One of Nicolaus Copernicus' successors was a man name Giordano Bruno (1548 – 17 February, 1600). Bruno took Copernicus' vision of the cosmos a step further, and envisioned that the sun was just another star, and the stars other suns, with there own watery worlds and life within them. He believed God was an infinite creator and surmised creation couldn't be anything but infinite as well. He suggested that the universe was endless and could have no center, let alone our Earth. Giordano Bruno spent years imprisoned in Rome and was burned at the stake as a heretic by the inquisition authorities.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was an astronomer and scientist. Galileo developed the first telescope and when he looked at the stars, he discovered Copernicus and Bruno were right all along. Galileo was critical of many of Aristotle's teachings that placed the Earth at the center of the universe. Because of his support of Copernicus and Bruno's visions of the cosmos Galileo was sentenced to life imprisonment by the inquisition.
Isaac Newton (January 4 1643 – March 31, 1727) was an English physicist and mathematician, most famous for his law of gravitation. He was instrumental in the scientific revolution in the 17th Century. He was very religious and a die hard mystic. He believed he could decode secret messages in the bible, and unearth the time of Jesus' second coming. He also believed in alchemy, that through mixing the right chemicals together, you could turn ordinary metals in to gold or silver, or better yet cook up the elixir of life. His scientific work greatly helped pave the way to modern-day science and human understanding.
Mother Teresa (1910-1997), a Roman Catholic nun, devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the globe. Many of her years were spent in Calcutta, India where she did plenty of missionary work with a religious congregation she founded called Missionaries of Charity, which helped many of those in desperate need. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and is an iconic symbol of the hand of God's grace. She followed Jesus' example of loving others and made a great impact on those around her.
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) was a civil rights activist for African Americans in the USA. The United States Congress duly dubbed her the “Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement”. She is famous for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, on December 1, 1955. Her arrest and trial for this act of disobedience triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This was one of the biggest and most successful mass movements against racial segregation in history. It also helped pave the way for Martin Luther King, Jr., to rise to the forefront of the civil rights movement in America.
The 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of the Tibetan people. He has stated “My religion is very simple, My religion is kindness.” He was formally anointed as the Dalai Lama in 1950, and was thrust into a difficult position, as both spiritual and political leader of the country of Tibet, that was under the invasion and occupation by China. The Dalai Lama has lead a long campaign of non-violent resistance to China's occupation of Tibet. After several years under Chinese occupation, he escaped the country to India. He travels the world teaching peaceful and compassionate lessons based on his Buddhist religion.
Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk and the father of the Protestant reformation. He very openly criticized the Roman catholic church for their legalistic and hypocritical corruption, and believed that it was the bible and not the Roman Catholic Church that was the genuine source for interpreting the word of God. At a time when the bible was only allowed to be written in Greek, he translated the it into German, making it more accessible to the general public.
Jesus of Nazareth (c.5BC - 30AD) was the most influential person to have ever lived in the history among all of mankind. Through him, God was able to set a unprecedented example of righteousness and prepared the way for the True Christ to rise out of the ashes of this Nazarene's martyrdom. Jesus was persecuted by the Pharisees because he contradicted their legalistic form of Judaism and though he was executed by the Romans, he impacted the world like no other before or after. He didn't teach on strict laws, but on God's gracious love and forgiveness of those who are penitent. He stated the greatest commandment is to fully love God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. He is the greatest example of sacrificial love and benevolence and a true friend of God and Christ.
(More on Jesus' life can be found in the essay I have written called “The Christ”)
The preceding examples, are a few members of God's family who picked up the torch and passed on the flame of light, to the generations that followed them. The truth is, everyone has God and the Devil within them, influencing their thinking and behavior. Some choose greatness, others choose mediocrity, normality and conformity, but what if everyone around you is doing the wrong thing? Do you have the strength to take a bold stand for what is right?
God uses anyone and everyone possible to fulfill the cause of making the world a better place for the Messiah to live in and universally without favor or discrimination has been working towards peace on Earth and the salvation of all who exist, and Satan has too been using anyone and everyone possible to fulfill its cause of destroying Christ, to make the planet as hazardous as possible for the coming of the Messiah.
God's influence in minds is rationality, intelligence, carefulness, mindfulness and compassion, among many other things. The fact that you are reading this shows you care about truth and want to find the answers. Religion and Philosophy can offer many so called “answers” to life's important questions, but they consist of simple and elaborate ideas, based on popular opinion, that are often believed out of an ignorant gullibility and passive submission to peer pressure.
Reach out to the Lord and He will draw near to you! Don't stray into lukewarm passiveness and settle for mediocre thoughts. Be a radical thinker and see the world around you impacted for the sake of God's Kingdom. The Epic Testament is an extremely powerful way of looking at the cosmos. I urge you to read it fully and understand the true magnitude of the light we have within us.