Tag Archive: Miraculous



“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him.” -1 Corinthians 15:20-23

Photobucket

"The Transfiguration", by Lodovico Carracci. oil on canvas, c. 1594

I find that my inquisitive nature is both a blessing and a curse, as will become apparent in my commentary concerning this passage of Scripture. The mind is a astonishing thing, though it can also serve evil, but it was gifted by God that we may seek out the wonderful mysteries of Him. Yet, our faith must surpass our own understanding, for God is beyond the reason of man. Rather than use this as an excuse, the inability to reason God and His ways, is perfectly reasonable. If we were able to reason God, we would need to be Him, which is impossible. Much like you can know a person, you can’t really know them to a full degree unless you are actually one in the same, which trespasses against the law of identity. Thus, we see only as a poor reflection and though we can approach God using the mind, the fullness is unattainable.

Photobucket
We can stretch our minds to have great understanding of the Lord, and such wisdom is provided by Him, but there is a line past which man cannot reason, where thought becomes defused, a chaos of reason, if you will. This is an important thing to realize, if one who is as inquisitive as I am begins to get tripped up from unanswered questions, as it used to do with me. A couple other things to realize are:

  • Just because you don’t have an answer, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
  • Answers can be hard to come by, but most often they come not from teachers or pastors, but from the Lord Himself.
  • If the mind of man is corrupt and evil, how can we possibly fully comprehend that which is perfect and good? Perfect goodness cannot be fully comprehended.
  • If you have pondered it, chances are someone else has as well, therefore a answer, or rather partial answer, is bound to be available somewhere.
  • If you feel your questions eating at your faith, this is really a manifestation of pride. Wait on the Lord to provide an answer, if the question is that important to you, remain in prayer.

In this verse, it tells us Christ was the Firstfruit. What is meant by this? Christ at the time of His resurrection, arose with a new glorified body. One that is free of decay and will never pass away. He was the first to receive such a body, but won’t be the last. While Christ justly received His new body, we, those who belong to Him, will receive it according to His grace. If death came through the disobedience of one man, as 1 Corinthians tells us, how much more can the perfect obedience of Christ negate the disobedient act of he who cursed all man?
Photobucket
Again, His body is the first of the new bodies which we will be granted at the time of our passing from death into life. Christians will be raised again, with the blood of Christ covering us and we will be seen as righteous, through grace, and we will acquire our new bodies through the Son of Man. Our bodies will be unperishable and not be bound to the physical world and it’s laws as we now know it.

Photobucket
This certainly is a glorious truth that we eagerly await. When the Lord comes in glory we will be free of the struggle, the pain, the anguish, and the disgusting nature of sin which stains us all. What a glorious day it will be! However, here my inquisitive mind interjects and asks a question, I almost can’t help but ask, and as of now I have no answer. The question is this:

If Christ is the Firstfruit, and I have faith He is, then how could He talk with both Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-9)? Were they not resurrected?

One answer seems rather obvious. Elijah never died, but was whisked off to heaven in a whirlwind accompanied by a chariot of fire and horses. For this reason I believe the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:1-14 will be Enoch and Elijah, for both in the scriptures did not experience physical death, but were taken straight up into heaven in bodily form. Thus, both have yet to die, which the two witnesses will be subject to before being raised up again to life.

Photobucket

The famous Hank Hanegraaff, who is well renowned for providing biblical answers, said on his blog concerning this question:

“There is no reason to think that they (Moses and Elijah) had yet received permanent resurrected bodies.”

Truly, the Bible doesn’t say that at all. Both were beloved by God and may have been called from Abraham’s Bosom to speak to the Lord. Also, the fact that the transfiguration occurred at this very time, might indicate, that in this miraculous event, Christ was transcending the world prior, of course, to His crucifixion. However, this is all speculative, and exactly what form Moses, whom the Law was given, and Elijah, whom was the restorer of the Law, took might be a mute point when juxtaposed with the “pre-incarnate” glory manifest in Christ. Whatever the answer is, perhaps it lies in the chaos of reason and I would not even be able to grasp a full answer, and thereby the inquisitive nature is overshadowed by that of faith. My faith in the Scripture, which I have no reason to disbelieve, tells me that Christ was indeed the Firstfruit, and Moses and Elijah were in form of something different than the glorified body, for Christ had not yet became glorified, so the opportunity for the two men to receive their new bodies had not yet come to pass.

We must be wary not to include those things in the Bible that it does not say. In this case it does not say that they, Moses and Elijah, were in bodily form, so there is no reason, truly, to conclude that they are. Though, again, at least one, Elijah, could have been. Another form is possible, for we know people after their earthly death go into Hades, or Abraham’s bosom. Therefore, it follows that they still exist in some form and perhaps it was this form that, at least Moses took, on the Mount of Transfiguration. Finally, the mountain itself is unknown, but three suggestions have been made concerning its identification, though admittedly this is somewhat irrelevant. The three candidates offered by scholars and tradition are, Mount Tabor, Mount Hermon, and even Mount Sinai, the latter being the most unlikely of the three due to its location.

Photobucket

Thanks again to Terie for her insight, a true Princess of The Lord and The Queen of Grammar. 🙂

Advertisements

“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.'” -Luke 9:62

Photobucket

I’m sure on occasion poets look at the words of Christ and if they don’t admonish or worship Him, they must certainly salivate with envy. I half jest, but indeed Christ’s words are so beautiful they resonate throughout our lives and through all of creation. Yet, Christ came for much more than linguistical aesthetics. Christ’s words are remarkable in that, within such a phrase like this, there are found many different meanings and they hold untold riches for those who seek Him and the wisdom that is found in the Lord. This simple phrase spoken by Christ is anything but. It holds not only a warning for us, but also vast hope for the Christian in regards to their spiritual journey.

Photobucket

"The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah," by John Martin. oil on canvas, c. 1852

Genesis Chapter 19 contains the infamous account concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. These two sister cities were the epicenter for all forms of detestable vileness and evil. The Las Vegas of its day. Or possibly worse. Maybe even Detroit (Kidding). Indeed, the cities were so disgusting that the Lord decided to purge them from the face of the earth forever. However, in Sodom there lived a man named Lot. Lot lived there with His family, and God, in His grace, decided to spare Lot and his family from the destruction that was coming, due in part to Lot’s sheltering of two angels He had sent into the city, and because he was indeed the nephew of Abraham, who was greatly beloved by God. Yet, there were strict conditions. The angels told Lot and his family in Genesis 19, Chapter 17:

“Flee for your lives. Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

Despite these pretty straight forward and urgent instructions, Lot’s wife looked back as they fled, and as the angels had warned, she was indeed turned into “a pillar of salt.” Explanations for how this could have occurred range from the natural, the miraculous, and even to ancient technology theories. Yet, the how isn’t as important as the why. Why simply by looking back did she perish and turn into a large pile of the mineral adored by horses the world over?

Photobucket

Lot’s wife, who some scholars believe was named “Idis,” didn’t merely look back out of some fleeting uncontrollable curiosity, but rather she looked back on the city of Sodom with longing eyes. She saw the sinful city life she was accustomed to being razed to the ground and she felt sorrow and longing. Thus, becoming a large heap of a crystalline preservative was her fate. It is a little bit of a confounding situation, for though Lot was just, as 2 Peter tells us, one wonders why they dwelled in such a detestable place. Furthermore, by the mere fact she looked back, that alone suggests that “Idis” was indeed caught up in the sin of Sodom to some degree or fashion.

Photobucket

Yet, be that as it may, this example gives us insight into one meaning behind Christ’s words, and that is, when we become a new creation in Him, we should not look back with desire to who we were before, for this can only lead to death. Why run back into the burning ruins of sin that the Lord Himself has delivered you out of according to His grace? You have been delivered, bought with a price, and the Lord has answered your prayer. Why fight the Lord and crawl back towards what would be your demise? A heart that longs for sin has no place in the Kingdom of God. Christ has granted us a reprieve that we may escape the destruction that is to come and even now it is ongoing, so on that date and time, which the Lord has set by His own authority, we may be long afar from that destruction which will cover the whole earth.

Photobucket

"Sodom and Gomorrah," by Jan Brueghel The Elder

Secondly, realize that no matter where you were and what you were, your Lord has delivered you. You have been deemed worthy by grace to be covered in the blood of the Lamb, thus, again, do not turn around and regret your decisions or the bad choices of the past, for those too are forgiven. Such regrets are like a tether or lead, they may allow us to scamper about and even move forward somewhat, but essentially they still hold us firmly in place. Christ has cut these bonds from us and let not regret, nor worldly sorrow, keep you from partaking and drinking from the Cup of Life. Do not strive to place yourself back into bondage, but rather persevere. Do not tarry or grow weary, keep your eyes on Christ and the prize that is offered, for those who do, their paths will remain straight, but those whose eyes wander, so does the path of their plow, guiding them into rocky soil, danger and eventually death. May The Lord be praised that even wanderers such as myself can be set straight again by His grace and directed out of, and away from, the city of destruction.

Photobucket


“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom.” -1 Corinthians 1:22

Christ, our savior, is so sublime He cant be put into any category except “Lord,” which only He can occupy. Christ was different, but greater, than the worldly king the Jews were expecting. They were expecting an earthly king, who blessed by God would raise Israel’s status to a world power. Yet, the Son of God was a king of another sort. Not a political one, but a heavenly one, who came to not just the Jews, but all mankind. Concerning what some expected, He was something far greater and some even to this day refuse to recognize it. They demanded the miraculous, in the Old Testament and New, but no number of miracles or fulfilled prophecies could convince or appease those who drove Christ to the cross. He was scorned, mocked, tortured and put to death, only to rise three-days later, alive and the King of Kings. Yet, for some that’s not enough, He is still mocked and spit on. People still demand from Him, the miraculous is done even to this day, but still today, as it was then, it’s not enough. You would think the mere conception of a figure like Christ would at least win some sort of respect. People will respect a sports figure or celebrity to the ends of the earth, but a man who was nailed to a cross for love of even those who scored Him to his face, is still receiving the same treatment to this day.

"Christ in The Wilderness," by Ivan Kramskoy. oil on canvas, c. 1872

Yet, there is another school, the school of thought and reason, which strives to know what it can’t. Though by it’s own rules say it needs to be witnessed to be proven, those supposed wise men contradict themselves by believing in something with no empirical evidence, and that is nothing but hydrogen. Belief, or faith, in that is alright, but belief and faith in God is not. God is a foolish idea, the eternal cloud of hydrogen is smart. Yet, fact is, it exists far in the past and cannot be proven. Science, where is your undeniable proof? You are made up of curious generalities but the specifics are lacking. All the breakthroughs you have made in medicine and technology, where is your breakthrough in the questions concerning the foundation of existence itself? All your “breakthroughs” concerning such deteriorate to being hoaxes, misidentifications, or just plain hypothetical. You have a theory for how the form of man developed, but what about the lung? The eye? The internal ear? The very things that make the form work? How did they even come to union in one form, man, and not others?


Where is your answer for the existence of things like math? How do laws exist without someone to write them? Evolution itself is a law, where did that come from? How does order exist without an orderer?


We see that both religious zealots and the wise can be blinded from the truth. How Christ put, and will put, them all to shame! These foundations of religion and science will crumble when Christ’s truth is revealed to all in its due time. It extends beyond the boundaries of science and reason, and those that call out for “proof.” It’s a truth which will not be extinguished and a truth that will never die.


“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” -Romans 1:8

It is a common argument among non-believers to cite that the Bible cannot be regarded as trustworthy due to how many people were responsible for its authorship. Current estimates state that the number of authors number somewhere around 40. According to their argument this necessarily means that the Bible is unreliable. I find this not to be the case at all. Rather, the more people the Bible had write it, due to the lack of contradiction, adds to its credibility. In fact, Hollywood can scarcely produce a sequel without some contradiction being evident in the overall story line. Sometimes these inconsistencies even occur in the same film. So with approximately 40 authors, the Bible should be full of such irreconcilable contradictions, but we find this not to be the case. If it was just written by man and not God-breathed, than we could indeed expect it to be. Therefore, it is clearly seen that God directed the pen of the authors of Scripture.

Note Mysterious, Unexplained T-Shirt Color Shift

This verse not only contains an exhortation to the church in Rome, but also shows us the important role Christ fills between us and the Father. Romans 1:8 states, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you.” The statement, “through Jesus Christ,” shows us that Christ serves as the mediator between us and God, which is a point echoed in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ.”

Photobucket

It’s an important thing to remember when reading the letters of Paul is that they are to specific churches. I only bring this up because it seems to be easily forgotten by some who find themselves particularly distracted by paradox. There is certainly plenty of paradox in the letters of Paul, but one would be wise to look to whom it is Paul is writing. Although the concrete truths of the gospel of Christ are contained throughout Paul’s letters, it’s helpful to remember Paul is also writing to a specific church and place, each with their own struggles, hindrances, and scope of focus.

Concerning the lack of technology in those times, one cannot help be amazed at how in touch Paul was with all the churches throughout the Mediterranean. Although he sometimes couldn’t visit due to God’s will for him to be elsewhere, he nevertheless was keenly aware of each church’s state and their trials. Again, with the lack of communication and technology, this in itself seems almost miraculous and reflection on this may provide a some perspective concerning church leadership.

%d bloggers like this: