The Holy Spirit is not acquired by “charismatic” experiences, but by a long, ascetic journey. As the Church of Christ teaches, this is what the Elder Macarius called the “path of sorrows.” According to Elder Macarius, we should not expect to receive the Holy Spirit at once, but rather to experience it gradually and in a spiritual way.
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‘Christ’ and ‘angels’ appeared to ascetics
The Bible warns against false humility in reading Scripture. The author of Colossians 2:18 warns against the worship of angels and the false humility that accompanies it. Those who practice false humility are full of themselves, going into great detail about what they saw. Their unscriptural mind inflated them.
The early Christian monasteries assumed that a good student would be blessed with the presence of angels. The monks believed that the angels were not universally available to everyone, and that this was an indication of moral success. In contrast, towns had a more inclusive view of angels.
In early Christian cultures, the Bible’s inner spiritual meaning was expressed in the ascetic fathers’ public sermons. Understanding the way the Fathers read Scripture helps us understand the thought-worlds of the early Christians.
‘Christ’ and ‘angels’ granted amazing powers and “gifts of the Holy Spirit” to ascetics
As the ascetic life was a struggle against sin, ‘Christ’ and ‘angels granted ascetics amazing powers and “gifts of the Holy Ghost”. The heavenly being was referred to as the Holy One and he was the one who brought judgments. In his incarnation, the Virgin Mary served Him as Queen of the Heavens and the Earth. And he accepted service from many women who believed in Him. These included Mary Magdalene, the mother of Jacob and Joses, Joanna, the sister of Lazarus, and many others.
‘Christ’ and ‘angels granted ascetics amazing powers to perform patriarchal work. They sanctified the altars and were granted miraculous powers. They had the authority to forgive sins and to loosen church ties. They were sent by God to serve and bless people.
These ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’ were not limited to miracles, however. They were also used to help ascetics become more powerful and influential. They were also able to perform sacrificial acts for others.
‘Christ’ and ‘angels’ granted amazing powers to ascetics
The angels, or messengers, in the Bible are derived from God and execute His judgments. Moreover, they possess superhuman strength and ability. In the Bible, the angels are portrayed as helping human beings in various ways: answering prayer, bringing people to the Savior, encouraging people in times of danger, and caring for God’s people in the time of death.
The angels accompanied the birth of Christ and told the women that He was alive. They were also present at the ascension and gave the disciples instruction. At the second coming, they will accompany Christ on His glorious return to earth. At the time of the Transfiguration of the Church, they will separate the wheat from the tares.
The Bible also describes angels as holy beings. As such, they are concerned with God’s worship and glory. For instance, in Isaiah 6:3, the seraphim sing praises to God. In Revelation, the angels are much more specific in their concern for God’s glory.