Around the Throne or Among the Tombs

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Easter 2015

 

“…day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’”

– Revelation 4:8

“Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.”

– Mark 5:5

 

Looking at Angels to Know Christ

Scripture doesn’t encourage us to focus on angels. We are human beings, created for Jesus Christ – the Son of God. He is our Life and Light, our Salvation and Song, our Lord and God. If we have Christ, we have God, and if we are God’s and He is ours, it is insanity to look elsewhere for help or strength or protection. Turning from the beauty of God in Christ so that we can fixate on angels is like replacing the sun with a flickering match – it is an inconceivably great step downward. This is why angels in scripture always point humans to the worship of God and never of themselves. However, in the two verses listed above, I think a brief examination of angels can help us grow in our adoration of and dependence on God in Christ.

 

Two Paths

The verse from Revelation shows us what angels who have remained faithful to the Triune God do “day and night”: they stand in the light of His glory, shouting songs of worship, gazing on and being overjoyed by His Holiness.

Likewise, the verse from Mark shows us how demons – angels who have loved themselves rather than God in Christ – spend their nights and days: crammed into the dying body of a human, wandering among the tombs, crying out in anguish and cutting themselves with stones.

The differences are stark and startling. Faithfulness to YHWH leads to joy in His presence, rebellion leads to anguish among the tombs. Faithfulness to YHWH leads to mouths filled with His praises, rebellion leads to mouths filled with cries of torment. Faithfulness to YHWH wreaths the angels in glory, rebellion leads demons to take up residence in unwilling hosts of flesh. The sad, scrapping, chaotic existence of the “Legion” in this demon possessed man is a brief glimpse at the self-undoing that awaits every sentient creature – angelic or human – that opposes God until the end. And the glad-hearted seeing, savoring, and singing of God’s beauty that we see in the four Living Creatures of Revelation is a bright shadow of what awaits those who have trusted in Christ.

These two passages paint a vivid image of the two paths that are set before all of us. We – like the angels – will be somewhere forever, and it will either be the infinite descent into oblivion that is separation from God, or the infinite ascent into Life that is His redeeming embrace. But humans have something angels do not – the blood of God the Son spilled on their behalf.

 

More Graced than the Angels

God did not die for angels, but He did – in Christ – die for humans. The wounds in the Creator’s hands are there so that any who would can come to God as their eternal Life through Jesus Christ. Unlike the Legion in Mark 5, no one reading these words is doomed to separation from the presence of God. And, unlike the four living creatures in Revelation 4, anyone reading these words whose heart clings to Christ as Lord and God and Savior knows their God – and will exponentially know Him for eternity – with the double intimacy of being both His creation and His blood bought Bride.

2 Comments

  1. Jairus Robb
    October 28, 2015

    Hey there I LOVE your videos and have showed quite a few at the youth group here I lead. Thank you so much for using your gift God has blessed you with to bless others.

    Very interesting article!!! Can’t say I’ve ever reflected on humanities eternal destinies through the destinies of Angels, fallen and lifted up.

    I do wonder however how far you push the image of the demons trapped in flesh pictured in Mark. You don’t do it in this article but do you perhaps suggest that ALL beings, if they do not believe in Christ, will be trapped in flesh….that is physical bodies and will therefore be trapped among a physical plane and those who DO believe in Christ will be taken somewhere else NON physical? That is my question and I suppose connected with that I would LOVE to hear your reasons, biblical references for why you think this.

    Thanks heaps!!!!

    Blessings,

    Jairus.

    Reply
    • Full of Eyes
      October 29, 2015

      Hey Jarius,

      You’re right, what I said could be taken to imply that those who trust Christ will not be “trapped in the flesh” – however, let me be clear that that is not my intention and certainly not what the Bible teaches.

      The Bible clearly affirms a resurrection of both the righteous (those who trust in Christ) and the unrighteous (those who have opposed the revelation God has given them of Himself). Jesus makes this very clear in John 5:28-29. So, both heaven and hell are “embodied” and “physical” realities. All people will be in real bodies for eternity.

      Now, this doesn’t mean that the bodies will be just as they are now. In fact, Paul tells us they definitely won’t be. The bodies (and the experience of physical reality) that we now have are – according to Paul – like seeds….what comes with the resurrection is like the fully grown plant (1 Corinthians 15:25-27). That’s amazing to think about….we are like seeds now, we will one day be fully grown plants. Paul also says that these will be “spiritual” bodies (1 Cor 15:44), not in the sense that they will be incorporeal or “ghost like”, but in the sense that they will be able to know and interact with and respond to and commune with God in a way that is near-infinitely above our current experience.

      So, we will always and forever (except during the time between our death and Christ’s return) be creatures within bodies. But this is not bad, and it doesn’t mean that heaven will be drab or disappointing! Far from it! Isn’t this present life filled with the sense that we cant quite get enough….we can’t quite taste or feel or experience or enjoy or drink in or absorb all the beauty that’s around us…..it’s not that we are too “heavy” or “thick” or “substantial” to take in the joys of God….it’s that we are to “whispy” and “thin” and “ghost-like”…..we want more of what He’s given us in creation, not less….we want more of our embodied experience of the beauty of God, not less….and this is exactly what He has prepared us to receive (2 Cor.5:1-5)….we will spend eternity climbing a million miles per second into the beauty of God in Christ, enjoying Him in and through every element of a renewed creation, and it will be glorious. Thanks for the question, Jarius, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

      Reply

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