By Theodoros Riginiotis, Greece
My dear brothers and sisters –
I would like to tell you about the One God, who became man and Who spoke to people with words totally different to those that Hinduism’s gods had taught. He actually proved that mankind can be released from the pain and the misery of this life, and that it can acquire eternal bliss – here and now – and not in some supposed reincarnation. He actually proved that there is no such thing as “samsara” or “karma”, and also that castes do not exist among man.
Having taught the whole truth to the people, He then allowed certain vicious people to torture Him and murder Him; however He rose from the dead soon after. With this event, He opened the way for all of humankind to be resurrected from the dead. He in fact proved that karma or samsara never did actually exist, and that the life we live here is not attributed to magic, but is a real life, which is of an incalculable value in the eyes of that One, True, Creator God. Also, that you, your personality, your self, are immeasurably valuable in the eyes of God, Who has invited all of mankind to be joined to Him in order to live eternally with Him –beginning from this life- and without any reincarnation involved: only a resurrection of our person as it is at present, and then living an eternal life thereafter, bathed in light and joy.
You are not confined to any caste (which is just a false and unjust man-made invention); you are also one of God’s children and are invited by Him to join Him in eternity.
This God is Jesus Christ.
God’s divine nature took on flesh from inside the womb of the Most Pure Virgin Maria, and thus also became incarnate – as a perfect Man and God, through this miraculous conception and birth. This very important event in the history of mankind took place around 2000 years ago. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, was born and raised in the ancient land of Palestine.
As he grew up, He travelled throughout the land, teaching the people that He was “the Path, the Truth and the Life”, also confirming that He is the only-begotten Son of God, and that He Himself is God. He explained that these two Persons are not two separate Gods, but that they are in a mysterious union with each other as two individual Persons, yet comprising one God. The one Person (God -the Son, Jesus Christ- who became incarnated) was begotten pre-eternally (before the creation of the world), by the other, main Person (God the Father).
There is also a third Person in this mystical union, Who was sent forth to Earth, after Christ’s resurrection and His return to the Father in heaven; this third Person remains constantly in touch with Christ’s believers (Christians) and also originates from God the Father. This Person is referred to by Christ as “Holy Spirit” and “Paraclete” (the Consoler).
These three Persons are united in an entirely unknown and mysterious manner, which is revealed only to those people who desire to be united with this Holy Trinity of Persons, by following the teaching of Christ.
Each and every person is invited by God to accomplish this union.
With His words and His acts (which continue to be observed through to this day, given that He continues to communicate with mankind, as God), Christ proved that man does not undergo reincarnation, nor is he bound to any “law of karma”, but on the contrary, man can become a deified person (saint), even within his one and only lifetime, after which, he will continue to live forever, united with Christ, and through Christ, with the Trinitarian God.
Before sharing with you certain segments of Christ’s teachings (in the hope you will want to read them), I must point out two important things:
As a man, Christ lived, was crucified and died, and was raised from the dead, around 2000 years ago. However, as He is also God by nature, He continues throughout the ages to communicate with all people who have chosen to follow His teaching and become united with Him – that is, become united with God.
Those who choose to become united with Christ (and these are people from all walks of life: rich, poor, educated, illiterate, men, women, children, young and old) are in a true communion with Him, while the more “spiritually progressed” (the saints) are on another level of existence – even while still living on earth: an entirely divine level.
If you acquaint yourself with the lives of these saints, they will probably remind you in various ways of the holy ascetics, the yogis and the gurus of India; but, if you become familiar with the depths of their teachings, you will come to realize that they teach entirely different things to what yogis and gurus teach.
They faithfully convey the teachings of Christ (without any castes, or karmas, or samsaras), while some of them have even become closely acquainted with Indian gurus and yogis and have reached their own conclusions – in the spirit of love for all mankind of course. These are the conclusions that I would like to share with you, in the belief that they will prove to be of interest to you.
I must also tell you that there have been (and still are) some people who claim that they are followers of Christ’s teachings, even though in reality they are only followers of their personal passions. In the past (and possibly even today), India has suffered greatly from such people.
(Even my own country – Greece – has suffered greatly from such people). But it is not my intention to tell you about such people, but rather, to tell you about the teaching of Christ and about those who followed it faithfully: those, who belong to the 2000-year-old Christian community known as “Orthodox Church”.
Another necessary clarification: This Church does not include certain other churches who have labeled themselves as “Orthodox Church” – for example, those that are in regions such as Malabar and Malankara… In spite of their references to the Christian saints of old – such as the Apostle Thomas – these groups were actually formed at a much later time, and were cut off from the proper, ancient Orthodox Church after 500 A.D..
The Orthodox Church, Who has preserved the teaching of Jesus Christ – of God Himself – invites the churches of Malabar and Malankara to join themselves to Her (as She is about 500 years older and more authentic than them); after all, She is the Church that is united to the Orthodox Metropolis of Singapore as well as the Russian Orthodox Church in Delhi.
What Christ had said and what had He done for man’s liberation from death and pain
When Jesus Christ lived on earth as a man He had never made contact with the faithful of India’s “gods”. He was born, raised and lived all His earthly life in His own homeland – Israel – without traveling anywhere beyond. However, He had such absolute divine power within Him that, after His era, those who had heard about Him thought that He had actually travelled to India and had become a yogi or a guru thereafter. Naturally they could not know that He had no need to travel anywhere, nor meet any teachers, because He Himself was the true God and as such, it was only natural that He possessed absolute divine wisdom and power; more importantly, He possessed absolute divine love for everyone and everything.
Thus, even though Christ had never come in contact with the Indian religion, His words and His deeds proved that all those things which tormented the Indian people for thousands of years (the caste system and the notions of karma and samsara) are NOT divinely inspired, but are only human fabrications – just as the ideas and the perceptions that have been tormenting all the people on Earth since ancient times, in the guise of supposed “religious truths”. This is the reason Christ’s teachings had made such a deep impression in the hearts of millions in very many nations, and among them, there have been many who became united with God by following the teaching of Christ and attaining perfection to the degree that it is possible for man to reach.
And, as mentioned earlier, there have been (and still are) those who distorted Christ’s teaching by creating their own religions, thus causing immense problems. However, we shall not talk about those people, but rather, about those who actually followed His teaching and were blessed with the experience of the brilliant inner Light while they still lived in this lifetime, on Earth. People such as these still exist in the Orthodox Church, even today.
Many of them are renowned teachers of love, of wisdom and of spiritual struggles, who have studied every kind of spiritual path – and not less than the yogis, the gurus and the swamis of Hinduism. And yet, they have a special ability, which separates them from the sages and the teachers of other spiritual traditions: they are able to isolate with care and wise discernment those experiences that are truly divine, as opposed to those that seem to be divine but in fact are demonic in origin. These holy people have also seen Jesus Christ many times and have spoken with him, even in our day and age.
In view of the above therefore, dear brother and dear sister, it becomes clear that Christ has said and has done many things that concern you directly.
Some of these matters are as follows:
|Photo from here|
The Lord Jesus was born in a humble stable and grew up in a family of carpenters and builders, practicing the same profession Himself. Furthermore, most of His Disciples later on were simple fishermen – generally among the poor population. These same poor people received incredible wisdom, bravery but also the strength to perform miracles, and eventually preached about Him to very many lands, even giving their very lives for His sake.
Jesus had spoken to, taught, touched and helped people from every walk of life in His own land; if He had lived in India, He would have likewise spoken to, taught, touched and helped people from every caste, without any discrimination. He associated with sinners, prostitutes, workers, lepers, paralytics, beggars, slaves, men, women and children; He approached them, ate with them from the food offered by those who desired to share it with Him; He allowed them to touch Him (even though this was forbidden in His land); He cured them of their sicknesses, He forgave them their sins, He touched dead people and even brought them back to life from the grave….
Jesus’ actions were proof that there is no divine segregation of mankind into castes. As one of His disciples – the Apostle [i] Paul (who finally gave his very life for Jesus’ sake) had written: “…there is no distinction between men and women, free and slaves etc…, because we are all equal”, all united by Christ. This was written in one of Paul’s Epistles (chapter 3, verse 28) that was addressed to the Galatians, a Christian community of his time.
In fact, Jesus Christ let Himself be arrested by His enemies (those who didn’t have any love in them), tortured and killed, by being nailed upon a cross. During that era, slaves and the worst kinds of criminals were executed in this horrible manner. When He was being nailed onto the cross, Christ forgave all those who had crucified Him and He also forgave a robber who had been crucified beside Him, who had admitted his crimes and had repented. Christ had said to him: “Truly I tell you, today you shall in Paradise with Me” (Luke’ s gospel, 23, 40-43[ii]).
Besides, Jesus had on many occasions explained to the people that He had come to our world, not to honor the righteous and virtuous ones but to seek out, invite and save the sinners (Matthew’ s gospel, 18, 11). Regardless of the magnitude of one’s sins, God’ s love towards him is far greater than his sin, which is why, for as long as man is alive on Earth, he has the opportunity to repent and to return to God. God always waits for him and forgives him. In one of the most stirring points of His teaching, the “parable of the prodigal son”, Jesus emphasized this specific point, confirming to all of us that there is always hope and a path towards repentance and salvation, regardless how sinful we may have become (Luke, chapter 14).
Christ had also said that whoever harms or shuns one of the “least” (meaning the most marginal and regarded as insignificant people in the world – those who belong to the lowest caste, according to your religion), is committing an enormous sin, because these “insignificant” people, (which Jesus referred to as “His brothers”), are protected by bright, holy Angels, who are able to look upon the face of God in Heaven. Jesus Christ related Himself to those “insignificant” brethren of His and had said – in a very central point of His teaching – that whoever helps such a person is actually helping Christ Himself and that this alone is enough to gain him eternal redemption, whereas whoever harms him, is actually harming Christ Himself, which is enough to gain him eternal condemnation far away from God, and thereafter in the company of dark demons (Matthew 18, 10.25, 31-46). This of course, as explained by the holy teachers of Christianity, signifies that, despite God always and eternally loves human beings, this kind of men is so cruel that they eliminate eternally every inner light of divine love and they feel the superior Light of God as fire burning inside of them.
Many centuries passed by and many poor, workers, beggars, slaves, prostitutes, sinners and criminals acquainted themselves with Christ and His teaching, changed their life, became united to Him and reached perfection. They reached perfection instantly, just like the nailed burglar on the cross beside Christ, without the need of karma and without the need of passing through a cycle of reincarnations or samsara, because samsara and karma actually do not exist.
About karma and samsara:
|Jesus Christ with the Saints|
Three days after His death and His burial, Christ rose from the dead and returned to His learners. He had been visiting them for 40 days (over three hundred learners) and after that He rose to Heaven. But, as already mentioned, Christians were keeping on and still keep on seeing Him and communicating to Him at all ages.
Christ has spoken a lot about death. His most important words were that whoever believes in Him, has eternal life and no reason for judgement but, on the contrary, as soon as he has died, “he has already gone from death to life”. He’ s also said a day will come when all dead people will hear His voice and will rise (John’ s gospel, 5, 24-28).
The rising of the dead – without any kind of reincarnation – is a basic teaching part of Jesus Christ. Neither people are reincarnated nor have lived before as animals or other creatures, everyone is unique and special, lives only once but eternally. After death everybody lives near Christ (or away from Him, in case of living with selfishness and wickedness) and the time will come when the world will have reached its historical end, then people will rise from the dead all together and live eternally either nearby Christ full of light and joy or away from Him, depending on choices they’ ve made in their lifetime.
However, Christ wants all people of all nations and eras to live close to Him, full of light and joy, so He invites all of them to join Him. Of course even you and all of your relatives are invited, even all nations of the world, without being criticized or condemned by Him about what you’ ve been believing or doing until now.
God, Christ, forgives humanity’ s sins here and now and takes us with Him here and now, offering us His love for an entire eternity. People aren’ t obliged to wait to be incarnated over and over again in order to gain salvation. Salvation can be gained even within a minute, under the condition that man repents about his sins or crimes, his cruelty and his wickedness. If he dies being cruel, selfish and mean, then there will be neither salvation anymore, nor regeneration in another body in order to return, little by little, to prudential life. Besides, which sensible man would remain cruel, selfish and mean, when he would know that God’ s eternal love awaits for him? God loves all of the people, even the most sinful, and He wants all of us to repent, to be united to Him and to be saved. In spite of this, He doesn’ t compel us, He just invites us.
In every era, the saints who had united themselves with Christ (and they are many) continued and are still continuing to appear to the living and help them, despite the many years or centuries that passed since their death. This proves that neither reincarnation (samsara) nor karma are facts, and that man is not assimilated by some divine Brahman at some point, nor does man dissolve like a snow flake in a river. Man continues to live on, with his name, his personality and his memories even after the death of his body. And at some time, the same people with their name, personality and memories will rise from the dead, acquiring their own body, which will no longer age, but will remain immortal.
People’ s bodies have been created by God, they are real and can also be united to Christ, when a man’ s soul is united to Him. That’ s why saints’ s bodies or their bones emit divine grace forever (thanks to God’ s benevolent energy) and God performs miracles through them.
About dark and frightful “gods”:
|Icon from here|
Only one God exists. This God has created all spirits, the Earth, celestial objects, mankind and all beings. With the exception of this God – who was not created by anyone but exists because He Himself wants it – all the other beings, even the most powerful spirits, are not gods. They too are just God’s creations, incomparably less powerful than Him.
God created the spirits with a free will, so that they can choose whether they wish to be good or evil, as with people. Therefore some spirits have chosen to be good and bright (holy spirits – we call them “angels”, meaning messengers) and some others have been deceived by their egoism and have ended up as dark, wicked and frightful spirits. In the Holy Bible, the sacred book of Christianity, the holy prophet Isaiah writes about the leader of demons – Satan – that he fell from Heaven even though he was as radiant like the morning star (Lucifer), because he egotistically thought to himself: “I shall go up to Heaven and set up my throne over the stars of the sky and I will become like the Supreme God” (Isaiah, 14, 12-14[iii]).
The true God is humble and no selfish spirit is able to remain united to Him. Because of this, that spirit, together with those that followed it, distanced himself and lost his radiance. Jesus had told His disciples that He saw Satan falling from the sky like a bolt of lightning (Luke, 10, 18).
Dark spirits hate mankind and continuously try to harm them. They impose sinful thoughts on people, they bring them to a state of fear or despair, but they often appear in the guise of “gods” and demand to be worshipped.
Christians – especially those who are close and united to Christ – are not in danger by the evil actions of dark spirits, because Christ is constantly near them and He protects them.
These dark spirits, which are not gods but they lie about being gods and demand to be worshipped by people, have penetrated into all the religions of the world and they seek worship through magical ceremonies, blood and human sacrifices.
|Angels with Jesus Christ (from here)|
Gods who have a “dark side” or who are totally dark and terrifying are not actual gods; they are demons who lie to people, who have been pretending since ancient times that they are gods, in order to keep them enslaved and away from the real God and to finally kill them. Such spirits exist in all religions for thousands of years. Anat, Baal, Moloch, Saturn, Diana, Dionysus, the Celts’ and the Aztecs’ gods are only a few of the innumerable cases of demons that had been worshipped with human sacrifices by peoples of the past. (Link to an article about human sacrifices that took place in the past in various religions: here).
With His teaching and His works, Christ overcame those dark spirits and thus, Christians do not worship them. They are not gods that should be worshipped. They are merely God’s creations which chose the path of lies and deception.
While living on Earth, Christ healed many people whose body and soul had been possessed by demons. His power was such that even when approaching the poor possessed people, the dark spirits inside them would begin to cry out in despair! The sick and their families were so grateful to Him for the expulsion of demons, which He accomplished with just a single word (Matthew 4, 24.8, 16.8, 28-33 etc.).
Throughout the ages many saints healed (and continue to heal) people possessed by demons, the way that Christ did. They defeat demons with the power of Christ, sometimes by simply mentioning His name. Christ’ s disciple – the apostle Paul – healed a girl possessed by a demon which had given her the ability to predict the future (Acts of the Apostles, 16, 16-18, a book of the New Testament describing the life of first Christians). The girl was a slave and her masters were exploiting her financially. Do you believe her “karma” or her caste were the reasons that obliged her to live such a miserable life?
- Proof of this was that the apostle Paul, with just a phrase that he uttered – and risking his own life doing so – (Acts 16:19-33), freed her of that demon and gave her actual peace.
Of course in the Orthodox Church we have an entire way of life that unites us with Christ, which helps us to become illumined and good, so that demons cannot harm us. Because the truth is that demons are much stronger than humans and only Christ’ s power can vanquish them and keep them away from us and can protect us from them.
Imagine, my brother and sister, how powerful the dark and frightful gods are in the religion of your forefathers… A far greater power than people’s. It is the demonic power. Christ has incomparably more power than all of these “divine” beings together. No “god” can harm a person who is united to Christ. Some of our saints who lived in ancient times (when the Roman Empire was torturing and killing Christians), were able to topple temples that were dedicated to demonic gods, by their prayer alone, when Roman soldiers were carrying them to those places bound in chains, attempting to convince them to worship those spirits through torture.
At first of course (when a person begins to become a Christian), he will certainly be threatened by a demon, because it doesn’t want to lose the victim who has been worshipping and fearing it. But, as that person continues to move towards Christ and is united with Him, that “god” (demon) becomes weaker and weaker.
We have come to know these things from the lives and the teachings of our saints – many of whom are people of our day and age, while many others are still alive and you can meet them and communicate with them.
I don’t wish to say anything further. “Indians are a wonderful people. Except that they haven’t become acquainted with Christ yet. If they had, they would have progressed spiritually a great deal”, according to the Elder Paisios – one of Orthodoxy’s most significant holy men, who had lived an ascetic life on the Holy Mountain of Greece and had many and long discussions with Hinduists.
If my words have appealed to you, my brother and my sister, then you can go ahead and investigate the matter on your own. You will discover that all the things which have been tormenting your people for centuries, will be pulverized by the teaching -but also by the power- of Jesus Christ.
St. Symeon the New Theologian's First Vision of Uncreated Glory (here)
How can you find more information?
Orthodox Christians can also be found in India. They belong to the Orthodox Metropolis of Singapore, because the Orthodox Church is a universal Church which has united people from all over the world for entire centuries. It unites people to each other, and to the One, true God – the God of love Who condescended to become a human and Who sacrificed Himself for our sake: Jesus Christ.
If you are active in the English-speaking West, I think an appropriate starting point would be the “Monastery of the Precious Forerunner” (the Stavropegic Monastery dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, in Essex, England); the, Monastery of Saint Anthony in Arizona, USA (Saint Anthony’ s Greek Orthodox Monastery); the Brotherhood of Saint Herman of Alaska in Platina, California, USA, while a contact with the "Evangelical Orthodox Mission" of the Archdiocese of Antioch in the U.S.A. would also be useful, whose members have en masse converted from Protestantism to Orthodoxy, following their organized and careful research.
Also useful is contact with the Ancient Faith Radio site, here: (http://ancientfaith.com/).
This is the website for the publications by St Herman’s Brotherhood, including several books and magazines that can inform you about Christ and His path: http://www.stherman.com/index.htm.
This is the link to the book by a Greek who travelled to India and became a Hinduist but later returned to Orthodoxy because he discovered that the “gods” of Hinduism are not radiant spirits: http://www.stherman.com/Catalog/Elder_Paisios/guru_book.htm.
This is the website of Klaus Kenneth, a man who also travelled to India and became a Hinduist monk but later made the same discovery and finally became an Orthodox Christian, after meeting one of the most important holy men of the 20th century – the Elder (spiritual teacher) Sophrony: http://www.klauskenneth.com/.
Here is another one, whose site includes plenty of information (there are many Orthodox, formerly Hinduists, who have researched the truth more than formerly Christian westerners, who had become Hinduists very frivolously and without much knowledge): http://servantofprayer.wordpress.com/.
Here you can listen to some radio broadcasts by Orthodox professors of Cambridge University, among whom is Dr. Christine Mangala: http://ancientfaith.com/feeds/rss/cambridge. Dr. Christine Mangala was born a Hindu, a Brahmin, the highest and priestly caste in India. She was brought up on yoga. Her grandfather, in fact, was a personal friend of one of the expounders of modern yoga and Vedanta philosophy, the well-known Swami Sivananda, who is the founder of the Divine Life Society. She became a Christian at age 22, and later converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. She received her doctorate in English literature from Cambridge University, and has authored articles on literature and books of fiction, of which she has written several, as well as various spiritual subjects, including yoga and Christianity.
Appendix: People who have followed Christ’ s teaching to the end.
For the first three hundred years after Christ, the great empire that ruled our world at the time (the Roman Empire) tried to exterminate the Christians, forcing them to worship various spirits, which were worshipped by the ancient peoples but which were not the Supreme Spirit. They resorted to every kind of torture to force them. The Christians did not raise weapons against their enemies, not because they were not brave, but because they knew that, if they did what their Teacher told them (to not confront violence with violence), their souls would go to live with the Supreme Spirit, bathed in His light and receiving His love. Hundreds of thousands of Christians, men, women, and children, were tortured to death and gave their lives willingly. And three centuries after Christ, without spilling any blood, the Christians won: the rulers of the Roman Empire became Christians themselves.
Of course, the problems did not stop (evil spirits always want to take people far away from God, either through violence or through trickery), but it is not necessary to continue telling this story at this point.
From generation to generation thousands of people have been perfectly united with Christ and acquired the great love that He spoke of. Many of them distributed all of their property to the poor and kept only the clothes that they wore. Some even gave their clothes and lived naked in a deserted place, praying to God. They all helped their fellow people in whatever way they could, since their love for Christ made them follow His example. Those who were most united with God acquired the gift of performing miracles (to heal the sick, to expel evil spirits, etc), not by using magic, but simply by uttering Christ’s name. We respect and honour all of these people, we speak with them (they can hear us even after they die and go to the place of the souls), and we call them “saints”, in other words, those who are united with God.
Let us mention just a few of them:
Saint Makarios of Egypt was so kind-hearted that, when a young woman who was pregnant from a secret lover accused him of being the father, he accepted her accusation, suffered all kinds of insults from the local populace, and began working twice as much in order to support the woman and her child. Later, when the truth was discovered, he left secretly and never sought to be vindicated.
In the fifth century AD, Saint Paulinus, after spending all his wealth buying and freeing slaves from barbarian invaders (the Vandals), gave himself up as a slave in order to free the only son of a widow.
In 1015, when the Russian saints, princes Boris and Gleb, realized that their wicked brother Sviatopolkos had invited them to his palace with the intent to murder them, they went anyway. They preferred to die rather than force their soldiers to fight for their sake.
Saint Moses the Hungarian was a slave who preferred to be tortured for many years and eventually die rather than become his owner’s lover.
The seven year old saint Ivan Chi Chung, after being tortured in Peking, China, in the summer of 1900, full of spiritual power from the Grace of God, said that it is not harsh to suffer for Christ and simply asked to be buried near the church where he was baptized.
Saint Nicholas of Pskof, a “fool for Christ” (he pretended to be crazy so that people would not realize he was a saint), stopped the murderous king Ivan the Terrible in the middle of the street and offered him raw meat to eat, in order to show him that the way he was ruling Russia was like eating people!
Saint Andrew, another “fool for Christ”, on the night that God informed him would be his last, went to the street in Constantinople where all the brothels were located and died there after praying all night for all the sinful people of the world to seek God’s Light.
Saint Mary Skobtsova, who helped many people escape from the Nazis during World War II, was executed in the Nazi concentration camp of Ravensburg. It was reported that she changed places with another woman who was condemned to death, and allowed herself to be killed in order to save the other woman.
Nowadays, many people from other religions or other forms of Christianity, after learning about Orthodoxy, deserted the religions that they had been following previously and had become Orthodox after careful research. Moreover, as one of the most remarkable persons, priest monk Seraphim Rose (1931-1982) had said, “when you become Orthodox, you actually do not lose any actual truth which you had been taught before”.
On January 22, 1984, in Mexico city, Orthodox bishop Paul de Ballester was murdered as he was emerging from the temple, where he had been celebrating Orthodox’ s great event: the divine liturgy.
On May 18, 1985, in the city of Santa Cruz, the Orthodox priest Ioannis was murdered inside the church by people who clearly worshipped evil spirits. After his death, God revealed through various miracles that he was a saint.
In 1996 the young Russian soldier Eugene Rodionov (icon) was beheaded after imprisonment and torture that lasted 100 days, simply because he refused to deny Orthodoxy and follow another religion. After his death, miracles have shown that he is also a new saint.
The blood of these saints, like the blood of Saints Ioannis and Eugene, is added to the blood of countless other Orthodox who gave their lives in the twentieth century, in places where wicked spirits prevailed.
All these people are near God and often communicate to living people. Their presence in our life is perhaps the strongest proof about the truth of Jesus Christ’s words and acts for the salvation of all mankind.
[i] “Apostles” (in Greek=messengers who are sent forth) is the name given to Christ’s disciples, because Christ Himself had sent them forth to preach His teachings to all peoples in the world and to invite them to become united to Him, and through Him, to God.
[ii] The Gospels (Greek=good news) are the books that were written by the Disciples of Christ, covering the numerous events in His life and His many teachings. The Gospels are four in number: They are the Gospels according to Matthew, to Mark, to John and to Luke. All four Gospels, along with all the other texts that were written by Christ’s disciples (for example, the Epistles written by the Apostle Paul), were preserved intact and had been incorporated in a collective volume called “New Testament”, as early as the 2nd century AD.
[iii] Isaiah was a holy prophet who lived around 800 years before Christ, and yet, he provided many important details about Christ’s life, which had been revealed to him by God. Many such prophets had existed in the past, and their recorded experiences were incorporated in a collection known as “Old Testament”.
See also:Orthodoxy's Worship: The Sanctification of the Entire World
“Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future”
LOVERS OF TRUTH: THE LIFE OF HIEROMONK SERAPHIM ROSE
Lover of Truth: St John, The Wonderworker of San Francisco
The holy anarchists
Through The Eastern Gate - From Tibetan Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity
Travelers on the Way to the Light
African Americans and Orthodoxy
SONGS OF FREEDOM: The Rastafari Road to Orthodoxy
Filmmaker Hopes To Capture the Orthodox Spirituality of Alaskan Natives
SONGS OF FREEDOM: The Rastafari Road to Orthodoxy
Filmmaker Hopes To Capture the Orthodox Spirituality of Alaskan Natives
Ancient Faith Radio
Orthodox America - By Issue Number
"The Orthodox World" Saint Herman Press