From The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church Website: (Borrowed Without Permission for Fair Use)
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER THE SON AND THE HOLLY SPIRIT ONE GOD AMEN!
Here are the basic teachings on which you are building your eternal life. No one knows how much time you have spent in the past doing wrong activities, but God he knows whether you were Muslims, Protestant, Buddhist, Pagan or another else. Now, it is a time of Him to bring you to the light. So rejoice for you are engaged to Jesus Christ our savior. You can get everything you need in Him. You can put your entire burden on Him. He can show you the right way to live. Indeed, He win give you a very wonderful good life. Then, you will be given His strength to stop doing sins. God wants you to live a life free from sin. If you come to the church which our savior Jesus Christ purified with his own blood, you will have the good life. Then you are able to call God «Abba´ because you receive the spirit of son ship /Rom 8:15/ that means you have been ‘born again’ and you are a child of God. As you know, sons have the right to ask their fathers whatever they need. So if you come to be his child, God will give you everything you ask. Now let us go to the main topic. In this lesson you will learn more about the Creation, existence of God, and doctrine of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido church. Before that, it is better to define the words orthodox and Tewahido. Orthodox: - According to oxford advanced learner’s dictionary it is an idea of view that generally accepted or approved of; following generally accepted beliefs. Tewahido: - It simply reveals incarnation. These six countries: Ethiopia, Eretria, Egypt, Armenia, Syria and India are called Oriental Churches (Orthodox Tewahido). They practice the same dogma. Since you are Christians and followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church you are invited to follow these lessons. I. CREATION The Holy Scripture begins with “God created heaven and earth ascertaining the existence of God,” (Gen 11). St. Paul also said “the builder of all things is God”. (Heb. 3:4). God brought the world out of nothing into being by his word. He said, “Let it be!” There was nothing before the creation of the world. (Wis. 11:17), 1 Maccab. 27:1). St. Paul explained that God created the world out the nothing when he said “By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear”. (Heb. 11:3). God created all and everything after their own kinds for His glory so that His power shall be glorified and His name be hallowed. Isaiah the prophet quoted the word of God by saying, “… everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for may glory, whom I formed and made’. (Isa. 43:7). The Holy Scripture makes it clear that all the creations were created in six days after their won kinds – Sunday to Friday. Numerically, these creations are divided into twenty two groups. (Gen 1:1 – 31; Jubliee 3:9). The creations of each day are the following. A. The first day – Sunday 1. Fire, Wind, Water and Earth = The four elements 2. Darkness 3. The seven heavens 4. Angels 5. Light (Jubilee 2:5 – 8; Gen. 1:1 – 5 B. The second day – Monday • The waters that covered the earth were divided and the firmament in the midst of the waters appeared. (Gen. 1:6-9, Jubilee 2:9). C. The third day – Tuesday 1. Vegetation that can be plucked with fingers 2. Plants (grasses) that can be cut with sickle 3. Trees that can be cut with axe (Gen. 1:11 -13) D. The fourth day – Wednesday 1. The sun 2. The moon 3. The stars (Gen. 1:14 – 16) E. The fifth day – Thursday In the water:- 1. Those creeping with their breastbone (chest) 2. Creatures moving with their feet 3. The flying birds, animals and beasts (Gen. 1:20 – 22) F. The sixth day – Friday On dry land:- 1. Animals 2. Birds and fowls 3. Beasts of the earth 4. Man with a living soul (Gen. 1:24 – 28) God, after creating all these creations, saw that everything was good. He was satisfied and blessed them to be fruitful and multiply in order for their continuance. (Gen. 1:21; Ps. 104:31) Creation of man After God created all the numerous creatures according to their kind, from Sunday to Friday, He made man in His own image and after His likeness, to be superior and have dominion over all other creatures. Man was made in a more distinct manner. God breathed into his nostril the breath of life, which distinguishes him from all other creatures which live and act on instinct. God created them male and female, and blessed them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it. (Gen. 1:26 – 28). Man who is made in the image of God is rational. And should keep the reason why created by respecting words of God like one man for one woman and be spiritual. G. Seventh day-Saturday God ceased from all works of creation and rested on the seventh day. He blessed and hallowed the seventh day to be observed as a rest and a holy day. (Gen. 2:3) God is the Creator and Giver of Life and sustains through His Providence, protects and guides all that He created. (Ps. 104:27 – 31; 1cor. 3:22, 15:28; Acts 14:17). II. THE EXISTANCE OF GOD The name God signifies the Divine Being, meaning He who created the world and governs it. There is one invisible and inscrutable Almighty God who created all things; He is eternal who has neither beginning nor end, mighty in His work who revealed Himself to mankind as written in the scriptures (Ex. 3: 6) Some of the ways that prove the existence of the eternal God are the following. Creation: - man has sought to understand the Being of God and has discovered ways that lead to the knowledge of the existence of God. Everything has its causes- a painting has a painter, a book has an author, and a chair has a carpenter. For all things that move, there is a moving force behind them. Accordingly, it is believed that all creations were not rough in to existence without a creator. All existing creations ranging from the minute to the great, from the living to the non-living lead to the acknowledgement of the Being of God. Solomon said "Yes, vain are all who are unaware of God, and from things seen, they have not been able to discover Him; [they] have not recognized the Artificer...Let them know their creator seeing the sun and the moon" (Wis. 13:1-10) Job also has expressed the same issue: "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare un to thee .Who know eth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?"(Job.12:7-9) St. David also (psalms 19:1-2) tells us that "The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament shows His handy-work." As St. Paul has stated clearly, God is known to His creations by the things that are made when he said, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made by His eternal power and God head so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:19-20) A person who is looking at a sailing ship in the sea should know that it is being guided by a navigator. In the same manner, it must be realized that there is God who guides the universe, though He is not seen to bodily eyes. St. John Chrysostom, in his Homily, in which he interpreted this epistle of the Apostle said, God brought all and everything out of nothing in to being to manifest His glory through His works. As the spirit of human beings is invisible but is known by the state of motion, God is invisible to bodily eyes, but is manifested and known through His will and works. (John Chrysostom Homily; Rom.1:19) The Law of conscience: - "The gentiles do not have the law, but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the law. Their conduct shows that what the law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them" (rom.2:14-15). Man does good things and refrains from evil due to his spiritual conscience; when he does evil things, he feels guilty conscious. If a person does good or bad, his conscience witnesses that he would be recompensed or condemned. This type of conscience leads to the knowledge of God, who recompenses every one according to his deeds. History: The history of mankind testifies that no people lived in the world without religious belief. Ever since the existence of the human race on earth, all human beings worshipped other god or gods in their own ways. All this shows existence of one true God. If God does not exist, where could man find the sense of worship? (Acts. 14:11-17:17:26-29) It is widely written and explained in the Holy Scriptures about the existence of God and His attributes. These are:- A. Holiness: God is Holy and has no attachment with evils. He Himself has said, "Be holy, because I the Lord your God, am holy" (Lev. 19:2; 1Pet 1:16). He is always glorified by the angels. "Holy! Holy! Holy!" (Isa.6:3) B. Love: God is love. He loves his creatures and gives all what is good to them. 1Jn. 4:8. His Incarnation also signifies his love. (Jn. 3:16, Rom. 5:5) C. Righteousness: God is all truth. He is the judge of all (1Sam.2:2; Tim.4:8). John, in his revelation says, "Then I heard a voice from the altar saying, Lord God the Almighty! True and just indeed are your judgments" (Rev.16:7) D. Wisdom: - When we see and contemplate creation and the natural laws, we understand the perfect wisdom of God. Admiring the wisdom of God, the Prophet David says "O Lord, how manifold are Your creatures" (Ps.104:2). Furthermore, there are attributes which particularly belong to God. These are:- A. Omnipotence: God is Almighty. Nothing is impossible to him. He has unlimited authority. He can do all what He wills to do. He himself has said to Abraham, "I am God the Almighty" (Gen.17:1; 18:14; Lk.1:37). B. Omniscience: God knows all and everything before it comes to pass and knows things before they are thought or done. (Ps. 139:2; Jn.2:25) C. Omnipresence: The Eternal and True God cannot be limited in time and space. He is beyond time and space. He is always present everywhere. He is not limited in heaven though it is said God is living in heaven because of His being Most High; He is not living only in heaven. "Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or, where shall I flee from your presence? If I asked up in to heaven, Thou art there! If I make my bed in hell, behold, you art there! If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in utter most parts of the sea; even there shall Your hand lead me and Your right hand shall hold me" (Ps.139:7-10; Jer.23:23;the 318 Father's Liturgy). D. Eternal: God is eternal and cannot be limited in time. He was before time and lives endlessly (Ps. 89:1-2). He has neither beginning nor end. He is the beginning and the end. There is no change in Him. (Iss. 4:6; James.1:17). Prepared by D/n Wubalem Desta (firstname.lastname@example.org) Netherlands January 2014 For youths group teaching
To be continued....... GLORY TO GOD!