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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?

Introduction
   According to the ancient Greeks the earth is composed of four things; earth, air, fire and water. Since then, science has catalogued the earth’s 90 + elements according to their atomic weight. Everything is composed of atoms, the building blocks of matter. Whether something is solid, liquid or gas depends on how closely the atoms are packed.
   An atom, only a few hundred millionths of a centimeter across, is a divisible substance consisting mainly of space … so much space, the atoms are not solid matter at all. The center, or nucleus, of an atom consists of protons and neutrons. A proton is so light, it would take 160 quadrillion to weigh one gram. Circulating the nucleus are smaller particles called electrons. An electron is 1800 times lighter than this, (
Illustrated Fact Book of Science, Arco Publishing, Inc. New York).
   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 Empire State building, the residue of atoms could be put in a teacup. However, the teacup would be so heavy (having all the weight of the concrete, metal, wood, glass, etc. of the complete structure) it would be pulled right through the ground toward the earth’s center.
   Whether we look at the universe through a 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 microcosm of what would be seen through an atomic microscope. Just as there is a Force maintaining the planets in a programmed orbit, there is 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. Therewith, we can better understand a bit of the relationship between matter, energy and the spirit realm.


Matter and Energy
   Before World War II, scientists taught matter had always existed and could be changed, but 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.
   In the early 20th Century, Physicist Albert Einstein challenged conventional wisdom by telling the world that when mankind was able to split the atom, more power would be unleashed than the world had ever seen. The world smiled complacently at Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that proposed matter could be changed to energy.
   Then came the atomic age. The rules had changed. Matter had a beginning and could be destroyed. Einstein’s formula was short and simple. His Theory of Relativity, represented by “E=mc²”, placed mass and energy as 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. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity opened the door or science, to the possibility that there is an Energy responsible for all creation.
   Energy can exist in the physical and be unlimited. Radio waves, gravity, electricity, magnetism, etc., can pass through matter without changing that matter. Matter, is energy slowed down, though it can be accelerated and changed to energy, and energy, to matter which is how Yahweh (Who Is Pure Energy) created the heavens and earth.
   Even today, energy is being changed to matter. For example, plant life depends upon the sun’s energy and the process of photosynthesis to live and grow. The sun shines on the 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 into an edible plant. Energy is stored within the plant, and upon consuming it, we are given energy for life.


Physical Boundaries
   Mankind is limited by the physical. Man’s physical limitations are often surpassed by animals and birds. For example, an eagle soaring hundreds of feet overhead can spot a rabbit or even a mouse on the ground below, but man would need binoculars to see the same object. A hunter approaches wild game very quietly, for he knows wildlife can hear much better than he. Stepping on a dry stick can cause a snap which wild game senses as danger. Dogs have a keener olfactory sense than humans, and are helpful in tracking people, and sniffing out illegal drugs and munitions.

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, and do not exist without matter. When the question of distance between two physical points is asked, a reply might either measure space, like three miles or time, such as an hour’s walk.

Yahweh’s Dwelling Place
   Yahshua told the woman at the well, that Yahweh is Spirit (John 4:24) beyond the physical, in the unseen, invisible spirit realm, a step above and beyond the reach of physical boundaries. Man cannot go beyond the edge of his physical realm, because he is restrained by human limitations.
   Yahshua, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1 Tim. 6:16) could transcend the visible physical where mankind occupies time and space, to the very real invisible spiritual where time and space don’t matter.


Man, Limited in Physical; More so in Spiritual
   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” (Matt. 3:16). The Holy Spirit descended upon Him, giving Him 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 (John 3:34). 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 knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts, Matthew 9:4?
   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.
  
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 (see also, Ps. 139:2; John 21:17; 1 Cor. 2:11).

Unexplained Experiences
   We often hear accounts of one, awakened from a sound sleep though separated by miles, suddenly aware of a husband, wife, relative or friend in danger. Only later, did he or she learn more fully of the circumstances attending the peril at that precise time.
   There is a realm that transcends our physical senses. Communication in the spirit realm does not necessarily depend upon the spoken word.


Yahweh is Spirit, Dwelling in the Unseen World
   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.
   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.
   Much like the unseen powers of the physical realm—gravity, radio waves, electricity, magnetism, subliminal sound waves, etc.—the unseen, 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. When we are born of the spirit in the first resurrection, our bodies will be changed to invisible, pure energy. We will be invisible, no longer corporeal (1 Cor. 15:48-52).
   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.
   No one has seen the Heavenly Father at anytime (John 1:18) though He was manifested to the fathers in times past as the Angel (
Malak) of Yahweh. Messiah was born as the only-begotten in the flesh Who mirror’s Yahweh’s character to us (John 14:9). The Father is the only One Who has immortality (1 Tim. 6:16) and we are to seek after it (Rom 2:7). See our mini-study, Do You Have an Immortal Soul?
   Yahweh abides in the spirit realm. He is Energy, Force, Power, Life, and Supernatural. We access the spirit realm when we offer prayers to Him through His righteous Son. We meditate on His power and existence. Now we see Him through His Son (Ps 36:9; Heb. 1:3). Read our free booklet, Did the Savior Pre-Exist? We nurture hope, that in the first resurrection “we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2), speaking of Yahshua the Messiah in His Glory.
   Remember, too, “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Satan’s power of persuasion) is active in the spirit realm (Eph. 6:12). Satan’s influence is on the earth (John 12:31; Rev. 12:9).


Soul, Spirit and Body
   Man is soul, spirit, and body. A brief study of the Bible differentiates soul from spirit, revealing the soul as life itself. When the soul departs, life leaves the body. “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” (Ezek. 18:4, 18:20).
   The spirit (
ruach in the Hebrew Old Testament, pneuma in the Greek New Testament) 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 the Holy Spirit from Yahweh 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 (Kodesh, Set-Apart) 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.
   Job 32:8 says, there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding. 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. They which are in that first resurrection will be given the Holy Spirit without measure as was given Yahshua (John 3:34).
   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 22:23-35 carries the account of the prophet Balaam, so intent upon seeking his reward from the pagan king Balak, he was oblivious to the Angel of Yahweh blocking the path. The donkey upon which Balaam was riding was aware of the Angel three times, but Balaam’s thoughts, distracted with the anticipation of receiving his hire, blinded him from perceiving the malak, until finally, Yahweh opened Balaam’s eyes to the spirit realm (Num. 22:31).
   Elisha, Yahweh’s prophet, was able to discern what Israel’s enemy, the king of Syria, discussed in his bedchamber (2 Kings 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, “Fear 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 in 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 also, operates in the spirit realm. Our battles are far more spiritual than physical:
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, Our Present 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 observed, “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.”
   The Apostle Paul, in addressing the Ephesian philosophers, said, “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).
   Yahweh the Father has never made Himself visible to human eyes, yet the spirit realm is not in some far-off galaxy. It is right here. Yahweh has remained in the spirit, yet the Kingdom is within our grasp. “Except a man be born again (anew, from above) he cannot see the Kingdom of Yahweh” (John 3:3). The Kingdom of Yahweh and eternal life, the goal of all “them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality” (Rom. 2:7). The promise to them who, by way of the first resurrection, are changed into spirit beings.
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.

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, 1 Corinthians 15:50.
   Paul goes on to reveal that those in the first resurrection, whether dead or alive will be made immortal spirit beings:
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.
   They shall be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is, face to face:
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. 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 (Rom. 8:17). Now that the Holy Spirit has come to earth on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, it is here to stay.

A Sea of Glass
   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.
   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 G3772,
ouranos, the sky, by extension heaven (as the abode of [Yah]); translated as air, heaven, sky. Thayer’s Lexicon, page 456 refers to heaven as “the abode of Elohim, the highest heaven.”
   The Sea of Glass according to
The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance G5193 a sea, a large expanse, glass transparent—like glass—glassy #5194 + transparent. Wycliffe’s Bible Dictionary (p. 1539) says it is a large expanse, not physical. The noun crystal is G. 2930 in 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:
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, 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,” Revelation 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; Heb. 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 burning fire. Yahweh will cleanse the earth with fire to make it ready for the new heaven and the new earth (2 Pet. 3:7; Rev. 21:1).
   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 that [was] over their heads [was] the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; 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.
  
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.
   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! Examining what a few of the Scriptures say about the spirit realm should impress us with thoughts of the part we can have in it. May we understand a bit more of the mysteries presented in these books of Revelation.
   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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