Five Pillars of Mystery
The Eritrean Orthodox Church has Five Pillars of Mysteries through which it teaches and demonstrates its basic religious belief. They are called Pillars of Mystery due to the fact that they support and strengthen the faithful in religious teachings as a pillar supports a roof. These mysteries have Biblical foundation (l Cor. 14:19). Accordingly, the five pillars of mystery are expressed in the Orthodox Tewahdo Creed, which is the confession of our faith. The five mysteries of the church are as follows:
- The mystery of the Trinity
- The mystery of the Incarnation
- The mystery of Baptism
- The mystery of Communion
- The mystery of Resurrection
Mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead
Resurrection is the Mystery of life after death. All those who have departed from the time of Adam and those pass away until the second coming of Christ will be rise in the union of body and soul. The souls of the righteous shall abide in paradise and the souls of sinners in hades until the end of this world. But on the last day when our Lord and savior Jesus Christ comes in His glory, to judge the living and the dead, the souls shall be united with their bodies on the day of resurrection and they shall rise from the dust of the earth. (Lk. 16: 19-31).
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming; in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (In.5:28).
Many passages could be cited from the Old and New Testament books about the doctrine of death and the afterlife. The word of God in Deuteronomy 32:39 "I kill, and I make alive" shows the hope of resurrection. Isaiah the prophet says, 'The dead men shall have, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (lsa. 26: 19-20).
Daniel the prophet has written “at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever". (Dan.12: 1 ... 3). Job said "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day, upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another,"(Job. 19:25-27)
The teaching of the resurrection of the dead is not only told orally. It has been proved in practice when many among the departed came forth out of the grave and appeared in public. The prophets Elijah and his disciple Elisha raised the dead. (1Kgs. 17:21; 2Kgs.13:21). Jesus Christ the Lord, and his disciples raised the dead in their ministry during the proclamation of the gospel. (Mt.9:25; Lk. 7:15; In. 11:14). Likewise, the Apostles also raised the dead during their Apostolic ministry.
On the day of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ the graves were opened and bodies of many saints came out. (Mt.27:52). All these prove the truth of the resurrection. All those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall come to life at the last judgment. Our belief in our resurrection is based on the resurrection of Christ. "Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." (2 Cor. 4: 14). The Church scholars Amoneos and Eusabios said “Christ is risen, in order to make it known to us that our body shall arise" (preface of the Gospel).
Resurrection is for all human beings. Both the righteous and un-righteous arise. The final resurrection awaits the last day at the second coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shall come in His glory at the end of the world to judge the living and the dead. (Ps. 50:2; .Mt. 25:31-32; Rev. 1:7). At that time, He shall send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet. The dead shall arise. The earth will restore that which was entrusted to it. Then He shall set the righteous on his right hand, but the sinners on the left hand. All arise carrying their works which followed them from the earth; the righteous will be sanctified with the word of blessing, but the sinners will be rebuked with the word of accusation. The righteous shall shine as seven times as the sun, and inherit the kingdom following Christ, while the sinners shall go away into everlasting punishment prepared for the devil and his angels. (Mt. 13:42-49; 25:31-43; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev. 20: 12). Thus the religious teaching of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is based on the five pillars of mystery mentioned above.
-the Holy Bible