Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...: Montanism ( [1] Phrygian heresy) Mentioned in Eusebius, Church History 5.3.4;5.14-18 Historical information Dating primarily to the ...

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...

I Am He: Heresy of the special revelation from God "Montani...: Montanism ( [1] Phrygian heresy) Mentioned in Eusebius, Church History 5.3.4;5.14-18 Historical information Dating primarily to the ...

Heresy of the special revelation,extended fasting, asceticism and eschatology "The Montanist"

Montanism ([1]Phrygian heresy)
Mentioned in Eusebius, Church History 5.3.4;5.14-18

Historical information

Dating primarily to the late second and early third centuries.
[2]The controversy spread by 177 to Rome.

Leading Teachers

[3]Montanus (170 AD). He was joined shortly thereafter by two prophetesses, Maximilla (2nd century) and Priscilla 92nd century). Tertullian (160-220))

Who contributed in the answering of the heresy

[4]Epiphanius, Panarion 48; Jerome, Letter 41.
[5]Hippolytus Syntagma (lost in its original form; but in substance in later writers),

Characteristic teachings

[6]Montanist prophets claimed direct ecstatic revelations from God to support their teachings on disciplinary questions, especially extended hours of fasting and asceticism, and on eschatology.
[7]It lived in expectation of the speedy outpouring of the holy Spirit (the Paraclete) on the Church, of which it saw the first manifestation in its own prophets and prophetesses.
[8]It was peculiar form of these utterances to which other Christians objected: this kind of ecstatic prophecy was not, like that of the biblical prophets, delivered in the third person, but was direct speech by the Spirit himself using the prophet’s mouth as his instrument. The content of the ‘New Prophecy’ was hostile to the Gnostic elimination of eschatological expectation and insisted on the literal resurrection of the flesh and the nearness of the Lord.     
[9]He (Montanus) began to proclaim to his fellow believers (the New Prophecy) that he was a prophet-that, indeed, he was the mouthpiece of that Spirit which the Lord had promised to the church as the one who would “teach…all things” and  “guide you into all truth.[10]     
[11]The problem was not that Montanus was a prophet, for prophecy had existed in the church since its beginnings, and there is no reason to think that it had died out in the last third of the second century. The problem was that this was a new prophecy. It was unfamiliar in its form(Montanus uttered the words, “Behold a man is as a lyre, and I fly over it like a plectrum,”[12]where the “I” can only refer to the spirit).                              
[13]The Montanist prophets also seem to have practiced “charismatic exegesis,” in which the text of the scripture was actually cited in their oracles in such a way as to include their eschatological key to the scriptures within the text.
One authentic late Montanist inscription substantiates Epiphanius’s charge (Haer.49) that the Montanists allowed female clergy.
In order to survive, Montanists may have developed their own peculiar form of regional bishops to ensure the institutional continuity of the sect.
Became famous after 208 by the joining of Tertullian of Carthage, when he included in Book 4 against Marcion , Montanist passages.
[14]Tertullian also condemned the current penitential disciple for its leniency.
In North Africa , Montanism has long fasts, prohibited second marriages and flight to avoid martyrdom, and specified the exact length of veils to be worn by women.
Montanist prophets also announced an eschatological vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, seen suspended over geographical Jerusalem.
[15]Montanus himself, who began prophesy wither in 172, or 156-7, proclaimed that the heavenly Jerusalem would soon descend near Pepuza in Phrygia.
Spiritual psalms, visions, and prayers also played a part in community life.


Were excommunicated in a series of synods of churches in Asia Minor, the first such regional synods in Christian history as (Eusebius, H.E. 5.16.10.
[16]In Rome were excommunicated by bishop Eleutherus
[17]Also condemned by pope Zephyrinus (199-217).


Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 2nd edition   (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities)
Dictionary of the Christian Church edited by F.L. Cross & E.A. livingstone by Hendrickson Publishers. 1997 Oxford university Press.
A History of the Christian Church, 4th edition Williston Walker and Richard A. Norris, David W. lotz, Robert T. Handy

[1] After its place of origin and greatest support.
[2] EEC, P.779
[3] EEC, P.778
[4] EEC, p.779
[5] DCC, p.1108
[6] EEC, p.778
[7] DCC, p.1107
[8] EC, P.52
[9] HCC, p.69
[10] John 14:26, 16:13.
[11] HCC, p.69
[12] Stevenson, A New Eusebius, P.113
[13] EEC, P.778
[14] DCC, P.1108
[15] DCC, P.1107
[16] EEC, P. 779
[17] DCC, p.1108

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

Coptic Month of Mesore, Day  13

Every year, during the fast of Transfiguration we are celebrating the feast of Transfiguration, where we can read about this feast:
Matthew 17:1-9
Mark 9:2-9
Luke 9:28-37
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart.

[2] And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.
[3] And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him.
[4] And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah."
[5] He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
[6] When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.
[7] But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear."
[8] And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead."

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them,

[3] and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
[4] And there appeared to them Eli'jah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus.
[5] And Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah."
[6] For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid.
[7] And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him."
[8] And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead.

Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.

[29] And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.
[30] And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Eli'jah,
[31] who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.
[32] Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
[33] And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah" -- not knowing what he said.
[34] As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
[35] And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
[36] And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.

Testimony of St. Peter: ( 2 Peter 1: 16-18)

[16]For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

[17] For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,"
[18] we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 
Doxology of Transfiguration
Let us praise Christ our God, the Co-essential with the Father, who created through His divinity, the living and the dead.
+ Jesus Christ the only-begotten, ascended to the peak of Mount Tabor, and took His disciples with Him, Peter and James and John.
And He was transfigured before them, His face shone more than the sun, His clothes were like snow, and two prophets appeared to Him.
+ Elijah and Moses the strong ones, saw His clothes upon Mount Tabor, a cloud of light passed, over the disciples.
And there was the voice from heaven, of God the Father saying, "This is My beloved Son, He has done My will hear Him."
+ We praise and glorify Him, and exalt Him above all, as a good One and Lover of man, have mercy upon us according to Your great mercy.
Alleluia Alleluia, Alleluia Alleluia, Jesus Christ the Son of God, was transfigured upon Mount Tabor.
+ This is He who is worthy of glory, with His good Father, and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever.

-          Transfiguration is the theophany or manifestation of God. The Father says from heaven “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." The Son is transfigured, the Holy Spirit like a “ a bright cloud overshadowed them”.
-          Transfiguration was a fulfillment for our Lord Jesus Christ promise “[28] Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." Matthew16: 18 , Mark9:1 and  Luke9:27.
-          “In Mark's account (9:2-10) one of the most notable features of the Transfiguration is the curious way the evangelist speaks of the arrival of Moses and Elijah. Whereas Matthew and Luke say simply, "Moses and Elijah appeared" on the scene, Mark lays a special stress on Elijah. He writes, "Elijah appeared to them with Moses." Not only does Mark mention Elijah before Moses, but the verb he uses, "appeared" (ophthe), is singular, not plural. His is an account of the arrival of Elijah, Moses playing a rather secondary role.”[1]

-          It is a fulfillment of another prophecy came in Deut. 18: 18 “[18] I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” So Moses appeared to witness and says This whom I prophesied about.

-          It is also a remarkable sign that the comapasionate heart of our Lord Jesus Christ who said to Moses “[4] And the LORD said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, `I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there." Deut. 48:4 although Moses died and he did not enter it by his body but his soul visited it on the Transfiguration.

-          The “reference to the booths could imply that this occurred during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles when the Jews would be camping out in the fields for the grape harvest; for this Feast had acquired other associations in the course of its history, including the memory of the wanderings in the wilderness recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus.”[2]

-          It also reminds us with the verse came in Revelation 21:3 “[3] and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;” The dwelling or the tabernacle. Where it shows us the scene of heaven.  

-          The Lord Himself said to Moses  “[26] And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, `I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?” Mark 12:26. So we see two departed with our Lord and the three disciples.

-          Transfiguration is not the end it is the Penultimate not the ultimate, the Lord said to Moses we still have to come down there is fighting with the demon, see the narrative of St. Matthew which transfiguration “ The son who was an epileptic and falls into fire and water, “[18] And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly” Matthew 17:18. And also we still have the Golgotha to see this image of transfiguration.

To be continued Tomorrow :)

[1] Fr.  Patrick Reardonhttp://www.antiochian.org/node/16379
[2] http://www.goarch.org/special/listen_learn_share/transfiguration/index_html

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rising of the Water of the Rivers

On the 12th of the Coptic Month of Baouna there is the feast of Archangel Michael . It is an ancient feast from the Pharaoh time. The church baptized this feast, during that time the church prays for the Rising of the water, so it can water the dry land during the harvest season in the summer. It is also the spiritual harvest which started in the day of Pentecost when God commissioned the holy Disciples and apostles to become fisher of men. The same theme we find it in the Sunday readings in which the church reads the miracles of Our Lord Jesus Christ as he delivered it to the Disciples. ""Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." Jn. 14:12 . 

In these pictures below as it is accustomed from year 1834 AD there was a noticeable decease in the water level so Mohamed Aly Basha the Sultan of Egypt asked the Late Patriarch Peter VII (El Gawly) to pray, after he asked other religious leaders, the Pope prayed the liturgy on the river and at the end he poured the water of the washing of the holy Paten and Chalice into the Nile followed by throwing a holy bread from the (blessings bread) , after that the water started to rise, to a degree that they started to run quickly from the place as the place was flooded with water. three days ago the priests in St. George Church in Aswan (Upper Egypt) is following the same custom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Late Metropolitan Maximus of Qalyubia

The Late Metropolitan Maximus of Qalyubia

1- Was born in April 1911, departed in May 1992. 

2- Joined the monastery when he was 21 years old. His mother saw a revelation that an angel is standing behind him so the family finally blessed the choice. His name was monk Angelos (Angel ) el Almuharraqe (the monastery of Almuharraq http://www.almuharraqmonastery.com/en/) in Asuit. 

3- In 1961 was he first priest sent to the Gulf area in Kuwait, which had the first church in the immigration land. 

4- One known story about him is that once the people in the church were fighting and the next day was a liturgy of Palm Sunday. He refused to pray the liturgy until they reconciled. 

5- In 1963 the Late Saint Pope Kyrillos the VI, met with the people in Qalyubia, in order to nominate for them Fr. Angelos to become a bishop. The people said "we do not have money to pay him" so Pope Kyrillos said "I am sending you a monk , a sandwich by three pences will feed him." He had no car so he would rent a carriage to visit the Christian homes. At the beginning, he had no place to stay, so he lived in a room in St. Mary Church in Banha (Qalyubia). 

6- Once a priest complained about three elderly men who sit together and gossip with a loud voice all the day, so he asked the priest if he could to see them. Metropolitan Maximus greeted them and said to them I have a project, can you help me to do it? They said "yes." He said I want an audio recording for the books of the Bible (at that time, there was no audio recording for the Bible) so they liked the idea and they started to record it, after a year they stopped gossiping. He was "containing" the people as Bishop Maximus who came after him said about him. 

7- He used to open his door at 6 am, and ask the bishop who is serving with him as assistant to read him the Bible, he would finish chapters and book, without stopping. If there were any visitors, he would welcome them, then ask them to read. 

8- The people would see him always mumbling by his lips praying all the day. 

9- He would ask a newly ordained priest , whom he ordained, to come and accept his confession, when the newly ordained priest would refuse by saying I am your son, I can not listen to your confession, he would insist and humbly ask the priest to accept his confession and then ask the priest to pray the absolution and to tell him " May God absolve you." He would not leave a sin inside him even a few minutes by doing that. 

10- In addition to all of these spiritual gifts he was speaking many languages and was very well educated. 

11- In 1992 he started to say "I want to go to my cell above," later he departed and the people understood that he was waiting to go to the heavenly places above. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Christ Ascended to the Heavens?

St. Cyril of Alexandria in his commentary on the gospel of Luke, Chapter 24, says

"Having blessed them, and gone a little in advance, He was carried up to heaven, that He might share the Father's throne even with the flesh that was united to Him. And this new pathway the Word made for us when He appeared in human form: and hereafter in due time He will come again in the glory of His Father with the angels, and will take us up to be with Him.
Let us glorify therefore Him Who being God the Word became man for our sakes: Who suffered willingly in the flesh, and arose from the dead, and abolished corruption: Who was taken up, and hereafter shall come with great glory to judge the living and the dead, and to give to every one according to his deeds: by Whom and with Whom to God the Father be glory and power with the Spirit for ever and ever. Amen."

Source :http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_luke_14_sermons_146_156.htm

What does it mean?

As He is one with the Father, so He did not leave the bosom of the Father, then when we say He is ascended, it is for the reason that He took our humanity with Him after our humanity were exiled from the paradise, so He returned it after abolishing the death by His Death. (The life giving death) the death which leads to life. So He opened for us the way to Eternity, Let us glorify Him  and exalt His Name As He did with us mercy according to His Great Mercy.