Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DECEMBER 22 "THE NETHERWORLD OF THE BIBLE"

     IT is amazing to me as we come to the close of the year readings, in our One Year Bible that often you can't tell if you're reading in the Old Testament or New Testament portion. Today, I have to admit, I might have been drifted a little while reading (long night), but when I reigned myself back in and got re-focused I assumed I was reading the New Testament portion (yes I spaced out). 1 [a]Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”  3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ 
     If that doesn't read like Revelations than I don't know what does.  I thought for sure I was in Revelations but then it dawned on me I was still in Zechariah.  Is this coincidence that as we come to a close in our reading through of God's Word that somehow the Old begins to mesh with the New? How odd it is that we would be reading such marvelous & incomprehensible imagery in the Old Testament and then go on to read the same in Revelations. In the earlier part of the year we would never find this similarity between the Old and New Testament.  You will not find to many similarities in January as you are reading in Genesis and then in Matthew, but somehow, by divine orchestration, (I would guess) as you read through the bible and get to the end, somehow it all comes together.
     And what is it "really" that is coming together???  I would say the answer to that is, insight into the next world, referred to sometimes as "The Netherworld". There is nothing I read today in Zechariah or Revelation that I can really apply to my life today, it is beyond me. It is imagery that makes for great movies of which Hollywood has definitely tapped into with movies such as the Epic Tale of  "The Lord of the Rings".  CS Lewis also used his God given imagination and talent to bring to print (and now also in the theatre) some of his thoughts on The Netherworld in his Epic Story of "The Chronicles of Narnia". Interestingly enough Tolkien and Lewis were mutual friends. In these movies & novels, we get a small, very small glimpse of things that are to come and also beyond our minds.  We are speaking of Beasts, Angels, Spiritual warfare, talking animals and fierce creatures.  I believe this is part of the fascination and cult following of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.  There is something in man that these movies resonates with. It is as if in one part (the natural) of us we say, "that could not be" but the God part (or spiritual part) of humanity says, "it's real, some place, some day, there is something like this".  And the proof is in the scriptures like we read today in Zechariah and Revelation.  There is another world where there are mighty beings, speaking animals and beasts beyond even Steven Spielberg's, Tolkien's or C.S. Lewis' imaginations.  There truly is an EPIC Battle that consists of good and evil and dark lord's of the night that must be conquered.  There truly is a world of flying and talking beasts and God chooses to reveal to us, to give us a glimpse of this world as we come to the conclusion of His Word and the question He whispers to us as we come to the end of his Word is...."do you believe?"  Do you believe in this EPIC Battle, do you believe in "The Netherworld of The Bible" and then once you answer that question then you must also answer this question.  "What part do you play now and what part will you play when you step through the painting (Chronicles of Narnia).  Death is our entrance into the Painting, our entrance into The Netherworld and whether or not you believe now, you will surely believe then.  It will be frightfully Awesome even to those that are washed and new robes have been given (as Joshua in our text) but it will be frightfully dreadful to those who sins have not been forgiven, who stand before God, filthy and stained with sin when all the opportunities were before them to be cleansed and receive a new robe.  Do you have a new robe for this Netherworld that you will one day enter?  An enchanted place it is, a wonderful place of awe and wonder, but there is a dress code for the occasion, make sure you do not show up dressed in anything other than what is required.  What is it?  Ans: It is a white robe, it is without spot or blemish and you can only purchase it from Jesus Christ , "behold I am coming quickly".