MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
Sheep are unique creatures. They are among the few animals in the world that are almost totally dependant on their leader, Without their leader, the sheep wander aimlessly. With their leader, their shepherd, they will follow wherever he leads.
The manner by which the sheep know their shepherd is his voice, Many shepherds exist which seek to lure sheep from the safety of their own flock to another flock. A flock which is foreign to the sheep being lured. Those sheep who are not familiar with their own shepherd's voice will be deceived and will follow the voice of another shepherd, the false one. On the other hand, those sheep who know their masters voice are not fooled by the attempts of the false shepherd to lure them away. They will follow their shepherd under any circumstances even though the other shepherd may try very hard to lure them away by various means of trickery.
The true mark of a faithful sheep is the one who loves, trusts, and is obedient to his shepherd. As false shepherds come, as they will, the wise sheep will grow stronger in the faith he has in his only true shepherd.
Meanwhile, the True Shepherd trusts His sheep. They know His voice. Our True Shepherd, Jesus Christ, calls us His sheep. Indeed, We are His sheep. But many false shepherds are lurking, waiting for the opportunity to lure us to their flocks. Should we fall prey to these false shepherds, it would indicate that we really never knew our own Shepherd's voice. Our Shepherd says: "My sheep knew My voice." John 10: 1- 30
"Beware false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15
Today’s intriguing preoccupation with the cults is not something which is a new occurrence. The Church throughout her history has had to combat diverse distortions of the Truth. On every occasion, the Church has risen to the task and proclaimed the True faith of Jesus Christ.
One of the most colorful and well know defenders of the truth was St. Athanasios of Alexandria. St. Athanasios quenched the theological heresies of the Arians at the First Ecumenical Council which was convened at Nicea in the year 325 AD. The Arians had been teaching that Jesus was not fully God and fully Man - basic doctrine of the Church. The Council condemned the misguided teaching of Arias and did the same to all those who would hold to such a doctrine.
There are today, host of modern Ariarns teaching myriads of conflicting doctrines and heresies. The cults, which teach these new and false doctrines, in many ways far surpass the early heresy taught by the Arians.
It is the purpose of this brief pamphlet to introduce the Orthodox Christian to a few of the major cult systems. The format will consist of a short introduction of the cult, followed by a synopsis of that cults major teachings. Paralleling the teachings of each cult, the Orthodox position concerning the same teachings will be given. The purpose of such a format is to allow the Orthodox reader to compare and contrast the doctrines in question. Such a format is also provided as a refutation to the heretical doctrines which will be presented.
The Orthodox positions presented will in no way reflect any one persons personal views. The Orthodox responses given will be in the form of quotes. These quotes are derived from the two sources of Orthodox authority: Scripture and Tradition.
The basic premise presupposed in beginning this topic is simple; that the Holy Orthodox Church is the One True Church of Jesus Christ. and that She alone has preserved the Faith unblemished since Her, founding by the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
With this In mind, and in the Name of the Father. Son, and Holy Spirit, One God, let us proceed.
THE CREED OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and of everything visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all Ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten not made, co-substantial with the Father, through Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven and was incarnated by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary and became Man. Crucified for our salvation under Pontius Pi1ate. He suffered and was buried. And was resurrected on the third day according to the Scriptures. And ascended into Heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father; and He will return in glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose reign will have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life Who proceeds from the Father, Who, together with the Father and the Son, is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke through the Prophets. I believe in One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknow1edge One Baptism for the remission of sins. I await for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come, Amen.