The church has divided mankind into two groups, the "saved" and the "lost". However, the Bible has a different perspective and sees only the "Heavenly" and the "Earthly". One group are heavenly minded or live in the consciousness of the realm of heaven, and the other are earthly minded and dwell in the natural or earth realm.
Now to most, whenever the heavens and the earth is mentioned they invariably think of the physical heavens and the physical earth. In Scripture the heavens and the earth have a primary application to MAN who has two main parts to his being. The heavens relate to the spiritual aspect of man, while the body or physical part equates with the earth. I would like to take you on a journey to discover who man really is from the point of view expressed in the scriptures of, the "Heavens and the Earth".
The book of Genesis is the book of beginnings and is invaluable if we are to discover the beginning of things that concern us. Our theologians consider that the first two chapters were written so we would know how all of the physical creation came into being. Even with the words of Holy Writ there still rages a debate over the methodology by which life entered the planet, with some holding to the principle of creation while others feel the process is best described by evolution. I am simply quoting these things to show that if the physical creation is all that is involved here, it really has not helped us very much to discover our true origin.
To me the first chapter of Genesis is not recorded for us to explain HOW God created the physical universe, but rather to give us the details concerning the creation of the MAN in Gods Likeness and Image. There are many reasons why I believe this to be true and I trust they will become clear as we continue to study our subject.
You will notice that the heaven and the earth are always connected, for the earth must have a heaven before it can function. In Genesis 1 verses 1-8 the text is not dealing with the literal heavens and the earth as neither is mentioned until verse 9, when it is called land. The sky or the literal heavens are not mentioned until verse 14-18 when we are told about the sun moon and stars. In view of these things what then is the LIGHT mentioned in verse 3-5? It cannot be the sun for that did not come until later. I believe we are forced to the conclusion that verses 1-8 must have a spiritual significance.
By association, light and heaven go together just as darkness and earth. This gives us a different perspective on this passage of scripture. In Verse one we have God creating the heavens and the earth, the interior and the exterior, the seen and the unseen which accurately portrays man, who is physical as well as spiritual. In verse 3 we see God introducing LIGHT into the darkness thus swallowing it up. The Hebrew word for light is "ORE" which means "to be". This is not a reference to the sun, where a different word is used, but this word suggests a "making visible" of that which was already there but was not evident because of the darkness. It is for this reason that light in the Bible always has to do with the "understanding".
Right from the beginning the heavens and the earth are linked together and this is true through out the Bible. In the beginning it was the earth that required the help of the creator to deliver it from the condition into which it had fallen. The scripture says, "And the earth BECAME without form and void". No detail is given here for this state of affairs although theologians have developed many fanciful theories as to the reason, all of which relate simply to the physical earth. However if we consider the thought that this passage also has to do with the creation of MAN in the likeness and Image of God then we do not have to search very far for the answers to these questions.
It is interesting to notice that the darkness was upon "the face of the deep". This is a reference to the mind and the consciousness of man, which for some reason became affected thus throwing the whole of man into confusion. The work the creator began was not to create another earth, as perhaps we would have done but simply to illuminate that which had been covered with darkness. Now in the context of this earth which had become a void, we are not told anything about the "heavens". Perhaps we have discovered a very profound principle here, that it is the HEAVENS that were designed to RULE over the earth.
Here we must follow our theme into one of the great prophets in order that we might understand the vital truths the Holy Spirit would seek to teach us. Daniel made a tremendous statement to one of the mightiest kings who ever lived when he said, "The heavens do rule". Dan 4:26. This establishes the fact that the "heavens" become the ruling factor and the "earth" is that which is ruled over. This principle was established back in the first chapter of Genesis and has never changed. However in pursuing our subject we must discover the details that surround this statement made by the prophet Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar.
The occasion begins with the king having a dream which causes him to become very fearful even though he has no idea what it means. Daniel was brought in to the king to give him the message contained in the dream. It involved a great tree whose height reached unto the heavens and whose breadth seemed to involve the whole earth. This tree became a shelter for the beasts of the field and the fruit was sufficient for all flesh as representing the body. Suddenly someone from the realm of heaven comes down and says, "Cut down the tree and its branches, shake off the leaves and scatter the fruit." This of course destroyed the covering provided for the animals and the birds. But in the midst of this call for destruction a word came that the STUMP of his roots was to be left in the earth, but fettered with a band of iron and brass. This once mighty tree now was reduced to the level of the grass and the beasts of the field.
THE PARABLE OF LIFE
Daniel provided the interpretation of the kings dream and in so doing gives us with some very interesting insights into life itself. The very meaning of this dream greatly troubled even the prophet because of the details it contained. He began by saying that the great tree he had seen in his dream was a picture of the king himself who had grown strong and whose influence extended to the ends of the earth.
Suddenly a Holy One comes DOWN FROM HEAVEN having absolute authority over everything the tree represents. Let us note that the authority came from the realm of HEAVEN which in the Hebrew speaks of ABOVE, not in geographical terms such as being up in the sky, but being on a plane that is higher than the earthly plane. Here is proof of the statement made by the prophet, that the HEAVENS DO RULE. This one who came from the realm of Heaven says, "Cut the tree down and destroy it." Notice that the "Earth" was not destroyed but that which the earth produced!
The substance of the earth was to be reduced to the level of the grass and the beasts of the field. Let us consider for a moment what is implied here. Grass in the scriptures always speaks to us of FLESH as the prophet said in Isa 40:6-8. So the mighty tree was reduced to grass, or in other words, despite the life produced out of the earth, it was only FLESH in the heavenly analysis. As such it was on a par with the beasts of the fields.
If we can only hear what the Spirit is saying to us we will discover here some of the secrets of life and the way in which the creator intended it to function. This dream involved one of the greatest kings of his time, but God uses him as a parable to teach us spiritual truths. It is obvious the tree did not just appear, for it takes time for such a tree to develop into the magnitude this one achieved. So the question is why is it being destroyed now? To answer this question let us look at the scenario.
First of all this dream was really a warning because nothing happened until twelve months later, during which time the prophet encouraged the king to turn from his unrighteousness and his iniquities, so that he would PROLONG HIS TRANQUILLITY. Peace of mind is our most treasured possession if we are smart, and not money or material things. Before Jesus left the disciples He said, "My PEACE I give unto you", this being the greatest gift He could give to them. But we are living in a world that is filled with trouble causing untold stress and pressure to work its evil work in the minds of men. Mental health with all its associated problems is today a major drain on the health resources of every nation.
What then was the mind-set of this king that caused the authority of the heavens to bring such drastic action? King Nebuchadnezzar had come to the place that he now believed he was "Master of his own destiny and subject to no one". He had ignored the basic rule set by the creator in the beginning that the Heavens do rule in the affairs of men. It was on the fourth day of creation that God made two great lights TO RULE, one was the greater light and one the lesser light. These were to illuminate the two aspects of the life of man, the sun to rule the DAY of our life, and the moon the night or darkness of our life. This is OUR EARTH we speak of and not just the physical earth which is subject to both light and darkness. Remember light always speaks to us of understanding, for you may have 20/20 vision but if you are in the dark you can see nothing.
Let us ponder this thought for as moment because it is so important. It is not just a matter of light and darkness, in the physical sense, but rather a question of our understanding of spiritual truths, which is represented by the light. God has graciously made provision for everyone, in that He has not left anyone completely in the DARK. When we allow the LIGHT OF GOD manifest in Christ into our earth HE BECOMES OUR SUN and we live in the light of His DAY, and he brings to us the ability to see and to know God. But when we lack this knowledge and understanding of God, which is represented by darkness, he provides for us another light or moon by which we can discern dimly the way, or the things of God..
The distorted view many have of "our" universe is that WE are the center and the heavens revolve around us. It is interesting that not many years ago, most people believed that the sun and heavenly bodies all revolved round the earth. Today science has shown us that it is the sun traveling in its orbit that is the very center of the entire universe. Such an understanding must be also applied to the heavens and the earth which, as I have already pointed out, is MAN. This king came to believe his "earth" was the center of his "universe" and the "heavens revolved around him. I want you to see that such a notion actually deposes God and establishes the "earth" as the center of all authority.
This King Nebuchadnezzar had become so successful that his vision became a little blurred to the point that he saw himself as being the center of "his" universe and so taking credit for all he had achieved, without any recognition for God or "EL" the subjector. However God is a God of mercy and so judgment is delayed and a warning in the form of a dream interpreted by the prophet is given to him, to help him set his universe in order with GOD as the center.
The very Name used for God in Genesis explains this principle because it is ELOHIM. Now this is a compound word with three parts, EL which refers to God the SUBJECTOR, followed by the OAH speaking of those who are like Him but subject to Him, that is the SUBJECTED, and the IM which is simply the plural form. So we can see that the structure of our universe is based upon WHO GOD IS and His place in the midst of all creation.
But after twelve months, or one complete revolution of the earth around the sun, bringing in its course the four changing seasons which cause us to reflect in a variety of ways upon the power and wisdom of the Lord, we observe the king expressing the thoughts of his heart. Standing in the midst of the opulence of his palace he says "Is not this great Babylon which I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of MY POWER, and for the honor of MY MAJESTY?" The Bible says, even while the words were in his mouth, another VOICE FROM HEAVEN said, " O King to thee it is spoken, the kingdom is departed from thee."
It is most instructive to note the form the correction takes, for this king surely represents mankind as a whole. In the physical universe everything follows its defined orbit and the fine balance that keeps everything in order must be maintained. If one planet moved off its prescribed course the gravitational difference would upset the whole universe. How much more would the whole future of mankind be in jeopardy if there was not some law built into OUR universe to bring correction to those who would seek to disturb its balance.
In the beginning man was put into subjection to God by a law which said he could partake of all the trees of the garden, but he was not to touch the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil lest he die. All of creation is obedient to the will and purpose of God except MAN, because he is the only creature with the power of rational thought enabling him to make decisions and work things out. He is the only creature who has the ability to LOVE as distinct from the animals which can only respond. This mind God has given man is capable of searching out God and responding to Him and even to LOVING HIM. It is this MIND that makes us a totally different species from the animals even though they are called SOULS just as is MAN.
Now the mind plays a very important part in the peaceful function of our universe because we did not establish the laws that govern it, we have no power to change them, so we must live by that law if everything is to function as the creator intended. As James tells us, if the "wheel" within man and the "wheel" in nature both turn together and in harmony, then peace reigns, but if ever they turn in different directions they will create friction and heat and disharmony will result.
The Bible declares the King now dwelt with the animals although reluctantly, even though they were all totally happy to follow the laws of God which we call instinct. The thing we call freedom is often mistaken for the right to live and act any way we choose, but this is foolishness. Let me ask you a question, "When is a fish free?" The answer is when it is where God intended it to be, doing what He intended it to do. Then when is a MAN free? The answer is simply, when he is what God intended him to be, doing what God intended him to do. Under those circumstances man is at peace with himself and with others, but most of all he is at peace with God. True freedom means there is harmony, both in OUR earth and also in OUR heaven.
Imagine this noble king now living AS the animals in the field eating grass until his hair grew like eagles feathers and his nails like birds claws. This man found himself lowered to the level of the animals having lost the dignity of MAN in the likeness and image of God. Such is the lesson he had to learn until seven times pass over him. Have you ever wondered why mental illness is increasing, and depression is as common as a headache? We have so many mothers now facing what is called "post natal depression" which robs them of the pure joy of motherhood, and often the child of that loving relationship. Most marriage breakdowns are blamed on stress and anxiety, because so few have found the secret of living in harmony.
The answer is not a new set of doctrines or better preachers, but putting our "universe", our heaven and earth in order. When we allow the HEAVENS TO RULE the "earth" will respond. The Spiritual or heavenly part of man where God dwells must be the supreme authority over all "our earth".
Once the voice from heaven had achieved its purpose, it was time for this man to return to the dignity God vested in mankind in the beginning. Let us hear him express his thoughts after sharing the animal mentality for so long. This is his testimony now in contrast to his previous distorted view of life.
"I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes to HEAVEN (and when I did) my understanding returned to me and I blessed the Most High (EL) and I praised and honored Him whose dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, and He doeth according to the strength and authority of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand or say to Him what doest Thou?
At the same time my reason returned unto me and for the glory of my kingdom my honor and brightness returned unto me, and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me, so that now I Nebuchadnezzar extol and honor the KING OF HEAVEN, whose works are all truth and all His ways judgment and those who walk in pride He is able to abase. Dan 4:34-37.
The order of the universe had been restored, with Heaven recognised as the final authority and the earth operating in submission. From this account we understand that God is no respector of persons, the laws of heaven and earth function in every persons life regardless of position. The insanity that abounds in all of our society today, including politics and science where man pursues war relentlessly; produces weapons of mass destruction, and products that cause cancer and all kinds of sickness and diseases, must all find its basis in the disruption of the heavens and earth that represents MAN. When the Heavens RULE the Earth is at peace.
Now let us look more closely at the ruling part of mans universe called Heaven. The word itself suggests that which is "above", not in terms of altitude but simply a higher realm above the natural. Contrary to common religous belief heaven is not a PLACE at all, and certainly not one to which anyone can go. It represents a higher realm of understanding or another dimension of living. In Isaiah we are told that God says, "the Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool". Heaven is the realm of God unseen by natural eyes, yet in that spiritual place dwells all the realities of life. Since this is the place of Gods throne, the HEAVENS DO RULE!
Let us now locate this "heaven" in relation to man. Religion has put heaven up above the blue sky with no direct connection to man so that it does not enter into his philosophy of life. But this is wrong and we need to go back to the book of beginnings to discover the truth. After God had dispelled the darkness which covered the "face of the deep" or the consciousness of man, an illumination produced a new understanding which began to replace the chaos of his former thinking. This is the "day" spoken about here, in contrast to the darkness or "night" which had enveloped man.
This is not eluding to some catastrophe in past ages before creation, but speaks to us of that "Night" that descended on Adams mind and understanding the moment he partook of the tree God told him not to touch. The whole stability of mans universe was rocked as the earth rebelled against the authority God invested in the "Heavens". In this issue it was the EARTH that asserted itself to function under its own authority and thereby depose God. Just as in the case we studied with Nebuchadnezzar, the immutable laws of the universe swung into action and darkness covered the consciousness or "face of the deep", when Adam broke Gods law.
That darkness was so great that Adam no longer saw himself as a part of God but quite separate from Him. Furthermore he now considered his creator was his enemy, and finally he perceived himself to be naked although previously no such thought existed. Even God asked, "WHO told you that you were naked?" That terrible misunderstanding was so great even in 1995 man is still being subject to its ramifications. The earth has continued to reel as a drunken man and Heaven has been lost to his understanding.
We do not need any fanciful theological arguments to discover what these verses in Genesis chapter one are alluding to. In fact to the spiritual mind this whole chapter has a primary application to the man who is created in the likeness and Image of God, rather than being a historic account of the creation of the physical heavens and the earth. How God created all things has little bearing on my life today, but how MAN WAS CREATED is absolutely vital if we are to live in any meaningful relationship with our creator God.
In Gen 1:6 God speaks into existence a "firmament" to divide the waters. These waters speak to us of the restlessness of the mind of man, just as the waves of the ocean constantly move until they crash on the shore. These "waters" needed to be divided, so a firmament is introduced to accomplish this separation. In verse 8 the firmament is given a name and it is called HEAVEN. This heaven is to divide the waters ABOVE from those BELOW. These waters represent the thoughts that fill our mind constantly, often overwhelming our ability to process them all and so causing the mind to become confused. Heaven has been put there so that we might be able to discern those thoughts which come to us from ABOVE or from the heavenly realm, and those that come from BELOW which is the NATURAL or earthly realm.
How few people seem to be able to distinguish the source of their thoughts, simply because they have no real consciousness of HEAVEN dwelling within them. When our "universe" is functioning in divine order there is a clear separation between heaven and earth, and yet both function together in harmony. If heaven is above the blue sky then it cannot have any meaningful function in my life. We have only highlighted one aspect of the function of heaven in the dividing of the waters, for it is also the throne of God. Heaven is that unseen realm where God dwells and contains all the realities of life. What we observe in this physical world is only temporary and everything will pass away. So it becomes obvious, that if we cannot access heaven, our view of things will be very distorted because we will consider what we see naturally to be the reality, when in fact it is not.
For this reason most people consider heaven to be absolutely separate from the earth, but this is really not so. Heaven and earth always go together, in fact, earth could not function without heaven for the seat of authority that governs earth is set in heaven. God formed Adam from the dust of the ground (earth) but as pure earth he had NO LIFE. It was not until the BREATH OF LIFE out of heaven infused his being that he became a living soul. So we discover the source of LIFE is not found in the earth but IN HEAVEN, from whence ALL life is sustained. To translate this into the context of our being, we are saying that the earthly part of us, our body, lives and is sustained by a LIFE which abides in the heavenly realm, and that source is GOD. For this reason heaven and earth must be intangibly connected.
Just think about it for a moment. Most people consider that their life resides in their body and so they spend a fortune trying to keep it healthy but WHY? So that they will live longer! This concept is based upon a wrong translation of Leviticus 17:11 which says, "The LIFE of the flesh is in the blood". The correct translation is, "The SOUL of the flesh is in the blood". Now if my LIFE is in my blood, then I look at my body and say, "I am a sick man with several diagnosed physical problems for which there is no known cure." All I can reasonably look forward to is perhaps a few years of failing health and then death. I assure you, this is not the real situation. My LIFE is centered in and sustained by GOD who functions out of Heaven, and therefore I am immortal. I am not saying that my present body is immortal but that, "I am immortal."
Common sense tells us that proper care of our natural body is wise and essential but my real LIFE is my inner or heavenly part. If only Gods people would understand these truths, our lives would be transformed. We must understand that our true being is not simply what we can see with our natural eyes. When I look at you I see only your "earth." But you are also "Heaven," that part which is invisible to the natural eye. However just because it is unseen does not mean it is unimportant. This is perhaps one of the great illusions to consider, that I am not just a physical being, but I am an Earth with a Heaven.
If God is the source and the sustainer of all life then He must be present in the "heaven" of my earth. Nebuchadnezzar ignored the authority of "heaven" in his life, claiming it was totally his causing a "disruption" in his personal universe. His mind became absolutely confused, and the authority of his life was taken from him, so that he was controlled by the laws of the universe we call "sowing and reaping." Only when heaven was restored to its rightful place did his sanity return and his life became peaceful.
It is sad these days, to see Christians ignoring the authority of the God of heaven over their lives, others seemingly oblivious to such an authority existing IN them. While we have the concept of God outside ourselves, we will not see God as vital to our every day existence. In the course of daily life we have many reminders of our natural heritage, such as our resemblance to our parents, mannerisms and habits all link us to our forebears. In spite of this, so many have never had any sense of coming from or belonging to God. The prophet Isaiah said of Israel, Gods chosen people,
"Hear O Heavens and give ear O Earth, for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner and the ass his masters crib, but Israel DOTH NOT KNOW NOR CONSIDER".
Jesus said to the people of His day, "Do not call any man FATHER for one is your Father which is IN HEAVEN". "Take no thought for your LIFE what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall wear. Is not the LIFE more than meat, and the body more than raiment". Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Beloved if God is our FATHER then we are SPIRIT, born out of the realm of SPIRIT, and not just flesh and blood. If there is a choice to be made between the Spirit and the Flesh, the Earth and Heaven, then we must choose HEAVEN. Remember God said Heaven is my throne and the Earth is my footstool. In the light of these facts why do people spend more time energy and money on their bodies than they do on the spiritual aspect of our being? This question seems even more relevant because GOD is an integral part of our spiritual being.
The Bible speaks about a New Heaven and a New Earth. Which one would you consider to be the prime mover in such a renewal? Would you consider the EARTH could bring about a renewal of itself and Heaven? Or in human terms, could the physical BODY renew itself and the realm of Spirit? I think not, but rather it is Heaven that brings about a renewal in the Earth, and the NEW EARTH obviously requires a NEW HEAVEN which is also a New Government. Beloved your Heaven or the Spiritual part of you which is in fact your true identity, holds within it all the ability and authority you need to LIVE AS GOD. Yet we live in fear with our life slipping slowly away, until we embrace DEATH as a friend who delivers us from pain and suffering. What an awful commentary this is on life in general.
Eternal Life is defined for us in John 17 as "Knowing God." It is most interesting that LIFE is an experiential knowledge of God, and that a lack of the knowledge of God is DEATH. Let us be clear that it is not a knowledge ABOUT God that is Life but the knowledge of God Himself. The present indicators suggest there are not too many who KNOW GOD. Is this because God has deliberately hidden Himself? NO, but God is SPIRIT and so is invisible to our natural eyes. After hundreds of generations of being orientated to this physical world, it would seem mankind has lost the spiritual perception which enables him to see into the realm of God. Man needs the "Heavens" to help him in this regard as the "Earth" is powerless to rectify the problem itself. It is absolutely essential for us to discover we are in fact SPIRIT and not just physical beings.
Jesus spoke about being BORN FROM ABOVE or from the HEAVEN realm. To discover heaven as an integral part of our life, we must come to understand our true origin. Jesus said, "That which is born of flesh IS FLESH," and this refers to our natural birth from our parents who themselves were flesh. If this is the only birth we are aware of, then Heaven will seem totally unreal to our consciousness. Jesus also said, "Call no man your father for ONE IS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN." As to our true origin, we are not originally of the EARTH but actually out of HEAVEN, with God as our FATHER. How many christians pray daily, "Our FATHER which art in heaven", yet fail to grasp the truth of the words they say?
Solomon said, "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way before His works of old. I was poured out as an offering to the Lord from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth was". Prov 8:22-23. These statements show us that our birth on this earth was not our beginning, but that we did exist in God right from the time of creation. Because this is so, our origin was not earthly or physical, but Heavenly or spiritual. It would seem that our past in God has been veiled from our conscious memory, until it is unlocked by the Holy Spirit who reveals our true identity to us. To be "born from above" is to discover our own "Heaven" and there to discover GOD, and as a result to find our true identity. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who has been given to guide us into all Truth.
"These are the generations of the Heavens and the Earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the Earth and the Heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth and every herb of the field before it grew, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth and there was not a man to till the ground". Gen 2:4-5
. Is it not interesting that both the Heavens and the Earth were designed to produce after their kind. The generation of the Earth occurred in the vegetable kingdom by means of the seed placed in every fruit. Man himself was given power to procreate with the female part which was taken out of man by the Lord. Cain was born and then Abel. All this we understand, but what is the generation of the Heavens?
Right from the beginning God had His testimony both in Heaven and on the Earth. The testimony of God is shown to us in Genesis 1:26-27, when God said "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness and let them have dominion...... So God created man in His image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them......and said,."Have dominion......Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it."
This man was not created to till the soil as was Adam. His role was to be fruitful and multiply and to SUBDUE THE EARTH. This direct command from God indicated that the "earth" was out of control and so needed to be subdued. This is Gods Spiritual man expressing totally all God intended man to be as the expression of His own heart. Let us notice that this MAN came direct from the hand of the creator, with no mention of any physical body and no law or limitation placed upon him, and he was given dominion over all the works of Gods hands. There is nothing "earthy" connected with this man, but to him was given authority to restore the "earth" that had become empty and filled with darkness. The Apostle Paul through revelation recorded these words concerning this MAN.
"Who having delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the Kingdom of HIS DEAR SON, in whom we have redemption through His blood even the forgiveness of sins. Who is the IMAGE of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN of EVERY CREATURE..... and He is before all things and by Him all things consist. John the Apostle continues, "In the beginning was the WORD and the Word was with God and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God".
This "MAN" is the firstborn of every creature that would ever exist. Therefore he must be before the "earthly man" formed in Genesis chapter two. The first "Man" did not need to have life breathed into him from the outside for he was in the image and likeness of God. This Adam of the garden the tiller of the ground, was FORMED (Yatsar) not created, out of a substance already created, the dust of the ground. This "dust" was molded into the form God required until he was complete in every aspect except, that he had no LIFE because the dust could not supply life to the man. God had to breathe into him the breath of lives before he could live and become a LIVING SOUL.
Now if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying, we will discover here some liberating thoughts to set us free from our sense of false identity. In these two men we have the HEAVENS and the EARTH united according to the plan of God for His purposes to be fulfilled on the earth as the Heavenly man exercises authority over the life of the Earthly man. According to Genesis chapter two we see the parable of life lived out in fine detail as Adam lived in perfect harmony with God, walking and talking with Him and overseeing the rest of creation. Even though the "formed" Adam was made from the dust it seems that he had no problem in terms of relationship with God. His earthiness did not detract from his oneness with God, as long as he lived in correct relationship with the heavens.
The day came when the soulish part of man began to ignore the "Heavens" and to function independently of His spiritual being, in the likeness and Image of God. Immediately he perceived the presence of God to be outside of himself. This was not just a sin we are talking about but a major disruption to the universe of that MAN Adam. According to the words of the serpent, Adams eyes were opened to a new perception, that of Good and evil, but at the same time his spiritual eyes were closed to the heavenly, the realm of God. The result was the whole Spiritual realm became blurred and seemed to be less real, while the earth filled his vision, declaring this realm of appearance to be reality to his senses. This change broke the intimate relationship with God he had previously enjoyed.
Religion makes a big deal about Adam being DRIVEN out of the garden by an angry God as part of the punishment for his sin. If my understanding of The Father in heaven is correct, I think He would have wept if that were possible, and cried over a son who thought he could find fulfillment in a "far off land" apart from God. This is the Earth seeking to function solo without a heaven to bring to him the reality of God. At that point the natural laws of the universe which Paul called the "Elements or laws of the world," began to apply. Gal 4:3 In verse 9 of the same chapter these laws are called "Weak and Beggarly" suggesting they represent to those who know not God some sort of refuge, and because of this the law of Sowing and Reaping is effectively built into the universe like the law of gravity.
From that time on, once the consciousness of the presence of God was lost, the "Garden" was no longer a garden to Adam. To correct the situation, all we need is for our spiritual eyes to be opened so that Heaven will once again be like home to us, and our fellowship with the Father restored. Then the earth will no longer "reel as a drunken man".
THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH
Rev. 21:1 "And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea".
There is no mention of patching up but rather a passing away of the old, to be replaced by something NEW. As we previously mentioned the Earth has no capacity to renew itself and because it is part of the physical world is only temporary. Therefore the NEW must come from the Heavens or Spiritual realm, which are eternal.
The appearing of the NEW heavens and earth coincided with the appearance of the NEW JERUSALEM which John saw coming down out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for he husband. Paul speaks of this "Jerusalem which is from above" as being FREE and the MOTHER OF US ALL and is connected to those who are the "children of promise". So this Jerusalem which is from above is a people who like Isaac are born, NOT of Blood, or of the will of Man, BUT OF GOD. These are the "over comers" mentioned in the message to the church in Sardis which was known for its great wealth.
John also mentions a VOICE which sounded as this New Jerusalem came down out of Heaven. The voice said,
"The tabernacle of God is with mankind, and He will be tabernacling with them and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them. And He will brush away every tear from their eyes. And death will be no more, nor crying neither will there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away".
This is the same voice heard in the Beginning which said, "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness". As a result of this word spoken, MAN as a true expression of the very heart of God was created, in His likeness and image, and God saw that it was good. This man was pure Spirit even as God is, and became the "Heavens" or the Spiritual part of the man Adam, who was formed out of the dust of the earth to till the ground. This "heaven" allowed Adam to walk and talk with God and to enjoy a close relationship with Him, bringing into his consciousness the knowledge of God. Thus Adam lived as the expression of a true son of God.
However, the time came when the earthly part of his being began to question this manifestation of God and thoughts were cultivated contrary to the revelation of the God within him. It was at that moment that the law of God came into effect, and man "put to death" that true revelation of the SON OF GOD. This event is what the Apostle John referred to when He spoke of "The Lamb of God slain from the foundation (disruption) of the world". Rev 13:8. This revolt on the part of Adam introduced DEATH to the whole human race. However we are not speaking here just of physical death, even though that inevitably must follow, but primarily we speak of "death" as a lack of the knowledge of God. By contrast, eternal LIFE is knowing God.
Adam put to death the CHRIST who is the IMAGE OF GOD, and the only possible means by which we could KNOW GOD. Thus he put out the "Light of Heaven" and walked on in darkness from that moment. This resulted in the "earth" becoming WITHOUT FORM and VOID and darkness covered the face of the deep. It is from this state of affairs that God must bring in a NEW Heavens and Earth.
First we must realise that HEAVEN was not destroyed, it simply remained where it always was. Adam found that it was now hidden from him, simply because he no longer possessed the ability to see into that realm. The fact remains that CHRIST, being in the likeness and image of God, and having no "earthly" body cannot die. His PRESENCE is not discernible to the Adam mind. Adam was driven OUT from the garden and the presence of God, and this still remains the concept for all those who see themselves as a part of ADAMS RACE. Thus the carnal mind teaches us we are SINNERS, God is our enemy, and we need a sacrifice before we can ever be forgiven and return to God. As a result we are quite happy to CRUCIFY CHRIST ON A CROSS physically, even as ADAM put Him to death spiritually in the garden.
It is essential for us to grasp the import of the truths outlined above before we can ever hope to understand the NEW Heavens and Earth. The carnal mind can only conceive of such a change as being physical and relate to the material heavens and earth. So they speak of that "New Earth" with no more killing, war, or sickness or death, and the "lion lies down with the lamb".
Now let us proceed to discover by the Spirit what is really involved. The word "NEW" has to do with "freshness" rather than something just made that did not exist before. As we mentioned above, Heaven or the consciousness of God within Adam was not destroyed or removed, but because of the carnal mind he had developed, his consciousness now functioned on an earthly physical level from which no one can see God. Scripture declares, "No MAN (Adam) hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him".
Now we can see how foolish is the carnal idea of God driving the man out from Himself and away from His presence. Man never moved geographically, but his present earthly consciousness could no longer "SEE" the garden or God, even though everything was still there. Hence the REVERSAL of that experience of Adam does not require us to GO any where geographically (to some physical heaven.) All we need is a REVELATION involving a new consciousness out of the heavenly or Spiritual realm and we will discover GOD NEVER LEFT US AT ALL.
John the apostle was on the Isle of Patmos and suddenly he found himself IN THE SPIRIT looking at and being able to SEE the things associated with the time known as "The day of the Lord". However, his feet did not leave that desolate Island, as he did not GO anywhere. This is revelation, an opening of our spiritual eyes or understanding, a consciousness born of heaven or Spirit, which allows us to SEE reality and not just those things that appear in the physical.
John saw the Holy City the New Jerusalem COMING DOWN out of heaven or the Spiritual realm, because that realm is "higher" than, or ABOVE the level of our earth consciousness. To any one who has lived in an "Earth" consciousness, the Holy City the New Jerusalem would appear as COMING DOWN because of its glory and heavenliness. Earth consciousness excludes anything of the heavenly realm becoming part of our Imagination, even to our concept of God Himself. This is so because we somehow KNOW God is there and Heaven exists, but having no conscious knowledge of them, we resort to Imagination just as we did as a child when we imagined what it was like to be an adult, or to escape reality when it became too difficult to handle. Paul said "Cast down imaginations"! These are all false images of God and amount to idolatry.
To further clarify our understanding of these things, let us note Johns vision as it unfolded to him on Patmos. After the messages to the seven churches, in chapter 4 he states," I looked and BEHOLD a DOOR opened in heaven", and a voice saying, Come up hither and I will show you things which must be occurring". It should be noted that what John saw was not in the EARTH REALM, but in the realm of heaven or Spirit. It should also be noted the revelation begins with EARTH and HEAVEN being JOINED, or in the context, a "DOOR" connecting the two realms. A number of times that "door" opened briefly in the history of man to reveal things that are unseen by earthly eyes. Moses saw God in a burning bush briefly but enough to alter the destiny of his life. He also saw God on Mount Sinai and received the Gospel for Israel as well as the Law.
It is said that Abraham rejoiced TO SEE "my day", or the day John is writing about. Peter James and John were given the privilege of "beholding the Lord on the mount of transfiguration. Many other cases could be cited but that is enough. Remember that in the realm of heaven there are no yesterdays or tomorrows, they remain solely in the realm of earth or the physical.
So this NEW Heaven and Earth belong to the heavenly or Spiritual realm, and are not "new" in the sense of having just been created, but for John they were only just then revealed to his understanding by the Spirit. Something called the Holy City and the New Jerusalem from the heavenly realm, came down into the earth realm. Just then a great voice was heard out of heaven saying,
"Behold the tabernacle of God is with mankind, and He will be tabernacling with them and they will be His people and God Himself will be with them. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, for the former things are passed away."
Paul tells us, that he that is joined to the Lord IS ONE SPIRIT, and that Spirit is the LORD. If we have been born "from above," or from heaven we must be spirit, because flesh only produces flesh and Spirit only produces Spirit. To be born of God we must be Spirit because God is SPIRIT. We cannot be just physical beings waiting to die and then to be resurrected as spiritual beings, so that we can go to heaven. That is the traditional teaching most of us were brought up on. No, we must be Spiritual now as we are "seated together with Christ in HEAVENLY PLACES. This people who come down out of heaven are FATHERS HOUSE or His dwelling place, because He tabernacles or dwells WITH THEM. Further more they are no longer subject to the law of sin and death, because DEATH no longer exists for them, they are immortal.
If we are free from the law of sin and death, tears and crying and frustration are all gone, as everything relating to that former life is passed away. We are now living out of a God consciousness and not an earth consciousness. This is the New Heavens and the New Earth, joined together and functioning in harmony. The New Heavens indicate a New Government with new authority, because they were made to RULE. This new authority is the Kingdom of God over which He rules without debate or opposition.
Once the "Earth" is brought under divine rule it becomes a "garden" again, instead of bringing forth briar and thorns, devastation and death having been removed. Thus the heavens and the earth are brought into harmony once again and the kingdom of God is established. Then it shall be that the will of God shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Out of this New Heavens and Earth we see the pure river of LIFE flowing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. The TREE OF LIFE is growing there with leaves that are for the healing of the nations. They shall see His face and His Name shall be written in their foreheads, and there will be NO MORE NIGHT. The sun and moon will no longer be required for the Lord God will provide all the light necessary, and they shall reign for ever and ever.
The heavens rule having now resumed their divinely appointed role, and darkness has been swallowed up by the light. This light has brought illumination to our understanding bringing into visibility the realm of heaven and Spirit, establishing our true identity. We can say like the Apostle John,
"Now are we the SONS OF GOD, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when we shall SEE HIM we shall be like Him." To the natural mind all these things seem but as fantasy, but to the mind that has been enlightened by the Spirit of God they are REALITIES.
BEHOLD I COME QUICKLY!