What is the Purpose and Meaning of Life?
The "invisible things" of God "are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20). Can our natural world teach us the meaning and purpose of life? The natural world is full of analogies. If the creation teaches us the same message that we find in the Bible, then the same One who created everything must have written the Bible also. Did the Creator put his "signature" on any of his natural-world masterpieces? As Horace said, "Keep Nature's great original in view, And thence the truthful images pursue."
A. The Week
It is no coincidence that the week is seven days long. The plan of salvation is seven thousand years long. Just as the Sabbath day is Saturday, the seventh day of the week, so also the Millenium is the seventh period of one thousand years. We do what we want for the first six days, but we do what God wants on the seventh day. Friday is preparation day. The Rabbi is about to return (see 2 Peter 3:8; Ps. 90:4; Rev. 20:1-7).
Seeds are the DNA instructions to reproduce the parent. Scriptures are the DNA instructions to reproduce God. It is no coincidence that Israel had a small spring harvest and a large fall harvest. The grains were harvested in the spring and the fruits and nuts were harvested in the fall. In the same way, Christians are compared to "firstfruits" of grain (Jer. 2:3; Rev. 14:4; James 1:8) while grapes are associated with wicked people (Rev. 14:15). There is the small first resurrection of Christians before the Millenium (1 Cor. 15:23) and a large second resurrection of non-Christians (Matt. 10:14-15; 11:21-25; 12:41-42) after the Millenium (Rev. 20:5). The "former rains" (Hos. 6:3) in the spring and the "latter rains" in the fall (Deut. 11:14) are the two out-pourings of the Holy Spirit. Even people who are now "fruits" and "nuts" will be given their opportunity if they repent. Every tree gets pruned. Every experience is part of God's pruning process. You've been picked out to be picked on. He cuts off fruitless branches and prunes fruitful ones. The single kernel of wheat (Jesus Christ himself) must fall into the ground, and DIE, before it can produce the harvest of much grain (those who, in faith, partake of that life) (John 12:23-28). And, for each of us, discipline and correction from God -- though unpleasant -- WILL "produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Heb 12:11).
The original meaning of the zodiac was that a Virgin (Virgo pregnant with sun) would give birth to a son of God pictured by the actual sun as it passed through her body. Divine scales of justice (sun in Libra) would require His death (Scorpio's sting is an orange swelling sun sore on Ophiuchus's heel) for the sins of humanity. But the dual-natured Savior would conquer death (Sagittarius' face glowing as he shoots Scorpio) and give life to his followers (living fish) by his sacrifice (Capricorn goat a burnt sacrifice on the sun altar) and let them drink the living waters of the Holy Spirit (Aquarius pouring out the sun from his bucket) which then breaks the bands of sin (sun cutting Pisces' bands to Cetus-Satan) because the Lamb was wounded for our transgression (sun wound in Aries' side). He will return to make war (Taurus charging), this dual-natured Savior (Gemini), and shelter his people (sun in Cancer) from the day of Wrath when this "Lion of the tribe of Judah" will pounce on that old serpent the Devil (Leo pouncing on Hydra). Satan will be chained for 1000 years.
It is no coincidence that the Bible compares a man to the sun and a woman to the moon (Gen. 37). Every day he rules over her in political, religious and financial matters and every night she rules over him in sexual matters. He generates the light (love) and she reflects the light (love) back. "We love him because he first loved us" (the woman is speaking). While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." The woman shines at night just like the moon. The woman rotates in 28-day cycles, but the man burns constantly. The woman revolves around the man, not the man around the woman.
Sperm is the life-giving substance from our human father just as the Holy Spirit is the life-giving substance from our Heavenly Father. "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, but this spake he of the Holy Spirit" (John 6). We as Christians are "begotten of the Holy Spirit as Sons of God" just as the female ovum is begotten by the sperm to become a son of a man. That is how we understand the Scripture which says, "Ye are all gods" (Ps. 82:6; John 10:34). The female womb feeds and protects the tiny embryo, just as the church -- "the mother of us all" -- feeds and protects Christians. Therefore, the man typifies Christ. Sperm is the Holy Spirit. The woman is the church assembly. Fertilization is conversion. An abortion is an apostasy. Adultery is idolatry. Birth pains are Great Tribulation before being born again. Christ was beaten with stripes because of the sins of the church (woman). Is this sado-masochism? God is immortal eternal spirit. Man is temporary decaying matter and only lives 70 years or so. Thus sex is necessary in order for man to be perpetuated and to portray immortality which is a characteristic of God's image. The human son looks like the human father and is educated by the father to think and act like him. Thus the man is "eternal" too even in physical type.
E. Physical Image
Just as God created man in his physical image in less than a day, so he intends to create man in his moral and spiritual image within a 70-year lifetime. Righteous godly character is the ability of an individual to know right from wrong and then to choose to do what is right and avoid what is wrong even if he is ridiculed and persecuted and even if nobody else agrees. This requires Bible study to read God's mind to learn how he would talk and act in any given circumstance, "till we all come to A PERFECT MAN." Thoughts become words (Matt. 12:34); words become actions; actions become habits; habits become your destiny (Pr. 23:7). Paul styles Jesus "the last Adam;" and says, that as the saints have born the image of the first Adam (physical clay likeness), so also shall they bear the image of the last (1 Cor. 15:45-49) (moral righteous character). They shall be in nature like what he is now. But, in a moral sense they are required to be now like what he was while on earth "LEARNING OBEDIENCE by the things which he suffered." This tuition developed the moral image of Deity. It is a divine prerequisite, therefore, that all who shall inherit salvation in the kingdom of God shall be "conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the Firstborn (or Chief) among many brethren." "And we all ... are being changed into his LIKENESS" (2 Cor. 3:18). Humans begin as shallow imitations of the genuine pure God who is without any faults. Paul says, "ye have put off the Old Man," or moral image of the First Adam, "with his deeds; and have put on the New Man," or last Adam, "who is renewed by knowledge after the IMAGE of him that created him" (Colossians 3: 9,10). They were conformed to the last Adam's MORAL IMAGE, in hope of being conformed to his spiritual image at the coming of our Lord. God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF. Paul summarizes the Old Adam in Eph. 2:12; and the description of his vices in Rom. 1:21-32. The whole world of unenlightened natural men of all ages and generations constitutes collectively the Old Adam. This man has long since come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Antichrist. He is strong and lawless, doomed to perdition. There is only one PERFECT man. We are all more or less imperfect superficial copies of him now.
What do CLOUDS mean? Christians are DEW DROPS ("remnant of Jacob ... like DEW" -- Micah 5:7; cp. Jude 1:12) that will RISE (evaporate) "be caught up together" (1 Th. 4:17) from "many WATERS" ("people" -- Rev. 17:15) up into CLOUDS ("a great cloud of [resurrected] witnesses" -- Heb. 12:1; 1 Th. 4:17) typifying the resurrection of saints when Christ our SUN returns ("the SUN of righteousness ARISE" -- Mal. 4:2) in Millenial DAWN (Ps. 110:3; Isa. 26:19). The DEW DROPS wait in DARKNESS (hades or grave) but begin to sparkle and refract with prismatic glory and starlike splendor when the SUN RISES. Then the SUN'S heat EMPOWERS them to RISE invisibly until they reappear at the atmospheric DEW point in the form of CLOUDS (authority to rule in the political heaven as kings and priests -- Rev. 5:10). Just as a CLOUD received him as he left the earth (Acts 1:9), so also "He cometh with CLOUDS" referring to a "CLOUD of WITNESSES" (Heb. 12:1) -- "ten thousands of his SAINTS" (Jude 14-15; Dan. 7:22) "who meet the Lord in the air" (1 Th. 4:17) as well as a CLOUD (Matt. 24:30) of "holy ANGELS with him" (Matt. 25:31). Zechariah 12:10-11 mentions that Jews who pierced their Messiah will mourn at his coming because of their previous rejection of him. Jesus Christ as "alpha" created man in his physical image, but man lost paradise in Genesis. Jesus Christ as "omega" will finish that creation in his character-image and restore paradise in Revelation using Israelites.
G. The Family
A father expects gratitude and obedience from his sons and daughters. He gave them life itself and supports them financially and guides them as they grow up. In the same way God our Father expects gratitude and obedience from his sons and daughters -- all humanity. He created us and sustains us and guides us as we grow up and throughout our lives. Just as we can anger a human father through disobedience and taking his kindness for granted, so also our Father in heaven is angry at disobedient, ungrateful children. We live in a physical simulation "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). When a man marries a woman, he provides support for her, loves her and protects her. She obeys him and respects him. In the same way, the Christian Church is the bride of Christ. Christ our Lord has married us. He provides support for us, loves us and protects us. We must obey and respect him. Just as a woman can anger her husband through disrespect and rebellion, so also there are "Christian Churches" who disrespect and rebel against our Lord. We live in a parallel universe "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10).
Just as a farmer chooses his BEST SEED for planting and eats the rest and tries to develop a pure-bred strain that is bred for over-all quality and hardiness, instead of for one or two isolated characteristics; Just as a rancher tries to breed the BEST ANIMALS to have the strongest characteristics, disease-resistance, tolerance of extreme weather, not necessarily the most milk production, most egg-laying or wool-producing; so too God is working on "crops" and "livestock" and trying to develop the BEST CHARACTERISTICS in humans. He won't have ill-bred, uncouth, dis-courteous sons living in his house. How much money they make in life is not necessarily relevant.
I. The Butterfly
Metamorphosis ("change" + "form") from a caterpillar into a more beautiful and more powerful butterfly typifies the resurrection from human to divine. The pupal cocoon or chrysalis is the tomb where the corpse is wrapped in silk. The caterpillar must die. Nothing remains of you -- "thou worm Jacob" (Isa. 41:14). "The spirit (your mental character image) shall return unto God who gave it." (Eccl. 12:7) "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 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." (1 Cor. 15:42-44) "the dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed" (1 Cor. 15:52). We are changed into the (character) image of God (2 Cor. 3:18).
"Unfruitful though I be
2. Deep in unfathomable mines
3. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take.
4. His purposes will ripen fast,
5. Blind unbelief is sure to err,
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