Goodnews Christian Ministry

THE SUBSTANCE OF "SPIRIT"

 

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband."
Revelation.21:1-2

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According to scripture, the invisible spiritual life force that permeates creation is not without it's own substance. It is another kind of body, similar to what we have now, but it is not biological. It houses our soul, just as our biological body does now here in the womb of the earth. But the spirit lasts forever. It is a body that has eternal permanence.

The only reason it is invisible is because we do not have receptors now that can view it. In this world we have eyes to see the physical environment and ears to hear sound waves and sensory receptors on our skin and fingers to "feel" the structure of the physical world. But those receptors have enormous limitations. The spectrum that contains sound waves is a continuum proceeding in both directions and our receptors are blind to a very large part of that spectrum. We have to explore those 'invisible' parts piecemeal and haphazardly by instruments.

Jesus explained that while spiritual life has its own substance, in our present condition we have no receptors to "see" it, "feel" it, or "hear" it. Nor do we have instruments that can probe it. Yet the processes involved are in plain sight for all to see. They are not hidden, nor can they be swept away by a broom of superstition. Simple knowledge of the birth of the universe and the processes that have brought us to this moment in time and intelligence, illustrates a trajectory that points to an invisible life force that permeates all of space.

It is a trajectory that shows life rising up from its primitive beginnings toward a "living" harmony with the vast reaches of a universe hostile to biology. For life to reach into that fiery realm and master it, it must make the kind of transition that Jesus preached. We have to go from biological to spiritual, just as we have already gone from physical to biological, or from nothing to physical in the first place. Those transitions are in our past and the trajectory of that past shows us our future as well.

When scripture says that God created man in his own image, it is an imperishable spirit to which it refers. Jesus said that God is spirit. That is why we can't see Him. "True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth" (Jn.4:23-24).. By allowing us a formula to pass from biological life to spiritual life, God has given us permission to be clothed in a new kind of body that lives forever. We already know that the soul does not die with biological death because Jesus told His disciples that no one who had ever died in the flesh was yet dead as far as God was concerned "All men are, in fact, (still) alive".

The time is soon coming when that will no longer be the case. Only those who follow Jesus will survive what lies just ahead.

Spiritual life is real life. Scripture says we will know and be known and exult in that new environment.

Addressing its nearness, Jesus described the enormous hubbub of activity that exists just beyond the spectrum of our eyes. He said to Nathanael, "Wait until the heavens are rolled back before your eyes, and you see, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending." (John 1:51).

Joshua saw into this realm when he encountered Michael the Archangel in the wilds near Jericho (Joshua 5:13-15). Moses did also on the mountain in Sinai. John talked about the immensity of heavenly beings (too numerous to count) made visible before his eyes in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 7:9-11). Elijah saw beyond this veil plainly. Elisha opened his servants eyes to see a multitude of God's fiery chariots surrounding them on the nearby mountains so that his servant would not be afraid when an army of enemies came to make war on the two of them. Earlier, Elisha was permitted to observe Elijah being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind amidst the fiery chariots of God. Similar visions across this barrier have been given to all the other prophets. The Bible is filled with their descriptions.

Scripture tells us that there is an immense army of angels in heaven to do God's bidding. The Roman Centurion in one of the Gospel passages instinctively recognized this fact and had his child healed miles from where Jesus stood. The Lord commended him (a foreigner) as having more faith than anyone in all of Israel for his observation (Mat. 8:5-10). Jesus said that people are like angels: "For at the resurrection men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven." (Mt. 22:29-30). He taught that we each have guardian angels: "See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven." (Mt. 18:10).

If there were not this immense invisible life force just beyond our eyes, how could God see all that men do in secret? (Mat. 6:1-6). What book of deeds could there be? (Malachi 2:16-17). Be assured, those books exists (Ps. 139:16). Daniel wrote:

"As I watched: "Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat...a court was held and the books were opened.

I gazed into the visions of the night, and I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence. On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples...became his servants. his sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed..." (Dan.7:9-14).

The physical world evolved from a massive explosion, spawning galaxies and stars and solar systems scattered enormous distances in all directions thoughout nothingness. Then, when all was in readiness, a transition was made. Out of the physical environment, biological life was raised. Time passed, and at the point of man, Jesus said, another transition point had arrived. It is a transition that raises up spiritual life out of the biological.

In this entire process, we can see that from nothing came a mighty explosion of physical matter that has slowly and methodically transformed itself steadily in the direction of the invisible spiritual life force that permeates all of the universe. It shows us a universe reaching up beyond the stars to its highest level by a focused process moving inexorably toward God, the Creator.

 

See Also: 'John's Vision of the Holy City'

 

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