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Book Of The Mysteries Of Heaven And Earth Pdf 34


8. In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle [22]; we sing a hymn to the Lord's glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory [23].




book of the mysteries of heaven and earth pdf 34



83. Christ Jesus, high priest of the new and eternal covenant, taking human nature, introduced into this earthly exile that hymn which is sung throughout all ages in the halls of heaven. He joins the entire community of mankind to Himself, associating it with His own singing of this canticle of divine praise.


104. The Church has also included in the annual cycle days devoted to the memory of the martyrs and the other saints. Raised up to perfection by the manifold grace of God, and already in possession of eternal salvation, they sing God's perfect praise in heaven and offer prayers for us. By celebrating the passage of these saints from earth to heaven the Church proclaims the paschal mystery achieved in the saints who have suffered and been glorified with Christ; she proposes them to the faithful as examples drawing all to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she pleads for God's favors.


This is what the Bible teaches in direct and eloquent language when it reports the joyful cry of the first woman, "the mother of all the living" (Gen 3:20). Aware that God has intervened, Eve exclaims: "I have begotten a man with the help of the Lord" (Gen 4:1). In procreation therefore, through the communication of life from parents to child, God's own image and likeness is transmitted, thanks to the creation of the immortal soul. 32 The beginning of the "book of the genealogy of Adam" expresses it in this way: "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and called them man when they were created. When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth" (Gen 5:1-3). It is precisely in their role as co-workers with God who transmits his image to the new creature that we see the greatness of couples who are ready "to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Saviour, who through them will enlarge and enrich his own family day by day".33 This is why the Bishop Amphilochius extolled "holy matrimony, chosen and elevated above all other earthly gifts" as "the begetter of humanity, the creator of images of God".34


103. The mutual relationship between the mystery of the Church and Mary appears clearly in the "great portent" described in the Book of Rev- elation: "A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (12:1). In this sign the Church recognizes an image of her own mystery: present in history, she knows that she transcends history, inasmuch as she constitutes on earth the "seed and beginning" of the Kingdom of God. 139 The Church sees this mystery fulfilled in complete and exemplary fashion in Mary. She is the woman of glory in whom God's plan could be carried out with supreme perfection.


And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life and for life, make our way in confidence towards "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 21:1), we look to her who is for us "a sign of sure hope and solace".142


When they have been led to believe that the dead actuallyreturn to communicate with them, Satan causes those to appear who went into thegrave unprepared. They claim to be happy in heaven and even to occupy exaltedpositions there, and thus the error is widely taught that no difference is madebetween the righteous and the wicked. The pretended visitants from the world ofspirits sometimes utter cautions and warnings which prove to be correct. Then,as confidence is gained, they present doctrines that directly undermine faithin the Scriptures. With an appearance of deep interest in the well-being oftheir friends on earth, they insinuate the most dangerous errors. The fact thatthey state some truths, and are able at times to foretell future events, givesto their statements an appearance of reliability; and their false teachings areaccepted by the multitudes as readily, and believed as implicitly, as if theywere the most sacred truths of the Bible. The law of God is set aside, theSpirit of grace despised, the blood of the covenant counted an unholy thing. Thespirits deny the deity of Christ and place even the Creator on a level withthemselves. Thus under a new disguise the great rebel [553] stillcarries on his warfare against God, begun in heaven and for nearly six thousandyears continued upon the earth. GC 552.2


These persons overlook the testimony of the Scripturesconcerning the wonders wrought by Satan and his agents. It was by satanic aidthat Pharaoh's magicians were enabled to counterfeit the work of God. Paul testifiesthat before the second advent of Christ there will be similar manifestations ofsatanic power. The coming of the Lord is to be preceded by "the working ofSatan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivablenessof unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9,10. And the apostle John,describing the miracle-working power that will be manifested in the last days,declares: "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down fromheaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on theearth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do." Revelation13:13, 14. No mere impostures are here foretold. Men are deceived by themiracles which Satan's agents have power to do, not which they pretend to do. GC 553.2


The prince of darkness, who has so long bent the powers ofhis mastermind to the work of deception, skillfully adapts his temptations tomen of all classes and conditions. To [554]persons of culture and refinement he presents spiritualism in its more refinedand intellectual aspects, and thus succeeds in drawing many into his snare. Thewisdom which spiritualism imparts is that described by the apostle James, which"descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." James3:15. This, however, the great deceiver conceals when concealment will bestsuit his purpose. He who could appear clothed with the brightness of theheavenly seraphs before Christ in the wilderness of temptation, comes to men inthe most attractive manner as an angel of light. He appeals to the reason bythe presentation of elevating themes; he delights the fancy with enrapturingscenes; and he enlists the affections by his eloquent portrayals of love andcharity. He excites the imagination to lofty flights, leading men to take sogreat pride in their own wisdom that in their hearts they despise the EternalOne. That mighty being who could take the world's Redeemer to an exceedinglyhigh mountain and bring before Him all the kingdoms of the earth and the gloryof them, will present his temptations to men in a manner to pervert the sensesof all who are not shielded by divine power. GC 553.3


The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are madeto contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when onearth. They deny the divine origin of the Bible, and thus tear away thefoundation of the Christian's hope and put out the light that reveals the wayto heaven. Satan is making the world believe that the Bible is a mere fiction,or at least a book suited to the infancy of the race, but now to be lightly regarded,or cast aside as obsolete. And to take the place of the word of God he holdsout spiritual manifestations. Here is a channel wholly under his control; bythis means he can make the world believe what he will. The Book that is tojudge him and his followers he puts in the shade, just where he wants it; theSaviour of the world he makes to be no more than a common man. And as the Romanguard that watched the tomb of Jesus spread the lying report which the priestsand elders put into their mouths to disprove His resurrection, so do thebelievers in spiritual manifestations try to make it appear that there isnothing miraculous in the circumstances of our Saviour's life. After thusseeking to put Jesus in the background, they call attention to their own miracles,declaring that these far exceed the works of Christ. GC 557.1


Just before us is "the hour of temptation, which shallcome upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."Revelation 3:10. All whose faith is not firmly established upon the word of Godwill be deceived and overcome. Satan "works with all deceivableness ofunrighteousness" to gain control of the children of men, and hisdeceptions will continually increase. But he can gain his object only as menvoluntarily yield to his temptations. Those who are earnestly seeking aknowledge of the truth and are striving to purify their souls throughobedience, thus doing what they can to prepare for the conflict, will find, inthe God of truth, a sure defense. "Because thou hast kept the word of Mypatience, I also will keep thee" (verse 10), is the Saviour's promise. Hewould sooner send every angel out of heaven to protect His people than leaveone soul that trusts in Him to be overcome by Satan. GC 560.2


2. The weakness of my tongue confesses unto Your Highness, seeing that You made heaven and earth. This heaven which I see, and this earth upon which I tread (from which is this earth that I carry about me), You have made. But where is that heaven of heavens, O Lord, of which we hear in the words of the Psalm, The heaven of heavens are the Lord's, but the earth has He given to the children of men? Where is the heaven, which we behold not, in comparison of which all this, which we behold, is earth? For this corporeal whole, not as a whole everywhere, has thus received its beautiful figure in these lower parts, of which the bottom is our earth; but compared with that heaven of heavens, even the heaven of our earth is but earth; yea, each of these great bodies is not absurdly called earth, as compared with that, I know not what manner of heaven, which is the Lord's, not the sons' of men.


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