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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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DRAWING A CIRCLE

22It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, (Isaiah 40:)


In our previous drawing classes we learned to draw pictures in a rather freehand manner. In today's lesson we will be working with more precise tools, to wit: A compass, a telescope, and a microscope.

In nature everything works in a circle. We see in the microscope (at least supposedly someone has) that the atom is composed of tiny particles called neutrons, protons, electrons and cosmic glue. This tiny creature is what everything is composed of. How many zeros would have to go after some number to express how many of these things it takes to make up just one person I suppose is incalculable. Yet without these elements, nothing could exist.

In order for an element to remain stable, everything must remain the same. Nothing is allowed to change. However, just as we strive for stability in our lives, stability creates stagnation and disaffection. In order to prevent an entropic (motionless) condition, everything in nature is in constant flux.

For an element to remain in its present condition it must not change in any way. All its parts must stay the same. We have this condition in society as well. For a family, a tribe, an organization, a nation, or any other group of people (or other animal) to remain as it has been established, nothing, nor no one must lack conformity with that establishment.

In the world of the atom there is what is called a free radical, that is a basic element that does not conform to the composition is has been attached to. Because of this free radical, unrest is created within the compound, or in the case of society, resistance and instability prevails.

Non-conforming elements within an atomic structure is essential for life to exist. Movement of the elements create energy, which in turn provides warmth, and mobility, and health to the organism it helps to compose.

Now, let us leave our microscope and take to our telescope. As we look into the heavens we see a duplication, an exact copy if you will, of what we witnessed through our microscope. If we could venture deep into outer space, far beyond our galactic system we would see the same events taking place in the heavens as we have seen in the atom, and thereby on our own biological make-up. What we see now in the heavens, we saw in the minuscule world of the atom. And if we had lived thousands of years ago, we would have seen exactly the same thing as we see today in God's creation.

We now return home from our adventure in inner and outer space to once again take our place at our drawing table. Are you tired from the trip? I thought you might be. And I suspect you wonder why I took you so far from home in order to introduce you to this lesson on drawing a circle. I can well understand your bewilderment.

We have seen that everything moves in a circle. Everything from the largest to the smallest; from the oldest to the newest of creation revolves around something. And the something that is in the center of a revolution is revolving around something else. As far as we know, there is nothing, other than a free radicle (such as a comet in the bigger scheme of things), that is not part of some circular motion. Wherever it began, it will return to once again.

Now to draw what you've been experiencing. Take your compass (make sure your pencil is sharp), and open it about 3 or 4 inches. Make sure the picture you draw will not extend outside the paper you have before you. Is your compass and your paper ready? Very good. Now, place the sharp pointy end of your compass in the center of the paper. Try not to mar the table under the paper. Those pointy things can make a nasty hole in your mother's treasured antique table. Hmmm. I guess I should have warned you of this first, shouldn't I?

Now, draw a circle on your paper with your compass. Continue your circle until you've connected both ends of the circle. Continue drawing until you come to the end of the circle. Keep going. You know there has to be an end somewhere. Keep in mind the more times you go around that circle, the deeper the hole you're making in your mother's table. I guess I should have warned you of that as well.

Did you come to an end? A question: How many times do you think you would have to go around that circle before you found the end?

For this next drawing, adjust you compass until it makes a circle about three or four inches in diameter. Now, on a clean sheet of paper (and hopefully another table, a table that doesn't mind being poked by pointy metal objects) draw a circle using your compass on the top half of your paper. Now, place the pencil end of your paper on the bottom of the circle you just drew, and with the pointy end secured, draw another circle below the first circle. You should now have what appears to be a figure 8. Does it look like a figure 8? Good. Now turn the paper sideways. What does it look like now? Does it look like a sleepy 8?

What you now have is the sign for infinity. Do you know what infinity is? Infinity is forever, endless, can not be measured. Infinity is what we all, whether in the Church, or outside the Church, desire to spend in Heaven, and not in that other place.

Have you noticed anything about the infinity sign you just drew? Take a look. It is like your circle.

We think of forever as being a straight line extending to some place far beyond where we now stand. But is that so? This question is what we're about to explore in our effort to learn how to draw a circle.

I don't keep up with the news, I don't watch TV, nor do I even listen to the radio. You could well say I'm an ignoramus when it comes to current events. One day a while back I found a newspaper in a trash ben. I thought I would take a look at the paper to see what I might find newsworthy. Did I find anything newsworthy? Not at all. In fact the paper read almost exactly the same way it did ten years ago when I last read a newspaper. The names of the people in the news might be different. The natural disasters might be happening in a different place. The economy crises might be at a higher level. Our national debt might be a few billion dollars more, and we might be at war with a different country: But otherwise the news is just the same as it's always been. It reminds me of the tabloids at the checkout stands, we can always expect to see the words "Shocking," "Sex," "End of the world (especially at Christmas time," and "President So 'n So caught with his pants down." Nothing new except the name and the date on the paper. I suppose if they had of had tabloids during the time of Adam and Eve they would have read almost exactly like they do today: "Hark! Famous man in Eden caught nude in public: Brother kills brother; Man builds giant boat; Animals invade city; End of the World! Weather report: Much rain expected, carry umbrella."

Solomon said:

4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. 7All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us., all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 15That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting (Eccl 1:)

There is nothing new under the sun.

6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (Mat 24:)

Again, nothing new under the sun. Natural disasters, wars, rumors of wars have been with us from the beginning. And the Christian has been killed and persecuted for the past 2,000 years, either being killed by the heathens, or by other Christians. The worst of any of these things come in waves, and the location varies, but they are always with us. We now are at the brink of annihilation, and we all know it: Yet we pay no attention to the possibility. When I was young we knew at any moment Russia could drop a bomb on our head, so we built bomb shelters, and we practiced bomb drills where we would duck under our desk during school.

Nothing new under the sun: Only how we look at the old thing as it passes us by has changed.

37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (Mat 24:)

28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:)

22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1Cor 15:)

Whatever it is we want to describe or explain or present a picture of we can find plenty of examples of such an occurrence or situation in the history books. This is never more true than in the Bible. Repetition is resplendent in the Bible. Consider the prophesies about Jesus, and in fact the prophesies in general. Over and over again, often in the same book, prophecies are given, often using almost exactly the same words. Consider the number of times the Tabernacle was described in the books of Moses using almost the same words. And of course, considering the Tabernacle, which in itself was a picture of the Temple, and a picture of Jesus, and a picture of the Church, and at the same time a picture of Heaven. The Tabernacle was an amazing example of repetition in itself. The book of Deuteronomy is a repeat of what had already been said and demonstrated in the three books preceding it. In fact the word is Hebrew for "Duplicate." Chronicles is almost a carbon copy of first and second Kings. Almost everything Jesus and the Apostles said was an exposition of what had been said in the Old Testament, and in fact it was often given to us as a direct quote of the Old Testament. And the Old Testament can be seen to have been but a shadow, a prediction and an explanation of what is described in the New Testament.

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (Mat 17:)

Elijah was here on earth, was in John the Baptist (in a figure), appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration, and he will come again. When we close a door to repetition, we close ourself off to what God is trying to show us.

15The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deut 18:)

22For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. (Acts 3:)

It's because of repetition we understand the Bible. If we say "Oh, I've already read the Bible," or "I know what this passage is going to say so I'll just skim it," then we have stopped our ears and God can't tell us anything beyond what we think we already know. There are some parts of the Bible I've seen and studied ten to fifty times, and I still keep seeing new things, and making new connections with other passages I read afresh. The Bible is always alive and exciting, no matter how many times I read the Words of God.

"Line upon line, precept upon precept."

23It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Heb 9:)

16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1Tim 1:)

6Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Col 2:)

5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. (Heb 8:)

A pattern is something designed to be followed precisely. And it is something to be repeated over and over. A pattern dress will have pictures or dots or checker squares all exactly alike.

33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1Cor 14:)

Man will often strive for order, but his way is that of confusion, disharmony and chaos as he strives to direct everything to himself instead of the purpose at hand. Government of any nature is a good example of this very thing.

9Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 14Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1Cor 10:)

What we experience, others have and will experience. God has a plan for His creation. Our job is to find the will of God for our life, and to follow that plan. Instead we try to understand God's plan so we can change it to fit our will.

We have expressions such as: "History repeats itself," and "If we don't learn from our mistakes (history), we're bound to repeat it." We understand this principle, yet we at the same time try to close the door to what we see as past. We like to take our trash, bundle it up, and tie it up with a bow. We like to have our circumstances well in hand, to be in control of our life. And part of the fulfillment of this desire comes from tying up loose ends. But life is like that pesky habit you try so hard to break. As soon as you think you have it well in hand, it pokes up its nasty head and bites you where it hurts the most.

7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Rev 20:)

Talk about repetition, these are the same naughty folks who are to cause the nation Israel problems (according to eschatologists) during the Tribulation a thousand years earlier.

Gog and Magog essentially means a country from the North, supposedly Russia since that is the country furthest to the north. I have my doubts about this, although Russia does still have her fingers in the pie. Another meaning of the words however is that of Antichristian and Antichrist. Consider these words from Habakkuk:

1The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. (Hab 1:)

Isn't this just like the picture John painted for us in his book of Revelation? Consider this from the Psalmist David:

12For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. 13Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (Psalm 40:)

8Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. 9Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. 10Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. 11For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. (Psalm 21:)

Doesn't this also sound like what John saw? And did you notice that in all these verses a compass, the same tool we're using for our picture, is being utilized?

7He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. 8He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. 9He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. 10He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. (Job 26:)

God used a compass to design this earth we live in. And did you notice, that while the ancient philosophers and scientists of the civilized world were trying to figure out how this world was being held up, Job already knew it was suspended on nothing? And as for the use of a compass, consider this from Isaiah:

21Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: (Isaiah 40:)

Isaiah knew the world was round. Even when Columbus stumbled upon this great nation of ours, those in the "know" were sure this world was flat, and that was thousands of years after Job and Isaiah.

15See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Eph 5:)

The first tool we as a child learn to use is a compass. We, as described by Paul, want to learn the will of our parents, not so we can walk circumspect ("cautious and watchful") in that will, but how we can best circumvent ("avoid, get around") that will in order to do what we want to do. Many churches today are based on the concept of learning God's will for us so they can manipulate it to their own lusts.

We never outgrow our desire to do what we want to do while avoiding the consequences for our actions. It's one of those repeating aspects of life that haunts us like a bad habit.

Circles are everywhere we look. Circles are just as much a part of our life as they are a part of life itself. Just as a seedling becomes a flower that blossoms for a short time and creates the seeds that will produce more of its kind before it withers and dies, so do we live to produce fruit, then pass from this earth to make room for new life to grow and produce. Life, as we know it, is not designed to last but a moment.

So it is with history. What we see today, those who have gone before have seen, and those who will follow us will see also in their time. God created the earth, then He destroyed the earth with a flood (Gen 6:13; 9:11). The earth was destroyed, yet the earth is still here. In the near future God will again destroy the earth, yet we see from Scripture that the earth will still be here, and it will be inhabited by man. Birth, death, and rebirth.

Jesus said:

24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12: see also John 3:3 "Born again")

Jesus died in order that a harvest of people just like Him may be produced, which in turn is to die in order to bear even more fruit. The cycle is continuous. Should the cycle be halted, then the harvest will wither and die. We see this process of death and rebirth in the life of the Martyrs, both past and present. With the death of a martyr ("Witness") comes a renewed faith in those associated with the martyred one. The death of a Martyr also produces change. We see this change in the thinking and the direction of the Church. A Martyr dies, and a new church, a new set of doctrines spring up and flourishes. The Jew's efforts to stamp out this Christian "cult" only served to spread the Gospel, as does a wind the seeds of a tree. The more force behind the wind, the further the seeds are dispersed. This has especially proven to be so these past 600 years or there abouts. Thousands of deaths for a cause has produced thousands of denominations, all similar to one another, yet often very different from one another and from the seed it originally sprang from.

We see how in Noah, the best of the produce God had planted, a new direction, a new covenant was created. Then again we see this process furthered in the choosing of Abraham. Then again in the choosing and the training of the nation of Israel under the tutorship of Moses.

We see how Jesus was a rebirth, and a more completed form, of Adam, the original creation, both born through a miracle. Adam was the vessel the substance of God was planted in. But if the plant, that is, the Holy Spirit, is to function to its full capability, the vessel that contains the Holy Spirit must removed. When a tree outgrows the pot that contains it, the pot must be done away with. It's not the pot that is important, but rather its only value is as a temporary housing for the important element, that is, the tree.

We, the Church, were born of Adam, the flesh. Then we were reborn in the form of the Spirit of God, yet we continue to be in possession of this vessel of flesh that we are to strive to minimize and do away with in order not to quench the Spirit (John 3:3; 1Thes 5:19). In an age to come we will once again experience death and rebirth. This body of flesh that we have inherited from Adam will be dissolved, and the Spirit residing in this vessel will flourish and mature. Man, at that time, will truly be "made in the image of God" as is Jesus.

Man uses a compass to create his cycle of events, and God uses a compass to create. Man's compass, like that pointy thing that is digging into your mother's expensive table, is destructive, and what it creates deteriorates. We build monuments to ourself, such as magnificent buildings and statues. Whatever we build, time will wear away and destroy. The great architecture of long past has become rubble, buried beneath the sands of time. Only that which we continually make an exerted effort to preserve will survive the effects of time.

Does the disintegration of what we compose mean that God's creation is less than perfect? Not at all. Like that atom we investigated in the beginning,, the atom still exists, only its form, its composition has changed. It becomes a new element, just as do we when we shed this fleshly vessel after time has ravaged it. This flesh becomes what it is in fact composed of, and that is dust, water and air. Then it takes up another form, or becomes a part of many new forms, which in turn will ultimately have to release the elements back to their original form.

God's compass works in just the opposite direction than man's compass. What God creates continually becomes better. We look around us and we see failure, deterioration and destruction. We see war, and famine, and violence, and pollution. But none of these are a part of God's creation, it is entirely man's doing. Take man out of the picture, and the earth will return to the Eden it once was, and can (and will) be once again. This is what God is in the process of doing, that is to remove man, the selfish, destructive elements of man, and replace him with the productive element of Himself. We see this in Jesus, and in the Apostles. These men, the new form of man, devotes himself to God, God's creation, and his fellow man. Can you imagine a world of such people? Wouldn't that be a marvelous world? Or would you prefer a world where people have nothing to do but float on clouds and play a golden harp for eternity?

5For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. 7He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. (Psalm 135:)

17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Cor 5:)

The waves of the ocean lap the sandy shore, then silently slip back to wince it came. The moon is seen to wax, then to wane. All things are today as they were the day God created them. We have seen empires come, and go. We have heard promises made, and we've seen promises fail. What is now, has gone before, and will be again.


 

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