better to the Grk txt

 

 

The sons of Aaron

 

God made the priests, the sons of Aaron, responsible for the teaching of the people of Israel and interpretation of the written law, and for their mutual affairs and disputes he suggested appointing judges and prosecutors.

 

 “And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying, Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.” (Lev. 10:8-11)

 

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.” ( Deu. 16:18)

 

The institution of the kingdom demanded by the Jews by the last judge, Samuel, has created, as in any kingdom, nepotism. Together with the ignorance of the law due to the poor teaching of the priests, who sometimes neglected even the maintenance of the temple (II Kings, 12:4), it created rival political and religious tendencies that brought schisms to the people of Israel, apostasy from God, partition of the kingdom and civil war conflicts. In the acts of the kings, Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, stands out by trying to do what is pleasing to God, and sends some non-responsible rulers along with the Levites to the cities of Judah to teach the people the Book of the Law of the Lord (II Chronicles, 17:7-9). Therefore, the involvement of the elite in the religious matters was in action, and the preservation of the interests required the survival of the nation, resulting in the gradual development of a nationalistic religious conscience and faith in one God, a national protector, who would guarantee the state's prosperity and supremacy against the others. Thus, the perception of God's good intention to bless all nations, as it was announced to Patriarch Abraham, was overshadowed.

 

Later on, in the Babylonian captivity and dispersion, the destruction of the built temple, the strongest institution of Judaism, strongly emphasized the need for the survival of the Jewish identity and the uplifting of the national and religious spirit. This need was met by the houses of prayer and study that evolved into synagogues, with educators, Jewish scholars, the later rabbis. The synagogues compensated for the lack of the temple and continued as a secondary religious institution after its rebuilding, which was carried out with the support and sponsorship of a foreign power, that of Persia. (Ezra, 7:14-15)

The protagonists at the time of the rebuilding of the temple, which was inferior to the first one in terms of beauty, were the political leader Zerubbabel and the priest and secretary Ezra, an expert in the written law of the Lord, who largely restored the knowledge of the law, appointed Levitical priests and judges, and so the kingdom of Judah continued to survive with those whose heart God had moved to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. (Ezra, 1:5)

 

Until the birth of Jesus, the Jewish nation continued its religious and political schismatic course. Besides the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, there was also a temple in Samaria, on Mount Gerizim, which was built by the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel and, according to Josephus, was destroyed by the high priest and king of the Jews John Hyrcanus in 128 BC, who inaugurated in Israel the institution of dual power, the political one and the religious one. Also, archaeologists assert a Jewish temple on the island of Elephantine of Egypt that served the needs of the Jewish community there. With the support of Ptolemy VI, another temple was built by the high priest Onias in Leontopolis, Egypt, where he resorted after having been persecuted by the family of the Maccabees; a temple that was the spiritual center of the Jews of Egypt. The participation of the Jews of Alexandria in the rebellion of the Jews of Palestine against the sovereignty of Rome also led to the destruction of the temple in Leontopolis.

 

Political division of the Jews

 

The civil war of the Greeks between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids who prevailed in Palestine, transformed, due to geographical position, the land of Judea into battlefields, dragging the Jews into a political division, dividing them into hellenizontes and nationalists. The violent policy of the hellenization of the Seleucids outlawed the Jewish religion causing a civil war between the Judaic factions with the participation of Hellenistic high priests. The revolution of the Maccabees after many struggles finally gave independence to the Jews again, peace came between the factions without, however, disrupting the spread of the Greek thinking and the tendency of hellenization. 

 

The involvement of the priestly institution in politics weakened its original mission and created a breach between the priests and the wise men and secretaries who controlled the synagogues. In this way, the ground was prepared for the emergence, among the scholars, of the sect of the Pharisees (= those who have been divided) who claimed to be the legal representatives, interpreters and custodians of Judaism, they recognized both the written and the oral Torah, thus creating the dipole of the commandments of God and the commandments of men. They placed a special emphasis on manmade rules, they uplifted the national spirit, and they were popular among the ordinary people. The Pharisees were in a permanent social and religious confrontation with the sect of the Sadducees who rejected the oral tradition, pursued hellenization and defended the rights and privileges of the ruling class. 

 

Τhe oral traditions over the written law of Moses

 

The Roman conquest, the Roman-friendly policy of the Jewish kings and the Hellenistic tendency mainly of the wealthy Jewish people of Palestine and those who settled in Egypt, strengthened the position of the Pharisees, but created a side effect in the Jewish perception, that of the dominance of the oral traditions over the written law of Moses, resulting in the birth of extreme nationalism. This fact was foreseen by the prophet Isaiah, and the Lord Jesus confirmed it.

 

“This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mat. 15:8-9)

 

Throughout his ministry in the land of Israel, Jesus always referred to the written law and prophets, and never to human traditions and teachings which he rejected.

 

“Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures.” (Luk. 24:27, NET)

 

 

The apostle Paul “from the tribe of Benjamin” was a Pharisee, who studied in Jerusalem “at the feet” of Gamaliel who was also a Pharisee. He was more exceedingly zealous for his paternal traditions, and before his conversion to Christ, not having the spiritual understanding of the written law, he persecuted and abused the church of God.

 

“For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.” (Gal. 1:13:14, NET)

 

 

But when he became aware, he understood that the Scriptures spoke not of a fleshly but of a spiritual people, who would receive a heavenly inheritance and kingdom that would be not of this world. So, what he thought was gain, he now regards it as dung so that he may win Christ. Having this understanding now, he recommends to the church:

 

“And these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” (I Cor. 4:6)

 

In Timothy, the same apostle exalts the divine origin of the Scriptures, unquestionably putting the written word of the Hebrew Bible above every human tradition and philosophy.

 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” (II Tim. 3:16-17)

 

And again: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom.15:4)

 

 

Not a single “genuine child of faith,” of the true Jesus, was enticed by the human traditions of the Pharisees; those who hoped in them believed that Jesus was the Jew who would restore the kingdom to the fleshly Israel according to the earthly pattern of David.

 

“When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” (John, 6:15)

 

The same anti-biblical Pharisaic perceptions were an obstacle to recognizing the heavenly Jesus as the One true God, and for this reason they were asking to kill him, believing that Jesus was an earthly man just like them, who made himself God.

 

“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John, 5:18)

 

 

“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John, 10:33)

 

 

Pharisaic Judaism remained in the nationalistic, earthly perception of God's promises, and, by not understanding the written prophetic word, it denied the finisher of faith Jesus Christ and persecuted true Christianity from its birth, thus failing to achieve its spiritual fulfillment and become the receiver of the heavenly goods.

 

Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.” (John, 5:39)

 

 “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.” (Acts, 13:27-28)

Today's Rabbinic Judaism, which finds pleasure in collecting human Jewish traditions, is introduced as the ideological continuation of Pharisaic Judaism, with varying tendencies and stripped of the elements that legitimized Judaism, namely, the temple, the prophets, the priests, the sacrifices, the baptisms, the offerings and the genealogical Jewish bloodline; it preserves the expectation of a third handmade Temple in Jerusalem as a means of fulfilling its nationalistic ideologies, completely ignoring that:

 

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;” (Acts, 17:24)

 

 

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