God Reveals Himself Through Scriptures

The written record of God’s revelation is the Bible, which means the book, or the books. The Bible is also called the Holy Scriptures. Scripture as a word simply means writings.

The Bible was written over thousands of years by many different people. It is divided into two testaments or covenants. These words signify agreements, pacts, or we might say, ‘deals.’ The two basic covenants are the old and the new; each has its own scriptures. As a book, the Bible contains many different kinds of writings: law, prophecy, history, poetry, stories, aphorisms, prayers, letters and symbolical visions.

The Old Testament

The Old Testament scripture begins with the five books of the Law called the Pentateuch, which means the five books; also called the Torah, which means the Law. Sometimes these books are also called the Books of Moses since they are centered on the exodus and the Mosaic laws.

In the Old Testament there are also books of the history of Israel; books called the Wisdom books such as the Psalms, Proverbs, and the Book of Job; and books of the prophecies which carry the names of the Old Testament prophets. A prophet is one who speaks the Word of God by direct divine inspiration. Only secondarily does the word prophet mean one who foretells the future.

The Orthodox Church also numbers among the genuine books of the Old Testament the so-called apocryphal books, meaning literally the secret or hidden writings. Other Christians put these books in a secondary place or reject completely their being of divine inspiration.

The New Testament

The center of the New Testament part of the Bible is the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who are called the four evangelists, which means those who wrote the gospels. Gospel in Greek is evangelion which means the “glad tidings” or the “good news.”

In the New Testament scripture there is also the book of the Acts of the Apostles, written by Saint Luke. There are fourteen letters called the epistles (which simply means letters) of the Apostle Paul, though perhaps some, such as the Letter to the Hebrews, were not written directly by him. Three letters are also ascribed to the apostle John; two to the apostle Peter; and one each to the apostles James and Jude. Finally there is the Book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, which is ascribed to Saint John as well.

For the Orthodox, the Bible is the main written source of divine doctrine since God Himself inspired its writing by His Holy Spirit (see 2 Tim 3.16 and 2 Pet 1.20). This is the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible, namely that men inspired by God wrote the words which are truly their own human words—all words are human!—but which nevertheless may be called all together the Word of God. Thus, the Bible is the Word of God in written form because it contains not merely the thoughts and experiences of men, but the very self-­revelation of God.

The center of the Bible as the written Word of God in human form is the person of the Living Word of God in human form, Jesus Christ. All parts of the Bible are interpreted in the Orthodox Church in the light of Christ since everything in the Bible leads up to Christ and speaks about Him (Lk 24.44). This fact is symbolized in the Orthodox Church by the fact that only the book of the four gospels is enthroned on the altars of our churches and not the entire Bible. This is so because everything in the Bible is fulfilled in Christ.

God Reveals Himself Through Tradition

The ongoing life of God’s People is called Holy Tradition. The Holy Tradition of the Old Testament is expressed in the Old Testament part of the Bible and in the ongoing life of the People of Israel until the birth of Christ. This tradition is fulfilled, completed and transcended in the time of the Messiah and in the Christian Church.
The New Testament or Christian Tradition is also called the apostolic tradition and the tradition of the Church. The central written part of this tradition is the New Testament writings in the Bible. The gospels and the other writings of the apostolic church form the heart of the Christian tradition and are the main written source and inspiration of all that developed in later ages.

This Christian tradition is given over from people to people, through space and time. Tradition as a word means exactly this: it is that which is “passed on” and “given over” from one to another. Holy Tradition is, therefore, that which is passed on and given over within the Church from the time of Christ’s apostles right down to the present day.

Although containing many written documents, Holy Tradition is not at all limited to what is written; it is not merely a body of literature. It is, on the contrary, the total life and experience of the entire Church transferred from place to place and from generation to generation. Tradition is the very life of the Church itself as it is inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Not everything in the Church belongs to its Holy Tradition for not everything in the Church is done by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and not everything in the Church pertains essentially and necessarily to the Kingdom Of God. Some things in the Church are just temporal and temporary things, merely human customs and traditions of no eternal and everlasting value. Such things in themselves are not sinful or wrong. On the contrary, they may be very positive and very helpful to the life of the Church as long as they are not taken to be what they are not. Thus, it is very important in the Church to make the distinction between traditions which are merely earthly and human and passing away and the genuine Holy Tradition which pertains to the heavenly and eternal Kingdom of God.

It is also important to recognize that there are also things in the Church which not only do not belong to Holy Tradition, but which are not even to be counted among its positive human traditions. These things which are just sinful and wrong are brought into the life of the Church from the evil world. The Church in its human form, as an earthly institution, is not immune to the sins of its unholy members. These deviations and errors which creep into the life of the Church stand under the judgment and condemnation of the authentic and genuine Holy Tradition which comes from God.

Among the elements which make up the Holy Tradition of the Church, the Bible holds the first place. Next comes the Church’s liturgical life and its prayer, then its dogmatic decisions and the acts of its approved church councils, the writings of the church fathers, the lives of the saints, the canon laws, and finally the pictures and statures tradition together with the other inspired forms of creative artistic expression such as music and architecture. All of the elements of Holy Tradition are organically linked together in real life. None of them stands alone. None may be separated or isolated from the other or from the wholeness of the life of the Church. All come alive in the actual living of the life of the Church in every age and generation, in every time and place. As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages.

God Reveals Himself

God has shown Himself to His creatures. He has not disclosed His very innermost being, for this innermost essence of God cannot be grasped by creatures. But God has truly shown what men can see and understand of His divine nature and will.

The fullness and perfection of God’s self-revelation is found in His Son Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the gradual and partial revelation of God in the Old Testament. Jesus is the one truly “blessed . . . Who comes in the name of the Lord.”

The first title given to Jesus by the people is that of Rabbi, which literally means teacher. In the English New Testament the word Master also issued in relation to Jesus in the sense of one who teaches, such as a schoolmaster or holder of a master’s degree. Jesus’ followers are also called disciples, which literally means students or pupils.

Jesus came to men first of all as the Teacher sent from God. He teaches the will of God and makes God known to men. He reveals fully—as fully as men can grasp—the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

The coming of Jesus as teacher is one aspect of his being Christ the Messiah. The word Christ in Greek is the word for the Hebrew ­Messiah which means the Anointed of God. For when the messiah would come, it was foretold, men would be “taught by God” (Is 54.13, Jn 6.45).

Jesus comes to men as the divine teacher. He claimed on many occasions that his words were those of God. He spoke as ‘one having authority’ not like the normal Jewish teachers (Mt 7.29). And he accused those who rejected his teachings as rejecting God Himself.

He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me. I have come as light into the world . . . for I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to speak. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me (Jn 12.44–50).

Jesus taught men not only by his words, but also by his actions; and indeed by his very own person. He referred to himself as the Truth (Jn 14.6) and as the Light (Jn 8.12). He showed himself not merely to be speaking God’s words, but to be himself the Living Word of God in human flesh, the Logos who is eternal and uncreated, but who has become man as Jesus of Nazareth in order to make God known to the world.

In the beginning was the Word [Logos] and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with 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.

The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father.

And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law came through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

(See Jn 1.1–18; the Easter Liturgy Gospel Reading
in the Orthodox Church.)

Jesus, the divine Word of God in human flesh, comes to teach men by his presence, his words and his deeds. His disciples are sent into the world to proclaim Him and His Gospel, which means literally the “glad tidings” or the “good news” of the Kingdom of God. Those whom Jesus sends are called the apostles, which means literally “those who are sent.” The apostles are directly inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (Jn 15.26), to “make disciples of all nations” teaching them what Christ has commanded (Mt 28.19).

The early Church, we are told, “devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2.42). Doctrine as a word simply means teaching or instruction. The apostles’ doctrine is the doctrine of Jesus and becomes the doctrine of the Christian Church. It is received by the disciples of every age and generation as the very doctrine of God. It is proclaimed everywhere and always as the doctrine of eternal life through which all men and the whole world are enlightened and saved.

At this point it must be mentioned that although God’s self-revelation in history through the chosen people of Israel—the revelation which culminates in the coming of Christ the Messiah—is of primary importance, it is also the doctrine of the Christian Church that all genuine strivings of men after the truth are fulfilled in Christ. Every genuine insight into the meaning of life finds its perfection in the Christian Gospel. Thus, the holy fathers of the Church taught that the yearnings of pagan religions and the wisdom of many philosophers are also capable of serving to prepare men for the doctrines of Jesus and are indeed valid and genuine ways to the one Truth of God.

In this way Christians considered certain Greek philosophers to have been enlightened by God to serve the cause of Truth and to lead men to fullness of life in God since the Word and Wisdom of God is revealed to all men and is found in all men who in the purity of their minds and hearts have been inspired by the Divine Light, which enlightens every man who comes into this world. This Divine Light is the word of God, Jesus of Nazareth in human flesh, the perfection and fullness of God’s self-revelation to the world.

It cannot be overstressed that divine revelation in the Old Testament, in the Church of the New Testament, in the lives of the saints, in the wisdom of the fathers, in the beauty of creation . . . and most fully and perfectly in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the revelation of God Himself. God has spoken. God has acted. God has manifested Himself and continues to manifest Himself in the lives of His people.

If we want to hear God’s voice and see God’s actions of self-revelation in the world, we must purify our minds and hearts from everything that is wicked and false. We must strive to love the truth, to love one another, and to love everything in God’s good creation. According to the Orthodox faith, purification from falsehood and sin is the way to the knowledge of God. If we open ourselves to divine grace and purify ourselves from all evils, then it is certain that we will be able to interpret the scriptures properly and come into living communion with the true and living God who has revealed Himself and continues to reveal Himself to those who love Him.

Hell, Hades, and Sheol

Hell is a construct created by the Church of Rome. Hades is Greek. Hebrew is Sheol. Sheol means “the place of questions where we seek answers”. As God is unconditional love, there is no hell as we have been led to believe by the Church of Rome. We are in Sheol/hell right now asking questions. Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? When we do not know these answers because we had forgotten everything upon entering in, we search for something that we do not know what it is. We are formless and void at that point; tohu and bohu. It is about the experience of what is and what is not – from the spark within us that we use to compare this our that. This Spark is from our Creator that which is unconditional love but yet we don’t know what IT is. We have forgotten that ONE thing, that Spark/Creator IS Unconditional love. So we compare this and that to it trying to find out WHAT it IS and What is IS not. We try everything to find and match that energy until we truly recognize it for what IT IS. And once we find it, we no longer judge this or that. We exit duality and enter into ONENESS. And it is that place where we become and adversary to the system of duality as we no longer choose sides and are no longer manipulated through fear. This is the perfection of LOVE. We simply are as I AM, Unconditional Love, I AM ONE with Source and we see ALL through those lenses no longer judging. Those who have not found that cannot comprehend and they fear that which is not known to them. They could once relate to us as we were all searching in Sheol/Hell and we would find company there. But for those who have Found themselves in Source/Creator try as we may to explain it, words fail us. So we simply LOVE without conditions as they wrestle their way through hell/Sheol until they, too, find that answer. So we will be in Sheol until we find the ONENESS with the Spark within. And the lake of fire . . . it is the Aramaic word that means ‘ to be sifted’. So we are sifted through the fiery trials of purification through Living waters choas that will reveal to us in the TIME of the Revealing/Apocalypse that we are ONE with the Spark of Source, that which we have been searching for asking and seeking along the way until it is REVEALED and KNOW that I and my Father/Source are ONE having entered into Shalom Shalom- the doubly fruitful place of peace that goes beyond understanding, to innerstanding, and finally overstanding it.🔥🕊🙏🏻

Let’s look at God Consciousness

We are moving into an era where people are beginning to wake up to the fact that we have more power over our lives than we’ve been led to believe. We are realizing that there isn’t one formula to life or one life path for all, but various ones and we get to choose which formula is best for us and create a life around that. The best way to decide which life path is best for you is to embody your God Consciousness.

What is God Consciousness?

The short explanation is the awareness that lives within us all that allows us to think, imagine, feel, and analyze and interpret information. We have become so accustomed to these abilities that we no longer see the magic in them. We think it’s something we “just do” when in actuality we are using all of these faculties to create our reality. In order to embody your God Consciousness, you must learn how to deliberately and consciously use these gifts. Before now everything outside of us told us what to think, how to feel and what we should want in life. It was a simple process, we’re all supposed to: go to school, go to college, land a good job with benefits, buy a house, get married, have children, take a couple vacations here and there, have a 401k savings plan, retire and then die.

Hopefully, you can see how this can lead to stress in many people trying to fit into this one mold. Speed up a little more to today and you can add on the stress of being relevant on social media, how many likes you get, having the perfect body, taking the most trips, hiding your pain to portray you have a “perfect” life, keeping up with the latest trends, being a savage, and well, you get the idea. You can see how easily stress can turn into depression in these times.

The only way to put an end to this mellow drama we now call Life is to re-member what you truly are. Believe me, you’re more of a what than a who. You are energy, a Soul/Spirit, God in the flesh and you’re the one who is supposed to dictate the direction of your life. Not your mother, father, family members, school-teachers, the media/government, traditions, friends, etc. As a child we had no choice as we could only be guided by those in charge of us. However, as adults it is our duty to re-member and align ourselves back with the Energy/Source that created us in the first place.

Three ways embody your God Consciousness:

Self-Reflection

This will always be rule number one. In order to raise your level of consciousness it is a must that you examine all aspects of yourself. Why do you think the way you do? What beliefs do you hold? Why do you feel the way you feel? Why do you react the way you react? Are your current habits beneficial to you? What areas of your life are you carrying a victim mentality? What addictions do you have? The questions are endless really.

Another big key is you have to be completely hones with yourself, this is the only way to truly get to the root of your problems (here’s a hint, if you do it right you’ll realize your answers always point back to you. If you still find yourself blaming others, you haven’t dug deep enough). It may sound easy, but this poses a real challenge for many people. For one, people do not like to sit still. In today’s culture you have to always be busy doing something, and unfortunately taking time out to spend solely with yourself is not on majority of people’s list of things to do.

Meditation

I won’t get into it too deep here as there are countless, articles, books and YouTube videos describing what meditation is and all the different ways one can utilize it. Simply said, meditation is the process of focusing your mind for a certain period of time. It can also be a time to silence your mind, allowing no thoughts to flow through. This step is crucial because it allows you to become the government of your own mind. Instead of having randomly seeming thoughts firing off in your brain, you guide your thoughts in the direction you desire them to go. 

The better you get at this you will inevitably move up the mental and emotional ladder by controlling your own thoughts and emotions independent of what’s going on outside of you; a true sign that you are embodying your God Consciousness. Also, the more time you spend in silencing your mind or calming the mental chatter of your mind the more inspired ideas you receive. The dots of your life start to connect, and you have greater understanding of your life situations and the world at large. You begin to receive clarity and epiphanies and can even begin to receive divine knowledge through accessing the Akashic Records. Honestly, I can sit in meditation all day as this is where I pull most of my knowledge from.

Study and Understand Energy

I believe we’ve all said or heard someone say, “I’m not giving that my energy” or “Positive vibes only”. This proves that on some unconscious level there is an awareness that we are energy beings and everything around us carries energy as well. Britannica defines energy as “Energy, in physics, the capacity for doing work. It may exist in potential , kineticthermal, electrical, chemicalnuclear, or other various forms. There are, moreover, heat and work—i.e., energy in the process of transfer from one body to another.” It’s simple science really. Study what the human body is made of and you’ll see that we have all the elements that make up energy. How does one think it is possible to pick up “weird vibes” off of someone or to know that someone is lying to you without any actual “proof”? Because there’s an energy transference taking place. 

And think about it, everything we use has an energy source from which it pulls energy in order to operate and function, why would we be any different?  Whether you believe in the big bang theory or that an actual God in the sky said “Let there Be Light” either way it is acknowledging that there was some sort of Energy Source at the beginning of time that energized or vibrated everything into existence. That includes you and me. Your thoughts, feelings and imagination are energy. They send a signal out which magnetizes and pull in certain experiences. How else do you explain thinking of someone and then they call you? You send the signal out, they received it and called you.

These are all imperative steps to raising your consciousness but once you see the connection between how your inner reality creates your outer reality by way of the energy you are sending out via your thoughts, words, feeling and imagination, this will be a major game changer for you. I can go on for days about each of these subjects and many other’s that can assist you but another part of embodying your God Consciousness is learning how to find your own answers.