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Peter Azzo

Fasting and Great Lent

FASTING AND GREAT LENT The institution of fasting: Fasting is as old as the human race is. From the Old Testament we learn that God instituted fasting in Paradise. It is written: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Gen. 2:15-17) The above mentioned verse makes it clear that fasting existed before the Adam and Eve committed sin by breaking the commandment of God, and fasting was not established as a treatment for their sin. The fasting in Paradise consisted of abstaining of the fruit of the tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God by commanding Adam and Eve not to eat of the particular fruit wanted to teach them the discipline of self-control and spiritual growth. Fasting was practiced both in the Old and New Testament and throughout the history of the Church. What is the similarity between …

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The Suffering, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Suffering, Death, Burial and Resurrection Of Jesus Christ It is recorded in The Scripture that the High-priests, The Scribes, the Pharisees, the learned theologians of that time in history were possessed of a particular hatred for our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus was not accepted by the above mentioned figures for the following reasons: 1. The majority of regular people followed Him and His teachings, accepted His miracles, etc. It is written: “And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.” (Mark 11:18) Again it is written: “They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.” (Matthew 21:46) Again it is written: “Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.” (Luke 19:47-48) 2. He was straight forward with His teachings, and revealed their teachings as false.  It is written: “Again …

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Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The second Qnuma (person) of the most Holy Trinity, God the word, is called the Son of God. This same Son of God, God the Word, became man, and was called Jesus.  It is written in the Holy Bible that He was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary and He was called Jesus.  The Prophets of the Old Testament and the Evangelists of the New Testament, who had expected the coming of Him to save humankind called Him Christ. It is written: “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Again it is written: “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” (St Luke 1:31) Saint Matthew in the book of the generation of Jesus says: “And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah…” (Matthew 1:16) Pilate the Roman Governor calls Jesus the Messiah which means Christ the anointed one. It is written: “So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want …

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Martyrdom

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)              Martyrdom-Introduction Martyrdom in the Old Testament: Cain and Abel: The history of sacrifice and martyrdom began in the Garden of Eden with Cain killing his brother Abel simply because God was pleased with Cain’s sacrifice and rejected his. Joseph, the son of Jacob: was sold into slavery by his brothers because his father showed more compassion and love to him than to the rest of his brothers plus he told them his dream that he was to be exalted above his brothers. Martyrdom of Shmoni and her seven sons: “Early in the morning the faithful Shmoni offered prayer to God saying: God do my Judgement. From the cruel Antiochus: For he is slaughtering my sons like lambs: and he is threatening me as a lion.” (Khudra volume III page 328 Commemoration of Shmoni and her seven sons) Daniel and his two friends were cast into Furness of fire were saved by the Lord. Martyrdom in Christianity and the New Testament: Martyrdom has been an important part of our Christian Church history from the moment of its birth.  It first started with the persecution of our …

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Diocesan Spring Youth Retreat of Illinois

There was complete silence as we walked through the 2 mile hike.  We saw wild turkey, eagles, and beautiful spring scenery in the forest of Kansasville, Wisconsin without a word.  When else would children get an opportunity to be completely cut off from the world and learn how to be silent, still, and listen to the voice of God through nature?  The 2016 Assyrian Church of the East Spring Youth Retreat was a perfect chance for our youth members (ages 14-21) to not only have fun and grow closer as a youth, but also to learn biblical skills through bible studies and activities.  We were blessed during the retreat from April 22nd-24th to have His Grace Mar Paulus Benjamin, and St. Andrew’s Parish Priest, Rev. Cor-Bishop Fr. George Toma join us during the weekend.  The retreat theme was discipleship and the bible verse from Matthew, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  You are never too young to disciple to others and as church leaders we want to ensure that our children know how to preach the Word to their peers and family members.  The weekend was split into three parts.  Friday’s lesson …

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The Lord God

The Lord God Who is the almighty God? What is he like? From reading the divine words of God written in the Sacred Scriptures we can find answers for all the questions we have regarding the almighty God. Of course our intention from asking all these questions about God should not be to understand and comprehend the divine nature God completely. We human beings in our limited mind can never be able to comprehend and grasp all the knowledge about the almighty God. No one has ever perfectly understood God except his only begotten son Jesus Christ. We Christians believe in the presence of God even though we do not have a complete knowledge and understanding of His divine Nature.  If a human being has difficulties understanding his own being, how much more he will have difficulties understanding the divine Nature of God? God through his divine revelation reveals to us the necessary knowledge we need to know about Him. The Holy Bible teaches us that God is a real person. God is not just a man made Idea. God has revealed himself as a person to Moses. He spoke with Moses as a real person who has a name …

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Commentary on the Second Sunday of the Resurrection

The Second Sunday of the Resurrection “New Sunday” John 20:19-29 The second Sunday of the Resurrection is called a new Sunday because our Lord Jesus Christ by His suffering, death and Resurrection renewed the whole world which was corrupted by the breaking of the commandment of God. The fathers of the Church of the East in regard of calling the second Sunday of the Resurrection new Sunday say: “On Sunday the New day. Come let us sing the new glory. Unto the Christ the new groom. For He has promised us the new world.”  (Khoodra Prayer Book, Volume II, Page 601) Jesus after His Resurrection from among the dead did not immediately ascended into heaven. He stayed for 4o days and 4 nights on earth then He ascended into heaven in order to: Strengthen the faith of His disciples about His Resurrection from among the dead on the third day. During the forty days Jesus prepared His disciples for the great commission to go and courageously and without doubt preach the good news of His death and Resurrection from among the dead. It was of utmost important that the Apostles would believe in the death and Resurrection of the lord which is the foundation of the Christian faith. We learn from the …

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An Introduction to the Divine Revelation

The doctrine of the Apostolic Faith came from Divine Revelation. “Divine Revelation” is a doctrine which God Himself has revealed to mankind. God revealed the doctrine of apostolic faith to mankind so that mankind will rightly serve Him and will worthily give to Him due honor and praise. God made His revelation known to all mankind. Because it is necessary to all of humankind, alike; and, it is capable to give salvation to all.  However, since all humankind are not capable to receive a divine revelation immediately from God, He has utilized certain persons, or gifted ones as heralds of this revelation in order to deliver it to all who desire it and wholeheartedly receive it. Owing to sinful impurity of both body and soul all men are not capable of receiving the “Divine Revelation” from God. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek, Moses and other prophets; received the beginnings of the Divine Revelation and they in turn proclaimed the same to humankind; but, it was The Incarnate Son of God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who brought the revelation to earth in its fullness and perfection. The Divine Revelation has been spread throughout the whole world …

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