Christian Writers and Greek Philosophy
Very few early Christian writers were against ancient Greek philosophy, the majority of the elite favored it greatly. Our first example is Saint Justin Martyr, who said that the divine Logos (Word) made himself known to the pagans through the philosophers; that Christianity is the fulfillment of philosophy and Christ the fulfillment of Socrates. He was an apologist that defended the Christian philosophy by writing an analogy between the death of Socrates who died for what he taught and the death of Christ.
Clement of Alexandria gave an exhortation to the Greeks who didn’t want to fully believe in Christianity by explaining that the seeds of this religion may be found in the Greek writings. He said, “What I mean by philosophy is not Stoicism, nor Platonism, nor Epicureanism, nor Aristotelianism, but the sum total of all good things said by these schools in the teachings of justice and truth.” Minucius Felix argued that God can be known through reason and the Greeks came to understand this. Aristotle taught about one Godhead, the Stoics believed in divine providence, and Plato’s “Timaeus” reveres the Father and Maker of the universe.
Finally, Bishop Gregory Thaumaturgus said, “We should examine the texts of the ancients, be they philosophers or poets, as closely as we can, so that we can derive from them the mean of strengthening and propagating our understanding of the truth.” Many renown others, like Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Jerome, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Gregory of Nazianus, and St. Basil the Great, just to name a few, thought that the ancient Greek thinkers could be of a tremendous contribution to the understanding and teaching of the Christian way of thought.
The Counter of Christian Writers’ Belief
As we can see, the Christian writers and elites previously mentioned, did not have the mind or spirit of Christ. If they did, then they wouldn’t have had the urge to utilize Greek writings to teach, understand, and know the Truth, who is Christ himself. Do you need anything more than the Maker of the universe, the Way, the Truth, the Life, and His Spirit to know anything of that matter? They were super studious of anything, except the Bible. And if they studied the Bible, they did so without the Holy Spirit, but with an intellectual mind.
Let’s see what Paul writes in one of his letters, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit (not by Greek philosophy): for the Spirit searcheth all things (not the philosophers), yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, (does it say “no man”?) but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God (whose spirit?); that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth (not in philsophy), but which the Holy Ghost teacheth (not the philosphers); comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them (he cannot know them), because they are spiritually discerned (not intellectualy discerned). But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ (not the mind of Greek philosophy).” – 1 Corinthians 2:5-16
Paul is writing to the Corinthians who are Greeks. Here, he clearly differentiates two types of wisdom, God’s and man’s. Man used to contain the wisdom of God, I believe he once functioned with 100% of his mental capacity and this is why he knew all the characteristics of animals and had the creativity to name them all. Then, man fell into sin and lost everything God had given them, including the knowledge of Life. This is not just another mythical story to fill in the Bible, but a spiritual and natural historic event that shaped eternity.
Man’s wisdom comes from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which’s fruit took humanity away from immortality, it took us to be mortal; to be governed by death. And it is no news for many that the devil holds the throne of the empire of death. The knowledge coming from that tree, whether it is GOOD or evil, outputs the same result, chaos, death, and disobediece to God. God’s knowledge is of Life and it is against that one that is of death and of a natural man. The knowledge of good and evil is ultimately a diabolic one, for it is the one responsible of trying to explain and control the natural world without knowing where it comes from, thus creating climate change, violence, etc. Mankind was able to create weapons, build great monuments with scarce technologic resource, navigate, and control nature not because we evolved to know all things, but because we received that knowledge since the beginning of mortality in the garden of Eden, all encouraged by the serpent.
It is indeed from good and evil that the philosphers derive their complex philosophies and not from the Spirit of Christ. Because the Spirit of Christ gives testimony of Jesus and this is not ever found in the Greek philosophies. And I don’t write this with a closed mind or religious, resentful attitude, but I write it because it is true and Biblical, written by no more and no less than Apostle Peter: Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. – 1 Peter 1:10-12
The Spirit of Christ is the one that revealed the things of Christ that angels desire to look into, then the gospel was taught by those filled with the Holy Spirit, not Greek philosophy. For this reason we find good and evil things in the philosophies, some you reject and others you accept, but they originate and terminate in the result Adam and Eve experienced; a seperation from God their Creator and Father. Using them to explain the Christian faith is like trying to teach a fish to climb a tree or like unifying the tree of the fruit which causes death with the tree that gives Life. It is completely impossible and entails to ultimately listen more to things you understand easier (the philosophies) than to things that are out of this world (God).
Monasticism and Europe
Monasticism is a concept that developed early in Christianity, not found anywhere in the Bible. It was probably formed due to the desire of people to offer a religious sacrifice to God. The greatest “thing”, so to speak, one can lose for God or give Him is one’s life and the persecutions made people feel they were fulfilling this, thus when they were gone, people wanted to achieve that holiness the martyrs had attained. Many did it in undoubtedly erroneous ways, like mutilating one’s flesh, and others did it in more astute ways like separating themselves from the “good” pleasures offered in this world. This is when monasticism is born.
There are basically two types of monasticism: eremitic and cenobitic. Eremitic monasticism is a rather extreme one were the participant isolates completely from the world and a social life to “get closer to God”, in other words, he or she is an utter hermit. Cenobitic monasticism is the more commonly known type to practically everybody that thinks about monasticism. This last one is to the one we associate words as “monk” and “monastery”. By mentioning those two words you can perhaps already guess what type of monasticism the cenobitic type is; a company of hermits living together.
Monks and monasteries, unlike popular belief, did not only collect relics or lived quietly in dark chambers, but they actually made lots of scientific and cultural contributions to Europe. The most important of these companies of hermits is maybe the one founded by a man known as Saint Benedict. He gave a breath to those who wanted to become monks but were afraid of the grievous life they were forced by others to live.
St. Benedict’s Rule presented ideas that proportioned with opportunities to really help societies, like changing the thought of manual labor from being a despicable thing to an honorable and “sanctified” one. Moderation is the word that describes this Rule, for it balanced the labor, study, food intake, prayer, etc. monks had to do in order to be “holy” without making it a severe and extreme task. Benedict didn’t want to take people to live a sacrificial life that took you to the verge of death, but guided you to a comprehensible sacrifice, e.g. always abstain from animal derived food. Obviously this balanced restraint of things helped propagate the monastic tradition.
Monks gave an agricultural uplift in Europe, specially Benedictine monks were the agriculturists of Europe. They also provided advances in technology, like the Cistercian factories of the Cistercian monasteries. These used waterpower to activate machines that crushed wheat, sieved flour, filled cloth, tanned, etc. Monks also engaged in metallurgy (studying, producing, and purifying metals), aided travelers that were shipwrecked or lost, copied manuscripts, and supplied people with education. Monasteries played a crucial role in the economic growth of all Europe.
The Counter of Monasticism
The martyrs, namely the apostles and the primitive church understood why they were dying; for love of God and for love of the people. They were not sacrificing themselves unto God, but they were giving themselves to Him. This is very important to understand in order for us to analyze the idea of there being monasteries. Apart from them contributing to society, we must ask ourselves if the idea of there being such things is pleasing to God. Perhaps, many might say, “who cares”, but I know there are others that care about the heart of God.
Chastity, poverty, and obedience were the main vows monks took. The first two to sacrifice pleasures of the world, and the last one to live morally correct. To accomplish this we know they had to depart from society and live isolated with others from the same sex and same desire. However, does God really want that? Basing ourselves in the scriptures of the Bible we can come to comprehend that He thinks differently.
Jesus came to restore the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. (Luke 17:21) He did it by suffering all things here on earth to pay the price so that those who receive and believe in Him to honor Him will not suffer them ever again HERE ON EARTH. (Isaiah 53:2-5) Jesus went through poverty, hunger, thirst, sickness, all sorts of rejection, all sorts of abuse, gave His body, gave His blood, gave His soul, and even gave His spirit (Matthew 27:50) in sacrifice for humanity to pay the price of our iniquities that we may never have to live that again.
Believing in Jesus necessarily means that a manifestation of who He is will become palpable within or around us. As Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. This means that real faith proves that which it believes. Therefore, if I have faith in Jesus I must prove it by receiving His Kingdom and manifest all it contains, like all sorts of physical and spiritual (invisible or heavenly) riches, supernatural health, love and things like these. Hence, poverty is not a condition of the Kingdom of Heaven, because Jesus Christ paid the price in the cross for us to prosper spiritually, physically, mentally, and economically.
When it comes to chastity, most of the religious minded people excuse it by misinterpreting Jesus’ and Paul’s words. For what it’s worth, Peter was a married man (Matthew 8:14). And when apostle Paul writes in one of his letters (1 Corinthians 7:7) about his desire of men staying like him (single), but because of the temptations of this world to get married so that they don’t get burned, he is writing this because of what the primitive church was going through historically speaking. This is the persecutions and the terrible destruction that was about to take place in Jerusalem in the year 70.
Then, when Jesus is asked by the Sadducees whom where greatly influenced by Greek thought and didn’t believe in the resurrection, who would marry a seven-husband widowed woman in the resurrection, Jesus answers, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:23-32) Jesus is not, by any means whatsoever saying, “You shall not marry to be holy or heavenly.” But on the contrary, He is answering an ignorant question very wisely. The resurrection of the dead, has nothing to do with the flesh, but with the spirit. Marriage is for this world; the flesh.
Now, when it comes to obedience, the monk philosophy contradicts itself. The Bible clearly says, “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22) If monks understood this, they would not do both things, sacrifice themselves and obey at the same time. Apostle John writes something about obedience and righteousness, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” (1 John 2:4-5) Being perfected in the love of God takes obedience to God’s word and the Word is Jesus. (John 1:14)
Jesus was sacrificed once and for all (Hebrews 7:27), any other human effort we do to literally or symbolically die for Him is useless. Why, because it is human or carnal. The monks did those things to get closer to God not understanding that obeying what He says is already hard enough and it has nothing to do with chastity, poverty, or living apart from society. It has to do with perfect love because “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) Perfect love is in obedience to the Word of God.
Conclusively, manifesting the culture of the Kingdom of God here on earth gives you enough enemies, being your ego the main one. That is just it, monks didn’t manifest the power of God and that’s why the only changes they gave were of no difference than those of a successful atheist capitalist. The struggles of Europe prevailed, because monks did everything religiously and by human strength, not the power of God.
Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger was a Roman lawyer and author who wrote a quite famous letter to the emperor Trajan about how it was convenient to deal with Christians. In the letter one can notice the terrible way early Christians could be treated due to the erroneous ideas that had been spread concerning them. He tortured, threatened, and interrogated Christians to speak the truth about their practices, which were thought to involve incest or cannibalism. Some of those he questioned, confessed to have abandoned the Christian faith and had returned to the Roman cults of the time, yet they cleared out some misconceptions. The clarifications led Pliny to consult Emperor Trajan and show him that Christians were not committing any real crime, only believing in some sort of “dumb superstition” and that many were regretting the following of it. Therefore, Pliny thought that if the opportunity of granting pardon to repented people were available, many would be “reformed”. Trajan’s answer was rather short and basically said, “don’t seek for Christians and Christians should not say they are Christians”. However, years of persecution and slaughter followed, until Emperor Constantine released the Edict of Milan that was obviously influenced by Christian beliefs. The edict benefited all Roman society, but specially Christians, as decades of suffering were coming to an end.
The Didache is a very early Christian source of writing attempting to summarize the teachings of the 12 Apostles. It shows a list of things that are to be done and avoided to follow the Way of Life or the way of Death, respectively. The majority of the things it states are coherent with the books found in the New Testament. This book speaks of the love Christians were to have for one another, the respect for the prophets and apostles, how you can supposedly discern a true prophet or apostle from a false one, and the greatest sins one could commit; how one small sin leads to a greater one, etc. It also structurizes the holy communion, fasting, baptism, and prayer. When the Canon was being formed many desired to establish it as part of the New Testament, for it was greatly esteemed by many early Christians, but this petition was rejected.
In my recent essay Nothing Like Greek Philososphy, I wrote, “The real Christian church is cemented upon the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. This is the rock upon which Christ would edify his assembly, not Peter, but the revelation of Jesus that Peter obtained from the Father. Mortal men, namely Popes, was never even thought by God to be the foundations of His church. That would be an unstable foundation easy to fall on the whims of sinful mankind.” Here I would like to clarify this statement in depth.
It is very commonly said that Papacy has its origin with Peter when Jesus says that upon the rock He will build His church and that He gave Peter the keys to bind or loosen anything on heaven and earth. Therefore, Peter is the first type of “pope”. As with all things we must analyze this with understanding and I believe that this interpretation is obtained with the help of a couple of preconceived ideas that take us to misconceptions. The first and foremost preconception is formed with the meaning of the name of Peter, which is “rock”. The second is created by believing that Jesus is only referring to Peter when He speaks about giving the keys to bind or loosen. Finally, somehow believing that if in the natural all things were directed from Rome, then in the spiritual, the matters of the church should also be ultimately guided by the “major” bishop in that “major” city.
Jesus never said these words, “You are Rock (Peter) and upon YOU I shall build my church.” He said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood did not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That you are Rock (Peter), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus always spoke clearly to His disciples, not in metaphors or parables, so there is a huge difference in saying “upon YOU oh Rock” and “upon THIS rock”.
Like I have explained before, I believe that Jesus is referring to the revelation that the Father who is in Heaven gave Peter of who Jesus was: “The Christ and Son of the Living God”. The whole context of what is written in those verses in Matthew chapter 16 is about Jesus asking, “Who do you think I am?” When Peter receives the revelation from God, not from what he sees, hears, or reasons, but of what he receives from the Father, he speaks the correct answer and Jesus says that He will build his church upon that answer, not the person. Let me ask you something, what is more stable (doesn’t fluctuate), Peter, Peter’s faith, or the given revelation of Jesus Christ by the Father to be the eternal rock of the foundations of the Church?
If you say “Peter”, just read this, also in Matthew 16: “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Jesus calls Peter, Satan not because he is Satan but because Peter speaks by Satan and is not stable enough to be the founding rock of the church. Why would this be recorded if Jesus wanted there to be a super “holy” and “venerated” man that would be the head of the entire Christian church? Another not very renown moment of Peter’s stability is when Paul withstands Peter to the face when he is favoring the Jews over the Gentiles, even after Peter had had the vision from God to accept the Gentiles, seen in the book of Galatians 2:11-14.
If you say “Peter’s faith”, just look at when he denies Jesus, even after recognizing He is the Christ: “Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.” Or when Jesus asks Peter when he sinks, “Why did you doubt” in Matthew 14:31.
If you say the revelation of Jesus Christ, then you are as correct as Peter was. Jesus Christ is the eternal rock of His church (Deuteronomy 32:4). The revelation of who He is, is the foundations of His church. One man representing Christ cannot be the highest authority or head of the church. This was never the design of God, Jesus is the head and highest authority of the body, not a man (Ephesians 5:23).
Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans that no brother or sister was better, more important or higher than the other, but each served a specific role or function within the church, like a body (Romans 12:3-5). In a body the arm is no better than the foot, or the eye is no better than the ear, each serves an important role and function and they are both needed. Jesus also told His disciples when they were arguing which of them was the greatest: “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Did Jesus come in enormous recognition? Was he greatly esteemed by men? This is what Isaiah says of how Jesus came: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Jesus revealed to Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:4), to two disciples on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:31), to Apostle John when he was in the island of Patmos (Revelations 1:1), and to 500 at the same time (1 Corinthians 15:6). Jesus did not only reveal to Peter, because none was greater than the other. So also Jesus did not only give the keys to bind or loosen to Peter, but to all who received His revelation and we see this in Matthew 18:18, when Jesus speaks the same words He spoke to Peter but to all the disciples.
Jesus too said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. If this is true, then that means that someone holds the keys of the gates of hell to close them and not let them prevail, and this is Jesus. Apostle John, in seeing the revelation of Jesus Christ he sees Jesus saying, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the KEYS of hell and of death. ” These keys are the ones Isaiah is talking about in chapter 22, verse 22. “Opening and shutting” is different than “binding and loosing”; one has to do with doors or gates and the other with things of the heavens being released or not released on earth.
Now, before I conclude, I want to emphasize the importance in comprehending that Jesus is the foundation and Rock of His church. 1 Corinthians 3:11 reads, “For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.” And Ephesians 2:20 says, “being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.” Which is the foundation of the apostles and prophets? I believe it is the revelation of Jesus Christ which is given by the Holy Spirit, whom also is the spirit of prophecy and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelations 19:10).
In short, the true Christian church did not believe in any single man being the greatest authority of all, but they were all a body where Jesus was the only head. All of them had the keys of the Kingdom to bind or loosen, God does not favor anyone over another, that’s why Paul had the revelations and authority he had to do the things he did. Jesus is the only one who has the keys of hell and death to not let the gates of hell prevail against His church. He is the only eternal and firm rock to build upon, not a man or his faith, but on what the Father gives (John 3:16). Hence, if Peter, the apostles, and the true Christian church believed this, then creating the idea of a Pope not only insults God, but Peter and the true Christian church, as well.
You see how easy it is to develop ideas without revising and double checking the Bible first? That is why Jesus spoke of a change of mentality (repentance) to understand His Kingdom. Because it is the structures of this world that lead us to corrupt His words and end up exalting man above Him.
Christianity has been transforming throughout the centuries, sometimes separating from its true foundations and other times reforming partially back into them. Within all this changing, it has mixed with philosophies and other religious cults to become the divided Christianity we have today. Why? Well, mainly because people have wanted to understand the high thoughts and ways of God without knowing how to seek and secondarily because people have not desired to enter radically into the customs of the Kingdom of God and have desired to keep their traditions to avoid conflict. Perhaps one of the most common examples that clearly demonstrates the utilization of philosophies to understand true Christianity is the usage of Greek philosophy.
Using reason and human wisdom to understand the teachings of the Holy Spirit is one of the gravest mistakes one can commit. It will lead to you to confusing conclusions and to form religious structures that will obstruct the will and power of God in your life and land. Jesus Christ didn’t come to introduce a morality or a guidance to become a person of good conduct from the inside out. The great philosophers might seem to have similarities in their teachings with the teachings of Christ, but reality is that they are entirely different. Along other essays I have explained the major distinction and it all has to do with the way of thought. Here I will present many tools that will show you why it is erroneous to use greek teachings to explain or understand Christ himself.
Christianity nowadays is truly just another philosophy that teaches people to live a reasonably honorable life, just as the Greek philosophers intended to do. I believe this is precisely the result of using the philosophers to understand God. In the present, there is no significant difference between them and Christianity. It might pretty well seem that Christianity is the philosophies, only adding God to the equation. Jesus never designated this to happen, as a matter of fact it insults Him for it is easy to ignore Him and simply focus on His teachings. And this is exactly what has and is happening. The “concept” of there being only One and True God is little by little becoming more obsolete, lacking substance, reality, or power. In other words it is just a doubtful thing to believe that God exists or intervenes in all things. “Things happen, not because of a God, but because of accident, science, or mere human effort; reason.”
Jesus never said, “look guys, if you don’t get what I’m saying, just go to the Greek philosophers, it is all there. I am just here to talk to these ignorant Jews that think the Messiah is some guy that will deliver them from the Romans and make them the greatest military power in the world. I am here to explain to them that this is not true, but to show them that they had to use the philosophers to understand the law I gave them in the first place, just as others have done correctly. I am also here to create a universal religion that will unify all people into the worshiping of many things, but above all, Me.”
Jesus came in power and authority to preach, “Repent for the Kingdom of God has come.” Jesus came to reveal the Father to humanity (John 14:9) and demonstrate the essence of the law, which fundamentally also revealed the Father because God is the love (the law is summed up in love). He came to open the way for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the restoration of all that was lost in Eden by disobedience. This is the joining of heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9-10), and the manifestation of the glory of God here on earth to live in eternal life since the now.
A church founded upon the teachings of Christ explained through Greek philosophies was never the purpose of God. The real Christian church is cemented upon the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. This is the rock upon which Christ would edify his assembly, not Peter, but the revelation of Jesus that Peter obtained from the Father. Mortal men, namely Popes, was never even thought by God to be the foundations of His church. That would be an unstable foundation easy to fall on the whims of sinful mankind. The mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:11) can only be understood through the spirit that is joined or joining to the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). The Holy Spirit is the only one who can give you the understanding to understand the mysteries of God. (Acts 5:32)
One cannot receive words of spirit and life (John 6:63) with a way of thought that belongs to this world because the Spirit is not of this world (1 Corinthians 2:12). The mere definition of “earthly things” of Jesus is absolutely different than man’s definition. His still involves spiritual things and it is proven in John 3:12. You can come to conclude that if this “simple” meaning is very different for Jesus than for us, how much more in other concepts? For this reason Jesus spoke of repentance, which in reality signifies to change the way you think, not to say you’re sorry. He gave importance to the change of thought (Matthew 4:17) because He knew that the mental structures of this world hinder us from seeing, not entering, but seeing and knowing the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).
It is utterly complicated to comprehend the words of Jesus with a good and evil mentality, which is the one that governs humanity. It is also quite impossible to know God with a linear-time-mentality as His nature is eternal. That is why He died on the cross, to redeem us from our sins with love, to take out those who believe in Him from their worldly mentality, and to give the Holy Spirit to those who are willing to take the path of the narrow door. Not all those who say Lord, Lord and not all those who do wonders in His name, but those who do the will of the Father and receive the revelation of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24, notice it says ‘rock’), which is, by the way, the title of the book of Revelations (yes, it is not about the end of times). If you don’t believe this, just read Revelations 1:1.
The Holy Spirit is here, do not ignore Him, do not pay attention to the wisdom and teachings of this world if you want to know Christ, but instead seek His voice; repent. Greek philosophy will deviate you, confuse you, and take you to a religion that worships many other things except Jesus. Jesus will only be an ornament. You see, the primitive church had something philosophy will never have. It had the power of God and the capability to see and hear God through the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32). That’s what Jesus told Nicodemus WE testify (John 3:11). They also had the unity of the true love, they had one mind and had all things in common, something you don’t find anywhere today. But why did they have that? Because they were one spirit with the Holy Spirit. In other words He was the only one followed, not a man, but the Spirit, this is why it says that Jesus is the head if the body, not men, but Jesus. Through Him is the only way you can explain and understand Him, not men, but Him.