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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Cousin "The Hairstylist" Inspired A Writing From The Heart.

I was having my hair cut and made "pretty" the other day with my cousin the hairstylist. She loves the Lord and had read Revelation 21 about foundations, levels, precious stones and measurements, and asked me the question “ Does heaven have several layers? I was reading in chapter 21 about the foundations of heaven and the levels… Do you know anything about it?”

This question sparked a 35 year old journey with my Lord… though I did not go there with her because not enough hours in the day to tell the whole story. I did tell her I would get back with her with an answer and needed to do some research to validate my answers.
So much has happened in the last few years with natural disasters, government mess and the list goes on. Many who did not like the results of our newly elected President…are most sure than ever that the end of the world is drawing near? Repent and be Saved is a motto among many Christians today because of all the bad happenings around us. Her question took me back to 1980 when I got so wrapped up in Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth.” Oh, how Lindsey interrupted the book of Revelation, the Prophets of the Old Testament and how we were all doomed any minute… unless we repented and were “Saved.” I can’t remember all the details of the book…only the fact it scared me to keep my eyes on Jesus. I also remember as a teenager going to a Baptist school…being scared out of my “wits” with a movie they made us watch. It was much like the “Left Behind” movies.  After watching it I remember wondering if I would live to get married and have children. How I needed to get my “bucket list” moving forward fast because Jesus was coming back any minute. I was always intrigued by those who could see all those hidden facts, codes that added up to prophesies being fulfilled at any second. As much as I tried to see in scripture what they saw.. it was like looking in a muddy lake trying to see the fish swimming. At first I swallowed everything, every word that all these preachers, teachers and scholars taught about the “world is coming to an end” SOON! As time passed and I heard the theories of pre, mid and post tribulation I was more confused than ever. I finally came to my own conclusion… Matt. 24: 1-11 1And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2But he answered and said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3And as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man lead you astray.
5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray.
6And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs 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 earthquakes in diverse places. 8But all these things are the beginning of travail. 9Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. 10And then shall many
stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray.

Mark 13: 32 :

32But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

These Scriptures in Matt. and Mark gave me a peace to not listen to every drama out there in Christianville. I finally came to the conclusion that we should always be on watch for Jesus’ return. Who knows, the Father can call me home any moment. We are all only a breath away. I’ve witnessed many pass from this world to the next without a warning or a sign it was their time. We should always be prepared and ready… always keeping our eyes on our Savior. Our time on earth is such a speck compared to eternity. We all work so hard to be happy here, keep our ducks in a row, invest, spend, work..work..work.. And, yes we should be good stewards to this life in which we need to take care of our families. In the end.. we won’t take any of this with us. Losing my Mom this year truly spoke volumes to me about possessions. Even my dad’s degrees in dentistry, were among her stuff. He worked so hard for those degrees… now they are just a piece of paper. Worthless. Future generations who did not know him…could care less. What will happen to all those things one of these days? It’s just a bunch of typed words on a piece of paper….that he worked so hard to obtain…but in the end, it’s worthless. Has no use for anything.

The real question is what will happen if we keep our eyes on Christ? We will be storing up treasure in heaven, treasures that will last forever? Matt 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

So, my cousin the hairdresser, Rev. 21: 9-27
9And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues; and he spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God: her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal: 12having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13on the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal. 17And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18And the building of the wall thereof was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. 19The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof. 23And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb. 24And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. 25And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there): 26and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it:
27and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

What I have learned about Revelation. Did you know the rapture theology did not exist until it was invented by a British religious figure named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). He was ordained in the Church of Ireland and worked there to convert Catholics away from their “folly”. He was extremely pessimistic about what he saw as the state of the world and the state of the Church. He eventually left it, joining a dissident group called the Plymouth Brethren of which he soon became a prominent leader.

The Book of Revelation is written in a style very rich in symbols and images. Numbers are used frequently throughout the book. This is not going to be an exhaustive breakdown of all of the symbols and numbers but, rather, a demonstration of some tendencies that exist in scripture, and some things that can be discerned about the book.

The book is generally centered around events happening around the time of the beginning of the church. I am sorry to disappoint those who wish to transpose the entire book to current times. People who do that are always wrong because the entire premise of their interpretation is skewed. I’ve witnessed this in my own lifetime. Folks predicting this and that…and it never happens. What has given me much hope and helped me understand this complicated book is going back into history. What did the early church say about this book? The following link has helped me understand this book from the eyes of 2,000 years. It’s okay if you do not agree… this is not a debate. This is my story and teaching Rev. in this context has been a blessing to me and if you really read this link… it is fascinating and full of history.  The history of the Old and New Covenant coming together. A picture of how the Apostle John a Jew and understood his Jewish tradition... now a follower of Christ. When you read Rev. through Saint John's eyes.... this book makes sense. Hope you enjoy and God Bless! Keep your eyes on the price.. Jesus Christ our Lord! Our Redeemer!

Note: Does heaven have foundations, levels, precious stones and measurements? Scroll down to Chapter 21 and see what this link says. Before you get there start at Revelation 1 and start at the beginning of the book. Many foundational truths to salvation history and who understands the meaning of God's plan of redemption more than St John the Apostle? Revelation is truly a "Love Story" the history of a God that fulfilled His promises.  The book of Revelation to me..... is a history lesson in how he did it.


The Conclusion to this link is "why" I am a Christian convert to this Incredible Catholic Faith:
Conclusion to the book by Dr. Scott Hahn

Only a Catholic interpretation of the Book of Revelation can bring together all the hidden details, messages, and
meanings. We are losing the interpretation game for lack of trying. We should all read, pray, and study... begin
Bible studies which are utterly faithful to the Magisterium of the Church as well as utterly tied to the Word of God in the Scriptures.
We have in the Book of Revelation a theological vision of how we are to live with an eternal perspective; to see God’s purpose behind every crisis; to know with faith the certainty of God’s presence in history as well as God’s active presence in our own lives. We must see that he sends struggles to make us learn to overcome. He gives us problems so we can experience Christ’s Lordship. He does not do this with us as individuals but as a cell in the Mystical Body. He is doing this with me and with you and with all the brothers and sisters of Christ. He is doing this in the Church and for the Church. And the Church is empowered to experience these crises and overcome evil in her Liturgy and most especially in the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the
Mass where the Lamb gives to us a share of his own triumph. There in the Liturgy, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are one. In the Liturgy, humanity is deified and deity takes on humanity. In the Liturgy, we receive the God-man onto our tongues and into our bodies and souls. In the Liturgy, the seals are broken to bring about the judgments of God in history. In the Liturgy, the seven trumpets are sounded. In the Liturgy, the seven cups are poured out. In the Liturgy we have the marriage supper of the Lamb. In the Liturgy, we experience the Lord’s Day; we experience the final judgment; we experience our deliverance; we experience Christ unveiling his judgment which will ultimately vindicate us against those who would slander us and persecute us both within the Church as false brethren as well as outside the church in the world. In the Liturgy, we have hope.Therefore, we should be throwing ourselves body and soul into the singing, into the praying, and into the recitation of whatever lines we have. Because, invisibly yet present, are the angels and the saints. And there before us is the altar, the throne of Christ.History is controlled from the altar: a summary of the Book of
Revelation. History is controlled from the altar, the throne of Christ. His altar and throne are one. Nothing interprets the apocalypse as well as the Liturgy, and nothing interprets the Liturgy as well as the apocalypse.This book can be studied for years without reaching its depth. This book also shows us the radical sources of sin, the ultimate sources of injustice. We cannot hate our fellow man, no matter how much he hates us. He is acting within the grips of powers much greater than he. Our enemies are real, to be sure, but they are also deceived and in need of the Gospel. This is our responsibility. Yet, do not exaggerate the burden. The real struggle goes on above us. This is Christ’s battle. We witness. We offer up our bodies. Conclusion by Father Eugenio Corsini:The past, therefore, is in the service of the present, says the Apocalypse. Is then the present in the service of the future? Certainly! There is this basic difference, however, at the level of the full realization of the divine salvific plan: “It has been done!” (10:7; 16:17; 21:6). From now on the future is firmly committed to the hands
of man.




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