1 Clement 23-32

(23.1) The Father, merciful and compassionate to all, has compassion for those fearing Him, gently and kindly giving out His gifts of grace to those approaching Him with a single mind.

(23.2) Therefore let us not be double-minded, nor let our soul entertain strange notions about His extraordinary and glorious gifts.

(23.3) Far be that Scripture from us, where it says, “Wretched are the double-minded, the doubters of soul, who say, ‘These things were even heard by our fathers, and behold, we have grown old and none of them have happened to us.’

(23.4) “You mindless ones! Compare yourselves to a tree; take the vine. Indeed, first it sheds leaves, then a bud is produced, then a leaf, then a flower, and after these, an unripe grape, becoming then a bunch of grapes.” See in how short a time has come the fruit of the tree to ripeness.

(23.5) In truth, quickly and suddenly will His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, that He will come quickly and will not delay, and “Suddenly will the Lord come to His temple, even the Holy One, for Whom you wait.”

(24.1) Beloved, let us contemplate how the Master continually points out to us the future resurrection will happen, of which He has made the Lord Jesus Christ the firstfruits by raising (Him) from the dead.

(24.2) Let us see, beloved, the resurrection which is regularly happening.

(24.3) Day and night reveal to us a resurrection. The night falls asleep, and the day wakes up. The day goes away, night comes around.

(24.4) Let us take the fruits: the seed and how in what manner it is produced.

(24.5) The sower went out and cast it to the earth. Each of the seeds wherever it fell to the earth, dry and naked, is dissolved. Then, from this dissolution, the magnificent providence of the Master raises it up, and from one, many grow and produce fruit.

(25.1) Let us see that strange sign happening in the eastern regions, that is, those around Arabia.

(25.2) For there is a bird called phoenix. This is the only existing one, living five hundred years. And now when it has come to the dissolution of its dying, it makes itself a nest of frankincense and myrrh and the rest of the spices, into which it enters in the fullness of time, and dies.

(25.3) And the decaying of the flesh produces a worm, which, nourished by the juices of the dead animal, grows wings. Then, when it has grown strong, it takes over that nest where the bones of the predecessor are, and, picking these up, continues from the Arabian region as far as Egypt, to the so-called Heliopolis.

(25.4) And in daytime, in the seeing of all, it lands on the altar of the sun, placing them there, it starts back.

(25.5) Then the priests examine the records of times, and find that it fulfilled five hundred years in coming.

(26.1) So, do we consider it to be great or wonderful if the Creator of everything causes a resurrection of those who were slaves for Him in a holy manner, in the confidence of good faith, when even by a bird He shows us the magnificence of His promise?

(26.2) For it says somewhere, “And You will raise me up; and I will confess to You; and I laid down and slept; I woke up, for You are with me.”

(26.3) And again, Job says, “And you will raise up this flesh of mine, which has patiently borne all these things.”

(27.1) So, with this hope, let our souls have need of the One faithful in promises, and the One righteous in judgments,

(27.2) the One who ordered “Do not lie,” how much more will He Himself not lie, for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie.

(27.3) Let His faith be rekindled in us, and let us consider all things are near to Him.

(27.4) By the word of His majesty He established all things, and by His word He can overturn them.

(27.5) Who will say to Him, “What have you done?” Or who will oppose the strength of His power? When He wills and as He wills all things are done. And nothing decreed by Him will not come to pass.

(27.6) All things are before Him, and nothing is hidden from His will.

(27.7) If “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day to day utters speech, and night announces knowledge to night. And there are no words nor forms of speech in which their voices are not heard,”

(28.1) then all things are seen and heard. Let us fear Him and abandon worthless works of foul desires, so that we might be protected by His mercy from the future judgments.

(28.2) For where can any of us flee from His powerful hand? And which world would accept someone deserting from Him?

(28.3) For the Scripture says somewhere, “Where shall I go, and where shall I be hidden from Your face? If I ascend into heaven, You are there. If I go away to the ends of the earth, Your right hand is there. If I make my bed in the depths, Your Spirit is there.”

(28.4) Where then will anyone go to, or where escape from the One who encompasses all things?

(29.1) So let us approach Him in holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands to Him, loving our kind and compassionate Father, who has made us His own selected portion.

(29.2) For thus it is written, “When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He established the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, Israel the allotment of His inheritance.”

(29.3) And in another place it says, “Behold, the Lord takes for Himself a nation from the midst of the nations, as a man takes the firstfruits of his threshing floor, and from that nation shall come the Holy of Holies.”

(30.1) Therefore, being the holy portion, let us do all the things of holiness, fleeing slander, and foul and impure intimacies, and drunkenness, and innovation, and abominable desires, defiling adultery, (and) abominable pride.

(30.2) For it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

(30.3) So let us stick with those to whom grace has been given by God. Let us clothe ourselves with harmony, humble-mindedness, being self-controlled, far from all gossip and slander, being justified by deeds we are doing, not words.

(30.4) For it says, “He who speaks much will also hear in return. Or does the glib speaker suppose he is righteous?

(30.5) “Blessed is the one born of a woman, shortlived; do not be given much to spoken words.”

(30.6) Let our praise be in God, and not from ourselves, for God hates self-praisers.

(30.7) Let the witness of our good deeds be given by others, as it was given for our righteous fathers.

(30.8) Arrogance and selfishness and audacity are of those cursed by God; kindness and humble-mindedness and gentleness are with those blessed by God.

(31.1) So let us stick with His blessing, and consider what are the ways of blessing. Let us recall the things that have been from the beginning.

(31.2) For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? Was it not because he did righteousness and truth through faith?

(31.3) Isaac, with confidence, knowing the future, was gladly brought forward as a sacrifice.

(31.4) Jacob, with humble-mindedness, left his land because of his brother, and went to Laban, and slaved. And to him was given the scepter of the twelve (tribes) of Israel.

(32.1) If someone will sincerely think about each one, he will understand the greatness of the gifts which were given by Him.

(32.2) For from him are the priests and all the Levites which minister at the altar of God. From him is the Lord Jesus, according to the flesh. From him are kings and rulers and leaders of Judah, and the rest of his tribes (scepters) are not of little glory, as promised by God, that “Your seed will be like the stars of heaven.”

(32.3) So, all these were glorified and magnified, not by themselves, or their works, or for the righteous work they achieved, but rather through His will.

(32.4) So, we also, having been called by His will in Christ, are not justified by ourselves, nor through our own wisdom or intelligence or godliness or works which we have produced in holiness of heart, but rather through the faith by which since the world began the Almighty God has justified all things, to whom be glory to the ages of ages, Amen.

2 Replies to “1 Clement 23-32”

  1. Very nice. I am really enjoying this.

    Frivolous aside: You can see why the egg variant of the phoenix story gets more press than the worm with wings one. But the worm would make a good Stargate episode. I mean, we know that Go’auld can take non-human hosts (though it impacts their knowledge and abilities), that Go’auld make their hosts live longer and healthier lives, and that Go’auld look like worms. So there’s some Goa’uld, as harmless as a Goa’uld can be, flapping around as the Phoenix of legend, probably getting chased by some reality TV show crew….

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