SEEKING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
FROM THE BIBLE TEACHINGS OF
TED A. ROBERTS
EXPLANATORY NOTES WILL FOLLOW AFTER THE CHAPTER...
“All the works of our evil nature are the work of the devil.”
– John Wesley
When considering whom the devil is, or of what he is, we must first acknowledge that he, or it, has a few names/applications in scripture. And, it's important to learn of each; for, and as I will presently show, some of the names/applications actually have different meanings to them . . . Allow me to list the most popular terms:
So, with that, I'll speak separately on each throughout this book until we form the base picture of where I'm going with all of my thoughts. Therefore, let's begin with lucifer . . . We first encounter the word/name lucifer in the book of Isaiah. In fact, it's found only once in the entire Bible – the Protestant Bible, anyway, such as the King James Version. So, in this passage, we'll have to see why many scholars connect lucifer with the devil.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.*9
At first, and with this small set of scripture, it may not be too difficult for us to see why a lot of scholars associate lucifer with the devil and satan. But, that's only at first. When we begin to dig just a tad bit deeper, we can see that holding onto that belief gets harder to do. In fact, if we climb just a few scriptures above these, to verse 4 in the very same chapter of Isaiah, something strange occurs. That is, we can see that this message, to lucifer, was actually addressed to an earthen king of BC times – the king of Babylon.*10 And, not only so, but it's addressed to him in a proverb . . . What does that even mean, a proverb? . . . Knowing what a proverb is may actually help unlock the key of this mystery for us:
That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon...
Not only so, but (and, before I get into a small bit of detail concerning this proverb), we'll also see, just one scripture below our initial set of scriptures that we just read a moment ago about lucifer, that this new passage actually calls lucifer (this king of Babylon) a mere man.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the MAN that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.
“You mean that this was the MAN that we were so afraid of?” If this were a spiritual Being, then why would people consider him a mere man? Easily said, he had to be a man to begin with − especially considering the Hebrew Dictionary meaning for the word Iysh, which is translated into English as man in this passage:
Man, Iysh (eesh), H376, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: Contracted for H582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.) : - also, another, any (man), a certain, + champion, consent, each, every (one), fellow, [foot-, husband-] man, (good-, great, mighty) man, he, high (degree), him (that is), husband, man [-kind], + none, one, people, person, + steward, what (man) soever, whoso (-ever), worthy. Compare H802.
Could this lucifer, therefore, really have been just a man? Or, was the expression "man" herein simply a phrase of description without anything significantly natural in its expression? Such as in the case of Jesus Himself; for, it seems that in a few instances, the scriptures call Him a man, too; then, in others, it particularly says that He's not a mere man:
...much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one MAN, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For, if Jesus were, or is, a mere man, then Galatians 1:12 would make no sense – considering that Paul, here, is refencing the “risen” Christ, and not He during His earthen ministry.*11 . . . However, in the case of lucifer, we simply are not going to see any "true" examples of his immortality, or of he being a spirit Being – as I'll continue to paint a picture, more and more, of he simply being a mortal man. For, even though we read of him wanting to exalt his throne above the stars, as we've read when I quoted Isaiah 14:12-15, we seriously need to understand what a proverb is (as, again, I'll get into in just a moment), because we should read this as he merely wanting to be a god on earth, in exaltation of power and might – rather than he literally rising above the ground or up into the natural sky; for, he wanted to be worshipped by mankind. We must remember, in our consideration as to whom this lucifer was, that a lot of "natural" kings and rulers in the BC times considered themselves to be as gods. So, with that thought, let's reread those passages which show lucifer wanting to be a god, too:
For thou [lucifer] hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Let's also consider all the Pharaohs, kings of Egypt, who believed that they were also gods on earth...
Pharaoh – Excerpts from Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (©1995 Thomas Nelson Publishing): The Egyptians believed he was a god and the key to the nations relationship to the cosmic gods of the universe. While Pharaoh ruled, he was the son of Ra, the sun god, and the incarnation of the god Horus. He came from the gods with the divine responsibility to rule the land for them . . . When the Pharaoh died, Egyptians believed that he became the god Osiris, the ruler of the underworld and those who live after death.
From: www.ancient.eu/pharaoh/: As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods and the people, and when he died, he was thought to become Osiris, the god of the dead.
Now, let's speak of this proverb that was being given to the king of Babylon (which message alluded to him being a false god, and who had fallen from "Heaven" – Isaiah 14:12); for, as I've said, it'll be the key to completely unlocking our true understandings. Also, learning how to read a proverb will be very helpful for us before considering any other scriptures involving satan, the devil, or etc . . . So, let me quickly quote that verse again:
That thou shalt take up this PROVERB [Mâshâl H4912] against the king of Babylon...
Isn't a proverb, though, just a clever, wise saying only? Or is it, perhaps, a deeper thought?
Proverb, Mâshâl (maw-shawl'), H4912, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: Apparently from H4910 in some original sense of superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse): - byword, like, PARABLE, proverb.
I had spent no less than an entire book explaining that there are "metaphors" in the Bible, which can be traced all the way back to the very beginning of time, in my already published book in this Series, called: "In the Beginning: it was spiritual from the very start," to set us up for such books as this one, and to shine a very bright spotlight onto the usage of metaphors, allegories, similes, figures, etc., in our Bibles; to show us that we can't take every scripture in the Bible as plainly literal – but, also, that we can't take every scripture metaphorically, either. But, in obvious cases such as this one, where it's spelled-out plainly to the king of Babylon – or, at least, to the messenger bringing him that message – that which is about to be expounded to this king is an allegorical message, then how can we ourselves begin reading it plainly and literally? And, if we do so, would we then be in danger of misunderstanding the message that was set before this mortal king? . . . But, before I explain further, allow me to give some other references for our word proverb to show the reading audience that I am not making bad use of our word. Also, we must know, assuredly, that our English words proverb and parable are interchangeable in this instance. In other words, the translators took this single Hebrew word, Mâshâl, and had translated it into parable, as well. See, for instance:
And he took up his parable [Mâshâl H4912]...
Moreover Job continued his parable [Mâshâl H4912]...
I will incline mine ear to a parable [Mâshâl H4912]: I will open my dark saying [or, mysterious parable – H2420] upon the harp.
Psalms 78:2 (compare Matthew 13:34 & Mark 4:34)
I will open my mouth in a parable [Mâshâl H4912]: I will utter dark sayings [or, mysterious parable – H2420] of old.
Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible: This proverb, [that is] “This parable.”
Parable, from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897, public domain): (Greek parabole), a placing beside; a comparison; equivalent to the Hebrew mashal, a similitude.
Parable, from Fausset’s Bible Dictionary (1888, public domain): Hebrew maashaal, Greek parabolee, a placing side by side or comparing earthly truths, expressed, with heavenly truths to be understood . . . The Holy Spirit would "bring all things to their remembrance" (John 14:26). When explained, the parables would be the clearest illustration of truth. The parable, which was to the carnal a veiling, to the receptive was a revealing of the truth…
Parable, from Smith’s Bible Dictionary (1863, public domain): The word parable is, in Greek, parable (parabole), which signifies placing beside or together, a comparison, a parable is therefore, literally, a placing beside, a comparison, a similitude, an illustration of one subject by another. — McClintock and Strong. As used in the New Testament, it had a very wide application, being applied sometimes to the shortest proverbs, 1Sa_10:12; 1Sa_24:13; 2Ch_7:20, sometimes to dark prophetic utterances, Num_23:7; Num_23:18; Num_24:3; Eze_20:49, sometimes to enigmatic maxims, Psa_78:2; Pro_1:6, or metaphors expanded into a narrative. Eze_12:22.
Parable, from Poor Man’s Concordance by Robert Hawker (1828, public domain): A mode of speaking, in order to illustrate and make familiar to our apprehension divine and spiritual things, by human and natural figures of expression. It was a method of teaching common in the eastern part of the world, and hence all the sacred writers and servants of the Lord adopted it. Yea; the Lord Jesus himself condescended to the same; and indeed so much so that at one time we are told, "without a parable spake he not unto them." (Matthew 13:34)
A proverb/parable can turn any materialistic, earthly understood example into a spiritual or metaphoric meaning, for comparison’s sake; for who, with an earthly mind, can really comprehend a heavenly thought unless it is compared with an earthly element that we can understand? When considering the entire message from God to the king of Babylon − especially when fantastical imagery is being laid out before us − should we only take that as merely wise sayings? Taking it literally, and at face value, only? Or, should we interpret the message metaphorically? Would seeing it in a metaphoric light give us a different point of view about how we are to understand this message to lucifer? Again, in the fact that we really shouldn't be so literal in its interpretation?
The “name” lucifer, as it appears only once in the King James Bible (and, the name having no connection to either satan or the devil in other parts of the Bible) may be questionable itself. That is, in it even being a proper name. In fact, when we compare these two following Bible versions together, we notice that the newest translation doesn't even use the name lucifer, at all:
Isaiah 14:12 (King James Version)
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground,*12 which didst weaken the nations!
(Interlinear Literal Translation, by J.P. Green Sr.)
Oh shining star, son of the morning, how you have fallen from the heavens! You weakening the nations, you are cut down to the ground.
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible: O Lucifer, son of the morning! alluding to the star Venus, which is the phosphorus or morning star, which ushers in the light of the morning, and shows that day is at hand; by which is meant, not Satan, who is never in Scripture called Lucifer . . . but the king of Babylon is intended, whose royal glory and majesty, as outshining all the rest of the kings of the earth, is expressed by those names; and which perhaps were such as he took himself, or were given him by his courtiers. The Targum*13 is, "how art thou fallen from on high, who was shining among the sons of men, as the star Venus among the stars.'' Jarchi, as the Talmud (c), applies it to Nebuchadnezzar; though, if any particular person is pointed at, Belshazzar is rather designed, the last of the kings of Babylon.
Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible: O Lucifer, son of the morning - The Versions in general agree in this translation, and render הילל heilel as signifying Lucifer, Φωσφωρος, the morning star, whether Jupiter or Venus; as these are both bringers of the morning light, or morning stars, annually in their turn. And although the context speaks explicitly concerning Nebuchadnezzar, yet this has been, I know not why, applied to the chief of the fallen angels, who is most incongruously denominated Lucifer, (the bringer of light!) an epithet as common to him as those of Satan and Devil. That the Holy Spirit by his prophets should call this arch-enemy of God and man the light-bringer, would be strange indeed. But the truth is, the text speaks nothing at all concerning Satan nor his fall, nor the occasion of that fall, which many divines have with great confidence deduced from this text. O how necessary it is to understand the literal meaning of Scripture, that preposterous comments may be prevented!
Could this lucifer really have been either Belshazzar or Nebuchadnezzar? (of whom we’ll actually explore the possibilities of in the very next, upcoming chapter) Perhaps, with such considerations, we really should recognize this lucifer as to being only a mere man; an ancient Babylonian king . . . But, before trying to conclude with such a thought, let's expound further . . . The first note of interest for Isaiah 14:12, which I quoted just above, and gave two different Bible translations for, is that in the Literal Version by J.P. Green Sr, it doesn't even recognize lucifer as a proper name at all; but, he uses the word's meaning instead. And, before I get to the second and third points of interest, let's briefly discuss this one first.
It actually seems more apparent and obvious that lucifer is not a proper name, but is simply an application handed to him by God in reference to the height of kingship to which he had ascended; the lofty height to which he had gone; and, he was comparable to a bright star – as was discussed in the commentary quotes above; i.e. "...whose royal glory and majesty as outshining all the rest of the kings of the earth." – John Gill. Of which position, just like Pharaoh (in Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17), I believe had actually been ordained by God (also, see Romans 13:1). However, that doesn't mean that he didn't have a real name. In ancient times, names (or nicknames – or, just simple applications) meant a whole lot more than what names mean today. See, for instance:
https://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/ancient and https://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/biblical
Second point, we should ask from which Heaven he even fell from: was it the First, Second, or Third Heaven? Silly? Nay! A serious consideration in our investigations. Some beliefs maintain that there are many Heavens, but the protestant Bible only indicates that there are three. Though, some protestants hold that since the Bible doesn't actually read "Second Heaven" in its text, that there is only 1st and 3rd, since the Bible does record them.
...the first heaven and the first earth were passed away...
2 Corinthians 12:2c
...such an one caught up to the third heaven...
However, and even though the scriptures don't actually record the words "Second Heaven," it is quite evident that the writers of the New Testament intended that we learn that there would be one, when it reads:
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.
It's not hard to conclude that when 'Heaven number one' passes away that 'Heaven number two' comes into existence. God certainly wouldn't confuse us into believing that He created Heaven number one and then Heaven number three, but not number two. That doesn't even make sense. However, I have added in this reasoning simply because I've heard ministers argue that Second Heaven doesn't exist because it doesn't read the exact phrase "Second Heaven" in the biblical text . . . Go figure!
Anyway, when the Bible expresses plainly that Jesus ascended above ALL Heavens at His ascension (in Ephesians 4:10 – and, please mediate on this point, for it’s very important in our considerations), it’s most logical to conclude that this included all three Heavens. Why skip any of them in that calculation? Paul’s expression here (i.e. ALL Heavens) was not, as many contend, a simple, poetical way of saying that Jesus went higher than we will ever go; nor even that it was simply an exaggerated statement by Paul that wasn’t meant to be taken so literally . . . Even so, let’s read it:
He that descended [from God’s Abode to come to earth for his earthen ministry – that is, Jesus!] is the same also that ascended [at His ascension that we see in Acts 1:9] up far above ALL heavens, that he might fill all things.
ALL, Pas (pas), G3956, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole: - all (manner of, means) alway (-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), X throughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.
I cannot stress this thought enough. And, I believe this to be the key to understanding where the Abode of both Jesus and the Father are literally located – it’s above all the Heavens*14 (please see this very important Explanatory Note!).
To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens [not “in” Heaven, but above all three Heavens].
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens…
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
I feel that such verses, as these in Psalms, backs-up what Paul himself was saying – that God’s actual Abode is above all three Heavens . . . My whole ministry actually started by seeing the many holes in modern doctrine, which made me study all the more. Therefore, I feel that if we are to learn the truth of all such matters, then we need to reconsider many traditional, doctrinal teachings – which preaches literalism for the devil and hell – hence, my current task. But, in order for me to successfully do so, I have to show the reader the holes in such traditional teachings to begin with. And, no (and, as I’ve said in my last Explanatory Note, called: “it’s above all the Heavens”), I’m not trying to confuse folks by my words, but I am trying to prove that a much deeper study is needed to actually satisfy proper scriptural deciphering. So, therefore, and as one can see, I need to speak a bit more on the Heaven situation before we can even continue speaking on the devil. For, when we learn the truth about such things, then we’ll know with confidence which Heaven Lucifer actually fell from. But, please don’t worry, I’m certainly not saying that there isn’t an actual place where the Father and Son physically abide, nor that there isn’t such a place for the departed saint to live for eternity; that is, to actually live with the Father and Son in their literal Abode. I really do believe such things; but (again, as I’ve mentioned in that last Explanatory Note – and, as I’ve also shown with even greater detail in two former books of mine – “In the Beginning,” and “New Jerusalem;” and, indeed, will continue to speak on them in a third book, called: "St. Paul in Arabia: And of his Travels to the Third Heaven"), that Heaven just simply isn’t the name of a celestial city in the cosmos; and, we’re just not going to see a sign-post out front, saying: “welcome to Heaven!” And, even though God’s Abode is an actual, literal, physical place, I just don’t believe that it’s named Heaven. However – for the third or fourth time! – I’m actually okay with calling such a place Heaven anyway – for, surely, it is a heavenly place; and, there are plenty of references in the Bible that do show that we can obtain eternal life with the Father and Son – John 4:36-37; Romans 6:23; Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7; and 1st John 2:25 . . . Even when Jesus says 'great is your reward in heaven' (Matthew 5:12 and Luke 6:23), He could certainly be implying a present reward, whilst we’re still in flesh and on the earth . . . Also, in further consideration to all of this, notice Jesus' remarks to Nicodemus:
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which IS [present tense] in heaven.
Was Jesus in Heaven while upon earth? Again, considering these things, we might want to re-evaluate the Heaven situation, and perhaps look at Heaven as to being God's Work with his people while they are still upon earth instead of saying that it's the name of a city up in the natural sky; nor that it’s a place name on some celestial star map. With such thoughts about the Heaven(s), we, again, have to ask traditionalists from which Heaven did satan actually fall from?*15 And, it's such questions as these which throw a monkey wrench into the teachings of modern, popular doctrine.
I will briefly give my take on the three Heavens; because, as I’ve said, I've already gone over the Heavens with a fine-toothed comb in two of my already published books, and I will even get into it once again in a third; but, I don't want to leave the reader high and dry if they haven't already read them. So, here goes...
When taking into consideration a set of scripture (that I’ll be covering in a few moments), we are forced to consider an actual date of when the 1st Heaven departed. That is, as it’s promised to do in the scriptures (again, see Revelation 21:1 and Revelation 6:14). Many take this disappearance of the 1st Heaven as a futuristic event; but, if one will but consider my words (and, please give me a chance to explain this!), one just may begin to see that the 1st Heaven actually went away during the 1st century AD; for, I believe that 1st Heaven is synonymous with the 1st Covenant/Testament; or, was the days of the Old Testament – which technically ended when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist – of when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove (see Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; and John 1:32). This was just before Jesus began to preach a New Testament message (for, He had to fulfill the Old [Matthew 5:17] before He could preach the New). This is why I had said earlier that Jesus was in Heaven (that is, 2nd Heaven – the beginnings of a New Covenant) when speaking with Nicodemus; because, He got in there before anybody else did (again, He got in with the descending of the Holy Ghost at John's baptism before He said this to Nicodemus) – and, all the other New Testament saints got in on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 (i.e. the launching of the New Covenant for mankind), but not beforehand; Jesus had to create the way in for all others to follow. Though, idealistically, the 1st Heaven/Covenant/Testament really ended when Jesus literally died on the cross, saying that it (i.e. the Old Testament/Heaven) was finished (John 19:30).*16 Why? Because a New Testament cannot commence until the Testator dies (Hebrews 9:16-17); for, the death of a lamb, and the spilling of its blood, commences a New Testament (Hebrews 9:18). This is also why the 1st Heaven died, as it says in Revelation . . . I'll quote it once again:
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.
As I had explained thoroughly in my book "New Jerusalem," this scripture was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, where John the Revelator/Apostle was an eyewitness to that event:
AND I JOHN SAW [witnessed in the past, in AD 30, on the Day of Pentecost; see Revelation 1:19] the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
For, as I had, again, shown in my aforementioned book on "New Jerusalem," these two verses of Revelation connects with chapter 6 of that same Holy book:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Let's quickly analyze these three verses as I speak on the things that I had highlighted therein (in bold letters) – which have much to say to us – and, of which we see end on this note: “…the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together…” That is, the 1st Heaven departing. And, also, during this entire process, please notice that if an actual date can be attributed to these events (of chapter 6 in Revelation; that is, with the opening of the sixth seal), and that date can prove to have been in the past (as opposed, of course, to most scholars saying that these events are still to happen in our future – again, see Revelation 1:19 to see how this book/letter speaks of events, not only futuristically, but in its present-time, and even of past events), then we can actually attribute a date to the departing of the 1st Heaven; for, once again, as it can be seen, at the end of the verses that I just quoted (Revelation 6:12-14), the Heaven then departs away, just like a finished scroll when it’s done being read (which, of course, I’m attributing to the end of the Old Testament era, as if it were the scroll that was finished being read) . . . So, let’s begin:
First, I connect the earthquake in verse 12 with Jesus dying on the cross (Matthew 27:50-51). Really? Isn’t that a far stretch, though? And, too naturalistic of a thought when it’s surrounded by heavy metaphors? Well, if this is true (that is, that this earthquake bespeaks of the natural earthquake that occurred when Jesus had died on the cross), then we’ll actually have fulfillment of these events, from Revelation 6:12-14, in Revelation's past. But, let's continue so that I can make that bold statement more clear: next (and, also in verse 12), the Sun became black and the Moon became as blood. Peter, in the book/letter of Acts, said that the fulfillment of this was during his own day:
Acts 2:15-20 (a summary)
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But THIS [what you are now witnessing] is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God [i.e. the last days not being the end of the planet, but the end of the Old Testament World/Heaven], I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh [i.e. The Holy Ghost outpouring on the Day of Pentecost]... [then, verse 20 – which continues with the things that Joel had spoken on, and of which all the witnesses that day were actually seeing being fulfilled before their eyes] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come…
That great and notable day being the besieging of Jerusalem in this instance, which ended with the Temple being destroyed in AD 70 by the armies of Rome – the terrible judgment of carnal Israel, because of all their decadent deeds during the Old Testament era, up until they crucified Jesus, and who were against God . . . See Isaiah 2:12; 13:6; 13:9; 34:8; 46:10; etc . . . Therefore, we can see that the events spoken of by Joel the prophet were to take place prior to the terrible day of the Lord [i.e. to the Wars of the Jews against Rome]; and, the Day of Pentecost is our perfect candidate [40 years prior]. Again, see Acts 2:20 just above.
Jesus Himself is the Sun in this instance (that is, the Sun that had become darkened – as we’re fixing to see how):
…his [Jesus’] countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
And [Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
You think these verses to be some sort of coincidence? Jesus is compared to the Sun because of His New Testament messages: New Testament Light; New Testament enlightenment.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [the enlightenment of God through Jesus, the Sun], that all men through him might believe. He [John] was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
[Because Jesus finally came to earth] The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
However, this Sun/Light, as bright as it is, still could not be seen by those 1st Covenant religious leaders (i.e. the main ringleaders of Jesus’ crucifixion*17).
2 Corinthians 3:14-15
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
If those men couldn’t even see through the veil of Moses, in the reading of the Old Testament, how much more with Jesus, and the reading of the New Testament? Therefore, the Sun became as black as sackcloth of hair to their sight. They had no spiritual eye to see. And, secondly, when something bleeds out, as did the Moon, it loses all of its life (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11). So, the 1st Heaven died because it lost all of its blood; the Moon (i.e. the Old Testament – the “lesser” light) had finally bled to death: the dying of the 1st Heaven/Covenant.
In that he saith, A new covenant [a New Heaven], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away [i.e. during the 1st century; and, with the tearing down of the Temple – the last stronghold of the Old World].
Therefore, the Moon (again representing the lesser light – i.e. the Old Testament; and, perhaps even Moses himself, who gave the Law of that Old Testament) was only a reflection of the greater light, of Jesus, who came to give greater Light to the world (Matthew 4:16 and John 1:4-5;3:19) by His own testimony; and, then, the Old Testament was ready to roll away like a scroll when it's finished being read.
The stars of heaven fell unto the earth (Revelation 6:13a)... Stars, in some scriptural instances, are metaphorically compared to ministers. That is, those bad ministers of the Old Covenant fell from their place in the 1st Heaven, and fell back to the earth – or, specifically, back unto carnality; or, back to the ungodly ways of the world. We find that, in Jude, men are referred to as stars; especially when Jude is talking about these same kinds of men that I am speaking of myself. That is, the 1st century religious leaders who either couldn’t accept Jesus for what He is, or who had rejected His doctrine for self-gain.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [during the prophesies in the Old Testament], ungodly men [who fell to earthen matters of carnality], turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [verse 11 – speaking of these same men] Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  These [same men] are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you [showing present-tense people, during Jude’s day], feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water [without the Holy Ghost within them; John 7:37-39; Isaiah 44:3; and 1st Corinthians 12:13], carried about of winds [winds of doctrine; Ephesians 4:14]; trees whose fruit withereth [fig trees with unripen figs – as I’ll speak more on in a moment], without fruit [no fruit of the Spirit about them; Galatians 5:22-23], twice dead, plucked up by the roots [dying the second death of Adam]; [verse 13 – these same men are] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; WANDERING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever [i.e. blackness of darkness of the New Testament Sun].
Learning that men can sometimes be compared, metaphorically, in scripture to “stars” (for they, as natural stars had guided ancient ships to port, should really guide folks to God) is a key that can unlock other truths from the Bible for us, too . . . However, these 'stars,' of which Jude spoke of wandering (again, wandering away from the truth), not only fell from their place in 1st Heaven, but they fell smack dab into carnality and ungodliness. And, then, if that wasn't proof enough, Revelation 6:13 continues to say that these stars, that fell unto the earth, were cast down "even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind..." Oh, the picture that forms for us here! Can we not see the Mighty Wind of Acts chapter 2, verse 2, being represented here – i.e. the Holy Ghost – when it came into the house where all the saints were gathered to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost?
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Again, these aren’t coincidences of terms; for, it had put those upper-room folks into the 2nd Heaven. But, not only did it put those folks into the 2nd Heaven, the Mighty Wind also blew the bad guys away from their place in 1st Heaven; knocking them down to the earth; or, earthen, carnal matters. And, too, the picture of the fig tree is brought before us, as well. Do we not remember Jesus desiring to see some Good Fruit on the fig tree and found none? And, then, He cursed the fig tree because it could produce no Good Fruit (see Matthew 21:19). Can we not see that He found no "Fruits of the Spirit" (again, see Galatians 5:22-23) amongst the ministry of the First Covenant?
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
He [Jesus] spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years [i.e. the approximate time of Jesus' ministry on earth] I come seeking fruit [of the Spirit] on this fig tree [amongst this 1st Heaven ministry], and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
Therefore, when we put all these verses together (again, Revelation 6:12-14), we see that they form a picture of Revelation’s past, rather than that they will be fulfilled in our own future . . . I’ll say this once more, that what a lot of folks don’t know (and, of which I also went-over with a fine-toothed comb in my book “New Jerusalem”) is that Revelation doesn’t only speak of the future, but it also speaks of its recent past, as well:
Write the things which thou hast seen [witnessed in the past], and the things which are [current events], and the things which shall be hereafter [futuristic events].
These things John was certainly a witness to; that is, things from the recent past, such as Jesus’ ministry; His crucifixion and Resurrection; the events of the Day of Pentecost; and of what took place during the 40 years that had led up to the toppling of the Temple in AD 70. In fact, John, as history tells us, lived up until approximately AD 100 (of which things I will go over in better detail about in my upcoming book: “Carnal Ordinances, Part II”). I mean, why not speak of events from the recent past in the book/letter of Revelation? Do we imagine that such events (again, Jesus’ Resurrection, and the Day of Pentecost, etc.) were small, isolated affairs in Christian history? I dare say that the Day of Pentecost was one of the most significant events of the New Testament. Why? Because, it was the day on which a whole New, spiritual World commenced. I’ve already said that, by Paul’s words concerning Jesus, that the New Testament officially began when Jesus both died and rose again:
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
And, then, logically, other folks didn’t get in themselves until the Day of Pentecost, for that’s when the Holy Ghost finally descended in its fullest form, bringing those folks into a New, spiritual Kingdom (a Second Heaven). Therefore, I contend that it’s not only possible that Revelation speaks on things of its recent past, but that it would be mighty strange if it didn’t because those events helped shape the future of Christianity; and, laying out what had happened in the past would set the book/letter of Revelation up to speak also of future events, as well. This is why I am stressing that not only is it possible for Revelation to cover important events of the past, but that I see no other possibility for the opening of the sixth seal; because, if what I’ve just covered isn’t those verses’ interpretations, then we have a wondrous coincidence on our hands! Therefore, if what I’m saying here is true, then we have proof that not only were those events already fulfilled in Revelation’s past, but that it also proves that the First Heaven was synonymous with the Old Testament Covenant; because, it was those events of the sixth seal which closed-out the Old Testament – all starting with Jesus dying on the cross: which the earthquake painted a historical picture of in Revelation 6:12, helping us to place such an event in actual history; then, as 6:12 continued to demonstrate, the Sun and Moon event of Peter’s day (which he himself was a witness to) shows us that not only was the Sun shining brightly, but that it was blindly being seen (or, unseen) by the adherents to the 1st Covenant, who couldn’t and refused to change with the times; they just simply couldn’t accept Jesus. Then, it demonstrated the bleeding out of the Old Covenant, in the form of the bleeding Moon – helping us to further understand the passing of one Heaven to another. Or, from an Old Covenant to a New. Verse 13 then continues this picture in the form of those Old Covenant Ministers, as stars, falling down to the earth – very similar to how lucifer fell. And, not only, but they fell just like a fig tree that casts its unripen figs to the earth when it’s shaken of a mighty Holy Ghost Wind. How can this not be a picture of the Old Covenant/Heaven passing away whilst the New was coming into effect? Then, to top it all off, verse 14 called this event the passing of the Heaven. We therefore see that the closing of the Old Testament happened at the same exact time that the 1st Heaven departed . . . Again, is that just a mere coincidence? . . . And, not only, but if the 1st Heaven was indeed the days and events of the Old Covenant/Testament, then we have a good candidate for the Heaven from which lucifer actually fell – the 1st Heaven. That is, he forfeited any futuristic dealings with God in any positive ways during the Old Testament days. Again, he falling from Heaven is just a metaphorical way of saying that he fell from his lofty height that he put himself in God’s vast Old Testament Kingdom. He wanted to be a god, just like Pharaoh of Egypt; just like Adam.
But, as to concerning the Third Heaven, that gets a bit deeper and more complicated. Once again, I have an entire book coming up for that one Heaven exclusively, called: "St. Paul in Arabia: And of his Travels to the Third Heaven." However, I will say somewhat on that herein, too – but, without a lot of explanations just yet . . . This Heaven does not work in the same manner as the other two. I believe that the Third Heaven is NOT a new, futuristic Covenant, because the 2nd Covenant/Heaven is good enough for the Early Church members as well as ourselves today, but that the Third Heaven works alongside the 2nd, in that it's a realm of ultimate learning and understanding, and is a tool that helps separate the adults from the babies in Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. It's a heavenly realm to where Paul ascended (not literally upward into the natural sky) to hear things that were not lawful to be uttered – that is, unlawful according to the 1st Heaven/Old Testament/Old Mosaic Law (especially from those stiff-necked, adherents to it!) – for, it was the deepest part of the 2nd Covenant teachings. Not only, but I can also see the Apostle John reaching up to the Third Heaven himself in the book of Revelation; and, there, he explained how he ascended; not upward into the natural sky, like I said, but in getting transfixed into the Spirit of God to where he could hear greater things, and on a much deeper level:
After this 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; which said, Come up hither [upward? Into the sky?], and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit [No, not upward into the sky, but into God's Spirit]...
I apologize if I didn’t get real deep into the Third Heaven issue herein; for, that’s not really our task in this present book; but, I will, again, get more into the Third Heaven in my upcoming book; but, I also said more on this in my book “New Jerusalem,” too . . . However, if all I’ve said concerning these Heavens be really true, then the scene of a fallen angel from a celestial city called Heaven, where the Father and Son live bodily, becomes more and more impossible to believe.
The third point, and what we again should ask ourselves, is if lucifer was, or even is a spiritual Being at all? Once more, let's understand that the entire message written to lucifer (whether that was his actual name or not) was conveyed to him in a proverb/parable, a metaphoric language − a teaching method (and a way of correspondence from God to man) that is found throughout the biblical text.*18
Therefore (and, even though I’ve already said this – I just want to strongly forward this idea), we should know that how lucifer fell from Heaven was away from God's graces, and away from God's present Kingdom during the 1st Heaven/Covenant – in the same manner as the religious leaders of the Early Church era (those Jewish leaders who were responsible for Jesus’ death, John 19:11b) had fallen like unripen figs unto the earth – and, also in the same manner that Adam had died in the day that he sinned.*19 We will get into more detail about lucifer in the next chapter...
Explanatory Notes for Chapter 2
*9. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit… During the course of this chapter, I will not be tackling the subject of hell. I’ve a couple of chapters dedicated to that later on in this book. However, and as I will show (with actual scripture and not just human conjecture), hell actually has a couple of meanings in the Bible – such as being simply the grave; or, and as in this instance for lucifer, being brought down to the lowest state of humanity, or carnality, or misery; for, as many actually believe, hell can also be an undesirable condition here on earth before physical death is even achieved. And, that’s just exactly what I believe his hell state to be. This will be revealed as I plod along, and with how I will handle the hell subject later. Please stay tuned!
*10. The king of Babylon… Of he being called the king of Babylon should be a serious consideration. Many, certainly, will apply this as to being a highly metaphorical observation only, saying that this merely means that he was the king of confusion – since many believe that Babylon, spiritually, is really such. If that’s so, then our investigation will run back to the master of all evils – the devil – as to being this very lucifer that we’re investigating. However, if the possibility of lucifer being a mere man continues (and, indeed, the “naturalness” of the situation in that this king of Babylon had an actual place in history), then traditionalists will have a real problem on their hands … Certainly, we’ll continue to explore the possibilities. Please have patience as I slowly build my case. But, too, I’m not saying that even if we can apply a natural interpretation to our verses in Isaiah, that we can’t also find a spiritual interpretation as well. However, and even so (that is, that we just may find both a natural and spiritual interpretation), that doesn’t imply, in the least, that lucifer is the devil of tradition – as I’ll continue to demonstrate.
*11. Not He during His earthen ministry… Let us also consider this verse:
Having abolished in his flesh [when He died on the cross] the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself [when He rose from the tomb] of twain one new man, so making peace.
Can we attribute this verse as to saying that Jesus was an actual man when He rose from the tomb – especially since it just said, in Ephesians, that He was a man when He arose? Or, that is, a NEW Man … There are certainly times when the term man can either be attributed to a fleshly Being, or in description to a heavenly Being who is in human form. With how the scriptures term it at times, it can get a bit confusing to the reader. Therefore, my statements, in the main part of the book, where I say that lucifer was just a mere man (based on Isaiah 14:16: “…Is this the MAN that made the earth to tremble?”), may not be convincing to everyone. Be that as it may, we’ll have to let the rest of my statements concerning lucifer be the final deciding factor about whether this is so or not; for, if a solid case can finally be made concerning the devil, then we’ll have to revisit this thought and make a decision based on all the clues at hand. Certainly, with how the theme of this book is going, I myself will come to the ultimate conclusion that lucifer was really only a fleshly man who had gained great power on earth in his kingdom … Now, concerning whether or not Jesus was a mere man when He rose from the tomb, I think that our quoted verse, from the main part of this book, can help us decide that:
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Not only was it a revelation OF Jesus, but they were revelations given to him BY Jesus:
To reveal his [the Father’s] Son in me [i.e. Jesus], that I might preach him [Jesus] among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood [but, with Jesus Himself]
1 Corinthians 9:1
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 Corinthians 12:1-4
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago [speaking about himself coming to those visions and revelations of the Lord], (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
*12. How art thou cut down to the ground… Once again, this is how I’m seeing lucifer going to hell – being cast down to the ground; or, to the earth; or, to earthen matters only; or, to extreme carnality. Certainly, I’ll continue to speak on this during the remainder of this chapter. Not on hell, as I’ve already said that I’ll do so later on, but on how lucifer fell.
*13. The Targum… According to Wikipedia, targum is a written Aramaic translation of the Bible dating back to the 1st century AD. And, today, the two most important targumim for liturgical purposes (and, also, used as in text-critical editions of the Bible) are “Targum Onkelos on the Torah (Written Law),” and the “Targum Jonathan on the Nevi’im (prophets).” For more information on the targum (and, there are more besides these), and of its history, please visit the official Wikipedia page:
*14. It’s above all the Heavens… I still believe this, despite the fact that some scriptures “seem” to say otherwise. We have to compare more than one scripture in order to come to the proper conclusion.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…
Etc. … Believe it or not, I’m not seeing such scriptures as contradictions to either the quote in Ephesians 4:10, or any others which “seem” to be contradictory to the Father being in Heaven. As I will reveal a bit further on, in the main part of the book, I’m actually okay with folks calling the realm of the Father Heaven, since it’s certainly a heavenly realm. However, and as I will also continue to show, Heaven’s not the name of a celestial city. The word Heaven, as we should learn, doesn’t have just one meaning in scripture – much the same as other words therein. Many times, in my books, I stress this point; for, it seems that many folks are guilty of only having a single meaning to most words in the biblical text. For instance: earth; wind; water; clouds; stars; etc. All such words actually have multiple meanings in the Bible – especially when considering both their natural and spiritual interpretations. For, when I say the word earth, do we only imagine this planet? Can not the word also mean earthen bodies of people? (as is expressed, that is, in 2nd Corinthians 4:7; and 5:1) So, the Bible does illustrate this. In fact, even with other words, the Bible plainly spells such things out for us:
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Can we say, in such instances, that waters only means natural water? ... Then, when describing the appearance of Jesus, John says this:
…and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword…
Should we “literalize” this passage, too? Can we not say that the Sword proceeding out from his mouth was simply the Word of God being expounded, rather than just being a natural sword?
…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Therefore, we have to be careful with how we read God’s Written Word; for, we may end up reading something in there that just isn’t there. Again, I go over all such thoughts in my already published book: “In the Beginning: It was Spiritual from the Very Start” … Therefore, and just because Jesus said that the Father was in “Heaven,” we don’t have to conclude that that’s where the Father physically abides (that is, in a celestial city up in the sky or cosmos called Heaven) – especially since Paul informs us that, at Jesus’ ascension, that He actually travelled far above all Heavens to get to the Father’s Abode (again, in Ephesians 4:10); of which ascension, we should realize, included all three biblically-mentioned heavens; showing us that where He finally landed wasn’t a place “called” Heaven. But, also, we should know that when we see words such as: “up;” “upward;” “northernly;” and even, as Paul expresses in Ephesians 4:10, “above,” we don’t have to see these as indicators that God is way up in the natural sky; for, and as we also should know, there really is no “up” or “down” when we leave the earth – as in going beyond the reaches of oxygen in our atmosphere. In going past our atmosphere, which way is really up? Or, even, once in outer space, which way is upward? According to science, space is limitless – there’s no up, no down, no sideways – so, which way will you go “upward” if we do believe in such literalism? Besides that, the earth is spinning; so how can we, in consideration of that, know which way is up? For, your extended arm, which is pointing upward, will be spinning around and around as you do so. And, too, when we point upward from where we stand here on earth, folks on the other side of the planet can point up, too, and they’ll be pointing in the opposite direction from you – yet both of you are supposedly pointing upward … Certainly, I’m not trying to be silly here, but am trying to make my readers realize that when the Bible uses such language as “up,” upward,” “above,” etc., that we shouldn’t always consider strict literalism for its interpretation. But, that we should see such things, rather, as saying that heavenly matters are more excellent than earthly matters; greater in status; greater in position.
If ye then be risen with Christ [i.e. born again, rather than any type of literal ascension], seek those things which are above [of greater importance, of spiritual matters rather than earthen matters], where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above [things that are more excellent], not on things on the earth [i.e. heavenly things rather than earthly, carnal things – John 3:12]. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
So, if we are to take verses 1 and 2 of this set of scripture strictly literal (of Colossians chapter 3), and see them naturalistically (as in, that is, that Heaven is up somewhere in, or bordered along the natural cosmos somewhere), then should we also literalize verse 3 when it says that “you ARE [present-tense] dead”? Was Paul speaking to departed souls here? Or, was he, once again, only speaking metaphorically to the living? As in, being dead to trespasses and sin (Romans 6:2; 6:7; and 6:11)? … I’ll actually speak more on where Heaven is located at in a moment … We just have to realize how to interpret Jesus’ words when He says that the Father is in Heaven; because, He may not have been so literal in His approach, and could have meant that the Father is in a glory realm that the earth occupants are not; a heavenly realm; a heavenly place; or, within a heavenly situation – such as the Bible also speaks on in other places; such as:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
Of which scripture is a present-tense scripture in the fact that we are currently, before physical death occurs, being blessed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places. As also says this verse:
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Paul, again, is not speaking to departed souls, but present living Beings – that is, the folks who were living during Paul’s own day and time, and of whom he was addressing in his letter. Saying that God has raised them up together, and even made them sit together in heavenly places. If we read this as to say that God made them sit in “Heaven,” instead of heavenly places, then we have a contradiction of terms as is specified in organized religion. Why? Because (and, as I’ve stressed in some other books in this Teaching Series), the word “places” in both of our scriptures in Ephesians, here, are italicized … And, why should that make a difference? … Because, italicized words in scripture, as history attests to, were not emphasized words by the original authors, but were placed in by translators (many, many years later) to help us with the ease of sentence flow, and helping our modern understandings of anciently-phrased documents. Therefore, the original author actually said “Heaven,” and not “heavenly places.” Does that therefore make the translators wrong for there “intrusion” onto the holy text? Actually, they have done us a huge favor in correctly addressing this situation for a more modern audience; for, once again, how can we justify, in this verse (that is, if we can only see such scriptures with modern, doctrinal ideas), that there’s only one meaning to our word Heaven when Paul specified that such activities were being done prior to physical death, and prior to folks ascending to Heaven? For, without that inserted, extra word from the translators, this is how the sentence would read:
Ephesians 2:6 (without the word “places” inserted)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heaven in Christ Jesus.
Heaven (or, heavenly), Epouranios (ep-oo-ran'-ee-os), G2032, Strong’s Greek Dictionary [From Ephesians 2:6. This word “Epouranios,” actually derives from the Greek word used in Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 5:45a, which I quoted at the beginning of this Explanatory Note: Ouranos G3772 – see below for that definition]: From G1909 and G3772; above the sky: - celestial, (in) heaven (-ly), high.
Heaven, Ouranos (oo-ran-os'), G3772, Strong’s Greek Dictionary: Perhaps from the same as G3735 (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension heaven (as the abode of God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specifically the Gospel (Christianity): - air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.
Of which two Greek words are brothers to each other; and both, in their definitions, also say “the sky,” or “above the sky.” Which cannot be the proper definition for our two Ephesians verses. Again, why? Because, once more, Paul was not speaking to departed souls, but to folks who were having such “heavenly” experiences whilst still alive on the earth. All this should make us take heed on context of subject; and, also, we need to take note of when Paul (or, any other biblical teacher) was either speaking literal or metaphorical – because, we see examples of both the natural and spiritual within the holy text; but, we must allow the Spirit of God to specify for us of when to see it one way or the other…
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [i.e. into their proper camps of both natural and spiritual].
But, even if Jesus (both in Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 5:45a) DID mean an actual, physical location, in which the Father bodily resides, then we still don’t have to view such a place being way up in the sky, nor out in the cosmos somewhere. The real question should be why should Heaven be up in the sky, or out in the cosmos? What would be the purpose for that? I mean, the sky is “natural,” and so is the “cosmos” – the cosmos being the surrounding universe. And, even though the universe may be endless to our calculations, it’s still a part of nature. And, according to Paul, anything that is of nature will actually vanish one day; and, I seriously doubt that any of us would want to live in a Heaven that will vanish; or, at least, the natural borders of Heaven will vanish – such as the natural universe that it supposedly touches; or, is at the ends of; which leaves Heaven, if such is the case, very limited, in that it only begins where nature ends.
2 Corinthians 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen [visible by the eye; or, a part of nature in general], but at the things which are not seen [the invisible part of God’s creation: see Colossians 1:16]: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Let’s think about the impact of these words for a moment. Basically, if anything is a part of nature, and can be observed and demonstrated within the confines of science (even the “invisible” air and oxygen can be demonstrated by nature and science – so, that’s not what Paul meant by invisible things of eternity), then it can only be temporary in existence; but, the things that are outside the confines of science and nature (i.e. the supernatural) are eternal. Again, both the sky and the universe are of nature, and can only be temporary; so, I have to ask again: Why should “Heaven,” as folks understand it, be bordered along the boundaries of the natural, temporal universe? I mean, why can’t “Heaven” just simply be an invisible “realm” that’s outside of science, nature, and away from the physical laws of the cosmos? That is, actually being all around us, just a dimension away; of which dimension could actually be seen by us if our fleshly, carnal insights were completely dismissed – seeing that (in consideration that it doesn’t have to be way off into the cosmos somewhere, millions and millions of miles away) it is, in reality, only a doorway away. Do you really imagine that God is so far from us? So, if this can be the case, then the real Heaven is just a step from us, and can prove that God is extremely close! Giving us, in turn, the possibility that if our grave-clothes fall off (that is, our “natural” bodies at physical death), then God (just after the immediate disintegrating of this fleshly world to our sights) will suddenly appear before us – not having to use the Starship Enterprise to get there on a five-year mission.
1 John 3:1-2
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God [sons of the Father]: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him [the Father] not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God [sons of the Father], and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [the Father] shall appear [that is, just after our grave-clothes fall off, and we see Him standing in our presence; or, rather, we see ourselves standing in His!], we shall be like him [the Father]; for we shall see him as he is [in His heavenly dimension].
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the [natural] body [prior to physical death], we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the [natural] body, and to be present with the Lord [in His heavenly dimension – showing us that after we physically die, we will then automatically be standing within His presence in His own dimension – far above all Heavens, in His actual abode, to live for eternity].
Can all this be an impossibility? Especially since, during my Teaching Series, I’ve already gone-over metaphorical understandings in the Word of God – not leaving us with only literal, physical interpretations which demands that we see all scriptures naturally. Afterall, Heaven is supposed to be in a spiritual realm, having nothing to do with this natural universe. So, why associate it, therefore, within the confines of nature at all? … But, this is certainly not meaning that just because something is spiritual, and not subject to the laws and physics of nature, that it’s not just as real and tangible as the natural counterpart. Nay, but is actually more real than what we’ve been experiencing and living in the flesh – this here being but a temporal “realm,” and a temporary reality. It therefore makes the spirit realm, of God’s actual, eternal abode, as to being “true” reality, and a physical place in which we can literally (though absent from anything of nature) abide with He and the Son for eternity … It’s so hard for many folks to understand such notions, as I am proposing, that even in some biblical interpretations (such as in the New International Bible Version) – and despite them actually using the English word “Heaven” in chapter 1 verse 1 of Genesis – they (by the time they reach verse 8 – at least in the copy that I own) change the word Heaven to the word sky:
Genesis 1:8a (New International Version)
God called the vault sky…
Leaving the reader with only a single meaning to that Hebrew word in this instance; and, in turn, not allowing for there to be both natural and spiritual interpretations within that very important chapter in our Bibles. And, also, robbing the reader of any chance to see multiple meanings within; because (at least in this one instance), they themselves couldn’t imagine a spiritual meaning to those otherwise natural verses; for, if they did understand it, then they’d realize that the word “Heaven” would have been the best translation, since it can denote both the natural and the spiritual; whereas, the word sky cannot:
Heaven [as used in Genesis 1:8; and, translated as sky by the NIV Bible], shâmayim (shaw-mah'-yim), H8064, Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary: The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve): air, X astrologer, heaven (s).
Heaven (from Webster’s Dictionary):
1. The region or expanse which surrounds the earth, and which appears above and around us, like an immense arch or vault, in which are seen the sun, moon and stars.
2. Among Christians, the part of space in which the omnipresent Jehovah is supposed to afford more sensible manifestations of his glory. Hence this is called the habitation of God, and is represented as the residence of angels and blessed spirits. Deu 26.
But, this isn’t just me stretching things too far; because, I get such natural and spiritual ideas, about Genesis chapter 1, from Jeremiah:
For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
And, what does that have to do with Genesis chapter 1? Well, it’s because, in the very next verse, Jeremiah goes from speaking naturally to speaking spiritually – interpreting for us in verse 23 spiritually what he was just saying to us naturally in verse 22. That is, unless he started having a senior moment, and was speaking about a totally different matter:
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
What this actually shows us is a legitimate way to view Genesis chapter 1 within a spiritual light – for, Jeremiah actually gives us a very important key here. That is, of comparing people’s silly ways, and their ignorance to deeper matters, to the earth having darkness; and, of the earth being void and formless; because, as it shows us in other places of the Bible (and, as I’ve already, but briefly discussed), the earth, metaphorically, can be compared to people themselves – who were made of the earth naturally:
2 Corinthians 4:7a
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels [our natural bodies]…
2 Corinthians 5:1a
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved [i.e. tabernacle in this sense is a fleshly body]…
Etc … And, if that earth is void and without form (pinpointing, specifically here, the earthen minds of mankind), and we connect this meaning to Jeremiah saying that those folks had no understanding, were wise to do evil, but to do good they had no knowledge, then just what are we then seeing here? We are, again, seeing Genesis chapter 1 in a spiritual light – just as easily as we see it in a natural light; for, I truly believe in both the natural and spiritual interpretations of those verses about creation. But, before we could even see it in a spiritual light, the natural happenings had to have occurred beforehand … So, with that in mind, let’s view a few verses in Genesis chapter 1 metaphorically, just as Jeremiah had taught us to:
And the earth [man – who did not understand the ways of God] was without form, and void [void of God’s ways and understandings]; and darkness [ignorance] was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters [waters = people: Revelation 17:15].And God said, Let there be light [i.e. enlightenment: see Psalms 43:3; 119:105; 119:130; Proverbs 6:23; Ecclesiastes 11:7; and Isaiah 8:20]: and there was light [they gained a spiritual eye to see now].And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness [dividing good from evil].
Do you see where all this can go? . . . But, what if we only see such things naturally? Well, we just might, like the New International Version had decided to do, limit folks to only one or two understandings of scripture … I’ll speak more on the NIV in my upcoming book project about Biblical Translations: in my book, called: “The Bible is not a Buffet.” But (and, you’ve guessed it!), I don’t care for that version; because, not only here in Genesis, but in many other places (and, as they admitted to in their own Introduction) they did things that simply made me cringe! Such as consulting inferior source texts if they disagreed with what the better texts said; also, choosing side-marginal notes written by overzealous monks if those “ideas” sounded better than the actual words of the Bible, etc.; and, then, not letting the reader know where they had made such ghastly changes; and, therefore, allowing the reader to believe that they were reading the very words of the original texts all along – of which subject, once more, I’ll be going over in my future book project in greater detail of exactly what I’m meaning … My main point to all that I’m saying (and, certainly not to confuse the reader) is to stress that we cannot have only one meaning to the word Heaven; because, we will, definitely, miss meanings to some very important scriptures by doing so. As we’ve all been taught during our Gospel youth, we must keep scriptures within context of the subject we’re reading or studying. But, we’ll certainly do ourselves a disfavor by allowing our minds to decipher a single word the very same for every single scripture in our Bibles; and, in turn, causing pre-conceived, biased ideas to interfere with proper biblical analysis and deciphering simply because our inner dictionary is limited; or, because that was what we were taught during our youth by a minister who didn’t understand this themselves. However, correct deciphering certainly should be engaged – especially in consideration that there’s three heavens mentioned in scripture and not just one. And, since that’s the case (an established fact, that is), then which one (when we consider only a single Heaven to be in existence) will we ascend to at physical death? 1st, 2nd, or 3rd? And, also, we cannot conclude that, other than when the Written Word speaks specifically about 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Heaven, that no other scripture in the Bible is talking about any of those three when it doesn’t specify a number, and says, simply, Heaven. So, when that’s the case (again, when it says Heaven, but doesn’t specify a number) does it then ONLY speak about a celestial city up in the sky? Making it, therefore, impossible to bespeak of a particular Heaven in such an instance – or, even, speaking about a heavenly situation or condition at that time? … Am I only complicating an otherwise simple situation here? I don’t think so. Actually, I think preachers are the ones who have complicated things when they try to stick all their eggs (in this case, three eggs) into only a single basket of understanding about the different Heavens; for, after-all, if there is only one, it wouldn’t have mentioned two others! … This is like me asking somebody, who is going to the store, to pick me up some soap while they are there. Certainly, there’s more than one kind of soap; so, should I expect them to know which kind I meant when I gave only a base word? I could’ve meant bath soap; or, dish washing soap; or laundry soap. Would it really make a difference to me if I needed bath soap and I was brought laundry soap instead? Well, I would think so! But, a lot of preachers out in this preaching world (though, not all) do not specify when they generalize the word “Heaven.” For, to the majority of them, there’s only one meaning to that word: “The celestial city up in the clouds or cosmos” … Even though (as I’ve repeatedly pointed out) that it’s just fine to call the Father’s actual Abode Heaven, wouldn’t it be safer though, considering that there’s three of them spoken on therein, to say that when we die, we’ll live for eternity with the Father and the Son, without having to specify a single Heaven? Especially, as we’ve already seen, Jesus had to go above all three to get to the Father’s side! It’s extremely obvious that there’s a huge difference between the three Heavens in scripture. For one, why didn’t Paul get caught up unto the 2nd Heaven – or, even, to the 1st Heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:2? Why did he specify #3? Would it have been just as good to say 1st or 2nd instead of 3rd? I don’t think so; for, specifying the 3rd is just as useful as me saying that I need laundry soap as opposed to dish soap … Let’s expand our inner dictionary, shall we? And, let’s study the Word of God much deeper – for such is God’s desire for us to understand things on deeper levels … Now, to conclude our current thoughts, allow me to point out that many people actually believe that Third Heaven is the final destination for the departed saint; and, that that’s where the Father and Son physically abide. But, once again, we must consider the wording of Ephesians 4:10: “He [Jesus] that descended [to earth, for His earthen ministry] is the same also that ascended [in Acts chapter 1] up far above ALL heavens, that he might fill all things.” Because, when Paul says ALL Heavens, we cannot assume that the third wasn’t considered amongst the number. So, again, if the celestial city is called Heaven, then how could Jesus ascend above all of them to go to Heaven? . . . I will speak a little more on the Third Heaven in the main part of this book.
*15. Which Heaven did satan actually fall from?... I believe that we are now getting closer to the answer to that question. Stay tuned; for, within this very chapter, and as you continue reading on in the main part of the book, I will come to my conclusion on this…
*16. The Old Testament/Heaven was finished – John 19:30)… Actually, and getting much deeper into this current thought, I’m going to be showing, in another upcoming book of mine (called: “Carnal Ordinances, Part II: The Naturalistic World that had come to an End”), that the last monument of the Old Testament World, that was yet still standing, finally came tumbling down in AD 70 when the armies of Rome had conquered Jerusalem, and had torn the Temple down to the ground – digging it up to its very foundations.
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple [not the outer-fence-walls which surrounded it]. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down [again, meaning the Temple itself].
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not [i.e., and again, the outer-walls, which is the “fence” surrounding the Temple]; for it is given unto the Gentiles [the armies of Rome, and the garrison which they kept of it for themselves; that is, a large piece of the outer-fence-wall which today we call the western or wailing wall]: and the holy city shall they tread under foot [i.e. destroy, within] forty and two months [a 3½ year siege, which ended with the tearing down of the Temple – the last standing monument of the Old Testament World].
I will speak more on Revelation chapter 11 again (for both verses 1 and 2) during chapter 8 herein – which chapter will be called: “The Great Dragon and Beast of Revelation” – wherein I will explain this “metaphorical” take on them; seeing, apparently, that I’m looking at this Temple as to being the actual, literal Temple in Jerusalem, and of events concerning it before it was finally destroyed by Roman hands (John prophesying, that is, of its demise a few years before it actually collapsed – as it was still standing at the time of this writing by the apostle). So, stay tuned for that … Now, once that Temple fell (of which tearing down Flavius Josephus was a witness to, and of which he recorded in AD 75 in his famous book “The Wars of the Jews”), there therefore (once again) was left no standing monument of the Old Testament to where any connection of it remained … The scriptures plainly show a departing of the 1st Heaven – which (again), in this book, I compare to the 1st Covenant; or, that is, to the Old Testament (as I’ll presently show and explain in the main part of the book, during this current chapter). Therefore, I am seeing, when such language is being discussed therein, that this was when the 1st Heaven had finally ceased (that is, during the 1st century AD – as I’ll make plainer as we continue along):
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.
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Matthew 24:35 (and Mark 13:31)
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Of which, again, I’m fixing to speak on in the main part of this book, and explain my take on it … What all this will finally boil down to is the significance of a 40-year period that many do not know about its importance. That is, from approximately AD 30 to AD 70 – a forty-year biblical generation – which took-out the Old Testament period and had ushered-in the New Testament period; for, and as I’ll build a large picture of in my upcoming book, it took that long to completely close-out that old period and to fully commence the new. We see all this in the form of four major events – Jesus dying on the cross; Him Resurrecting; the Day of Pentecost with the Holy Ghost being fully delivered; and, of the tearing down of the Temple in Jerusalem … Of course, with all I just said, I’ve merely opened up a fresh new can of worms! And, I apologize if I don’t get into more detail just yet concerning these things. I merely wanted to let the reading audience know that with what I’m saying in the main part of the text herein is just the beginning thoughts of where this will eventually lead, and that I’ll actually get into great detail concerning these things in other of my books; especially, as I’ve already said, in: “Carnal Ordinances, Part II: The Naturalistic World that had come to an End.” But, herein, I want to stick with our main topic (satan, the devil, and hell) as much as I can without veering too much off from our current path … Please stay tuned!
*17. Religious leaders; i.e. the main ringleaders of Jesus’ crucifixion… Not only they, but the people who had followed their example:
But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him…
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he [Pilate] saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Acts 2:22-23 (Peter speaking)
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.
*18. A teaching method that is found throughout the Biblical text... Yes, I really believe this statement. The entire subject of biblical language (that is, through a metaphorical deliverance), is dealt with in my Teaching Series, called: “The Spiritual Side of Creation;” which begins with the title: "In the Beginning: It was Spiritual From the Very Start." Let me say here, though, that I am not leaning toward the idea that every single scripture in our Bibles are nothing more than metaphors. But, I do believe in a fair balance of both the natural and the metaphorical therein. Most of the time (or, at least a lot of times), before we can even have a metaphorical meaning, we need natural, materialistic elements to compare them by. But, neither am I teaching that just because something is metaphorical that it can't be literal, too! In fact, the spiritual things that the scriptures talk about are, quite often, more real than their natural counterparts − especially considering that the things which can be seen are but temporal, but the things that cannot be seen are eternal – as we’ve already went over in 2nd Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
*19. In the same manner that Adam died the day that he sinned...
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
This was not just some idle threat by God − and yet, we see that when Adam did eat the forbidden fruit (not an actual apple; but, the fruits of the flesh, such as we see from Galatians 5:19-21), he didn't die – physically die, that is. Instead, he and Eve simply got kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man...
Does this mean that God didn't make good on his threat? Nay; but, Adam actually died a death that was worse than natural death − he died spiritually! That is, he fell from God's graces, and had an unbreachable gulf set in-between he and the Lord. I go over full detail about what that gulf really is in my upcoming book: "Lazarus and the Rich Man: What is Hell?, Part II." But, basically, if we die a spiritual death, then we die the second death; and it's a death from which one can never recover. That is, a soul dies, and that person has reached a point to where they will never be with God anymore for eternity. Again, a death that is worse than any physical death.
RETURN TO THE TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE BY CLICKING HERE!, AND FOR PURCHASING OPTIONS