Metaphor: Concentric Circles

There’s more to be explored with the concept of circles. Previously the exploration was about how each letter of the alef-bet exhibits some aspect of circularity, because the alef-bet is an illustration of the cyclical wheel of the Word.

Naturally, we can’t condense the complexity and majesty of God down into a simple shape, but for the sake of illustrating a concept, let’s consider God the Father to also be like a huge circle encompassing the totality of everything that exists. The Messiah is like God the Father, and is God in kind, part of the same family, so they have the same shape. If both are represented by circles, what is the relationship between the two?

Note first Heb 1:3, which says that the Messiah is: “upholding all things by the word of his power…” Not “the power of his word”. His power is words. Back up a verse, and we get the phrase “by whom also he made the worlds”. In Genesis we know that God spoke and creation happened, and multiple times we see the Messiah described as “the Word”. Everything that was created was made through the Messiah, so his circle also encompasses everything that exists.

Scripture also makes it clear that in old times, many of the prophets and righteous men whose experiences were recorded for us spoke directly with God, but at the same time, God the Father has never been seen or heard directly by anyone. Who did they speak with? One who speaks as God yet is not the Father can only be the Son, the Messiah. In those times, from our perspective, in the simplified representation as circles, it would be as if both circles were the same size, with the Messiah completely overlapping and hiding the Father from human sight.

When the Messiah was born as a man to be the Redeemer of humanity, he voluntarily gave up heavenly glory for a time to pursue that critical mission. After he was resurrected again by the Father, he was not restored back exactly to what he had been before. Instead, he was resurrected as an example of what faithful humanity will become – a perfected spirit being, like God in nature, but not equal to God the Father.

His circle still encompasses everything, because he still has more power and authority than any other living being except for the Father. And the Father’s intent is for all to be placed under the Messiah’s authority in the end, as 1 Corinthians 15:28 says: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” The Father is the ultimate authority and encompasses the Son like concentric circles. No longer is the Father hidden, because the Messiah came to reveal Him to man. Both can be known by those who seek them.

If the Messiah is an example of what God’s people will become, then that means that resurrected humanity can also be represented by smaller circles within the larger circles of the Father and the Son. Some circles will be larger than others, indicating authority over more. As the parable says, “…because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17) The master in the parable goes on to give another servant five cities, and so on. Prophecies such as Ezekiel 37:34 indicate that King David will be resurrected and given rulership over Israel again, and the twelve apostles will judge the twelve tribes, according to Matt 19:28.

So that means that authority in the Kingdom of God could be represented something like this:

Of course, physical humanity might be represented as mere pinpricks, with authority over nothing.

Metaphor: The Wheel of Scripture

In some sense, circles are the most perfect geometric form. They are infinitely symmetric, and they mysteriously take up area based on a transcendental number (pi) that can’t be calculated exactly. There are so many things that are naturally circular that they lend themselves well to metaphor and comparison.

Oddly enough, the word “circle” appears only a single time in Scripture:

Isaiah 40:22: [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

There are two more verses that use the same Hebrew word (chuwg) but translate it a bit differently.

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Metaphor: Our daily bread

I’ve recently acquired a new appreciation for bread. In modern countries, much of the bread that is commonly available is bleached, nearly nutritionless sliced white bread. I’ve always liked some of the darker breads like rye, but how it is formed is important as well as what is in it. Sliced bread is one of the symbols of our modern “convenience” society. The antithesis of sliced bread is a long single loaf of bread, like French bread. I have recently taken to buying French bread flavored with rosemary, and I have found that a big hunk of this bread without any other adornment is one of the best tasting things I have had in a long time.

Bread is one of the more common symbols or metaphors used in Scripture, as it is a common, everyday item. At least, whole loaves of bread were common. Sliced bread would have been unheard of in Biblical times. Keep that in mind. Some of the references to bread would make no sense using sliced bread.

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