The Gospel of John Chapter Three makes clear what Christ meant by “being born again”—that is, not physically, but spiritually. I need to make this clear because many folks take this whole “born again” theme as similar to Hinduist “reincarnation” or that Christianity practices a “murder” of sorts in order to be “born again.” After all, those who hate Christianity are going to make whatever excuses they can to claim it supports the notion of “murder” in order to be “born again,” using the fact that Christ Himself was crucified so that He could shed His own blood for the sake of taking on the sins of the world…He died so all believers could be born again, which some claim means Christians support murder! Seriously. I watched a video that actually made that claim, and it was not an atheist who made the video! (I have no idea what this person’s religion is….as for me, I do Christ, not religion, the hand, not the glove, and I let him know that in the comment section!)
But one does know Christ arose from the dead, soooooo…. Was He too “born again”?
Anyway…. John Chapter Three, when Christ is speaking to the Pharisee Nicodemus, tells him that ‘ye must be born again,’ to which Nicodemus answers how he’s supposed to do that since he is already old. Christ tells him it is a spiritual rebirth. It is not a matter of physical rebirth, or Hinduistic reincarnation.
Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Biblical References Series, Episode Four: “Born Again””
Several New Testament Parables given by Christ to His Apostles influenced how and why I wrote the three novels in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. One of these is from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter Twenty, verses 1 through 16. It is called “the Parable of the Laborers of the Vineyard.” It is cited below, from the copyright-free public domain King James Version of the Holy Bible, the PDF version.
To sum up the message: The “householder” (God) “hires” “laborers” (missionaries) to reap new fruit (believers on Christ) within the vineyard (the world), beginning with those hired early in the morning (that is, early in the life of the “laborer”; children, teens or those in their twenties), then hired mid-day (“laborers” in their thirties), then later (“laborers” in their forties or fifties), then later (sixties and seventies) then the “eleventh hour” (those on their death beds or close to it…I actually know a couple of folks who accepted Christ as their Savior days or even hours before they died or ‘passed on’!). I myself, while I (with one exceptional time period I described in an earlier snippet) believed in God and Christ, never fully committed to God and Christ until I witnessed a miraculous event while in my mid-forties. The “laborers” in question are those who not only accept Christ but tell the world about why they should consider accepting Christ as well (and EVERY Christian author, fiction or non-fiction, needs to partake in this however God guides them!). That is, these “laborers” are on their “mission of God,” an expression I use often in the trilogy. The final verse, 16, says the last (to accept Christ) will be first (as they will die shortly) and the first shall be last (as they have a full life ahead of them, God willing), and that “many are called but few are chosen.” And among these “few” there just might be those that prior to accepting Christ led extremely evil lives! And the “few” that are “chosen” are “chosen” for a reason; for one thing, among these “few” that are chosen are those that “choose” to be “chosen.” God is calling the entire world, basically, but only few will choose this “calling.” The “payment” of course, is eternity with God in Heaven. And it doesn’t matter to God at what point in the lives of the “laborers” they do become workers for God, and it shouldn’t matter to one who works his or her entire life for God gets the same reward as one who works for God at the end of his or her life—so it shouldn’t matter to anyone working for God, either. Below is the parable.
Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Biblical References Series, Episode Three—“The Parable of the Laborers of the Vineyard””
I had originally called this post “Episode One.” Sorry about that, it is Episode Two.
The previous Biblical Reference post here about “weeping and gnashing of teeth” was used to point out that the evil satanic character Corion would mete out retribution onto those he commanded if they did not carry out his will. But Corion never says anything about ‘gnashing’ of teeth on the bones of those wayward minions—he uses the term “gnaw” and “gnawing.” While both ‘gnashing’ and ‘gnawing’ mean pretty much the same thing—teeth scraping on bones or whatever—I used the term ‘gnaw’ because it is more commonly used. Everyone knows about the gnawing of rodents on wood, on nuts, on gardens, on leftover food such as dog or cat food; gnawing is why rodents have those sharp fanged front teeth that they have.
There are only two references to ‘gnaw’ or ‘gnawing’ used in the Bible; I learned this by using Strong’s Concordance, which defines both in a similar way as it defines ‘gnashing,’ which is only found in the New Testament referring to Christ’s “weeping and gnashing of teeth” quotes in Matthew and Luke Gospel verses. But both ‘gnaw’ in Zephaniah 3:3 and ‘gnawing’ in Revelation 16:10 make the same connotations, except that while in Zephaniah the ‘gnaw’ is on bone, in Revelation the ‘gnawing’ is on the tongue ‘for pain.’ Zephaniah’s ‘gnaw’ on bone refers to evil leaders within Jerusalem that “are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.” (KJV) One could compare the evil Corion to these evil leaders in Jerusalem. So one could say that Corion’s ‘gnaw on bones forever’ has the same connotation as Zephaniah’s use of the word. However, in Revelation 16:10, the gnawing is on the “tongues for pain” and the ones doing the ‘gnawing on their tongues for pain’ are likely those who refused to repent of their deeds in the Revelation time-frame, which could mean either Corion’s minions had their tongues gnawed on by Corion or the evil minions gnawed on their own tongues. In The Prodigal Band Trilogy, the connotation is that Corion or his Demons did the ‘gnawing,’ but not one tongues, but bones. Forever.
The term ‘gnaw on bones forever’ is used several times in all three novels that make up the trilogy, and all refer to Corion’s gnawing on bones of either wayward minions or on the forces of Good, such as the angels called The Tooters who work for The Creator, God.
Continue reading “Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Biblical References Series, Episode Two—Gnawing of “Bones Forever.””