Skip navigation

1. Living in Heaven/Earth

Who are we? What are we? What is our purpose? These questions have stirred the hearts of men for thousands of years. Every man and woman descended from Adam knows that life is not what it was meant to be. We grope in the darkness; things are not clear. This question that David asks here in Psalms 8 is echoed down through the centuries. What is man; why would God pay attention to him?

1. Living in Heaven/Earth

© Daniel Yordy 2009

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers… What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You visit him? You have made him a little lower than angels (Elohim), and You have crowned him with glory and honor… David in Psalm 8

What is man?

Who are we? What are we? What is our purpose? These questions have stirred the hearts of men for thousands of years. Every man and woman descended from Adam knows that life is not what it was meant to be. We grope in the darkness; things are not clear. This question that David asks here in Psalms 8 is echoed down through the centuries. What is man; why would God pay attention to him?

Psalms 8:5 says, You have made him a little lower than the angels. That word in the Hebrew is not "angels" it is ElohimYou have made him a little lower than God. Elohim is the same word found in Genesis 1:1, In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. Jewish tradition translated this into "angels," instead of "God." But it was not said that way by David.

You have made him a little lower than God.

Then Psalm 22 shows us this extreme contradiction of what we think we are. Psalm 22 is the thoughts of Jesus upon the cross, given to his forefather, David, hundreds of years before.

My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? . . . But I am a worm, and no man, a reproach of men, and despised by the people.

Even Jesus, hanging upon the cross, despised and mocked, came to this conclusion about himself in his humanity; I am a worm and no man.

We find ourselves in this great contradiction. What is man? We have a sense of a glory that has been lost, of something great that we once knew that is gone far from our ability to reach for it. We sense a future that ought to be, yet we look at ourselves now, and we say with Jesus, I am a worm and no man.

What is man? Why has God focused His attention on him?

The writer of Hebrews refers to this passage from David. What is man that You are mindful of him . . . You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things under him. But we see Jesus… Hebrews 2:6-9.

God put all things into subjection under man. But right now we don't see how all things could be under our feet. We don't see that we are in command of anything. Everything seems out of control.

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:9-10

The writer of Hebrews refers to the same thing Paul said in Romans 8:29. The purpose of God is to have many sons conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. God is bringing many sons to glory.

He is not ashamed to call them brethren . . . Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil… Therefore in all things He had to be made like His brethren… Hebrews 2:11-17

In asking the question, what is man, the Spirit of God tells us, "Look at Jesus." We don't see who and what we are when we look at ourselves separately from Jesus. He was made like us that we might be made like Him. We are becoming who we are.

But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17

What is man?

I am a person - me; I am one who thinks, who feels, who chooses. In the center of this one who thinks, feels, and chooses is my heart. My heart is all the expression of my desire, my dreams, my hopes. I am a living soul. My mind, my will, my emotions, at the center of which is my heart, all that I desire, that is me.

I am the pearl of great value. Jesus, coming upon this field which is my life, saw that pearl, my heart; He converted everything that He owned, His life, into the purchase price, His blood, that He might purchase for Himself the treasure that He saw, my heart. That He might have my heart for His dwelling place.

Now, as a living soul, a human, I live in two worlds. The universe has two parts to it. These two parts are intrinsically related together, and yet they are very different. These two parts relate with one another all the time but they are different in makeup. On the one side of the universe is physical matter. In that part of the universe are the stars, the planets, space, time, the earth, animals, plants, everything of the earth. All those things are the physical side of the universe.

The other side of the universe is spirit. In the spiritual side of the universe are the several levels of heaven. There is the place of the dead, where the dead are reserved in judgment. The spiritual side of the universe is populated by angels. It is my suspicion that as with animals there are many different kinds of creatures of various sizes and shapes and orders and purposes, so the word "angels" refers to a very similar arena of many different types of beings. God always gets carried away with Himself when He creates. He never creates in moderation, but always with abundance. Inside that realm we call angels are creatures of great size and tiny, many different kinds and shapes and ways of beings and purposes of expressions, and we call all of that vast realm of created beings, angels.

These two realms are related closely together. Although the spiritual realm has full view of the physical realm, the physical realm cannot see the spiritual realm. However, the two interrelate all the time.

Man is different. Man is the only being created by God who lives in both the physical realm and the spiritual realm at the same time. Jesus, while He walked this earth, said, The Son of man who is in heaven. Jesus was in heaven and on the earth at the same time. So are we.

Man was created to live in both sides of the universe at the same time. Here is how. God gave me two bodies: a physical body and a spiritual body. I, me - my heart, as it works through my mind, will, and emotions - I relate to, communicate with, and manipulate the physical world through my physical body. At the same time, I relate to, communicate with, and am a part of the heavenly world with my spirit, my spiritual body.

Through my physical body I speak with physical beings; through my spiritual body, I speak with spiritual beings. God is Spirit. I relate to Him through my spirit, my spiritual body.

Now, at the moment Adam bit his teeth into the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, his spirit died. Before then Adam could communicate with and live in both realms. Adam communicated freely with the animals in the garden. At the same time, Adam walked with God and communicated fully and freely in the spiritual realm with God. Adam saw heaven all around him.

At the moment Adam sinned, his spirit was cut off from God; it lost its ability to communicate with and see the heavenly realms. It was still there in a twisted form, but it was cut off from knowing God. He could still reach out towards God as through a glass darkly, but from that point on, for Adam or his children to turn to the spiritual side of the universe through their spiritual bodies, all they could contact would be the realms of fallen angels, the occult and the demonic. That's why God put strict laws in the Old Testament concerning the fallen spiritual realms. "Don't go there," He said, because, reaching out in your fallen spirit to the spiritual realms, the only thing you will contact is the demonic.

At the same time, death also came to Adam's physical body. It did not perish into the dust at that moment. But in less than 1000 years, one day, Adam's physical body died and crumbled into the dust. The moment Adam sinned, death came into his body. It was now subject to sickness, to deterioration, and the diminishing of its faculties until finally it returned to the dust.

However, Adam himself did not vanish after physical death. Adam continued in the place of the dead, a holding place, as a living soul with all the desires of his heart that he ever had, with his own mind still functioning, his own emotions and will. But in that place of the dead, Adam had neither a physical body through which he could fulfil his desires in the physical realms nor did he have a spiritual body through which he could touch the godly side of the heavenly realms. There Adam wandered, waiting, without the ability to express himself in any way.

And so, all the way through the Old Testament, God dealt with a people in whose spirits was the spirit of disobedience, the nature of sin, and because of sin, death. These were a people who had fallen spirits that could not connect with the heavens of God. If they tried to contact the heavenly realms, all they could touch were the realms of the demonic, far more powerful and prevalent than the earth has known since the cross of Christ.

But during the centuries of God's dealings with Israel, because of the coming blood of Jesus, the Spirit of God was able to speak through individuals, through Moses, through David, and the prophets. Through those individuals, God could speak to His people. God lived in their midst in the temple, but in doing so, He erected barriers around Himself, barriers that could only be crossed with blood, the blood pointing to the coming blood of Jesus. And thus God could fulfill his purpose, in some fashion, of making His home among men. But only in a distant sort of way, not the way He intended.

Then came the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the first time God could do the work of His intention. From the time Adam fell until the time of the resurrection of Jesus, God held man in a holding pattern. All the development of the human experience, all that God had in mind - He waited 4000 years until He began the work of forming us into the image of Jesus Christ.

God begins that process in us in our spirit.

We were minding our own business one day, when, unknown to us, the Spirit of God hovered over us in our darkness. Whether we were in a meeting or talking to some person or reading a book, the Holy Spirit hovered over us, and in the midst of that Holy Spirit there came a word into us. We believed that word, and in the moment, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we were born again.

Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. 1 Peter 1:23

An incorruptible word, an incorruptible seed, that came from God into us, birthed us again, anew. Now this word "born again" that Peter uses and the word John used in his gospel when Jesus said, You must be born again, this word is not the same as the English word "born." It is the Greek word, gennao. Here in Peter it is the word anna gennao, "born from above." The wordgennao corresponds with the English word "conceived."

When that word came, a new life was conceived inside of us, a new spirit was created inside of us. We could now communicate with God's side of the heavenly realms, living and walking in the spiritual realms safely because we walk in the Holy Spirit. We live in the heavenlies, completely bypassing that savage area of the heavenly realms that fallen man cannot get beyond, the occult realms. We live and walk in the heavenly realms with Jesus because our spirit, our spiritual body has been restored, we have been born again, a new life is working inside of us.

I will follow two lines of thought in this investigation of who we are. The first is, what does it mean that I am born again? Sadly, so many Christians revert back to their defining verse, "The goal of the believer is to go to heaven when you die." And now, being born again means "I'm going to heaven when I die. That's it."

Jesus said to Nicodemus, Most assuredly I say to you, you must be born again. Nicodemus said, How can a man be born again when he is old, can he go back into his mother's womb and be born? Many laugh at Nicodemus for being so silly. You see, it never entered into Nicodemus' mind that Jesus was giving a formula for becoming a Christian. Nicodemus was grappling with what Jesus said. Even though he saw it only through his natural mind, he was much closer to the truth than most. Jesus was talking about a conception and a birth; He was not talking about where we go when we die.

So, I want to explore what it means to be born again. At the same time, I want to look at the question of our body and our spirit. As Paul explains the gospel, he centers his argument on the body. Our physical bodies are central to the salvation of Jesus Christ. As we live in the allotted time God has given us in these bodies, it is vital for us to take advantage of them. Being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ takes place in the physical body.

Our physical body is central to the plan and purpose of God, as is our spiritual body. Both bodies are important, and we must understand the role of these two parts of us in what God is doing in our lives.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but possess the life of the age to come. John 3:16

What is eternal life? God tells us in John 17:3.

This is eternal life (the life of the age to come,) that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. "To know," here, is the most intimate relationship of pure and perfect intimacy with God. He that believes in Him will know an intimacy with God and with Jesus beyond the conception of our present minds.

And this is the testimony that God has given us already, we have eternal life. And this life is in the Son, he that believes on the Son has that life. 1 John 5:11

God has given us an intimacy and a closeness with Himself, an entwining, beyond what we can understand.

He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

This life is in the Son, and the Son lives in my heart. When I look at my heart, I see Jesus. I do not blaspheme Him by seeing selfishness and deceit. When I look at my heart, I see the very life of God. I am born again. I am conceived of God from an incorruptible, heavenly seed that has come out of the very bosom of the Father. That seed came into my spirit, and I am a new creation.

I am not what I was before I was born again. Now that I am born again, I am fundamentally different than I was before. Jesus is inside of every part of me, and I, every part of myself, am utterly inside of Him.

What is man?

We dare not fall short of the answer to that question. So many Christians see themselves as nothing more than sinners, sinful humans. "God has had mercy upon me, and He has decided to rescue me after I vacate the earth because He had pity on me and that's all there is." That is not the covenant we have with God.

I am conceived from above. An incorruptible seed came into me, and I was born anew. I have eternal life, that is, I have in me an intimacy with the Father beyond what my present understanding is able to conceive.

What is man that God pays so much attention to him? What is man that God takes everything He created, both in heaven and in earth, and makes it subject to me? That He would give me authority over all of creation?

What is man?