Sunday, May 24, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 9)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 9)

Tenth Similitude

The Angel Shepherd of Hermas is the Angel of Repentance.

"1. AFTER I had written out this book, the Angel which had delivered me
to the Shepherd came into the house where I was,
and sat down upon the couch; and the Shepherd stood on the right hand.
Then he called me and spake thus to me.
2. I have delivered thee and thine house, quoth he, 
to this Shepherd that thou mayest be protected by him. 
Yea, sir, quoth I. 
If therefore, quoth he, thou wilt be protected from all vexation and all harshness,
and have success in every good work and word and every virtue of righteousness, 
walk in his commandments which I have given unto thee; 
and thou shalt be able to have the mastery over all wickedness. 
3. For while thou keepest his commandments every lust and delight of this world 
shall be subject unto thee, and success in every good thing shall follow thee. 
Take his gravity and modesty upon thee; and say unto all, 
that he (The Angel Shepherd) is in great honour and dignity with the Lord; 
and that he is set in great authority, and powerful in his office. 
To him alone is the power of repentance committed in all the world. 
Seemeth he not to thee to be powerful? 
Yet ye contemn his gravity and the respect which he hath toward you."  
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 1.1-3)

Hermas has a ministry to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord calling people to repentance.

"3. I for my part, sir, quoth I, proclaim to every man the mighty acts of the Lord;
for I trust that all who have sinned beforetime, if they hear these things,
will repent with a willing mind and recover life.

4. Continue stedfast therefore, quoth he, in this ministry, and accomplish it."   
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 2.3,4)

"1. THEN he said to me, Quit thee manfully in this ministry,
rehearse unto every man the mighty acts of the Lord,
and thou shalt find favour in this ministry.
Whoso walketh in these commandments shall live and be happy in his life;
but whoso disregardeth them shall not live, and he shall be unhappy in his life. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 4.1)

Without the virgins that represent the Holy Spirit and its fruits it´s impossible to keep the commandments.

"...for without these virgins (Holy Spirit) it is impossible that
these commandments should be kept."    
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 3.1)

"...If therefore they find thine house pure they will abide with thee,..."
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 3.2)

"5. When he had thus spoken, he delivered me again to the Shepherd,
and called the virgins and said unto them,
Forasmuch as I perceive that ye gladly dwell in this man's house,
I commit him and his house unto you, to the intent that ye may never at all
depart from his house.
And they willingly heard these words." 
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 3.5)

Do good deeds. Help someone else to be free from affliction.

"... Now I say that every man ought to be delivered from distresses.
For he who hath need and suffereth distresses in his daily life is
in great anguish and necessity.

3. Whoso therefore rescueth the soul of such an one from straitness getteth
great joy to himself
; for he who is afflicted with this manner of distress
is racked and tormenteth himself with the like torment as one who is in bonds.
Many indeed because of such miseries, which they are not able to bear,
bring death upon themselves.
He who knoweth therefore the calamity of such an one and delivereth him not
committeth a great sin and is guilty of his blood.

4. Do good works therefore, ye who have received from the Lord,
lest while ye delay to do them the building of the tower be finished;
for for your sakes the work of the building of it hath been delayed.
Except then ye make haste to do aright, the tower shall be finished and
ye shall be shut out."
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Sim 4.2-4)

End of The Book of Hermas.

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 8)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 8)

The presumptuousness of some believers.

"1. The believers from the fifth mountain, which had green herbs and was rough,
are of this kind; they are faithful but slow to learn, presumptuous
and pleasers of their own selves; would be knowers of all things
when they know nothing at all.

2. Because of this their presumptuousness prudence hath forsaken them,
and senseless folly hath entered into them.
They commend themselves as having wisdom, and choose to be professing teachers
when they are without understanding.

3. Because of this highmindedness many were made vain who exalted themselves;
for a great demon is selfconceit and vain confidence.
Many of these therefore were cast away; but some repented and believed
and submitted themselves to those who had understanding, having come to know
their own folly.
4. And to the residue also of this sort repentance is offered;
for they were not wicked, but rather foolish and without understanding.
These if they repent shall live unto God; ..."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 22.1-4)

Repent and quit slandering.

"...And the rest shall repent when they hear my commandments,
for their evil speakings are of small account and they will quickly repent.
3. But they with the great clefts aie men who persevere in their slanders,
and grow resentful in their ragings against one another.
These were flung away from the tower and disallowed for the building thereof.
Hardly therefore shall such like live."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 23.1-3)

 "4. If God and our Lord, who hath the mastery of all things and beareth rule
over all His creation, remembereth not evil against those who confess their sins,
but is forgiving; shall man who is perishable and full of sins remember evil
against a man as though he could destroy or save him?
5. I, the Angel of Repentance, say unto you, as many as are of this persuasion,
put it away and repent, and the Lord shall heal your former sins
if ye purge yourselves from this devil;
else ye shall be delivered unto him for death. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 23.4,5)

The perfect believers of God (from the seventh mountain)

"1. The believers from the seventh mountain, on which were green pleasant herbs,
and the whole mount was well liking, and every kind of cattle and the fowls
of heaven were feeding upon the herbs of that mountain,
and the herbs they fed upon grew the more thriving, are such as these.
2. They were always simple and guileless and happy,
having nothing against one another but always rejoicing over the servants of God;

they were endued with the Holy Spirit of these virgins,
and continually had compassion upon every man, and out of their labours
they furnished every man without upbraiding or doubting.
3. The Lord therefore, seeing their singleness and perfect childliness,
gave them increase in the labours of their hands and favoured them
in all their doing.

4. I, the Angel of Repentance, say unto you who are such like,
Remain such, and your seed shall never be blotted out.
For the Lord hath proved you and written you in our number,
and all your seed shall dwell with the Son of God;
for ye have received of His Spirit." (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 24. 1-5)

Apostles and teachers, the believers from the eighth mountain.

"1. The believers from the eighth mountain, where were the many springs,
and the whole creation of the Lord was watered from the springs, are such as these.
2. Apostles and teachers who preached to the whole world,
and taught the word of the Lord reverently and purely, and kept not back anything
for evil desire, but always walked in righteousness and truth,
even as they had received the Holy Ghost.
The passing of such as these is with the angels." (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 25. 1-2)

The believers from the ninth mountain

"1. The believers from the ninth mountain, which was desert
and had in it the creeping things and beasts hurtful to men, are of this kind. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.1)

The spoted ones:

"2. They with the spots are deacons who ministered amiss,
and plundered the living of widows and orphans,
and gat gain for themselves from the ministry which they had received to administer.
If therefore they continue in the same covetousness,
they are dead and have no hope of life; but if they convert and discharge
their ministry incorruptly, they shall be able to live. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.2)

The scabbed ones:

"3. The scabbed ones are those who denied and turned not again unto their Lord;
but being grown barren and desert, not cleaving to the servants of God
but keeping alone, they destroy their own souls.

4. For as a vine left alone within a fence and treated with neglect is spoiled
and wasted by the weeds, and in time groweth wild and is no longer meet
for its master's use; so such men despair of themselves, and having grown wild
become unprofitable to their Lord.
5. For these however there is repentance, unless they be found to have denied
from the heart; but if one be found to have denied from his heart I know not
if he can live.
6. This I say not for these days, that a man after denying should be allowed
repentance, for it is impossible that one who is now going to deny his Lord
should be saved; but for those who denied long ago there seemeth yet
to be opportunity of repentance.
If then any one is about to repent, let him be quick
before the tower is finished off;
else he shall be wasted by the women unto death. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.3-6)

The stunted ones:

"7. The stunted ones, these are wily men and slanderers;
and the beasts which thou sawest on the mountain are these also.
For as the beasts poison and destroy a man by their venom,
even so do the words of such persons corrupt and destroy a man.
8. These therefore are maimed in their faith by reason of the customs
which they practise; but some repented and were saved.
And the rest who are such may be saved if they repent; but if they repent not,
they shall die by the hand of those women, of whose power they are possessed."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.7,8)

11th Mountain - Sufferers for the sake of the name of the Son of God

1. The believers from the eleventh mountain, whereon were very fruitful trees
decked with different kinds of fruits, are such as these. 
2. Sufferers for the sake of the name of the Son of God,
who suffered readily with their whole heart and gave up their lives. ...
4. As many, quoth he, as were brought before authorities and questioned
and denied not, but suffered with a ready mind, these are in greater honour
with the Lord; and theirs is the fruit which excelleth.
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 28.1-4)

...Ye who suffer for the sake of the name ought to glorify God,
for that He hath counted you worthy to bear this name,
and to have all your sins healed.
6. Therefore count yourselves happy; yea, and think that one of you
hath done some great thing if he suffer for God's sake.
The Lord graciously giveth you life though ye perceive it not;
for your sins were heavy upon you, and except ye had suffered for the name
of the Lord ye would have died unto God because of your sins.  
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 28.5,6)

12th Mountain - as infant babes in whose heart no thought of evil ariseth.

"1. The believers from the twelfth, which was the white mountain, are of this kind;
they are as infant babes in whose heart no thought of evil ariseth.
They know not what wickedness is, but always continued in their infancy.
2. Such therefore dwell without doubt in the kingdom of God;
because in no manner of thing did they violate the commandments of God,
but they continued as it were infants all the days of their life, in the same mind."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 29.1,2)

"...The stones taken from the plain, which were put into the building of the tower
instead of the rejected ones, are the roots of this white mountain.
2. Seeing then that the believers from this mountain were all found void of offence,
the lord of the tower ordered these stones from the roots of this mountain
to be cast into the building of the tower; for he knew that, if these went
into the building of the tower, they would remain bright,
and none of them would turn black. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 30.1,2)

"3. I, the Angel of Repentance, judge you all happy, as many as are blameless
as infants, for that your estate is good and honourable with God. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 31.3)  

Amend you therefore while the tower is yet being built.

"1. Amend you therefore while the tower is yet being built.
2. The Lord dwelleth in men who love peace, for peace is dear unto Him;
but He is far off from the contentious and malicious.
Give your spirit back to Him therefore whole as ye received it." 
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 32.1,2)

"...what thinkest thou the Lord will do to thee,
when He gave thee a perfect spirit and thou hast made it quite useless,
so that it can be made no use of by its owner?
For the use thereof began to be of no account when it had been damaged by thee.
Will not then the Lord of that spirit destroy thee because of this thy deed?
5. Assuredly, said I, He will so do to all whom He shall have found continuing
mindful of offences. Choose not, quoth he, to trample His mercy under foot;
but rather glorify Him because He is so patient toward your misdeeds,
and is not as ye are.
Repent therefore, as is expedient for you."  
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 32.4,5)

Repent with your whole heart and have your sins blotted out.

"1. ALL the things before written I, the Shepherd, the Angel of Repentance,
have declared and spoken with the servants of God.
If then ye believe and attend to my words and walk in them and amend your ways,
ye shall be able to live.
But if ye continue in malice and resentfulness, none such shall live unto God."   
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 33.1) 

"...These are they who have now heard my commandments and repented with their
whole hearts. And when the Lord saw that their repentance was good and pure,
and that they were able to continue in it, He commanded their former sins
to be blotted out. For these prints were their sins; and they were made even,
that they might not appear."  (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 33.3)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 7)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 7)

The Ninth Similitude

The Ninth similitude is about a tower that is been bult by virgings that are over a big anciente rock.
Some men bring the stones passing through a new stone gate and delivering the stones to the virgins. The virgins set the stones in place in the tower.

The rock and the gate are the Son of God

"1. FIRST of all, sir, quoth I, declare this unto me;
what are the rock and the gate? This rock, quoth he, and likewise the gate,
is the Son of God. How then, sir, quoth I, is the rock ancient, but the gate new?
Hearken, quoth he, foolish man, and understand. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 12.1)

The Son of God is ancient, but recently manifested.

"2. The Son of God is elder than all His creation,
so that He became His Father's counsellor concerning His creation;
therefore He is ancient But the gate, sir, quoth I, why is that new?
3. Because, quoth he, He was manifested in the last days of the consummation.
For this cause the gate was new, that such as should be saved might
enter through it into the kingdom of God. " (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 12.2,3)

There is only one gate (way) to salvation, and it is through the Son of God

"4. Sawest thou, quoth he, that the stones which came in through the gate
went into the building of the tower, whereas those which came not in through it
were cast forth again into their own place?
I saw, sir, quoth I. Even so, quoth he, none shall enter into the kingdom of God
except He receive the name of His Son.
5. For if thou desire to enter into a city, and that city be walled about
and have but one gate, canst thou enter into that city except by the gate
which it hath?
Nay, sir, for how else were it possible?
If then thou canst not enter into that city except by the gate thereof, so,
quoth he, a man can enter none otherwise into the kingdom of God than through
the name of His Son who is beloved by Him. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 12.4,5)              

"6. Sawest thou, quoth he, the multitude building the tower?
I saw them, sir, quoth I.
They all, quoth he, are glorious angels, and by them the Lord is walled about.
The gate is the Son of God; He is the one entry unto the Lord.
None otherwise shall any one enter unto Him than through His Son."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 12.6)

The tidings of affliction.

One thing I particularly struggle in my life at the moment is to keep the faith and good mood during afflictions and also to not get overwhelmed for the tiding of affliction. A few year ago I decided to stop watching the news on TV or reading the news of the newspapers. This is helping me on this issue, but still is very difficult when I meet people and they complain about the government or the weather. I try to quickly change the topic of the conversation and to avoid fomenting the complains. Sometimes I fail and catch myself complaining too.
Another case that I struggle is when I notice that I´m making less money than I spend in my domestic life. It´s tougth to keep a good mood and to not feel some hurt in the faith. I hope I can pass this probation and be not afflicted by the tidings of affliction that cames in my life.

"3. Even as their plants when they saw the sun withered, so also the doubleminded,
when they hear tidings of affliction
, by reason of their fearfulness turn idolaters
and are ashamed of the name of their Lord.
4. Such men neither live nor are dead. Yet these too if they repent quickly may live;
but if they repent not, they are already given over to the women (figurative evel angel)
who rob them of their life."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 17.3,4)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 6)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 6)

The Eighth Similitude

The eighth similitude is a long text that explains how the angel of the Lord
gave rods cutt off from a huge tree to each person and how this angel
claimed back the rods and evaluated them.
The rods that were green were the saved people. The rods that dried up represented the lost.
The rods had a watering and in this second chance many of the rods that
were not compleatly green got green and some gave fruits. This represented saved people.
In this similiude the kind of people that were most considered were represented as green rods that gave fruits.
I think the watering represents tribulation to generate repention.

The law of God, the Son of God, and Michael.

"2. Hearken, quoth he; this great tree, which overspreadeth plains and mountains
and the whole earth, is the law of God which was given to all the world;
and this law is the Son of God who hath been preached unto the ends of the earth.
The peoples under the shadow of it are they who when they heard the preaching
believed on Him.
3. And the great and glorious Angel is Michael,
who hath the authority over this people and governeth them;
for it is he who putteth the law into the hearts of them that believe.
He therefore visiteth those to whom he hath given it,
to see if so be they have kept it.
4. Thou seest the rods of all of them; for the rods are the law.
Thou seest many of the rods made useless,
and thou shalt know all them that kept not the law;
thou shalt see the abode of every one."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.2-4)

The three most rewarded types of men.

All such as wrestled with the devil and vanquished him are crowned.

1st - They that have suffered (death) for the law.

"6. Who then, sir, quoth I, are they that are crowned and enter the tower?
Quoth he, All such as wrestled with the devil and vanquished him are crowned.
These are they that have suffered (death) for the law. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.6)

2nd - They that have been afflicted for the sake of the law, but didn't suffered death for it.

"7. And those others who likewise gave up their rods green and having shoots,
but without fruit, are they that have been afflicted for the sake of the law,
but neither suffered death nor denied their law.
" (Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.7)

3rd - They received them are holy and just men, who walked earnestly with a pure heart, and have kept the commandments of the Lord.

"8. And they who gave them up green as they received them are holy and just men,
who walked earnestly with a pure heart, and have kept the commandments of the Lord.
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.8)

Repentance leads to life.

After the water that watered the rods and the wait fore some days, the Shepherd and Hermas go see the rods. Some lived, others not.

"6. Thou seest that many of them have indeed repented from when thou spakest
my commandments unto them; and yet more shall repent.
Such as would not repent lost their life; but whoso of them repented
became good and had their dwelling within the first walls,
and some even went up into the tower.
Thou seest then, quoth he, that repentance from sins hath with it life,
but impenitence death."  (Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 6.6)

Keep it simple. Worry not about precedence and honour. 

"6. Life belongeth to all who keep the commandments of the Lord;
and in the commandments there is nothing about precedence or any honour,
but about patience and lowliness of mind in a man.

In such like therefore is the life of the Lord,
but in them that are contentious and lawless death."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 7.6)


In chapter 10 Hermas says:

"... I am persuaded that every one, when he considereth his own deeds
and feareth God, will repent.
3. He answered and said unto me, All such as repent with their whole heart,
and cleanse themselves from all the wickednesses before said,
and never again add aught to their sins, shall receive from the Lord healing
of their former sins if they doubt not about these commandments;
and they shall live unto God.

But such, quoth he, as add to their sins and have their conversation
in the lusts of this world, condemn themselves unto death."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 10.2,3)

Monday, May 4, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 5)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 5)

The Seventh Similitude

The affliction comes to provoke repenting:

"...thou shouldest be afflicted for a while, that they also may repent
and cleanse themselves from every lust of this world.
When therefore they repent and are cleansed,
then the avenging angel shall depart."
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.2)

The head of the house bears a bigger responsability and may suffer because of his family:

"The Glorious Angel is angered, yet what have I done?
They, quoth he, cannot else be afflicted except thou,
the head of all the house, be afflicted; for when thou art afflicted
of necessity they too shall be afflicted, but so long as thou prosperest
they can suffer no affliction.
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.3)

The delay time between repention and healing.

"Thinkest thou then that the sins of those who repent are straightway remitted?
By no means; but he who repenteth must vex his own soul,
and humble himself mightily in all that he doeth, and be afflicted with all the
different afflictions; and if he endure the afflictions that come upon him,
He who created and strengthened all things will surely have mercy and
grant an healing.
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.4) 

The afflictions of the righteous are shown before:

"And herein thank thou the Lord, for that He hath accounted thee worthy
to have thine affliction shewed thee before, so that foreknowing it thou mayest
bear it stedfastly." (Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.4)

The Lord is with us during the affliction period too.

"6. I said to him, Sir, be thou with me,
and I shall be well able to bear all adversity.
I, quoth he, will be with thee; and I will also entreat the avenging angel
to afflict thee more lightly.
Yet a little while thou shalt be afflicted, and again thou shalt be restored
to thy house; only continue to be of lowly mind and serve the Lord
with a pure heart, thou and thy children and thy house,
and walk in my commandments which I command thee,
and thy repentance shall be able to be effectual and pure. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.6)

If we keep these commandments the afflictions shall depart.

"7. If thou keep them, with thy house, all affliction shall depart from thee;
and affliction, quoth he, shall depart from all such as walk in these
my commandments. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.7)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 4)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 4)

The angel of luxury and deceit

"1. And the Shepherd said to me, Seest thou this pastor? 
I see him, sir, quoth I.  This, quoth he, is the angel of luxury and deceit       
He weareth out the souls of God's servants and subverteth them from the truth,
cheating them with evil lusts whereby they perish.
2. For they forget the commandments of the living God,
and walk in vain deceits and delights, and are destroyed by this angel,
some unto death and some unto decay." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 2.1,2)

"In them there is no repentance unto life, for they added to their sins
and blasphemed against the name of God.
To such men belongeth death." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 2.3)

The angel of retribution

"1. Seeing them then so scourged and in misery I was grieved over them,
because they were thus tormented and had no respite at all.
2. And I said to the Shepherd who was speaking with me, Sir,
who is this shepherd that is so unmerciful and cruel and quite without pity
upon these sheep? This, quoth he, is the angel of retribution;
and he is one of the righteous angels, and is set over punishment.
3. He rcceiveth therefore such as have strayed away from God and walked
in the lusts and deceits of this world, and punisheth them with dreadful
and divers punishments according to their deserving." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 3.2,3)

 "... the divers punishments and torments are torments during lifetime.
For some are punished with losses, some with wants, some with sundry infirmities,
some with all unsettlement; and some by being insulted by the unworthy,
and by suffering many other mishaps." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 3.4)

The suffering, repentance, righteousness, happiness.

"6. When therefore they have been afflicted with all manner of affliction,
they are delivered to me for good instruction and made strong
in the faith of the Lord, and the rest of the days of their life
they serve the Lord with a pure heart;
and if they repent, the evil things that they have done come into their mind,
and then they glorify God, saying that He is a just judge and that they
have suffered justly, each according to his doings.
And thenceforth they serve the Lord with a pure heart and are prospered
in all their doings, receiving from the Lord all things that they ask;
and then they glorify the Lord for that they were delivered to me,
and they never again suffer any ill." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 3.6)

The time of torment. One year per day.

"As many days therefore as one liveth in pleasure,
so many years he is tormented." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 4.4)

OBS: In accordance with Num. xiv. 34, Ezek. iv. 6 each day for a year, and
John xi. 9 Are there not twelve hours in the day?
although "day" there means daytime, he makes " the day of torment " equal
twelve months. Compare in Aboth iv. (Jewish Fathers, p. 74),
" Better is one hour of repentance and good works in this world than all the life
of the world to come  better is one hour of refreshment of spirit in the world
to come than all the life of this world." (Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. Taylor vol II, page 42)

The pleasures that hurt men.

"5. What manner of pleasures, sir, quoth I, are hurtful?
Every act, quoth he, which he doeth gladly is a pleasure to a man,
The passionate man in satisfying his own temper delighteth himself;
and the adulterer and the drunkard and the slanderer and the liar
and the covetous and the defrauder and they who
(do the like to these things indulge their proper disease, each taking pleasure
in what he doeth.
6. All these pleasures are hurtful to the servants of God,
and because of these deceits do they suffer who are punished and tormented. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 6th Sim. 5.5,6)

Friday, May 1, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 3)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 3)

Fifth Similitude

Do no wickdness and serve with pure heart is better than fasting.

Fasting is good, but doesn´t help if the person don´t keep the commandments of the Lord.
If keeping the commandments he adds the fasting, so great, but otherwise the fast is not going to fix the lack of obedience.

Hermas was fasting and sit in a mountain, but his fasting was said to be unprofitable by the angel.
Hermas explained he fasted as acustomed and that he was "keeping a station", but the angel said he would tell he what kind of fast pleases the Lord.

"4. God desireth not such vain fasting; for by fasting thus unto God thou shalt
do nothing for righteousness. But fast thou such a fast as this unto God.
5. Do no wickedness in thy life, and serve the Lord with a pure heart.
Keep His precepts and walk in His ordinances, and let no evil lust arise
in thy heart; but believe in God.

If thou do these things and fear Him, and contain thyself from every evil deed,
thou shalt live unto God; and these things if thou do,
thou shalt accomplish a great fast and one acceptable to God." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th Sim. 1.4,5)

"5. This fasting, quoth he, when the commandments of the Lord are observed,
is exceeding good.
Thus then shalt thou keep this fast which thou art about
to observe.
6. First of all keep thyself from every evil word and every evil desire,
and cleanse thy heart from all the vanities of this world.
If thou keep these things, this shall be a perfect fast for thee." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th Sim. 3.5,6)

"8. If thou thus accomplish the fast as I have enjoined thee,
thy sacrifice shall be accepted of God, and this fast shall be registered;
for the service so performed is good and agreeable and acceptable unto the Lord." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th Sim. 3.8)

Keep your body also clean and pure.

"Attend now, quoth he; keep this thy flesh pure and undefiled,
that the Spirit which dwelleth in it may bear witness to it,
and thy flesh maybe justified.
2. Beware lest the thought arise in thy heart that this thy flesh is to perish,
and thou abuse it with any pollution.
If thou pollute thy flesh thou shalt pollute the Holy Spirit also;
the which if thou pollute thou shalt not live." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th Sim. 7.1,2)

"16 yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed on Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law: because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Gal. 2:16)