Continued from last post!
One of the great enigmas of human inquisitiveness, is that God is not discoverable by investigation. He is not material in essence. He cannot be placed in the crucible of the laboratory and dissected, analyzed, categorized, or understood by scientific means. All the mystics, philosophers and prophets of old understood God to be spirit, and thus transcendent. The Bible presents God as a spirit. The world view of Judaism, Christianity and many other religious systems are constructed around God as a spirit, from which matter exists.
This simple premise is the roadblock for the enlightened mind, in that our Western, rational reductionist mind has concluded that all things are within the confines of our material world and that this singular, three dimensional existence is all that exists. Yet, just within the past two decades, the theories of physics conclude that reality is composed by as many as ten dimensions. As mind boggling as that is, it is not news to the ancients, who understood that the physical arena of reality is but a reflection of the spiritual.
We are not given a complete picture of the spiritual dimension in scripture, or in any other writing that I know of. The explanation of this is really quite apparent. We are bound to our three dimensional physical existence and our primary relationship to existence is within the natural, physical world. Although the spiritual arena is described to us and affirmed for us through scripture and the experiences of the prophets and writer of the past, we do not live there. Periodically, we pass close to it, taste it, interact with it and understand that there is a reality beyond our physical dimension, but we simply cannot shed the confines of where we are to be in a dimension that is not yet revealed fully to us.
Our relationship to the spiritual arena of reality is through those pictures provided of a greater sphere of reality. Jesus, Himself is described to us in scripture as the express image of God. That is, lacking the ability to grasp greater reality, God has provided pictures of Himself to us in a history of revelations, experiences and annotations, and then expressed Himself to us in the ultimate expression of His fullness, in Christ Jesus. That is the core message of the Gospel – God has been manifest and that is all we need to know. Jesus is an adequate physical expression of all that God is to man within this present physical reality.
The principle of creation is: First the Spiritual and then the natural. The principle of redemption is: First the natural Adam, and last the spiritual answer to human inadequacy.
I Corinthians 15:45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.
In the beginning, God created… There is nothing to recommend what God should do, for he is the first and last, the eternal. There are no counselors, no advisors and no expectations. He can do as He pleases, of do nothing at all. Yet, the indication of the creation story is that He has a master plan, not just for the event of creation but for the entire purpose and extent of creation. He is not the observer of history but its author.
What He speaks into existence, is born out of the spiritual. All of the physicists look for the point of the origin of the universe, and propose various theories as to how this spontaneous generation happened. Call it the Big Bang, or what have you, it is self evident that the universe has an age and that it exists in the dimension of time and space. God is a spirit and transcends time and space. All of the rules of our physical reality apply to the natural creation, but they apply only within that dimension. It is all the expression of God and is under the auspices and rule of the spiritual.
The damaged character of the earth, gives us a picture of a change that happen to the original creation, that left the earth damaged from its original state, and the indication is that what we experience as the natural state of physical reality is not the original state of things. What the earth was in original creation we do not and cannot know. It is a damaged and rough representation of the original earth. Physical reality, in whole, may only be a rough resemblance of the perfection of the spiritual dimensions, and yet, even that resemblance is a damaged state, after the fall.
The picture of creation is often misunderstood as an event, and as the end result of the purpose of God. If is seen as a point in time when God did all that He could do and would do and then man messed it up. Typically, writers of the creation story see the purpose of God in Christ as a means of getting us back to the state of man in the garden before sin. But if I can, allow me to press you to a greater possibility. There is more in redemption than there was in creation. The creative act of Genesis 1, is not the end of God’s creative plan, but only the beginning. We are incapable of comprehending the wonders of God’s plan for humankind. The primary limitation of our comprehension is the assumption that God made us, places us on the earth, tested us and when we failed, he redeemed us to be able to get us to heaven to live forever. End of story.
But that is far from the end of the story… It is only a means to a beginning. Genesis 1:1- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 – Now the earth was (became) formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. NIV
Isaiah 45:18 – For thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste, that formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah; and there is none else. ASV
These two passages have been held in contrast for centuries by those who hold assumptions about creation that are not generally accepted in church history or by those who study the original languages. The problem is in the declaration that God makes nothing waste or void, while Gen. 1:1 states that the earth was without form and void. When taken together, which of course we must do, we might assume that God made the earth in a perfect state and that it became less than was originally created.
If we see it through this light, then many other things fall into place. That is, God’s creative act that ‘become formless and empty’ is a secondary act to the original creation, or a re-creation.
Hang in there with me for a moment while we set the stage for what may be a powerful revelation of creative possibilities!
There are many references in the scripture about an evil entity we call Satan, Lucifer, Abaddon, etc. He is referenced, but we are not given a time frame for his appearance into the creative sequence of events. He is just sort of there… What we do know is that he was part of the angelic hosts created by God before human history. He is not a part of the creation in Gen. 1 or 3.
So somewhere before mankind was created, Satan rebelled against God, spread his rebellion to a third of the other angels and started his own program of rebellion. There are some clear references to him in the prophets:
Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 – You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 – I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 – But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
A second parallel passage is found in Ezekiel chapter 28. Both portray the fall of this powerful angel who was created and given to be second in command to God Himself. In his arrogance he decided that he was not given his place but was his place. That is, arrogance always assumes possession of a position as a right as opposed to it being a sacred trust. Humility is the opposite, keeping in touch with the fact that we are created, fallen and everything we have is from our Father God.
Now step back with me and let’s look at the picture so far… God is the master creator, and He does not have the limitations that are inherent in any created being. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows that Satan will fall and that man will fall. The fall of man and of Satan are not a surprise to God. He also knows the provisions of His plan to work it all out. We also know that God is (as opposed to HAS) love. So what He is doing is good – it is very good.
To be continued…