Sunday, July 12, 2015
Living Above it All; Kingdom Living in the Age of Aquarius
Many Christians are guilty of an almost Gnostic dualism! This pietistic notion is based in large part on the apostle Paul's admonition to the Colossian Church, to 'Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth'. A more careful study, though, of Paul's covenantal context, and grammar, will show that, as in the rest of his letters, Paul is referring to the elemental nature of the Old Covenant economy, and reminding his brethren not to seek to retain those things, but to realize, and grasp, or hold on to the Reality to which those things pointed!
If we have truly been raised to where Jesus is, metaphorically seated at the Right Hand of the Father, then why should we worry our pretty little heads about things that pertain to this life? Please do note that I am NOT saying that we should not concern ourselves with the things of earth! If it is true that 'Heaven came down & Glory filled my soul', if indeed the Marriage of Heaven & Earth has occurred ( John 14:23, et al ), then why are Christians living in fear, fear of what men may do?! Did not Jesus say things like 'do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul'??
Yes, the rest of His statement reads 'rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell ( gehenna )' ( Matthew 10:28 )! In context, Jesus was warning His disciples of the persecutions that would come & were already coming from the Jewish sector. He also spoke these words of comfort to His first-century disciples in reference to the coming destruction of their enemies & His! Although, according to the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, these words were fulfilled in the destruction of the Jewish Temple in AD70, along with the annihilation of many of those Enemies of the Cross, these words, at least the first half of Jesus' statement, stand as true today; we need not fear those who would destroy our biological body in this Age either!
Of this Age, Jesus said, 'those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection' ( Luke 20:35 & 36 ) Clearly, Jesus was not speaking of biology here ( else we are not 'sons of the resurrection'! ). Since we cannot die, having attained that which the apostle Paul was seeking, we can truthfully assert that we are not our biological form! While we are currently housed within that form ( for good reason ), our biology may perish, but we, like Jesus said in other places ( John 11:26, ? ), cannot die anymore!
Of late, certain scholarship has asserted that, according to the heavenly portents, we are no longer in the Age of Pisces but have arrived in that long-awaited Age of Aquarius! This is by no means to say that we ( of the 21st century ) have recently arrived, for the Age of Pisces was past long ago! The Age of Pisces, of course, was that Age in which Jesus walked the earth & told His followers,'I will make you fishers of men'. In this Age, the one Jesus referred to when He mentioned 'that age' & that which those certain Scholars name 'The Age of Aquarius', we no longer fish for a living ( for there is 'no more sea' - Revelation 21:1 ); we ( corporately/collectively ) are The Water-Bearer; we broadcast The Water of Life to a dry & thirsty world ( John 4:14 )!
So what should we do with this newly discovered knowledge ( gnosis ); how shall we then live? There are those fellow Christians, a majority, in fact, who believe differently concerning the fulfilment of eschatology! This is not to say that just because Fulfilled Eschatology has not yet dawned on them that they have not entered this New Age ( the Age of Aquarius ), nor is it to say that they are knowingly following vain traditions, believing they must still 'save ( others ) with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh' ( Jude 1:23 )! With the fulfilment of eschatology was fulfilled the fire that Jude referred to; again, according to the Revelation ( 20:14), 'Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire'! While that 'Fire' still burns, we realize now that It has a purifying effect; rather than simply destroying the rebellious & unclean, Its Purpose is to cleanse!
It is not by 'the sword' that we broadcast this Gospel; it is not by force of arms that the Good News will be spread; the borders of the Kingdom of Heaven will never be expanded through needless wars & violence! It is not through dying, but by living that the Living Water flows! We are past acting like mere Beasts of the Earth, we are better than that! We have been given a new status; we are 'sons of the resurrection', sons of our Heavenly Father & 'equal to the angels': we cannot die, so why in hell do we act like we can?!
Though most Christians may not have come to the full realization of this glorious fact, Death is Defeated! Ever since the Christ died on the cross & rose again, what the apostle Paul calls 'the last enemy' has not been in existence. Biological death, the separation of body & spirit is painful, even for the Christian who realizes this glorious fact, but though we miss the physical presence of our loved one, we are comforted know that they are with us still!
Again, we, as the Body of Christ, are above all that; we do not fear the pain of biological death, for we know that is only a part of us, the external part of us that will eventually return to the dust, metaphorically speaking! No longer must we live in fear, as others do. Through the freedom with which the Christ has set us free, we can now live our lives to the fullest, not feverishly trying to 'save the perishing' but realizing that we carry within us the Water of Life, let us Live such a Life before all men that they will begin to thirst for that which flows from us!
Charles Haddon Shank