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The Immanuel Project: Chapter 4: Blending the Spiritual and the Physical

Posted by undergroundchurch on June 22, 2009


 Click here for Chapter 3 

When we think in terms of the physical world, we usually think materialistically.  Scientists describe our universe as multi-dimensional.  There are the three dimensions of space, the dimension of time, physical properties of gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces.  These are things that we can perceive and touch.  We know them.  We are familiar with their effects. We base our beliefs on our understanding of the physical world. The bottom line… if it doesn’t fit in our understanding of the universe, then it can’t possibly be true.

Scientists are actually discovering that our universe has at least eleven dimensions to it.  Much of this is “unknowable” currently.

Any way you look at it, the physical universe is huge, but there is a world even larger – the Spiritual world. 

The spiritual universe is a much larger domain than we give it credit.  God, the angels, demons and Satan operate primarily in this world.  Good and evil, sin and love abide in this world along with things that man cannot even utter[i] The physical world in which we live is not separate from the spiritual world but a part of the spiritual world – albeit a very small part. 

Which do you think came first, the spiritual world or the physical world? 

According to the creation account, God made the three components of our universe in the beginning.  In Genesis 1:1, 3, God creates matter, space, time and energy. “In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter). God said, let there be light (energy) and there was light”

God did all of this from the “spiritual world”.  God had to actually create the space in which everything in the physical world exists.  Laws were set up at the beginning that made this physical universe work.  Gravity keeps the planets close to the sun, light keeps everything alive on the earth, etc.

We know many of the physical laws that govern our world, i.e. gravity, time, space, etc.  We are bound by these laws in our physical universe.  However, these laws do not apply to the spiritual world.  In the spiritual world, there is no time, space, gravity that we can define, but somehow things that happen in our world affect the spiritual world. 

Did you realize that the act of disobedience by Adam and Eve in this physical world initiated the seed of sin in man that would cause every person ever born of man to be born into sin?[ii]  Our physical world and the spiritual world are connected.  Sin is a spiritual property with physical symptoms.  God said to Adam, “In the day you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] you will die.”[iii] The act of spiritual sin brought the result of physical death.

Likewise, events that happen in the spiritual world directly impact the physical universe.  The spiritual laws of sowing and reaping[iv] cannot be tied to any physical property.  Jesus said, “You will reap what you sow.” This happens because the spiritual law applies to physical actions.  God even tells us to test out this law and see if he doesn’t bless you. [v]

One of the Ten Commandments comes with a physical promise.  “Respect you father and mother – God, your God, commands it! You’ll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well.”[vi]

How can you attribute long life to obeying your parents?  I know what you’re thinking, “You didn’t know my parents.  If we disobeyed, they’d kill us.”  Perhaps, but the principle addressed here is a spiritual blessing that affects a physical property.

Even the simple act of blessing and curses can have a profound physical impact on people.  They are sounds uttered that can physically encourage or destroy even those that did not even hear the blessing. 

Isaac and Jacob are remembered for their faith, not because of some act they performed, but because they spoke spiritual words of blessing over their kids believing that generations later, those words would be true.  The surprising thing is that they did come true.

I love how the Message version reads in Hebrews 11:20 and 21, “By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau. By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own–as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.”

They reached into the future in their blessing.  Words get their power because they are so closely tied to the spiritual world.  In fact, every word you utter is recorded in the spiritual world by God and you will be held accountable.[vii]

Words are what we use to communicate with the spiritual world.  The function of words operates on sound waves, but it’s not the sound that causes communication; it is the understanding.

Our prayers offered to the Lord are done upon the wings of words.  It’s the transport system that God established to reach into the spiritual world and communicate with the creator of the universe. 

Jesus tells us that we are not to live only on physical matter (bread) but on spiritual food (Words of God)[viii]

In our world, words don’t mean what they used to mean. Once upon a time, a man’s word was his bond.  Today, you need 300 page contracts with signatures and initials on every page in order to carry out a transaction.  On top of that you have fine print, hidden clauses, and addendums.  The words used are only legible to a select group of individuals called lawyers.

But in God’s eyes, the testimony of two or three witnesses establishes a matter.[ix]  Words still mean things with God.  They are so valuable, in fact, that He sent the portion of the Godhead known as the “Word” to our world in the form of Jesus.

Think about that.  Jesus is the Word of God.  Everything God has uttered is wrapped up in this part of God.  How awesome is that?

Think of Jesus as the verbal contract of God with man.  When Jesus succeeded in his earthly journey and climaxed it on the cross, God was essentially signing His verbal contract with man in the blood of His Son.  It cannot get any more powerful than that.

So what do I mean when I say, blending the physical and spiritual?

To better explain this, I am going to use the illustration of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Simply put this is the field of energy in the universe that gives us light in its various forms. The only real difference between the different types of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum is the wave length. 

If I have lost you, let’s try it this way.  Visible light is the light you see made up of the colors of the rainbow – violet through red.  What you can’t see in the light spectrum is everything to the left of violet where the waves get further apart (i.e. ultra-violet, X-rays, Gamma Rays) and everything to the right of red where the waves get closer together (i.e. infrared, radar, FM Radio waves, Television waves, shortwave, AM radio waves, etc.)  Although all these items exist in the same electromagnetic spectrum, you can’t see them.  You can only see a very small portion of the whole spectrum – namely visible light.

You can only see the influence of an AM radio by capturing the electromagnetic waves using a tool called a radio.  This gadget is specifically designed to capture and send waves of energy through the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves are all around you everywhere you go, but you can’t see them until you turn on your radio.

In a similar way, our physical universe is actually part of a larger spiritual universe.  We can’t see into the rest of the spiritual universe without some sort of tool – i.e. prayer, the bible, etc. 

Man is drawn to this spiritual universe because man is part spiritual creature as much as he is a physical creation.  Since man decided to walk away from God, he has tried every sort of tool to contact the spiritual world.  Witchcraft, horoscopes, astral projection, Hinduism, etc. are all created by man to reach into the spiritual world and somehow grasp this larger universe.  The sad truth is that it accomplishes that feat.  However, the contact with the spiritual world is not controlled by God, but by every evil force that resides in the spiritual world. 

God never forbid us to contact the spiritual world, He just said, “There is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”[x]  God provided us with two basic tools to communicate with the spiritual world – the Bible and prayer through Jesus.  The person we are to contact in the spiritual world is specifically defined, “You shall have no other God before me”[xi]

In fact, God encourages us to spend as much time as possible in contact with the spiritual world.  He tells us to be filled with the Spirit of God.[xii] We need to fast and pray and spend time in the Word.  We need to devote ourselves to God wholeheartedly.

The spiritual and physical worlds are interconnected and God designed it that way. 

Have you ever wondered why God sent Jesus into this world to die for our sins?  Couldn’t God have just rewritten the contract in heaven and be done with it?  If sin is a spiritual matter, couldn’t it have been taken care of in the spiritual world alone?

The short answer is, “No.”

There were spiritual laws and penalties to sin that had to be accounted for.  God doesn’t “cook the books”.  He doesn’t make accounting errors.  Everything must be addressed.  Every dime must be accounted for.  The wage for sin is death.[xiii]

Hebrews 9:22 tells us that without the shedding of blood, there is no freedom from sin.  A price must be paid and it couldn’t happen in the spiritual world because God can’t die.

How then do you overcome this dilemma?  How does a God that can’t die, die?

That’s where the physical world comes in.  If God could totally take on the elements that would confine him to the physical universe he could tie himself to humanity by making himself human – fully man.  If this can be accomplished, then He could die.  But how do you do this?

God had a plan from the beginning to come into this world in such a way that the sin in this world would not corrupt Him and in a way that would make sure that He was fully man and therefore able to die.

 


[i] 2 Corinthians 12:3,4

[ii] Romans 3:23

[iii] Genesis 2:17

[iv] Galatians 6:7

[v] Malachi 3:10

[vi] Deuteronomy 5:16 (MSG)

[vii] Matthew 12:36

[viii] Matthew 4:4

[ix] Matthew 18:16

[x] 1 Timothy 2:5

[xi] Deuteronomy 5:7

[xii] Ephesians 5:18

[xiii] Romans 6:23

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One Response to “The Immanuel Project: Chapter 4: Blending the Spiritual and the Physical”

  1. […] The Immanuel Project: Chapter 5: The Sin Problem June 23, 2009 Posted by undergroundchurch in The Immanuel Project – Book. Tags: Christian living, Christianity, church, cross, education, faith, Jesus, life, love, prayer, religion, salvation, Thoughts, will of God trackback Click here for Chapter 4 […]

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