Archive for the ‘Metamorphosis’ Category
Most of us spend a good portion of our lives as caterpillars, munching our way through life with only a ground view perspective. This was the condition of my life up until two years ago, when quite unexpectedly a transformation began to take place which ultimately lead to my metamorphosis into a butterfly. Now, a whole new perspective has opened up before my eyes, what I wasn’t able see in my caterpillar state burst forth in brilliance all around me. A world that was always there, but hidden from view because of my condition, is now what I experience as a new found freedom walking in my integrity each moment.
In my caterpillar stage I could only perceive of god in a very limited and finite way, because I had only seen the world through eyes with very narrow vision. It was impossible for me to comprehend anything other than the god that was defined for me within the pages of the Bible, because I was still in the process of growing. As caterpillars we blindly accept our lot in life as a permanent condition, because it is beyond our understanding that one day we can become butterflies. The teachings of many religions exhort people to accept what has been given them as the will of their particular god, and to cease from struggling to become something better and to simply accept their lot in life. If nothing comes along to challenge that belief then we remain in the caterpillar state our whole lives, never experiencing the wonderful transformation into a butterfly.
We make a temporal, physical footprint while we are in our caterpillar stage, but we make an eternal, spiritual footprint when we are elevated to our enlightened butterfly stage…this completes our human experience.
The greatest gift a mother can give to her children is the experience of equality. Imparting the wisdom to her children that all people are equal is a precious gift that will lead the bearer of that truth on a journey of greatness…serving as a tool to accomplish anything the heart desires. Raising and nurturing a child in an environment of equality and respect of all people can in one generation change the world, thus making it a better place. The power that lies in the teaching of a mother is so far reaching that it can influence a child their whole life and in many cases sets the course of their destiny. Each person can make a difference…
I like to view the purpose of my life as a series of “Meaningful Moments” in this way I can salvage the parts of my past that might have otherwise seem wasted. By bringing all those moments into the now, I can see how each one of them has helped to build and shape who I am today. At each moment in my life – where I was – was the place I needed to be in order to proceed to the next step.
In the same manner as say a family pet makes an impression in our memory which remains long after the pet’s demise, so I propose our lives make an impression on the fabric of the cosmos which remains after the demise of our physical bodies.
One either believes that our potential (spirit) was endued upon us from a divine source, or our potential is shared with all of creation and comes from the single source of everything. What ever the case may be, we know that everything exists at different levels in nature, nothing transcends above nature, and everything is part of nature at a different stage of development. Perhaps from the very first moment when the universe began as single point, all the potential that will ever be realized was contained within that singularity. The whole of everything that exists started as the monad from which everything unfolded out of. If everything that exists emerged from the same point, then all parts contain the same potential at a different level of development, thus all parts can be in tune with the whole. Consequently, there would be no ultimate purpose to existence per say, but that does not mean that abundant meaning cannot be derived from living life itself.
This also gives credence to the idea of the world being discoverable, because everything that is came from the same source, hence when life became self-aware (humans) meaning can be derived from it. With the emergence of self-awareness, consciousness got elevated to a new level, but the connection to our “origins” still exist, thus making the universe “discoverable”.
If everything that exists came from the same point of creative power, then everything is part of that creative power, so consequently when consciousness evolved to the point of self-awareness the ability then was acquired to see into and experience this higher consciousness dimension. Other lower life forms have not yet attained this ability to see into this higher consciousness dimension, even though they exist in it. One can imagine it being compared to seeing the world in 2-dimensions instead of 3-dimensions. We live in a universe where Quantum levels exist, yet we cannot see them or “knowingly” experience them even though they are part of and affect everything that is.
Taking this idea of oneness with the universe, our focus can then be directed toward discovering what our place and purpose is in the universe by looking inward, instead of looking outwardly and trying to find an external “God” to answer our questions. Like it or not the question of whether or not a creator god exists will never be answered, so our efforts are much better spent in understanding our innate, internal connection with everything and how we are energetically linked with the universe. We are all bathed in what might be called cosmic energy; the expression of that energy is manifest in many different ways depending on the consciousness level of the being expressing it.
Let our goal be to take the life we have and make the most of it by sharing those things we have to give – no matter how small – with the rest of the marvelous world we live in. With each gift of sharing the world will become a better place for every living thing…
Transforming how we look at Scripture….
Changing the interpretive foundation of the Bible from the letter of the law, to the spirit of freedom from the law….allowing what we read in Scripture to be transformed, by letting its true image reflect on our souls like a mirror….only then can its message for this age be realized.
Written language began with letters (egg); then the birth of Scripture began with Moses (the caterpillar), starting the process of growing until that stage of development was complete and reached its maturity….becoming a bound book around the 3rd century (much like when the caterpillar reaches maturity and is bound into a cocoon), now in the 21st century with the advent of the Bible Wheel – Scripture can be seen to have transformed into a book to be viewed from a dimension that is beyond words on the printed page – to that of transcending into the realm of the heavens (like the emerging of the butterfly from the cocoon, being released from the bondage of its earthly tomb to fly free)….metamorphosing into a design of awe inspiring beautiful numbers….leaving behind the earthly and taking on the heavenly.
Galatians 4:25-26 For this Hagar … answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
With this in mind the words of the Bible that record the progress of human history as being written to people of a different time, can be transformed into a message of sacred design that is formed from that same written word. Much like the metamorphosis of the butterfly….taking the DNA of the caterpillar and within the cocoon, transforms the same DNA into that of a beautiful butterfly bearing no resemblance to it original form.
Continuing on with the idea that our journey through this life is about Shaping our Souls for Eternity, let me introduce the concept of comparing Soul Shaping to Forming our Minds through focused learning in schools of education. As we grow in understanding of who we are and the world around us by the continued process of expanding our minds through learning, we are forming ideas that shape our personality and our understanding of who we are. The world around us is like a mold, shaping our minds by experiences we encounter throughout our lives.
We are born with minds like the empty canvas of an artist, the colors that make up our pallet are life’s experience, which we apply to our canvas….when our journey in this life ends….a portrait of who we were remains imprinted upon our soul. In the same sense our souls are shaped and formed by the mold of our life, creating a unique individual by the forces of the experiences that make up our lives. Could it be what this life is all about? To shape a souls for eternity, or to begin the process of shaping our souls….like the predetermined plant contained in the seed it springs forth from, which is then shaped by its environment determining how big it will grow by how much water, fertilizer, and sunshine it gets, or how much fruit it will produce. All these factors of growth depend on its life experiences in much the same way as a human life (whose earthy form is beyond our control) is shaped by their positive and negative experiences.
When we leave this life, I believe what we will carry with us into eternity is the essence of our life that was imprinted upon our souls….conditioned by this earthly experience. In this life we have little control over much of our existence (where we are born, what we look like..ect), but the one thing we can change is our attitude towards others. Whether or not we choose to function as a supporter, friend or companion to others will determine how we grow and who we become.
I got to thinking about the widely held, traditional view of the Resurrection of the body, where the idea is that our earthly bodies will be transformed into a glorified version of what our fleshly bodies were like. The more I thought about what is actually being said, and comparing that to what the Bible teaches, the less appealing that traditional idea became. It’s like a caterpillar that goes through metamorphosis, and when it emerges from its cocoon instead of being transformed into a beautiful butterfly able to fly, it becomes a resurrected glorified caterpillar.
When we read the writings of Paul where he describes the Resurrection of the body, the image he portrays is one of transformation, that is to say the bare seed (our fleshly body) being planted in the ground, and from the seed that dies in the ground, a plant springs forth that in no way resembles the seed that was sown. The seed doesn’t spring forth as a resurrected glorified seed, but rather a living plant capable of bearing fruit
1Cor.15:35-38 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sows is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sows, thou sows not that body that shall be, but bare grain seed, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
In speaking of the resurrection of the body Jesus said: “unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it cannot bring forth fruit”; this clearly tells us that the body which we will be resurrected in bears no likeness to this fleshly body we live in here on earth.
John 12:24-25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Mark 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
Like the tiny mustard seed that dies in the ground then grows to be the greatest of herbs, and the earthbound caterpillar that dies in its cocoon then bursts forth as a beautiful soaring butterfly, we too will be changed into that which will bear the image of Christ.
John 5:21- 25 For as the Father raises up the dead, and gives life; even so the Son gives life whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live…28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation.
In the above passage of John it is important to the understanding of what is being said, to define what is meant by “the dead” from the context in which it is being used, because that which is dead is going to be made alive. This act of being made alive applies not only to the dead who are living at that time and hearing the voice of Christ, but also to those who are “in the graves” and will be hearing His voice. Jesus makes a distinction between those who are dead and hearing His voice at that present time and those who are in the graves and will hear His voice in the time to come. All who hear the voice of the Son of God will participate in the resurrection….one will be of life, and one will be condemnation.
John 6:39-40 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again (in the resurrection) at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up (in the resurrection) at the last day….. 44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up (in the resurrection) at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.….54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up (in the resurrection) at the last day.
John 11:23-25 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
1Cor.15:16-23 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming (Parousia).
Jesus calls Himself the Resurrection and says that all who come to Him will have eternal life and be raised up at the Last Day; connecting it to the resurrection. Since there is only one Resurrection (Jesus) and one Last Day, all who believe in Jesus will be resurrected (made alive) in Him at His coming.
1Cor.15:35-49 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sows is not made alive, except it die: And that which thou sows, thou sows not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God gives it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Cor.15:50-54 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Paul is very specific in answering this question: How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come? Using the analogy of a seed; just as Jesus did many times he speaks of the resurrected body as a seed that is planted in the ground. The seed that is sown in the ground bears no resemblance to the seedling that springs forth; just as the physical body will bear no resemblance to our spiritual bodies….the body of flesh (seed) must be transformed as the seed before it can emerge into its heavenly form. There is no mention of the flesh and blood body being resurrected, but rather transformed as the seed, to become a new creation!
The butterfly gives us a beautiful example of the transformation that take place when the earth bound body of the caterpillar, metamorphosis into the heavenly butterfly.
Gen.1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Just as God created and ordered the physical systems of the heavens and earth….the sun, moon, planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies, ect….that all function together as a system to make the existence of life possible, so it is with the symbolic type of heaven and earth spoken of in the Bible. The Covenantal systems of the Old and New are spoken of in Scripture as the first Heaven and Earth and the New Heaven and Earth, and like the physical heaven and earth they operate as a system designed by God.
This is the order of God’s Covenantal kingdom; beginning with the physical Jerusalem of old comprised of God’s chosen people the Jews, with a physical temple where God dwelt in their midst, that operated under the system of the Old Covenant (heaven and earth). When Jesus brought in the New Covenant (new heaven and earth) the Old system ended and the New began, comprised of believers (New Jerusalem) that reside in the NHNE brought in by Christ.
2Pet.2:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…..13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev.21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.
The Old Jerusalem was like the earth bound cocoon….when the fullness of time came the cocoon was shattered, and the fully formed butterfly was free to fly in the heavens.
Isn’t it quite ironic how the single most important event in Christianity – the core of our faith which is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – becomes so focused on a fleshly, bodily resurrection of believers that is suppose to somehow mark the end of the age. When you stop and think about it….how many people would really want to keep their earthly bodies if they could? And why is this reconstruction of a physical body so important? Jesus did not rise from the dead to have a glorified physical body, but rather to show that He conquered death, and despite the limitations of a fleshly physical body He still could accomplish that which the Father sent Him to do.
Looking at what Jesus did on the cross; the visual physical image that everyone present at that time could have seen; was Jesus hanging on a cross in physical agony, unable to physically do anything unless He would have called upon the Father and used supernatural power. The one thing he could do in His human form was FORGIVE….that act could directly connect with each person and our personal ability to change our thoughts and actions when we have no power to change our physical bodily condition. In spite of the limitations of our fleshly bodies, and the fact that we had no choice in how they were formed….our thoughts and actions can accomplish much. This life is a time to shape and form our souls for eternity….it has nothing to do with shaping the flesh. We can change how we act and think, but we can’t do much to change our physical bodies….this fleshly body is just our earthly tent.
I know that when I leave this life whatever form I take will be perfectly suited for the living conditions of eternity, just like this current fleshly body was formed by God for a limited time of living on planet earth. And just as the New Jerusalem was resurrected from the Old Jerusalem, so our eternal spiritual body is resurrected from our earthly physical body.
1Cor.15:53-54 For this corruptible must put on (enduo) incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on (enduo) immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
2Cor.5:1-3 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed (enduo) we shall not be found naked.
When we put off this fleshly tent we can then put on or be endued with our heavenly tent, and you can be assured that our heavenly clothing which we will be endued with is not made from our dead fleshly bodies. This time on earth has been used to shape our souls for eternity.
The transformation of believers from the time of the cross until the Parousia of Christ and the destruction of the Temple was much like the metamorphosis of a butterfly. When Jesus took the form of a man and gave Himself as an atonement, the process of bringing in the New Covenant and the vanishing away of the Old Covenant began. The formation of the church started at Pentecost with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, conforming those who received it into the image of Christ. As the new creation on earth was growing and waiting for their redemption, Christ was in heaven completing the process of the restitution of all things, ultimately leading to His manifestation of power by delivering up the kingdom to God, and completely destroying the shadow of the Old, thus allowing the New to burst free from the bondage of corruption revealing a fully formed church ready to take flight.
Luke 21:27-28 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
Rom.8:19-23 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
With the Parousia of Christ the shell of the Old Covenant which was the Temple made of stone in Jerusalem was shattered, allowing the New Jerusalem which had been forming in its shadow to fully emerge, revealing the Bride of Christ then freed forever from the bondage of the Old Covenant system which was represented by the Temple.
Gal.4:25-26 For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Heb.12:22-24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Rev.3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Now with the freedom of a newly emerged butterfly, the New Jerusalem, which is the Church, could go forth. The shell of the Old Covenant system (the Temple) which had cast a shadow of death on the new church as long as it stood was now gone, and in its place was the New Jerusalem existing in the New Heavens and Earth. Now man himself is the temple of God, being freed forever from the shadow of death cast upon him by the Old Covenant system!
The New Jerusalem could not be fully manifested as long as the Old Jerusalem was in existence….only when the Temple which functioned under the Old Covenant (old heaven and earth) as God’s dwelling place on earth, was completely vanished away would the new temples (believers filled with the Holy Spirit) be totally free from the bondage of the Old…dwelling in the new heavens and earth as the New Jerusalem.
Rev.21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.