Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Coming Soon: Chapter 4 – Revealing the Son of Man Part I

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on December 4, 2012

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Tuesday, Week II, Evening Prayer: READING: 1Cor 2: 6-10 (emphasis added, with commentary)

there is a certain wisdom which we express among the spiritually mature.  It is NOT a wisdom of this age, however, nor of the RULERS of THIS AGE, who are men headed for destruction.

No, what we utter is GOD’S WISDOM: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom.  God planned it before all ages for our glory.  None of the rulers of this age know the mystery; if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory.

[By the same token, our current “leaders of this age” would not accept and institute COMPROMISE in the name of “tolerance” and “love” – a “love” that is NOT of God!  By doing so, they continually add to the nail marks of our crucified Lord.]

Of this wisdom it is written:  “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who LOVE Him.” [cf. Is 64:4; 65:17]

Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit.

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

RESPONSORY: Christ died for our sins to make of us and offering to God.

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Our Theme Throughout the Study

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.  The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of His Messiah come in the flesh.
~CCC§675 (emphasis added)

Index of Terms

We now begin in Chapter 1 of John’s Book of Revelation… Chapter 1: 1-5 (emphasis added)

"...and He was transfigured before them." ~Mark 9:2c

“…and He was transfigured before them.” ~Mark 9:2c

John’s Vision of the Son of Man: Book of Revelation 1: 1-2

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to His servants what must soon take place; and He made it known by sending His angel to His servant Johnwho bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

FIRST THING TO REMEMBER

This writing is occurring during an ACTUAL TIME, and refers to an ACTUAL TIME.  This time I call, “In John’s Day” or InJD”

InJD = There was much persecution by the Roman Authority as well as the Jewish authority.  The servants of the Most High God suffered greatly at the hands of those in charge, and [b]ecause of this, John sets out from the very beginning to explain suffering” and “evokes the image of the ‘suffering servant’ in Isaiah 53. (Barber, 33)

But like the other Apostles who “suffered the stripes for the faith”, John rejoices in his suffering because he knows that in his suffering he is bearing witness to Christ Jesus.  St. Paul would later write in his own letters to the Colossians:

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…” ~ Col 1:24

Thus, “Christians share in the work of Christ, the suffering Servant, when they join their won afflictions to His.  John is Christ’s servant because he has been exiled on the account of his testimony to Him.” (Barber, 34)

Angles

“God worked in the life of man through His holy Angles…”

That final element which I highlighted concerning the Angel of the Lord gives us that direct connection to Chapter 2, when we learned of our true uniqueness in the plan of salvation.  Before Christ’s first coming, God worked in the life of man through His Holy Angels (Ex 3:2; Lk 1:11, 26-38, just to name a couple of examples). 

Now that Christ has redeemed mankind by His birth, death, and resurrection God can work with us and through us for the good of our salvation and the salvation of mankind, (see Col 1:24 above).

Yet as I’ve also stressed, many times before, Sacred Scripture is TIMELESS.  It speaks to YESTERDAY, TODAY, and the DAYS TO COME.  So what we read also applies in part to us, where we are now.  Case in point…

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer...

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer…

Revelation: 3 Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near.

Where do we hear the Word proclaimed?  In Church, and more specifically in the Mass!  Who “reads aloud the words”?  The Reader/Lector and the Celebrant/Priest and/or Deacon. 

Who are they that “keep what is written therein”?  They who hear because they are present in the celebration of the Liturgy, the Heavenly Worship.  And as Barber says:

The Apocalypse [Unveiling] can never be explained properly apart from Christ’s coming to the Church in the Eucharistic celebration…[because it] is truly there that the Church unites her suffering with Christ’s and truly experiences Him coming to her. (Barber, 35)

So the worship we do TODAY is very much reflected in what was written YESTERDAY and applies also to the DAYS TO COME.  We’ll see this again and again as this study progresses.

The One is was, Who Is, and Who is to come...

The One is was, Who Is, and Who is to come…

Revelation: 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

These are ACTUAL and HISTORICAL churches that existed and were founded by the Apostle John, hence his writing letters to them.  But at the same time, “the book’s teaching is for the whole Church represented by these seven communities… ‘seven’ is the number of wholeness.  Therefore, by writing to seven churches, John writes to the whole Church.”  (Barber, 35, 36, emphasis added)

“Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come…”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO AM.”  And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ~Ex 3:14

Or:  I AM WHAT I AM ;  Or: I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE (commentary on Ex 3:14)

“…and from the seven spirits who are before His throne…”

Grace and peace…[not given] by angels, but by God Himself, the phrase ‘seven spirits’ appears to be a reference to the Holy Spirit.”

What’s more, “Seven…a number of wholeness and holiness, is used here to designate the most perfect Spirit of all…to the Trinity – God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (the seven spirits).

(Barber, 36: see footnote 1 for more information)

Revelation: 5: and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earthTo Him who LOVES us and has freed us from our sins by His blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus is PRIEST and VICTIM – First-born and MARTYR…He is the ‘ruler of the kings on earth’ – King of the world…[all these things] fit together to form a vitally important theme… Christ fulfills, in Himself and His Church, the original calling of the first man, Adam.  (Ibid.)

And what was that first calling of Adam?  Simple, to Love and Serve God and care for God’s creation.  As we are all aware, Adam didn’t do too good with that. 

***Men, pay attention to this next bit, for it pertains to you, especially as you should be in your households and families.
It’s the greatest victory of Satan’s to take this away from you as he has done with feminist-hoopla that seeks to masculine women and feminize men.***

"God took the man and put him in the garden...to till...and keep it." ~Gen 2:15

“God took the man and put him in the garden…to till…and keep it.” ~Gen 2:15

Adam failed first because he did not do as God commanded him after God established the garden, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it,” (Gen 2:15). 

“Keep it”… Keep it what?  Keep it safe!  Tilling is planting and keeping IS protecting, “keeping watch through the night”.  Adam didn’t do this.  How do we know?  Because of what takes place in Chapter 3

Just a little side note: Ladies, our first woman didn’t do too great either.  She knew what God has said,

“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” (Gen 3:2-3)

How did she know this?  She wasn’t around when God gave that instruction to Adam (Gen 2:16-17); she had not yet been created.  This suggests that she received the information from her husband, Adam with the original source still from God. 

So when Adam failed to get in between Eve and the Serpent, and left Eve to fend for herself, PRIDE immediately kicked in.  All of the sudden she knew better that her husband who had received the first instructions; but even worse, she knew better than God! It is said that, “Pride covers a multitude of sins”, in that it is a “capital sin” that leads to many other sins (cf. CCC§1866); this may very well be where it all began. For in one breath, woman defied and denied God’s authority, and established discord with her husband (He doesn’t know what he’s talking about). Sound familiar, ladies?

Certainly the sin of pride and knowing better than others still plagues  women  today; the discord in families between spouses is often proof enough. We’ve often been brought up to believe that we are never wrong, but the men in our lives frequently are.  Do ya’ll think that might have been on purpose?  Speaking as a woman, this too, has been my struggle but is not something that cannot be overcome.  

Of course, the point is: BOTH man and woman failed at the moment of testing.  Both man and woman are responsible for the fall that gives us Original Sin. Both doubted God and His sovereign goodness:

“You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 2:4-5)  As if walking and talking with God wasn’t privilege enough! (cf Gen 1:26-30; 2:7-23)

BACK TO THE STUDY…

Chapter 3… All of the sudden there is a foreign presence that is speaking AGAINST God (cf. Gen 3:4-5), and tempting man’s own helpmate to turn from her creator.  It is important to note something else about this foreign presence:

The ‘serpent’ of Gen 3 is not your typical ‘garden variety’ snake. The word ‘serpent in Hebrew is nahash [and is used] elsewhere to describe the dragon known as the ‘Leviathan’ (cf. Is 27:1). (Barber, 36)

Want to know what he looked like?

And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great RED DRAGON, with SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS, and SEVEN DIADEMS upon his heads.  His TAIL swept down 1/3rd of the stars in heaven, and cast them down to earth. (Rev 12:3, emphasis added)

Definitely not you “garden variety” of snakes.  Now, in case you’ve noticed, the number 7 appears here too, when describing the “father of lies”, the “ancient serpent who is Satan”.  This is to affirm that Satan once did belong in heaven – he was known as Lucifer – and he was among the most beautiful of angels before he turned on God and was flung from heaven with 1/3rd of the angels accompanying him (cf. Rev 12: 7-9).  This is also further supported by both St. John and St. Paul when they warn sternly those left to their care to:

…not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God.  Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ…he who denies the Father and the Son. (1Jn 4:1; 2:22)

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. (2Cor 11: 14-15)

So this is what came upon the woman AND the man… How do we know Adam was with Eve the entire time this not-too-nice looking serpent intimidated Eve?  Because:

…she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. (Gen 3:6)

Not, “she went looking for Adam to give him some of this delicious fruit to eat”.  No, she turned and gave it to him.  Adam was standing by her side…cowering!

Adam was to guard the garden, but because of his fear, he failed.  He could…confront the devil and engage him in combat to defend his bride and the garden…or he could go along with the devil’s suggestion and eat the fruit.  Adam didn’t want to die, so he just ate the fruit. (Barber, 37)

He wasn’t willing to lay down his life for his body (and the two shall become one flesh… Gen 2:24b, Ephe 5:28-29), to hold to the LOVE he should have for his Creator and TRUST that what God said is true:

“…but the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die,” (Gen 2:17). 

As a result, ALL of mankind fell.  We were kicked out of the supernatural life when our first parents were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

This is what Hebrews 2:14-15 implies when it tells us that the devil brought us into bondage to sin ‘through fear of death’. (Ibid.)

"God showed His LOVE for us in that why we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8

“God showed His LOVE for us in that why we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8

But what Adam did not do, Christ DID; and by doing so He renewed the flesh of Adam – that is, all mankind:

[Just as] sin come into the world through one man, and death through sin, and…death spread to all men because all men sinned…from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam…

“Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by ONE MAN’S OBEDIENCE [that is Jesus], many will be made righteous.

(Rom 5: 12, 14, 18, 19b, emphasis added)

Because…

God showed His LOVE for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Since therefore we are now justified by His Blood, much more will we be saved by Him from the wrath of God… we also rejoice in God through our Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Rom 5: 8-9, 11b)

As Barber is quick to further point out:

This is why Jesus had to die…Jesus simply did in His human nature what He does from all eternity as the Son – He pours out His LIFE in LOVE, [self-giving LOVE]. (Barber, 38)

Up Next: Chapter 4, Part II  

REVIEW:

Chapter 2: 4 Senses of Sacred Scripture
Chapter 3: Heavenly Liturgy and the Holy Mass

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