Orthodox Christians have a deep respect for their saints and aspire to emulate them. They choose a patron saint to emulate for a number of reasons, whether for personal or professional purposes. Children are often assigned a saint at birth, and converts will typically pick their patron saint at the time of their conversion. Their patron saint serves as a model to follow and acts as their mascot.
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This prophecy describes the city of Zion and its future glory. The people of Zion will be holy, like the Lord, and God will bring glory and majesty to Zion. They will have everlasting joy on their heads, and sorrow will flee from their eyes. They will reign with the Lord in His power and glory, and all mankind will be drawn to them.
Isaiah also uses two types of peoples to describe the peoples of the end times. He uses the names of the old nations and peoples in his prophecy, and the names of the kings of these peoples are paired with those of the future. In other words, Isaiah’s prophecy is both spiritual and temporal, and it accounts for all of humanity.
During a time of polarization, God will deliver His covenant people to Zion. The prophet Isaiah describes the transition from conditional Zion to unconditional God’s elect. Zion is identified with all upper levels of Isaiah’s ladder to heaven, and the people will be called “holy” and “enthroned.” As the people are sanctified, they will be able to be free of oppression and the oppression of their enemies.
The daughters of Zion are a great example of this. In 2 Nephi 8:25 Jacob quotes Isaiah 52:2, in which he calls for the ‘captive daughter’ of Zion to rise. This prophecy is very similar to Isaiah’s prophecy regarding Zion in the same place.
St. Paul’s teaching
Many Bible teachers believe that Paul meant “all Israel,” meaning all who have trusted in Christ as the Messiah. However, some scholars disagree. They say that “all Israel” refers to the nation of Israel as a whole, not just those who have placed their faith in Christ. The church, they argue, is the new Israel. Paul has written that when the “fullness” of the Gentiles come to faith in Christ, they will be considered “Israel.”
Rather, St. Paul’s desire for the salvation of Israel stemmed not from his family’s interests, but from his understanding of the nature of Israel as a chosen nation to lead nations and follow their King. He would go forth to witness both the teaching of his Fathers and his personal experience of Christ.
While the Kingdom of Heaven is a physical entity, it is also a spiritual one. Jesus is the “cornerstone” of Zion in the heart. He gives believers hope and peace by his love. Through Christ, believers are defended from all forms of spiritual attack. Furthermore, Christ gives hope to the poor, the hungry, and the weak. Christ’s teachings remind us that God is in control and cares for his children.
In St. Paul’s teaching on Zion, we see that obedience to God is a choice, and we must make it with our hearts. If we want to be like God, we must learn to live in the kingdom of God. The Christian must resist the temptation to live in the kingdom of the devil.
Tertullian’s opposition to intercession by the saints
Tertullian’s opposition to intercession of the saints can be best explained as a reflection of the underlying nature of prayer. Scripture is clear that if one lacks a desire for holiness, God will not hear their prayer. The desire for holiness is a necessary condition for genuine prayer, and the saints who pray for purity and integrity are doing so with the intention of manifesting divine promises.
Tertullian also objects to the practice of intercession by the saints because it involves impiety. Impiety robs God of his glory and undermines the intercession of Christ. It also contradicts the word of God and the proper method of prayer, as impiety is rooted in mistrust. This objection is particularly problematic, as there are many kinds of prayer, and one must pray constantly with thanksgiving.
The human mind, however, is able to imagine an army of angels, even while bound to his body. It is even capable of recognizing heavenly authorities, such as archangels and chief-commanders of the Lord’s host. This shows that there is more than just a divine authority at work.
Tertullian’s opposition to intercession of the saints is based on his argument that the saints cannot be invoked apart from the Mediator, and that Christ alone can invoke God. The wrath of God falls on those who reject the Mediator and reject intercession of the saints on earth.