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Have You Been Deceived?

February 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Our society tends to promote some things that are spiritually harmful and result in our society becoming more decadent. One of the things that is promoted in TV shows and movies is sexual immorality. Fornication is portrayed as something normal and acceptable. People become brainwashed by the media and the messages generated through TV shows and the media into accepting something that is spiritually detrimental — sexual immorality.

I watch some shows on Netflix and see this subtle promotion of sexual immorality. I like to watch the shows to see how the protagonists win in the end, but I do not like the promotion of sin.

Superheroes, like Supergirl, the Flash, and Arrow, fornicate with unmarried partners. They are heroes. If heroes can fornicate, then it is OK for anyone else who is not married to fornicate, too. That is the subtle message being transmitted. Children watch such shows and end up believing the lie which is being communicated through the show’s plot.

In Orthodox Christian theology, sin is viewed as a subtraction from one’s humanity and not an addition to it. Therefore, the superheroes who fornicate are less human. The Flash is less of a man when he fornicates with a woman police detective. Arrow is less than a man when he fornicates with Shadow, Sarah, Laurel, and the Huntress. Supergirl is not from this world, but the moral standard still applies and even she loses some of her supergirlness when she fornicates with Mon-El.

St. Paul wrote two letters to the Christians in Corinth in the first century. He told the Corinthian Christians in his First Epistle:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10, NKJV)

Notice that fornicators and adulterers are among those whom he mentions as not inheriting the kingdom of God. These are people who have sex with someone who is not their spouse. In other words, they have sex out of wedlock.

The Koran, likewise, teaches that people who practice sexual immorality will go to Hell and not Paradise. In Surah 17, it says:

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Koran 17:32, Sahih International)

Satan enjoins sexual immorality. Those who practice sexual immorality are following the footsteps of the devil.

O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan — indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. (Koran 24:21, Sahih International)

Satan summons people to Hell.

Lo! the devil is an enemy for you, so treat him as an enemy. He only summoneth his faction to be owners of the flaming Fire. (Koran 35:6, Pickthall)

Satan deceives them.

Satan promiseth them only to deceive. (Koran 17:64, Pickthall)

Therefore, those who practice fornication and adultery are  deceived. Once again the Koran confirms the teachings of the Bible. (Koran 5:48)

So, just because the media and the movie-makers say in subtle ways that fornication and adultery are OK, does not mean that sexual immorality is OK. Do not be deceived.

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. (Exodus 23:2, KJV)

Just because everyone else is practicing sexual immorality, does not mean that you should do it, too. Most people in the world are going to Hell.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13,14, NKJV)

If most of the people in the world are following Satan into Hell, that does not mean that you should do the same? If you are practicing sexual immorality, ask yourself, “Have I been deceived?”

 

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Two Eternal Sacraments

February 11, 2018 Leave a comment

The older one gets, the more one begins to think about what happens next, that is, after death. I think about the afterlife from time to time. One of the things that has occurred to me after reading and reflecting on the Bible is that there are two Sacraments in the Church which will continue on into the next life. They are the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

It is clear to us Orthodox that we will continue to celebrate the Eucharist in the afterlife. In Paschal Matins, we sing:

O Christ, Thou great and most sacred Pascha!
O Wisdom, Word and power of God!
Grant us to partake of Thee more fully
in the unwaning day
of Thy kingdom.
(Fifth Troparion of the Ninth Ode of Paschal Matins)

We understand that the Resurrected Jesus Christ is present both mystically and really in  the Eucharist. So, whenever we partake of the Eucharist we partake of Christ. He is ever eaten and never consumed. He does not cease to exist after we partake of Him. This is a mystery. We call the Sacraments the Holy Mysteries.

The Bible teaches that there will be a Eucharist in the kingdom of God after the resurrection of the dead. In Genesis, we read about Melchizedec, King of Salem and Priest to the Most High God.

And Melchisedec king of Salem brought forth loaves and wine, and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed Abram, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, who made heaven and earth, and blessed be the most high God who delivered thine enemies into thy power. And Abram gave him the tithe of all. (Genesis 14:18-20, LXX)

Melchisedec used bread and wine in his priestly office. Jesus likewise used bread and wine.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28, NKJV)

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (I Corinthians 11:23-25, NKJV)

St. Paul points out that one of the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus in the Psalms says that He will be a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.

And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’”). (Hebrews 7:20,21, NKJV)

So, if the priesthood according to the order of Melchisec continues forever. That which is offered by this priesthood will continue forever, too. The Bread and the Wine of the Eucharist will continue to be offered in the afterlife on into eternity for all perpetuity.

The Melchisedec priesthood consists of not only Jesus and King Melchisedec of Salem, but also His apostles and the successors of the apostles and those given authority by the successors of the apostles to handle the Holy Mysteries, that is, the priests.

Not everyone may handle the Holy Mysteries. St. Paul wrote:

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1, NKJV)

The apostles were stewards of the Mysteries of God. They were responsible for safeguarding their administration to the faithful. Those who were ordained bishops by the apostles received this stewardship at their ordination. The presbyters, or priests, were given authority by the bishops to administer the Sacraments to the faithful within their local congregations.

Further evidence of the existence of this stewardship among the apostles can be seen in the Book of Acts. The St. Philip the Deacon baptized men and women in Samaria, but he never laid on hands on them so that they could become sealed with the Holy Spirit.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12, NKJV)

Two of the apostles, Sts. Peter and John, laid hands on the baptized Samaritans.

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17, NKJV)

One must be one of the Twelve Apostles or a successor of the apostles, that is, a bishop, in order to have the authority to do this. St. Philip the Deacon did not have the authority to do this. Therefore, Sts. Peter and John laid hands on them so that the Samaritans would be sealed with the Holy Spirit.

If there is a Eucharist in the afterlife, there will also be Holy Orders. Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, and Readers will be there, too. Two Sacraments which will continue on after the general resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment are Holy Orders and the Eucharist.

 

Chromosomes and the Koran

February 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Human beings have 46 chromosomes. When a man and woman procreate together, the man contributes 23 chromosomes to their child and the woman contributes 23 chromosomes to the child as well. There are some interesting mathematical wonders pertaining to the number 46 in the Koran.

The title of Surah 76 in the Koran is “The Human.” In Arabic, it is Al-Insān. Here are all of the places where this Arabic word occurs in the Koran.

     2:60 unāsin (indefinite genitive plural)
1)  4:28 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
     7:82 unāsun (indefinite nominative plural)
     7:160 unāsin (indefinite genitive plural)
2) 10:12 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
3) 11:9 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
4) 12:5 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
5) 14:34 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
6) 15:26 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
7) 16:4 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
8) 17:11 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
9) 17:11 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
    17:13 insānin (indefinite genitive singular)
10) 17:53 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
11) 17:67 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
      17:71 unāsin (indefinite genitive plural)
12) 17:83 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
13) 17:100 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
14) 18:54 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
15) 19:66 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
16) 19:67 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
17) 21:37 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
18) 22:66 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
19) 23:12 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
20) 25:29 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
      25:49 wa-anāsiyya (definite accusative plural prefixed by the conjunction, wa)
      27:56 unāsun (indefinite nominative plural)
21) 29:8 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
22) 31:14 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
23) 32:7 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
24) 33:72 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
25) 36:77 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
26) 39:8 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
27) 39:49 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
28) 41:49 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
29) 41:51 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
30) 42:48 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
31) 42:48 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
32) 43:15 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
33) 46:15 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
34) 50:16 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
35) 53:24 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
36) 53:39 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
37) 55:3 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
38) 55:14 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
39) 59:16 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
40) 70:19 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
41) 75:3 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
42) 75:5 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
43) 75:10 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
44) 75:13 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
45) 75:14 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
46) 75:36 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
47) 76:1 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
48) 76:2 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
49) 79:35 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
50) 80:17 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
51) 80:24 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
52) 82:6 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
53) 84:6 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
54) 86:5 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
55) 89:15 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
56) 89:23 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
57) 90:4 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
58) 95:4 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
59) 96:2 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
60) 96:5 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
61) 96:6 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
62) 99:3 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
63) 100:6 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
64) 103:2 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)

See http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Ans#(4:28:7).

The definite singular of this word occurs 46 times before Surah 76 – The Human. The 46th verse in the Koran to contain the definite singular of this word is Koran 76:1. (It occurs twice in Koran 17:11.) This word occurs 64 times in the definite singular and once in the indefinite singular (Koran 17:13). So, in the singular form this word occurs 65 times in the Koran. 65 is the 46th composite number. (Composite numbers are numbers divisible by numbers other than themselves. Prime numbers are divisible only by themselves and 1.) Here are the composite numbers up to 65. I grouped them in fives. You can count them.

4,6,8,9,10,
12,14,15,16,18,
20,21,22,24,25,
26,27,28,30,32,
33,34,35,36,38,
39,40,42,44,45,
46,48,49,50,51,
52,54,55,56,57,
58,60,62,63,64,
65

If you add the numbers of all of the chapters preceding Surah 76 which have the definite singular form of this word, you will get 961.

4 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17+ 18 + 19 + 21 + 22 + 23 + 25 +  29 = 256
31 + 32 + 33 + 36 + 39 + 41 + 42 + 43 + 46 + 50 + 53 + 55 + 59 = 560
70 + 75 = 145

256 + 560 + 145 = 961

961 = 31 x 31

46 is the 31st composite number.

The haploid chromosome number of humans is 23 — the number contributed by each parent in procreation. The 23rd occurrence of the singular form of this Arabic word is in Koran 31:14. (Count the occurrence in Koran 17:13 where it occurs in the indefinite singular.) Remember that 46 is the 31st composite number. The 23rd occurrence of the singular form is in the 31st chapter of the Koran.

If you count all of the occurrences of this word in all of its forms, you will get 71. 71 is the 36th odd number. 36 = 6 x 6. According to Genesis, God created man on the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-31)

These are just a few interesting mathematical wonders in the Koran.