Heaven – What Is the Biblical Meaning?

Biblical Heaven – What Is It?

In this post, we will be talking about the doctrine of biblical heaven — what it is, and where it is — but at the outset I want to bring your attention to a verse in the Bible that is critical to our attempts to accurately understand the Scriptures, including the doctrine of heaven.  This Scripture tells us the purpose for the Bible – why it was written and what it should be used for:

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Tim. 3:16)

Conspicuous by its absence in this verse is any mention of literal history. This verse does not say to us that the Bible is profitable for telling us how the material world came to be. No, the Bible is a book about spirituality. Its aim is to instruct us in righteousness, to reprove us and to correct us in matters concerning the spiritual. It is about spiritual doctrine. The Bible, along with ALL of the “things of God” is to be interpreted spiritually, rather than naturally (1 Cor. 2:14). You will need to keep this in mind as you read this article.

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The biblical concept of heaven, on the surface and from a literal standpoint, seems so simple. God is in heaven and man is on earth. God lives “up there,” while man lives “down here” (on a literal earth).

But is it really so simple?

What is Heaven? Heaven is in you.

The primary reason for our inability to understand the Scriptures, including the doctrine of heaven, is our insistence on reading them from a literal (i.e., natural) perspective. However, the Scriptures say this about trying to understand the things of God from a natural perspective:

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)

The doctrine of heaven is no different than any other biblical doctrine.  We must understand its spiritual significance if we are to derive any spiritual benefit from the doctrine.

We need eyes that see and ears that hear.

By instilling fear in you, man has the ability to control you. Yet, you are free; you just don’t realize it yet. Fear is a part of the great biblical concept of Egyptian bondage. You will learn over the course of time that there is nothing to fear, despite what we have always been taught.

“Cursed be the man that trusts in man” (Jer. 17:5)

The doctrine of heaven is a critical concept to understand if we are to progress along the spiritual path, because it has everything to do with your being created in the image and likeness of God, which is the purpose for the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.  YOU are the creation of the Bible.

The Bible tells us that WE are the temple of God, and that “the spirit of God dwells in us” (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16; 19). The Bible further tells us that it is “Christ IN YOU that is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Further, the Bible also says that “God is a spirit” (John 4:24). Therefore, a better phrase would be “the spirit that is God dwells in you” (the word “of” in the above verses is a preposition that is translated in many different ways throughout the New Testament, and the translators translated it in the way that made the most sense to them, albeit in many cases, incorrectly).

It is critical to note here that far from simply noting that you are where God and Christ dwell, the Scripture here is also defining for you the Old Testament Temple that Solomon built. The Scripture is telling you that YOU are that temple. It is the Bible interpreting itself, and if the Bible interprets itself, all we have to do is search out the definitions – we do not have to create our own.  This is all part of the great spiritual mystery. Hopefully, by the end of this article it will all make a little more sense to you.

This book is not about history, but about spirituality, and so the Old Testament doctrine of the Temple of God has nothing to do with a literal building. It is describing YOU from the standpoint of your spiritual journey toward being created in the image and likeness of God.

The most critical thing you need to understand about the New Testament is that it explains the Old Testament, rather than does away with it, contrary to popular opinion and belief. All of the doctrines of the Old Testament apply to us today, but they are codified – written in symbols. Once we begin to understand the symbols, it becomes easier and easier to understand. To understand all of this a little more in-depth, please refer to my video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C5OLc3xihs

Christ and God, as you understand if you have studied my materials to this point, are powers that reside within us, as the Scriptures forcefully assert. If that is the case, then the doctrine of a literal heaven “up there” where God dwells is either a contradiction within the Scriptures themselves, in which case we cannot trust them, or it is a misunderstanding by our religious teachers.

So let’s begin to take a look at biblical heaven, and let’s see if we can determine what it really is. We will start by laying out the groundwork for this study. We will first take a look at the Scriptures that deal with the subject of God’s dwelling place. This is very important in order for us to make sense out of what seemingly makes no sense. At the end of this study, you will be astonished to know the true nature of heaven, and how it ties in to your spiritual development.

First, the Bible proclaims that God’s dwelling place is in heaven:

And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive. (1 Kings 8:30)

Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, thou only, know the hearts of all the sons of men). (1 Kings 8:39)

Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name. (1 Kings 8:43)

The Bible also says that YOU are God’s dwelling place, that YOU are the house of God, that YOU are the temple of God:

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom. 8:9)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. 3:16)

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Cor. 6:16)

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Heb. 3:6)

The house of God is called the temple of God:

Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who [was] shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. (Neh. 6:10)

One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. (Ps. 27:4)

Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. (Dan. 5:3)

The “house of God” is “in Jerusalem”:

And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:4)

And [some] of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place: (Ezra 2:68)

Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD. (Ezra 3:8)

Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem: and with them [were] the prophets of God helping them. (Ezra 5:2)

And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter [and] to destroy this house of God at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed. (Ezra 6:12)

So shall ye know that I [am] the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. (Joel 3:17)

The Scriptures also inform us that God will dwell on the earth (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chr. 6:18; Rev. 5:10) (the earth spoken of in the Scriptures is NOT planet earth, I deal with that concept here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHfSM9fMcQA).

My Father's House is in Heaven.

God’s throne is in heaven:

The LORD [is] in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne [is] in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the sons of men. (Psa. 11:4)

Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (Zech. 6:13)

But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: (Matt. 5:34)

Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (Rev. 7:15)

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. (Rev. 16:17)

((Take note of the phrase “temple of heaven,” because it is a critical phrase as it relates to the understanding of biblical heaven. It clues us to the fact that the temple of God is in heaven.))

God’s throne is in his house:

And I will fasten him [as] a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. (Isa. 22:23)

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest? (Isa. 66:1)

Heaven [is] my throne, and earth [is] my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what [is] the place of my rest? (Acts 7:49)

Zion IS Jerusalem:

Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD. (Psa. 135:21)

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. (Isa. 30:19)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zech. 9:9)

The city of Zion is the mountain of God, Mt. Zion:

[[A Song [and] Psalm for the sons of Korah.]] Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, the mountain of his holiness. (Psa. 48:1)

In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which [was] as the frame of a city on the south. (Eze. 40:2)

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, (Rev 21:10)

So let’s recap here. First, the Bible proclaims that God’s dwelling place is in heaven. It also says that YOU, who are the house and the temple of God, are God’s dwelling place. The “house of God” (YOU) is in Jerusalem. God’s throne is in heaven. God’s throne is in his house (and YOU are that house). It also tells us that Zion IS Jerusalem, and that the city of Zion is the mountain of God, Mt. Zion.

Are these contradictions? Many of our religious teachers infer from all this that God dwells everywhere.

I know this is a lot to digest, and I’m sure you will have to read this over and over again until it sinks in, but it is worth the energy because quite frankly, your spiritual life depends on it.

Now what can we learn about biblical Jerusalem? Is it a literal city in the Middle East, or is there a spiritual connotation attached to biblical Jerusalem? Remember that ALL of the things of God are to be spiritually discerned. In addition, the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD. (Psa. 116:19)

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, (2 Chr. 20:5)

To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem. (Psa. 102:21)

Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together. (Psa. 122:3) (cf. Eph. 2:21:  “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:21).)

Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD. (Psa. 135:21)

Virtually the entire religious community sees the biblical cities as literal, primarily because in the attempts by the spiritual writers to confound the wise, they use historical names, places and things as part of the overall allegory; but in the Bible these things have vastly different meanings than they do from the secular, or natural, perspective. The emphasis on the salvation of literal Israel, for example, has completely blinded the minds of our religious leaders to the spiritual truths that the allegory of Israel represents.

What, then, is biblical Jerusalem?

YOU are biblical Jerusalem.

YOU are the bride that Christ the bridegroom is coming to marry.

Let’s take a look at this. Remember, YOU are the temple of God.

New Jerusalem – The Bride of Christ that Comes Down out of Heaven

The Scripture says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature:

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Notice the phrase in this verse, “old things are passed away,” because it is significant as we read the following verses:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth ((**the old things**)) were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God OUT OF HEAVEN, prepared as a BRIDE adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. (Rev. 21:1-3)

Now you saw above that Mt. Zion is the holy city where God dwells, that it is where the temple is located, and that YOU are that temple. It is YOU who are being created in the image and likeness of God that is the “new creation.” You are in the process of being created anew. This is all spiritual, NOT literal or historical. The Bible is a spiritual book. It is not a history book, or a book to be taken literally. It is the spiritual writers informing you of who you are and how you best function. It is the spiritual writers showing you the path to the “Kingdom of God,” where you meet God (inside yourself), and what happens after you meet God.

This New Jerusalem is called the “bride of Christ.” If you have read this far, it should be crystal clear that we are not talking about a literal city. This is a spiritual city within you. This should not be such a difficult concept to grasp once you understand that …

… The Kingdom of God is Within You

One of the most important verses in the entire Bible is Luke 17:21:

Neither shall they be declaring `Lo! here!’ or `Lo! there!’ for lo! the kingdom of God is inside of you” (Luke 17:21 CLV)

This one verse defines virtually everything you have read in this article to this point.  God rules in his kingdom, God sits on his throne in his kingdom.  God’s throne is in heaven. New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, comes down out of heaven, where God’s kingdom and God’s temple is. God’s throne is in heaven, where God’s kingdom is. YOU are the temple of God, and the spirit that is God dwells IN YOU! Christ comes in YOUR flesh, (1 John 4:2-3) and “greater is he that is IN YOU, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). This is why the Apostle Paul “labors in travail until Christ be formed IN YOU.”

((Note: Who is the Apostle Paul and what does he represent? The Scripture both asks and answers this question in the same verse, and we will deal with it at a future point, but I wanted to share this extremely critical verse with you – a verse you probably have never seen before:  “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man (1 Cor. 3:5). Indeed EVERYONE has a Paul within him. Much more about this in a future post.))

A kingdom has cities, nations, peoples and tongues. The allegory of the Kingdom of God shows all of this to be inside you. You cannot understand these things from a literal perspective. “The letter kills (spiritually), but the spirit gives life (spiritually).”

What is Heaven “Above”

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above (H5921) the firmament: and it was so (Gen. 1:7).

Strongs H5921 (Hebrew “al”) is a preposition the translation of which is left to the reader. What is so interesting about this particular preposition is that in the King James Version this word occurs 48 times in 48 verses, while the Westminster Leningrad Codex (WLC), through the ISA (Interlinear Scripture Analyzer), shows it to be occurring a whopping 5,779 times in 4,889 verses!  This means that, in general, either the KJV translators virtually never translated that word into its corresponding English texts, or the Strong’s Concordance writers omitted the number for the Hebrew word in the overwhelming majority of its occurrences.

In the New Testament, the corresponding Strong’s number is G1909 (Greek “epi”) and it occurs 896 and 898 times in the KJV and ISA, respectively. In looking at the ISA, the dominant English translation is either “on” or “over,” and there is no authority that directs this word to be translated as “above” (as in “atmosphere”). The same word is used in the following two Scriptures:

One God and Father of all, who [is] above (G1909) all, and through all, and IN YOU ALL. (Eph. 4:6)

But Christ as a son over (G1909) his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Heb. 3:6)

In both of the above instances, the word denotes authority, as opposed to location.

Firmament

Praise ye the LORD.  Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (Ps. 150:1).

The firmament that is heaven is God’s sanctuary (H6944). The sanctuary is the “firmament of his power.” Note that this sanctuary is built within the temple – YOU:

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD. (1 Chr. 22:19)

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion. (Psa. 20:2)

Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary: who [is so] great a God as [our] God? (Ps. 77:13)

For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth (Ps. 102:19) ((**Note: This scripture is informing you, as are other scriptures noted above, that the sanctuary is in heaven, that it is in the temple, and that both of them are in the same place – IN YOU.**))

And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, saith the Lord GOD. (Eze. 44:27)

They who have ears to hear, let them hear.

I hope you are seeing the picture here. You meet God within yourself, in the sanctuary, which is in the temple, which is in heaven, which is in you. You cannot understand these things without understanding Bible symbology. Thankfully, as I indicate above, the Bible explains its symbols; we just have to learn how it does that.

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Did you like the article? Did you think it made no sense? Please feel free to leave me comments or questions below.

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Until next time, this is Paul Young saying, flee from the crowd and dwell with the Christ within you.  Christ IN YOU, your hope of glory.

The Strong Man Has Been Kidnapped

Where is The Strong Man?

Why is the world suffering so much? It appears things are getting worse instead of better. Our inability to cope has reached monumental proportions. Could the missing strong man be the key culprit?

Indeed, the strong man has been kidnapped and removed from his house. With no one home, the enemy has freely come in and robbed us blind.

Of what has he robbed us?

He has robbed us of our personal power!

How has the strong man been kidnapped?

The “strong man” (Christ) has been taken out of his house (YOU are the house of God) and placed in a literal heaven “up there” where we cannot reach him. It is because we have known neither who nor what Christ is that this has been done. Thus, the strong man is no longer at home. The strong man has gone on a long journey. Unfortunately, the strong man is your power, and so with him gone, so is your personal power. This is the major problem facing humanity. You want to lose weight, stop an addiction, begin a program, accomplish some great thing, etc., and you find that you have no power to do so because your “husband” (YOU are the bride, Christ is the bridegroom) is not at home. The strong man has left the building.  He has been bound, gagged and hijacked.

strong man

The Bible, however, makes the truth plain.

Well if that is the case, then what is the problem?

The principal problem is that we have been conditioned to believe a lie. Even though the truth is far different than anything we have previously been taught, we cannot hear that truth because of the strength of what we have been taught and its resulting conditioning. We are, in most cases, afraid to believe anything else. The highly intoxicating wine of ignorance and deception has made us drunk with illusions of grandeur.

So what is the truth?

It is that God and Christ are powers that reside WITHIN YOU, NOT somewhere in a literal heaven far above planet earth — somewhere OUTSIDE of you. By placing the strong man “way out there,” we place him where we cannot reach him. Whenever you are searching for something, you simply won’t find it where it is not. If the strong man is IN YOU, then you won’t find him outside of you.

Thus, we have no personal power to help us with our problems.

So have you looked inside of yourself for Christ?

We need to bring the strong man back into the strong man’s house. This is the ONLY way we are going to be able to solve our problems and issues.

strong man2

For more of an understanding of who or what God and Christ are, please view my video here (you’ll have to scroll down for the actual video). You will want to listen very intently because it provides an in-depth study that you probably won’t understand by just a superficial review.

Remember, scripture says it is Christ IN YOU that is the hope of glory. YOU are the temple of God, YOU are the house of God, YOU are the church of God.

YOU are the creation of the Bible. You are being created in the image and likeness of God. Once that creation is completed, then God will rest.

It’s all about YOU.

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Once again this is Paul Young saying, flee from the crowd and dwell with the Christ within you. Christ IN YOU, your hope of glory.

Biblical Creation – It’s Not About Our Natural World

Biblical Creation – Being Created in the Image of God

Right at the outset of this article I want to show you the entire purpose and intent of the Bible – the meaning of biblical creation – which has nothing to do with the literal material world, including the planet on which we live, but that YOU are biblical creation, and that from Genesis to Revelation, the scriptures constitute spiritual instruction on how to be created in the image and likeness of God, contrary to the belief that man is initially created in God’s image. This should be a ride like no other that you have ever taken. Sit back, try to open your mind, and get ready for some concepts that you probably have neither heard nor understood before. This article is very Scripture-intensive, because the only way to show the intent of the Bible is through the Bible. I’d love to hear your questions and/or comments after you have read it.

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There is a great debate between science and religion that has persisted for centuries now regarding the genesis of our physical world. Did God create the physical world, or is it the result of an evolutionary process? Was the earth created in seven literal 24-hour days, was it created over a 7,000 year span, or has it evolved over billions of years? The condemnation of religion and science toward each other regarding this issue is, to put it mildly, quite intense.

But what is the truth regarding this subject? Is it even possible to come to a truth that makes sense regarding this issue? After all, this debate has been unceasing for a very long period of time. The creationists, because of their unflagging belief in literal biblical interpretation, believe the doctrine that God created the material world, and so whether or not this belief actually makes any sense, it is etched in stone in the minds of creationists. Science, on the other hand, refuses to consider anything that is not capable of scientific evaluation and experimentation.

The Letter Kills

As it pertains to the Bible, we cannot understand the things of God with our natural senses. The scriptures tell us that the things of God are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). Thus, we must learn how to see with a different set of eyes, and to hear with a different set of ears. We need spiritual eyes and spiritual ears in order to understand spiritual truths. To read the Bible literally is to read it naturally, and this is the cause of much of the condemnation, biting and devouring of one another, hatred and killing in our material world. Most of religion sees its own beliefs as right, while everyone else is wrong. These issues alone beg the question “is man created in the image of God?” As scripture says:

The way of peace they know not … (Isa. 59:8; Rom. 3:17).

and

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the SPIRIT: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Cor. 3:6).

The Purpose for the Scriptures

Jesus says in the book of John, “The words that I speak, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63b). Scripture also informs us that:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Here it becomes necessary to ask the question “what does knowledge of literal history have to do with the perfection of man and instruction in righteousness?” One look at the results of religion and you have your answer – not much.

Reread the above verse. Conspicuous by its absence among the things for which the Bible is profitable, is understanding of how the material world came into existence. You will not find the topics of literal history and understanding the material world among the things for which the Bible is profitable. It’s simply not there, because the Bible has nothing to do with literal history, nor with the creation of our material universe, including “planet” Earth. We simply assume this because of the “natural” way our brains are wired, and because of our “natural” understanding of the words that the Bible uses.

The Bible is Not Written for Natural Understanding

Most people, when they hear that the Bible is not to be taken literally, ask the question: “if it is not to be taken literally, then why is it written so that it is so difficult to understand?” Because the scriptural answer doesn’t make much sense to us, we categorically reject it, but the revelation, when you come to understand it, is undeniable.

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand (Mat 13:10-13).

This is very interesting language. Is it really intended for us NOT to understand? Who is the “them” that is spoken of here? Who is the “you?”

The “them” are those on the “outside” (those “without”), while the “you” are Christ’s disciples, the “chosen ones?” Those are the ones to whom he is speaking.

Are you a “disciple of Christ?” Do you “worship” (which simply means “asking”) Christ, or do you worship man? When you have your deepest questions, when you are in the midst of your serious trials, when life is at its darkest, do you “worship” the Christ IN YOU, or do you turn to the Internet, or to religion, or to counselors, etc., for help? In eastern mysticism there is a saying that “all power is within you.” Truer words have never been spoken, because Christ, who is the “power and wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24), is WITHIN YOU.

Further, we find these three verses, which I find fascinating as it relates to the allegorical nature of the scriptures. They are all saying the same thing:

For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (Matt. 13:15).

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them (John 12:40).

For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (Acts 28:27).

Sounds incredibly harsh and UNloving, doesn’t it? But what does it mean?

It is critical to understand that what is spoken of here is spiritual law. The spiritual writers are conveying the “law of God” to us. It is how the law works. This law is just as real as the laws of physics and the laws of mathematics, and they function the same way as it relates to their immutability. They cannot change and they cannot be changed. We transgress them at our peril. We must, therefore, come to understand and use the law for what it is.

Who are the Chosen Ones

Most religious people feel that they are the chosen ones, regardless of what religion they profess. If one is a Christian, then he or she believes Christianity, or his or her particular denomination, to be the way of salvation. If one is a Muslim, then the Muslim faith is the ticket to salvation. It is the same with many of the other religions in the world. Their religion is their Christ (their “Messiah”), their way, their truth and their life, and you are only saved if you belong to their particular group. This line of thinking is the reason why some people in these faiths think they can do whatever they wish with impunity. Their religion gives them license to act in whatever way they desire, without regard to conscience, because their religion IS their conscience, their religion is their saviour.

But who are the chosen ones? It doesn’t even seem fair that an exclusive group of people are chosen by God. Alas, it IS a special and exclusive group, and though it is an exclusive group, it is not exclusionary. Once you have the answer, you will understand that anyone can make themselves a “chosen one” – a member of this exclusive group.

Here is the biblical definition of this exclusive group called the “chosen ones” or “disciples”:

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them (Luke 18:7).

Did you get that? The elect are simply those who “cry day (in good times) and night (in bad times) unto ‘God.’” This is consistent with the scripture that says “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

The elect of God, those who are always in communion with God, are the chosen ones. Anyone can join this “group,” but very few actually do. Most religious people worship their religions. This is the meaning of the phrase “many are called, but few are chosen.”

If you have read my articles and/or viewed my videos, of course you understand that the thrust of my efforts is to show that Christ is IN YOU, and that it is Christ IN YOU that is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Crying out to God “day and night” is an internal matter. It is a heart action:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he … (Prov. 23:7).

There is power in your tears. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (the inner Christ being the “Comforter”). I’ve experience so much of this in my own life that I’ve been completely reeled in, hook, line and sinker. I could never again commit adultery by looking to man for my answers. Had I continued to depend on man for my answers, I certainly would not have come to my current understanding regarding the scriptures. Man did not give me these answers. I took my requests “inside” and stayed there until I began to understand. In a later article I will explain the seventh commandment, “thou shalt not commit adultery.” This commandment has nothing to do with the relationship between a natural man and woman, even as biblical marriage has nothing to do with the relationship between a natural man and woman.

God is Love

The scripture tells us that God is a spirit (John 4:24), that love is a spirit (2 Tim: 1:7), and that God is love (1 John 4:8). Thus, love is the spirit that God is. In addition, to be born again is to be born of “the spirit” (John 3:6). From these scriptures it is clear that love is the spirit of which we must be born, or re-born, or “born again.” Love is the nature of God, or God’s nature.

To be created in the image of God, therefore, is to be created in the image and likeness of love. If you love, you are born of God (which is to be “born again”) (1 John 4:7), and if you do not love, you are not born of God (1 John 4:8). This is the very clear spiritual teachings of the scriptures.

The Bible tells us that the law of God is summarized in two commands: love God with everything within you, and love your neighbour as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40).

Is Man Created in the Image and Likeness of God

The Bible clearly makes the following statement regarding man’s creation:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Gen 1:26-28).

We read this verse and automatically assume that man is created in the image and likeness of God. Incredibly, this is NOT what the scripture is saying. I intend to make this so incredibly plain that you will wonder how you ever believed anything else.

The assumption that man is created in God’s image overlooks a critical difference between Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Without understanding the differences (and most of religion is in a state of mass confusion regarding these differences), it is impossible to understand the aspect of man’s creation.

Genesis 1 – a SUMMARY of the Creation Process

Yes, you read that right. The first chapter of Genesis is a summary of the entire creation process from Genesis to Revelation. It is “God calling the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10). It is God “calling those things that be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). It is God assuring you that if you endure to the end, your salvation is assured because God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. Then, beginning in chapter 2, verse 4, the creation story begins in earnest.

Until you can begin to understand and decode biblical symbols, none of this will make much sense to you. The general lack of understanding regarding these symbols is the primary reason why the masses are still unable to reconcile Genesis 1 with Genesis 2, although from a spiritual perspective, the answers are clear.

Genesis 1:26 is the “new heaven and the new earth.” It is the marriage supper of the Lamb (Eph. 5:31-32). It is when the two become one flesh. It is Revelation chapters 21 and 22, when the marriage of you and God is consummated; when Christ finally comes in YOUR flesh. This is the marriage of male (Christ) and female (man). Remember that biblical marriage is a “mystery” (it has nothing to do with human beings) and concerns Christ (the man) and the church (the woman, and therefore, YOU). He (the man/Christ) was WITH you (man/the biblical woman), but now is IN you (John 14:17). This is 1 John 4:2‑4, when Christ comes in YOUR flesh (and greater is he that is IN YOU (the post-matrimonial Christ – 1 John 4:4), than he that is in the world (the pre-matrimonial Christ – John 1:10). This completed creation effectively ends the Biblical story. Scripture fulfilled.

It is all allegory, and it is all spiritual and immutable law.

The Incorruptible God vs. Corruptible Man

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an IMAGE made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things (Rom. 1:23).

If we have eyes that see, this scripture effectively obliterates, in one fell swoop, the idea of man being created in God’s image. This scripture plainly tells us that the image of man is “corrupt,” while “God” (the spirit of love within us (1 Cor. 3:16)), is incorruptible. Well if the image of man is corrupt, then he cannot possibly be created in the image of the incorruptible God. Further, we find in 1 Corinthians:

So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit (1 Cor. 15:42-45).

This is a key scripture. The “resurrection” spoken of in this scripture is man being made in the image and likeness of God, for God comes in YOUR flesh, and the resurrection is from corruption to incorruption, from the fleshly (carnal mind) to spirit (the spiritual mind – Rom. 12:2). Consider that if man were already made in God’s image, there would be no need for a resurrection, for he would already be perfect. However, natural man is NOT made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore must spiritually die and be born again. When man is born of love, he is thus born again, or united with Christ in marriage. Only THEN is man made in the image and likeness of God.

The Sabbath Rest

Hidden in the following scripture (Prov. 25:2) is a golden nugget of information that further corroborates that man is not initially made in the image and likeness of God:

There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his (Heb. 4:9‑10).

In Genesis 1, immediately after man has been made in God’s image, the Sabbath comes, and God rests, because the creation has been completed. But in the above verse, we find that the Sabbath rest is still to come, and therefore the “labor of God” continues:

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work (John 5:16-17).

The “work” spoken of here is God’s labor of creation. And how do the scriptures define God’s labor?

Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent (John 6:29).

Indeed, from Genesis to Revelation, the work of God is to lead us to Christ, which is why Christ says in the infamous John 17 prayer:

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word … While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled (John 17:6; 12).

The phrase “thou gavest me” is revelatory of the work of God that leads us to Christ. It is only when we are made male and female that we are created in the image and likeness of God. It is only then that:

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we SHALL(!!!!) also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Cor. 15:49).

The fact that “we SHALL also bear the IMAGE of the heavenly,” shows this event, from a scriptural perspective, to be a future event, and if it is a future event, it cannot be something that transpired in the past, and if it has not yet transpired, then man is not now “made in the image and likeness of God.”  Hence, day six has not yet occurred, the Sabbath has not yet arrived, and so the creation process is still ongoing.  “Creation week,” therefore, is still in progress.  And if it is still in progress, then the scriptures, which speak of it in the past tense, cannot therefore be taken literally.

Yes, God is still working in all those who are still being perfected.

Further Proof that Man is the Creation

In a previous article/video I showed you that the word “sons” in the Bible does not apply to literal people, but to the “offspring of God.” To reiterate, God is a spirit, and “that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” Because God is spirit, his offspring is not flesh and blood, but spirit. I also showed you that the “sons of God” are the fruit of the spirit, the first of which is love (the “firstborn” of God, or “Christ”). This explains the following verses regarding the creation (which I will annotate in bold and double parentheses):

For the earnest expectation of the creature ((creation – YOU)) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God ((fruit of the spirit)). For the creature ((creation – YOU)) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected it in hope. Because the creature itself ((creation – YOU)) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the [sons] of God. ((NOTE: This “deliverance from the bondage of corruption” is when that which is sown in corruption is raised in incorruption.)) For we know that the whole creation((!!!!!!!!!)) ((YOU)) groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now (Rom. 8:19-22).

“The words that I speak, they are SPIRIT, and they are LIFE” (John 6:63b).

What is Biblical Earth

I have produced a video on this subject, which you can find here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHfSM9fMcQA)

The short answer is that YOU are biblical earth. Biblical earth has nothing to do with the literal planet on which we live. First, in the earth of the Bible, a distinction is made between the earth and the waters in the first chapter of Genesis. It is only the “dry” that constitutes earth. The “waters” are called seas, and the Bible makes a clear distinction between the earth and the seas (Gen. 1:10). Of course, on our literal planet it is both the land AND the water together that constitute PLANET Earth, but that is not what we are talking about here.

Second, as we see in the New Testament (Matthew 13), biblical earth constitutes the soil/dust from the ground. Notice:

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth (Matt. 13:5).

It is this soil, or dust, that constitutes earth. This makes so much sense when you look back at Genesis 1:10:

And God called the dry Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good. (Gen. 1:10).

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There is much more to this subject, and I will deal with it in future articles/videos. For now, I hope you can see that biblical creation is all about YOU, and has nothing to do with our material world. Biblical creation is about you being created in the image and likeness of God. This is the purpose and theme of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

The entire purpose of the Bible is to provide you with spiritual doctrine, spiritual reproof, and spiritual instruction in righteousness, so that you are whole and complete — created in the image and likeness of God — lacking nothing.

Until next time, this is Paul Young saying, flee from the crowd and dwell with the Christ within you.  Christ IN YOU, your hope of glory.