The will of God
“Now crisis, (judgment) is upon this world;” (John 12, 31)
The crisis of the whole world is this.
The crisis of each and every one of us, is this.
Whether we like it or not,
whether we believe in God or not,
whether we are in His Church
or in a false, heretical dogma,
a deceiving denomination,
whether we are Popes, Patriarchs,
Archbishops, Bishops, Priests,
Monks, Married or lay, dedicated or missionaries,
we are all subject to this divine, pre-eternal
and eternally ongoing valid law:
“Do God’s will or do your own will.”
This is the Divine Sword that Christ came to use.
This is the discriminating Fire that Christ already lit.
God or “mammon”, our will or His, either one or the other!
And the exact judgement that we will definitely face,
will be exclusively, collectively and entirely
based on this and only this :
“Did we do God’s will or did we do our own will?”
Our own will covers everything ungodly,
everything sinful, illegal and independent.
God’s will includes everything blessed,
everything He asked us to do in His love
everything that is pleasing to Him
everything that is beneficial for our eternal soul
and contributing to our salvation.
No special theology is needed, to understand this preliminary and primary belief and dogma of doing God’s will. Even the “simple” Lord’s Prayer, instructed to us by Christ Himself, begins with the very core principal request: ‘Yennithito to thelima su’, Your will be done! The very first thing that Christ urges us to ask for, is not health, not wealth, not progress, not prosperity, but to ask God so that He can help us to do His will.
“To do God’s will” is the centre of salvation, it is the holy of holies. To do God’s will is the most sacred aim of every faithful and every soul who claims to believe in God and love God. “If you love Me, do my will!” (John 14, 15). To do God’s will is the ultimate of all gifts, the spiritual peak of all blessings. To do God’s will is the actual, literal “kingdom of heaven!” Christ urges us to “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and then everything else will be added” This righteousness is an interpretation of God’s kingdom, that is why Saint David the Psalmist exclaims: “Blessed be You, oh Lord, teach me Your judgments (Your Will).” (Ps. 118, 12) Christ means and implies that:
· we should first be genuinely interested in being very well taught and deeply educated in what exactly is God’s will,
· we should readily be wanting from the heart to do God’s will
· if we don’t want this eagerly, then we can somehow force ourselves to do so, and
· then we will experience the kingdom of heaven.
All Saints who experienced this kingdom and were elevated to great heights of holiness, primarily achieved this, because they enforced God’s will. They also forced themselves and grasped this grace by “force” - “The kingdom of heaven experiences violence, and men of violence take it by force.” (Math. 11, 12) If we find ourselves not being interested or not wanting to do God’s will, then we should “force” ourselves, just like we force an infant to take its necessary medication when it refuses. This blessed “violence” is only done against our own will, against our ego and our evil self, but never against others. We can never and should never force others, but “whoever wishes in free will” may follow God’s will. (Mark 8, 34) Whoever decides to follow his own will does not glorify God but glorifies himself and the devil.
The whole of the Satanic law is this: “Do what you want” - "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" (The Book of the Law, by Aleister Crowley). Crowley was mostly known as “the Great Beast”, due to the fact that the was a self-declared Satanist, despite any failed attempts to deny this and pseudo claims that “he only borrowed various terms and notions from various religious sources because he liked to be defiant, sarcastic or witty, only for the purpose of shocking and disturbing people”, though this excuse in itself is a disturbing statement indeed. Even the very own biographer and literary executor of Aleister Crowley, John Symonds, reveals to us and writes: "Crowley's philosophy takes a bit from here and a bit from there... but... he was more a Satanist than anything else. 'I serve my great Master Satan', he wrote in one of his franker confessions, 'and that august Council composed of Beelzebub, Lucifuge, Asmodeus, Belphegor, Baal, Adrammelech, Lilith and Nahema.'" (John Symonds, The Great Beast).
Aleister Crowley is the author of “The Book of the Law”. He is also the founder of the Global Religion “Thelema” which is in fact a transliteration of the common Greek noun “thelima”, "will", “desire” = thelisi, pothos, and also from the verb “thelo”, to will, to have desire, purpose. Aleister Crowley developed this satanic religion under demonic inspiration and evil mixture of included notions from Eastern and Western Mysticism (a diplomatic disguise word for “demonism”) ideas from Yoga, Occultism and especially from the Hebrew Qabalah… (another promoted fashion by celebrities).
All followers of Crowley and his “Thelema” religion, are called “thelemites” and are fanatically, passionately instructed to “seek out and follow their own will, their own desires, even (in extent) the will of God's opponent, the devil” by restoring “devil worship” through “Magick” (Magic with a “k”), a term that Aleister Crowley formulated as being different to the magic of the occult and defined it as “"the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", including both "mundane" acts of will as ritual magic…” (Book of the Law). Crowley regarded this “Magick” as “the essential method for a person to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one’s true will” (truly demonic will) which he also considered as the reconciliation "between freewill and destiny”, which in God’s eyes, is the enmity of God and the reconciliation between paranormal activity and demonic phenomena dominating the lives of those who embrace such mystic philosophy.
We must be extremely cautious on what role models we expose our children. Their “fruits” of the lives of these celebrities have a lot to reveal to us. A simple search on Wikipedia shows “Aleister Crowley was also bisexual, a recreational drug experimenter and a social critic. In many of these roles he ‘was in revolt against the moral and religious values of his time’, espousing a form of ‘libertinism’ based upon the rule of "Do What Thou Wilt". Because of this, he gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, and was denounced in the popular press of the day as "the wickedest man in the world!"
Another satanic law being outlined is that “there is no God but man”, therefore, man replaces God and places himself in his position and role of God, in every aspect of life. This is the spirit of the Antichrist. Anyone who does not believe in God, automatically constitutes himself as god and deifies his own human personal will as “divine” will. Anyone who does not believe in God and stubbornly follows his own will, in fact, subconsciously declares the existence of God and verifies the narration of the fall of the “protoplasts”, the first created ones, Adam and Eve. There, Satan, embodies the snake, and this is what “Avatar” means, “an evil embodiment”, an unlawful “inter-course with humans and extra terrestrial (demonic) beings”, an “incompatible interlink”, and “cloning” into a “new creation”, a “new being”, or to be “Born Again” in a redeeming way.
All of the above terms, some of them biblical too, reveal the evilness of our antichristian age. There is so much profound Satanism in all aspects of our life, in Cinema, on daytime television, even within children’s stories, comics or toys, that it is just not funny at all. What is even more weird is that people are not reacting at all to this profound, preoccupying, predominant evilness. They are getting accustomed to it.
And this is the greatest trick and deception of the devil, to make you believe that he “does not exist” and that all this occultist imagery and staggering, petrifying witchcraft (such as “Harry Potter”, Halloween and the subtle, suspicious Avatar which are all full of evil representation, satanic depictions & subliminal messages) is supposedly just symbolism at its best.
The aim of the devil is make people, even the elderly, even young kids, through cinema movies, television, video clips and video games, to make them get used to these images, to get them acquainted with these evil notions and ideas and gradually become familiarised to any demonic representations and ghostly activity, so when it all actually happens, when Satan arrives and his super “god-man” Antichrist appears in person, in real, they will not be afraid, shocked or surprised. They will follow him because they will be subjected to his comforts, conformed to his convenient enterprises and slaves to the rhythm of their own will in tune to the will of Satan.
One of the most astonishing, most powerful and ever awakening questions that I ever received by a young child whilst I was teaching in Class and narrating the fall of Adam and Eve, was: - “Sir, wasn’t Eve surprised at all that the snake actually spoke?”...
Wow!!! What a simple but unusual observation! What a remarkable theological truth! It sounds so logical, yet it is so revealing. Eve was not surprised because she was used to it, she was familiarised with the fact that the snake, and all other animals spoke and had a very individual way of communication with Adam and Eve, as friends to friends. This communication stopped after the fall, after the sever distortion of nature, due to the severe breaking of that relationship, due to the satanic law of ignoring the will of God and following the will of our own sinful self.
A final chapter in this indispensable yet inexhaustible topic is, that once we establish that we need to do God’s will, we then need to establish:
what exactly is God’s will
- how is it expressed, how is it channelled to us humans, and
- how are re-assured that we are doing God’s will?
We really don’t need to perplex, jeopardize and deceive ourselves with any special mystical insights, philosophical or metaphysical paths, para-psychological practices which can never direct us to the will of God but to the will of Satan. It is such a simple process to learn the will of God that I will present it in point form, for testimony and peace of mind:
Wanting to do God’s will, presupposes a preliminary faith in God. We firstly need to establish the existence of God, by readily wanting to believe in Him in advance and sternly examining our heart to see if we are actually prepared to proceed in such enormous leap. All stumbling blocks and vast hindrances must ruthlessly be identified, severely battled and effectively removed. If we are utterly bound by logic and ego, if we are biased and proud, sarcastic or negatively disposed to the issue of God’s existence, then we will never succeed and there is no point in being curious or testing the field.
We must begin through Him and intensely honestly pray to Him, asking God to “help and boost our unfaithfulness”.
We also approach holy men of God, saintly elders, ascetics or god-fearing priests who are renowned for their spirituality and ask them to pray for us and to fervently beseech God for a sign or a way in order for us to get closer to Him, even (most preferably) through a sacred revelation or a miraculous transformation (of course without ever expecting it or demanding it, this would be the worse...) We should never have the trivial, arrogant, cunning and conceited expectation of “God proving Himself to us if He exists”. He doesn’t need to do this, we cannot contest or provoke God, He will not be a “servant”of our impudent demands or contemptible commands. At the end of the day, it is not at all honourable and dignifying of us to have such supercilious and superficial thoughts, to have such reproachful poor mentality and place irrational preconditions. Faith starts from the heart, and comes from the heart. Faith is regenerated in a clean and humble heart that is free from prejudice, unfairness, ungodliness and idolatry.
We then establish the reality of the God-Man Jesus Christ as a true historical figure. We perform a personal study of good faith, examining closely and deeply all external and internal testimonies, especially His Holy Scripture, and most preferably, the whole New Testament, with a spirit of humbleness and sinfulness. But we must be especially alert of the critical necessity of a guide, a mentor for the proper translation of Christ’s Teachings and His will contained within the Bible. That guide, is the Holy Church of God. Not any “Church” or any Christian Community that call themselves “Church”, but His One and Only True Living Church, His Holy Body of believers that are united in the One Truth, in the One Chalice and enjoy a common Sacramental Communion. The Great conquering truth is that, the basis of truth is not Holy Scripture in general, not any global modern translations and individual versions, not even the original Ancient Greek Text itself, but the nucleus basis of Truth is the Church Herself. The Apostles, the Church are the ones who produced the Bible and not the other way round.
We therefore proceed to establish the fact that He created, He built His Church on the foundations of the Apostles, on the foundations of Truth. We search and examine to see which out of all these literally thousands of existing adversary “Churches” of today, have faithfully kept intact, unadulterated, incorrupt the teachings of Christ and of the Apostles. We look to see which preserves His Truth and which one maintains “Apostolic Succession”, that is, the authority of canonical priesthood traced back to the very Apostles, the validity of Sacraments and common global recognition through a Patriarchate Structure. Thus we attain a sound knowledge of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ, we closely observe all beliefs, all their items of faith, the actual content and nature of faith, and identify an official compilation, Symbol of Faith, their Creed, their dogma.
We must then examine We also must learn the actual, specific, principal “Name” of the Church that helps it differentiate from other false, erroneous and deceiving groups: ORTHODOX, which means proper worship, true Faith, which has the wholeness of truth (not sporadically) and is intended for the whole world.
If we are not members of that Orthodox Church, we become so by receiving a full canonical Baptism (not just Chrismation) regardless of what denomination we were in previously. If we are already members, then we are inactive and need to become more active in the faith and the life of the Church, to gradually get to know more about God so we can then learn what He wants. We will also carry out a further, extensive study on the Sacred writings of the Great Holy Fathers of the Church along with the close, in depth, imitating study of the Lives of Saints fundamental testimony and guidance of all recent Holy Elders & Newly Canonised Saints.
It is highly imperative, of extreme critical importance that we find and submit to the mandatory discerning guidance of an experienced, canonical and wise Spiritual Father/Confessor. He will mainly assist us in knowing and doing God’s will. His role is exclusive but not autonomous or independent from us. Our elementary contribution is required which forms an indisputable precondition: A long term fast, fervent prayer and special spiritual exercise = “askisis”, and “kanonas” (atonement) needs to take place that will prepare the mind and constitute our heart to receive and perceive the will of God. We must at first note and always keep in mind, that it is not an easy task to “enter the mind of God” and “determine His will”. There are great ascetics, hermits, stylites, who went to gigantic and super-human lengths of askisis, not forty-day fast, or 40 consecutive Liturgies, but forty whole years on a pole, in a cave, in a desert, to find out the will of God, and even after that (!) were still not over-confident...
We are not trying to scare or perplex anyone. This is only mentioned so that no one falls in evil pride of claiming to be able to easily know, effortlessly determine or effect God’s will. The oceanic depth of the will of God first requires simple steps of floating, paddling, swimming then diving in head first or scuba-diving...
As an epilogue, I will try to simplify the Orthodox Dogmatic Theology concerning God’s will, by analysing this Divine dual, twofold will.
There are two different types of God’s Wills:
A) The “kat’ evdokian” will of God, implemented as “Akriveian”, and
B) the “kata parahorisin” will of God, carried out as “Economy”.
The preposition “Kata” means “according to”.
A) The term “Evdokian” means deep, revered pleasure, divine contentment, sacred satisfaction, and is usually implemented and referred to as “Akriveia” = accuracy, but not austerity with the extreme harshness, biased meaning of the word. “Akriveia” means correctness, exactness, precision in wanting to do the right thing, the right way. “Akriveia” means truth, truth means Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy means Christ Himself.
B) The term “parahorisin” means divine concession, condescending grant, tolerating compromise. In other words it simply means, Gods does not really want something, but allows it to happen, for educational and salvational reasons that we cannot ever see or perceive.“Economy” or “Oikonomia” is dispensation, exemption, leniency. It discloses a sense of compromise and should be executed under rare reasons and critical cases. “Economy” is divine philanthropy, a special allowance of forgiveness, a holy grant of compassion and sympathy. “Economy” should never be carried out at the expense of “Akriveia” = accuracy, or at the tragic sacrifice of dogma, nor should it ever be cunningly practiced as the norm, the usual, or become the standard way of doing things.
In our day and age, modern or worldly Christians will appeal and abuse the condescending, compromising will of God and take pleasure and comfort in the suspicious umbrella of always resorting and referring to the Second Will of God, the “kata parahorisin”, while always appealing to “economy”. Even Ecclesiastical Leaders of today, often cannot understand and undermine the Akriveian, accuracy of the Holy Fathers, and claim to now be better than them, appear more forgiving than them, and promote themselves as more tolerating than them, towards theological differences... (GOD FORBID!!!) Alimono.
Our perpetual aim, in all our “filotimo” (kind disposition, respectful approach of dignity, a term that Holy Elder & New Saint Paisios really loved using), should always be to desire the implementation of God’s good pleasing will, the “kat’ evdokian” thelema. Some of us though, sometimes in life, we need to go through the path of the condescending, granting will of God, the “kata parahorisin” thelema, and that’s ok, as long as we have honest intentions, “kali diathesi”, as long as our approach and appeal is genuine. God is the one Who examines hearts and test “kidneys” = good will, desires. In Jeremiah 17:10 we see this remarkable classification: “I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of their practices."
One Great New Saint of our times, indisputably equal to St Symeon the New Theologian, is Saint Athanasios Mytilineos the New Theologian. He whole-heartedly followed and accurately expressed God's will from very young, in a very remarkable way:
"When I was very young, and others would tease me at school or question me why I prayed, why I fasted, why I remained a virgin, I humbly yet firmly and confidently affirmed: - 'I am simply doing God's will, I am doing what God wants, I am doing it because Christ asked me to do this for Him, for His favour. I thus found no 'obligation', no upset, no imposition, but an internal sacred compelling which makes us realise that "the yoke of Christ is easy and the burden is truly light." (Math. 11, 30)
May we all refuse to be “thelemites of sinful ourselves” and persistently pursue to be thelemites of our glorious God. If we always want things to be done the right way, we thus want Orthodoxy. And if we want Orthodoxy, we have nothing to fear, because we are safely embracing and following the True Will of God!