Pt. 1 – Where’s Heaven?
God has really been opening up my heart to understand that the way we live now – this wasn’t His original intention. I love the first few chapters of Genesis, since that’s a clear picture of how God actually wanted the world to be. Everything in the Garden was “good”, but what we see around us now is a world corrupted by sin (Rom. 8:20,21).
I was excited as Holy Spirit began showing me how in the Garden, Adam and Eve had supernatural eyesight. They were created in God’s image and He is Spirit (Jn. 4:24). So as spirit beings they engaged God easily and walked and talked with Him in the cool of the day. They also effortlessly interacted with other spirit beings, like that long-ranging conversation with the devil, who’s a fallen angel (Gen. 3:1-7).
Which is why I find it so interesting that they were tempted by the words “your eyes will be opened” (Gen. 3:5). From where I’m sitting, their eyes were already wide open! They’re obviously interacting with other spirits in the spirit realm – angels, God Himself – their eyes were already very open to see and hear in the supernatural realm, naturally and easily.
A rift in the realm
So what happened then when they sinned? The Bible says that “the eyes of both of them were opened,” but what were they opened to? What did they now see that they hadn’t been aware of before?
Their humanity. Their nakedness. Their physical bodies (v. 7).
And it’s like as soon as their eyes were opened to the natural world, it’s as if they were simultaneously closed to the spiritual world. They didn’t talk with angels, fallen or otherwise, and they didn’t enjoy fellowshipping with God in the Garden anymore either.
They’d been effortlessly living in a world where spirit and physical co-existed beautifully and perfectly, but all of a sudden, there seemed to be a separation and a falling out. There was a rift in the realm and it now appeared to them to be two distinct worlds, no longer accessible as one unified dimension. From what we see in Scripture, the supernatural realm immediately became something they felt far removed from, as the finite natural realm was fast becoming their new reality.
We weren’t made for a box
Just like that, their world got very small. They chose not to live out of dependence on the Spirit and relationship with Him, so all of a sudden there were limits and boundaries.
Before, they could eat from the Tree of Life which meant they would live forever. God had created time, sure. There was evening and morning, but Adam and Eve had infinite amounts available, so essentially for them time didn’t exist. Until now. The moment they sinned the countdown started and their time on earth began running out.
Pablo Giacopelli has suggested that eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represents coming under not just the “Law” as in biblical law, but also the laws of the universe. Physical laws, like gravity. He doesn’t see any reason why as spirits created in God’s image, unadulterated by sin, we would have any such limitations. Personally, neither do I.
(We all know people connected with the supernatural realm levitate. Either demon possessed ones, or super anointed ones. Think Kathryn Kuhlman and St. Theresa of Avila. I mean, Jesus sure wasn’t bothered by such “laws” when He walked on water or moved through walls. We weren’t created for laws. We were created for relationship.)
But unfortunately as we mentioned, Adam and Eve chose rules over relationship when they chose sin instead of the spirit. And as a result they became blinded to the spiritual dimension, in which there is no distance.
Their world started closing in on them, confining them within the boundaries of space and the limitations of time.
The whole thing kind of reminds me of that old Keanu Reeves movie, The Matrix. There are so many spiritual principles and parallels in there, but the main idea was just the illusion of what their world actually consisted of and the misunderstanding of what their lives were even about. Everyone was going about their days believing they were actually living, but it was just an artificial environment and wasn’t the real true life they could be experiencing.
Unfortunately, as Adam and Eve’s descendants we seem to have unwittingly found ourselves in a similar situation. Because after the fall, we were all born into the illusion that the confines of this four-dimensional Matrix are actually a limit to us. We all just believe the obvious conclusion that our world is only made up of what our natural eyes see and our physical ears hear.
But God says don’t look at this natural world and the things that are seen, look at the things that are unseen. Because the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).
So that’s what this is about. Escaping the artificial reality of the Matrix and living into all the possibilities and miracles that are available to us simply by stepping into the supernatural. Connecting with heaven. Pressing into the spirit realm, and moving further up and further into it.
The spirit realm is right here. All around us. The supernatural infuses the natural. Christ is all and in all and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17; 3:11). Christ is Spirit so it’s spirit that’s holding all this seemingly solid physical world stuff together.
I mean, where’s heaven? We might be tempted to think it’s a couple billion light years away, far off in a distant galaxy somewhere.
But Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 10:7). The kingdom of heaven has come near you (Lk. 10:9). The kingdom of heaven is in your midst, the kingdom of heaven is within you (Lk. 17:21).
I’m not really sure how many other ways He could tell us, “It’s here! It’s now! Live into heaven and live out of it.”
Just like magnetic fields, radio waves and wifi signals – it’s invisible. But just because we can’t see any of those things doesn’t mean they’re not there. Surrounding us all the time. Literally permeating our atmosphere.
What God wanted us to know
It is significant to notice the very first recorded words of Jesus’ public ministry. What does He say, before anything else, right off the bat? Matthew 4:17 tells us: “Repent!”
Now we know that in the Greek the meaning of that word is “think differently”. (Strong’s Greek Number: 3340, μετανοέω, metanoeó: I repent, change my mind, literally, “think differently afterwards”).
So basically Jesus is saying, get a new mindset. See this differently than you have been. Change your thinking about this.
Sure thing, Jesus. We can do that! So what is it that we need to think differently about? What are You telling us to get a new understanding and revelation about?
Jesus explained, “The Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matt. 4:17)
He’s saying – Hey, you know that heaven you’ve been looking for? It’s arrived. That kingdom you’ve been waiting for? Yeah, it’s here right now actually. It’s not far off. It’s not way in the distance separate from you. It’s close by! Adjust your thinking. See the truth! The kingdom of heaven is here. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. The kingdom of heaven has come near you. The kingdom of heaven is in your midst!
You had been thinking God was far off. You had been seeing heaven as the sweet by and by and very much removed from your every day existence. And that’s where you missed it. That’s what I’ve come to change. In fact, it is so important, it’s the very first thing I’m going to announce and declare. The very first message I’m going to preach to the world. Get a new understanding, guys! Wrap your mind around this!
“The Kingdom of Heaven is here. And the Kingdom of Heaven is now.”