The Life of the World to Come

The life, times and teachings of Jesus Christ
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John And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Romans For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. New International Version will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--along with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life. New Living Translation will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution.

And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. English Standard Version who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. Berean Study Bible will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

Berean Literal Bible who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions--and in the age which is coming, eternal life. New American Standard Bible but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

New King James Version who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. King James Bible But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. Christian Standard Bible who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time--houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions--and eternal life in the age to come.

Contemporary English Version will be rewarded. In this world they will be given times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life.

Good News Translation will receive much more in this present age. They will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields--and persecutions as well; and in the age to come they will receive eternal life. Holman Christian Standard Bible who will not receive times more, now at this time--houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions--and eternal life in the age to come. International Standard Version who will not receive a hundred times as much here in this world—homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, along with persecution—as well as eternal life in the age to come.

NET Bible who will not receive in this age a hundred times as much--homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields, all with persecutions--and in the age to come, eternal life. New Heart English Bible but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come, everlasting life. Aramaic Bible in Plain English Who will not receive each one an hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and towns, with persecutions, and in the world that is coming, eternal life.

They will certainly receive homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields, along with persecutions. But in the world to come they will receive eternal life. However, in an important respect, i. It should be noted that Paul's epistles are directed to those already initiated into the mysteries of the Church. John's Gospel is a post-baptismal book of catechism intended for those who already have the Spirit. The Gospel of Luke, however, like those of Mark and Matthew, is a pre-baptismal catechism, and Acts are intended for an audience not initiated into the esoteric life of Christ.

However, since Luke was a student and companion of Paul, his writings presuppose and reflect this esoteric life in Christ. For John the coming of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of Christ's promise to prepare a place where, upon his return, He will receive His disciples unto Himself so that they may be wherever He is John By Christ's intercession the Father will give His disciples another Advocate whom they know because He dwells in them and will be in them John 14, In that day the disciples will know that Christ is in the Father and that they are in Christ and He in them John 14, They will see Christ because He lives and they will live John 14, Christ will appear to him who loves Him John 14, Christ and His Father will come and make a dwelling with him John 14, When the Holy Spirit comes He will teach them all things and remind them of everything He said to them John 14, When the Spirit of Truth comes sent by Christ from the Father, He will witness concerning Christ and the disciples will witness, because they are with Christ from the beginning John 15, When the Spirit of Truth comes He will lead the disciples into all the truth for He will not speak from Himself, but He will speak whatever He hears and will declare to them things coming.

He will glorify Christ because He will receive these things from Christ and will declare them to the disciples. Christ said this because everything that the Father has is His. For this reason the Spirit of Truth will take from Him and declare to the disciples. Then Christ repeats that in a little while the disciples will not see Him, but again in a little while they will see Him John 16, Then he reaches the climax of chapters "Father, those whom you gave me I want that they also be with me wherever I am, that they see my glory which you gave to me because you loved me before the foundation of the world" John 17, For John the ascension of Christ's human nature is an absolute prerequisite for Christ's sending the Holy Spirit, as it is obviously for Luke and by extension for Paul.

It is in your interest that l depart. For if I do not depart, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I will depart, I will send Him to you John 16, That John does not confuse the post resurrection appearances of Christ with His return in His Spirit on Pentecost is clear from his recording of Christ's statement to Mary Magdalene. Thomas believed by seeing rather than by touching.

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The place of common dwelling of him who loves the Father in Christ is the human nature of Christ, the Temple of the Logos by nature. By becoming a member of the Body of Christ one becomes the temple of God and at the same time dwells in God as his temple. Pentecost is the birth of the Church because the human nature of Christ is present and by grace is united to each member of His Body, not as part of Christ in each, but by grace the whole Christ in each member.

Christ departed so that He might return in the Holy Spirit by a new presence of His human nature which, like God's uncreated glory, is divided indivisibly among many faithful so that Christ is present within and united by grace to each of the members of His Body. At the same time the Body of Christ remains one so that its members are one with each other in the glory and rule vasileia of the Holy Trinity. On Pentecost "divided tongues appeared to them and sat upon each of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they began speaking with other tongues when the Spirit gave them to announce Acts 2, 1.

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In view of John's association of the coming of the Holy Spirit with His own appearance again to His disciples, as we saw, and the actual appearances of Christ after Pentecost, e. While Christ was ascending two men dressed in white appeared to the apostles saying that Christ "will come in the manner that you saw Him going to heaven. Announcing in Acts 2, 4 means prophesying as is clear from the whole of St. Peter's discourse in Acts 2, l4ff. One first receives the gift of tongue in the heart and then one is inspired in the mind to understand the prophets and Christ in order to prophesy.

These distinctions are clear in St. Paul and it would be unlikely that Luke was not conversant with them. Once the person receives this gift of tongue then the Spirit may or may not create such conditions as in Acts 2, In any case, baptism in the Spirit is identical to the reception of the gift of tongues and is clearly distinct from baptism by water.

Paul was first glorified in his vision of Christ in glory and then was baptised Acts 9, 18; 22, When he received the gift of tongues is not recorded, although that he possessed it is. The twelve disciples of Appolos who had received John's baptism of repentance, were "baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and Paul having laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and they prophesied 7, Acts 19, In the case of the centurion Cornelius and his companions, they were first baptised in the Spirit by receiving the gift of tongues by or in glorification, and then were baptised by water when Peter could thus no longer resist.

Then Peter answered, 'Can one forbid water that they who have also received the Holy Spirit like us be not baptized? In his apology for what he did Peter recalls what Christ said before His ascension about receiving baptism in the Holy Spirit Acts l, 5 and concludes, "if then God gave to them the same gift as also to us Who was I? One with power to stop God? So the gift here received is not only the same as Pentecost but also equal. It is this idea of equality which lay at the core of the problems in Corinth where many with only the gift of tongues believed themselves to be equal to the others.

This baptism in the Spirit which results in the gift of tongues, and which normally is accompanied with the charisma of prophecy, is evidently the origin of chrismation, the mystery by which one becomes a member of the Body of Christ and a temple of God. For St. Paul the gift of tongues seems to be the minimal requirement for membership in the Body of Christ. It is the foundation not only of prophecy, but of all charismata. They are neither members of the body of Christ, nor charismatics. The fact that they say amen to thanksgiving prayers means that they were probably baptised by water and were awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit in their heart, i.

They evidently were the baptised laymen of the apostolic community. Jews were still considered as faithful so long as they did not completely reject the Lord of Glory made flesh. Those with the charismata in I Cor. They are called directly by God, who gives the gin of praying by tongue after proper preparation by a spiritual father.

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American Standard Version but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. Source of a Changed Life. Please log in or register to add it to your cart. He is beyond heartbroken. Namespaces Article Talk. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Paul says that the Corinthians may have many teachers In Christ, but not many fathers. I gave birth to you in Christ by means of the Gospel,, I Cor. This means that Paul gave birth to them in the realm of the charismata of which speaking or praying in tongues is the foundation. In other words, the charismata are products of being baptised in the Holy Spirit and the sign of having become a member of the Body of Christ. This is clearly the baptism of the Holy Spirit. From all that follows, the Body Christ includes only those who have been thus baptised. Like in Acts, so in Paul, speaking in tongues is a fundamental sign of being baptised in the Spirit.

But in I Cor. When Paul lists those placed by. The reason for this is that they do not yet have the gift of the Holy Spirit praying unceasingly in them and therefore have not been placed by God in the Body of Christ. That the higher charismata include the lower, but not the lower the higher, is clear from what St. Paul says about himself. This does not mean that St. Paul does not pray in church by tongue, i. By "kinds of tongues" St.

Paul evidently means praying, reciting psalms, and singing spiritual hymns and oodes Eph. So some have kinds of tongues and others in addition have interpretation of tongues I Cor. I want you all to speak in tongues, but rather that you may prophesy, for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks by tongue, unless he interprets, that the Church may receive edification I Cor.

As in Acts, so here, prophecy exists because of the gift of tongue, but the latter may not always result in prophecy. There is no record that Cornelius and his associates prophesied, although they spoke in tongue as a result of their glorification. However, speaking in tongue may result in inteipietation instead of prophecy,and the former is equal to the latter.

However, inspite of this equality prophets are more important. Those who speak only tongues are to keep quiet and are to be spoken for by the interpreters, who will each speak for two or three of them in succession. In other words, he should continue to pray by tongue inaudibly, and let the others conduct corporate worship and instruction by the use of their intellect, which in this case conveys its thoughts by the formation of words with the created tongue and mouth.

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This group whose spiritual formation had been limited to the charisma of praying in tongues or by the Spirit was evidently the main source of the disorders in the church of Corinth. They may have been a majority which democratically imposed the practice of inaudible corporate prayer in tongue, in order to demonstrate their equality. The most probable reason why they neither interpreted nor prophesied was that they were illiterate, and could not expound their authentic experience coherently in an organized and concise manner.

They were probably mostly of pagan background7 neither accustomed to synagogue procedure nor readily at ease with the world of the Old Testament. The most that many of them could progress to, or were willing to, was to interpret or to teach prayer to others. Among them were evidently many wives, giving Paul an opportunity to apply time-tested rabbinical wisdom. The charisma of interpreter was evidently required to keep this group silent in church. The remark "if there is no interpreter" seems to mean that interpreters would be appointed when this group is brought under control.

Paul became exceedingly irritated because a group of Corinthian charismatics had evidently convinced the others to conduct corporate worship without giving audible expression to the Holy Spirit's prayer in their hearts. For Paul this is in itself well done. It is obvious that to pray in tongue or by the Spirit are interchangeable terms. Paul discusses the kinds of sounds that exist in the world, both that of lifeless things like flutes, harps, and trumpets and that made by humans.

That Paul is speaking about the sounds themselves which are being made and not about confused sounds not understood. In 14, 9 Paul is speaking about the impossibility of understanding speech unless conveyed by words formed by the tongue. Then he goes on to say that "These many, if correct, are the kinds of sounds in the world, and none is soundless. It seems clear that chapter 14 of I Cor. For no one hears, since he speaks mysteries by the Spirit" I Cor. I Cor. On the other hand, Paul gives not the slightest hint that those with the gift of tongues had any problem understanding each other.

However, when the whole body of charismatics engages in prophecy then both the private persons and those lacking in faith find themselves with the hidden things of their heart becoming manifest by scrutiny and examination I Cor. This is the diagnosis we spoke about in the last chapter. They acquire the conviction that the prophets truly have God within themselves. The resulting confidence and submission to these spiritual fathers therapy leads to their adoption in the Spirit and union with the Body of Christ, i.

Thus, diagnosis of one s spiritual heart ailment by therapists with the charisma of the discernment of spirits I Cor. This is why "tongues are a sign not to those who have faith, but to those who do not have faith. In other words, tongues are not a sign to those who have the gilt of inner faith within the heart since they have the gift of tongues, but to those who lack this gift.

Prophecy, on the other hand, is a sign not to those who do not have this faith, since they do not have the gift of tongues which makes both prophecy and its understanding possible, but to those who have faith, since having this gift of tongues they understand prophecy. Thus one must begin by the outward faith of accepting the authority or competence of the therapist. To remain in the state of praying and reciting psalms in the heart without advancing to at least interpretation which edifies others, is a stultification of spiritual growth and will not lead to love which does not seek its own.

For this reason there are many among you who are weak and ill and some are asleep I Cor. Speaking in tongues is not a phenomenon peculiar to Corinth. This is made possible by the liberation of the intellect from the law residing in one s members which wars against the law accepted by the intellect and holds one captive to the law of sin Rom. Therefore there is no condemnation now for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus liberated me from the law of sin and death," Rom. This Spirit itself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God" Rom.

In other words. That this law of the Spirit of life in Christ is the gift of tongue of I Cor. For what we shall pray as we should, we do not know, but this Spirit itself intercedes on our behalf with unspoken groans. But He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, that according to God it intercedes on behalf of the saints Rom. B, In other words to be a member of the body of Christ is to have this gift of tongues.

If one does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him Rom. In the light of 'this one may turn to I Thess. For this is God's will in Christ Jesus unto you. Quench not the Spirit, do not disregard prophecies, but test all, hold fast the good, stay away from every kind of evil. The law Of the Spirit of life in Christ is thus not in opposition to the created Torah, but that which makes its fulfillment possible. One can see why the Fathers did not think in terms of the Old Testament as simply law and the New Testament simply as grace.

For Paul faith is not simply an acceptance of doctrines, but the girt of tongues in the heart. The same categories are clearly underlying Paul's epistle to the Galatians. The law became our guide to Christ when we were children that we may be justified by faith. Faith having come, we are no longer under guidance as children Gal.

Paul is not here making an historical contrast between the Old and New Testament in terms of law supposedly being abolished by grace with the coming of Christ. He is speaking about the distinction between catechumens under the guidance of law and those baptised in the Spirit in his own time. Faith here is not simply belief or confidence in Christ, but inner faith which comes as the gift of tongues. For you are all sons of God by faith in Christ, because all who have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ as a garment And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father, so that you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then also an heir by Christ" Gal.

Justification by faith, the gift of tongues, baptism into Christ, reconciliation, and adoption are one identical reality. It is within this realm of life in Christ that there are neither Jews nor Greeks, neither slaves nor free, neither male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus Gal. At the level of praying in tongues and prophesying, all are one in Christ. So we have "every man who prays or prophesies" and, "every woman who prays or prophesies" of I Cor. However, men should do this with their heads uncovered and women with their heads covered, because "the head of every man is Christ, but of woman the man, and of Christ God", I Cor.

Since one prophesies for the edification of others I Cor. For you may all prophesy one by one that au may learn and all be comforted" Cor. However Paul forbids women to speak in Church I Cor. On the other hand, Paul's injunction that women should prophesy with their heads covered seems to be a reference to their attire at the assemblies of the Church. That women prophesy along with men is the very first fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy reported by Peter in his Pentecostal discourse Acts 2, The prophets mentioned in Ephesians 2, 20 are evidently not those of the Old Testament, but of the Church, as in the case of Ephes.

Christ "was not made known to other generations to the sons of men as He now was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in Spirit In other words, they did not only prophesy because of the gift of tongues, but they had also been glorified in Christ by the Spirit. On arguing that all members of the Body of Christ are not the same. Paul concludes by saying and if a member is glorified, all the members rejoice with him for you are the Body of Christ and members in part. And those whom God placed in the Church are first apostles, second prophets, third teachers In the light of Ephes.

It is evidently within such a context that Ephes.

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Christ Jesus being its corner stone What we have before us is a ladder of perfection which culminates in love which does not seek its own I Cor. What has become known as eucharistic ecclesiology is a structural phenomena whose original context was the Pauline reality of the Body of Christ. At the heart of the structure was the diagnosis of the malady of the heart and its therapy by means of the charismata of which the Holy Spirit's prayer in the heart was the sine qua non and glorification the foundation.

When the local community was the Pauline Body of Christ. However with the various stages of the weakening of this heart of the local congregation. The clergy is supposed to be elected from the faithful. Election was a recognition of the mastership of spirituality to which one had attained.

The historical process whereby it became possible for certain patriarchs and metropolitans to ordain bishops who had not reached the spiritual experience to which dogmas point, but whose mystery they cannot express, is described by St. Simeon the New Theologian d. This means that his historical analysis is an integral part of the Orthodox Church's self-understanding. In a work on confession, once attributed to St. John of Damascus, St. Simeon explains how those who in an earlier period were laymen in the church began to be ordained as bishops by simulating illumination which they did not have.

It is from these non-illuminated that heresies appeared within the Church.

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However, this does not mean that one is Orthodox because he does not introduce novel dogmas, but because he is illuminated. Unable to find such candidates, or having found them preferring unworthy ones, certain patriarchs and metropolitans ordained bishops who were not in the state of illumination. In the place of this state they required only that they expound the Creed of the faith in writing and accepted only that they neither have zeal for the good, nor contest against anyone for evil, safeguarding in this area peace in the Church, which is worse than all enmity and great disorder Migne, P.

In the person of St. Simeon one can clearly detect the centuries old conflict between the apostolic tradition of diagnosis and therapy and those who would reduce salvation to faith and confidence in dogmas and the merits of good works and morality. Whatever the reasons may actually be for the rise of monasticism, the Holy Spirit's prayer in the heart became its heart and soul.

From the very beginning of his Life of Anthony St. Athanasius informs us that, "he was constant in prayer. St John Cassian informs us that unceasing prayer is the practice of every monk in his progress towards continual recollection of God This tradition was very much alive in the Merovingian Kingdoms. However, the episcopacy was transformed into an administrative tool of the Frankish kings. Thus, although Gregory of Tours was a great admirer of Cassian and Basil the Great and their spiritual descendants in Gaul, he did not understand what they were really doing.

In his description of the life of Patroclus the recluse, Gregory writes that his diet was bread soaked in water and sprinkled with salt. His eyes were never closed in sleep. He prayed unceasingly, or if he stopped praying for a moment, he spent the time reading or writing History of the Franks V, Gregory thinks that to pray unceasingly one would have to somehow stay awake unceasingly. Also, since Patroclus was known to spend time reading and writing, this means for Gregory that he had to stop praying to do so.

His claim that Patroclus's eyes were never closed in sleep is highly unlikely. Only when Patroclus was in the state of glorification did he not sleep. When he was not in this state of glory, he prayed unceasingly while awake, while asleep, and while reading and writing. Prophesying and Theologizing. What we thus far observed are strong indications that prophesying and becoming a prophet in St.

Paul is similar, if not identical, to theologizing and becoming a theologian in the patristic tradition. The disappearance of the term prophet and prophecy may have been due to the rise of the New Testament canon, the prevalence of the terms presbyter and bishop and the rarification of the experience of glorification, and therefore of the prophet, with an ensuing rarification of the gift of tongues.

However, the realities of the gifts of tongues and of glorification themselves did not disappear and were especially preserved in the monastic movement, Which became the main center of this tradition which supplied the Church with her metropolitans, archbishops, and finally bishops also. What we are confronted with in I Cor. This is the school in which the Fathers of the Church were formed. We call to mind the most important argument that St. Gregory the Theologian threw at the Eunomians, that to theologize or to philosophize about God is permitted only to those who have reached theoria, which means the Holy Spirit's prayer in the heart, i.

Thus to prophesy or to theologize is to interpret Scripture under the guidance of the gift of tongues and to become a prophet or theologian is to have reached glorification. However, this theology is purely therapeutic and an expression of health. To be travelling uphill to glorification on the vehicle of noetic prayer is the process of cure, and to reach glorification is the taste of the beginning of health and perfection.

At the same time this glorification is the revelation of all truth by the Holy Spirit. According to the Fathers, the prophets also had unceasing prayer, which was their normal road to glorification. However, these experiences included neither membership in the Body of Christ, nor the permanent overcoming of death.

They were not yet the gift of the Pentecostal tongues. Thus, the latter gift includes the former, but not vice versa. So he who has the latter knows the mind of the former. He who has the gift of tongues or noetic prayer but without glorification, can develop in the discernment of the prophetic mind. But he who does not, can not. It is within such a context that during assemblies each Corinthian charismatic expounded either a psalm, or a point of instruction, or an experience of revelation, or had something to say or interpret or teach about the gift of tongues I Cor.

If to another who is sitting [a more accurate meaning] is revealed, let the first [the one speaking] be silent. For you may au in turn prophesy, that all may learn and au be interceded for. And the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets, for not of disorder but of peace is God,, I Cor.

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In other words, the prophets know the method of prophesying, so all instruction and interchanges among those who prophesy, but have not yet become prophets, are to be subject to their direction. It is the glorified in Christ who judge all and are judged by none. But he who has the Spirit indeed examines all things, but he is examined by none. For who has known the mind of the Lord, who will reconcile it?

But we have the mind of Christ', I Cor. In other words, the minds or the intellects of the apostles and prophets have become that of Christ because of glorification, the result of which is that they no longer live, having been crucified and having died to sin, but Christ lives in them GaI. These are the friends of God par excellence. What we have in I Cor. This is the apostolic form of congregational confession as is clear also from I Cor.

It seems quite clear that Paul's prophecy and the patristic understanding of theology are the same. The prophet and theologian are formed by the cleansing, illumination, and glorification of the heart in which the Spirit's operation saturates and overpowers the intellect and the passions, thus transforming selfish love into selfless love which does not seek its own. What is significant is that the Christ whom the charismatics experienced within themselves and occasionally saw by the Spirit in God's glory is the same Christ they found in the Old Testament in the glorification of the prophets.

Paul reveals in a passing remark the basic structure of the worship and faith of the apostolic communities. The very manner in which this statement is interjected and its uniqueness in the letters of Paul is testimony to its being taken for granted by his readers. There can be no doubt about the meaning since a bit further on Paul says that it was Christ who led the Hebrews out of Egypt and sustained them while sojourning in the desert, "for they drank from the accompanying spiritual rock, but the rock was Christ" I Cor. The very name prophet in Pauline usage means he who saw the same Lord of Glory as the Old Testament prophets did.

This is the key factor in the experience of the gift of prophecy and constitutes the center of the worship and study of the Pauline assembly of ' charismatics. The Scripture which they used is the Old Testament in which by the witness of their own experience of tongues they saw Christ everywhere in the lives of the prophets as the Lord and Angel of Glory.

Had they been reading the Old Testament with the presuppositions of Augustine and his theological descendants there would have been neither Arians and Eunomians, nor the historical Ecumenical Councils, not because there would have been no heretics, but because there would have been no Arians, Eunomians, and no Orthodox.

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To theologize about an abstract monotheism one imagines to find also in the Old Testament, or about a philosophical idea of God, is like doing astronomy with one's imagination instead of with telescopes under the direction of specialists. In this regard the Arians and Eunomians belonged to the patristic and biblical tradition of empirical theology, whereas Augustine wandered off into the realm of Neoplatonic mysticism and abstract monotheism.

That St. Paul believed that God in Christ by His Spirit reveals all the truth in glorification is clear from the exposition of the distinction between being a child and being a man. When I became a man, I abolished the things of the child. For we now see by means of a mirror dimly, then face to face.

I know yet in part, but I will then be known as I was known I Cor. One goes from childhood under the law GaI.

During this time one sees by means of a mirror dimly and knows yet in part and prophesies in part I Cor. Paul is speaking about those who prophesy as a result of the gift of tongues. When the perfect comes, that which is in part will be abolished. I will be known as also I was known I Cor. What Paul is saying is that one is not a prophet I Cor. Higher than prophesying is its abolition in glorification, which is the coming of thc perfect, when one is known as Paul was known by God.

It is this experience which makes apostles and prophets. Paul would be completely shocked at the idea that the Church is either led into all the Truth or to a better understanding of all the Truth is clear from the following: And as it is written, the things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and did not arise within the heart of man - as many as God prepared for those who love Him - God therefore revealed to us by the Spirit" I Cor.

For Paul, God reveals to each of the glorified "as many" of the "things" "as God prepared for those who love Him. It seems quite clear that nowhere in the New Testament do we find the idea that all the Truth is revealed to the Church, or that the Church is being led into an understanding of all the Truth. The other members of the Body of Christ, who are so because they have the gift of the Holy Spirit's prayer unceasingly in their hearts, know and prophesy or theologize in part.

It is they who see by means of a mirror dimly and 'know yet in part and prophesy in part" I Cor. The rest of those who believe in Christ are children under the law. That they should prophesy or theologize would indeed be a ridiculous idea to Paul as it was to the Fathers in their confrontation with laymen or heretics who pretended to be theologians.

Since it would be safe to assume that the prophet was in Paul's mind a necessary part of the structure of the Body Of Christ Ephes. This of course is true so long as it is realized that the name prophet means he who like the apostles experienced glorification. Thus whether they are called prophets or fathers o f the Church is secondary. The important thing is that those with unceasining prayer who reach glorification are the central core of Holy Tradition since without them there is no Body of Christ.

Whether one has such fathers in concrete local congregations, or in monasteries does not change the fact they are the specialists for producing members of the Body of Christ. Without them the mysteries sacraments of the Church become a system of hocus pocus. Paul does not say that the Body of Christ is being built up by baptism, chrismation, eucharist, etc.

It is only within such a context that the sacraments of baptism, chrismation, eucharist, ordination, confession, penance, etc. Given the presupposition herein presented, it should be clear why, except for Augustine, no Father of the Church ever imagined himself as being engaged in an alleged attempt by the Church to understand the mystery of God and the incarnation better and better with the passage of time. The formulation of dogma had nothing whatsoever to do with any attempt to understand these mysteries. All the Fathers agree with St. Gregory the Theologian, so called because he had reached glorification, that "it is impossible to express God and even more impossible to conceive Him.

Theology is not conceiving God and dogma does not express God. Theology is to know about God in unceasing prayer and the study of scripture and dogma is a guide to God in an ocean of superstitions and misunderstandings about Him. Both are abolished in vision of Christ in His Father's glory by the Spirit, an experience which transcends concepts and expressions about Him, and at the same time inspires concepts and expressions which will lead others to Him.

This means that one must make a clear distinction between doctrine and the mystery of God. Augustine confused the two and thought that by accepting the one he could by faith understand the other. However, the purpose of doctrine is not to be understood, but to be abolished in glorification, which is above understanding, since God is a mystery and remains a mystery even to those who see Him in Christ.

Yet one does understand doctrine but only when one knows its purpose and does not confuse it with God Himself. The formulation of dogma in the Creed and in definitions of Local and Ecumenical Councils of the Orthodox tradition has in every single case been a reaction to heresy and never a part of an alleged process of transforming speculation or that famous, but non-existent theologoumenon into dogma.

The Fathers theologize by means of the conformity of their reasoning to 1 their unceasing prayer, 2 scripture within the tradition of their own Fathers, and 3 to their own glorification if such be their case or to that of others, but not by speculation.