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The Spirit Realm
What is spirit? The Bible speaks often about the “Holy Spirit”, and says Yahweh IS spirit. Is it true that spirit really means energy? Is a spirit being such as an angel like a ghost? A deeper understanding of spirit as energy will help clarify our understanding of the Bible. The first resurrection is to the spirit realm. Should we know more about what’s in store for us as we strive to be among the firstfruits?
THE SOLID EARTH
According to the ancient Greeks the earth is composed of four things; earth, air, fire and water. Since then science’s advances now catalogue the earth's 90 some elements according to their atomic weight. All matter, substance, everything is made up entirely of atoms which are the building blocks of matter. Whether something is solid, liquid or gas depends merely on how closely the atoms are packed.
The atom is not a solid, indivisible
substance, but consists mainly of space. The center or nucleus of the atom is
the main mass. The center consists of protons and neutrons. Circulating around
the nucleus are smaller particles called electrons. An atom is only a few
hundred millionths of a centimeter across. A proton is so light that it would
take 160 million million million million (4) of them to weigh one gram. An electron is
1800 times lighter than this, (Illustrated Fact Book of Science, Arco
THE GRAND DESIGN
Whether we look at the universe through the telescope or view specks of matter through a microscope, the grand pattern of a Great Designer emerges. The planets circling the sun, the moons rotating around the planets are a macrocosm of what would be seen through an atomic microscope. Rotating around the nucleus of the atom are the electrons, just as the sun has planets circling it. There is a force that holds the planets in a programmed orbit, and a force that keeps the electrons circling the nucleus.
When we examine our universe and become aware of the order and precision by which it is maintained, we catch a glimpse of the pattern of the heavenly realm. We can better understand a bit of the relationship between energy and the spirit realm.
There is so much space between the center or nucleus of an atom and the electrons circulating around it, that the atoms are not solid matter at all. If the atom’s nucleus were the size of a softball, and the electron circling it were a ping-pong ball, the space between the nucleus and the circling electron would be 100 yards, the equivalent length of a football field!
It has been said that if one could
eliminate all the space between the electron and the nucleus of each of the
atoms in the entire
MATTER AND ENERGY
It was not until Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was accepted that the relationship between matter and energy was understood. Before World War II the theory was taught that matter had always existed, and could not be destroyed. Matter could be changed from one form to another, but would always be matter and could not be destroyed. The quantity of matter would always remain the same. Water might be ice, steam or rain, but it was always water. Scientists in general concluded since matter could not be destroyed, it must be eternal and had no beginning. Science was used by atheists to prove there was no beginning. However, the first words of our Bible were untrue, “In the Beginning…” Both atheists and scientists denied any beginning of matter and alleged the Bible was a myth.
In the late 20th century, Professor Albert Einstein began telling the world that when mankind was able to split the atom, this would unleash more power than the world has ever seen before. The world smiled complacently at Einstein’s theory and his words. Who was this upstart scientist who was challenging the wisdom of those who had gone before? Matter was eternal. It has existed forever, so they said.
Then came the atomic age and scientists suddenly found that matter can be changed to energy. Radium, uranium and thorium for example have a definite life span and their time is running out. The rules had changed. Matter had a beginning and could be destroyed.
Einstein’s formula was very short and simple, but carried an entirely new message to man. His Theory of Relativity is represented by “E=mc2” which means mass and energy are equivalent. When the total mass of the products of nuclear fission is calculated, it is found to be less than the original mass of the atom before fission. Energy is part of the equation. All creation came from Yahweh’s energy.
BOUNDARY OF SPACE
Matter is actually energy slowed down. Matter can be speeded up and changed to energy. Energy can be changed to matter, which is how Yahweh created the heavens and earth, through His boundless energy. He alone is responsible for the miracle of creation.
Even today we have examples of energy being changed to matter. For example, the sun shines on the carrot seed, which soaks up water and after sprouting, absorbs the sun’s rays, and through the process of photosynthesis, converts water, carbon dioxide and minerals to a carrot. It is the rays of the sun working on the chlorophyll of the carrot that provides the energy to create the carrot. Energy is stored within the carrot, and upon consuming it, we are given the needed energy for living. Thus, the sun’s energy is converted to the carrot, from whence we get our life. Living plants depend upon the sun’s energy and the process of photosynthesis to live and grow.
Mankind is limited within our physical realm. For example, an eagle soaring hundreds of feet overhead can spot a rabbit or even a mouse on the ground below, where man would need binoculars to spot the same object. A hunter approaches wild game very quietly, for he knows wildlife can hear much better than man. Stepping on a dry stick can cause a snap which wild game senses as danger. Dogs have a keener smell than humans and are used to track people as in the case of bloodhounds. Dogs are also helpful in sniffing out illegal drugs and munitions. Man’s physical limitations are often surpassed by animals and birds.
It is necessary that we understand the relationship of matter, space and energy, for they are a pattern of something higher. The spirit realm is near and dear to us, but often goes unrecognized. Similarities in the physical world help reveal the deeper truths of that higher realm.
TIME AND SPACE ARE THE SAME
Time does not exist where there is no physical matter. Time and space are said to be the same. When the question of distance is asked, such as how far is it, a reply might be either in measuring space, like three miles. Or the response might be in time such as it is about an hour’s walk. This concept is difficult for some people to accept, but time and space do not exist where there is no matter. Distance is between two physical points is said to be in time and space.
Energy can exist in the physical realm and be unlimited. Energy such as radio waves, gravity, electricity, magnetism, etc. can pass through walls and be unaffected. We likely have such forces passing through our abode right now. Unless we have a receiver to tune in the radio or television signals, we would be unaware these powers existed.
Yahshua told the woman at the well that Yahweh was spirit and did not dwell in mountains, rivers, trees, and was not confined to one place. He is spirit whereby He permeates the earth and the universe:
Yahweh is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24 KJV)
It is beyond the physical, in the unseen, invisible realm where Yahweh abides. The spirit realm is a step above the physical. Man cannot go beyond the edge of our physical realm, because he is held back by human limitations. Animals and birds reach beyond our abilities as already mentioned. Although the spirit realm is a step beyond our physical boundary, we can in a measure gain perceptions of the spirit realm, but “through a glass darkly…”
The two realms which Yahshua could move is first of all, the physical realm. He also had access to the second which is the spiritual realm. The first is visible; the second is invisible. We are quite familiar with our normal physical realm here on earth. Matter occupies space and is something we can see, touch, weigh and feel or prove exists. The physical plane is where mankind lives. There is also the spirit realm which is also very real. This is where Yahweh, Yahshua and the celestial beings abide and move.
Just as man is limited in physical aspects, in comparison to Yahweh, he is even more limited in the spirit realm. Yahweh’s concepts or thoughts surpass those of man:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 MKJV)
Following Yahshua’s baptism, it was said, “lo the heavens were opened unto Him,” Mat. 3:16. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him, giving Yahshua free access to the spiritual realm. (We are also given the earnest of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized into His name, Acts 2:38) Yahweh’s Holy Spirit was given in its fullness to the Savior. Yahshua’s thoughts and ways then reached beyond the physical realm and were higher than mankind’s. We are given examples showing Yahshua moved in the spirit realm which permeates the physical. He often perceived even the thoughts of His disciples:
And Yahshua knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (Matthew 12:25 AV)
And Yahshua knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? (Matthew 9:4 AV)
And immediately when Yahshua perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (Mark 2:8 AV) [Also, Ps. 139:2; John 21:17; 1Cor.2:11]
We often hear of accounts of a loved one, though separated by miles, suddenly is aware a husband, wife, relative or friend is in danger, and may be awakened from a sound sleep. Only later did they learn more fully of this phenomenon which occurred at the precise time is often unexplained. There is a realm that transcends our physical senses. Communication in the spirit realm will not depend upon the spoken word, but the thoughts will be perceived. Yahshua said,
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it comes and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (John 3:8).
When we are born of the spirit in the first resurrection, our bodies will be changed to pure energy. We will be invisible, no longer physical (unless we want to slow down our spirit bodies and become physical). We are aware of unseen physical powers or energy or force just as we are aware of the higher realm of the spirit. One can see the results of what wind does, even though we cannot see wind. Neither can we see electricity, but are aware of its potential. Gravity is a force we deal with every day, but we cannot see that power which pulls objects toward the center of this earth.
It is possible to have a number of forces active in this room right now. There could be gravity, radio waves, electricity, magnetism, subliminal sound waves, etc. One could turn on a flashlight and add another force or power which might not be noticed in daylight.
YAHWEH IS SPIRIT
Much like the unseen powers of the physical realm, this unseen world known as the spirit realm is invisible to human eyes. It reaches beyond our physical realm, and we are not always fully aware of it. It is in this spirit realm where our Heavenly Father, Yahweh, exists. Yahshua revealed to us, We cross into the spirit realm when we offer up prayers to Him and meditate on His power and existence. Yahweh dwells in the spirit realm outside of time, matter and space. He views the physical universe from His vantage of seeing the end from the beginning. He can look at an oak tree and see an acorn bursting out of its shell, groping for light. He can see it as a sapling, struggling to reach up higher. He can also see the oak tree as it is now and also when it ages and decays. He lives in eternity where time does not exist.
Yahweh has never crossed into the physical realm to be seen of men. He is King of Kings and Sovereign of Sovereigns:
Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man has seen, nor can see; to Whom be honor and power. So be it. (1Timothy 6:16)
He abides in the spirit realm, but has made provision for us eventually to rise up to Him through His Son, Yahshua. No one has seen the Heavenly Father at anytime, for it was the Malach or the Angel of Yahweh which was active as Yahweh in the Old Testament. (Request our free booklet, “Did Yahshua Pre-Exist?”)
THE UNSEEN WORLD
Our Heavenly Father is invisible, a Spirit being, eternal, immortal, and lives in that spirit realm. A bright, unapproachable blinding light, consisting of spirit energy. Yahweh exists in the spirit realm where time does not exist, for time and space do not exist where there is no matter. Yahweh has never left the spirit realm, but allowed Yahshua to come to earth to reveal the Heavenly Father. Yahshua is the only one we know of Who has seen the Father, and has now joined Him in the heavenly realm:
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise Eloha be honour and glory for ever and ever. So be it. (1 Timothy 1:17 AV)
Those who overcome in this age will have full access to Yahweh’s invisible Spirit realm. The Spirit Realm could be right here among us. Being composed of Spirit energy, this realm is invisible to us, just as we now likely have radio waves, TV signals and other energy types flowing through our homes and buildings of which we are not at all aware unless we are tuned in with a receiver such as a radio or television set. The spirit realm is hidden and ignored by most people, and not understood by the great majority. The spirit realm is energy, force, power, vitality, supernatural--above the physical. Remember, too, Satan’s power of persuasion is also active in the spirit realm.
SOUL, SPIRIT AND BODY
We are each a soul, spirit, and body. A brief study of the Bible differences between soul and spirit reveals the soul is best understood as life itself. “Soul” is nephesh in Hebrew and psuche in Greek. We often read of a ship or airplane going down and a certain number of “souls” were lost. Often the word soul is put for the individual as in “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” Ezekiel 18:4, 18:20, also James 5:20. When the soul departs, life leaves the body. Without life, the body is dead.
The spirit (ruach in the Old Testament Hebrew, pneuma in the Greek of the New) is often best understood as wind or breath. The broader meaning of spirit is unseen or invisible force or power. Spirit in Romans chapter eight clearly reveals a difference between the Holy Spirit from Yahweh which is supernal by which His acts are carried out. Although not found in the Bible, the Hebrew SHEKINA is His bright, shining glory, His Holy Spirit.
It is by His spirit he governs and rules and has power over His creation. Yahweh’s Spirit is the most powerful of all unseen forces at work in our environment. His Spirit overcomes all other forces in the world and allows Him to use other forces or energy to accomplish His will.
Conversely, the spirit of man is carnal, worldly and self-serving. The New Testament reveals our spirit is very much our attitude or mindset; what we think on most of the time. Through baptism we are given a portion of the Holy Spirit and are to let His Spirit have full reign in all we do. We are to overcome our carnal spirit and allow Yahweh’s Spirit to guide and dominate our lives so that we think and see things from the same perspective as Yahweh and Yahshua. Upon death the spirit of man (breath of life) is given back to Yahweh. If we are in that first resurrection we will be given the Holy Spirit in its fullness as was Yahshua, but that is another topic.
The body is governed by our mind or spirit. This we can understand, for it is physical and very real. When Yahweh created Adam, He molded him from the earth. He was brought to life only when Yahweh blew air (ruach, the breath of life) into his nostrils and he began to breathe:
Then Yahweh Elohim formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [soul]. (Genesis 2:7 RSV)
EXAMPLES OF YAHWEH’S SPIRIT
Numbers carries the account of the prophet Balaam who was so intent upon gaining a reward that the donkey upon which he was riding perceived the spiritual presence of the Angel of Yahweh blocking the path. However, Balaam was oblivious of the Angel, so intent was he, seeking his reward from the pagan king Balak. Finally, Yahweh opened Balaam’s eyes to the spirit realm, (Numbers 22:31). Seeing the Angel with a drawn sword, Balaam fell on his face. The donkey was aware of the Angel three times, but greedy Balaam’s thoughts and attention were concentrated upon an expected reward. Concentration on worldly pursuits blinded his spiritual ability to perceive the angelic being..
Elisha, Yahweh’s prophet, was able to discern what Israel’s enemy, the king of Syria, discussed in his bedchamber, 2Kings 6:12-17. The king planned to take Elisha captive. When the young servant, upon seeing all the enemies’ horses and chariots encompassing the city became frightened. Elisha reassured him, “Feat not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (verse 16). In answer to Elisha’s prayer, Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man so he could see the spirit realm, “and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (verse 17).
Paul encourages us to be alert to the spiritual temptations and trials of the devil because he operates in the spirit realm. Our battles are far more spiritual than physcial:
Put on the whole armor of Yahweh so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12 MKJV)
OUR FUTURE IS SPIRIT
It is clear the spirit realm could well be among us right now, but we are unable to see it, touch it, taste it, or hear it. It is beyond our physical reach and comprehension. As Billy Graham has said, “We could have a spirit railroad station right here in our very midst, with angels and celestial beings coming and going, and we would never know it.”
…That they should seek Yahweh, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being. (Acts 17:27-28 AV)
All of the above is to show that the spirit realm is not in some far-off galaxy somewhere. It is right here. Yahweh the Father has never made Himself visible to human eyes. He has remained in the spirit realm where He can watch His creation and keep tabs on everything that goes on in both our physical world and spiritual realm. He cannot stand sin of any kind. Therefore, He has made a way through His Son that mankind can cleans himself of sin and overcome his carnal nature and be made a spirit being to join the great multitude that will be in that first resurrection. The Kingdom of Yahweh is within our grasp if we but turn to Yahweh with a determined heart to be in that Kingdom. Yahshua went on to say:
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again (born anew or from above) he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh. (John 3:3 AV)
This will also be the goal of those who are seeking immortality and the promise of eternal life. The Elect and the great multitude which make up that first resurrection will become Yahweh’s spiritual children. This means that we must be changed to spirit beings which is the promise to those who will be in that first resurrection, born into the spirit realm. This should be the goal of every one:
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of Yahweh and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6 KJV)
FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT KINGDOM
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Yahweh; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1Cor. 15:50)
Paul goes on to reveal that those in the first resurrection, whether dead or alive will be made spirit beings. Those in the first resurrection will be made immortal, and can die no more:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 AV)
They shall be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is, face to face. If we are in that first resurrection we will be joint heirs of all things with Yahshua, sharing that same glorious light Yahshua now has with the Father. Now that the Holy Spirit has come to earth on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, it is here to stay.
Beloved, now are we the sons of Elohim, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2 AV)
A SEA OF GLASS
A door was opened in heaven and John was encouraged to come up and learn of future events, and there he sees the sea of glass. But what is meant by “heaven”?
Strong’s number is #3772, Greek ouranos, the sky, by extension heaven (as the abode of G-d); translated as air, heaven, sky. Thayer’s Lexicon, page 456 refers to heaven as “the abode of Elohim, the highest heaven.
And immediately I became in spirit. And behold, a throne was set in Heaven, and One sat upon the throne. And He who sat there looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. And a rainbow was around the throne, looking like an emerald. And around the throne I saw twenty-four thrones. And on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white clothing. And they had crowns of gold on their heads. And out of the throne came lightnings and thunderings and voices. And seven lamps of fire were burning in front of the throne, which are the seven spirits of Yahweh. And a Sea Of Glass was in front of the throne, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind. (Revelation 4:1-6 MKJV)
The Sea of Glass according to Strong’s is #5193 a sea, a large expanse, glass- transparent - like glass – glassy #5194 + transparent. Wycliffe’s Bible Dictionary (page 1539) says it is a large expanse, not physical. The noun crystal is #2930 in Strong’s New Testament Dictionary and is described as ice, rock, crystal. Thayer’s lexicon describes crystal as -- transparent - congeal like crystal -- precious stone. The conclusion we draw is the “crystal sea” is a large sea-like expanse, transparent like glass or ice or crystal.
This vision describes a physical impression or description of the spirit realm where Yahweh is seated on the throne. The sea represents the greatness of the Kingdom which Yahweh is working out with His mighty Spirit power.
Next we see the victory of those who have not been deceived by the devil’s last effort with the Man of sin and his priest:
And I saw another sign in Heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels with the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of Yahweh. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire. And those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of Elohim. Rev. 15:1-2 MKJV)
It appeared to John, (as it were) that the sea of glass sparkled as if mixed with some burning fire. This awesome picture describes the splendor of the Shekina glory and power of Almighty Yahweh. John here sees an outstanding sign in heaven. He sees seven angels standing on the sea of glass having the seven last plagues to be poured out on the world. Yahweh’s wrath and final judgment is so strong and powerful that the sea of glass seems to be on fire.
Yahweh and His judgment on the earth is a consuming fire (Deut. 9:3; Hebrews 12:29). Here He is bent on final destruction of those who destroy the earth and His wrath is evident, making the sea of glass appear as a a burning fire. Yahweh will cleanse the earth with fire to make it ready for the new heaven and the new earth.
Ezekiel also gives a description of the heavens which are very similar to the scenes John reveals in Revelation:
Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, shining like crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the firmament their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another; and each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the thunder of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of a host; when they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the firmament over their heads; when they stood still, they let down their wings. And above the firmament over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness as it were of a human form. (Ezekiel 1:22-26 See also Exodus 24:10 RSV)
And around the throne I saw twenty-four thrones. And on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white clothing. And they had crowns of gold on their heads. And out of the throne came lightnings and thunderings and voices. And seven lamps of fire were burning in front of the throne, which are the seven spirits of Elohim. And a sea of glass was in front of the throne, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And each one of the four living creatures had six wings about him, and within being full of eyes. And they had no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Yahweh El Shaddai, the Almighty, who was and is and is to come. (Revelation 4:4-8 MKJV)
When they went, And from above the expanse that was over their heads was a likeness like a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne. And on the likeness of the throne was a likeness looking like a man on it from above. And I saw Him looking like the color of polished bronze, looking like fire all around within it. From the likeness of His loins even upward, and from the likeness of His loins even downward, I saw Him, looking like fire, and it had brightness all around. As the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain looks, so the brightness all around looked. This was how the likeness of the glory of Yahweh looked. And I saw. And I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking. (Ezekiel 1:26-28 MKJV)
Examining what some of the Scriptures says about the spirit realm should impress us with thoughts of the spirit world and the part we can have in it. May we understand a bit more of the mysteries presented in the book of Revelation. John saw a door opened in the heavens, and a voice like a trumpet bade him to come up to see what must occur in the future:
After these things I looked, and behold, a door was opened in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what must occur after these things. (Rev. 4:1)
While the question and study of the spirit realm is not perfectly clear, we know the visions given to Ezekiel and John will be clarified when we join the true believers in the Kingdom and enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb!
Allow the initial portion of the Shekina glory which was given you upon your baptism into Yahshua’s saving name to grow and mature in you, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Messiah! (Ephesians 4:13 RSV)
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