The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part Two – Fear)

In a previous post, I related the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden and shared what meaning I see in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In this post, I am going to discuss the fear that seems to precede the taking of the forbidden fruit, and that now dominates our world.

The serpent said to Eve, “Assuredly, you will not die. For God knows that in the day you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you will become like Him, knowing both good and evil.” Continue reading “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part Two – Fear)”

This is Not About the Rapture

There is a lot of controversy in certain circles about the way this age of the world will come to its end, about the final things that will precede the Judgment and Revelation of the Lord, and about how those who belong to Him will join Him in unshadowed bliss without the sin that mars this world. Prominent among these controversies are those related to what many call the ‘Rapture’, the translation of living Christians from mortal to immortal bodies like that of the Lord (at least I presume that is what they mean) and when it will occur, whether before, during, or after a period they call the ‘Tribulation’ of especially wide-spread and inescapable suffering and judgment they believe will occupy the final seven years before the Lord returns to judge and renew the earth. Continue reading “This is Not About the Rapture”

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part One)

There is a story that God put the man and the woman in a garden and told them that all the trees of the garden were theirs to eat from, except for one: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then the serpent came and asked them, “Did God really say that you could not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge… Assuredly, you will not die when you eat the fruit, but will become like God, knowing both good and evil.” So the man and the woman looked at the tree of knowledge of good and evil and decided to eat its fruit.

To many people this sounds like a story about how God made an arbitrary rule and punishment and then decided to visit all the evil in the world on humankind because a couple human beings decided that they weren’t going to follow an arbitrary and purposeless rule. Continue reading “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part One)”

The Joy and Death of the Friend of the Bridegroom

“I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight paths for Him.’”

“After me there comes One who ranks ahead of me, for He was before me, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom waits for him and is overjoyed when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That is my joy and it is now complete. He must increase and I must decrease.”

Finally, from prison, John sends his disciple’s to Jesus with these words: “Are You He who is to come, or look we for another?”

Imagine for a moment who John was. Continue reading “The Joy and Death of the Friend of the Bridegroom”

Why Those Who Will Not Forgive Cannot Be Forgiven

“Do not judge. For with the measure with which you measure, it will be measured back to you.”

“If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father who is in Heaven forgive you your sins.”

What if forgiveness is something more, but never less, than the remittance of punishment deserved for wrongs?

What if God will have all His sons and daughters to be perfect as He Himself is perfect, holy because He Himself is holy? Continue reading “Why Those Who Will Not Forgive Cannot Be Forgiven”

God’s Final Revelation

“When He received glory and honor from God the Father, this declaration was made to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this declaration from Heaven when we stood with Him on the mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you would do well to pay attention, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.”

These verses are often taken to mean that the words written in the Bible are a more certain guide to God than dreams or visions. It is not, however, clear to me Continue reading “God’s Final Revelation”

What Does Being Like Angels Have to Do With Marriage in Heaven?

What if, when Jesus said, “They neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels in Heaven,” He was not denouncing any possibility of an enduring union between a man and a woman, but declaring that what the Saducees (and doubtless the Pharisees also) called ‘marriage’ had nothing to do with real marriage, with the union He had created?

I write this tentatively, alerting any readers to the fact that while there is something here, with regards to this topic of which I am certain (else I would not be writing this) there is much more which I do not know, and it is not even very clear to me how to differentiate between what I know and what I suggest only in order to provide a frame in which to suggest what I know to others. Continue reading “What Does Being Like Angels Have to Do With Marriage in Heaven?”

Call Me Blessed, for the Mighty One Has Done Great Things for Me

“My soul exults in the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has had regard for the lowly state of His handmaid. From this day on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. His mercy is upon generations of those who fear Him… He casts down rulers from their thrones, and exalts those who were humbled. He fills the hungry with good things, while the rich He has sent empty away…”

Thus runs Mary’s Magnificat, her song in which she praises God’s mercy towards herself – and towards all. Continue reading “Call Me Blessed, for the Mighty One Has Done Great Things for Me”