THE SHORT CATECHISM Of The Church of Heavenly Jerusalem (frmly. known as the Temple of Zion)



  • PRELIMINARY

    1. Who created the world
      God created the world

    2. Who is God
      God is the Creator of heaven and earth and of all things invisible and visible.

    3. What is man?
      Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

    4. What is the soul?
      The soul is a spark of God's light, an effective part of God, separated from God in outer manifestation, but retaining a living connection.

    5. How is the soul like to God?
      The soul is like God because it is a spirit that will never die, and has understanding and free will.

    6. Why did God make you?
      God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

    7. Of which must we take more care, our soul or our body?
      We must take more care of our soul than of our body.

    8. Why must we take more care of our soul than of our body?
      We must take more care of our soul than of our body, because in losing our soul we lose God and everlasting happiness.

    9. What must we do to save our souls?
      To save our souls we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart. (Matthew 6:19,20.)

    10. How shall we know the things which we are to believe?
      We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Church, through which God speaks to us.

    11. Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches?
      We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles' Creed.

    12. Say the Apostles' Creed.
      I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell: the third day He arose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

    CHAPTER I. ON GOD AND HIS PERFECTIONS
    13. What is God?
    God is a Spirit (John 4:24.), eternal(Psalm 90:2.), all-good(Romans 11:22.), omniscient (1 John 3:20.), all-just(Romans 1:17.), almighty (Revelation 4:8.), omnipresent(Psalm 139:6,11), unchangeable(James 1:17), all-sufficing to himself, all-blessed(1 Timothy 6:15).
    14. If God is a Spirit, how does Holy Scripture ascribe to him bodily parts, as heart, eyes, ears, hands?
    The Holy Scripture in this suits itself to the common language of men; but we are to understand such expressions in a higher and spiritual sense. For instance, the heart of God means his goodness or love; eyes and ears mean his omniscience; hands, his almighty power.
    15. Can we know the very essence of God?
    No. It is above all knowledge, not of men only, but of angels.
    16. How does Holy Scripture speak on this point?
    The Apostle Paul says that God dwelleth in the light, which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see. — (1 Timothy 6:16)
    17. What is God essentially?
    Essentially, God is potential Being, for in Him all potentialities are present.
    18. What is God secondarily?
    In a secondary sense God is Being in activity; He is Being in actuality.

    1. How does the potentiality of God make it to actuality?
      The word whereby we express the passage from potential Being to actualized Being is the term "to emanate". It is by such emanation (pouring forth) that the multitude of spiritual and material worlds and their fashioners emerge from the original potentiality of God.
    2. How does the potentiality of God make it to actuality?
      The word whereby we express the passage from potential Being to actualized Being is the term "to emanate". It is by such emanation (pouring forth) that the multitude of spiritual and material worlds and their fashioners emerge from the original potentiality of God.
    3. Where is God?
      God is everywhere; but in heaven he has a special presence manifested in everlasting glory to the blessed spirits; also in churches he has, through grace and sacraments, a special presence devoutly recognized and felt by believers, and manifested sometimes by extraordinary signs. Jesus Christ says: Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)
    4. Does God have a beginning?
      God had no beginning; He is timeless, eternal, ever the same, immutable and unchanging, ageless and unending. — (Psalm 101:26, 28.)
    5. Does God watch us?
      God watches over us and knows every one of us on the earth and he knows what we think, say, or plan to do every day of our life. God is brilliant superior being who is beyond our human comprehension and he see through us inside out.
    6. Is God all-knowing?
      Yes, He is omnipresent/ all knowing. He knows all things not as past and future, but as ever present. This is because God is eternal, and time does not exist for Him. There is no past and future for Him, only the present. For God, there is no yesterday and tomorrow but only today. Thus He knows all things as present, as if they were taking place here and now, both those things that transpired centuries ago and those things which are to occur in the most remote and unforetellable future, in other words, God knows all things eternally, perfectly and directly, "He sees clearly and simply both the present, the past and the future before they begin", and before they take place. As Saint John Chrysostom says, “He foresees at a glance all things together and each thing separately”.
    7. Is God, the Almighty (Παντοκράτορα )?
      Yes, for he upholds all things by his power and his will. Jesus says, “With God all things are possible.” — (Matthew 19:26)
    8. Is God all merciful?
      Yes. An example of God’s mercy is his interaction with Moses on Mount Sinai. There, God revealed himself as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6) This declaration emphasizes that mercy is an intrinsic part of God’s personality. He “desires all to attain to repentance,” wrote the Christian apostle Peter. (2 Peter 3:9) Of course, God’s mercy is not limitless. “By no means will he give exemption from punishment,” Moses was told. (Exodus 34:7; 2 Peter 2:9) Nevertheless, “God is love,” and mercy is a large facet of that quality. (1 John 4:8; James 3:17) God will not “hold onto his anger forever,” and he is “delighting in showing mercy.” — (Micah 7:18, 19.)
    9. Is God holy?
      Yes. According to the Scriptures, and the experience of the saints of both the old and New Testaments, God is absolutely holy. This means literally that he is absolutely different and unlike anything or anyone else that exists. He is so unique and so perfect that his existence cannot be compared to any other existence. God is absolutely transcendent, “what he is, by essence and nature, is altogether beyond our comprehension and knowledge.” — (John of Damascus).

    CHAPTER II. ON THE UNITY AND TRINITY OF GOD

    1. Is there only one is God?
      Yes, there is only one God. “I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God besides me.” — (Isaiah 45:5)
    2. Why can there be but one God?
      There can be but one God, because God, being supreme and infinite, cannot have an equal. “Yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” — (1 Corinthians 8:6)
    3. Do you believe there are three Persons in God?
      Yes. The Church recognizes the Biblical tradition of affirmation the existence of God as the Holy Trinity consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — (I Corinthians 1:3)
    4. Where in else in the Bible is the Trinity mentioned?
      The chief texts on this point in the New Testament are the following: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19) and “There are three that bear record in heaven—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” (1 John 1:7) The Holy Trinity mentioned in the Old Testament also but not so clearly. For instance, “By the Word of the Lord was the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the Breath of his mouth.”(Psalm 33: 6) and of course, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” — (Isaiah 6: 3)

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