The Holy Spirit was impressing upon my heart earlier today how differently God thinks from the way we do and how important it is for us to learn how to think more like Him. One of Balaam’s prophecies was concerning this difference between God and man. God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? Numbers 23:19. God is not a man, and He doesn’t think like a man. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9. Neither is it God’s responsibility to do the changing. For I am the Lord, I change not. Malachi 3:6. We must do the changing. We must learn how to think as He does. We must learn how to live in His world. God is Spirit! And we must learn how to worship Him and relate to Him in the realm of spirit. God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24.
Paul tells us that the carnal mind is God’s enemy. The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7. Do you understand what the carnal mind is? It is the natural human mind of man! The natural thinking of man is opposed to God. That is why God tells us to not lean upon our own understanding. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7. Learning how to relate to the Lord and to think like Him isn’t easy. It is a process of dying out to self and coming alive unto Him. However, if we will trust in the Lord and lean not unto our own understanding, He will direct our paths into His world.
We are going to look at a few scriptures with faith to see them a little differently than what we have in the past. Have you ever had the Lord to reveal a certain truth to you that you had never seen before? Then once you knew it you found it all through the Bible. It had been hid in plain sight all along. That happened to me a while back about horizontal and vertical movement. Man’s way of thinking is horizontal. He lives in a time zone of past, present, and future. God, on the other hand, lives in eternity. Anyway, I began to notice that spiritual movement, or spiritual growth, was portrayed in the Scriptures as vertical movement. For example, when the Lord spoke to Moses from the burning bush He said, “I am come down to bring them up out of the land of Egypt unto a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). He didn’t say, “I have come to bring them out of Egypt.” He said, “I have come down to bring them up.” He was not going to lift them up off the earth, but up to another realm. He wanted to draw them closer to Him.
Progress is measured on a horizontal-time plane in the world of man, but in the realm of spirit progress is vertical movement. We often speak of moving into a higher realm or higher level in God, which means we are growing spiritually – we are moving into a closer relationship with the Lord. Let’s apply this principle to the first chapter of Genesis.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
You will notice that the word “heaven” is singular in the King James translation. In the Hebrew, though, it is plural. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He created the earth – the material or natural realm. He also created the heavens, meaning the realms of spirit. Now, if you are only aware of the natural realm when you read Genesis chapter one, you will only understand each day as a certain period of time in which a certain work was done. On the other hand, the days can be viewed spiritually as progressive levels of spirit. Each day represents another step upward in our relationship with the Lord until we are created in His image.
God is not interested in merely giving us history or explaining how He created the universe. All scriptures hold spiritual truths and “they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come” (I Corinthians 10:11). Everything in the Bible is written for those who have come to this day, the summing up or the completion of the plan of God. So everything in the Bible is for us. I’ve heard numbers of people say, “I don’t like reading the Old Testament. It’s just history and I don’t care for history, so I don’t read it.” Well, if you have no spiritual insight and you can only see what the letter of the Scriptures gives, then all you will see is the history of Israel. But if God has enlightened your spiritual eye, then you will see the spiritual truths that are below the surface reading. Jesus talks about this in the fifth chapter of John’s Gospel.
John 5:45-47 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one
that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. (Jesus is speaking to the
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?
The Pharisees held Moses and his writings in high esteem. But Jesus said, “If you really believed Moses, you would believe Me, because he wrote of Me.” But the attitude of the Pharisees was, “Oh, no! Moses didn’t write about You. He wrote about the children of Israel and their experiences.” They could only see the history of the Old Testament Scriptures. They didn’t find Jesus in there at all.
Do you realize that often when the Scriptures speak of Israel they are not really speaking of the nation Israel but of the Lord Jesus Christ? For example, it is written in Hosea 11:1: When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt. Historically, this refers to God bringing the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt, but prophetically it speaks of Christ. In the second chapter of Matthew the child Jesus was taken into Egypt by His parents to protect Him from Herod, and verse 15 says that they were there until the death of Herod: ...that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son. All Scripture holds spiritual truths designed to enhance our relationship with the Lord, but only those who really desire to grow spiritually are able to see them. The lukewarm, the half-hearted, and the indifferent only see the history and they get bored with it quickly.
The first chapter of Genesis begins with the statement: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Therefore, we understand that this first chapter will speak of earthly things and heavenly, or spiritual things. There will be a few things about the creation of the world, but it is mainly written to reveal truths about those and for those in whom God is presently creating in His likeness. This is confirmed in Psalm 102:18. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.
So, we are going to look at this chapter a little differently than what the common approach has been. In the past there has been a difference of opinion concerning the six days. Some have seen the days as 24-hour days and others as longer periods of time. We are going to look at them even differently – not in the realm of time, but as a relationship. Paul said that we are children of the day (I Thessalonians 5:5). We are not in darkness; we are children of light because of our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the light or the day, and we are His children.
On the first day God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Spiritually, this is speaking of our first day relationship with the Lord. It is when the light of revelation begins to come to us that we begin to see things differently. We begin seeing by divine light into God’s world. As we walk in this light our relationship with the Lord changes, and we enter into a second day relationship with the Lord. He is not new, but our relationship with Him is new. After more spiritual growth comes a third day relationship and then a fourth, fifth, and a sixth day when we are created in His image. The description given in the account of each day holds truths concerning the new relationship of that day realm. You might say we are passing through the heavens toward the Lord, from one heaven to another, or as Paul says, “From glory to glory” (II Corinthians 3:18). It is vertical movement.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word for “beginning” (re’shiyth) is quite interesting. It is sometimes translated “chief” or “first” or “firstfruits.” So it not only means the beginning in a sequence as in time, but it also means the first in importance or the first in quality. Christ speaking in Revelation 3:14 says that He is “the Beginning of the creation of God.” Paul tells us in Colossians 1:16 that “in Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth.” Therefore, we understand the spiritual implications of the Scriptures: In the Beginning, or in Christ, both the earth and the heavenly realms were created. That doesn’t take away from the fact that there are things in the first chapter having to do with the natural creation, but it is more important for us to understand the hidden spiritual truths.
After each day it says, “The evening and the morning were the first, second, third, etc., day.” This has spiritual implications, too, because we understand that spiritually we are moving from darkness to light. We begin in darkness and we progress toward the light for He is the Light (John 8:12). Spiritual progress is sometimes pictured by us approaching the Light and sometimes by the Light dawning upon us. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning… (Hosea 6:3). The coming presence of the Lord is spoken of this way in Matthew’s Gospel. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27. The King James translation is not the best here. First, we realize that lightning doesn’t necessarily flash from east to west; usually it flashes downward toward the earth. The Greek word for “lightning” here is astrape, which more accurately means “bright shining.” And, of course, we understand that the “bright shining” that does move from east to west is the sun, which agrees with Hosea – His going forth is prepared as the morning.
The key to understanding the Scriptures is in your relationship with the Lord. That is the most important thing of all. You should study the Scriptures for a revelation of the Lord. The information in the Scriptures is important, but it is more important to find the life of the Lord in them and to partake of Him. Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16. Revelation of spiritual truths comes not by looking for spiritual truths; it comes by partaking of the divine life hidden in the Scriptures.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him (Nicodemas), Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
Verse 3 talks about seeing the Kingdom of God. Verse 5 talks about entering the Kingdom. If you are going to see (become aware of) the Kingdom of God, you need to be born again. That means more than just becoming a Christian. There are many Christians that do not have an awareness of the Kingdom of God. It means you need to be born again, born of the divine nature of God, and that is not an instantaneous thing. At best, we are being born again. We are in the process of receiving His nature. Most people think in absolutes, either you are or you’re not. It’s not like that at all. But because so many think their born again experience is completed, they tend to change very little from that point on.
In verse 3, Jesus told Nicodemas, “You have to be born again to see the Kingdom of God.” Then in verse 5, Jesus said that it was necessary to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not seen without this birthing process. But to see the Kingdom is one thing and to enter in is another. The born again experience that enabled you to be aware of the Kingdom has to expand for you to enter into the Kingdom of God. We want to do more than become aware of the Kingdom; we want to move into it and learn how to live in it. Do you remember the experience of Abraham after Lot was separated from him (Genesis 13:14-18)? God told Abraham, “Lift up your eyes and look to the north, south, east, and west. All that you see I’m going to give you.” Abraham looked and he could see all that God had promised. But after he saw it, it was necessary to walk in it and claim it. Then he packed up his tent and moved – he began living in it. The born-again experience of some Christians is so shallow that they have very little awareness of the Kingdom of God. Others, having a born-again experience of greater depth, have a greater awareness of the Kingdom. Too many of them, though, are satisfied with the revelations of the Kingdom and have not moved into the land. It seems to be only a few that will pack their belongings as Abraham did and move into the promises of God. Do not be satisfied with only revelations of the Kingdom of God. Let your born again experience expand until you are living in it. We’re talking about vertical movement! We’re talking about moving into a higher level of relationship with the Lord!
Our thinking wants to stay on a horizontal plane. I’ve seen many preachers with their maps and time charts: This is the Old Testament, this is the Gospels, this is the New Testament, this is the Church Age, and in the future will come the tribulation and the Kingdom of God. They would have had a very difficult time getting Brother Enoch, the seventh from Adam, to accept that. He had a revelation of the Lord coming with ten thousands of His saints and by faith he entered in (Jude 14; Genesis 5:24). He didn’t say, “Oh, that is going to be 6,000 years or more down the road. I can’t experience that.” When you put things in the future, you have closed the door – you can’t enter in. Future says you can’t have it. A born-again experience will enable you to see what God has in store for His people. An expanded born-again experience will enable you to possess it and live in it.
Copyright © 2002 by Henry DuBose